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Olle Pridiuksson
Olle Pridiuksson

Posted on • Originally published at tooevangelist.substack.com

Can we have Sprint Demo as a Service?

Have you promised yourself an improvement? Got a gym card for a year? Subscribed to a weekly healthy food box? Promised to read a book a month? 

Pushing oneself to do something you know is right can be easier when you slap a milestone date on it, like January 1st. Then you get a longer subscription and pay upfront to enforce the discipline on you.

If you can buy a year's subscription to a massage to force yourself into good habits, can you also do it for your team?

No, not a team getaway to a spa, but something that delivers health and sanity benefits and also requires a shitload of processes to happen.

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For example sprint demos.

You know your users, your community, your salespeople and all other stakeholders would love to watch your team showing very work-in-progress things on a bi-weekly basis. But…

  • This would be another Zoom call. Just no...
  • WIP stuff is hard to demo, works only on the dev’s machine
  • Arranging it all is such a headache and time sink

But it works with a massage subscription. Or a gym card. Or a healthy food sub. Or a book club sub.

Good habit as a service. You know it is good and healthy, so you pay someone to fix the core problem and see how it goes.

With the healthy food box, you’ve decided to eat better, so you pay for someone to figure out:

  • A diet and a menu that works for you
  • Suitable groceries logistics to your doorstep
  • A diverse set of recipes that your household enjoys 

You don’t need to become a food expert, you pay monthly so someone capable fixes it for you and arranges a service so you enjoy and benefit.

How could Sprint Demo as a Service look like?

Getting a box of groceries is not the goal, but a way for you to take care of your health. 

Having a sprint demo is not the goal, but a way for your team to engage with stakeholders and get feedback.

For this to work for your unique situation someone has to figure out

  • The format and setting that work for your team and the stakeholders
  • The tech to deliver the video stream so it is secure, convenient and is of good quality
  • How to juggle the presenters, get the right people together, etc

How we’re doing it

This is not a sales pitch and XaaS is not my idea (there’s even a Wikipedia article on it). So I’ll share the honest status update of how we’re doing something very similar to the Sprint Demo as a Service.

We help businesses talk to game developers in public space, but some companies are large enough that they want us help them build information flows inside, like Customer A.

Customer A wanted us to arrange, facilitate and deliver their townhalls and sprint demos for their distributed teams. Tech, format, processes even the actual hosting was on us. It has taken 5-6 sessions to figure out what everybody likes to get a buy-in on the top. That is 6 months!

Customer B needed a set of tech demos for their internal developer portal. We came up with the format, figured out the tech and the processes, but never showed up on the camera. We facilitated everything, but it were the Customer B employees who hosted the shows. It was a very easy assignment.

Customer C needed only tech and delivery help, so we functioned almost as a human version of Streamyard plus we manage their YouTube channel and community.

However, I don’t think their format is a good representation of what we’re best at. But they are very satisfied with what they get from us and are happy to pay for the service.

I like the concept of Sprint Demo as a Service, despite what we offer is much more. It may take time to figure out how to isolate it into a separate offering and productify it. Or we will just stay with our pitch line of “we help businesses talk to game developers”.

What would it take for you and your team to even consider letting a 3rd party to facilitate your sprint demos?

It is a multi-layered question. On one side - you can have your scrum master just arrange a Zoom meeting. On another side it gonna suck and fade.

But then letting the 3rd party to the top secret internal stuff is… too private?

…but paying someone to touch your body is also too private, and we call it a massage.

I am talking to myself now ;-) What is your feedback, people? What would it take for you and your team to even consider letting a 3rd party to facilitate your sprint demos?

If you’re curious to peek into what we do, you can follow Devrel.Events corporate blog on YouTube - it is called The Worst of Us - and is a cross of tech and comedy. 

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