Author: İnanç Civaz

Relevant Service: Agile

Approach and Management

Contact: inanc.civaz

SCRUM: The Art of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time

 June 27th, 2019


Jeff Sutherland contributes to the Agile approach by introducing the concept of “Scrum” with other scholars. In his book Scrum, he explains us the dimensions of the Scrum framework by enriching the framework with his previous experiences and case studies. Sutherland conveys his knowledge and experiences with a simple language. Now, we will provide you some notes from the book.  If you are interested in the Agile approach, we recommend you read the article.




Scrum is assertive: it claims to increase the work efficiency up to 8 times more. Additionally, it stresses that the same work can be done with fewer people and in less time, and also work quality can increase.


Birth of Scrum

Scrum framework has a connection with the Japanese production system and philosophy. Ironically, after World War II, the Japanese have made many improvements when applying what they have learned from the USA. On the one hand, Systematic Process Control was an important work field in Japan in which many engineers have trained and developed themselves. On the other hand, it paved the way for the frame of Scrum. On the way of creating this frame, it is important to understand what is done in the sake of work, how well the work is done and what can be done for sustainable development. According to Sutherland, another factor as important as the above ones is the person’s freedom to choose the best working manner based on her/his self-perception. In short, an employee has partial autonomy.


Basis of Scrum

At its core, Scrum is based on a simple idea: a project should be controlled regularly from the beginning onwards. Otherwise, it is not possible to check whether the project progresses as planned and whether people really need the end product. According to the author, employees should take some breaks during work hours and ask themselves the following questions: What have I done until now? Was it what I was supposed to do for this job? How can I do it better? Although these questions might seem simple, the author states that employees must have the values of thinking, discipline, honesty, and introspection to answer these questions in the workplace. According to the author, Scrum is a system that takes these values at its core and transforms them into practice.

Scrum relies on simple logic. Japanese Professor Ikujiro Nonaka claims that Scrum is different than casual business models. According to Nonaka, Scrum is “the way of doing things better” that can be applied in many fields. Sutherland makes it clear that one must learn by doing internalize Scrum. Mind and spirit can only act together, if and only one has full attention and pays effort endlessly.

Sutherland compares good- and bad-functioning teams when designing Scrum. The common thread among good-functioning teams is unity of purpose, self-organization, and existence of necessary competencies for the project. Sutherland provides some insights for employers to receive quicker output efficiently from the team:

  • Doing two different tasks at the same time distracts an employee. In this situation, the projects that require more effort and money cannot be completed.
  • Correcting a mistake in the progress results in up to 20 times less in comparison with correcting after the project is completed.
  • Good relationships between employees in the workplace improve both employee happiness and productivity.


Scrum Team

Teamwork is very significant in Scrum. “Mindful unity” and “joint purpose” are integral specialties that teams have to possess. Scrum helps the teams evaluate what they produced and how they produced it. Also, in the book, it is highlighted that Scrum teams are supposed to be small since in the Scrum teams, every group member has to know what other group members are doing. Division of work in teams should be limited as the leading firms do today.

While Scrum rewards positive behavior, it tries to find the reason and solve it quickly in negative circumstances instead of blaming someone. It also affects the group performance more positively compared to the increase in the individual performance of one group member.

 Long story short, according to the book, one must correct the mistake instead of blaming someone in the group. The author suggests that teams should focus on their purpose while making plans, and they don’t plan everything. Also, teams should not be hooked on the plan, because plans could change if necessary.

We are sure you will enjoy our article that explains the Scrum framework with simple and informative based language.


Comment & Questions

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StratejiCo. is an independent Turkish corporate and public affairs consultancy firm, providing trusted advice to multinational companies and government institutions in Eurasia since 1987. 

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