Do you know what the Ideal Iteration duration is?

What length are your iteration? Why did you choose that length? I spoke at the Rally Agile Success Tour and the panelists were asked about extending iteration length. Here is what we ALL said…

By | 2016-10-25T16:20:19+00:00 November 23rd, 2010|agile, planning, scrum master, software development, teams, video blog|5 Comments

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  1. Eric Laramée November 23, 2010 at 7:29 am - Reply

    So in a nutshell … Fail early, fail often 😉

    Good clip! Love the sound effects in the background!


  2. Joseph Flahiff November 23, 2010 at 8:26 am - Reply

    You got it!

    That other project that we are taking into our program wants to do 3 week sprints. They have 6 weeks to deliver. If they take 3 week sprints they will have only 2 iterations with 2 week sprints they get 3! With 3 there is time to adjust and adapt to what comes from iteration 1.

    What was my 3 year old calling Daddy…. 🙂

  3. Javaid Asghar November 23, 2010 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I think short sprints also add little excitement into work, since working for long on same thing can make you bore and absolutely breaking your tasks helps you over come the boring part.

    How about teams which achieve their milestones before the time lines, that worries me some time to ask a question, are we really doing it the right way? or building a right product? how would you mitigate that risk of integration test failure?

    Thanks in advance

  4. Joseph Flahiff November 23, 2010 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for commenting. How are you doing?

    Totally! isn’t that why we call it a SPRINT? lol If it is too long it becomes a Cross Country run, still challenging but not as exciting

    It is a good idea to have the team retrospect about it if they complete their goals early. Teams typically should only take on about 80% of the work that they think they can do in a sprint. this makes it more likely that they will make their goals and if they get done early (synergy is an amazing thing) then they can pull more work out of the prioritized backlog.

    As far as integration test failure. the key is to integrate early and often. My team is moving to daily (or even intra-day) integration. Ken Schwaber told me a story about a team he had that used a Lava Lamp. They did an integration builds at checkin. If your build breaks, the team tried to fix the build before the lava lamp heated up. This encourages smaller changes and more frequent builds, making for more stable products. Test suites run at build.


  5. Bob Gower November 29, 2010 at 8:22 am - Reply

    I was relieved to hear such unanimity on the panel Joseph. When I started doing scrum a few years back we eventually moved to one week sprints and I loved how fast we iterated our process as a result.

    I think of short iterations like fruit flies in the study of genetics. The shorter the life-span the faster mutations appear. Meaning the faster you can inspect and adapt (which for me is the most important piece of any Agile conversion).

    Great stuff!

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