The team shows what they have completed.

The team shows what they have completed.

Demonstrations are a platform for an Agile team (or teams) to interact with stakeholders in order to solicit feedback and direction from a broader audience. A demonstration satisfies three primary goals: communication, risk mitigation and motivation.

The format of a demonstration varies from one implementation of Agile to another; however the basics always include the team communicating the work that was completed during the sprint. This allows the team to showcase the value they are delivering.  It facilities a discussion of needs, desires, risks and concerns between the stakeholders and the Agile team, which enriches the team’s knowledge.

Demonstrating how the team (scrum master, product owner and technical team members) developed the solution for the work units at the end of each sprint avoids many of the classic risks seen in waterfall projects.  One of risks the that a demonstration mitigates is the risk of surprising the stakeholders with a solution that does not fit their needs at the end of the project. Feedback helps the team and the organization avoid building throw away projects by continually validating the direction.

Demonstrations provide a vehicle to generate or reinforce team motivation. Demonstration allow the team to publicly showcase the work they have completed, which generates a sense of accomplishment.  A sense of accomplishment based on tangible results is a type of a feedback loop that helps build team confidence and while creating or reinforcing motivation. My professional observations of teams strongly suggests that motivation and confidence are directly related to productivity and quality.

Demonstrations are a tool to generate conversation about what is being delivered.  Because a demonstration occurs at the end of every sprint the team will continually be demonstrating the value they are delivering, which reinforces confidence and motivation. The act of demonstrating value provides the team with a platform for collecting feedback that will help them stay on track and focused on delivering what has the most value to the business.