What do you use Sprint 0 for?

Lisa Anderson's picture

We're curious as to what other groups use Sprint 0 for. What tasks are you doing during sprint 0?




3 Answers

Søren Harder's picture

Some people do not believe that there should be a sprint 0: http://scrumology.com/guest-post-avoiding-iteration-zero/

I think the ideas presented in this are valid. I think the idea of 'Sprint 0' is a bit un-agile - or rather waterfallish - as it kind of presupposes that there is something you can do once-and-for-all in a separate step and not return to later. Instead you should develop the infrastructure as you move along and the project gets gradually more complex and you know what it is you need, more in the beginning and gradually less.

I personally have only experience from companies with a 'product', so there have been no sprint 0 (since we do not start new projects, but work on the same) and moreover I am working with Kanban and not Scrum now, so, to be honest, I haven't got the faintest clue what I am talking about ;-)

Suhas Tare's picture

Sprint 0 is essentially a planning sprint. Some organizations conduct kick-off meeting prior to Sprint 0; however, it is customary to include the action points which are generally taken care of during a kick-off meeting such as clarify product vision, stakeholder main objectives, business drivers, role/responsibilities  and communicate release planning.

Sprint 0 is also used as a training ground by the organizations new to Agile/Scrum. The team gets introduced to major Agile ceremonies like Sprint Planning, Daily Stand up, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.

The entry criteria for the Sprint 0 are availability of the first-cut product backlog; ballpark estimates for the project; approval of funds and an Agile team. As all planning related inputs are now available the Sprint 0 can begin to achieve following objectives:

1.     1. Plan for meeting compliance requirements such as FDA code 21 CFR Part 11 for Pharmaceutical projects

2.     2. Understand the project environment including tools

3.     3. Plan for integrating test management process and software development process

4.     4. Determine sprint durations for the rest of the project. Please note that Sprint 0 duration need not be the same as regular sprints. It could be of one week, too.

5.     5. Finalize ‘Sprint 1’ and ‘Sprint 2’ user stories  

6.     6. Determine story points for ‘Sprint 1’

7.     7. Make sure that all ‘sprint 1’ user stories have been signed up by the team members. Self organizing teams is the hallmark of Agile and the practice should be followed from the Sprint 0 itself.

8.     8. Revisit Release Planning

9.     9. Get team’s concurrence on all major issues

10.  10. Conduct Sprint 0 retrospective and pave way for ‘Sprint 1’ to begin



Allan Kelly's picture

Personally I don't care if you call the first sprint Zero or One, you could start at 4 or 8 if you want, or even -1.  The important thing is to get started.

The first Sprint is always more difficult than others, simply because you know less.  I don't think this warrents a special name.

Some teams talk about having a "get ready sprint" but I don't see why this is any different from anything else.  I'd still write out (on cards) the things you intend to do, break down if necessary, and track them across the board.

Getting ready is part of the work itself.




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