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What is a good time duration for a Sprint in Scrum ? 30 days ? 2 weeks ?

Asking the above question is like entering a tricky arena. You just cannot make a good answer unless you know more about the environmental situation in which the project is being run. There are plus and minus points to having a shorter Sprint. For example, having a shorter Sprint leads to:
– More time spent in Sprint Planning, Review and Demo for the Sprint Cycle. After all, if you have a week or 2 week Sprint cycle, there is a perception that you may be spending a larger portion of that time in terms of these meetings
– A longer Sprint means that the team has enough time to do those complicated design and architectural changes and not run them through, as could happen when you have a shorter Sprint cycle (although Sprint experts would believe that the Sprint cycle duration should not change anything related to effectively completing even complicated tasks)
– A shorter Sprint cycle means that you are able to see the end results of your work in a shorter time-frame, and there is less Work in Progress.
– A shorter Sprint cycle means that Product Owners and stakeholders are able to view the work happening on the product (via demos) at a much more frequent time-frame
– Having a shorter process also brings some strains into the system, and if you are looking at making improvements, then such strains can point out areas that need improvements

There are points for both sides. The more important question is about whether a team is looking at implementing Scrum for the first time, and is looking at defining a proper time pattern for the same. On the other hand, if a team has been already implementing Scrum and finds some issues about the length of the Sprint cycle that they are following, then it is more important to analyze as to why the team is finding problems in making its existing Sprint cycle work. That is more important in figuring out, since there might be some problems in their implementation of the Scrum process.
For a new team, it is easier to start out with a 30 day process, since that gives them the time to settle into the Scrum process; over a period of time as the team becomes more comfortable, they can be moved to a shorter, like 2 week, Sprint cycle and by that time, they will also be ready for a much shorter Sprint cycle.

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