Delivery cycle is a brief period a Team works to complete a set amount of project tasks. Each delivery cycle should be one or two weeks long.
Delivery cycles help split work in manageable iterations and there are routines defined that should be completed each time a delivery cycle is complete. Splitting projects and work in small cycles help teams change and adjust direction quickly, identify potential issues and defines routines during which such issues can be identified and countermeasures installed.
Clarity defines two always present delivery cycles - set of tasks currently being worked on and tasks that will immediately follow. These pre-defined delivery cycles are called Now and Next and correspond to task stages with the same name.
If you have Scrum background, delivery cycles are rather similar to sprints but they are not at all the same thing. While sprints in Scrum serve as a kind of mini-milestone within a project, or project within a project, Delivery cycles do not. And while Scrum sprints are often associated with deliverables and delivering user value - in Clarity this function is detached from Delivery cycles and delegated to Goals. While in Scrum you would generally define a sprint to reach deliverable and user value, in Clarity this is done the other way around - you define Goals to deliver user value and manage delivery cycles to reach the defined Goals. This is done because delivery cycles in Clarity are always fixed length and always continuous, one after another - you can not cancel a delivery cycle and you can not extend it. It is also done this way because it is not always possible to realistically have a deliverable outcome sized to fit and be delivered from a single delivery cycle. The constraints on delivery cycle length and management serve to avoid ambiguity and keeps delivery cycles uniform to provide management with better opportunity to measure delivery performance and related performance indicators.
Adding or removing tasks during a delivery cycle is also permitted in Clarity, provided there is sufficient communication about what is moved and why, and real, tangible justification for doing so.
Identifying delivery cycle
Delivery cycles should be identified by year and calendar week number of when the delivery cycle starts. For example,
2019.12 would refer to a delivery cycle that started at 12th week of 2019 - March 18, 2019.