I attended the Webtrends Engage conference this week in London and it was by far the most useful conference I’ve attended for years. Partly this is due to the current climate in digital marketing which is rich with possibilities and potential. It struck me that the timing of this event was perfect and that ‘timing’ is a major success factor in Agile methodology. You could say in Scrum ‘timing is everything’.

I’ve run Sprints in varying lengths between one and four weeks. The perfect length of Sprint is largely based around the changing needs of the team and how the Product Backlog is shaping up at any point in time.

Agile Timing

Early phases of a project often benefit from short one week Sprints that offer fast proto-typing and quick iterations.  The fast iterations that are a product of Scrum, offer stake-holders the chance to adjust their requirements and give the team the chance to hone their estimates to bring them in-line with the technological challenges.  As projects mature and become more stable they offer the ability to extend the Sprint to three weeks.

A team in transition may also benefit from shorter Sprints. We recently lost our lead dev from the team and quickly it became clear that closer management of the team was required to ensure consistent delivery. The Sprints have now started to extend more toward 2-3 weeks as the confidence of the team has re-built and management confidence in the team to deliver has increased.