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I have a question regarding scrum events that are all held in one day?

For example:

In the morning (review + retrospective) and in the afternoon another one (planning).

Currently, I am working in a two days split scrum events and downside of that is that team is complaining that they are 'losing' their time and they are not effective, maybe it is better to have it all in one day?

Is it better for the team to have it all in one day?

  • Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you've tried and why it didn't meet your needs. This demonstrates that you've taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and most of all it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer. Also see How to Ask – gnat Jul 25 at 14:04
  • i just asked about your experience, i've edited my question. – DarkKnightSM Jul 25 at 14:17
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    Asking for experiences may be perceived as polling - good answers should include references and/or experiences by default. – Thomas Owens Jul 25 at 14:20
  • Even one full day is waaaay too much overhead for me, how could people tolerate two at all? – Telastyn Jul 26 at 0:59
  • Are you asking is it better in general, or better for your specific team? We don't know enough about your team to answer for it specifically. – Bryan Oakley Jul 26 at 15:55
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It depends on how long your Sprint is.

Consider that Sprint Review is timeboxed to 4 hours for 1 month / 4 week Sprints, Sprint Retrospective is 3 hours for a 1 month / 4 week Sprint, and Sprint Planning is 8 hours for a 1 month / 4 week Sprint. Each of these events is described as "usually shorter" for shorter Sprints.

If you have a 1 month Sprint, you can't fit all three events into the same day. The Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective alone would have 7 hours allocated to them, with another 8 hours allocated to the Sprint Planning.

If you consider that "usually shorter" may allow you to be proportionally shorter, in a 2 week Sprint, you would allocate about 2 hours for Sprint Review, 1.5 hours for Sprint Retrospective, and 4 hours for Sprint Planning. This would add up to about 7.5 hours - it fits into a typical work day, but it would still be grueling.

Personally, I would not recommend trying to fit all of the activities on one day. I've found that Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective make sense on a single day, since together they mark the end of a Sprint. Sprint Planning makes sense for a second day.

I would highly advise against short-changing the timeboxes, as well, to try to fit the events into a day. Even if your team manages to usually finish the event's objectives faster, you don't want to compress the schedules to the point of the team not being able to achieve the desired objectives in the future.

  • We have 2 two weeks sprint so our events are organized in this way: - Tuesday: 1h review + 1h retrospective - Wednesday - 2h planning If we fit these events in one day, it will be 2h in the morning and 2h in the afternoon. In this way i think that team can focus one day on these activities so they can focus on delivery and communication throughout the rest of the days in the sprint. – DarkKnightSM Jul 25 at 14:32
  • @DarkKnightSM That seems awfully condensed. It could work, but I'd suggest that you are short-changing your Sprint Review by an hour, your Sprint Retrospective by about half an hour, and your Sprint Planning by 2 hours. I'm least concerned with Sprint Planning, especially if you have a very well refined Product Backlog going in, but the times in Review and Retrospective seem a little short for me. But it is worth talking about with the team to see. – Thomas Owens Jul 25 at 15:01
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Try it and see.

Hopefully your retrospective goes like this:

dev: let's do planning and retro back to back on a single day
others: yeah!
SM: OK, I'll book it in for next sprint

and not like this:

SM: everyone list 3 good and three bad things about the sprint
everyone: bad - too many meetings
SM: ok but we have to have meetings because Scrum
  • Yes, this will be discussed with the team, of course. Scrum is also about making experiments and trying different things that will work with the team so i hope that first case will appear at the retrospective. :) – DarkKnightSM Jul 26 at 9:21
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"better" can only be answered by your team. For some teams, doing them all in one day is fantastic. Everyone gets a day away from the keyboard which gives their analytical brains a little rest. You get to work and bond together as a team for a whole day in a (presumably) low-pressure day of activities.

On the other hand, some people don't want to take a day away from writing code. They may feel like they need to code every single day. In that case, you might want to consider doing the demo and retro on a Friday afternoon, followed by planning on Monday morning. That leaves Friday morning for last-second code changes (which there should never be...) and lets people dive into their projects Monday afternoon.

Which is best for your team, only your team can answer. This is exactly the sort of thing you should be discussing in the retrospectives. There's nothing to prevent you from trying something different for one or two sprints. Any decision you make shouldn't be set in stone. Try something, talk about it, try something else. That's why we do retrospectives.

It's also important to remember what your true goals are. Your goal isn't to squeeze in as much keyboard time as possible each sprint, it's to deliver quality software. Sometimes that means stepping away from the keyboard for a day to focus on the team as a whole and its stakeholders.

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I try and go for a back to back Review, Retro, Planning as much as possible.

On one team we have week long sprints and complete it all in the space of 2.5 hours.

On another we complete Review and Retro before the end of the day, and then go into planning first thing in the morning after the Daily Scrum.

Remember that the next Sprint starts as soon as the previous Sprint has been completed.

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