Recently I’ve been thinking about feedback loops.
Sprint Review is a working session, not a presentation. But even if some customers participate as stakeholders, it’s challenging to establish what value Increment will generate for them before they start working with the product “for real.” They can’t do that before we release the Increment. I’d argue that before that, all we have are stakeholders opinions.
I’m not saying we need to release every Sprint (or more often). But the fact that the Scrum Guide doesn’t mention releasing at all puzzles me. After all, that’s the only way to get a full feedback. I believe it deserves a comment in the Scrum Guide.
(As the Scrum Framework supports other types of products, I do not mention DevOps etc. Whether the generalization helps software products is a different question.)
Plus the Product Increment is everything you did, not just the past Sprint.
Perhaps the correct way to express this is that there is a fourth feedback loop - release feedback loop, and it’s not necessarily in sync with the Sprints?
Is the Release an artifact? It’s transparent, it can be inspected, and we can adapt based on it.
If so, what would be the commitment? Satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable products? Isn’t it too vague? Or maybe specific customer outcomes? It may be challenging if there are many releases per Sprint.
I’m brainstorming. I hope this is not heresy yet ;)
I personally feel that increment, definition of done are good enough for the intention of Scrum and creating the right feedback loops. I would say that the release is very IT specific and not all products have that same release need, e.g. I use scrum in sales and HR, there is no release.
I also feel that this is more a mechanical Scrum view of the framework, and not the emperical design of scrum to create feedback loops for the release. The right time to have those conversations is in the Sprint Review event.
So I feeel the framework covers that need.
The bigger issue which already has suggestions is the clarification of emepricism to break that mechanical scrum common misundersanding.
Maybe it is a matter of definition but I think that a release is everything you did finisch in the last sprint(s). A kind of package of results. Thats also what you deliver in HR or sales. This is because in my opnion the gaol of a sprint is to deliver something and if it is the whole package you call that the release.