Jeff Sutherland on how to make the magic happen

A large audience gathered at the Rabobank Auditorium in Utrecht for the book presentation of Jeff Sutherland, Tuesday 20 January. Before the founder of Scrum himself took the stage, several other introductions on Agile topics were made.

Jeroen Venneman (Agile Consortium) and Edwin Clerkx (Rabobank) started with a lively presentation of Scaling Agile. And to make the theScaling ball game ory tangible, the front rows of the auditiorium were asked to participate in a ball game. Clarifying and fun!

Adjacent to the scaling presentation, the official launch of the NovaScrum coachgroup was staged. A group of seven Scrum coaches – all operating in professional domains other than IT and writing a book on this subject together – presented their initiative and took the audience through several cases.

Introduced by Rabobank who generously offered to host this event, and by his Dutch publisher Sander Ruys from Maven publishers, Jeff Sutherland started with his own story. How he discovered what feedback presented in a visible way did to the parading qualities of his platoon: going from the worst presentation to the best in less than a year. And another: during the time he flew as an army pilot in Vietnam he discovered that the pilots who were keeping themselves to the predefined flight plan were less likely to return than those who were improvising from the moment they had their first encounter.

Off course he also addressed the productivity promises of Scrum that are so prominently on the cover of his new book. But he also downplayed them a bit by stating that there will always be a difference in the performance of teams, just like in sports. There are a lot of good teams and there are a few excellent teams. And there are also teams that do not function yet. The magic does not happen. “It’s like the lights aren’t turned on”. Jeff’s advice for such teams? Use the Scrum bootstrap. A simple but highly effective mechanism. “Just do everything what’s in the free 17 paged Scrum Guide, downloadable on quite a few places, and start from there. If you apply all that is inside, it will work.”

The whole afternoon was captured on video. You can watch it following this link (Password: Scrum)



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