Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News How Long Should You Sprint For?

How Long Should You Sprint For?

This item in japanese

What factors influence the length of your sprint? When you're trying to pick a length between two days and six weeks what factors should you take into consideration? Ash Tengshe, Agile Coach at Capital One, suggests that choosing a sprint length is a matter of balancing forces that want to shorten vs. lengthen the sprint.

Forces that tend to Shorten

  • No Changes: The rule of no scope changes during the current sprint. This means the organization must be able to wait on average 1 1/2 sprints before asking for a change.
  • Closure: The end of a sprint creates a good feeling, it's a chance to celebrate the team's accomplishments before starting all over again (Ilja Preuss).
  • Feedback: This is the chance to reflect on the work completed and how the team performed. More frequent feedback means smaller course corrections each time. (Ilja Preuss)
  • ROI: Every sprint provides an opportunity to deploy new features. (Ilja Preuss)
  • Reliability of Commitment: With shorter sprints it's easier to tell if the commitment can be meet. With longer sprints team the team is more likely to over-commit, thinking they should be able to get that story done. (Paul Oldfield).

Forces that tend to Lengthen

  • Getting to "Done": In some environments it can be technically challenging to get a story finished in a short sprint. (Ash Tengshe). (A previous InfoQ item talked about getting to "done")

Perhaps most importantly Dmitry Beransky reminds us that all of the forces still subservient to the team and what they find works for them.

Rate this Article