I spend my working days helping companies effectively use scrum and other agile practices to create healthier working environments and increased business value. Today, I found myself reflecting on the path that led here. Below is an abbreviated timeline of events in the evolution of scrum. I’ve included a few bits of my journey with scrum as well.
An Abridged History Of Scrum
Winston Royce publishes “Managing The Development Of Large Software Systems.” This paper is often cited as the origin of waterfall development. While Royce describes what became known as waterfall, he argues against it in the paper. He actually advocates for a more iterative, two pass approach, instead of the single pass of waterfall.
Barry Boehm publishes the first version of “A Spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement.” The Spiral model is iterative, though not necessarily incremental. It has a strong focus on risk reduction.
The Harvard Business Review publishes “The New New Product Development Game” by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka. They advocate for an approach to product development that would increase speed and flexibility, based on case studies. They describe cross-functional teams working like a scrum in rugby.
The first OOPSLA conference is held. The OOPSLA community includes many of the people who become pioneers in the agile space.
The DSDM Consortium is founded and the first version of the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is published. DSDM fixes cost, quality and time. Scope is variable and prioritization is a key aspect of DSDM. DSDM is both iterative and incremental.
Even before this, many pioneers were actively discussing and debating their ideas on the usenet newsgroups, including comp.lang.smalltalk (many agile pioneers were part of the Smalltalk community) and comp.object. In 1995 Jeff Sutherland starts a thread titled “SCRUM and Why the Waterfall Methodology is a Fool’s Errand …,” in which 60 authors discuss and debate various practices that would eventually be called agile practices. An unedited archive of some posts from those groups is available here.
Kent Beck becomes the project leader of the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation (C3) system. Kent, Ron Jeffries, Ward Cunningham, and Martin Fowler create Extreme Programming (XP) while working on C3.
The book Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems by Jim Highsmith is published.
The Manifesto for Agile Software Development is created at a 3 day event at The Lodge at Snowbird ski resort outside of Salt Lake City. The word ‘agile’ is chosen over ‘lightweight’ to describe the approaches practiced by the participants.
Agile Alliance forms.
First Scrum Gathering held in Boulder, Colorado.
First European Scrum Gathering held in Vienna.
Jeff Sutherland publishes the paper “Agile Development:
Lessons Learned From The First Scrum.”
The Boston Scrum Gathering happens.
The Scrum Alliance changes legal entities and becomes a non-profit.
Spring Scrum Gathering held in Portland, Oregon May 7-11.
Fall Scrum Gathering held in London, Nov 12-16.
Agile Learning Labs offers their first public workshops.
A pre-release proof of Scrum Guide is distributed at the 2009 Scrum Gathering in Orlando. Chris Sims and Ainsley Nies facilitate the Open Space at this gathering. The proceedings are still available.
The first official version of Scrum Guide is published by Scrum Alliance.
The Scrum Guide is updated.
Devon Morris becomes the first black CST.
The Scrum Guide is updated.
It’s been a fascinating journey. Those of us practicing scrum today stand on the shoulders of the giants who blazed the trail to now. I’m sure I’ve left out important events and people. Despite best efforts, I may have dates or other details incorrect. Please fill in the missing bits by leaving comments or sending me a message.