Sashimi, in the Scrum religion is a term used to indicate a bit of completed functionality. Yet the meaning of completed in this instance is up to some debate, according to Ken Schwaber an old veteran and founding father of Scrum…

This introduces the concept of sashimi, a slice of the whole equivalent in content to all other slices of the whole. For the Daily Scrum, the slice of sashimi is a report that something is done. “Done” implies accepted engineering practices that indicate that done means coded. Or maybe it means coded, unit tested, checked in, built, and acceptance tested. Either way, there must be a common understanding; otherwise mistakes may be made as various team members inappropriately adapt based on incorrect assumptions of what they inspected. Similarly, the increment created every iteration must be well-defined and similar every time. In Scrum, each increment is an increment of potentially shippable product functionality.

-Ken Schwaber (http://www.coldewey.com/publikationen/conferences/oopsla2003/KenSchwaber.pdf)

So at the end of each iteration, you should have shippable product consisting of the sashimi of the last sprint. If you think about this in terms of pieces of fish and dinner, everything works great, if you think of this as programming the next version of Windows, your not going to have shippable product after a single iteration, does this mean Scrum won’t work for large projects? Or even projects that will take longer then one sprint? Not if we refine the definition of Sashimi.

  • Development Sashimi

This is the amalgamation of all the completed work from the last iteration. This may not be shippable, but you can see the value of the time spent on the iteration, so its important to keep cranking these out. If your sprint is as short as a week, you will have quite a few of these before reaching the all important product owner sashimi.

  • Product Owner Sashimi

At some point you will complete an iteration and the collection of the development sashimi iterations will be shippable. This is the milestone thats super important, up until this point your feature is in limbo and cannot be shipped. Its important to get here as soon as possible, the longer your in limbo you issues and can’t get all the full benefits of the normal scrum process. You can’t shift priorities (as all the previous work is wasted), you can’t ship your active source tree and you have the ability of feature/scope creep.

This seems to imply that you should never do a sprint that you couldn’t get PO Sashimi from, which is highly favorable but impossible for more reasons then I have time to document here. Just keep on the lookout for these stages, and scrum away.

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