How Much Time Should Each Scrum Practice Take?

This posting is the first in a series of seven postings on how much time a Scrum team should spend on each of the Scrum practices. This posting summarizes the duration of all of the practices. Each of the six succeeding postings focuses on a specific Scrum practice (activity).

Scrum defines a number of practices, ceremonies, or meetings: product backlog grooming/refinement, sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint execution, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. I am often asked how much time a Scrum team should spend on each of these practices. This blog post summarizes my recommendations for the maximum time a team should spend on each Scrum meeting and practice.

Scrum Practices

The following picture illustrates the Scrum framework. It is part of the Visual AGILExicon® that I use in my training classes and in my Essential Scrum book.

How much time teams should budget for each Scrum activity and practice

Maximum amount of time development teams should allocate for each Scrum practice

In this picture, I have annotated each of the Scrum practices (shown in orange) with recommended durations. All recommendations are timeboxed limits. So, a recommendation such as “1 hr per week of sprint duration,” should be read as “No more than 1 hr per week of sprint duration, and hopefully less!”

Remember, these are rules (guidelines) not laws. You should of course determine the appropriate amount of time for you team to spend on each of the practices.

Subsequent postings will elaborate on the specific recommended duration for each practice. For a more detailed description of each practice and the recommended duration, please see the appropriate chapter in the Essential Scrum book.

The next post in this series is: "What Is Product Backlog Grooming (Refinement) and How Long Should It Take?"