Iteration Zero – Asking the Powerful Questions

Doing the ground work is important for any work, skipping that will cause disruption while executing the work. This applies to product development in iterative fashion as well. In order to execute iterations successfully, a set of activities have to be thought through and completed before starting the iterations. Those activities are called Iteration Zero activities. And how do we discover those activities? By asking some powerful questions to the Value Team Facilitator (VTF) – same as Product Owner, Agile Team Facilitator (ATF) – same as Scrum Master and Agile Team Members of an Agile Team.

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Outline/structure of the Session

Problem Statement:

Agile teams slog a lot after they start their iterations due to a variety of reasons, namely, the product backlog was not groomed well, the customers were not consulted well ahead, teams did not meet and talk earlier, architecture was not completed, high level design approach were not discussed and understood properly, etc.


Asking powerful questions to the Value Team Facilitator (VTF) – same as Product Owner, Agile Team Facilitator (ATF) – same as Scrum Master and the Agile Team Members of an Agile Team to figure out the activities as listed in the problem statement as “Iteration Zero” activities before the start of iteration.


  • Create a checklist of Iteration Zero activities specific to each role, namely, Value Team Facilitator (VTF) – same as Product Owner, Agile Team Facilitator (ATF) – same as Scrum Master and Agile Team Member
  • Have the Agile team review and own the checklist
  • Agile teams to use it for each release they make


Learning Outcome

  • What are Iteration Zero activities and why it is important?
  • Reducing the risk of failure and getting ready for iteration execution.

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Value Team Facilitators (VTFs) – same as Product Owners, Agile Team Facilitators (ATFs) – same as Scrum Masters and Agile Team Members

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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  • Kaushik Saha
    By Kaushik Saha  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    This is very effective topic as I feel ; as iteration 0 is important to form and align agile teams, set up work environment, architectural guidelines, identify risks, technical strategy and initial requirements, etc.

  • Shiv Sivaguru
    By Shiv Sivaguru  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply


    Thanks for the proposal.

    While I can appreciate the emphasis on Iteration 0, how do you position this in the lean product discovery track?

    • Felix Pradeep Savariraj
      By Felix Pradeep Savariraj  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      We have positioned this topic (Iteration Zero) under "Lean Product Discovery" track because one of the swim-lanes in this track is "Design Thinking" and Iteration Zero has much relevance to Design Thinking. All activities of iteration zero has to provide a holistic approach towards iteration execution.

  • Fabiola Eyholzer
    Fabiola Eyholzer
    Just Leading Solutions
    schedule 2 years ago
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