AI and the Future of Agile Scrum: Innovations and Applications

With the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), innovations are rapidly emerging, even within Agile working according to Scrum. Therefore, this time I am focusing on the growing role of AI within Scrum and examining how this influences the future of Agile working.

AI-supported Scrum Masters

One of the notable developments is the changing role of the Scrum Master. Traditionally, Scrum Masters mainly functioned as facilitators. However, this role is gradually shifting to a more leading position with a focus on continuous improvement. Moreover, this development seems to go hand in hand with the integration of AI into Scrum processes.

AI tools such as Vabro, Jira, and Forecast support Scrum Masters with tasks such as analyzing team performance data, predicting potential bottlenecks, and generating insights for process improvements. This means that Scrum Masters can focus on strategic decision-making and team coaching, while routine tasks are automated.

Impact of AI on Scrum Teams

The integration of AI into Scrum processes has far-reaching consequences for teams:

  • Improved predictability: AI algorithms can analyze historical data to make more accurate estimates of the time needed to complete tasks.
  • Optimized backlog prioritization: AI can help identify the most valuable items in the product backlog, taking into account factors such as customer wishes, business goals, and technical feasibility.
  • Automated reporting: AI systems can generate real-time dashboards with key performance indicators, improving transparency and decision-making.
  • Personalized learning experiences: AI can assist individual team members in their professional development by suggesting personalized learning paths based on their performance and goals.

Practical Examples of AI in Scrum

Several companies are already experimenting with AI-supported Scrum processes. For example, a large technology company in Silicon Valley uses an AI system to optimize the efficiency of their sprints. The system analyzes historical sprint data and automatically suggests the optimal sprint length and team composition, resulting in a 20% increase in story point completion.

Another example is a fintech startup that uses AI for automated code reviews. This not only improved code quality but also significantly reduced the time developers spend reviewing each other’s work.

And ourselves? Try ‘Agi,’ our first GPT ‘Scrum tutor and coach’. Not perfect, but tirelessly available 24/7, oh dear 🙂

Integration of AI into Scrum Processes

There are several ways AI can be integrated into Scrum processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness:

  • Automatic task allocation: AI can match team members with tasks based on their skills and availability.
  • Predictive analytics: AI models can identify potential risks and delays in projects before they occur.
  • Automated testing processes: AI can help generate test scenarios and execute automated tests.
  • Intelligent standup assistants: AI chatbots can facilitate daily standup meetings and summarize key points.

Pros and Cons of AI in Scrum


  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Improved data-driven decision-making
  • More time for creative and strategic work


  • Potential loss of human insight and intuition (!)
  • Dependency on technology
  • Privacy concerns in collecting and analyzing team data

Tips for Implementing AI in Scrum

  • Stay human(!): Use AI as support, not as a replacement for human interaction and decision-making.
  • Start small: Begin by implementing AI in one aspect of your Scrum process and gradually expand.
  • Ensure transparency: Clearly communicate with the team about how and why AI is being used.
  • Invest in training: Ensure team members understand how to effectively collaborate with AI tools.
  • Monitor and evaluate: Closely monitor the impact of AI integration and adjust as necessary.


The integration of AI into Scrum processes offers enormous opportunities for increased efficiency and effectiveness. As we look ahead, Scrum Masters and teams that effectively utilize AI will have a significant competitive advantage. However, it is crucial to find a balance between technological innovation and the human aspects that make Agile working according to Scrum so powerful.

Agile Scrum Trends in 2024

The Agile mindset and its foundational Scrum framework continue to evolve in 2024, adapting to technological advancements and the changing needs of various sectors. Based on our experience and observations, here are the key trends shaping Agile Scrum training.

1.Integration of AI and Automation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly being integrated into Agile organizations. By automating routine tasks, AI enables team members to focus on more complex activities. Despite the necessary learning curve and initial hiccups, this boosts efficiency and productivity in Agile projects. More on the practical applications of AI within Agile Scrum practices will be covered in an upcoming blog.

2. Scaling Agile Practices

Agile thinking has long expanded beyond IT. Sectors such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, and even government are adopting Agile practices on a larger scale. The primary driver is the need to stay relevant and capable, but secondary drivers include the tight labor market—recent graduates prefer working in egalitarian teams with high personal responsibility—and the need for governments to stay aligned with their Agile suppliers.

3. Convergence of DevOps and Agile

The integration of DevOps principles within Agile practices is becoming more common. This convergence enhances collaboration between development and operational teams, leading to higher quality products and services delivered more quickly. This trend closely aligns with customer experiences and the feedback loop to development teams.

4. Data-Driven Decision Making

Agile teams are increasingly using metrics and analytical tools to measure project success and make informed decisions. Metrics such as velocity, burn-down and burn-up charts, and cumulative flow diagrams help track progress and identify improvement areas. When implemented correctly, this data-driven approach leads to more precise project outcomes and more efficient workflows.

5. Customer-Centricity

A customer-centric approach remains a core principle of Agile. Continuous customer feedback is crucial for refining products and services to better meet their needs. This trend is particularly important in sectors like retail and healthcare, where customer feedback drives the development of personalized experiences and improved patient outcomes. It is also becoming increasingly important for governments to ensure citizens experience a more personalized approach from their government.

6. Remote Agile Teams

The rise of hybrid and remote working has led to the adaptation of Agile practices for distributed Scrum teams. Effective communication and collaboration tools are essential for maintaining agile principles in a remote setting. This trend underscores the importance of tools like Jira and Vabro for managing projects and tracking progress in dispersed teams. More about these tools will be covered in a later blog.

7. Agile Training and Certification

The demand for Agile training and certification continues to grow. Certifications like Scrum Master Certified and Product Owner Certified are not only crucial for the successful implementation of Agile practices but also valuable for professionals looking to advance their careers in project management. These certifications demonstrate expertise in Agile practices and are increasingly recognized in the job market.


Agile and Scrum methodologies continue to evolve in 2024, with significant trends such as AI integration, scaling Agile practices, and a data-driven approach. These trends enhance efficiency, flexibility, and customer-centricity across various sectors. By staying informed about these developments, companies can optimize their project management practices and become more successful in an ever-changing market.

Free: the complete Scrum theory.

The complete Scrum theory in one handy book

In the Scrum Body of Knowledge, you’ll read the complete theory about the Scrum framework from A to Z. From the principles of Agile and Scrum, the various Scrum roles, to details about, for instance, estimating the risks of projects.

This entirely updated fourth edition (2022) also offers two additional chapters on scaling Scrum. Both for large projects and its application in big organizations.

The SBOK was developed as a guide for professionals and organizations wanting to implement Scrum and as a reference for those who already do. It includes contributions from many Scrum experts, based on their experiences in thousands of projects across various types of organizations.

The SBOK can be used as a reference and knowledge guide by both experienced Scrum professionals and other product and service developers. You don’t need any prior experience or knowledge of Scrum or other project and organizational methods.

You can download it here for free as a PDF e-book.

All the Benefits of Agile Working According to Scrum

In a previous article, I told you about the meaning and content of Agile working according to Scrum. But what does that actually bring you? A lot. I’ll explain: all the benefits of Agile working according to Scrum.


Let’s start with adaptability, in Scrum terminology ‘adaptability’. The beauty of Scrum is that it breathes flexibility. Within Scrum, a project is planned and delivered step by step, sprint by sprint. This means that every sprint is an opportunity to learn and adapt. If you’ve ever worked on a project where change was seen as an obstacle, you’ll find it refreshing how Scrum embraces change as an opportunity for improvement.


Scrum loves transparency. Scrum tools like the Scrumboard and the Sprint Burndown Chart are shared with everyone. This means everyone is aware of what’s happening, who’s working on what, and how close we are to our goals. No secrets, no surprises, open and honest communication.

Continuous Feedback

Scrum is like that true friend who also has your best interests in mind. Through daily standup meetings, reviews, and retrospective meetings, Scrum ensures constant feedback. This allows us to collaborate more closely, learn from our mistakes, celebrate our successes, and continue to improve.

Continuous Improvement

Speaking of improvement, Scrum is known for providing space for continuous improvement. Every sprint is an opportunity to make our product or service better. Not settling for “good enough”, we always strive for better.

Continuous Delivery of Value

Scrum is not only focused on improvement but also on delivering value earlier. Through Scrum’s iterative processes, we can deliver value to our customers and users sooner. No more waiting until the end of the project to see value; with Scrum, we see progress and results sooner.

Sustainable Pace

Another great advantage of Scrum is its sustainable pace. It has evolved in such a way that people can work at a pace they can maintain continuously. No exhaustion, no burnouts, but a sustainable and healthy pace that allows for long-term productivity and happiness.

Early Delivery of High Value

Within Scrum, we ensure that the customer’s highest value requirements are met first. This means we focus on delivering the most valuable features or components first, allowing customers to see value faster.

Efficient Development Process

Thanks to time-boxing, setting maximum times for meetings, and Scrum’s focused approach, we can achieve a higher level of efficiency. By minimizing non-essential work and focusing on what really matters, we can deliver results faster and more efficiently.


Scrum is also great for team motivation. Through the daily scrum and retrospective meetings, you are empowered to take responsibility for your part of the project. This makes you feel heard and valued, motivating you to further contribute to the team’s success.

Faster Problem Solving

In a Scrum environment, collaboration is encouraged, leading to faster problem-solving. And by working in a cross-functional team, problems can be solved more quickly.

Effective Deliveries

Scrum also ensures effective deliveries to the customer. With continuous revisions and improvements, we can deliver high-quality products or services to our customers.

Customer Focus

With Scrum, the customer is king. By emphasizing value and a strong collaborative approach with stakeholders, we ensure our efforts are always focused on what’s best for the customer.

High-Trust Environment

Scrum also promotes a high-trust environment. By conducting daily stand-ups and retrospective sprint processes, transparency and collaboration are encouraged, leading to a workplace with a high level of trust.

Collective Ownership

Within Scrum, project ownership is shared by all team members. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute, take responsibility, and own their work. This leads to higher quality and greater engagement in the work.

High Speed

Thanks to Scrum’s collaborative approach, teams can harness their full potential and perform at high speed. No time wasted on unnecessary meetings or bureaucracy, just fast, efficient progress.

Innovative Environment

Finally, Scrum fosters an innovative and creative work environment. Through retrospective processes, an environment of introspection, learning, and adaptability is created, leading to innovation and creativity.

These are all the benefits of Agile working according to Scrum. It’s not just about efficiency and productivity; it’s also about building a healthy, motivating, and innovative work environment. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.

Want to delve deeper into Scrum? Consider one of our certification trainings, such as Scrum Master or Scrum Product Owner.

Are you looking for which Scrum role suits you best? Try this short test.


Agile Scrum in Production: Innovation and Flexibility in Physical Product Development

Agile Working According to Scrum Was Never Limited to Software Development. In fact, business researchers Takeuchi and Nonaka discovered that companies experimented with product development using small, cross-disciplinary teams. This wasn’t about IT at all. Nowadays, more and more companies in the manufacturing and engineering sectors are discovering the benefits of this flexible approach for the development of physical products. By integrating Agile principles into their processes, these companies can innovate faster, better respond to changing market conditions, and increase customer satisfaction.

Agile Scrum in Practice

Wikispeed is a remarkable example of Agile Scrum in the production sector. This company developed a functional car in three months using Scrum principles. By breaking work into short sprints and focusing on incremental improvements, Wikispeed quickly developed prototypes and tested them efficiently.

John Deere, the manufacturer of agricultural machinery, implemented Agile methods in their product development process. Cross-functional teams and regular feedback loops shortened the time-to-market and better met the needs of farmers.

Tesla uses Agile principles in their production methods. Thanks to flexibility in production processes and rapid adjustments, Tesla can continuously implement improvements in their vehicles, even during production.

Benefits of Agile Scrum in Production

The implementation of Agile Scrum in production environments offers several benefits:

  • Increased Flexibility: Teams quickly respond to changing market conditions or customer needs.
  • Improved Quality: Regular feedback and iterative development identify and solve problems early.
  • Faster Time-to-Market: Products are developed and launched faster by breaking work into manageable sprints.
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction: By closely collaborating with customers and regularly collecting feedback, products are better aligned with end-user wishes.
  • Improved Team Communication: Daily stand-ups and regular sprint reviews promote transparency and collaboration within the team.

Challenges and Solutions

While Agile Scrum offers many benefits, there are also challenges in implementing it in production environments:

  • Physical Limitations: Physical products cannot be adjusted as easily as software. Solution: Focus on modular design and use 3D printing for rapid prototyping.
  • Longer Production Cycles: Production of physical goods often takes more time than software development. Solution: Adjust the sprint length to what is realistic for the product, for example, 4-6 weeks instead of the usual 2 weeks.
  • Safety and Regulatory Requirements: Physical products often must meet strict safety standards. Solution:Integrate compliance checks in every sprint and involve regulatory agencies early in the process.
  • Resistance to Change: Traditional production environments may resist new ways of working. Solution: Start with a pilot project and demonstrate the benefits before broadly implementing Agile Scrum.

Case Studies

In addition to the aforementioned examples, more companies have successfully implemented Agile Scrum in their production processes:

  • Bosch has integrated Agile methods into their product development. Scrum teams and regular sprint reviews reduced the development time of new products by 50% and improved quality.
  • Saab applied Agile principles in the development of their Gripen fighter jet. Iterative development and regular feedback from pilots led to a better-suited aircraft for end-users.
  • Ericsson implemented Agile methods in their hardware development. Cross-functional teams and regular sprint reviews shortened the time-to-market of new products and better responded to the rapidly changing telecom market.

Implementation of Agile Scrum in Production

For companies considering implementing Agile Scrum in their production environment, here are some key steps:

  • Start Small: Begin with a pilot project to test and adjust the methodology to the specific needs of your organization.
  • Train Your Teams: Ensure all team members are trained in Agile principles and Scrum methodologies.
  • Adapt the Methodology: Be flexible in the application of Scrum and adjust it as needed to meet the unique demands of physical product development.
  • Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement: Encourage teams to regularly reflect on their processes and implement improvements.
  • Invest in the Right Tools: Use project management tools such as Vabro and Jira that support Agile practices and facilitate the visualization of progress.


The application of Agile Scrum in production environments offers enormous opportunities for innovation and efficiency improvement. Although there are challenges, companies like Bosch, John Deere, Saab, Tesla, and Wikispeed show that it is possible to successfully integrate Agile principles into the development of physical products. By being flexible, closely collaborating with customers, and continuously improving, manufacturing companies can strengthen their competitive position and better respond to rapidly changing market conditions.

The key to success lies in adapting the Agile Scrum methodology to the specific needs of the production environment, overcoming the unique challenges of physical product development, and cultivating a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. With the right approach, companies in the manufacturing and engineering sectors can benefit from the flexibility, efficiency, and customer-centricity that Agile Scrum offers, thereby strengthening their market position.


Which Agile Scrum role suits you best?

Scrum team member, Product Owner or Scrum Master?

We often receive the question: which Scrum training should I take? Our response? It depends on which role aligns best with your interests and personality. So, the real question is: which Scrum role is the best fit for me?

In a core Scrum team, there are three distinct roles: Scrum Master, Scrum Product Owner, and Scrum team members. The Product Owner, in collaboration with the client, determines what to create and its priority. Based on this input, the Scrum team decides how to approach the task and plans the work. The Scrum Master facilitates and coaches the team, ensuring everyone adheres to the Scrum process.

Do you enjoy hands-on creation and are you an expert in a specific field? Then there’s a good chance you’ll excel as a Scrum team member. If you’re passionate about representing the client and have a clear vision of what needs to be produced, the Product Owner role might be tailor-made for you. If you thrive in serving and guiding others, and are more interested in the project as a process, you might be an excellent Scrum Master.

If you’re curious to explore this further and are considering a role as a Scrum Master or Product Owner, try the short test > here < to guide you on your journey.

Hybrid & Online Agile Scrum training & certification tailored to you

Depending on your knowledge and practical Agile Scrum experience, we have the following three options for you to train and certify yourself Agile as a Scrum Master or Scrum Product Owner.

Hybrid > Virtual Classroom + Physical Workshop day

If you have little or no knowledge or experience of Scrum or if you like to learn the theory together with other participants and have it explained based on practical examples, our Hybrid training is useful and nice:

  1. a few days before the training you will receive the written teaching material at home
  2. on the first and second half day of class you log in at home via your laptop or desktop in our Virtual Classroom. Both immediately following half online class days are from 09:00-13:00. Because you can see and talk to each other and there are a maximum of 7 other participants, the interaction is guaranteed, just like in a real Scrum team. In addition, you do not have to travel for these two half days and you have time in the afternoon for other activities.
  3. after the two half days of online classes you will receive a personal online e-learning for your laptop and tablet. Here you can further master the material on the basis of video material and quizzes and plan and take your exam.
  4. finally, you’ll follow the physical workshop day at our location in which we will practice the practice. Together you will go through an entire Scrum project on this day and you will experience how Scrum theory comes to life in practice and what it is like to be a Scrum Master or Product Owner in practice. Of course we plan this day in close consultation with all participants. And here too: because our teams are never larger than a maximum of 7 other participants, interactivity and safety are guaranteed.

Online > Virtual Classroom

If you already have a lot of practical experience as a Scrum Master or Product Owner and like to learn or refresh the theory interactively with others and to be able to ask questions and have them explained based on practical examples, but you do not need the physical workshop day, you can also choose to register for the Online training only. In that case, you will not participate in the practical workshop day and you will then go through the above steps up to and including 3.

e-learning Scrum Master Certified or Product Owner Certified

If you already have extensive experience with working Agile as a Scrum Master or Product Owner, you want to refresh the theory and certify yourself, then one of our e-learning courses is ideal for that. After registration you will receive a personal online learning environment that you can use via your laptop, PC or tablet. At the time that suits you, you can refresh your theory with videos and quiz questions and then plan your online exam to certify yourself as a Scrum Master or Product Owner Certified while you spend an hour for specific questions and exam preparation. -on-1 guidance from one of our trainers.

Agile working: what is it actually?

Agile working, you have probably heard of it. Just like with terms like agile coach, agile training, agile scrum, and so on. But what does it mean and what is agile working actually?


Agile working literally means ‘flexible’ or ‘viable’ working. And agile working is an important theme of this century. Due to globalization and rapid technological developments, such as the advent of the internet, customer wishes are changing at an ever faster pace.

This makes it a challenge for many teams and companies to stay competitive. Agile, agile organizations adapt faster to changing market conditions and are therefore more likely to survive and grow.

Classic examples of companies that changed their approach insufficiently quickly and were therefore miserably lost are Nokia, Kodak, Xerox, IBM, BlackBerry, Polaroid and V&D. If you look close to home in your own shopping street, you will see the same pattern: shops that often open in good spirits but often close their doors again quickly.

Many of these companies could have survived if they had started working agile in time. But what is agile working?

The emergence of Agile working: adaptive project management

To stay one step ahead of the competition, organizations had been looking for ways to be more agile long before the concept of ‘Agile working’ existed.

At the end of the last century, for example, a lot of thought was given to new ways of making adjustments more easily during projects: ‘Adaptive project management’.

This made it possible to respond better to fluctuating market conditions. In such a way that the end result is more relevant and valuable for the customer and end user.

Different ways of adaptive project management

Due to the rapid development of the IT industry at the end of the last century, this was logically one of the first fields in which new methods for adaptive project management were devised and tested.

Just a few of the large number of methods that have been developed over time are: Crystal, DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method), XP (eXtreme Programming), FDD (Feature Driven Development), ASD.

And yes, Scrum too.

Unlike other Agile methods, Scrum did not originate from software development in 1986, but emerged from comparative business research [1].

More about that in a future blog.

From different methods to an overarching vision

At the end of the last century there were already a lot of different methods for adaptive project management.

Agile working and the resulting agile methods stem from the ‘Agile Manifesto’.

This manifesto, which began as “Software Manifesto for Agile Development”[2], was conceived around a fire at the Snowbird ski resort in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains in the winter of February 2001.

It arose because the participants of the meeting, after undoubtedly a day of snow fun, tried to formulate a common vision for the various adaptive methods that had been developed up to that point.

Scrum, for example, saw the light of day as a concept at the end of the previous century in 1986.

The Agile manifesto briefly describes four prioritizing values ​​and thirteen related principles.

“People and their interaction over processes and tools

Working products/services over extensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiations

Responding to change over following a plan”

Freely translated, according to the manifesto, organizations work ‘agile’ if they: develop new products and/or services in close collaboration with their customer and thus respond flexibly to changing market conditions during development.

They do this because they prioritize people and their interactions over processes and tools and through an explicit focus on delivering added value for the customer, the end user.

The Agile Manifesto is thus the overarching vision or thought that brings together the various adaptive project management methods developed separately over time under one heading.

Agile working is therefore a vision for organizing people’s collaboration. Agile working and the agile methods that have arisen have various characteristics when implemented in the right way in an organization: from agile management to agile teams in day-to-day business operations.

Features Agile organizations: small self-managing teams

Agile organizations often work in small independent multidisciplinary teams that work in short cycles on relatively small tasks and receive continuous feedback from the ultimate customer or end user.

Have you ever been involved in a small team where communication is effortless and the group seems to think and act as one?

Such an agile team can analyze a situation, make a choice and act as if it were a single continuous flow


The A Team!

No supervisor tells them what to do. They trust the other team members.

That trust is rewarded when they perform.

It’s almost as if the group has a mind of its own. Direct conversations resolve all differences of opinion.

Working in such an agile team is great fun, if that suits you.

Characteristics of Agile organizations: strong customer focus

Agile organizations focus strongly on delivering value to customers.

Globalization, deregulation and new technologies, especially the Internet, offered the customer choices. Choices based on reliable information about these choices and the ability to interact with other suppliers.

Suddenly the customer was in charge and expected this value to come to him directly and without any effort.

In today’s competitive market, where customers expect immediate, trusted answers, a bureaucratic approach is becoming less and less effective.

The customer thinks: “Why should I wait? If you don’t deliver it now, I’ll find someone else who will.”

In a hierarchical bureaucracy, “the customer is number one” is really just a slogan. In true Agile organizations with agile management and agile teams, everyone is passionate and obsessed about delivering more value to customers.

Everyone in the organization has a clear view of the ultimate customer and can see how their work adds value to that customer – or not.

Characteristics of Agile organisations: the organization as a network

Agile organizations try to organize the organization as a transparent network of employees who work together towards a common goal of happy customers.

Hierarchical organizations often operate like a gigantic oil tanker: large and efficient, but slow and difficult to maneuver.

When the entire organization embraces Agile, the organization looks less like a giant ship, and more like a fleet of small speedboats.

Instead of a stationary machine, the organization is an organic living network of self-managing teams. The entire organization, including the top, is obsessed with delivering more value to customers.

Agile teams take the initiative themselves and work together with other Agile teams to solve common problems. Agile management also offers the teams this freedom.

How organizations can start working Agile

Agile working seems ideal, is necessary in many cases, but is not easy.

Certainly not for the larger organizations.

For example, organizations that want to work Agile because of their competitive position often choose a framework or method. Scrum is the most generic Agile method. It is therefore the most chosen.

And because Scrum is more of a framework than a method, many different types of implementations of Scrum have emerged over time, each of which meets specific needs of companies.

The question is what the meaning of agile working is for a specific organization. How is it implemented correctly and how does it align with the goals of the organization?

More about that in a later blog.

Agile working: in summary

Agile working means agile working. Agile working of organizations meets the rapidly changing market requirements of today.

In order to grow and remain competitive, organizations therefore want to work in an agile, agile way.

Working in Agile involves multidisciplinary teams that realize products and services in close cooperation and with a strong customer focus in short development cycles.

Agile working is a vision. To put that vision into practice, organizations use Agile methods. One of the most used Agile methods is Scrum.


Sources and references:

Harvard Business Review, the new new product development game:
Agile Manifesto:
Denning, S. Explaining agile -Forbes magazine, September 8, 2016-

Agile Scrum: what does it mean?

In a previous blog I wrote about Agile working. But what does ‘Agile Scrum’ actually mean?

The scrum in rugby

In rugby, scrum stands for a restart after a foul. All players then stand together in a circle, with teammates bracing themselves against the opponent with their arms over each other’s shoulders. That’s called a scrum. As soon as the rugby ball is thrown into the circle, the game can start again.

The term Scrum is also widely used as the name of an agile method for organizing projects. To make it clear that this is a scrum way for agile working instead of rugby. That is why the term agile is often added: agile scrum.

Agile Scrum is also about teams that put their shoulders to the wheel and together build a solid and stable foundation for organizing projects

Adaptive Project Management

People are always looking for methods and techniques to deliver products and services faster and more efficiently than the competition. Then you are at an advantage. It’s ‘survival of the fittest’: Darwin to the fullest!

That is why all kinds of adaptive project management methods have been devised over time, on the basis of which you can adjust more easily and faster during the project so that the result matches the changing needs of your customer even better.

One of those methods is Scrum. The major advantage of Scrum is that it can be used for many types of projects due to its generic nature. This makes it more popular than more specific agile methods.

Origin of Scrum

The term Scrum as a way of organizing work first surfaced in the 1980s in an article by business scientists Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, “The New New Product Development Game” in the Harvard Business Review of 1986[1]. .

Yes 1986, now more than thirty years ago.

The business scientists conducted worldwide research into the mutual differences in the effectiveness of companies. They found that small, self-organizing teams that are in close contact with the customer delivered better results in shorter cycles – i.e. faster – than less agile teams.

The analogy of standing shoulder to shoulder during a set game in rugby appealed to Takeuchi and Nonaka, which is why they named working in self-organizing teams as Scrum.

Years later, the American IT specialists and entrepreneurs Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber picked up on this Scrum principle, put it into practice and developed ‘Scrum’ and told about their experiences at a developers conference in 1995. From that moment on, Scrum gained more and more ground, first within ICT, later also within many other disciplines.

What is the difference between Agile and Scrum?

A frequently asked question. Agile is not a method, but a philosophy, a vision. A vision that started in 2001 as ‘Agile Manifesto for Software Development’. This was supplemented and explained in 2005 with the ‘Declaration of Interdependence’.

To put Agile working into practice, you can choose from many methods. Including Scrum, which of course also endorses the four basic values ​​of Agile. Fruit is to apple the way Agile is to Scrum.

The principles of Scrum

The ‘elevator pitch’ of Scrum is: ‘achieving the highest value in the shortest possible time’. The focus is on six principles:
Empirical process control: instead of detailed planning at the front of the project, Scrum planning runs during the project itself and is based on empiricism: the intermediate results achieved in practice.
Self-organization: in an Agile Scrum project, the Scrum teams organize themselves. The Scrum Master is only there to guide and Bye bye command-and-control type of leadership.
Collaboration: in Scrum, a strong focus is placed on collaboration with all ‘stakeholders’, according to the adage: together you create the end result. Instead of just throwing wishes over the wall and waiting to see what the project team comes up with. Prioritization by value: to deliver the highest value in the shortest possible time, a Scrum project relies heavily on prioritizing p value. The higher the expected added value of a component, the higher the priority for that partial result of the project.
Time-boxed: many meetings within Scrum are time-boxed. This means that it is known in advance how long a certain meeting may last. This provides structure, overview and promotes that meetings do not last longer than absolutely necessary.
Iterative development: within a Scrum project, the delivery of products and services is iterative, ie step by step. This makes it possible to assess a product or service during the project and make adjustments if necessary.

Scrum Roles

There are three roles in Scrum. These roles have no hierarchy among themselves.

There is, however, a clear division between who does what.

For example, the Scrum Product Owner has contact with the customer and determines in close consultation with the customer/client what needs to be made and with what priority. The Scrum team determines how something will be made and plans its own work. The Scrum Master guides the Scrum process and coaches and facilitates the Scrum team.

5 Phases, four of which are recursive.

There are five successive phases in Scrum. At first glance, these stages look very much like a classic waterfall project:

Firstly, the initiative phase, followed by the planning and estimation phase. Then the realization of the project results during the implementation phase, the assessment of the product results during the review & retrospective phase and finally the products are released to the market during the release phase.

So far no details. But: appearances are deceiving.

Because after the completion of that first initiative phase, you go through the other four phases, in repetition, over and over in a cycle. Until the end product – whether that is a service or a tangible product – is ready.

Each of these cycles is called a sprint within Scrum.

Scrum delivers value faster

Within Scrum, each part of the project is prioritized in advance based on value. A product that adds more value is given a higher priority and will therefore be dealt with sooner.

In that process, the power of Agile Scrum is the repeating pattern of the sprints.

Because as a result, partial products are already finished during the current project. So you can deliver it faster and that means a faster delivery of value. And the knife also cuts both ways. Because the experiences with the interim delivered partial products are also used to make the product even better in subsequent phases. As a result, the product matches the wishes of the customer even better.

Take, for example, the banking apps of ING and ABN-AMRO. In the beginning, customers could only view their bank balance. Nowadays such an app can do everything. As a consumer, you have your entire bank online with you. All that extra functionality has been added, bit by bit, over time.

That means a constant addition of value over the years. Due to the smooth introduction at the time, you as a consumer were able to use the app a long time ago. At that time, just checking your balance online was already of great value. By closely monitoring user experiences over time and responding to new needs, developers have been able to deal with changing user needs.

Is Agile Scrum a method or a framework?

Scrum is certainly not as methodical as, for example, PRINCE II (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) and therefore feels much more like a framework that you as an organization can draw from as needed.

After all, in the end it’s not about how you reach the highest value in the shortest time, but that you reach the highest value in the shortest possible time. At least before your competitor does. Because Scrum has the character of a framework, it can be used in many different ways.

Is Agile Scrum the most convenient organizational method in all cases?

No, certainly not in all cases. Scrum is an important consideration for companies and organizations that provide products or services in competitive markets and want to survive or grow in their market by delivering the highest value in the shortest possible time.

But if it concerns, for example, the production of products or services with a long life cycle at the lowest possible price, then the process optimization of, among others, Lean is a better choice. Scrum can make the difference in terms of market retention and market share. The theory behind working according to Agile Scrum is easy. A successful practical implementation, certainly in organizations that have existed for some time, is a different story and more unruly.

More about that in a later blog.

The Future of Agile Scrum

Just like the Agile philosophy, Agile working according to Scrum is indispensable. More and more organizations are therefore switching. It started with companies that started using Scrum because of the stiff competition in their markets. Many customers and suppliers are now also deciding to use Scrum. For example, the national government also uses Scrum at all kinds of levels.

The Scrum framework is evolving along with it. Derivatives of Scrum now exist for large organizations that want to organize themselves according to Scrum. Such as SaFE, Less, the Spotify model, etc., new updates are added regularly.

The bottom line, however, always remains: delivering the highest value in the shortest possible time!

Agile Scrum: in summary

Agile is a philosophy. To actually work Agile, there are many and diverse methods and frameworks.

One of those methods is Scrum. Scrum is popular because you use it for many

can use different disciplines.

The pitch of Scrum is: delivering the highest value in the shortest time.

Scrum does this by: prioritizing the value that a (sub) product delivers and by delivering (sub) products to the customer during the project.

Scrum is the method for companies and organizations that want to survive or grow in a highly dynamic market.

Sources and references:

Harvard Business Review, the new new product development game:
Agile Manifesto:
Would you like to learn more about Scrum? Then consider one of our certifying courses to e.g. Scrum Master or Scrum Product Owner.

Are you looking for which Scrum role suits you best? Then take this short quiz.

Howto organize large projects with Scrum? SoS!

More and more companies are interested in the Agile organization of projects with Scrum. As a result I am regularly asked what the maximum size of a Scrum team is and whether the size limits the maximum capacity of projects.

The short answer to that is yes and no: yes, there is a maximum size of an efficient self-managing Scrum team. However, because a Scrum organization is scalable, this has no influence on the maximum project capacity. Even large projects can be organized using Scrum.

A Scrum team is self-organizing

An efficient and self-managing Scrum team ideally consists of 5 to 8 team members. The team members are often generalist specialists who, in addition to their own expertise, are able to look beyond the boundaries of their own specialism. So they also have the soft skills to work collaboratively. Had the Magnificent Seven could ever function as a Scrum team?

The Chief PO decides and the Scrum Master coaches

Of course, a Scrum team of a maximum of about 8 members has a limited capacity. However, agile working according to scrum is scalable by using SOS. That means not in this case Help! but: Scrum of Scrum. A project organization in which multiple Scrum teams work together on a project in parallel. Each of these teams has its own Scrum Master and Product Owner. For the coordination of activities, communication between the teams is an important responsibility and task of the Chief Scrum Master who therefore regularly Scrum or Scrum meeting is organizing.

Depending on the status and need of a project, the frequency is several times a week or weekly and it is the Product Owner, Scrum Master or one of the team members who represent their team in the Convene Scrum or Scrum meeting.

How decisions from one team might impact the other team

Analogous to the setup of the Daily Standup meeting, the following questions are answered by the representative of each team at the start of the Scrum of Scrums meeting:

  1. what has your team been working on since last Scrum or Scrum meeting?
  2. what will your team finish until the next one Scrum or Scrum meeting?
  3. what obstacles are there that the other teams can help with?
  4. What decisions have been made in your team that may affect other teams?


After which, in contrast to the Daily standup meeting, there is not only coordination during the Scrum of Scrums, but often solutions are also sought.

From Scrum or Scrum to alternative methods

Just like a maximum number of scrum team members, the number of scrum teams in a Scrum of Scrums is also limited. As soon as more than 10 teams work within a Scrum or Scrums, they are split into scrum-or-scrum-or-scrums. So there are parallel Scrum or Scrums. The coordination of a scrum-of-scrum-of-scrums has its own challenges. And because the Scrum of Scrums offers (too) little guidance here as a tool, alternative methods have been developed over time for the implementation of large projects. Below SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) and the Spotify model.

Some of these methods are suitable for large organizations while others are better for organizing large projects in smaller companies. In addition, a model such as LeSS, for example, is more of a framework of principles, while SAFe, for example, describes almost a complete blueprint in detail. However, what they all have in common is that they allow (scrum) teams to work together in parallel in a coordinated manner: Scrum or Scrums.

Analogous to scaling projects, programs, collections of similar projects, and portfolios, collections of programs can also be well organized in the Scrum way, more about that in a later blog.


Scrum teams are therefore limited to a maximum of 10 members per team, but Scrum projects can be scaled by structuring them as pure Scrum or Scrums, SoS, or depending on the organization one of the variants as indicated above.