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

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

Jeff Sutherland. Crown, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-34645-0

Sutherland, CEO of Scrum Inc., offers a system for doing better work in less time, with fewer people, and at lower cost. Named after how players move the ball down the field in rugby, “Scrum” gives teams “the tools to self-organize and rapidly improve both speed and quality of work.” The system is based on the simple idea of regularly checking in with your team to see if the work being done and is headed in the right direction, and making sure that the goal is still the same. As Sutherland explains, this process requires “thought, introspection, honesty, and discipline.” Sutherland uses a case study of an FBI modernization project called Sentinel, among other examples, to show how current ways of working and organizing can be futile. Using the Scrum system of sequential goals (which must be completed in a fixed length of time), he details how teams should work together, get regular feedback, and refine their workflow. He suggests regular team debriefs so individuals can discuss how they accomplished their tasks, what slowed them down, and how they can improve. Sutherland makes a convincing case for this thoughtful way of working. (Sept.)