Scrum is founded on empirical process control, and inspection is one of the three pillars.
During each of the Scrum Events, and throughout the Sprint itself, the Scrum Team and the stakeholders inspect based on a common understanding. Without this transparency, one cannot perform a valuable inspection.
Inspection is about detecting undesirable variances in progressing towards agreed goals.
Let’s take the Sprint Review.
Inspect the progress towards the Product Goal. Any undesired variances?
- Any variances compared to Done?
- Any variances compared to what was expected to have as part of the Increment? What capabilities, features, etc. does it have? What outcomes do we expect of it as it stands?
- Any undesired variances during the Sprint itself compared to what was discussed during Sprint Planning (the why, the what, the how)?
- Any new insights with regards to the Product Backlog? What would we expect to deliver next? How does the market evolve for our product? And does this show in the Product Backlog?
Inspection by whom?
- By the Scrum Team and any stakeholders. The stakeholders provide key input here. They might point to important variances compared to their expectations which is crucial input for the Product Backlog.
We still too often see the Sprint Review as a demo or information session for the Product Owner. Be aware that the Product Owner is part of the team and is expected to be up-to-date about the progress towards the Product Goal at all times. So be sure to have the key stakeholders taking active part in your Sprint Review to receive that very important feedback: the one from the real users. This transparent feedback is key during the Inspection.
During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders inspect their progress towards the Product Goal to detect undesired variances in their progress.
With your entire team, have a conversation about
- the Product Goal,
- where you expected to be today,
- where you are now, and
- what the variance is between these latter two.
I hope you find value in these short posts and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the core concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.
Don't want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the professional Scrum foundations series weekly in your mailbox.