Disciplined Agile

Practice: Iteration Demonstration and Review-Facilitate

Working code is the best measure of progress, and the demonstration of working code maintains the buy-in and support of stakeholders. It also provides a means of feedback on whether or not the development is shaping up the way the stakeholders expected. Demonstrations can generate ideas of new features and alter the functions of existing features.

A well-planned demonstration makes sure that all work completed in the iteration is demonstrated to stakeholders for their acceptance, but also brings to attention future features that may need discussion and clarifications.

Successful iteration demonstrations are comprised of three parts:

  • Thorough planning of the demonstration meeting
  • Someone, usually the team lead, to facilitate the meeting
  • Stakeholders in the meeting being engaged and providing feedback

Why to Do This Practice

Iteration demonstrations provide an opportunity for conversation between stakeholders and the team. These parties have different perspectives and agendas and do not always think in the same ways. And, especially early on, they may not understand the iterative and incremental process and how the demonstration fits in.

The job of the facilitator is to help discussions about the current status of the project and to reach agreement on next steps.

Facilitation is a skill. It involves helping a group of people to improve their effectiveness, to address impediments and conflicts, to create a safe environment to identify and address issues as a group, and to assist with the decision-making process.

The facilitator’s job is to do things such as:

  • Drawing out ideas and opinions
  • Writing and communicating on behalf of the group
  • Acting as an occasional referee
  • Helping the group to keep to its process and helping them to revise it when needed
  • Helping to achieve consensus

Who Does This Practice

Here are the roles involved in this practice:

  • The product owner is usually the sponsor of the demonstration.
  • The team lead is usually the facilitator for the demonstration and arranges the logistics of the meeting. The team lead documents the guidance and insights gained in the meeting on behalf of the team.

What To Do


Inputs to iteration demonstrations include:

  • The product owner’s goals and objectives for the demonstration
  • Understanding what the team committed to for the iteration
  • Concerns and impediments to be discussed in the meeting


  1. Understand the goals and objectives of the sponsor and the boundaries of the commitments.
  2. Handle the logistics for room and materials.
  3. Keep the meeting running and focused. Manage the clock.
  4. Capture notes and insights and distribute to members after the meeting.


Here are some of the compelling reasons for this practice:

  • Effective communication between all parties
  • Creation of a safe environment for listening
  • Good relationship between stakeholders and the team
  • Clear understanding of the next steps
  • Insights to carry into the iteration retrospective
  • Concerns addressed effectively 

April 2023