Drawbacks of Sprint Zero, or, How To Do Just Enough Design Up Front

I read this article recently about drawbacks of sprint zero and thought it was highly relevant to us as Software Engineers. Please read this article then come back here and we can talk 🙂

There is a balance to be had between doing ALL design up front, NO design up front, and (as this article suggests) SOME design up front. I have seen all of these approaches, and it is admittedly tricky at times to pick the right balance. For new product development a design phase does seem to work well in my experience. And for existing product development I would say a healthy dose of “big picture thinking” is appropriate when designing the feature (perhaps at story grooming time) and an entire design phase might be a bit much at that point. Again, as with most things, I think the answer to the question of how much design to do up front is “It depends.”

How do you design your products? How much time do you spend designing your features and how do you know it’s the right amount of time? Let me know what you think!

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