What we’re reading: Scrum, by Jeff Sutherland

February 15, 2016 by Cale Johnson

ScrumEvery so often a book comes along and we all look at each other and say, “Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say.”

Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time is the latest.

His premise is straightforward: The way most of the world solves problems is broken. The default system — the one were we plan an elaborate series of how we will accomplish our work — functions about as well as the environment where it was born: trench warfare in WW1.

Humans are bad at planning, and we need to embrace that.

Instead, we’re better off focusing on prioritization, agreeing on where we’re headed, making work transparent, and collaborating together to solve the problems to get there. New stuff will come up and we’ll learn things along the way, and that’s OK — because we’re expecting that.

Honestly, if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to implementing scrum — there’s only about 10% of the book dedicated to that. You can find more tactical stuff elsewhere.

But we’ve added it to our required reading list knowing that sometimes it’s important to realize just how big of a problem bad project management is, and just how much more fun and more meaningful work can be when we get this right.

As a bonus, it’s also the first business book I’ve seen that features fighter jets, robots, and FBI investigations.

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