Sprint Zero - A Tool To Hide Waterfall Legacy

"Sprint zero is widely used antipattern to hide bigger and uglier issues. People using Sprint zero state different reasons for using Sprint zero. Some of the very common reasons include
  1. We don’t have a plan yet
  2. We don’t have a Product backlog
  3. We need to get a handle on architecture and design
We don’t have a plan yet
People are used to having a project plan outlining all the details. They think they ‘need’ these details to get started. People using Sprint Zero provide various combinations of reasons including the need to figure out schedule, deliverable, risks, assumptions, dependencies, resource plan and other such artifacts.

A heavy upfront planning phase is one of the biggest legacy of waterfall process. Having a plan calms nerves. It provides people with an illusion of control. They feel like they know what they are doing.
In Scrum, we do plan. However, we don’t spend a whole ‘Sprint’ or more just planning. We plan, we act and we adjust our plans as we move forward. This ‘thin’ planning upsets people. They get scared. They no longer have that ‘illusion of control’.

This fear leads to Sprint zero. During Sprint zero, they can ‘plan’. They can do almost all the things done at the start of a waterfall project while ‘doing Scrum’."

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