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Thursday, the Best Day to Kick Off Your New Sprint

17 April 2014

A lot of projects follow Scrum. There is often debate about which day to start a new sprint. For some projects, teams start their sprint activity on Monday and end on Friday, whereas others start their sprint activity on Thursday and end on Wednesday.

Here are a few important points to consider before choosing your sprint start day:
  • In India, most holidays fall on a Friday, which means people are planning for a long weekend. If the sprint ends on Friday, then we lose the last major day of a sprint. (Most closing sprint work happens on the last day of the sprint, of course.) If the sprint closes on Wednesday, the team members get more time to finish the sprint activity.
  • In India, many team members leave early on Friday to go back to their home cities for the weekend. Most team members are in a weekend mood and are planning to leave early. If the sprint ends on Friday, this also impacts the closure work of the sprint.
  • Friday is the last day of the week. Normally, people are tired after all the work they've been doing. They are not able to concentrate and finish the sprint. If we finish the sprint on Wednesday, then people are more attentive compared to Friday.
  • If you have a sprint demo on Tuesday, then team members get more time, on Wednesday, to accommodate the changes suggested by stakeholders or by the product owner.
  • According to at least some employee surveys, team members are more enthusiastic at the start of the week. In last week of the sprint, team members can work 10 percent extra on Monday and Tuesday to finish up their activity faster. This increases the chances of finishing your development or testing work during the sprint.
  • If the sprint starts on Thursday, then team members get some breathing time and they can do sprint planning for the new sprint. They don't have to work more over the weekends. On Friday, they can leave early or they can plan to finish up their work early and enjoy the weekend.
Considering the above points, Thursday is the best day to start your new sprint activity.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 2 (2 ratings)


Ahmed Hammad, CSM, 4/17/2014 4:25:43 AM
I appreciate your point of view, but let me highlight that, if we started the sprint on Thursday, and got a weekend or even 3 days off, if Thursday is a holiday, you risk a considerable memory loss and lose of focus. Sprint planning has a lot of info that I want actually to start the whole sprint work just immediately after planning. If we must start not by start of week, Monday, I propose to start the sprint by the middle of the week, such as Tuesday or Wednesday.
Rishi Devendra, CSM, 4/17/2014 6:26:44 AM
Good point Ahmed... I agree with you. Considering your above scenario I would prefer to do Sprint planning on Wednesday for that particular sprint..
Tim Baffa, CSM, 4/17/2014 1:40:19 PM
I concur with the above points. I have observed the most successful iterations beginning on a Wednesday and ending on a Tuesday. This allows for at least 1+ day of work after the completion of Sprint Planning part 1 and 2 before encountering Friday issues, and accomodates Monday unavailability issues by having the Review scheduled on the last day of the sprint - Tuesday.

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