Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Meeting Nonaka-san in Tokyo

Sean Osawa

The historic event

An historic event, Innovation Sprint 2011, took place in Japan on January 13. As some readers may know, the word Kanban in agile methodology comes from Japanese production methodology. But Kanban is not only the word in agile methodology that's from Japan; Scrum is too. (Technically speaking, Scrum is a term from Rugby, but, as far as I know, it was first used in a business context in Japan)
Dr. Jeff Sutherland started Scrum, originally inspired by the idea of in the article The new new product development game written by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in Harvard Business Review back in 1986. 
Jeff has been wanting to meet Ikujiro for the last 17 years. Ironically, Ikujiro had not even known that his terminology had been used in the software development industry until the spring of 2010, when Mr. Kenji Hiranabe asked him to have a speaking session at Agile Japan 2010.
An incredibly motivated scrum master, Mr. Yasunobu Kawaguchi wanted to see Jeff's talk with Ikujiro and asked Jeff to join Agile Japan 2010, but he could not make it due to his schedule. However, Yasunobu did not give up and finally make it happened this January.
(The above photo is used with the permission by Junichi Niino - Innovation Sprint 2011 report in Publickey.)

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