It feels like it is not enough for working programmers just to "walk" 5 to 8 hours a day, and "quick walk" is not enough, but they have to "sprint", every day, year after year. For the company, it makes a lot of sense because to get the most out of workers, sprinting all day long, day after day is better than people who merely walk the whole day.

Here I am comparing our "sprints" to normal day life of walking vs sprinting. While we can sprint 100 meter a few times or even two dozen time a day, for a total of 15 seconds x 25, can anybody sprint the whole day long for 5 hours, and day after day?

What I mean is, doesn't it make more sense to sprint for 3 months, and then get back to normal, when people can just "walk" or "quick walk", being productive, for the rest of the 9 months in a year? Or sprint for 3 months, get back to normal for 3 months, and then sprint for another 3 months and back to normal for another 3 months?

It sure make a lot of sense to the company, because if people can sprint the whole year, then the company can get a lot of things done, burn out people, and just later replace the burned out people by other fresher people (possibly replaceable contractors) -- and it is such a nice term to use too -- we have people sprinting the whole year round -- we are getting the "maximum" output -- so the directors now can have reasons to get promoted to be vice presidents.

I really wonder, should sprints really be year round? I think in the old days, when companies such as Microsoft made people work 60 hours per week, some people described them as a velvet sweat shop. But if we begin to say, we are just having sprints (and not mentioning that it is sprints for 3 weeks, and then another one immediately following, and it just repeats again and again the whole year round), then it sounds like a very justified thing to do.

  • Related: newyorker.com/talk/financial/2014/01/27/…
    – Oded
    May 7, 2014 at 14:36
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    It baffles me someone would take the name "sprint" this literary.
    – Euphoric
    May 7, 2014 at 15:47
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    @Euphoric I actually think it's perfectly reasonable to take it literally if you're relatively new to the concept (and possibly not a native English speaker). I think it's more baffling that they decided to call the concept a "sprint" in the first place considering it's supposed to be sustainable.
    – Evicatos
    May 7, 2014 at 18:03
  • if your pace during sprints is too high to maintain long term, you should adjust the workload, not rename the sprint into a walk.
    – jwenting
    May 8, 2014 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


One of the basic agile tenants is to work at a manageable pace:

Agile processes promote sustainable development.
The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

--Agile Manifesto

In other words: the pace at which teams work during sprint should be maintainable indefinitely. The name "Sprint" in no way implies going faster than normal!

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    Absolutely it doesn't. "Sprint" is a technical term and is supposed to imply that each iteration is short, like a sprint in athletics. It's not supposed to mean that you push yourself to the limit of your body's ability throughout. Insofar as it implies the latter, it's actually not a very good choice of name. May 7, 2014 at 17:51
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    At least for the daily use of the term, a lot of times it carries negative feeling: we are done with Sprint 3, and then Sprint 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ... and it feels like you are just working sprint after sprint. Or if each release is 1.5 months to 2.5 months, then it is Sprint 1, Sprint 2, Sprint 3, and all over again, next release, Sprint 1, Sprint 2, Sprint 3... they are usually fast-paced, stressful, and tight for schedule. And the whole year a person is dealing with sprint after sprint, so I don't know how the word won't carry a negative meaning and won't suggest it is going at a high pace May 8, 2014 at 1:45
  • @動靜能量, why not call them iterations then? I am sure "Mr. Scrum" won't be offended :-) The "pace" of delivery is not a reason to stress out -- at my job we "deliver" multiple times a day :-)
    – Sklivvz
    May 8, 2014 at 7:04

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