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Service Delivery Review Playbook


The Service Delivery Review is an opportunity for the Team to reflect on their practices, behaviours, decisions and overall effectiveness in meeting their customer’s expectations.

This is a regular, (often fortnightly,) discussion between a Team and their customer or stakeholders about the service the Team has delivered and its fitness for purpose.

There are 6 steps in completing this Playbook

  1. Preparation

  2. Set the stage

  3. Gather Data

  4. Generate Insights

  5. Decide actions

  6. Close


The underlying purpose for the Service Delivery Review is continuous improvement, it helps to develop a culture for learning and interatively improving our processes, practices and behaviours.


  • The whole Team

  • Invited Stakeholders and Customers



3 - Moderate


1 hour fortnightly


  • Kanban board

  • Release notes from recent releases

  • Customer-focused metrics, (lead time, cycle time, etc.)

3 - Moderate.png


Being well prepared for your Service Delivery Review meeting allows the focus to be on reviewing the team’s performance against customer commitments, the quality of their deliverables and their ability to collaborate towards valuable customer outcomes rather than on scrambling to gather information as qustions arise.


Ensure you have the right people in the room

  • The whole Team

  • Customers who received a deliverable

  • Stakeholders

  • Leaders

Gather your Team's Metrics

  • Lead time

  • Cycle time

  • Quality

Gather any inputs that might focus the conversation

  • What was delivered?

  • How was it recevied?

  • Were there any defects?

  • Was there any misalignment between what was delivered and what was expected?

Set the stage

It is important to set the stage to make this a positive experience for all involved.

Ensure everyone knows the outcome this session seeks to achieve and the process you will follow together to achieve it.


The outcome is to identify opportunities to improve while the process follows the steps in this Playbook.

Helping participants to think differently about the context and approach to this meeting will generate better outcomes.

The key outcomes of the meeting emerge when you have genuine visibility and transparency of what happened in the Team and in their delivery since the last Service Delivery Review.


Safety matters!

Discuss with participants that this is a session intended to find improvements in how the Team operate, to acheive that you need genuine visibility and transparency.

Visibility and transparency won't happen if people feel unsafe to discuss the true state of affairs, so it is essentail that the discussion stick to the events and their impacts, and not become a blame game or finger pointing exercise.

Gather Data

Gathering inputs from your participants is easier and better if you diverge so people can collect their individual thoughts on how effective the Team has been at delivering against customer epectations.

Asking people to write down their individual thoughts on how the Team went, ensures equal voice.  Everyone has the same opportunity to contribute and we are all equally heard.

Diverging to capture inputs also avoids anchoring bias, whcih occurs when someone mentions a point and we all start to think about their point, potentially forgetting the point we wanted to make.

Sticky Notes

This can be as simple as giving everyone Post-it Notes and allocating a timebox, (10 minutes,) to write down their observations or creating a Miro or Mural board if your session is virtual.

Generate Insights

When you have collected everyone's individual thoughts, it is time to come together again and converge on what those inputs mean for the group.

Once participants have described what they contributed, perform some affinity mapping to help bring together the similar ideas,  That way there is a smaller set of items for people to prioritise so they can vote.

At this point, everyone votes on the idea or group of ideas that they feel would be most beneficial to improve.  It doesn't need to be the biggest group of ideas, just what they feel will help the most.  Dot voting is a great technique, where you give everyone a few votes, (about a tenth of the number of items, up to a maximum of 3,) and they can distribute their votes however they want.  They can put all three dots on one item if they feel strongly about that item or they can put one vote each on 3 different items.

With priorities visible, explore the item that received the most votes.

  • Why is this issue important to us?

  • What is the impact of this issue?

  • What would it mean to us to improve this issue?

  • Are there other issues that create or impact this issue?

  • How have we survived with this for so long?

​Be sure to discuss the underlying reasos for the issue, improving a symptom might help you for a little while, but improving the root cause will help you for the long term.

If causes and contributing factors are not clear, you may need to perform a root cause analysis.  Try the '5 whys' technique.

Rock Balancing

Decide Actions

With insights shared, grouped, prioritised and discussed, alogn with an understanding of the root cause of the issue, it is time to decide what you're going to do about it that will bring about improvement.

Make sure your improvment action:

  • Is described as a hypothesis

  • Has an owner, (even if the improvement involves the whole Team, someone should own it)

  • Has a success measure so you can make an empirical decision about whether or not it's working

  • Has a due date

  • Is added to your pool of options so it remains visible and you can account for the capacity it needs when you do your replenishment

Red Fireworks


Close out the session by thanking participants and highlighting the next steps.

  • Document the agreed improvement actions, owners and due dates.

  • Ensure those actions are added to the top of your Pool of Options, so they remain visible and the capacity needed to complete them is included in your thinking when you next do your Replenishment.

  • Include the improvement action in your regular reporting, it will help your stakeholders and colleagues beyond the Team to know the Team is focused on improving.  It is also another reminder to the Team of what was agreed.

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