#145 – Sustainable Pace

Originally coined by Kent Beck in Extreme Programming, “Sustainable Pace” on the team level can be phrased as “the appropriately aggressive pace in which a Scrum team works in order to deliver a continuous flow of business value over an extended period of time without getting burned out”, as Innolution phrases it.

This is the pace you should aim for, and looking at how stable your team’s Sprint Velocity and adoption rate of Features are will give you an indication of how sustainable your pace is. In order to achieve a Sustainable Pace, it’s vital to reduce unwanted variability, which can come in the form of unclear, unrelated, unprioritized or unexpected requests at the wrong time (i.e., during a Sprint).

There’s nothing wrong with assuming an unsustainable pace once in a while, however, but if it keeps happening, then you as a Scrum Team or Product Owner are failing to say “no”, for some reason—go identify that reason and fix it immedately.