How to perform great demo

Are you as frustrated when you have to perform a demo to the client as me? Hope, I am not alone) I think, that the sprint demo is one of the most important meetings in the scrum process. It is the time to show our work to the product owner and make our progress transparent. For the team it is very important to celebrate their achievements and see what that achieved. Also it is a chance to receive valuable feedback.

The demo process itself is build around the demonstration of the application, it’s features, which we managed to implement during the last sprint.

I have come across the similar issues with the demo on the different projects:

  • Demo is not actually prepared or planned – team just come to the meeting with PO and hope that everything will go smoothly. And the last minute they discover that the application is not loading on the test or client’s device. “Oops…Give us 5 min!” – have you heard that?
  • Team starts talking about the done stories, but it becomes a mess, as they don’t have any plan and forward the PO through the UI in the strange manner
  • When the team is not done with the sprint the demo can become awkward. The team feel nervous, no one want to lead the meeting and describe what was done)
  • Similar to the previous one – team wants to cancel the demo. Usually because they have no stories to show.
  • Team is too shy to speak with the customer – it is rather common for the ukrainian developers) A lot of teams are used to the fact that only PM communicates with the customer. When they change the company and find themselves in my team, where I encourage developers to communicate with customer, participate in the meetings, where communications is the most important thing – they become a bit frustrated. Ok, not “a bit”. They become FRUSTRATED.
  • PO cancels the meeting. Talk about the importance of the demo with him, insist on benefits. Be tedious, be his worst nightmare but persuade him)
  • PO can’t remember sprint scope, stories details…so do some of the developers 🙂 PM tries to save the situation and starts talking…and you know how hard it is to stop the PM, when he is talking?

Let’s have a small rest and review several pictures. have I mentioned, that demo is hard for the team? Hell yeah!

2012-10-08 16.42.12

The moment someone said “Opps…” (you know the end)

2012-08-10 13.12.28

Super demo tool: how to perform demo with iPad, Android tab and Skype.

2012-07-13 12.37.54

Amaze the client!

So, our teams produced several tips, which saved our demos and help keep improving:

  • Prepare. it the most important thing. No last-minute changes. Go through the things you’ll talk about in advance, discuss the flow of your demo. Create agenda, if you would like and put in on the deck, so everyone can follow the schedule.
  • Get ready with the equipment you’ll need for the demo. Decide what you’ll you and test it in advance.
  • Try to keep it short.  Focus not on the details of the acceptance criteria but on the UX and application flow.  Show the happy-passes.
  • Never cancel the demo
  • Remind PO about the sprint scope and user story details before the demo, so he can come prepared.
  • Try to guess a real story. Imagine, that the user is using your app – show what new actions he can perform, what he can get. Great if you have personas – just perform as they would do.

Demo should be the most exciting part of the sprint, but you have to work a lot before it truly becomes it)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s