TL; DR: The Hardening Sprint Fallacy
There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone. The hardening Sprint is one of those Scrum failures that are particularly challenging.
Explore with me the deep-rooted issues we can learn from a team that practices a hardening Sprint, from the level of team maturity to possible organizational concerns of becoming agile in less than 100 seconds.
🗞 Shall I notify you about articles like this one? Awesome! You can sign up here for the ‘Food for Agile Thought’ newsletter and join 30,000-plus other subscribers.
🎓 Join Stefan in one of his upcoming Professional Scrum training classes!
Join more than 150 peers from May 27-29, 2021, for the Virtual Agile Camp Berlin 2021, a live virtual Barcamp using open space technology principles and practices.
Why a Hardening Sprint Is Challenging
At the core, this Scrum anti-pattern is a simple challenge: There is no such thing as a hardening Sprint in Scrum.
If there is one thing that comes to mind regarding Scrum, it is the relentless focus on quality, expressed in the Definition of Done and delivered with every Increment. As a Scrum team, our quality goals never decrease; there is no cutting corner whatsoever, such as “it works on my machine.”
Therefore, a hardening Sprint is commonly a sign of a low grade of adoption of agile principles by the Scrum team or the organization. There are plenty of reasons for that; for example, the Scrum team is not yet cross-functional or at an early stage of its Scrum adoption. Alternatively, the “QA department” may still be a functional, non-agile silo. The organization’s incentive structures probably favor the output of the individual over the outcome of the Scrum team. (Which often results in the creation of a feature factory, accumulating technical debt.)
Cannot see the form?
Please click here
There is no hardening Sprint in Scrum. As a Scrum Team, ensure that your Definition of Done reflects “releasable” at any given moment in time. High product quality is a cornerstone of every successful Scrum team. You won’t achieve that level if running hardening Sprints becomes a habit.
Have you had a “hardening Sprint” in the past with your team? If so, please share with us the rationale of the decision.
✋ Do Not Miss Out and Learn about the Hardening Sprints Failure: Join the 9,000-plus Strong ‘Hands-on Agile’ Slack Team
I invite you to join the “Hands-on Agile” Slack team and enjoy the benefits of a fast-growing, vibrant community of agile practitioners from around the world.
If you like to join now all you have to do now is provide your credentials via this Google form, and I will sign you up. By the way, it’s free.
📖 Hardening Sprint Fallacy — Related Posts
📅 Scrum Training & Event Schedule
You can secure your seat for Scrum training classes, workshops, and meetups directly by following the corresponding link in the table below:
You can book your seat for the training directly by following the corresponding links to the ticket shop. If the procurement process of your organization requires a different purchasing process, please contact Berlin Product People GmbH directly.