12 February 2009

Scrum Lingua Sustainability

As a marathon finisher (Twin Cities 1998, 2000) and Scrum proponent, I don't know if Sprint or Jog is a more misleading description of what it is that we do week after week and month after month.

One is unsustainable; the other implies sandbagging. Most of us strive for the sweet spot of pacing and productivity; somewhere between extremes.

The Scrum community needs a term for the zone one slips into during a long run, say more than 10 kilometers, where you're not conscious of your respiration, you're not suffering chaffing, yet you are vaguely aware that your body is transporting you over the pavement like a well-oiled machine.

Scrum is a superior way to think about and organize projects. But the Sprint nomenclature is misappropriated. The universal appeal of Scrum is pace and productivity -- both humane and sustainable.

Many teams eschew using Sprint to describe what we do in favor of the steadfast Agile term Iteration.


I prefer iteration. It implies convergence toward mutually agreed upon goals.

Those of us who recall using iterative algorithms in Numerical Analysis will remember that convergence isn't a given, it's the goal. Convergence requires the right seed values, like the care and feeding of a Scrum team.