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Sprint Reviews that Attract, Engage, and Enlighten Stakeholders

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Are you suffering from chronic disinterest in what your team is delivering? Are your product owners unavailable or distracted? Are your sprint reviews ho-hum experiences with low attendance? If you …

Are you suffering from chronic disinterest in what your team is delivering? Are your product owners unavailable or distracted? Are your sprint reviews ho-hum experiences with low attendance? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, your agile teams are in trouble-and you need to attend this session. Experienced agile coach Bob Galen explores real-world patterns for how to increase the interest in-and the energy and value of-your sprint reviews. First, Bob explains how to prepare properly, the keys to dry runs, and the role of a Master of Ceremonies. Then he examines ways to orchestrate pro-active reviews that include the whole team and engage your audience when demonstrating "working software." Next Bob discusses how to perform a review follow-up and gather feedback for high-impact improvements. Finally, Bob wraps up by exploring ways to make sprint reviews a centerpiece of your agile adoption and transformation.

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  • 1.           AW10 Concurrent Session  11/7/2012 3:45 PM                "Sprint Reviews that Attract, Engage, and Enlighten Stakeholders"       Presented by: Bob Galen RGalen Counsulting Group, LLC                 Brought to you by:        340 Corporate Way, Suite 300, Orange Park, FL 32073  888‐268‐8770 ∙ 904‐278‐0524 ∙ sqeinfo@sqe.com ∙ www.sqe.com
  • 2. Bob Galen RGalen Consulting Bob Galen is an agile coach at RGalen Consulting and director of agile solutions at Zenergy Technologies, a North Carolina-based firm specializing in agile testing and leading agile adoption initiatives. Bob regularly speaks at international conferences and professional groups on topics related to software development, project management, software testing, and team leadership. He is a Certified Scrum Master Practicing, Certified Scrum Product Owner, and an active member of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance. Bob published Scrum Product Ownership–Balancing Value from the Inside Out, which addresses the gap in guidance toward effective agile product management. Contact Bob at bob@rgalen.com or bob.galen@zenergytechnologies.com
  • 3. Creating Sprint Reviews that Attract, Engage, and Enlighten your ‘Customers' Bob Galen President & Principal Consultant RGCG, LLC bob@rgalen.com Introduction Bob Galen Somewhere ‘north’ of 30 years experience ☺ Various lifecycles – Waterfall variants, RUP, Agile, Chaos… Various domains – SaaS, Medical, Financial Services, Computer , , , p & Storage Systems, eCommerce, and Telecommunications Developer first, then Project Management / Leadership, then Testing Leveraged ‘pieces’ of Scrum in late 90’s; before ‘agile’ was ‘Agile’ Agility @ Lucent in 2000 – 2001 using Extreme Programming Formally using Scrum since 2000 Currently an independent Agile Coach (CSC – Certified Scrum Coach, one of 50 world-wide; 20+ in North America) at RGCG, LLC and Director of Agile Solutions at Zenergy Technologies From Cary, North Carolina y, Connect w/ me via LinkedIn and Twitter if you wish… Bias Disclaimer: Agile is THE BEST Methodology for Software Development… However, NOT a Silver Bullet! Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 2 1
  • 4. iContact The End State… • The entire company would engage in our sprint & release reviews • • • • C-level engagement; the leadership team regularly came We had a room that would handle 60+ folks We started to record them on video; and hang TV’s Consistent meeting overflow! • Engagement, questions, feedback, & understanding • Reduced the need for serial handling of Customer Support training • After the meeting demos; excitement & team feedback Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 3 3 iContact Context • • • • eMail Marketing SaaS company serving SMB customers 70k active paying customers; 100k + active customers ~275 employees, ~100 in technology ~ 10 Scrum teams working on various aspects of the product • Development & Operations teams • Applying Scrum since 2008 • Scrum of Scrums • Dedicated PO / team, Chief Product Owner Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 4 2
  • 5. iContact A Journey…2009 • My first Sprint Review – • • • • • Weakly attended PowerPoint's per team; No working software Creative entertainment—photo’s, jokes, etc. Ill conceived in most cases; poorly prepared Audience politely laughed at appropriate moments • Over whelming feeling of…what just happened? Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 5 Back to Basics • • • • • Ownership Format Sprint Goals Whole Team View Preparation Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC • Execution & Demonstration • Wrap-up • Release-level 6 3
  • 6. Ownership • Establish a view that the Product Owner ‘owned’ the owned review • • • • Meeting dynamics – scheduling, invitations, content reminders Establish marketing or demo themes Handling pre-review expectation setting Guiding team preparation; M/C for the review • If attendance was inconsistent or poor, their job to sort out and improve it • Capture & resolve feedback Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 7 Format • Friday mornings, after 2-week sprints • Every team would get a 20 30 minute ‘stage’ for their 20-30 stage review • Would take most of the morning; 8:30 – 11am • Break • Would couple related teams together • Development vs. Operations • 2 3 teams demonstrating shared GUI components 2-3 • Thought about overall Review flow • Team transitions were key • Including remote teams Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 8 4
  • 7. Sprint Goals • We set the stage in Sprint Planning for the review • Aligning our sprint goal to the sprint review • Ensuring we allocated time for team-based preparation • Aligning user stories to what the customer(s) would see in the review • “Begin with the End in Mind” Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 9 Whole Team View • Everyone would participate in the review • Story developers • Testers • Scrum Master would normally speak to the ‘process’ and “team dynamics” • Not uncommon for a new hire to be “on stage after their on stage” first sprint • Exposure Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 10 5
  • 8. Preparation • Started in Sprint Planning • Team would conduct a review planning session – discussing • Which stories to expose • Which work to filter • Who would demo the story? Specific preparation needs? • Do a dry-run of the demo on Thursday afternoon • Product Owners would discuss x-team orchestration • Flow, ordering changes Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 11 Execution & Demonstration • Demonstrated all sorts of work • • • • Stories & Features; Spikes Tests; run results Scripts, Environments & CI/CD Diagrams showing our “planned path forward” • End-to-end feature mantra visualized • Always tried to connect the dots for the audience into connect-the-dots • What we just did • Why they should care…value! • Coming attractions; building towards what end? Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 12 6
  • 9. Wrap-up • Product Owners took ownership of all feedback and action logs • It was a rare event if we didn’t maintain continuity from sprint to sprint review • Very common for groups to join teams in off-line demos • Scrum Masters • would drive informal retrospectives with the teams on their readiness & performance • Chief Product Owner • would reflect on attendance, engagement, and format improvement Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 13 Release Level • Following a series of Sprint Reviews we would conduct Reviews, a Release Review immediately prior to release • • • • • End-to-end flows Reminders of finalized features Tell a more holistic story Prepare the company for the release Generate understanding & excitement • Teams would fully prepare • A final “quality check” of sorts Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 14 7
  • 10. Misc. points • Could a team “skip” a review? Yes • • • • Depending on nature of the sprint Depending on the results We would ALWAYS communicate a transparent Why? Rarely would happen twice in a row • Must a team show ALL their work? No • Filter based on PO feedback • Theme of the Review; most relevant work • Expose all work via conversation Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 15 Misc. points • Everything was from the perspective of “The Customer or “The Stakeholder” The Customer” The Stakeholder • • • • • Honored their time; stayed “on schedule” Informed of scheduling Asked them to attend specific team demos as appropriate Followed up with them if they missed a relevant demo Checked their “pulse” frequently; ultimately…excitement? • Transparent & Inform • Look for information sharing moments whenever possible • Direct & indirect Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 16 8
  • 11. Misc. points • Organized Flow • • • • • • • • • Introduction Team Chart Acknowledgements - Appreciations Sprint Goal Strategy? Success? Efforts? Discoveries? Results? Demo’s; Q&A Coming Attractions Fist-of-Five Towards Improvement Close Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 17 Learning’s Scheduling • • • • • • A demo centric morning demo-centric Varying scheduling Connecting related themes – across teams Early email notice Clear agenda’s and precise timing Varied days, timing, length over time – based on customer feedback (and attendance) • Regular tempo Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 18 9
  • 12. Learning’s None-features • Refactoring efforts • Showing a game-plan for development • Filling in the “blanks” as we progressed • • • • • Showing automation growing in coverage Showing defect backlogs Informing of “Coming Attractions” Showing testing activity -- Risk-Based strategy All work was fair game Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 19 Learning’s Failure • “Calling” our Sprints seemed to matter • Successful or Failed • Notion of “Failing Forward” reinforced throughout organization • Remote member support • First remote team Review – recovery • C ti Continued t refine th “t h l d to fi the “technology” ” • Missed Reviews • Lack of preparation Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 20 10
  • 13. Learning’s Quality Step • Moving code nearer to Production • Dry-run found many issues • Simply planning for the review helped us focus on “working software” • Alignment with the Sprint Goal • Focus Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 21 Learning’s Taking Feedback • Not being defensive • Setting a company-wide example • Coached • Embracing the feedback – before, during & after • Doing something with it • Listening, acting, showing forward results • A Aggregating ti • Discussion & passionate debate Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 22 11
  • 14. Learning’s Attendance • Attendance was the ultimate measure • Did the right stakeholders & customers attend? Did they engage? • A Fist of Five to gather fast feedback • Remember: this is the Highest Priority work “on the Planet”! • If we had “low” attendance • Wh ? I Why? Immediately move t get th “right f lk on th b ” – PO di t l to t the “ i ht folks the bus” strategy(s) • Raise it as an impediment • Never had to cancel “due to lack of interest”, but came close… Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 23 Summary • More Subtle Lessons • • • • • • • • Laser focus on your customer Have a unique demo strategy; Prepare Show everything – not just “features” Constantly explain the impact/import to the business (even for technical items) Fail Forward Be honest & transparent Every demo is important Have the vision & expectation of Powerful Reviews Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 24 24 12
  • 15. Wrap-up • What were the most compelling ideas or lessons? • What adjustments will you make to your Sprint Reviews? • What ideas did we miss? • Final questions or discussion? Thank you! 25 25 Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC Contact Info Bob Galen Principal Consultant, RGalen Consulting Group, L.L.C. Director of Agile Solutions, Zenergy Technologies, Blogs Project Times http://www.projecttimes.com/robert-galen/ Business Analyst – BA Times http://www.batimes.com/robert-galen/ My Podcast on all things ‘agile’ http://www.meta-cast.com/ Scrum Product Ownership – Balancing Value From the Inside Out published by RGCG in 2009. Experience-driven agile focused training, coaching & consulting t i i hi lti Contact: (919) 272-0719 bob@rgalen.com bob.galen@zenergytechnologies.com www.rgalen.com Copyright © 2012 RGCG, LLC 26 13