The author’s sprint mode development does not seem really agile to me. If you plan a lot in advance to try to figure everything out and be ready to enter sprint mode that sounds more like the classical project-based development approach. Agile is about delivering value without perfect information and be able to readjust.
I’m not saying the author’s approach is not good. It’s just different. I expect that if his 1-2 months in the dark development effort had been cut short, nothing or little of value would have come out of the time that had been spent up to now. But on the other end, like he described, if you let it end you get a huge potential value.
So Agile is to counter balance that. Is it the most productive method? No. Does it allow to deal more gracefully with all the little vagaries of software development. Mostly.
Agile does talk about sprints . Scrum does. Scrum is only one interpretation of Agile, and is, most of the time, poorly executed (and that makes me think that it’s either very badly explained or irrelevant, maybe both).
Other ways of searching for agility exist, and some of them tend to implement the kind of focus that you describe, like Shape Up at Basecamp . My team works with something like that, and we’re quite happy about it. The focus that we get makes us very productive, and there’s the “cool down” thing that allows us to recover and get ready for a new batch.
Lol the typo: I meant “Agile does NOT talk about sprints”