Scrum doesn’t inherently prescribe any set day to start a sprint. This begs the question if the topic bears any merit. And if yes, then what might be the best suitable day to start a sprint? We believe this is a topic of some importance, and will try to make my point through the next few paragraphs. Let’s take a two week sprint scenario as an example for the purpose of this exercise.
Teams consider Mondays best to start sprints, being the first day of the week. A point we don’t quite agree with. Let us look at this scenario starting backwards. Sprints planned this way end up on a Friday or “fun day”- prone to being lean on account of long weekends or planned holidays. This invariably leads to diluting the ‘sprint end day’ activities through poor participation. A situation far from ideal, given that the last day of a sprint is when the sprint is reviewed, and team achievements are showcased to a wider audience.
Here are a few points why Monday or Tuesday of the week may not be ideal days to start a sprint .
After evaluating the reasons why Monday or Tuesday are not ideal it leaves us with Wednesday Thursday. Midweek is always more productive as the team is in the zone of finishing the work . Also Mon and Tues are enough to tie the loose ends and to get started with a new sprint on Wednesday or Thursday.
The reason why Friday is not an ideal option to start a sprint is simply that the upcoming weekend that follows Friday makes it difficult for the team to pick from where they left and getting the right momentum is generally difficult.
To Summarize all the above points, it is best to start a sprint on Wednesday or Thursday and end it on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Additionally, in our experience we have seen some really bad practices wrt to starting and ending a sprint. We have composed a few pointers which must be avoided while sprinting.
5 things to avoid while sprinting
Teams should think on the reasons shared for preferring a Wed/Thur as the start of the sprint.
Do let us know if you think there are other considerations which are important in your environment.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any feedback, suggestions or questions