A Short History of Scrum

There was a time when “scrum” was only a rugby football term. There, a scrum is used to restart play as the forwards of each team interlock with their heads down and fight to gain possession of the ball. This form of collaboration inspired the Scrum method in business. Here, though, the team tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth. What is the history of this use of the word “Scrum” and how did it change business?

Scrum is from Japan

The history of the Scrum method starts in 1986. That year, two Japanese business experts introduced the term in the context of product development. Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka published the article, “New New Product Development Game” (the double “New” is indeed part of the title) in the Harvard Business Review. The authors described a new approach to commercial product development that would increase speed and flexibility. Their inspiration came from case studies from manufacturing firms in the automotive, photocopier, and printer industries.

Scrum Case Study: Advanced Development Methods

Change scenery to Boston, the late eighties. In their respective companies, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland were building software using integrated team coding, building, testing, and rapid deployment. The method had not been given a name yet, but it sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Inspired by the 2 Japanese authors, writers Peter DeGrace and Leslie Hulet Stahl called the method “Scrum” in a 1990 book.

Become Agile Scrum Certified

At EXIN, we can help you gain the right skills. That’s why we offer a complete agile Scrum certification portfolio. Training such as this is essential for those leading or participating in projects being developed by Scrum methodology, and this program assures employers and employees are both ready for Scrum.