Closing the Door on Bad Sprint Reviews: Open House at FreshBooks

location_city Toronto schedule Nov 5th 11:20 AM - 12:00 PM EDT place 203 AB people 31 Interested

Do your team demos feel like everyone's just going through the motions? Is it a struggle to get people to show up? Do your sprint reviews serve the needs of everyone other than your team?

As an organization grows and scales, silos inevitably develop. Awareness becomes more difficult, then communication follows, and eventually even empathy for people in other silos becomes a serious challenge.

Reinvigorate the act of sharing by turning your sprint reviews into a team open house! I will walk you through over a year of research, iteration, and experimentation that led FreshBooks away from team demos and toward a successful new model for sharing knowledge.

By the end, you'll know how I enabled this change to happen, and you'll know exactly why. And if you think it's worth doing at your company, you'll know how to approach it too!


Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

Note: details subject to change, though the overall message will not

Stragglers, A/V difficulty, Introduction Buffer (5 minutes)

How do we share our teams' work with other teams, and the rest of the business? (2 minutes)

  • Why FreshBooks chose sprint reviews and software demos
  • Ways those were successful
  • Ways those created new pain

What led FreshBooks to try something different? (5 minutes)

  • Observing engagement with the existing meetings
  • Comments during team retros and safe conversations
  • Identifying which needs were not being met by existing process

What different things did FreshBooks try? (5 minutes)

  • Research and information gathering approach
  • First attempt: Show & Tell
  • Second attempt: Science Fair
  • Third attempt: Open House

How did it go? (5 minutes)

  • Open House success criteria, and performance against that criteria
  • Tradeoffs we embraced, and how to solve that kind of pain

What do I need to do to try an Open House at my company? (5 minutes)

  • What signs you can look for to know that current ways of sharing work aren't effective
  • How you can make a case to try a similar event
  • How you can go ahead and do it, even if you haven't got permission yet

Conclusion and Q&A (5 minutes)

Learning Outcome

Attendees will walk away from this session with the following:

  • An understanding of common problems with sprint reviews/software demos
  • Why those problems were addressed at FreshBooks with an Open House
  • What insights might lead you to go on a similar journey at your company
  • How to make that journey shorter and less painful than ours was

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, Leaders in Product Development Organizations

Prerequisites for Attendees

Attendees should be somewhat familiar with classic Scrum rituals, particularly sprint reviews (or "demos").


schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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