Sprint 0 shouldn’t last months. Here’s how to keep it short and sweet.
Recently, I listened to a well-known Agile guru describe Sprint 0, the planning period before development starts on an Agile software development initiative, by stating that, “…it could easily last six months.” I almost choked on my lunch when I heard that, not because I don’t have great esteem for this individual and their work, but because I’ve led teams that have built entire systems in less time. After all, Agilists like me pride ourselves on delivering working software quickly and frequently, so telling a client they’ll have to wait six months before we start development seems hypocritical. In fact, my teams have never taken more than two months to start development (sprint 1), even on multi-million dollar per year development efforts; in nearly all cases, they’ve delivered a semi-functioning prototype at the end of sprint 0, both to demonstrate they are ready for development, and to give user experience a starting point for usability testing.
How do we pull this off? At Cedar Point Consulting, we coach Agile teams to