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First set a training duration for your Scrum Sprint, and then move to the final desired duration

I (or rather the group of Scrum Masters in the company) have been asked this question many times – How do you determine the length of the Sprints for a team ? We mostly try never to give an off the cuff answer, instead trying to work with the team through questions and examples, so that the team can try and work out itself what the right duration would be. For regular product development stuff, our experience has been that most teams finally work out a Sprint duration of 30 days. This works since this meets the expectation of many in the team that they need to have Sprint cycles long enough for getting some amount of work, as well as being short enough that the team can accommodate the expected changes in features (however, if you believe that your feature priorities are subject to an environment where they can change every couple of weeks, then your Sprint cycles should be of shorter duration).
One innovation (we called it an innovation since when we were told about this, none of us had thought about doing something like this) was where, for a team that was doing Scrum for the first time, there was no easy way to make a decision about the length of the Sprint cycle (the managers were more worried about how the team would take to the changes involved in processes because of the introduction of Scrum). The team does not have a working example of doing the prioritization of features, of running Daily Scrum meetings (where some people also feel that such a meeting is a waste of time), and many of the other processes that are involved as a part of Scrum.
So, we had one of the Scrum Masters coming up with a thought where why don’t we have the team going through a shorter version of the Sprint, and that will help the team start the process, do some of the stuff that is involved in Scrum, and ensure that they have a chance of being comfortable. So, we started presenting the idea to Scrum teams, that they, in all seriousness, first start into a 1 week Sprint, and make sure that they go through all the meetings that are part of Scrum. Many of the teams that were going through Scrum for the first time actually evaluated this idea, and more than 60% of them actually implemented this idea. Feedback from most of these teams was positive, in terms of the short nature of the initial 1 week Sprint helped expose some of the issues that were resolved, and this helped the subsequent longer Sprints to go through without any issue. Of course, there were some teams that had issues with the 1 week Sprint cycle itself, particularly where some of the team members did not take the 1 week thing seriously, and raised more issues in the first Sprint enough, out of which a certain percentage decided that some of these issues made the continuance of Scrum untenable.

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