It's a couple of days before the end of the sprint, we're in the standup, there is still a bunch of stuff "in progress". "We can't finish it" says the team. "We're blocked. The code is frozen for the sprint demo so we can't check in 'til next sprint, and besides, we need to spend today getting the demo prepared for tomorrow so we can't do anything else anyway". I've seen more than a few teams lose days out of their sprint making sure their end of sprint demo is perfect. They end up essentially running an 8 day sprint rather than a full 10 days. The demo becomes the primary focus of the sprint. It's not supposed to be that way.
The scrum guide says that the teams should spend no more than an hour or so getting ready. Why do so many teams end up spending days? It's because they have lost focus on what the ceremony is about. The purpose of the demo is to show the team's progress towards working software. It's not a sales pitch. No one is selling anything. It doesn't have to be perfect. I think teams fall into the perfect demo trap because they call the thing a demo. The recent trend is to call it a showcase which is just as bad.Read More