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A Sprint is the heart of Scrum with short regular iterations with no longer a bigger time-box of 2-4 weeks. The Scrum Sprint goal is to maintain short iterations with enough time between one week to one month to keep the Scrum team focused on potential delivery of a product increment. Even though exceptions are allowed under certain boundaries, but Sprints should be of consistent length. According to the rule, no goal should be altered within the scope of the Sprint.
The Scrum Sprint contains all the associated elements of a Scrum. It is a continuous process with continuous iterations immediately following the next cycle without a pause until the final shippable product is delivered.
Each Sprint will be considered as a project with a duration of less than one month. Like projects, Sprints are used to achieve a successful product. Every sprint requires to reach the goal with guidelines for planning, design, and what needs to be built to achieve the resultant increment. We have a limited capacity of Sprints to be done in a one-month calendar. If the sprint’s horizon is too long, we may have to design requirements in bulk, more complexity, and additional time consumption. All of these will increase the chances of risk.
Let’s have a look at each in detail so that we can understand what we do here:
From the concept of timeboxing, the Sprint’s are fixed with a characteristic of time-management approach that helps to manage the scope and organize the work performance. Each and every sprint takes place to fit in a fixed time frame with specific start and end dates called a timebox.
Timeboxing is a technique to keep the limit of WIP (work in process). This WIP presents an inventory of work that begins but is not finished yet. If we fail to manage it in a proper way, then it leads to serious economic consequences. Timeboxing maintains a WIP limit for each sprint.
Pomodoro is one of the most common timeboxing technique. It involves a short term of works, say usually of 25 minutes, followed by a short break. If you are not able to finish your work within your timebox, you can continue it until you reach your goal. Though make sure to review your work progress at the end of each timebox.
Pomodoro technique will help you boost your productivity and feel more strengthened and motivated to reach your destination.
Timeboxing forces us to prioritize and perform a short amount of work that helps the team to focus more. This improves our concentration on getting something valuable (product) done quickly.
Timeboxing helps in the illustration of relevant improvements by validating and completing the important pieces of work by a known fixed date. These types of improvements reduce the organizational risk by changing the focus away from unstable forms of status reporting, such as conformity in planning.
It also helps the customers and team members to know exactly what needs to be completed to deliver all the features.
Given below are the benefits of timeboxing:
Timeboxing helps in avoiding the unnecessary perfections. At one time we all have to spend a lot of effort in trying to get something “perfect” or to do “gold cover plating”
when “good enough” would be sufficient.
Timeboxing also motivates to complete the Sprint within a fixed time. It is a known fact that at the end of a sprint it brings a tough deadline that will motivate team members to contribute themselves to complete the work on time.
Timeboxing enhances predictability. Even though we can’t forecast exactly about the work that can be completed in a year but it is completely reasonable to predict the work what we can complete in the coming short sprints.
We get more benefits with short-duration sprints as the progress can be tracked within short intervals of time.
Short-duration sprints will be easier to make a plan. It is easier to plan a few weeks of work instead of having six months of work. Also, planning on such short-duration horizons requires fewer efforts when compared to more longer-horizon planning.
The Short-duration sprint generates quick feedback. During each sprint, we create working software environment to have the possibility to adapt and inspect what we are doing in building the product. This fast feedback from stakeholders helps us to quickly eliminate the negatives of product paths or development approaches beforehand.
This ‘Fast’ feedback also helps us to quickly reveal the mistakes and utilize the time-sensitive developing opportunities.
Short-duration sprints improve the ‘fast feedback’ as well as economics. They also help to make possible quicker and more repeated deliverables. As a result, we have a great opportunity to generate revenue faster by improving the overall returns on investment.
Participants of the sprint typically include:
A new Sprint starts immediately with the efforts of the development team after the conclusion of the previous Sprint. A Sprint contains Sprint planning, Sprint Review meetings, Daily Scrum, Development team, and Sprint Retrospective meeting. It starts with planning, what has to be done in the current sprint and what metrics need to be followed within the scheduled plan. Next, we review the sprint to get updates for the next iteration which ends with the Sprint retrospective meeting. Every day, the team holds a Daily Scrum meeting for 15 minutes to discuss the ongoing work and brainstorm solutions to the challenges they are facing.
A series of events take place in every sprint. These are listed below-
The project owner is responsible to attend these meetings as an observer but he cannot participate or answer questions. The project owner is not supposed to make requests for changes during a sprint and only the Scrum Master or Project Manager has the entire power to interrupt or end the sprint.
The accurate meaning of a sprint is a short race at high speed. Accordingly, development teams usually determine a shorter duration of a Sprint of up to 1-2 weeks and for longer Sprints of up to 3-4 weeks duration. All the sprints are time-boxed, that means they have fixed start and end dates. Each sprint should have a duration of less than a month. This sprint duration is determined by the Scrum Master, who acts as a facilitator. Once the team reaches its acceptance criteria for how many days a sprint should end, all upcoming sprints should be of the same duration.
The Sprint cancellations consume more resources and time, potential rework and also, everyone should make a regroup in planning to start newsprint. The Product owner is responsible for canceling the Sprint under the influence of the stakeholder, development team or the Scrum master.
By the end of each sprint, a potentially working product increment should be delivered in accordance with the Scrum teams agreement upon the definition of done. Even though each organization has different processes in implementing Scrum, the sprint characteristics are meant to be applied during every sprint and by every team.
At the end of the sprint, the team submits the completed work to the product owner and the product owner verifies the criteria established at the sprint planning meeting to either accept or reject the work. Sprint goals can be achieved by predicting the inspection and adaptation to get an idea of the progress.