Sprint duration for monthly release cadence

Last post 01:44 am August 31, 2021
by Ian Mitchell
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03:52 pm August 30, 2021

Hi everyone. We are planning to establish a monthly release cadence, and I would like to know if there is a recommendation or standard for sprint duration for this cadence. Right now we have 2 weeks sprints, but I'm leaning towards 3 weeks sprints for monthly releases.

Thanks in advance! 

08:25 pm August 30, 2021

Your Sprint cadence has little to do with your release cadence.

Your release cadence is how often you make your product available to your customers and end-users to use. As people use your product, they will have feedback about how to improve it to help them achieve their goals. All of this feedback informs the Product Backlog. However, other things also inform the Product Backlog - timelines and schedules, budgets, competitor offerings, and potential uses and applications are a few examples. The Sprint cadence, and specifically the Sprint Review, is a place for the Scrum Teams and stakeholders to come together and synchronize on all of these things.

The Scrum Guide makes it clear that it is not the intention of the Sprint Review (and therefore the Sprint cadence) to be a gate to releasing value. In the most extreme example, this allows for continuous deployment of software. Other applications of Scrum may have other frequencies of deployment, but the rules of Scrum allow for releasing value to happen at any point in time.

Even if you release at a cadence less frequently than your Sprint cadence, it is important to ensure that the product is stable. At least once, at some point in the Sprint, there should be an Increment that is potentially releasable that adds additional value to stakeholders. However, you may opt to do anything from releasing it immediately to not releasing it. The cost of release and adoption of the release is, in my experience, one of the driving factors in your release cadence. Being able to let your stakeholders use the product in a demonstration or test environment and give real feedback on it at least once a Sprint is more important.

08:43 pm August 30, 2021

Since you will be creating one or more valuable increment of product work each Sprint, what cadence works best for your customers to receive them?

 

 

I think I just pulled off an Ian response.  Regulars, did I get it?  :-)

01:44 am August 31, 2021

Hi everyone. We are planning to establish a monthly release cadence, and I would like to know if there is a recommendation or standard for sprint duration for this cadence. Right now we have 2 weeks sprints, but I'm leaning towards 3 weeks sprints for monthly releases.

Is your team creating Done, finished increments each Sprint which are immediately usable? If so, why wait longer than a Sprint before releasing them? Why delay the opportunity to learn, and to inspect and adapt?