Sprint lenght

Last post 03:58 pm October 7, 2016
by MUTHUVENGATESH ANBALAGAN
16 replies
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07:42 am June 3, 2016

Hi all,
I would like to know who can choose the lenghtof the Sprint.
I also want to know if the same Sprint lenght, Sprint after Sprint, makes sense.

Thank you in advance.

04:45 pm June 3, 2016

The sprint length is usually determined at an organizational level. There are positives and negatives with each potential sprint length duration (1, 2, 3, or 4-weeks). The most popular sprint length is 2 weeks.

Regarding whether the same sprint length, sprint after sprint, makes sense, what does the Scrum Guide say about it?

12:48 am June 4, 2016

> I would like to know who can choose the lenghtof the Sprint.

First think about *why* a certain length for a Sprint ought to be chosen. What are the considerations? What might make a certain length for an iteration better or worse than another?

01:25 pm June 4, 2016

Well,
A length ought to be choosen because we want to keep the business risk acceptable, because we want to synchronize the development work with other business events, etc.

The person who knows it best, is the product owner.

About a fixed length for the Sprint, Sprint after Sprint, I have not found something in the Scrum Guide but "consistent durations" which I don't undertand as a fixed length. (more clues please)

If there are not business risks, or synchronization issues, a product owner could to choose, a 2 weeks length for the Sprint if the Development Team feels more confortable with a 3 weeks length?

Thank you in advance.

12:01 am June 6, 2016

I would like to know who can choose the lenghtof the Sprint.
I also want to know if the same Sprint lenght, Sprint after Sprint, makes sense.

If you are the Scrum Master your first response, as with most things, should be to take it to the team. Ask the team what they think makes the most sense for the sprint length. In the end, the Scrum Master is responsible for choosing a sprint length.

If the sprint length is chosen for the team at an organizational level, I would try to find out the underlying reasons. Forcing such decisions on the team hampers its self organising capabilities. It's a smell I would pursue. There might be other things imposed on the team as well, explicitly or implicitly, and I would want to know about it. There might be decent reasons for it though, such as synchronizing with other teams.

Yes, the same sprint length sprint after sprint makes a lot of sense. That way you can plan your Scrum ceremonies on the same day at the same time every time. This way you establish a predictable rhythm for your team and its stakeholders ("When is the Sprint Review again?", "Tuesday 4PM, same as the sprint before this one, and the sprint before that one, and the sprint before that one..."). Also, having the same sprint length makes sprint planning easier and velocity becomes more meaningful.

That said, the sprint length is suspectible to inspect & adapt as well as anything. If it turns out the chosen sprint length doesn't work for your team, change it.

If you and your team really have no clue what the sprint length should be, try to weeks for starters. It works for a lot of teams.

05:54 am June 6, 2016

Hi Ian,

I'm new to scrum, come from a marketing background but studying about scrum PO now as I'd like to move into that direction.

It would make sense that the length of a sprint is defined at an organisational level.

But I just want to make sure I understand the scrum guide.

The scrum guide says that: "When a Sprint’s horizon is too long the definition of what is being built may change, complexity may rise, and risk may increase." The same way Sprint limit risk to one calendar month cost.

Now, as the product owner's role is to maximise value, could we consider that contributing at defining the sprint lengths is part of his role, as a three week sprint for example may reduce the delivery of increments for inspection and adaptation of value.
Or could the Scrum Master take part as well in that discussion as he is in charge of implementing Scrum within the organisation.

Thank you
Sophie

11:43 pm June 6, 2016

Hello Rene

Can you please help me understand why and how Scrum Master is responsible for defining the Sprint length?

02:23 am June 7, 2016

Having the sprint length same as every sprint , is to have "Consistency".
Coming to the length of sprint , there are various parameters to be considered. As a self organizing team the development team should have the liberty to chose. Above all , the complexity of the product , the level of understanding of the product should also be considered and the level of comfort. Ultimately the scrum master has all the authority to decide upon the length of the sprint considering and facilitating the dev team decision.

03:24 am June 7, 2016

I think that the best option is an agreement between Development Team and Product Owner, but I feel that the last word is said by the Product Owner.

We can imagine an Scrum Team working 2 weeks length Sprints, but the next Spring, may be the Product Owner could have three important Product Backlog Items that Product Users need as soon as posible. And only the first and the second Product Backlog Items can be done in a 2 week length sprint acording to the Development Team.
If the Product Owner add a week more to the Spring, may be the Develpment Team can also put that third Product Backlog item in the Sprint Backlog. And the Product Owner would get a new releasable Product at the end of the Sprint with all the features desired.

The same case but this time, a bad behavior was detected in the Product. And it needs to be fixed as soon as posible. A Product Backlog Item with the bad behavior reported could be in the first position and this time, may be the Product Owner needs a one week length Sprint to get the new releasable product.

06:46 am June 7, 2016

Hi again,
I'm thinking about my last post and now, I think it does not make sense.

The first event to select Product Backlog Items is the Spring Planning. When the Sprint Planning has started, the Sprint has started. And, acording to the Scrum Guide:

Once a Sprint begins, its duration is fixed and cannot be shortened or lengthened

So, we can't add/remove a week depending on the number of Product Backlog Items we want done in the Sprint.

Which is the best answer for "Who is the best candidate to set the duration for Sprints if it has not been defined at an organizational level?"

* Product Owner
* Development Team
* Scrum Master

08:18 am June 7, 2016

> It would make sense that the length of a sprint is defined at an organisational level.

It usually makes more sense to define the length of a Sprint at the product level, as it is increments of product that must be made available for potential release by the end of each Sprint. However, if several teams must be involved in this then organizational action may be needed to establish a Nexus.

> Now, as the product owner's role is to maximise value, could we
> consider that contributing at defining the sprint lengths is part of his role

Yes, absolutely.

> Or could the Scrum Master take part as well in that discussion as he
> is in charge of implementing Scrum within the organisation.

Again yes, absolutely.

The two main determinants for deciding a cadence are (a) the ability of the Product Owner to release the best value, and (b) the ability of the team to inspect and adapt.

11:08 am June 7, 2016

Ok, thank you Ian.

and thank you all for the knowledge and experience sharing.

08:21 pm October 2, 2016

I understand, it can be defined at org level. Also, PO, SM discuss and contribute to decide on this. Who has the final say on Sprint length of a produc? Can I say it is the SCRUM TEAM?

12:40 pm October 3, 2016

MUTHUVENGATESH, are you studying for a specific exam? Scrum does not explicitly define that. Please consider some thoughts.

It should be up to the Scrum Team(s) for the Product. The Product Owner (one per product) will have input about the balance of risk and desired delivery frequency. The Development Team will best be able to express the minimum time needed to create a tested, usable Increment which meets the Definition of Done. The Scrum Master can help facilitate each to critically think about how the goals of each affect each other then making the best decision based on those factors.

If the organization is dictating the Sprint lengths, one might question the dedication to the Agile principles and the self-organization at the heart of Scrum. If there is some integration coordination required, one might question the scale of the product: https://www.scrum.org/Portals/0/Documents/Community%20Work/ScaleYourPro…

03:23 pm October 3, 2016

Hi Alan,
I am studying for PSPO I. So, it is collective responsibility of the SCRUM team in defining the sprint length.
thank you.

02:57 pm October 7, 2016

as my understanding:

the one who decide the length of a srpint is all the scrum team of your project. which means, if ur project (product backlog) has only one scrum team, it's the PO, devTeam and the SM together. but if ur project has more than one scrum team, it's all the POs, devTeams and SMs.

the purpose is to make sure that the rhythm is suitable to all the participants in order to guarantee the integration synchronously executed.

same length, sprint after sprint, i have a one exemple: Hurdle race (the professional athletes)

the first railing will be slowly acrossed, but when u keep stable to your number and frequency of steps between every two railing and when u get used to this approach, u will finaly achieve your maximum speed

same for the sprint.

03:58 pm October 7, 2016

thanks Shixuan