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Sprint Review - Integration Projects

Last post 06:13 am May 1, 2014
by Anonymous
5 replies
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06:48 am April 30, 2014

I am working with a client where we are doing a large integration project with BizTalk.

We have been having sprint reviews where the development team have been showing the business users what they have achieved and shown a file being dropped in and sent out or put into a DB. They have also shown a little bit of the process that the message goes through (BizTalk Orchestraion which is essentially a workflow diagram in a sense, that does over simplify it but you get the idea).

Anyway, at a recent review once the Business People had left someone commented on the demo being boring. This has caused a morale issue within the team and I am not sure what to suggest.

Integration isn't sexy, especially when we don't currently have the systems at either end, we just have files and databases.

Does anyone have any tips for running sprint reviews on integration projects? It is never going to be as interesting as a review where you demo a GUI system or web site but there must be something we could do. And I'm not even sure it is the business we should be showing, it strikes me that they aren't going to be interested until we can show the systems talking, maybe it is just IT and the product owner at this point.

I'd love to hear any comments from anyone who has worked on similar projects.
Thanks,
Neil

07:12 am April 30, 2014

Hi Neil,
your problem is that you confuse the Review with a Demo. People expect to be entertained, and the next thing they will do is to ask for chips and beer.
There are people who are affected by your integration project. These are called stakeholders. They are not necessarily business users, but can also be responsible for the other systems. They should do a review of your increment in collaboration with the SCRUM team. Of course the developers can show them how it works, however this is not supposed to be an entertaining sales presentation, but a critical inspection.
The next thing to improve is you should integrate the other systems (integration tests in DoD) to ensure the increment is shippable.

08:33 am April 30, 2014

Similar problems are faced by people who work heavily in batch environments. A lot of them wouldn't hold demos - they discuss criteria that are met and SLA's.

10:13 am April 30, 2014

Ludwig,

I don't belive I am confusing a review and demo but I can see why my wording might have lead to that. We are merely showing the work that is done, as per the scrum guide:

The Development Team demonstrates the work that it has “Done” and answers questions about the Increment;

However, that being said, I think that you are correct. I think that the developers need to avoid the technical stuff and the stakeholders need to be educated in what to expect.

Thanks both,
Neil

04:20 pm April 30, 2014

> Anyway, at a recent review once the Business
> People had left someone commented on the
> demo being boring. 

This suggests that these "business people" are not stakeholders in the increment being reviewed. They might be stakeholders in the product, but they aren't an appropriate audience for the material being demonstrated at that time.

> ...until we can show the systems talking, maybe
> it is just IT and the Product Owner at this point

I think that would be a sensible call. The PO can invite other stakeholders to a Sprint Review at his or her discretion, but it might be appropriate to raise your concerns and observations.

06:13 am May 1, 2014

Hi Ian,

I think you have hit the nail on the head.

The Business folks are indeed the stakeholders of the product on the whole but they have no interest in the process the data goes through, just that the data is right. They weren't the correct stake holders for that particular increment.

Thanks, I shall work out how to raise that.
Neil