Do Your Demos Smell?

Ours Did…of Fresh Hot Popcorn!

If the demo doesn’t feel like a celebration, then that is a smell. This should be a proud moment for the team – they have delivered working software. Customers should be delighted—or at least happy. Ensure that everyone applauds at the end of the demo—have the team start it and others will join in. Celebrate the wins. Try a “Shout-out Shoebox” by creating a container that anyone on the team can drop a note, which thanks someone or calls out something they did that helped and made a difference; read them at the end of the demo.

This is your party—be a great host! Think about what would make your guests comfortable and encourage them to come back.

Me, I’m off to find more napkins for that buttery popcorn!

User Comments

Leyton Collins's picture

Thanks Terry. I've witnessed all these smells too. The most frustrating and saddening one for me still to this day is the fourth one. It's also the one in my experience for teams new to Agile to fall into. Demos are used as opportunities to stroke each others' egos, and stakeholders if they attend are largely either ignored or placated to. What a huge waste of opportunity. A team and product release I managed a few months ago was like that. Both gladly and thankfully they realized the missed opportunities and everyone was all the happier for it.

November 16, 2013 - 9:00am
Nora Stern's picture

You highlighted many excellent points!  I particularly related to "who's driving the bus" and "representative demo data".  And I totally agree with "invite everyone".  I've seen several new applications launched on such a selective basis that it really slowed down adoption.

February 6, 2014 - 10:10am

About the author

Terry Wiegmann's picture Terry Wiegmann

Currently Quality Assurance Service Offering Lead with Quick Solutions, Inc., one of the largest privately-held IT Consulting firms in Columbus, Ohio, offering leading edge consulting services around Strategy, People, Process and Technology. Curious and passionate about exploring continuous improvement, the intersection of analysis and quality engineering, and building community by presenting, teaching and creating opportunities for others. IIBA CBAP; ASQ CSQE; PSPO; Toastmasters International ACG; Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Ambassador. Experience crosses methodologies (concurrent engineering, plan-driven, Lean, Scrum); local and global geographies; commercial and back office software; public and private sector; custom, COTS, SaaS, products and services.

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