Have You Ever Canceled a Sprint, and Why?

Essentially, Sprint in Scrum methodology is a time-boxed, focused development iteration that serves as the fundamental building block of the Agile development process. It usually occurs on a fixed-duration period, typically lasting two to four weeks, during which a cross-functional team collaboratively works to complete a set of prioritized user stories or tasks. In the 22 years that I have been doing Scrum, I have only ever canceled a Sprint twice. And so in my opinion, the only good reason to ever cancel a Sprint is if the Sprint goal becomes obsolete. 

In the first case where I canceled a Sprint, the whole product was canceled because they were afraid of potential litigation and because the other company was bringing in lawyers, and so we decided to rather pull the plug before things worsened. The second case was when we discovered an actual Sprint and Architectural nightmare; we realized that anything we do right now is superfluous at that point and so it would be better if we just stopped right there and then, and went back to the start.  

Canceling a Sprint is not something you should do in Scrum and is generally discouraged due to its potential negative impact on the team’s productivity, morale, and the overall rhythm of the development process.  

If you want to learn more about how you could avoid canceling a Sprint, get in touch with Ralph! 


About Effective Agile

Ralph Jocham is a Change Agent in Scrum // Agile // Coaching // Evidence Based Management and also a Professional Scrum Trainer based in Europe.

As one of the first Professional Scrum Trainers in the world, Ralph has worked directly with cocreator of #scrum, Ken Schwaber, and has played an integral part in the course development of the #PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) as well as the delivery of all #scrum.org certified courses.

If you’re looking to invest in training that transforms and empowers teams to successfully adopt #scrum or #agile, and create high-performance #productdevelopment environments leveraging the agile values and principles, visit https://effectiveagile.com/agile-scrum-trainings/

If you would like to work with Ralph and company as an #agilecoach, #agileconsultant, or powerful change agent to get your team back on track and on the road to high-performance #agile #productdevelopment, visit https://effectiveagile.com/agile-transformation/

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