Skip to main content

Scrum Sprint duration – which is ideal; 4 weeks or 2 Weeks or 1 Week? Checklist


The CTO heard about SCRUM. He asked the PMO to implement it. We got a big training. Everyone is happy. We know everything about scrum- product backlog, sprint backlog, daily scrum, sprint review, retrospective. Wow so cool. But no one told me the duration of a sprint. How can my trainer not know about this? This seems familiar? There should be many yeses.
There is no definite duration for sprint !!!
Ken Schwaber & Jeff Sutherland started the sprints with 30 days duration. Now majority of the companies prefer 2 week sprints. If you don’t have any idea; start with 2 weeks. After the couple of 2 weeks iterations get together with the team, collect their feedback and decide whether you want to change the sprint duration. Personally I have seen teams with sprint duration of 20 days, 15 days, 2 weeks & even 1 week (I have my two teams running on 1 week).

Checklist for sprint duration change.
Reduce the sprint duration
  • Poor estimation (if team complains that they work for 8 hours on the task estimated for 4 hours) 
  • Poor quality (lot of bugs & performance issues) 
  • Unable to meet the sprint objectives  
  • Lot of scope creep 
  • Nature of deliverables (if the team is responsible for the delivery of small reports or documents which won’t take more than couple of days) 
When the sprint duration is reduced team will meet more often for planning and review. This will help in better planning, estimation & understanding of sprint objectives. PO will also have a better time managing all the changes in the backlog due to frequent changes in customer priority.
Increase sprint duration
  • Product backlog is almost stable  
  • The inability of the customers/PO/stakeholders to meet periodically to review the delivery 
  • Nature of deliverables (some deliverables need long time to develop, integrate & test)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SCRUM- Who should write a user story

Traditionally user stories (or requirements) were written by Business analysts. They used to prepare big documents after months of study. It was a herculean task. I used to get such UI/Functional specification documents. I have fixed a lot of bugs because I missed few text in such 1000 + pages document. This is not the only interesting part. Some of the requirements were so weird that I often wondered why I am creating the features which no one is going to use. If I had the option I would have recommended a better option. If the BA’s misunderstood some requirements & customers failed to correct those few words in the epic requirement then we will have a nice situation. In the agile world the story is different. Product Owners are primarily responsible for user stories. But can anyone else also contribute? Yes. Definitely yes In actual environment many users write user stories. The first requirement may come from end user. The PO, tech architect, scrum master, BA’s... anyone can up

PDCA & SCRUM (or Agile); Why is it important?

The PDCA (Plan DO Check Act) cycle was made popular by Dr. W. Edwards Deming. This is a scientific cyclic process which can be used to improve the process (or product). This is cyclic in nature and usually time boxed. Plan  This is the first stage of the process. During this step the team discusses the objectives, the process and the clear conditions of exit (conditions of acceptance). This stage sets the measurable and achievable goals for the team. DO Team works together to achieve the objective set in the planning phase. Team works with the set of agreed process. Check Once the implantation is done team regroups and verifies the output and compares it to the agreed conditions of acceptance decided during the planning phase. The deviation, if any, is noted down. ACT If any deviation in planned tasks is observed during the Check stage, a root cause analysis is conducted. Team brainstorms and identifies the changes required to prevent such deviations in future. Team also

What are the rules of scrum?

A relatively new person to scrum asked me this question last day. My answer to that person was yes. But really does the scrum have any rules? Scrum is a framework which helps us in developing software. It has very few rules and apart from those basic rules rest of them are guidelines like best practices. Some of the rules  The roles of Scrum • Scrum Master -  http://www.theagileschool.com/2012/03/scrummasters-checklist-roles.html • Product Owner • Feature Team The PDCA cycle ( http://www.theagileschool.com/2012/05/pdca-scrum-or-agile-why-is-it-important.html  )  frequent communication about risks (daily) • Plan – Sprint planning • Do – Actual engineering sprint – deliver a potential shippable code • Check – Sprint review • Act – Retrospective  The scrum guide @ http://www.scrum.org/Scrum-Guides will be a good guideline for teams/companies planning to start scrum. If you are following the recommendation in these then you are following scrum. Apart from these rest of