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Atlanta Scrum Users Group Message Board › Sprint lengths

Sprint lengths

Tim H.
user 28413932
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 2
I currently have 5 teams that are wrapping up a 16 month project where we had 3 week sprints. We had 4 major release points (almost quarterly). This was our first experience with Agile Scrum. Although we were successful, I think our future projects might benefit more with shorter sprints. We are getting ready to start a new project and my management team and I are leaning toward switching to 2 week sprints. The overall project will likely have a 9 month duration with quarterly major release points.

I would be interested in hearing from others about your sprint lengths and experience (pros/cons of that duration).

Ken 'classmaker' R...
Duluth, GA
Post #: 1
Hi Tim! Great to see your experience report. Thanks!

IMO, 2-weeks is a *sweet spot* for sprint duration. YMMV.
And, let me add that I recommend a "mid-sprint" review... you will achieve a weekly sprint review heartbeat,
with demos and status, only delivering every second week
in what I'll call a "sprint-transition" (end It#N, start It#N+1).
Both reviews (mid- & -transition) are open to all stakeholders.

With a review agenda "under 55 minutes" you could cycle six
teams in a day (3 in AM, 3 in PM) without concurrent meetings,
in the event those teams have some stakeholders in common.

About sprint/iteration cadence patterns...
So far, I've observed everything from 1 to 6 weeks, except 5.
In the mid-late 1990's, 2 weeks was already the norm for FDD.
Since then, I've seen others experiment with various periods.
In recent years, the majority of those seem to converge on 2.
So, your present experience/proposal is consistent with others.

PS, One more thing...
Consider setting sprint hearbeat/drumbeat to a mid-week day,
avoiding Mondays and Fridays. Try that, and see what happens.
Better logistics? Fewer scheduling issues? Consistent rhythms?
Do the weekly reviews achieve a more zen-like, routine cadence?
Is it any easier to segue into retrospectives and sprint planning?
Do team members report improvements in quality of work/life?
Radical? Maybe...or not. No guarantees. Plenty of possibilities.

"Give it a go, and let us know!" Thanks again for posting.

Press ON!

Ken 'classmaker' Ritchie
A former member
Post #: 41
A two week sprint is a proper length. But then again it can be modified according to project requirement.

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