Why is Scrum called Scrum

The history of Scrum - a success story

Historically, Scrum goes back to the US software developers Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. In the mid-1990s, both were faced with the question of how the production of software could be made more efficient. The reason: According to the first CHAOS study by the Standish Group in 1994, around a third of all IT projects failed prematurely, and only 16 percent of all projects achieved the desired development goal without defects. In view of the rapidly increasing demand for high-performance software at the time, this was completely unacceptable from an economic point of view. Sutherland and Schwaber saw the solution to the problem in making the project process more flexible - it was hoped that this would lead to better results being achieved more quickly.

Agile project management and lean production

This break with the methods of traditional project management was also the birth of agile methods such as Scrum. The term "scrum" actually comes from rugby and means something like "scrum", but was borrowed in relation to project management from a publication by the Japanese university professor Ikujirō Nonaka from 1986, a luminary in the field of knowledge management.

In terms of content, Scrum is an adaptation of so-called lean production, the "lean thinking" in production, as exemplified by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota in particular since the second half of the 20th century.

The ultimate breakthrough of this revolutionary "manufacturing philosophy" is closely linked to the problems for the supply chain in economic processes resulting from the first oil crisis in the early 1970s. hows.

From the alternative to the Agile Manifesto

As the leading method in agile project management, Scrum is not only used in software development today, but in all areas in which the successive optimization of what has already been achieved by adding new product properties is important. In Scrum, this progress takes place within the framework of time-limited, cyclically repetitive work segments, the sprints.

Scrum is therefore an alternative to the classic top-down organization of projects and leaves the development team more leeway to act independently. Here, too, there is a clear target "from above": the development of innovative products - the team largely organizes the respective path to the goal itself. Instead of central project management, the management function in Scrum is divided into three roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner and development team.

In 2001, the values ​​of agile software development were summed up by Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber and other experts in the Agile Manifesto and Agile Manifesto as follows:

  • People and interactions are more important than processes and tools.
  • Working software is more important than comprehensive documentation.
  • Cooperation with the customer is more important than the originally formulated service descriptions.
  • Responding to change is more important than sticking to a plan.