1imgStarting at Sprint ZeroA Better Way to Innovate

The software industry is turning around and radically improving. The uncertainty, risk, and waste you are used to are no longer necessary.

—Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland1

How is Agile changing the world?

Let's begin with a bit of background.

If you are new to Agile Software technique, then the term sprint zero, as used in the title of this chapter, may not mean much to you, but for Agile practitioners it means the initial phase of work where you sort the project out to make sure you start properly when you're about to tackle a large programming endeavor.

In Agile terminology, the word sprint refers to a one- to two-week chunk of work, during which a programming team sets specific goals for itself and then works swiftly to achieve those goals.

When work is organized this way, in small and manageable chunks, brilliant and remarkable results have been achieved in the development of large software systems, the kind that run banks, airlines, health care systems, and even governments.

This is in direct contrast to the well-documented inadequacies of non-Agile approaches, which have led to extensive delays, cost overruns, and sometimes brutally terminal failure.

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