At any given time, we have 4 to 8 active Scrum teams working in our MBF-Fargo team. The size of each team ranges from 4 to around 10. Most, if not all, of the teams are working on the same milestone and the same sprint cycle.
One area that we have been iterating on over the past year is figuring out the optimal format for our sprint reviews. We have the potential of having 60-70 interested people between our own team and some internal customers. We have actually tried three different approaches.
Our first idea was to break the review into two separate meetings. The first meeting, the overview meeting, took one hour in the morning and was held in a large room where everyone could attend. In this meeting, each Scrum team discussed how the sprint went from a project management perspective and gave a brief overview of the technical deliverables in the sprint. The afternoon session took about 2 hours and was held in a smaller room that could hold 25-30 people if packed tightly. This session was a more detailed review of the technical deliverables, with each team presenting serially.
We eliminated the overview meeting after a couple of sprints because we didn’t feel it was adding value. We continued the afternoon session with basically the same format, except we added a brief sprint overview discussion to each team’s presentation. This format, ‘single room serial’, was used for several sprints.
While the ‘single room serial’ approach worked fairly well, there were a few things I didn’t like about it. The facilities weren’t real good for 25-30 people, for one thing. The group was still large enough that you didn’t get the detailed feedback and interaction that you would really like to have in a sprint review. Finally, inspired by an article on Primavera’s use of Scrum, we decided to try a different format.
The new approach, ‘multiple rooms parallel’, involves each team giving 30 minute sprint reviews in a smaller room. Each team repeats its session 2 or 3 times to allow for everyone who wants to see their work the opportunity to do so. We also stagger the start times for each presenting team so that presenters have an opportunity to see other team’s review content.
We just completed our second ‘multiple rooms parallel’ review. Based on feedback from attendees, it’s the best format that we’ve tried yet. Staying true to Inspect and Adapt, we’ll see how we can make this better yet in the future!