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

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

Scrum Book Cover Scrum
Jeff Sutherland
Business & Economics
Crown Business
Tue Sep 30 2014 00:00:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time)


Scrum is a well-written and interesting book for those looking to be more productive in any area of their lives. The author (and his peers at Easel Corporation) was the first to refer to the holistic product development approach pioneered in software development and introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka as “scrum.”

In The Knowledge Creating Company, Takeuchi and Nonaka described their approach as a form of "organizational knowledge creation, [...] especially good at bringing about innovation continuously, incrementally and spirally". Essentially one cross-functional team across multiple overlapping phases tries to go the distance together, “passing the ball back and forth.” (Scrum refers to the rugby play in which the two teams pack tightly together and try to gain possession of the ball which is tossed in among them working together as a unit.) Scrum is the antithesis of the traditional linear, sequential approach typically illustrated in a Gantt chart.

Sutherland’s experiences provide a practical reminder of how to manage your time whether or not your company uses Scrum. He reminds us to allocate our mental energies and resources appropriately, immediately address issues, prioritize to avoid overwork, and the dangers of becoming complacent. He also covers teams—characteristics of great ones, perspective on optimal group size, and the need for zero tolerance for disrespect, incivility, or abuse at work. Scrum is a good reminder that we have more control over our time than we think.