Length of a Sprint (Part-1)

December 11, 2013

One of the most often asked questions in Scrum is  “What should be an optimum sprint length?” . If you search on this topic you are more likely to find articles/blogs/posts stating that a sprint can be anywhere between week to a month

The inevitable question now that is posed is, how will you decide what is right for your team and your project?

In reality there are many reasons to attempt for a short sprint and there are many hurdles in attempting the same. As we are moving towards a world which is demanding a shorter sprint lets look into the advantages and disadvantages of this.

Organisations are adopting agile methodologies as it is considered to be more receptive to changing needs of customer. Hence a team that meets with its stakeholders twice a month has the opportunity to be more receptive as a team than those who meet less often

A short sprint also provides more visibility to all stakeholders which helps in diminishing risks as more clarifications are sought in sprints.

The advantage of having a shorter sprint does not just involve a productive relationship with stakeholders. The other advantage of having shorter sprint is that team will work hard towards improving their methods. This is done so because Scrum processes highlights the team’s ineffective processes in order for the team to take effective measures to improve their efficiency.

The team is considered to have the greatest potential to improve their processes is in the Sprint Retrospective when the group deliberates the productive and unproductive traits of the previous sprint. Hence when the retrospective is conducted often then it provides more occasions to evaluate the team’s efficiency.

A shorter sprint also helps the team to focus. This is because the team member’s have a sense of urgency to complete the tasks and to be more effective.

Having a shorter sprint does not mean that the team should be pressurised to achieve targets. Rather the team should maintain a productive level of motivation.

The above mentioned are few reasons of why a shorter sprint is beneficial.

Every sprint begins with a sprint planning meeting and concludes with a sprint review meeting. In this review meeting the team presents its completed work to the Product Owner. Product Owner then decides if the team has achieved its acceptance criteria.


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