The Sprint 0

Last post 04:36 am August 4, 2017
by Ian Mitchell
9 replies
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07:58 pm July 30, 2017

Hi, a question !  the Sprint 0 exists really? 

04:31 pm July 31, 2017

What does the Scrum Guide say?

05:45 pm July 31, 2017

In the guide Scrum not describe about the Sprint 0

06:08 pm July 31, 2017

> Hi, a question !  the Sprint 0 exists really? 

What special characteristics does a "Sprint 0" have? From your reading of the Scrum Guide, does it make any exceptions for certain sprints and allow them to follow different rules?

 

03:02 pm August 2, 2017

I am a Scrum Master for 2 new teams.  The individuals have no experience with agile or Scrum. 

I chose to call our 'team organizing" meeting as Sprint 0.  This is where the team decided on DOD, DOR, and the Working Agreement. 

Why Sprint 0?  Because it is not Sprint 1 to n where these are time boxed.  It is a way to get the team introduced to the new (to them) nomenclature. 

I understand that Sprint 0 does not exist for the purpose of producing potentially releasable software to the customer.  I just think it is a way to help bridge from waterfall to Scrum.

My point is, as a Scrum Master, find a way to meet the team where they are at.  This will go a along way in gaining trust.  Without trust, Sprint 1 to (n) will be more difficult for all involved.

07:27 pm August 2, 2017

Why Sprint 0?  Because it is not Sprint 1 to n where these are time boxed.  It is a way to get the team introduced to the new (to them) nomenclature. 

In the case you describe, was "Sprint 0" really a Sprint as defined in the Scrum Guide? 

08:41 pm August 2, 2017

My point is, as a Scrum Master, find a way to meet the team where they are at.  This will go a along way in gaining trust.  Without trust, Sprint 1 to (n) will be more difficult for all involved.

I think there's a danger that this would undermine trust in Scrum over anything other than the short term.

If a Scrum Master advocates upfront definition of the system, rather than using Scrum to improve the way of working, can you imagine how the Scrum Teams might struggle to implement improvements later on?

08:40 pm August 3, 2017

In regards to: In the case you describe, was "Sprint 0" really a Sprint as defined in the Scrum Guide? 

No.  The team is aware it's a name/title that does not reflect a Sprint as described in the Scrum Guide.  This transitioned into what is Scrum and what are the ceremonies and what are the values.    

In regards to: If a Scrum Master advocates upfront definition of the system, rather than using Scrum to improve the way of working, can you imagine how the Scrum Teams might struggle to implement improvements later on?

We are organizing as a team.  We will continuously improve as we enter Sprint 1 to n and learn and grow as a team through our retros and empirical information/data.  

It's just a term.  It is not to reflect the framework of Scrum.  I could call it the Team Kick Off/Organizing meeting.  The Scrum team is on the same page in understanding why this name was chosen.  In this "event", we discussed what is different from it to Sprint 1 and beyond. 

10:27 pm August 3, 2017

It's just a term.  It is not to reflect the framework of Scrum.  I could call it the Team Kick Off/Organizing meeting

You work with the people involved, so perhaps your judgement means it was the correct decision in this case; but my understanding from the course and assessments I've taken is that Scrum.org actively teach that there's "no such thing as Sprint 0". 

Depending how much time was spent on this, perhaps you could see it as part of the Sprint Planning of the first Sprint, which I believe is considered a valid Scrum approach.

Having never worked with a Sprint 0, I can't say I've experienced a problem with it, and there are more knowledgeable and experienced people than me who write and talk about the concept; but using the pillars of Scrum: Transparency, Inspection and Adaption, you can often do better just by getting on with a proper Sprint, seeing what actually does and doesn't work, then making changes.

My understanding of the reason many object to Sprint 0 is not the name, but how it is often used (although the name perhaps makes it sound like an official Scrum event). It can often be an non-timeboxed period of preparation for starting Scrum, with organizations being tempted not to start Scrumming until everything is "perfect", despite there being very limited knowledge of how Scrum will work in that organization. 

How might people later feel about adapting a "plan" that everyone spent days/weeks agreeing was correct?

That kind of Sprint 0 is essentially a non-agile way of trying to be agile.

04:36 am August 4, 2017

In Scrum, the correct use of terminology is very important. Changing what the words mean reduces transparency, and the expected outcomes from using the framework will be compromised.