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Topics: Agile, Scrum
Do scrum sprints have to be in weeks?
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Most sprints are between 2 and 4 weeks in length, and sometimes even one sprint per month. But can sprint length also be in days that don't fit neatly into weeks, for example, a 12 day sprint? Are there advantages/disadvantages to using custom days instead of weeks?
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While 2-4 weeks is the common denominator if you read or work with the most recognized methods you will find there is not a general agreement. While it depends on the environment and context, here are some advice nysef and othersI contributed to create, while I do not agree with some of the points in the final result: http://www.agileadvice.com/2014/06/12/howt...-sprint-length/
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 04, 2018 4:35 PM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks for your feedback Sergio. I had a look at the list. Just curious, which ones you didn't agree with in that list? For example, I don't agree with 15 and 17 on that list.
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The sprint is the time-boxed container for Sprint Planning, Development Work, Sprint Review and Sprint Retro. The Scrum Team decides about the best-fitting Sprint length based on their experience, skills and what they can digest. So yes, if the team get to the conclusion is 12 days, they should go for it. Important is to keep this decision for some time. So, you do not change the sprint length after each retro. You only change after you experienced over a while of a couple of sprints a certain pattern, that gives the team good reasons to change the sprint lenght. According to Scrum Guide max. Sprint Timebox is 1 month as longer durations increase risk and possibly loosing focus.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 04, 2018 4:25 PM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks Peter, yes teams decide their iteration length. Have you ever seen a sprint that isn't say 2, 3, 4 weeks or even one full month? So one that is an "unusual" number of days, such as 12?
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I personally believe there should be 1-month scrum meeting in which everybody gives his/her suggestions about how to improve the performance and what is going wrong instead of blaming team members for poor performance, team should join heads for finding possible reasons why things are less effective or not working.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 04, 2018 8:00 AM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks Fazal, 1 month seem a little long, and may perhaps not allow the opportunity for as frequent inspection and adaptation.
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I think Sprints should be between 2 and 4 weeks at the max, so that we can have good control of incremental progress and also customers feedback can also help us in improving the performance.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 04, 2018 7:55 AM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks for replying Girish, yes 2 week sprints seem to be the most popular.
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Sprints are merely time-boxes. The time-box should not exceed one month or 4 weeks. Past that, there is no specific rule for length, whether weeks or days. Whatever is chosen should be consistent though. To add, it is best to keep it simple. So boxing by one/two/three/four weeks is easier for the team to follow and make sense of when looking at their sprint backlog.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 04, 2018 7:54 AM
Sante Vergini
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Granted Andrew, but why is say a 12 day sprint harder for the team to follow than a 2 week sprint?
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Jan 04, 2018 7:43 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
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Sprints are merely time-boxes. The time-box should not exceed one month or 4 weeks. Past that, there is no specific rule for length, whether weeks or days. Whatever is chosen should be consistent though. To add, it is best to keep it simple. So boxing by one/two/three/four weeks is easier for the team to follow and make sense of when looking at their sprint backlog.
Granted Andrew, but why is say a 12 day sprint harder for the team to follow than a 2 week sprint?
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1 reply by Andrew Craig
Jan 04, 2018 9:51 AM
Andrew Craig
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Same reason for having the standup in the same place at the same time - allow the team to focus on the work. At least for me, it is easier to remember 2 weeks from start, then doing the math with an arbitrary number of days.

I understand the question is for the sake of discussion, however, the objective is simplicity. But, by all means, set the time-box at 12, 9, 4, 13 days. As long as it fulfills the need, and can remain consistent throughout.
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Jan 04, 2018 7:17 AM
Replying to GIRISH JOGI
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I think Sprints should be between 2 and 4 weeks at the max, so that we can have good control of incremental progress and also customers feedback can also help us in improving the performance.
Thanks for replying Girish, yes 2 week sprints seem to be the most popular.
Network:9577



Jan 04, 2018 5:40 AM
Replying to Fazal Hussain Aasar
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I personally believe there should be 1-month scrum meeting in which everybody gives his/her suggestions about how to improve the performance and what is going wrong instead of blaming team members for poor performance, team should join heads for finding possible reasons why things are less effective or not working.
Thanks Fazal, 1 month seem a little long, and may perhaps not allow the opportunity for as frequent inspection and adaptation.
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Sante -

The specific duration of a sprint can be whatever makes the most sense for a team balancing the sense of urgency with a customer's appetite for value delivery. Week-based durations are convenient as the start and end days remain the same, but there's no harm with having a different duration so long as it remains fixed.

There is also the option to do away with sprints entirely and move to a continuous flow model - Modern Agile, Disciplined Agile and Scrumban all endorse that...

Kiron
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 04, 2018 4:18 PM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks Kiron, iteration length is interesting, so far I have never seen a sprint that isn't divisible by a week (other than a one month sprint), in other words I haven't seen one that is a certain number of days not divisible by a week, ie. 12 day sprints. The concept of "start and end days remain the same" should not matter in Agile, which is why I am examining this topic.
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A Sprint is time boxed, from one to four weeks, with a preference toward shorter intervals. Shorter interval is to help reveal problems/impediments faster. Sprint length can be chosen to any length depending on the complexity and size of user stories though I personally prefer two weeks sprints for most of my projects.
And yes a continuous flow model can also be adapted (I haven't worked with it yet)
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Jan 04, 2018 4:26 PM
Sante Vergini
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2 weeks seems to be the popular choice Najam.
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