This post concerns in part the game Of rugby and partially about the agile method called Scrum. Though Ive a great deal of experience with Agile methods to software development, including Scrum, I have to acknowledge that my experience of rugby is restricted to seeing the All Blacks throughout the Rugby World Cup. Despite that caveat the post’s subject is than Scrum is that rugby is a much better analogy for agility. Is the method called Scrum? If you ask the Scrum Alliance what’s Scrum? The solution is: When Jeff Sutherland made the scrum process in 1993, he made the expression scrum in an analogy put forth in a 1986 study by Takeuchi and Nonaka, published in the Harvard University Business Review.
This newspaper is cited among main inspirations for the agile frame named Scrum both on the Scrum Alliance website and in the books. In fact, Nonaka and Takeuchi don’t cite the scrum, but they do cite rugby. On the first page of their newspaper Takeuchi and Nonaka say: A holistic or rugby strategy in which a team attempts to go the distance because a unit, passing that the ball back and forth could better serve todays competitive demands. Later in their newspaper Takeuchi along with Nonaka elaborated on that the Rugby analogy by saying: Beneath the rugby strategy, the product development process stems in the continuous interaction of a hand picked, multidisciplinary group whose members work together from begin to finish.
As opposed to moving in defined, extremely structured phases, the process is born out from the team members interplay. The authors are utilizing the rugby analogy to emphasise continuous group interaction to get the work done. A successful rugby scrum requires ability, team work, and lots of raw power. Nevertheless, it’s only when that the ball comes out that the rear of the scrum this open play resumes and the team this won that the scrum can move that the ball forward. Scrums are important at rugby as they allow one of that the teams to seize that the initiative.
However, the process of a scrum appears, to me, like moving at defined, highly structured stages. The free flowing interaction Takeuchi along with Nonaka were supporting comes after the scrum. Scrum that the Agile Method versus Scrum in Rugby – Im glad Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland were motivated by the rugby strategy described in the The New Product Development Game I just wish they hadnt chosen Scrum as the name of the method. I believe Takeuchi and Nonakas rugby approach is a much more strong analogy for the development with skilful and creative interaction compared to that offered by scrum. Perhaps it’s just me, but that the word scrum will always suggest a formalised set piece process involving an enormous power battle with little creative interaction and in which little progress is made on that the real work.