agile > chapter 3 iterative and incremental execution and delivery > 3 iteration zero

Iteration zero

After creating the release plan, we have the first iteration called iteration zero. This iteration involves the putting systems in place and acquiring tools for the work to be completed in future iterations. There is no business value being delivered in this iteration. We also contact suppliers and make arrangements with third parties in this iteration.

In this iteration we also plan in detail the tasks to be completed in the iteration 1. Agile training can occur in this iteration too. Because iteration zero does not deliver any business value, it has a velocity of zero.


This is a sort period of time within a time box where we try to do research and conduct tasks which reduce the total amount of risk in the project. We take a chance such as testing a new database system or asking suppliers for a different version of a product to see if it leads to any benefit compared to the original path.

The purpose of a spike is to reduce risk through the information gained by experimentation rather than to increase the amount of business value delivered in the current iteration.

We do not make it common practice to have many spikes in a project. Spikes should be reserved for when we need to resolve uncertainty. They should not replace any significant amount of work done in order to deliver business value to the client.

A spike that is used to reduce the risk in a certain user story should be done before the iteration in which we plan to implement that user story.

Work preparation

The process utilized in an agile project is: