Bridging the Gap between Agile and Free Software Approaches: The Impact of Sprinting

Bridging the Gap between Agile and Free Software Approaches: The Impact of Sprinting

Paul J. Adams (Sirius Corporation Ltd., UK) and Andrea Capiluppi (University of Lincoln, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-513-1.ch004
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Agile sprints are short events where a small team collocates in order to work on particular aspects of the overall project for a short period of time. Sprinting is a process that has been observed also in Free Software projects: these two paradigms, sharing common principles and values have shown several commonalities of practice. This article evaluates the impact of sprinting on a Free Software project through the analysis of code repository logs: sprints from two Free Software projects (Plone and KDE PIM) are assessed and two hypotheses are formulated: do sprints increase productivity? Are Free Software projects more productive after sprints compared with before? The primary contribution of this article is to show how sprinting creates a large increase in productivity both during the event, and immediately after the event itself: this argues for more in-depth studies focussing on the nature of sprinting.
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Sprints Within The Agile Development

As an activity, sprinting has its roots within the Agile development, specifically the SCRUM development model (Schwaber and Beedle, 2001). The SCRUM model is not a method per se, in that it does not prescribe specific practices to be followed in the release cycle. Within SCRUM, the principal period of development is focused during the sprints. Typically, a sprint would be a short period of development, typically 4 to 6 weeks (although they can be shorter). Within this period, developers would work to solve a specific and well-focused problem, such as the addition of a new set of functionality. Normally a sprinting team is collocated, with a dedicated manager who monitors progress on a daily basis in a short stand-up meeting.

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