Adapting to Context is great, interpretation is terrible

Let me tell you a story about the worst Sprint Review I’ve ever seen. 

I had been invited along as part of an engagement to rescue an Agile Project in serious trouble. 

It was held in a Board Style Room the kind with the long oval table and the Product Owner sat at the head of the table and the remainder of the “Scrum Team” sat at the bottom of the “U”.

There was not a computer in sight.

And then one by one, each person gave a report to the Product Owner – basically listing, in quite extraordinary detail what they’d done over the past two weeks.  Imagine a small child giving a report about “What I did over my holidays” and you have the flavour.  It was a litany of relentless activity.  I could barely keep up. Most developers were reading from quite detailed notes that they’d obviously pre-prepared.  Most timesheets aren’t this detailed!

But at the end of each speech – the PO would smile benevolently and say “Well Done, Next” – and then the next person took their turn.

This went on for well over and hour, close to two.

At the end of the meeting I had to ask “What meeting was that?”

“Sprint Review of course!  Surely it was obvious!  You’re the expert!”

“How, was, that, A Sprint Review?” I replied.

And then I was parroted back a line from some Scrum Guide or other “At Sprint Review, the Team demonstrates to the Product Owner what they accomplished”

“Software I said, Software, that they, as a team, managed to build”

“Oh, we don’t have any Software Ready, never do”

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