Five Factors that Guide Sprint Length Selection

Five Factors that Guide Sprint Length Selection

Selecting the Optimal Sprint Length for Medical Software Development

Agile development methodology relies on a succession of “sprints”.  Each sprint contains the next wave of critical components to be developed, tested, and released to the stakeholders.  In a practical sense, sprints should not be spaced too close together nor too far apart in order to maximize development efficiency.  In this blog, Rose Marcantonio, Director of Quality and Process (and Certified Scrum Master in her own right), discusses how to select the “optimal” length.

Having been a Scrum Master for many client projects, I have observed that sprint lengths seem to be subjective; different teams have their own preferences for their own reasons. The experts indicate that sprints ranging from 1- to 4-weeks are optimal, with a preference for shorter sprints. However, short sprints do not work for every project. For a project to be successful and meet all of its goals, one particular sprint length may be more optimal than another.  Let’s talk about the factors that affect choosing a sprint length.

It comes down to these…

1. Uncertainty

Uncertainty can come in a variety of forms: Requirements are not well defined; technology is new and potentially risky; an algorithm or interface may be difficult to implement. The list goes on.  If there is any significant uncertainty in the project, the project will benefit from shorter sprints. The short sprints mimic prototyping, and can be an effective way to hone in on the requirements or try out the technology before committing to a solution. If uncertainty is high, tend toward shorter sprints. If uncertainty is low, then look at the other factors.

Pages: First |1 | 2 | 3 | ... | Next → | Last