Is there a place for non sprint week a quarter?

I’d got a bit behind on some of my agile feeds, but Mike Cohn published an interesting article last month on having a week off once a quarter from the typical scrum framework to let the team do whatever they want for a project/product.

Six Times Two Plus One Equals a Good Project Cadence

What do you guys think? Is it a good idea to let the developers have some time to prioritize what ever they choose or do you think it shows a bad attitude to tools and technical debt that you’d need a separate time to get to work on this stuff? Does it depend on the project?

Personally I’m not convinced, I’ work on the basis that in Scrum we have the advantage that if the project was cancelled at any point we have delivered the most valuable items on the backlog, technical or not. I’ve also always encouraged teams to speak up about work they feel is important and to work with the PO to get it on the one backlog. It’s worth having this method in mind though should that ever fail!

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