We know the daily meeting and the backlog refinement is inevitable to have out from in the sprint timebox, but we don't know, for example in a two-week sprint, if the sprint planning, review and retrospective are included too.

So, in a two-week sprint, are include all ceremonies or just a few of them?

up vote 19 down vote accepted

From the Scrum Guide:

Sprints contain and consist of the Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, the development work, the Sprint Review, and the Sprint Retrospective.

All of the ceremonies are included in your Sprint timebox.

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    Further, a new sprint begins immediately after the previous sprint ends. There is no gap between them. Consequently, all ceremonies are included in a sprint. If the retrospective or demo take place in the succeeding sprint, something is wrong. – Mike Hofer Aug 13 at 16:57
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    @MikeHofer I agree with you, something might be wrong. But sometimes that's just a reality. I've been in situation where the work schedule of the main stakeholders make it impossible for them to attend a review on a Friday, sometimes even both Thursday and Friday (or you would only get half the attendees)...so, well, you end up doing it on the first Monday of the succeeding sprint, as wrong it may be... (still better than not doing it or doing it without the major stakeholders so with very poor output) – Laurent S. Aug 14 at 8:43

Anyone who has studied for any of the Scrum.org certifications knows the answer to this question because it frequently appears in the practice assessment [paraphrasing]

Q. When does the next Sprint begin?

A. Immediately after the current Sprint ends.

Therefore the Sprint time-box encompasses all the other time-boxed events. The Daily Scrum occurs every day, including the first and last days of the Sprint. Operational practicalities dictate that the Sprint Planning meeting occurs very near the start of the Sprint and the Sprint Review meeting occurs towards the end of the Sprint. The Sprint Retrospective meeting can occur at any time as the Scrum Team chooses but again operational realities tend to mean it occurs towards the end of the Sprint. My personal preference is after the Sprint Review meeting so that the Scrum Team can privately and collectively reflect on input and feedback from stakeholders.

The answer from Thomas Owens is correct. However, I would like to add that depending on the team organization, I think it's acceptable to do some of the ceremonies outside of the 2 weeks considered as being the sprint (or whatever length your sprint is).

For example, I've encountered teams preferring to do the planification for sprint N on the last day of sprint N-1 (review in the morning, planning in the afternoon) or the sprint review for sprint N on the very first day of sprint N+1 (honnestly this one I'm not too fond of as it makes you look backwards to the previous sprint rather than forward, when you already psychologically shifted to the new sprint and should rather be looking forward).

Anyway, basically this is still some time taken for specific ceremonies in a sprint, it doesn't really matter if the ceremonies belong to the previous one, the current one or the next one as long as you keep the same rythm.

Note that in order to get the full benefit of sprint review it should happen before the sprint planning so that the input from the stakeholders have a chance to be taken into account in the sprint.

That said, as you should theoritically always be in SOME sprint, I'm not sure when you would expect to do these ceremonies outside of any sprint?

Yes, per the Scrum Guide, all the Scrum Events (Sprint, Planning, Daily, Review, Retrospective) are completed within the Sprint timebox.

I prefer to start the Sprint on Wednesday and complete the Sprint on Tuesday. By starting and closing in mid-week, the team avoids competing w/ 3 day weekends & for the US, the Monday holidays.

Events & Roles

  • I'm curious: What's the difference between a 3-day weekend and a 'Monday holiday'? – Sarov Aug 14 at 13:00
  • A 3 day weekend is when someone takes time-off on Friday or Monday. – dennis Aug 15 at 6:55

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