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In Scrum, Can A Sprint Be Cancelled? If So, When?

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Scrum framework and sprint
Scrum development is fundamentally http://www.quickscrum.com/Kernel/frmAboutUs.aspx?pageType=-1 about adapting to changes occurring during the product development cycle. Scrum levies a lot of significance to transparence, distribution of work, and incorporating changes even “late during the development stage”. Each individual associated with the implementation and working of the scrum framework is assigned a specific role. The person is strongly advised to perform within the boundaries specified by the role he or she is supposed to play, and not transgress the area of work under any circumstances. In scrum, the product owner too has a specific role to play, and is responsible for creating and maintaining the product backlog. The product owner has the final word while working out the list of requirements needed to develop the product - the user stories - which form the backbone of any product backlog. Each user story is further divided into individual tasks, which are taken up by the team members. These tasks are developed during the sprint activity. A sprint activity or simply the “sprint” is nothing but a “burst” of development activity undertaken by the team members, which generally lasts from two to four weeks as decided by the product owner. At the end of the sprint, a meeting is carried out which analyses how much development work has taken place, or how many user stories are successfully completed by the team members. So in many ways the sprint functions as the main essence, or the “heart” of the scrum process. Sprint plays an integral part in the scrum framework.

Can a sprint be terminated abnormally before it is completed?
Development teams are always instructed to complete their user stories as well as tasks well within the sprint duration. It is very important for the sprint process to be completed if the management is to achieve positive results out of scrum implementation. However, under some unusual or rare circumstances, sometimes sprints need to be “stopped” or terminated before it has a chance to run its full cycle. It is the product owner who decides if the sprint can or should be terminated or not.

Some of the reasons, which may induce the product owner to terminate the ongoing sprint, can be:
· The stakeholders or the company management changes its priority regarding the product development
· Market trends and/or changes make the current product development redundant or obsolete
· A major technology change may introduce newer ways and methods of working
· A better technical solution may offer a quicker and a more cost effective way of meeting the product development
· The management or the stakeholders may experience a financial crisis, or may not be able to financially support the development work
· The launch of a new or better product may render the current development work superfluous and unnecessary


Mrugesh Panchal works as a director in Bharti Consulting Services SARL, a leading solutions provider company having its headquarters in Clichy, France and operations center in Vadodara, Gujarat - India. Mrugesh is a co-founder of the QuickScrum Tool, a powerful, easy to use, and versatile web based application centered on Scrum methodology. The tool incorporates scrum methodology into project development, and offers a dynamic management environment. To know more about the product please visit http://www.quickscrum.com

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