Jeff Sutherland – Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

scrum artScrum pioneer Jeff Sutherland responded to the suggestion his son, J.J. Sutherland did to collaborate on a book on the truly remarkable journey Scrum has taken them on since 1993. The shippable product, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time is challenging critics and cynics alike. More can be done faster and cheaper. Other than presenting just another text book on Scrum, Sutherland’s narrative emphasizes the backgrounds and reasons for assembling what we now know as Scrum.

From Toyota Production System, Lean Manufacturing, professors Takeuchi and Nonaka, the first endeavors of Sutherland and co-creator Ken Schwaber to Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle and the problems with Gannt charts. It’s good to know the origins and the initial stages of implementation. Scrum nowadays not only is used for software development. The book highlights great examples of eduScrum at Dutch schools (makes me proud as Dutch reviewer), microcredit enterprises in Uganda, as well as churches (thanks to Jeff’s wife Arline) and journalism in the Middle-East (J.J. Sutherland).

Scrum is not wishing for a better world, or surrendering to the existing. It’s a actionable way to implement change. Change or die. Since humans want to be great, not only pursuit happiness, but be successful, Scrum is provided as efficient way to get things done faster and cheaper than using waterfall, gate-phased approaches, or having specialists working in silos. You’ll learn why Japanese cars are built more efficiently than German cars.

Sutherland draws from his own 30+ years experience as a West Point-educated fighter pilot, robotics, engineering, and martial arts to contemporary companies like Valve and his own Scrum Inc. From Toyota Prius to wedding planners. And of course, all elements of Scrum are woven into the story line. Too good to be true? Still not convinced? Read first this book, reflect on your current production process and figure out what you’re missing.

About the author

Jeff Sutherland started the first Scrum at Easel Corporation in 1993. He worked with Ken Schwaber to emerge Scrum as a formal process at OOPSLA ’95. Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies and IT organizations and helped write the Agile Manifesto. Jeff is the CEO of Scrum Inc., Chairman of the Scrum Foundation and Agile coach to OpenView Venture Partners which runs all its internal operations with Scrum, as well as over 30 portfolio companies. As Senior Advisor to OpenView he focuses on using Scrum to transform companies as well as empower software developers. Jeff has been VP of Engineering, CTO, or CEO of 11 companies and implemented Scrum in 7 of them including his current company which runs Scrum for sales, marketing, training, consulting, finance, and content production. Over 20 years of hands on team building experience gives Jeff’s training and consulting unique added value. His experience in teaching Scrum at the Harvard Business School helps with management workshops. – See more at Scrumalliance, Scrumfoundation or Scrum Inc.‘s websites. There’s also a Q&A about the book.

I got a review copy from Blogging for Books / Edelweiss.