Saturday, June 06, 2009

Scrum in Church

We presented this paper at Agile 2009. Our reviewers think this will become one of the great Agile papers.

Scrum in Church: Saving the World One Team at a Time
Rev. Arline Conan Sutherland, Jeff Sutherland, Ph.D., Christine Hegarty

From 2005-2009 the author led Scrum teams in churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, and Delaware. Scrum was designed to increase productivity and improve quality through teamwork. This experience report shows how Scrum was implemented in non-profit organizations to break down silos of knowledge and activity, encourage communication and collaboration, improve the working environment and personal relationships, and drive higher velocity and quality throughout the organization. Nonprofits have impediments that are difficult to overcome – parttime and volunteer workers, narrow specialization, little to no experience with project teams, and political problems whose roots can go back as far as 1692. Scrum as an institutional change agent is invaluable to a church.


Ladybeetle2U said...

Hi Jeff,

very good job! Some of the content is just what I'm been looking for. Hope to speak with you about this on June 24th next.
Watch out for 'scrumbut(t) seekers' and 'scrum only to be applied for software' evangelists!
Kind regards,

Catherine said...

Wonderful paper! I love this line: "It’s moving from blaming and shaming to naming and claiming responsibility." Looking forward to your next paper Rev. Sutherland!

Catherine Louis

The Shiny Monkey said...

It's this what the Quakers and Mennonites have been doing for centuries?


Seriously though, this is a wonderful idea.

There's no better way to break down theologies premised upon mind control and blame than to introduce scrum and agile thinking!

Oluf said...

Great paper!

I wonder, though, if the fact that this was only tried in Unitarian Universalist congregations is what made it successful. I think people in those kinds of congregations are more open to new "features". Most religious institutions are about preserving traditions at all cost. That's why they are religions - they "bind" you.

GiovaneDiLungoCorso said...

I wrote three articles on my blog about Scrum in Church.
My blog is in Italian.