Scrum in HR-one thought for today

In a post last week I talked about Scrum and how it might be applied to the HR field.  There is much to say about Scrum and how it is revolutionizing the software development field.  Let’s take a step back to review what Scrum is all about before we leap forward with HR applications for this process.

What is Scrum?  Based on my research the first mention of scrum came from an HBRarticle in 1986 by Takeuchi and Nonaka talking about the product development world.  The first full implementation of scrum came in 1993 when Jeff Sutherland, Jeff McKenna and John Scumniotales  implemented Scrum at Easel Corporation.

Sutherland and Schwaber then presented a paper in 1995 talking about SCRUM Development and software and the rest, as they say, is history.

Scrum draws upon a basic set of principles that I have listed below:

1. Organize work in short cycles:
2. The management doesn’t interrupt the team during a work cycle.
3. The team reports to the client, not the manager:
4. The team estimates how much time work will take:
5. The team decides how much work it can do in an iteration:
6. The team decides how to do the work in the iteration:
7. The team measures its own performance:
8. Define work goals before each cycle starts:
9. Define work goals through user stories:
10. Systematically remove impediments:

My thoughts on using Scrum in the HR field are not the first.  Michael James wrote this article about what HR doesn’t know about Scrum in 2010.

Seedbox Technologies has an interesting presentation on Agile HR that Agile HR

SCRUMStudy blog Agile and HR Management about Agile and HR management from 2013.

Here are some of the common points I think you will glean when you read these items:

  1. Scrum is about process
  2. Incremental progress is a key goal
  3. Collaboration among multiple functions is essential
  4. HR is a key business partner when thinking in an Agile framework

Come back again later this week when we talk more about specific instances where Scrum and Agile principles have been used effectively in the business world.

At that time I will also share how our firm will utilize Agile thinking for our own internal success and also as an external component for our clients.