Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka (1986) described a new approach to commercial product development that would increase speed and flexibility, based on case studies from manufacturing firms in the automotive, computer, photocopier, and printer industries. They called this the holistic or rugby approach, as the whole process is performed by one cross-functional team across multiple overlapping phases, where the team “tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth”.
In 1991, DeGrace and Stahl first referred to this as the scrum approach. In rugby, a scrum refers to the manner of restarting the game after a minor infraction. In the early 1990s, Ken Schwaber used such an approach at his company, Advanced Development Methods, and Jeff Sutherland, with John Scumniotales and Jeff McKenna, developed a similar approach at Easel Corporation, and were the first to refer to it using the single word Scrum.
In 1995, Sutherland and Schwaber jointly presented a paper describing the Scrum methodology at the Business Object Design and Implementation Workshop held as part of OOPSLA ’95 in Austin, Texas, its first public presentation. Schwaber and Sutherland collaborated during the following years to merge the above writings, their experiences, and industry best practices into what is now known as Scrum.
In 2001, Schwaber teamed up with Mike Beedle to describe the method in the book Agile Software Development with Scrum. Although the word is not an acronym, some companies implementing the process have been known to spell it with capital letters as SCRUM. This may be due to one of Ken Schwaber’s early papers, which capitalized SCRUM in the title.
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