Attendance of Sprint Review
Please let me share a brief overview of our situation:
We develop and maintain a business application in which our customers can manage their primary business goals in Warehousing, a Warehouse Management System (WMS).
Our development team is accustomed to the Sprint Review.
We work DevOps, which - in our case - means that we have our Development team and Consultants ('Ops' if you will) that install and configure the WMS for our customers. Consultants are direct colleagues.
Consultants are our main stakeholder group that is invited to our Sprint Reviews; they need this information to better serve our customers.
The problem that we have is attendance of the Sprint Review; last time the situation was so dire that no Consultant attended.
Do you recognize this from your experience? Please share your thoughts and feedback for us with me, it would be greatly appreciated. I would very much like to know your stories and experiences as we search for answers.
It could be that the consultants do not see the Sprint Review as useful. Have you talked to them to ask why they are not attending? Ask them what information, if conveyed, would make them useful to them? Do they fully understand the reason for the Sprint Review?
Are you using the Sprint Review as a demonstration or as a mechanism to elicit conversation and cooperation between the Scrum Team and the stakeholders?
This is a common situation when the purpose of the Sprint Review is not understood by everyone. It is not a demonstration. It is not even called a meeting. It is an event that provides opportunities for empirical discovery via open and honest conversations between the attendees. The following comes from the Scrum Guide's section that explains the Sprint Review
During the event, the Scrum Team and stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment. Based on this information, attendees collaborate on what to do next. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted to meet new opportunities. The Sprint Review is a working session and the Scrum Team should avoid limiting it to a presentation.
If the stakeholders are not aware of this or the Scrum Team is not following that guidance, then it would not surprise me that people do not want to attend.
You said that "<the consultants> need this information to better serve our customers". That is opposite of the purpose in my opinion. The real truth is that the Scrum Teams needs the interaction and information that the consultants can provide in order to deliver the valuable increments that the consultants need in order to serve the customers better.
Is the Product Owner attending the Sprint Review and providing the team with feedback?
Thank you Ian, yes - our Product Owner is attending and provides feedback (prior to the Review).
Thank you Daniel, very insightful. Dare I may say: confrontational. I will hold your feedback dear to my heart.
Is the Product Owner satisfied that value is being optimized without stakeholder attendance at Sprint Reviews?
Often when something like this comes up, you should consider what the negative effects have been and make them very visible. If there are no negative effects of a weak sprint review, it's going to be hard to convince people to attend. If you are seeing the wrong thing delivered and then modified again or backed out, make that transparent.