Scrum Trends to Watch For at the Cutting Edge of Agile Development

March 14, 2013

Dr. Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum, identifies the trends set to have a major impact on agile development over the course of the year. Some of his insights may surprise you.

Scrum Trends to Watch For at the Cutting Edge of Agile Development

The economy may be slowly bouncing back, but companies across the country are still looking to reduce their inefficiencies while ratcheting up productivity. For many, that means asking their employees to produce more with less, and that makes Scrum more necessary and in-demand than ever.
What do the next 12 months have in store for Scrum? Here are three areas to watch for indications of how the methodology is rapidly adapting and being put to new use.

1) The Best Defense is an Agile Defense

Scrum continues to grow in popularity and acceptance, and the proof is in the numbers. The Department of Defense now requires, as mandated by Congress, that all government contracts for defense include agile development. You will see this reflected at In less than a year’s time, the number of jobs involving Scrum increased by a factor of nearly 30, going from 20,000 all the way up to 580,000.
Clearly, as Scrum continues to gain in popularity and breadth, more and more exciting, interesting, and unexpected uses will arise.

2) Scrum Isn’t Just For Software Anymore

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We have also found that Scrum is being adopted by an increasing number of hardware companies, especially lean hardware. This is happening as software becomes a greater part of each product. Once upon a time the software budget for a fighter aircraft was 10 to 15 percent. Today, 90 percent of the budget is allocated for software, making the need for Scrum acute.
You will see the same sort of ratio happening in automobiles. We have recently heard that Ford has one hundred million lines of code in some of its models, which is astounding. Expect to see more and more Scrum in hardware companies you might not have expected in the coming year.

3) Back to School with Scrum?

Once you’ve implemented agile development methodology, it’s never too soon to take it to the next level.

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Going beyond hardware, we are starting to see Scrum implemented across all forms of development, including in the classroom.
Currently, it is being used in schools in the Netherlands and the United States to help teachers educate young children. Children adopt a learning backlog and every day they discuss how they are going to go about tackling that list of items.
This enables the children to help one another out, which in turns allows teachers to group children of different ability levels together. Not only that, but it’s helping to limit disciplinary issues while also keeping morale of students up, as they are taking a much more hands-on approach to their own learning.
With an ever-increasing popularity, these are just a few of the places you can expect to see Scrum popping up in 2013 and beyond.

What developments do you foresee impacting Scrum and other agile methodologies?


<strong>Dr. Jeff Sutherland</strong> is the co-creator of Scrum and a leading expert on how the framework has evolved to meet the needs of today’s business. As the CEO of <a href="">Scrum Inc.</a> and the Senior Advisor and Agile Coach to OpenView Venture Partners, Jeff sets the vision for success with Scrum. He continues to share best practices with organizations around the globe and has written extensively on Scrum rules and methods. With a deep understanding of business process — gleaned from years as CTO/CEO of eleven different software companies — Jeff is able to describe the high level organizational benefits of Scrum and what it takes to create hyperproductive teams.