History of Scrum

Scrum was first introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in the 1986 Harvard Business Review article, “The New New Product Development Game”.

In their 1991 book, The Knowledge Creating Company, the pair argued that Scrum is, “especially good at bringing about innovation continuously, incrementally and spirally”, leading to a form of organisational knowledge creation.

The term Scrum comes from Rugby, whereby the whole process is performed by a single cross-functional team, across multiple phases trying to move the ball forward as a unit. Commercial product development benefits from an increase in speed and flexibility.

Ken Schwaber popularised Scrum at Advanced Development Methods during the early 90s, so too did Jeff Sutherland, John Scumniotales and Jeff McKenna, at Easel Corporation.

Sutherland and Schwaber teamed up in 1995 to present the framework at the Business Object Design and Implementation Workshop in Austin, Texas. Sutherland and Schwaber continued to collaborate and develop the framework based on experience and learned best practice.

Mike Beedle joined Schwaber in 2001, to produce Agile Software Development with Scrum. A key approach of Scrum is to bring the decision-making power to those delivering the product, not being blocked waiting for decisions from senior authority.

The Scrum Alliance was founded in 2002 by Schwaber, this included the Certified Scrum accreditation series. Schwaber later moved on from Scrum Alliance and created scrum.org which runs the Professional Scrum accreditation series

The Scrum Guide was published in 2009 and is widely considered the official definition of Scrum. The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams (2018), expands on the definition further.