Question of the Week: How do I handle a holiday in the middle of my Sprint?

Scrum Sprints and its events need to have the same cadence. This means that all Sprints should start and end on the same day and the events are also held on a similar day and time as the previous Sprint to establish a rhythm. There are times, however, when this is not possible due to holidays or other scheduling conflicts.


If your Sprint start or end date falls on a holiday, start your sprint on the next workday. When it comes to ending your sprint, you have two choices:


1- Keep the same cadence and make your Sprint one day shorter. If you decide to make your sprint shorter, be sure to account for this in your capacity planning by subtracting the “off days” from the team’s capacity. This will impact your velocity, but it should average out if you are consistent with how you handle holidays since velocity is the average of several Sprints.

2- Keep the same Sprint length and move your events to a different day of the week. If you decide to move your events, be careful that your events don’t fall on days that may not be conducive to the event activity. For example, holding a Sprint review on a Friday afternoon may result in absent stakeholders or holding a Sprint Planning session on a Monday may result in a low energy session.

Keep these tips in mind to preserve your cadence even when holidays or scheduling conflicts come up.

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