Decision on Sprint duration

Last post 04:36 pm July 1, 2015
by Jeffrey van Aken
3 replies
04:18 am June 24, 2015


I'm new to Scrum framework and working towards the PSM-I exam.

How and who decides on the duration of a Sprint within the organization at a firm new to Scrum? My firm comes from traditional waterfall methodology and senior management seems deadlocked around -
1. Duration of Release Cycle
2. Duration of the Sprint Cycle

Who should have the final say (which role?) about the durations? Also, will help me with my understanding for the exam.


08:10 am July 1, 2015

The Scrum Master can help the Development team and PO by making these decisions. It is not his responsebility to make that decision.

What helps is that the Development team collaborates with the PO, to have answers on these kind of questions:

- How can we minimize the Risks?
- How can we deliver done PBI's that fits for purpose?

Tip: Start with 2 weekly Sprints. Not too much time and short feedback. The Retrospective will give the Scrum team.
Keep in mind: A Sprint can have a maximum lenght of 4 weeks (30 days).


11:24 am July 1, 2015

The Sprint cycle should match the release cycle, in so far as each Sprint should yield an increment that is of release quality. The Product Owner should be able to authorize a release every Sprint in order to maximize the Return on Investment.

The underlying principle is that work should not be allowed to build up in large unreleased batches. Unreleased work cannot provide a Return on Investment, and is subject to depreciation. It also reduces the opportunities available to inspect and adapt the product and the team's way of working.

The PO should be in a position to say what an ideal Sprint cadence should be for the release of product value to be optimal. Cadence is therefore quite likely to vary by product. The Development Team and the wider organization should try to facilitate this release strategy, and thereby achieve the best possible ROI for stakeholders.

04:36 pm July 1, 2015

In addition to that: the PO is there to maximize the value of the product.