The Evolution of Scrum

The evolution of Scrum is a quintessentially Agile story; reflecting the ever-changing demands of our workforce realities. Beginning in 1985 with the first emergence of the term ‘Scrum,’ to today’s scalable implementation throughout distributed Teams, Scrum’s elegant framework has evolved to address the real-world needs of a complex Team environment.

The term ‘Scrum’ emerged

Use of the term ‘Scrum’[1] is first introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka as a new, holistic approach to commercial product development where one cross-functional, self-organized team works as a unit throughout the entire development process – similar to a rugby team[2] passing the ball back and forth as they move down the field as a unit.

Scrum 0 – The First Scrum Team

The first Scrum Team[3] is created by Jeff McKenna, Jeff Sutherland and John Scumniotalesas as software development team at Easel Corporation to build an object-oriented design and analysis tool.

Scrum 0.1 – First Formal White Paper OOPSLA

Jeff Sutherland presents the SCRUM Development Process white paper[4] and introduces it as unpredictable, complicated process that uses a loose set of activities which combine known, workable tools and techniques with the best that a development team can devise to build systems.

Scrum 1.0 – First Definition of Scrum

The Scrum framework for developing and sustaining complex software is defined[4], including the first implementations of Scrum with a Product Owner who was outside the Team, often on the “Business Side” of the organization.

Scrum 2.0 – First PO as Member of Team Formalized

In response to the need for Teams to both build and maintain software, resolve time-sensitive issues, and for the Product Owner to be increasingly Agile, Scrum 2.0 emerges as a framework with the Product Owner as a full-time member of the Team.[5]

Scrum 3.0 – First Fully Scalable Scrum Formalized

Scrum continues to evolve as it recognizes the need for a framework that reflects distributed Teams and the need for two Product Owners – one with the Stakeholders for strategic prioritization and one with the Team for tactical prioritization.

Notes and Sources

    1. Takeuchi, Hirotaka, and Ikujiro Nonaka. “The New New Product Development Game.” Harvard Business Review. Accessed February 09, 2017.
    2. Definition of Scrum in rugby: A game formation in which players huddle and interlock to gain possession of the ball.
    3. “Jeff McKenna.” Scrum Alliance. Accessed February 09, 2017.
    4. Schwaber, Ken. “Scrum Development Process.” Jeff Sutherland. Accessed February 09, 2017.
    5. “The History of Scrum.” Scrum Guides. Accessed February 09, 2017.