Pain: Over Commitment / Opportunistic Thinking

Why is it that we commit to so much work at the beginning of each Sprint and we are never finished by the end of the Sprint?

Gain: Iteration and Increments

Some teams are very optimistic about committed work.  Doing work in small batches provide the team with the opportunity to inspect their capability of delivering quality work and then adapt to ensure they can work at a sustainable pace. 

Increment vs Iterative

Great art is never finished only abandoned.  — Leonardo da Vinci

The da Vinci quote describe the notion that we could add and refine forever, but at some point we need to deliver the product to customers.

The way of an artist is to create a sketch of the whole composition to make sure that there is balance between the proportions of the parts.  An artist would refine and at times create new composition from a sketch.  Incremental development gives us a painting of half of the Mona Lisa whereas iterative development gives us an outline of the Mona Lisa.


The incremental strategy is similar to the way a bricklayer may build a wall.  If each brick is regularly sized and well define then things may work out well.  We add new layers one brick at a time until we are finished with that layer.

An increment in software development is fully coded, tested, and ready for release.

Incremental strategy is used to make decisions.  We may ask, do we have enough to release what was completed?  An example could be a find a job site.  If a job site was built incrementally, the team would build and perfect profile management before starting on any other part of the site. They would then build and perfect a second area, say searching, before moving onto the third area. Each functional area would be made perfect before the next area was started.

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