Is a rehearsal required before the demo? I get a big "NO" from most of the people.Interestingly, my teams did a lot of rehearsal for this big day.The reasons being, we were trying a single demo for a complete product line i.e. 7 teams on a back to back format at one stretch within a stipulated time of 2.5 hrs. It is very valuable to look at the state of the product at the end of each sprint, both from the functional perspective and from the technical perspective. A demo is one way to do this.
One of the reasons for trying this out was that we always had challenges in the past to get the customers, vendors and other stakeholders getting locked in one single time zone and showcase our work. Non-availability of key folks has also resulted in pushing the demos to subsequent sprints resulting in anti-patterns to agile adoption. Thanks to my product management team for pulling in everybody on one single time zone and making it happen. Well, the results are surely multifold(1) Customers get a clear forecast and they adapt the backlog (2) Product owners of feature teams get a complete picture of the product line (3) Feature teams also understand the interconnects or dependencies that they need to look out when they work on a feature / story.
We were ready to go, teams prepared and a clear list of do’s & don’ts was chalked out for the big day. Be it sequencing on who has to go first or the deck content (made simple and short) or a moderator i.e. to get back the demo on track when somebody tries to hijack, were all set and we entered the conference room for demo.Not sure whether a door damper can close the slamming door silently or not but one of the scrum masters starring looks made the new entrants in the room to close the door softly.
I witnessed a great sense of commitment from the scrum masters when they ensured to get their teams to the conference room on time and helping their presenters to set the ball roll. It went on back to back and every team showcased a brilliant display within the restricted time that was allocated to them. Lot of hand signals for controlling communications and some mimicry from testers helped the presenter to come out when they were stuck during the presentation.
The demo got winded 10 minutes ahead of schedule. An outburst of clapping and a sense of pride were clearly seen in teams at the completion of demo that filled the energy in the room. Way to go...
It doesn’t ends here and this is going to be on a regular cadence going forward.
To me this is jaw dropping and one final thing which came after witnessing the full demo is "it WAS THE MAKING OF A TEAM ". I moved out last from the room without batting an eye.