Once you have been doing Scrum for a while and the Team are comfortable with the Showcase process it’s probably time to dial up the Showcase to maximise the benefits that the Team and business get from it.
Why do we do Showcases?
It lets the business know how the Product/Team/Project/etc are progressing.
If necessary the business can use what they learn at Showcase to change the future direction.
It encourages the team to focus on getting the Stories they Committed to DONE as they know the Showcase will be a public event.
It reinforces the Scrum Values of Openness, Commitment, Courage and sometimes Sense of Humour.
Showcase allows for a celebration and recognition of the hard work of the Team.
Dialling up Showcases
So if we’re going to do Showcases for these reasons then we should do them well as we possibly can.
Get the basics right
For any Showcase to be successful you have to get the basics right. The Team should be ready to go before the booked time. If there are any AV equipment to set up they should book the venue early enough to allow for setup activities. Likewise, if they are working from a laptop, make sure that any urls are preloaded and any logins required are already completed (unless that is what you are showing). Basically they should be ready to start on time and the presentation should be as slick as possible.
The Team should know what will be covered in the Showcase before starting. This should be Showcasing every Story that got DONE in the current iteration.
Stories that are not done, or are almost done, or 99% done, should not be covered at Showcase. If the Team wanted to show these Stories at Showcase they should have gotten them DONE before the end of the Iteration. Showcase isn’t for pretty thing that we’ve been working on. It’s for showing what the Team got DONE. The only exception for this is when there is value in the business knowing about important aspects of incomplete work. If the Team decide to show work that isn’t DONE then they should be clear with the audience that the work is not DONE and why they are showing it.
Get a BIGGER venue
In one contract I moved all of my Scrum Showcases into the kitchen as it’s the largest space in our office and it has a 60 inch television. Move your Showcase into the biggest venue you have. If you don’t have a large TV then try to get a projector. In another contract I moved the Showcase to an onsite auditorium that could seat 200 people. We had eight Scrum teams from a SAFe Agile Release Train showcasing in order and out maximum audience we ever got was probably over a hundred people.
Make your showcases as public as possible. Invite every stakeholder related to the Stories that they Team are working on. Let the Team know who is invited. Speak to senior stakeholders and make sure they turn up occasionally. Not knowing if the CIO (or other important people) is going to randomly turn up will motivate the team to make sure they do a slick Showcase every time.
Top Tip: Don’t do this until the team have done a few Iterations together and know how to run a good Shocase. No need to humiliate a new team that is just learning the ropes.