I'm not a fan of sprints

Not all worthy goals take the same amount of time to accomplish.

I’ve never been a fan of the “sprint” concept. I don’t mean running. Actually, I do really hate running.

What I’m talking about is the idea of having a 2-week (or so) iteration in which we work toward a specific product goal, as described in the Scrum guide.

Of course there are many ways teams implement “sprints” that aren’t focused around a sprint goal. If you find your team playing Story-Point Tetris during your Sprint Planning, you’re not using a proper sprint goal, and I’m not talking about you (although I have a lot of other problems with Story-Point Tetris).

I actually really like the idea of a proper sprint goal. “The Sprint Goal is the single objective for the Sprint.”

I love this single-minded focus, and most teams would do well to take a step or ten in that direction.

What I don’t like is the idea of coupling a single-minded focus with the fixed time frame of a sprint.

Not all worthy goals take the same amount of time to accomplish.

The Scrum Guide does give us one little escape hatch from the fixed-length sprint concept: “A Sprint could be cancelled if the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete.”

I suppose if we take enough liberties with this, we could say that a Sprint Goal becomes obsolete as soon as it’s accomplished, and if that takes 25 minutes, so be it.

I really don’t think that’s within the spirit of the Scrum Guide, but it’s the way I prefer to work: Choose a single-minded goal. Make sure that goal is achievable within a reasonable time frame (2 weeks is a good upper bound). Then work on that, and only that (barring true emergencies) until it’s complete. Then choose the next most valuable goal.

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