The Importance and Benefits of a Mid-Sprint Review
To check on the progress of teams and for teams to get feedback on their work, consider implementing mid-Sprint reviews.
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When the team starts working in a Sprint, we always wanted to know how early we can see a demo or review the progress. The sooner you can get feedback and confirm that you are building the right thing, the better. How we can make the feedback loop as short as possible?
In this white paper, we’ll review the importance of another important checkpoint called "Mid-Sprint Review" and how this helps to elicit feedback and foster collaboration.
Scrum is an Agile process that, in general, is used for product development and, more specifically, for software development. The main characteristic of Scrum is development via a series of short iterations. In Scrum terminology, we call these "Sprints."
In Agile Scrum software development, the team is required to deliver a shippable product in increments. At the end of each sprint, the team has coded and tested a set of usable features. One of the very important principles of Scrum is that the team should be committed to what they say they will complete in the Sprint.
This should not be changed and the team should really try hard to deliver what they have committed to deliver.
To make this smooth and predictable, we planned to have certain checkpoints in the Sprint before we reach the end of the Sprint.
The Measuring Checkpoint
The mid-Sprint review helps keep the team focused and helps us to achieve our sprint goals. I just thought of sharing our experience on values of having mid-Sprint reviews. Ours is a 3 week Sprint cycle where we work on enhancements, defects, and technical debts. Rather than waiting until the end of the sprint, if stories are completed or partly completed, we would like to review them with Product Owners and stakeholders sooner rather than later. The whole purpose is to get early feedback in the Sprint. We agreed to meet during the middle of the Sprint with the Team, Product Owner and Stakeholders to review the progress and demo some of the ready items of the Sprint.
The team not only updates the progress but raises any risks or dependencies which were not identified during the initial grooming or planning meetings. It's an excellent way to keep everyone up to date, to understand the progress towards the objectives, and to make sure that the project is communicated clearly. This helps the Product Owner to reprioritize the Sprint and plan for any roadblocks early in the Sprint. The Product Owner can evaluate the progress and make a decision on the next step.
Power of Appreciation
Another important aspect is to appreciate the great work done by the team. As we’re building the team, we focus on making sure that the team members act as one team, work together on the same goals, and think of themselves as one unit. It helps in building an environment that promotes collaboration, creativity, transparency, and sustainability. We should always look for opportunities to appreciate the team.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Even though we may not be able to complete all the work on their task board by mid-Sprint, we still think the teams are doing really well. We were pleased to see people volunteer to get issues resolved, as well as the open discussion about the teams’ progress and performance. Obviously, it’s important that the teams deliver completed stories but it’s also important that they grow as a team and improve the way they work. Don't worry about what one calls what you do, worry about if you have the proper mindset and if the practices it inspires actually solve your challenges.
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