Although most time-boxed meetings take the amount of weeks in a sprint into consideration, none of them seems to include the number of team members when calculating the max duration.

What I mean by time-boxed meetings: Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Daily Scrum, ... - not the sprint itself.

Let's compare a team of 3 to one with 9 members.

According to Scrum we have at max 15 minutes to all answer the '3 big questions' during daily scrum - no matter if we're 3 or 9 people.

Same goes for the sprint review. 9 team members might produce triple the value that 3 do, but again we have 1 hour per week of sprint.

What I would expect is something like max duration of a sprint review = #ofWeeksInSprint * #ofTeamMembers * someHourConstant.

Why does scrum ignore this factor?

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    I thought velocity was supposed to handle this. – Robert Harvey Mar 15 '16 at 14:13
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    Velocity handles the workload and estimate measure, not the meeting lengths. – lunchmeat317 Mar 17 '16 at 15:52

You're taking scrum to be a set of instructions you need to follow to the letter - and it's not meant to be. The time boxes are there to give you an idea on the typical situation. 9 developers in a standup may not work for the estimates they gave: if so, increase your timebox!

The important part of the time box is to make people realize that there is an upper limit on how long they can go, keeping the filibusters to a minimum. Try it for a week and see if the amount of time you gave yourself is reasonable - if it's too long, shorten it, if you keep running out of breath to fit it in, make it longer.

Remember, Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. If your process is keeping you from interacting better, change your process!

  • I'm aware that Scrum isn't a set of laws that we must abide, no matter the circumstances. I'm merely wondering why the weeks in a sprint are worth factoring in and the team size isn't. Especially since for both the min-max ratio is about the same (1-4 weeks recommended for a sprint: 4x, 3-9 members a team: 3x). I thought there might be a reason for this,... Thx for your answer. – bam Mar 16 '16 at 22:21

For all other meetings, the scrum guide specifies a timebox assuming a month-long sprints but says that the meeting is "usually shorter" for shorter sprints. The only meeting without that provision is the daily scrum. What that tells me is that the daily scrum is timeboxed at 15 minutes for a team of 9 developers, but can be shorter for smaller teams. So a team of three developers might be able to get through their discussion in five minutes, and that's fine. They might need to take all 15 minutes, and that's also fine.

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