Scrum for the Creatives of Companies

Norman Foster closed his 90 persons office in Berlin (Berliner Zeitung, 5.3.). In the article “Rückzug eines Lords” the newspaper tells about the way people worked at Fosters. The star architekt runs his offices like small empires and he expects that people work hard, long and for little money.

According to my talks to people in this business this looks common. The people in the creative industry, game development studios, architects, advertising, fashion, movies work long hours and get pushed by deadlines all the time.

For me it looks obvious, that these industries/businesses do not have processes in place that suit their capital: people. Till now, when I talked to these people, they most of the time say: Scrum can not help us, it is not flexible enough. Hm … it sounds so familar: Five years ago, when I started to use Scrum in software development – the same arguments.

Maybe we can help you to run your company like Pixar: Creative places for highly intelligent, highly motivated and self driven people who just need a better way of organizing creative work.

3 responses to “Scrum for the Creatives of Companies

  1. I’m training an advertising company here in Córdoba Argentina, and it is impressive the analogies and similarities between the software industry and this one.
    Totally agree with you, talented people is the driven factor here as we have in software. To make things a little more complicated, there are no much objective evidence for determining when a work is ‘done’. That way is ESSENTIAL for them to work iteratively and closely with the customer rather than wait until they deliver what the customer does not want.
    After training these guys on-site, now I’m convinced that SCRUM is a great framework where they can mount their specific practices.

    Regards from Argentina.


    • Fabio, Scrum is the framework for the new way of working. It was never meant to be for software development only. Ken called his website: ControlChaos. Scrum was and is a framework to manage chaotic, complex environments. And yes — all new new product development is by definition not predictable and the only way to go in the right direction is by doing it. Step by Step. We cann call it Scrum, we can call it inspect and adapt, trial and error or what ever we want. We need to fail, we need to learn from this and we need to create something that will give us the opportunity to go the next step.

  2. Hi Boris,

    I worked with an online marketing operations group. Before they adopted Scrum and Lean they require 4 months to get new web advertisements from concept to production. To improve their process they adopted Scrum and re-designed their production process using Lean ideas such as value stream mapping and Kaizen. In three monsths their production process went from 4 months to 5 or 10 days for producing web advertising. They then started using for development of TV commercials in 2 weeks. It does work great for creative work in fact it can be more impactful because there are less of the tough unknowns found in software. The improvements are huge. The improvement in lifestyle is dramatic as well.

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