Showcases are a key part of our agile ceremonies. We showcase our work to our stakeholders for feedback at the end of every iteration. And as with every presentation, I believe there is a Science in the Art of the Showcase (for distributed teams).
This isn’t revolutionary stuff. This is an attempt at defining a structure that should make it easier to organize showcases based off a check-list.
The MC is the face of the operations. They are responsible to dessiminate information and keep the crowd engaged. This means that the person should have context about what goes on and how to handle the different failures around client infra (skype issues, VDI issues etc).
Running commentary: Always keep speaking. Is there an issue? Keep the show rolling. Be transparent. Your support (folks below) will keep feeding you information when necessary.
This is the magician that controls the lighting on stage. This person actually runs the slides and the demos ensuring everything is smooth
This is the person who runs the show. This person is responsible to stay on the demo co-ordination chat and spot issues and handle them before they become a thing. This person is also responsible to give instant feedback to people running the showcase when needed.
The person who watches the logs and statuses for the services involved in the demo. If there is anything going wrong, talk to the conductor immediately.
This person is in the room (with clients) and is responsible to keep time. If the discussion goes off, it is your responsibility to cut the discussion off and setup a followup discussion.
If the clients are in multiple locations, have a timekeeper per location. Might be the conductor when available in a location.
Multiple people taking notes and sharing them after the demo. They are responsible to pick up body queues from the people around them and take notes on follow up discussions that we need to have.
Be active on a demo co-ordination chat channel and provide instantaneous feedback from different locations. This helps the conductor get more information and is key to their effectiveness.
This person is primarily responsible for the content of the showcase.
The content of a showcase should be like a TV show. A major milestone/deliverable is like a season and should have an overarching story (aka narrative arc). Each showcase is like an episode and should have a subsection of the narrative arc.
The way Presentation Patterns book describes narrative arcs in presentations is true about showcases
PresentationsShowcases are a form of storytelling; don’t ignore a few thousand years of oratory history. A Narrative Arc is a common trope; organizing your presentationshowcase in a similar way leverages your audience’s lifetime of story listening experience.
Know the people on your team. Identify which team members can do what roles. Invest in and groom people for roles based on their interest, it’s a growth opportunity.