Time box: A Holistic View on Sprints and Iterations

imageOver the last few years we’ve seen a growing discontent around the idea of Iterations or Sprints.  It excites me that the software community is actively engaged in questioning the long held canon of Agile practices.  Through these explorations we as an industry will find a greater depth of understanding.  Over time this can only have a positive impact on our community.

In reading many of the Iteration abandonment stories and views on why iterations are outdated I believe there is a rather one sided understanding of Iterations.  I believe this is a remnant of the software development industry’s state of being from which we came; the way referred to in the opening line of the Agile Manifesto.

We are uncovering better ways of developing
software…

            ~ opening line of the Agile Manifesto

I have a confession to make: I think iterations are really, really useful.  I also think they are often bastardized.  I’d like to help fix that problem and, in so doing, bring some of you back to the iteration so you can be more creative and strategic and less, well, cogs in a wheel.

In a three part series of posts I will redefine the meek, abused iteration for you as a:

If you really, really want to love going to work, experiment with cool new technologies and techniques even in the most conservative organization, and want the best argument for ‘going Agile’ then stick with me.  By the time we’re done you will have a better understand of what a time box really is, where the time box applies, where it corrupts and, how to make a balanced decision for the duration of your next time box.