Human ressources question - SPRINT lenght

Last post 11:49 am July 22, 2014
by André Luiz Da Costa
8 replies
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11:06 am July 21, 2014

Hi, I did a job interview and the Human Ressources asked me: In a project, each SPRINT must have the same length?

What is the best answer?

tks

11:21 am July 21, 2014

What do you think the advantages would be in keeping them the same length? Under what circumstances might the length be changed?

11:29 am July 21, 2014

the benefits are linked to the planning of the project, to facilitate visibility. However I have not seen this in SCRUM guide

tks Ian

11:30 am July 21, 2014

my answer in the interview was: not necessarily...

but now I have doubts....

02:41 am July 22, 2014

IMHO SCRUM tells you that the sprint must not last longer than one month but the length is also limited due to other factors (e.g. business, risk). Saying that everything has to stay stable ignores that there is always the chance that things are changing. These changes must be taken into account.

04:25 am July 22, 2014

> Saying that everything has to stay stable
> ignores that there is always the chance that
> things are changing. These changes must be
> taken into account.

Correct. Having a consistent sprint length is important for inspection & adaptation, but it may occur in a volatile business environment.

If delivery would be better served by adjusting sprint length then this may be considered in a Sprint Retrospective, and the process adjusted accordingly.

Something else that can impact a team's sprint length is organizational cadence, and the need to integrate the deliverables of other teams into a potentially releasable increment.

04:53 am July 22, 2014

@Ian: I have also thought about the retrospective as the source but do you think that it is the only one? In my opinion and as I had seen this in the past most often the PO did not attend at this meeting? Do you think that attendance of the whole SCRUM team is required for this meeting?

08:39 am July 22, 2014

> ...often the PO did not attend at this meeting? > Do you think that attendance of the whole
> SCRUM team is required for this meeting?

A Scrum Team must own its delivery process and be collectively responsible for it. So:

- What do you think the consequences would be if certain team members do not participate in a Sprint Retrospective?
- If the PO does not attend, what does that say about the quality of product ownership?

You might want to look at the "Product Ownership" pattern and the "Too Busy" antipattern on http://agilepatterns.org.

> Something else that can impact a team's
> sprint length is organizational cadence...

While I remember, one other thing is lagging metrics. If a team cannot inspect and adapt its process in a timely manner because of delayed feedback, it *could* be that the timebox is unrealistically short.

11:49 am July 22, 2014

I got it!

if we have in mind the continuous inspection and adaptation, we can not think that all the sprints will be accurate (exact same length). However the date of Sprint review must be respected to the maximum, because it implies stakeholder agenda and demonstrates the credibility of the project.

Tks guys,