What is an antipattern? – An idea which seems good but has more negatives than positives. Click here to read the definition of Anti-Pattern.
Why do people feel that Hardening Sprint seems a good idea?
In these situations, the developers often postpone a lot of work to be done later. Examples include – documentation, code cleanup, defect fixing, commenting of code, hard-coding, bypassing checks etc.
Then the Scrum team introduces a “Hardening Sprint” after 4-5 Sprints to take care of all these pending activities. Therefore introducing Hardening Sprints is generally considered a good idea by a lot of teams.
Negative consequences of Hardening Sprint
User of Hardening Sprint introduces following problems
- Pending work increases. Many times the Hardening Sprint does not get taken and the work just keeps accumulating
- It becomes more and more difficult to tidy up the mess
- Teams end up forgetting things later on
- Increase in the possibility of the defects since things get fixed later
What could be done instead of Hardening Sprint
- Follow the agile principle of “Simplicity” – the art of maximizing the work not done. That is, don’t push more features. Try to complete a lesser number of features with all things done.
- Slow down – focus on quality rather than speed
- Make the Definition of Done more stringent
- Focus on engineering practices such as Automations, CI/CD, Automations, TDD
- Say NO to a hardening sprint. Do not keep pending activities.