How to Manage Remote Stakeholders During a Sprint Review

Herwig said,

Some stakeholders of our project are often abroad, but want to join interactively the sprint review. I’m of course in favor but I’m looking for appropriate tools to facilitate this.

Hi Herwig,

Sounds like you have a common constraint. There is more than one way to solve for this kind of problem. No matter what the method, the goal is the same: To help the remote stakeholders understand what was done and to ensure their voice is heard during the interactive session. Here are some suggestions.

Create a pre-staged video of the demo and send it to them before the interactive session

One of the challenges of group sprint reviews with a conference call is that the conversation and q/a becomes very ad-hoc. The people on the conference lines often can’t hear the side conversations and don’t get the full benefit of the in-person review. Sending them a pre-staged video of what will be demo’d will help them to more easily be able to follow along with the real sprint review. The questions they will ask will be based on them getting a first-hand view of the new features without the distraction of 10 other people in the room or a clunky video signal.

Have the demo-application deployed in a place where the stakeholders can explore the new functionality themselves

If your teams are mature enough to have designed-built-tested-documented-integrated code, you should be able to make the application available in a non-production environment so the remote stakeholders can click around for themselves and test-drive the new features. This will also help them to be able to follow along with the sprint review more easily.

Create a high level “outline” of the features to be reviewed

Distribute this outline before the sprint review. In my experience, not every stakeholder is interested in every feature. Having a “program guide” of sorts will not only help them manage their time and engagement but also help the team sequence the sprint review with a disciplined approach.

While we would love to have our stakeholders in the same room for the sprint review, in 2015 its often not possible. Hopefully some of these tips will help you overcome the distance constraint.

I hope this information was helpful for you. Click here to download more information on managing remote stakeholders.

Until Nex Time,

Stay Agile, My Friends


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