Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't start your Sprint or Iteration on Monday

Monday seems like a logical time to start your Sprint, right? The start of the calendar week, rested after the weekend, let’s go! In reality it is a bad idea, and I will explain why…

Start/Finish line

Primarily it comes down to interruptions to the sprint cadence. The start and finish days of a sprint are the days where it is crucial that the entire team is in attendance. Everyone needs to know what we are doing, why, and to learn together from our mistakes.

Public or Bank Holidays usually occur on a Monday. If your sprint is scheduled to start on a Monday, which is also a Public Holiday, you need to reschedule all of the sprint meetings, shorten the sprint and this causes significant admin overhead and critically it interrupts your cadence. The other issue that often occurs is the impact of changes arising from Monday morning management meetings.  These changes hit the team just after they have started their sprint, resulting in re-planning costs, and a diminished sense of autonomy.

Fridays are bad too as this is often the day that people book off to extend their weekend into a mini break. Fridays are often the day that leaving lunches, leaving drinks and other celebrations occur, resulting in more impacts.

So instead of Monday, start your sprint on Wednesday or Thursday. The sprint end/start being the middle of the week has several advantages. It avoids the issues of Monday/Friday. Meeting rooms are generally more readily available in the middle of the week.

I do not recommend Tuesday because when there is a public holiday on Monday the sprint will effectively be ending the Friday before a long weekend (which is when everyone is mentally checked out).

So in summary avoid Mondays and Fridays it will save a lot of heart ache.

Photo Credit: Andrew_D_Hurley via Compfight cc