When does a 2 week sprint should start/end?

Last post 12:49 pm February 28, 2020
by Xander Ladage
6 replies
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06:44 pm February 27, 2020

Hi all,

 

I am having this situation with my team, which varies from my previous experience.

 

Assuming we start sprints on Wednesdays, I understand day 1 is Wed and day 10 is Tuesday:

 

Wed(Day 1), Thu (Day 2), Fri (Day 3), Mon(Day 4) Tue(Day 5), Wed (Day 6) , Thu (Day 7), Fri (Day 8), Mon (Day 9), Tue (Day 10).

 

Thus, the sprint should end on Tuesday and begin with sprint planning on Wednesday. This is how I did in all the companies where we practiced scrum framework under 2 week sprints.

My new company, however, says a sprint that starts on Wednesday should end on Wednesday.. right before the sprint planning. E.g. if sprint planning of the sprint 1 is 12 pm then on the 2nd wednesday we end the sprint on Wednesday at 11:59 AM before starting sprint 2 at 12 pm...

To me that is very odd... it looks like an 11 day sprint to me.... I technically I do no see time waste there if we finish the sprint on Tuesday EOD, as all code shall be tested, code freeze shall have happened already, there shall not be more items in progress in the last day of sprint... Can someone correct me if I have been planning Scrum meetings all wrong since years? or my new company is following a different standard.. thank you!!

07:55 pm February 27, 2020

@rebekah ettedgui, a few things that come to my mind. I see your point about having a 10 working day Sprint i.e. 2 weeks. One way you could make a case is by referring to a standard week's beginning and end and calculating the working days between that start and end time. That way you can perhaps make the point that in a standard 2weeks there are only 10 working days and 4 days as part of the weekend.

Now, one other thing is that there is no mandate that the Sprint has to start on a Wednesday.

08:02 pm February 27, 2020

From the Scrum Guide

 A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint.

Now does that mean you have to start working immediately on the next Sprint or even within 20 minutes of completing the previous?  No, it just means that there is no significant delay between the end of one and start of the next.  What is the real difference between

  • ending a Sprint at 6:00 pm Tuesday and beginning work 8:00 am Wednesday 
  • ending a Sprint at 8:00 am Wednesday and beginning the next at 8:01 am Wednesday

There is not a difference and is not a detail that I wouild fret over.  In both cases you are starting the next Sprint immediately following the conclusion of the previous if you exclude non-working hours from the consideration. 

10:26 pm February 27, 2020

Ending on Tuesday and starting on Wednesday makes the break between sprints much cleaner, and it would be easier to publish a calendar marking the start/stop of each sprint.  If you stop at 11:59 on Wednesday and start the next one at 12:00 on Wednesday, your calendar won't be as clean.  I think it would also be easier for the team to get into a cadence of Tuesdays always being the last day of a sprint.

08:26 am February 28, 2020

First of all, make sure things are consistent. Next, make sure you are clear on which events mark the end and which mark the start of the sprint.

I the end, the reason for starting the sprint right after the previous one ends, is to make sure there is a clean break and no twilightzone where all unwanted outcomes can reside. As en example: an important story is not fully Done at the end of the sprint, and there is half a day delay between start of the next sprint, people can try to finish off the story and get it Done in between. This reduces transparency and makes it unclear if a given increment is done or not (or what it consits of).

For me personally, it works best for the team to end sprint end of day and start sprint next day. Team should deside in this!
So, Review and Retro on Monday till end of business day and start Tuesday with Sprint planning (as first formal event of new sprint)

One remark: I have seen happening that in this way, ending sprint on Friday and starting on Monday can work very well, celebrating sprint successes with drinks, but also I have seen management trying to make team work overtime in the weekend to get those not-Done stories finished, just to be aware ;)

10:16 am February 28, 2020

I am having this situation with my team, which varies from my previous experience.

...

I technically I do no see time waste there if we finish the sprint on Tuesday EOD, as all code shall be tested, code freeze shall have happened already, there shall not be more items in progress in the last day of sprint.

What actually is the "situation" you are having with your team? What problem, if any, does this rigorous observation of a mid-day Sprint boundary cause?

12:49 pm February 28, 2020

code freeze shall have happened already, there shall not be more items in progress in the last day of sprint

Are you saying the last day of the sprint is not one of actual development? Wht cant items be in progress on the last day, or why do you have code frozen before that? This almost indicates you do not have a real continuing sprint over the entire timebox (or you have a waterfall within the sprint)