Sprint, Sprint, Sprint. No breaks between Sprints.
David Sabine reminds Agile teams of something that is often overlooked: pretty much everything can be done within the sprint, and taking a “break” between sprints is asking for trouble, in most cases.
There are a lot of reasons teams usually assume are good reasons to pause a sprint:
- “Some of the team is on vacation.”
- “Winter/New Year’s vacation is coming up and we only have one week left.”
- “We have a lot of important bugs that need to be fixed this week.”
- “We have to harden a demo for the conference for next week.”
Specifically, I think this is the most important for teams to remember:
“Such plans [for Sprint breaks] are based on conjecture (risky and not compatible with Scrum) rather than empiricism (less risky and compatible with Scrum).”
Here is some actionable guidance:
- Don’t go without a sprint unless you have less than 4 days to work.
- If you have 2 or more people available from the regular team, you can sprint.
- Bug fixes, demos, hardening, that should all be done within the confines of a sprint for the same reasons you put anything else in a sprint!
If you think you have an exception, but you’re not sure, you probably don’t!