Frequency of Inspection and Adaptation

Last post 01:08 pm July 11, 2019
by Marillon Requerme
3 replies
08:37 pm July 10, 2019

Hello guys,

I am a bit confused to the statement in "Software in 30 Days" regarding the frequency of I&A. Could you please provide example or explanation?

"The frequency of I&A depends on how much risk we want to take. The greater the unknown, the more quickly we can go off target. The more we go off target, the greater the waste to reorient us, undo the useless work and start again".


09:30 pm July 10, 2019

In Scrum, the primary points of inspection and adaptation are the Daily Scrum (actual work is inspected against the forecast and plan and the plan is adapted to attempt to drive toward meeting the Sprint Goal by the conclusion of the Sprint), the Sprint Review (the product increment produced in the Sprint is reviewed and the Product Backlog is adjusted based on the work done along with changing market conditions, timelines, budgets, and more factors), and the Sprint Retrospective (the team's way of working is inspected and adapted to improve the team's capability of delivering value rapidly).

Of these, the only ones with frequencies that can be adjusted are the Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective. So one way of looking at this statement is that your Sprint length is driven by the level of risk that you are willing to accept. Of course, Sprint length also depends on synchronization with things that happen outside the team. But risk is one factor. The idea is that by reducing Sprint length, you take smaller steps and can inspect and adapt more rapidly.

I do think it's important to also point out that these events are not the only opportunities for inspection and adaption. The Sprint Backlog is being inspected and adapted every day by the Development Team, but the Product Owner can also inspect and adapt the Product Backlog at any point in time. However, the inspection and adaption cannot interfere with the working. For example, if you have a well-refined top of the Product Backlog and decide that it needs to be entirely replaced with a different body of work, the team will need to take effort for Product Backlog Refinement. If Sprint Planning is in a day or two and there's still work remaining in the Sprint, effort to adapt may outweigh the benefits of adapting away from previously refined work. This speaks to the frequency of inspection and adaption of the Product Backlog - if the Product Owner neglects it, even outside of the Sprint, there is risk associated with that.

02:44 am July 11, 2019

In lean and agile practice, improvements should be made by those doing the work as closely as possible to the time and place of work being done.

Deviation from this introduces the potential for waste to accumulate, thereby increasing the risk to quality, flow, and value.

05:43 am July 11, 2019

I see. So if I understand it correctly, the less frequent we do I&A, the greater risk we are taking?


Thank you for the reps.