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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

History of Scrum and why Scrum is Better

In the Previous Article we covered the basics of the Scrum Methodology. In this article we are going to cover the History of Scrum…

The Origins!!

In the early-mid 80’s, two people named Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka wanted a better strategy for building products. They defined a flexible and all-inclusive strategy where the development team works as a coordinated unit to reach the common goal. They described this innovative approach as the “Rugby Approach”.

So, what is the Rugby Approach?

Have you ever watched a game of Rugby? The whole team has one goal – to move the ball towards the end-line as a collective unit. They keep passing the ball back-n-forth until they actually reach the end line.
Takeuchi and Nonaka felt that product development must be like a Rugby game where the team works as a collective unit instead of the traditional approach which can be compared to a “Relay Race”.

The Birth of Scrum…

Two Gentlemen - Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland can be considered the founding fathers of the modern day Scrum Methodology. In the year 1995, they both elaborated on the Scrum Concept and its applicability to software development and presented the same at the Object Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications (OOPSLA) conference the same year in Austin, Texas.  
Since that point on, many experts and scrum practitioners have continued to refine the Scrum Concept and Methodology.

Why Scrum is Better

If you are an experienced Project Manager who is used to managing projects the traditional PM way, you may be wondering is Scrum Better? Are you?

I cant really say Scrum is the Best Project Management Methodology because not all projects are the same. If you have concrete requirements which are baselined and would not change over the duration of a project, the traditional plan & build approach will work just fine. But, if you are building something new which the business has never seen, using the Scrum Approach would be much better  because at the end of each Sprint, the customer is going to get a deliverable. Based on the csutomers feedback we can improve the product during the subsequent sprint cycles.

Lets say, you are building a new product over a period of 1 year and during the User-Acceptance Testing Phase (UAT) the customer realizes this isn’t what he wanted. One year worth of development, cost and everything else is down the drain. Instead, if you had a delivery that happened at the end of the 1st month, the customer would’ve passed on his feedback immediately and we could’ve done course correction. Isn’t that a Benefit?

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