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A Note from our New CEO, JJ Sutherland

Photo of Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland side by side at a desk talkingIn December of 1993 my father, Jeff Sutherland, gathered a team of people and asked them to go on a new journey with him, a new way of working. A way he had started developing forty years prior while a cadet at West Point, developed through years as a fighter pilot, as a professor seeking new treatments for cancer, and leading six different technology companies. A way of working rooted in respect for people, a way to unleash human potential, a way that delivered results faster than anyone had ever thought possible. A way with the unlikely name of Scrum.

That first Scrum Team had no idea they would ultimately reshape millions of lives the world over. This January marks twenty-four years since that first Sprint. Scrum Inc. was founded just twelve years ago with a clear mission, as my father put it: “To fundamentally alter the way of work; to make the world a better place by building teams of better people.”

That mission strikes me as more urgent today as I begin my first day as CEO of Scrum Inc. The change we have the extraordinary fortune to be living through is re-writing the social compact, changing how people live, relate to each other, think about ourselves and our communities, what we are capable of, and who we want to be and possibly can become. We live in a time of unprecedented possibility. Fewer people live in poverty now than at any other time in human history. Fewer children die. Fewer wars are fought. Fewer people live under tyrants.

It is easy to focus on disruption and danger, fear and fatigue. Those are real. And our path as a species is far from set or certain, but I believe deeply that Scrum, and Scrum Inc. can help put a thumb on the scale for a better world.

Last year Scrum Inc. worked with Teams in sixteen countries and on every continent save Antarctica. We help organizations in domains covering every field of human endeavor, software, data science, banking, defense, manufacturing, automotive, oil and gas, power and water, space, aviation, retail, robotics, automation, media, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, health care and transportation. We have grown dramatically, gathering together some of the finest minds and bravest thinkers on the planet. We have also failed quickly, learned mightily, and had dramatic success.

 

As the founder of Scrum Inc. Jeff’s presence will continue to be felt daily. He will continue to teach and write, research, speak, and develop new ideas. He will continue the work of sharing Scrum@Scale to a community well beyond Scrum Inc. and engage with leaders globally. While he will no longer be CEO of the company, he will instead now have the most important title in Scrum: Team Member.

We at Scrum Inc., through more than twenty years continue our commitment to Jeff’s vision and legacy of better people, better teams, and a better world for our customers, our partners, and each other.

 

J.J. Sutherland
CEO, Scrum Inc.

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