Scrum is like a Supermarket | Metaphors

Ohno, Chief Engineer at Toyota, in the 1940s – 60s, created the Toyota Production System. One of his insights, according to the book, The Toyota Way, was inspired by supermarkets.

  • Product Backlog – the shelf;
  • Selected Product Backlog – the shopping card;
  • Sprint – Time between putting the  goods into the  cart and delivery of dinner;
  • Women – Team;
  • Product Owner – The one who fills the shelf.

This metaphor is great, because it shows the most important principle in Scrum: The team pulls the work.

More tomorrow


2 responses to “Scrum is like a Supermarket | Metaphors

  1. Taiichi Ohno ( rules.

    Agile Methodologies are based in Just in Time production, delivering valuable software continuously.

    From the Agile Manifesto principles (
    Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

  2. Thanks for the links – One comment – Scrum is not based in Just-In-Time-Production, but in knowledge management. Scrum was created from a scientific mindset. Later Jeff figured out about Toyota.

    The point is – you can understand Scrum better, by understanding “The Toyota Way.”

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