Sprint Ceremonies

About this Guide

  • What it is - This guide lists basic sprint ceremonies that we find valuable in our work. It helps us align on the important touchpoints when working with new teams.
  • How we use it - We often need to lay out the scaffolding of a new software development practice in our engagements. When talking with leadership and teams, we refer to this list to illustrate what standing meetings we’d bring into the picture (often as a replacement or change to a pre-existing practice).
  • When we use it - We might refer to this guide before the sales stage so potential partners know what to expect. We may also use it early in an engagement to norm with the teams or when proposing a change to the sprint cadence.
  • Who uses it - Team members set expectations (and reset calendars) to align with the plan. Leadership makes themselves available to observe demos and help unblock work.
  • FYI - What might surprise you about this is how short these meetings can be. Many people see this list and think they’ll be in meetings all week without time for deep work. The meeting can break once the goal is met (e.g., demo stories delivered this sprint). Stand-up meetings can get to 15 minutes or less. The goal is to provide enough alignment and visibility for the team to stay in a flow state.

For weekly sprints

The following ceremonies/ meetings take place each week:

What Typical Attendance Goal
Sprint Planning & Kickoff PDE team Confirm the sprint’s scope. Kick off the new sprint.
Daily standup PDE team Confirm the day’s focus and highlight any blockers.
Preview Stories PDE leads The Product Manager, Designer, and Lead Engineer review all stories before Storytime and estimation.
Storytime PDE team Review and refine the backlog, estimating each user story.
Product/Design prioritization Product Manager + Design Product and Design review the backlog and confirm the priority order and design priorities are correct for the next Sprint Planning.
Demo PDE team + Stakeholders Demo and stakeholder acceptance of everything delivered in the prior sprint.
Product Sync Product Manager + Primary Stakeholder Deep-dive on open questions, priorities, and next steps.
Retrospective PDE team Retrospect on the prior sprint.
Design Review Design + Primary Stakeholder Adhoc review of designs. For longer term projects this could be a regularly scheduled meeting.

Sprint cadence

We usually follow this cadence for weekly sprints:

Thursday Friday - Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Sprint Planning & Kickoff Daily Standup - Daily Standup Daily Standup Daily Standup Product Sync. Retrospective.
Preview Stories   - Storytime Product/ Design Prioritization Demo
    -     Product Sync
    -     Retrospective

We avoid Fridays for demos, and never push changes to a production environment on Friday.

Community Feedback

Do you use these types of ceremonies at your organization? What’s the best part for you?
If you want more info on this, or have feedback to share, get in touch.