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26 October 2012

Sprint and Iteration Review tips & agenda

The Sprint or Iteration Review meeting is a chance to discuss progress and goals with the client. It can help you validate what you have done and assist in course correcting on your plan as the client learns and responds from the work you have completed.

It’s a review of what you have delivered 


  • Make review sessions as informal as possible
    • Sprint Reviews will be as informal as possible because you want a conversation rather than a presentation
    • Consider hosting them in the team workspace rather than in a meeting room 
  • Show the real product you have built 
    • Given you want to discuss the way forward with your client you want to give them the best possible information to help support their decision making. 
    • Your goal is to show real working outcomes rather than canned demos and PowerPoint presentations. 
    • If you can’t show the real working product it’s still worth showing an incomplete view as raw an approximation to the real product as you can manage. Lines of code in an MS Word doc still beat out a diagram of what you are planning to do. 
    • It is sometimes appropriate to present models and plans as part of the sprint review, if they are things that put value on the table and help your client plan for the future.
  • Ask for feedback on what you have done and where you are going 
    • Ask directly; “What do you think about this?” or “Are we on track?”
  • Bring your client inside and show how the team works and thinks 
    • Understanding brings trust, trust brings collaboration


  • Focus only on your successes 
    • The client needs the whole story so they can respond and plan for the best outcomes
  • Present a highly structured and formal meeting with lots of PowerPoint pages
  • Have a one way flow of information 
    • The main goal for the team is to calibrate their plans with the client

An example of a Sprint/Iteration Review agenda

  • Revisit the goal of the sprint/iteration you have just completed 
    • What was the big theme, and how did you go? 
    • What got in the way? 
    • What did you learn doing this work?
  • Review each of the product backlog items 
    • What was the goal? 
    • Demo what has been done 
    • Explain challenges and difficulties 
    • Highlight any breakthroughs or innovations 
    • Ask for feedback 
      • A nice technique is to bring your completed Story cards into the room and move them through a To-do, doing, done board
  • Talk about what wasn't done, and why 
    • What external blockers stopped the team? 
    • What changes did the team make themselves and why? 
    • Typically this shouldn’t be about surprising the client, but it can be an opportunity to talk and learn together
  • What are the goals for the next sprint/iteration 
    • What is the big picture 
    • How does the next iteration fit in with the context 
    • What are some of the details that might be risky or worth digging into?
  • Wrap up
    • Capture actions and changes to the plan