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Sprint start or sprint end fall on a holiday.

Last post 09:33 am April 5, 2022 by Martin Jungmair
7 replies
06:16 pm June 18, 2020

Hi Everyone,

How to deal when Sprint start or sprint end fall on a holiday.  

Yes, we should recognize that we do not have  much capacity in this sprint and we can plan accordingly.

But, for example,

say 2 weeks sprint , start 2nd June & ends 16th June.  Assume 14, 15 & 16 are holiday.  As sprint length should be fixed (calendar days),

In this case, should we plan sprint in such a way that, Sprint review, retrospective (end ceremonies) will happen on 13th (if we do on 13th, will it consider as sprint length reduced ?)  or Should we do these on 17th (if we do on 17th, then sprint length exceeds) .  So, how should we deal this?




08:35 pm June 18, 2020

I suggest doing what makes the most sense and adds the least amount of complexity. There is not a 1 size fits all here. Since your scenario mentions dates that fall on a weekend (at least for this year) it's a little tough to make the right call. If I may, let's say the 2 sprint starts on June 2 and ends on the 16th, but the 15th and 16th are holidays (non working days). Considering the next sprint would start on the 17th, I would try to keep that the same and "end" the current sprint on Friday June 12th. If you move it the other way, you're changing up 2 sprints instead of just 1. You're still following the guideline in the Scrum Guide because the sprint time box is still going with the same 2 weeks, you're just having to deal with holidays that fall within that time box. 

As with everything, I'd suggest taking the issue to the team. Whatever decision the team makes, inspect it and use it as data for the next time this comes up; because it will come up again.

09:14 pm June 18, 2020

I'm not sure that the assumption that the Sprint length should be fixed on calendar days is correct. I believe that fixing the Sprint on working days is probably better. It's not sustainable for people to work every single day, and you probably have standard non-working days in your schedule. Even targeting working days, you may need to shift the times of the Sprint events to account for the holiday.

There's no single right answer as to how you handle this. Both options that you present are valid, but I would recommend looking at the availabilities of all of the stakeholders. Are people on the team taking any additional time off around these holidays? What about the availabilities of external stakeholders, particularly for the Sprint Review? If you're in a scaled environment, what are the other teams considering? Questions such as these may help guide you to the right answer for your situation.

You know that you have reduced capacity for one or more Sprints, depending on when you hold your Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, and Sprint Planning. You can account for this reduced capacity in Sprint Planning, just as if you were considering one or more members of the team with planned vacations or other time away from work. Going into the future Sprints, you'll be able best to align your Scrum events with your target cadence.

10:10 pm June 18, 2020

@Perakam Venkata Ramesh Babu, The answer perhaps lies in these lines from the Scrum Guide.

Each Sprint may be considered a project with no more than a one-month horizon.


Sprints are limited to one calendar month.

Therefore, if there are weekends or holidays, the question you need to ask is what can we accomplish this Sprint and go from there. Focus on outcomes rather than output.

I would also challenge you to think of the following situations; Can you guarantee that someone on your team won't fall sick, take casual absence, have a family emergency etc? Wouldn't that affect "capacity"? How would you deal with that realistically speaking? 

Hope that helps.


11:58 pm June 18, 2020

should we plan sprint in such a way that, Sprint review, retrospective (end ceremonies) will happen on 13th (if we do on 13th, will it consider as sprint length reduced ?)  or Should we do these on 17th (if we do on 17th, then sprint length exceeds)

I'd suggest the 13th, since these events ought to occur as closely as possible to the time when the work being inspected was carried out.

10:56 am June 19, 2020

Thanks to every one

05:15 am April 1, 2022

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and comments. Based on this for my forthcoming Sprint which has a holiday on April 15th I will suggest to end the Sprint on April 14th.

09:33 am April 5, 2022

I tend to end the sprint before a holiday. Team member might have a better focus on completing issues and you get "early" feedback.

And what I also recognized is, that sometimes team members get confused when sprints are "extended" - even when the extensions are one or two days.

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