The Cadence of Scrum

The Cadence of Scrum |

I chose this equestrian quote because today I wanted to talk about the time-boxed nature of Scrum, also known as the cadence of Scrum.

Sprints that are not consistent, i.e. stretches and shrinks, interrupts, happens just a few rounds and then stops, are all signs of “fakescrum.”

“Sprints have a consistent cadence. This consistent cadence helps a Scrum Team understand what they are capable of delivering in a period of time.” (

Scrum Teams that also don’t observe the time boxed discipline of Daily Scrum (the 15 minutes stand-up), Sprint Planning, Review and Retrospective, tend to show sub-par performance in continuously delivering value. They lack the “heartbeat” of Scrum, i.e. “zombiescrum” (

Organizations are systems. Systems have strong feedback loops and tend to mean revert to old ways of doing things. While managing the dynamics of stakeholder, partner and customer interests, it’s easy to derail from continuously delivering value. Discipline is needed to manage this dynamics, and in Scrum, we use cadence.

Every time the rider forgets to regulate the cadence, the horse begins to take control.

– Nuno Oliveira

Don’t let the system take control of your Scrum. Observe the cadence.

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Founder & Chief Coach, Agile Organization Development.