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Twenty20 and the Art of Agile Scrum


A casual attempt to compare Agile and Cricket. I took Scrum Project Management and T20 for comparison.


A T20 championship consisting of many different matches has striking similarities to a Scrum based Agile project with a Product Vision (T20 Chanmpionship).


Individual T20 matches can be thought of a Sprint each with 20 overs frequency (doesn’t it sound like a 2 week sprint of an iteration).


When all the sprints get executed the actual product vision is realized. In the T20 counterpart it means winning the league, quarter finals, semifinals and finals matches (sprints) to realize the product – the championship CUP.


Now we try to look at lower levels of execution within a sprint (T20 match).


Presprint activities like defining product backlog(target score), prioritizing them (planning like hitting during filed restrictions, taking singles and doubles during regular filed set up etc) selecting sprint themes (sub score targets with diffrerent batting orders like top order, middle order etc) have matches in their counterpart of T20 in preteam meeting, prioritizing the batting / bowling order as the case may be, fixing the target to beat the opposition etc.


If you take up a batting team it will have story points for each over like go for fours and sixes in new bowler / restricted filed set ups, free hits (each sprint day equivalent of T20) scheming, designing the strokes w.r.t bowler variations (like spin, pace etc). Shot selections could be the low level design and going after the bowlers when filed restrictions are on could be like quickly rolling out low complexity module. The best one is Asking rate vs. Strike rate – there cannot be any better equivalent to Burn Down chart of Sprint than a asking rate (ideal burn down) and required rate (actual burndown) . Cricket’s Asking rate curve is more accurate to be precise. Because it doesn’t change unless there is a truncated match beacuse rains / any other exception.


The stand-up meetings of Sprint can be thought of mid pitch meeting between striker and non striker to analyze what did they do last ball/over, what they should in the coming balls/overs, and what were the hurdles that they had faced from bowling team and how to counter them.


The losing team can push the victories to next T20 match (postponing the stories to next sprints). The spectators are one of the stake holders and probably users in the sense that they take pride in their country getting the championship – this is the service that was provided by the cricketers to fellow country men / customers.


The user feedback in terms of reviews in cricketing columns by subject matter experts (ex-cricketers ) help them to adapt cricketers’ future game plan. strategy and tune them in the future games (sprints). A tip here while selecting the suggestion points please avoid taking reviews of non prfessionals like models, comperes, as it may prove to be counter productive. Post match sessions with coach, manager, captain and the team are nothing but reviews and retrospectives.


The winning team through its quarter, semis and finals realize their dream product that is the Championship.


Welcome views on this 




One Response

  1. It is really innovative of you to compare so called “Boring” Software principles with the fast paced T20.Although, the both are two very different entities which absolute zero coherence, you succeeded in relating the east and west .Very well written to attract the below 30 crowd(which form 90% of the software industry).Keep posting more

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