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Fixed-Length Sprints

Published: December 12, 2017

Some quick thoughts on fixed-length iterations.

Sure, fixed cadences may help with some things. But not everything needs to move on the same cadence, or on a cadence at all. Some things are best “pulled” instead of “pushed”.

You don’t NEED fixed-length iterations (“sprints”) to:

  • Hold a retrospective on some cadence
  • Have daily, weekly, monthly goals
  • Share your work with customers when you need to
  • Have demos when you need to (or on some cadence)
  • Improve how you decompose work
  • Learn how to “work small”
  • Constrain the size of stories
  • Think in terms of releasable increments
  • Have daily standups
  • Celebrate wins
  • Review customer data to make decisions
  • Trigger the decomposition of work on a cadence or when needed
  • “Ship” valuable work to customer on some cadence
  • Meet to update your working agreements
  • Report progress towards a goal
  • Change course/pivot at the optimal time
  • Run continuous improvement experiments If you’re doing “one week sprints”, what does that mean for releasable increments that take 4 days, or 9 days? Or 1 day? Anyway. Something to consider. By all means do what works and apply health constraints / forcing functions.