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I am working in a pretty small startup and we've just started doing scrum. The team consists of me as the scrum master (but also a developer), the product owner which is also the owner of the company and 5 other developers.

Today we had our first Review and it felt a bit wrong to me. Because we didn't have any Stakeholders to show the results. There is nobody else interested in the process of the project which I could invite to the review.

So the review was actually a meeting where we were showing the finished backlog items to ourselves. Does that make any sense?

I mean not every developer worked on all stories, so for some of us it was good to see the end result of the other stories.

But the actual goal of the review should be to get impact and ideas from the other stakeholders to improve the backlog, right?

I wouldn't say the meeting was totally useless, but almost. Any suggestions how to handle this and how the review should look like without stakeholders?

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I would ask myself a fundamental question: If I don't have stakeholders, who am I building this product for?

In your situation, it sounds like you're building it because the owner of the business, your product owner, said so. No problem. In other words, your product owner isn't representing stakeholders, he is your stakeholder. Cool!

But there's a catch. The owner has to realize that it's all too easy for the scrum master and the development team to defer to them. This breaks the 'self-organizing' requirement.

The owner will have to be clear that he's working as the product owner and not the business owner and respect the interaction with the scrum master and the development team. That's a tough call, especially for a start-up.

  • thank you for your answer. what do you mean with "The owner has to realize that it's all too easy for the scrum master and the development team to defer to them."? – Knotschi Jul 1 '14 at 15:10
  • The relationship between product owner, scrum master and development team is as explained in the scrum guide. If a line manager (and a CEO is an extreme example of that) instructs any one of those roles on what to do, the scrum team should push back but the more senior the line manager, the more likely the team will give in and accept the instruction. This is to the detriment of the team's self-organisation and hence, their ability to achieve high performance. – Derek Davidson PST PSM II CSP Jul 1 '14 at 15:59
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Ideally the review meeting should include the product owner and the client to share their feedback with the team.

Whether you're working on an internal product or a client based project, it's recommended to invite both of them and have the team walk them through the done features and if you have time run the acceptance tests together it would be great, just to make sure that everything is working as expected.

If they can't attend the meeting in person then it can be done online, as it's very important to have their feedback before proceeding to the next sprint.

  • The problem is that the product owner is also the client. Shouldn't the team make sure that everything is working as expected before we go into the review? When we are going into the review the PO has normally already seen all the done stories. – Knotschi Jul 1 '14 at 15:15
  • Of course, it's better to make sure that everything is working as expected.So I guess that's leave us with two options, either an internal meeting without the PO to make sure that everything is OK then meet with him. Or consider the internal meeting to be the review meeting. – Yassmeen Jul 1 '14 at 20:23

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