some thoughts about "The Sprint"

Last post 12:58 am June 15, 2018
by Uma-Venkata Ratna-Kumar Lekkala
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07:19 am June 11, 2018

I am German - and we Germans can be obsessed with details... (we love to "split peas")

 

My thinking:

The Sprint. Somehow, I have the feeling, that the Sprint is the part in Scrum, where all the fun happens. It's where the DevTeams comes to shine, and produces something "potentially releasable". The Sprint, which in most graphics in the Internet is depicted with a bigger circle and a smaller circle on the top, which is the Daily Scrum. The Sprint, where already the naming suggests some serious action. Something, in which Usain Bolt would shine: focus, do your job, and get to the finish line as good as possible.

 

BUT: According to the Scrum-Definition, a Sprint consists out of: Sprint Planning Meeting, Spring Review and Sprint Retro.

 

And that's my dilemma - it's not a big one, I admit:

In my heart, I see the Sprint as the action between Sprint Planning Meeting and Sprint Review.

 

So, that is my question: how would you correctly call the part between Sprint Planning Meeting and Sprint Review?

 

Falk

08:05 am June 11, 2018

As the scrum guide states:

Sprints contain and consist of the Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, the development work, the Sprint Review, and the Sprint Retrospective.

So I guess you mean 'the development work'.

08:29 am June 11, 2018

yep - but that does not sound so sexy. does it? we have so many good names in Scrum. Why not for that thing?

if you check the Internet, you find a lot of graphics, who call the "development work" the "sprint" which in these examples exclude Srint Planning, Review and Retro. I just feel, we need a clear good name for it. Could be "Iteration" a name for it?

falk

09:01 am June 11, 2018

but that does not sound so sexy. does it? we have so many good names in Scrum. Why not for that thing?

I'm tempted to say that 'sexy or not, work is work no matter what you call it' :)

I'm curious. Why do you feel you need another name for it? Would it help your team(s)/organization somehow? 

09:11 am June 11, 2018

I just feel, we need a clear good name for it. Could be "Iteration" a name for it?

Iteration is not a good name for it. If you think about what iterative software development means, it doesn't work.

An iteration is a completion of the phases of the SDLC and all of these are embodied within the Sprint. Sprint Planning is concept development and planning in the form of the Sprint Goals, the Sprint Backlog, and the plan for achieving the Sprint Goals. Requirements engineering happens in the form of backlog refinement throughout the Sprint, primarily focusing on upcoming Sprints, but can also be more detailed decomposition of work in the Sprint Backlog as well as at the Sprint Review when the Product Backlog is updated based on the results of the current Sprint and the changing environment. Design, development, integration, and test activities happen throughout the Sprint. At least at the end of every Sprint, you have an implementation in the form of a Potentially Releasable Increment which may be put into operation.

Why not for that thing?

I don't understand why it needs a "sexy" name. The other things have names because they have specific rules put around them. The Scrum framework tells you what each role on the Scrum Team does or puts rules around the different events. But Scrum doesn't tell you anything about how you do the development work, and it probably can't - what development work looks like in software development is probably different than what development work looks like in other fields that are also applying Scrum.

If you want to communicate effectively, I don't see why "development" or "development work" doesn't work. It's clear, concise, and familiar terminology. Inventing new terms or overloading existing terms to mean something new is not helpful for communication.

09:18 am June 11, 2018

My feeling is, that it would help my teams better, to visualize the whole picture. When I am (in my role as a Scrum Coach)  in an organisation, we do have discussions, about that issue. Sometimes people already have a brief idea about scrum. And sometimes they refer the "Development Work" to "The Sprint".

I just think, that the development work is such a distinctive part of Scrum, it would need some clear distinctive naming. ... well, "development work" does it, I guess. But that's more a description, not a name. I'll give it a try: I'll repeat it 10 times, and see how I get along...

09:38 am June 11, 2018

Ah, Thomas, thanks for your input! I understand your points...

Falk

10:46 am June 11, 2018

I find "development work" or simply "work" enough clear to make a differenciation of concepts.

And sometimes they refer the "Development Work" to "The Sprint".

As a scrum coach in your company you are in the right position to normalize this terminology issue.

I'll repeat it 10 times, and see how I get along...

If that works with you, would it work with others?

03:18 pm June 11, 2018

In my heart, I see the Sprint as the action between Sprint Planning Meeting and Sprint Review.

So, that is my question: how would you correctly call the part between Sprint Planning Meeting and Sprint Review?

 if you check the Internet, you find a lot of graphics, who call the "development work" the "sprint" which in these examples exclude Sprint Planning, Review and Retro. I just feel, we need a clear good name for it. Could be "Iteration" a name for it?

I just think, that the development work is such a distinctive part of Scrum, it would need some clear distinctive naming. ... well, "development work" does it, I guess. But that's more a description, not a name. I'll give it a try: I'll repeat it 10 times, and see how I get along...

Truthfully, I really think you're splitting hairs where it is not necessary or beneficial. Here is how I have explained it to my teams. The Sprint is the amount of time set for development work to create a releasable increment. The Planning, Review, Retro, and Daily Scrum are the only times within the Sprint that development work is not being done; hence the reason for the specialized names. 

09:51 pm June 11, 2018

My advice is to consider framing it as both development and delivery, since both may occur on the basis of continuous flow.

09:43 pm June 12, 2018

In my heart, I see the Sprint as the action between Sprint Planning Meeting and Sprint Review.

So, that is my question: how would you correctly call the part between Sprint Planning Meeting and Sprint Review?

Perhaps the lack of specified name for that period is in itself a useful reminder that Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective are all part of the Sprint, and no Sprint is complete without them.

Could naming a fraction of the Sprint ever be detrimental? Could it draw attention from the various events, and understanding the valuable opportunities they provide for inspection and adaptation?

 

 

12:58 am June 15, 2018

I think Ian put it best, why separate development (I hope you are including testing, documenting and CODING) from planning? Is planning not part of the work?

Take the same Usain Bolt as an example. His effort would not just be when he runs, but eve before he runs and how he ends. I googled the different parts that needs to be perfected in a 40 yard dash for example. The include...

  1. The Start
  2. Three-Point Stance (there are even diagrams about this stance)
  3. Initial Acceleration 
  4. The actual dash and finish

Now, bringing this analogy to Scrum, would you not consider Sprint Planning and Review as "The Start" or "Three-Point Stance" that are crucial for your initial acceleration and actual dash? All 4 points mentioned above are part of the runners sprint! Same goes for the Sprint in a scrum. That is how I understood it anyways :)