You may have seen an AgileThought person around town wearing a nice black “Respect the Sprint” t-shirt…but what does “Respect the Sprint” mean?
Well, it has several meanings, and can be interpreted a few different ways, but here’s what it means to me:
Stick to the time box you set for yourself
There will be no “adding a few days” at the end of a sprint. Believe it or not, I’ve seen teams do this before. “Hey, we are almost done, so let’s just call next Tuesday the end of the sprint instead of this Friday”. This is breaking a basic Scrum rule, and should not be done. Period.
Take the “don’t change the sprint goal” rule seriously
Once you are in a sprint, do not fall to pressures of “hey can you do this story too?” and “can’t you just squeeze that story in”? Or even worse “Forget those 4 stories you are in the middle of, drop everything and do these 3 stories you’ve never heard of instead”. A reason for short time boxes is to resist change to the goal during the time box and focus on completing that goal. At some point, we have to have something solid to shoot for, and we adjust our sprint length to the shortest possible time we can resist change.
Play like you are behind
If you are working towards a major release, and that release consists of multiple sprints, you should have a sense of urgency even in early sprints. Make sure you are hitting your goals you set each sprint, and getting things to done, not half-done or not even started. Don’t have the feeling that those early sprints don’t count – if you get behind early, you aren’t going to make it up later by working harder. Don’t let your team fall into the trap of looking at the release plan for a minimally viable product and thinking “It’s only sprint 2 – we have tons more time before we can release anyway – if we don’t meet our goal this sprint, we’ll make it up later.” It’s easy to have the mindset that you have some huge cushion, and you then don’t meet your goals early on because you don’t feel the pressure of delivery – you must Respect the Sprint – get those early sprint goals done!
That’s what Respect the Sprint means to me – it might mean something different to you.