Sprints are not sprints

less than 1 minute read

I really don’t know why Scrum Sprints are called sprints ! From my experience, the number one mistake made by team starting with Scrum is to work as quickly and dirty as possible to complete the sprint, forgetting the sustainable pace.

Side by side photos of a marathoner and a sprinter

Finding another word is difficult though, I thought of ‘stage’ or ‘milestone’ that both convey the long run idea, but both feel more content than time bounded. A more exotic word could be a ‘Scrum push’, it conveys slow and intense action action rather than quick results.

A rugby scrum (Wikimedia)

Overall, the traditional agile ‘iteration’ is not bad at all, at least a lot better than Sprint.

EDIT 01/08/2014:

The ‘Quick and Dirty’ Sprint strategy, is like trying to win a marathon with a greedy algorithm:

while not finished

Not likely to work … Marathoners know that they’ve got to stick to a constant speed during the whole race in order to finish it. The way to get faster is to :

  • increase this cruise speed just a bit
  • get at ease with it during a few races
  • repeat

Is there something to learn from this to improve software development speed ?

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