Pattern: Lunar sprints


In various disciplines we make a list of everything, narrow the list, act while checking if theres anything we missed, then crossing things off the list. This applies to appreciative inquiry, systems thinking, design thinking, programming practices and surely more.

Lunar cycles

In lunar time every quarter is about a week, which is about right in length for a sprint cycle. In the following chart we have four phases; discovery, opening loops, closing loops and harmonising. The visualisation is just an aid and can be moved about or named in multiple ways, but the primitives are all essentially the same - let’s discover what they could mean!


This would be a sprint focused around research and discovery, surfacing as much data as possible be it a list of people, projects, frameworks, tools etc. It's divergent thinking about the best of what is already available.

Opening loops/Dream/Selection

This is then a short list of the things worth paying attention to; an articulation about "the best of what might be". It's convergent thinking to narrowing down the previous weeks interest (scoping a design, investigating feature sets or agreements etc.).

Closing loops/Design/Iteration

This is about adding the missing ingredients. Making "the best of what might be" into something more tangible. Missing things should get thought about and added here.


This is the point where things get tied up and resolved. If the previous sprints all went well its a slack time to fine tune things or revel in your well made choices.

Meta cycles

It became apparent at hack-along 0.1 that things are more synchronistic than expected, as it fit into the vibe of a discover-along. Turning the next three into dream-alongs, design-alongs and deploy-alongs seems like a good way to add further structure to our madness.
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