SRUM was first has been introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in a 1986 paper titled “The New New Product Development Game”, which has been published in the Harvard Business Review. The term is borrowed from rugby, where a scrum is a formation of players, is used to restart the play, when the forwards of each team interlock with their heads down and attempt to gain possession of the ball. The term scrum was chosen by the paper’s authors because it emphasizes teamwork. They called this the “holistic” or “rugby” approach, as the whole process is performed by a cross-functional team across multiple overlapping phases, in which the team “tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth”.
SCRUM is a customer centric and iterative framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex solutions. A key principle of scrum is the recognition that customers will change the scope of what is wanted (“requirements volatility”) and that there will often be unpredictable challenges. These changes come from a variety of sources, but according to scrum, understanding the “why” of this changes is irrelevant – change should simply be accepted, embraced and analyzed for benefits. For both facts a predictive or planned approach is not suited. SCRUM is therefore a evidence-based empirical approach – accepting that the problem cannot be fully understood or defined up front, and is instead focusing on how to maximize the team’s ability to deliver quickly, to respond to emerging requirements, and to adapt to evolving technologies and changes in market conditions.
The fundamental unit of SCRUM is a small team of people which consists of one SCRUM Master, one Product Owner, and several Developers, ideally with different backgrounds. Within a SCRUM Team, there are no sub-teams or hierarchies. It is a cohesive unit of professionals focused on one objective at a time, the Product Goal.
SCRUM teams are cross-functional, meaning the members have all the skills necessary to create value each sprint. They are also self-managing, meaning they internally decide who does what, when, and how.