Monday, June 15, 2009

Lesson#2: Pace Your Sprint Rightly

In my previous post, I said about being incremental. Here come the next thing, being “ITERATIVE”. A prefer the term Sprint than Iteration.

So, once you decided to take small increments, make sure you reach the targets sprinting.


I suggest you prepare for sprinting with the right techniques and tools. A few recommendations-

  1. Never miss a daily standup meeting. Spend only 2 minutes (or less) per person answering the three questions – what did you do yesterday, what’s on the plate for today and what is blocking the race?
  2. Install visual clues for bringing the under the hood stuffs to daylight. Remember, being able to address the loopholes is the key. The solution usually follows automatically.

The key concept to internalize is, sprinting is a balance race. You need a good start and keep the momentum to reach the touch line on time. Its a small race and if you fall back, the touch line may seem too far to celebrate.

At Code71, ScrumPad, is helping us in sprinting. Our sprints are two week sprints in most projects. We found the team communication holds a key in meeting the deadline. Since, within a sprint, someone of the team may need an unplanned vacation or an issue may arise out of the blue, the team needs to step up and put extra efforts. Again, visual clues help the team in keeping everybody posted timely.

If a team finds it difficult to meet the deadline and find the sprint length to be too small, then what? Should they linger the sprint length? NO. The solution is to even shorten the length. To make sure, the team can plan for short spans with better accuracy. Lingering the sprint length addresses the wrong disease and hence may not solve the problem.