LinkedInJeff Sutherland

Jeff Sutherland

CEO at Scrum, Inc.

Greater Boston Area
Computer Software
  1. Scrum, Inc.,
  2. Scrum Foundation,
  3. OpenView Venture Partners
  1. PatientKeeper,
  2. IDX Systems,
  3. Individual Inc.
  1. University of Colorado School of Medicine
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Scrum, Inc.

Scrum, Inc.


– Present

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Jeff Sutherland, the inventor and Co-Creator of Scrum, started his career as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force where he achieved Top Gun status in 1967 and flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam.

After 11 years as a pilot, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Medical School where he received his Doctoral degree. As Asst. Prof.of Radiology, Biometrics, and Preventive Medicine he co-founded the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research under the sponsorship of Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and for eight years was the Principle Investigator of a National Cancer Center research grant that ran all IT programs and research for the Colorado Regional Cancer Center.

In 1983 he joined a banking company that operated 150 banks throughout North America where he was VP of Advanced Systems and General Manager of their ATM Business Unit. Noticing that waterfall processes at the bank were not working, he implemented the first prototype of Scrum for organizational transformation of a business unit.

He has been VP of Engineering and CTO or CEO of eleven software companies. In the first four companies he prototyped Scrum and in the fifth company created Scrum as we now see it used in 74% of Agile software companies in over 100 countries.

In 2006, Sutherland established his own company, Scrum, Inc. now recognized as the premiere source of Scrum Training in the world. He is also chair of the Scrum Foundation and Senior Advisor and Agile Coach to Openview Venture Partners. His latest book, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time," describes how he used his background and experience to create the most widely used Agile practice in industry today.



Scrum, Inc.
– Present (8 years 6 months)MIT Cambridge Innovation Center, Cambridge, MA

Scrum, Inc. was founded by Jeff to continue and extend thought leadership on Scrum by coaching, training, and transforming companies, moving Scrum beyond it's initial IT focus to cover all business domains, and publishing new books and web content to help set a high standard for Scrum implementations. Many companies working with Scrum, Inc. have tripled both both productivity and revenue in the first year of Agile deployment. This requires aggressive commitment to performance improvement by management and software development teams. Scrum Inc. enjoys working most with companies that want to go from good to great whether they are starting out with Scrum or have been doing Scrum for many years.


Scrum Foundation
– Present (6 years 6 months)Cambridge, MA

The Scrum Foundation (formerly Training Institute) is the premier global provider of certified Scrum training and consulting. Founded by four of the leading Scrum experts in the US, Europe, and Asia, STI provides a complete solution for companies seeking high-impact results from Scrum and Agile development. Our team includes the leaders of some of the largest enterprise Scrum implementations to date, totaling thousands of employees worldwide. The STI founders are some of the most experienced Scrum practitioners anywhere, and worked with many of the world’s best-known companies on their Scrum and Agile implementations, companies ranging from Google and Microsoft to IBM, Oracle, HP, among many others. The STI has a full-time presence by its founders in the US, Europe, and Asia, and is the largest provider of certified Scrum training in India. We have extensive experience using Scrum successfully for offshore and multi-location development, including in a services environment and at CMMI Level 5 organizations.

Senior Advisor

OpenView Venture Partners
– Present (7 years 4 months)

Dr. Sutherland has trained the OpenView Venture Partners team in Agile processes and they will be the first venture group to run all operations with Scrum. The group has a $200M portfolio of funded companies and all of them use Agile processes. Jeff is working with each of the companies training and consulting on the Scrum development process and using Scrum as an agent of organizational transformation driving the Scrum process up through senior management and into the Board room.

CTO & Worldwide Scrum Consulting Practice Manager

(8 years 6 months)Waltham, MA

New venture in healthcare mobile/wireless computing. Design and deploy platform architecture to support financial and clinical applications on all major mobile device types and the web with backend integration to all heathcare vendor systems and homegrown clinical data repositories via web services, HL7, or direct SQL binding. Used the Scrum Agile Development Process (Type C Scrum) to achieve industry leadership for the PatientKeeper Platform (GartnerGroup, 2002).

Hired by founders in 2000 with zero revenue. The Scrum implementation achieved 50M in revenue by 2007.

CTO & SVP Engineering and Product Development

IDX Systems
(4 years 4 months)

Introduced Scrum to a nationwide team of over 500 developers with a $47M budget. Launched the first web-enabled patient information system (Outreach) and the first physician's practice management system on the web (IDXSite); a high-volume transaction processing application. OutReach provides physicians with web-browser Internet access to important patient financial and clinical information. IDXsite provides complete billing, accounts receivable, scheduling, and manage care claims processing for physician groups.

IDX was acquired by General Electric in 2005 to become GE Healthcare.

VP Engineering

Individual Inc.
(3 months)

Co-founded Individual in 1988 to bring out the first personalized newspage. In 1996, I returned to introduce Scrum when the company went public

The Individual experience demonstrated that Scrum is extremely well suited to internet development, even when using older technologies (no Java). A highly productive Scrum implementation delivered two new products in three months.

Individual was acquired by NewsEdge and is now owned by Personal NewsPage is still alive at on the web.

This is one of the many technologies I created together with many great developers that lives on in company after company - the Matisse object database, Personal NewsPage, Object Studio and its derivative works, the IDX web desktop now GE Healthcare's front end, PatientKeeper's mobile technology used by Cerner, GE, and others, and the most popular of all, the Scrum development process.

VP Object Technology

(1 year 1 month)

In 1995, VMARK acquired Easel Corporation. Introduced Ken Schwaber to the first Scrum development team and we agreed that he would roll out the Scrum process industrywide. Helped Ken write the first paper on Scrum which was published at OOPSLA'95.

Worked worldwide with VMARK subsidiaries in the U.S., Europe, and Australia to evangelize object-oriented development and Scrum. Ran the first senior management team Scrum to roll out new internet products at VMARK.

VMARK changed its name to Ascential Software and was acquired by IBM in 1995.

VP Object Technology

Easel Corporation
(2 years 1 month)

This is the company where Scrum was born. I was hired into Easel Corporation as Chief Engineer for developing a new product, Object Studio, the first object-oriented analysis and design tool to implement round trip engineering.

I led the team that invented Scrum at Easel Corporation in 1993 and used it to deliver two major releases of Object Studio in 1994. In 1995, provided Kent Beck background information on Scrum which helped him with the invention of eXtreme Programming. In 1995, Easel Corporation was acquired by VMARK. It was at VMARK that I introduce Ken Schwaber to the first Scrum team and he agreed to expand Scrum outside of Easel into the software industry worldwide.


Object Databases
(3 years 8 months)

Developed and deployed the Matisse Object Database, still considered the fastest and most reliable database in existence in $10B nuclear reprocessing plants all over the world. Captures all sensor readings in real-time in these plants, runs lights out without downtime for years at a time, and is 15 times faster than the Sun native file system.

Helped bring in venture funding for Object Databases which created the Matisse Corporation, now located in Mountain View, CA.

VP Engineering

Graphael, Inc.
(1 year 10 months)

Brought the french GBASE Lisp Object Database to the U.S. and deployed it in advanced technology groups at Boeing, Titan, TASC, American Airlines, etc. As a Graphael consultant, responsible for developing next generation architecture for Boeing Computer Services based on object technology.

This company was restructured as Object Databases and is now Matisse Corporation, a venture backed firm in Mountain View, CA.

VP Engineering

Saddlebrook Corp.
(1 year 7 months)

Responsible for all product development including a new banking system. When I consulted for Bank of America some years later they had allocated $350 for such system. Today it would probably cost closer to $1B. Used traditional project management techniques which inevitably led to late delivery, poor quality, and user dissatisfaction. I was brought in to fix this. It taught me a lesson about traditional project management that led to Scrum.

VP Advanced Systems

Mid-Continent Computer Services
(3 years 1 month)

Responsible for Automated Teller System business unit that supported 150 banks in North America. Project leader for Mid-Continent investment in Saddlebrook which led to taking over engineering there.

Asst. Prof. Radiology, Biometrics, Preventive Medicine

University of Colorado School of Medicine
(3 years 5 months)

Imaging research and supervision of Ph.D. program. Principle Investigator of National Cancer Institute grants for Colorado Regional Cancer Center. Worked out the current model of tumor formation with leading researchers worldwide. Co-Founder of the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research under the sponsorship of Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling.

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Co-Chair, Clinical Statement Work Group

(3 years)Science and Technology

Previously the Orders and Observations committee that generated standards for core clinical data.

Opportunities Jeff is looking for:

Causes Jeff cares about:

  • Health
  • Science and Technology

Organizations Jeff supports:


Scrum Patterns(Link)

– Present

I am the founder and Product Owner of the Scrum PLoP® project: a joint effort across the Scrum community leadership to create a definitive reference for the Scrum framework. See more at the web site.

Team members:

Scrum Inc.'s ScrumLab(Link)

– Present

Scrum Inc. asked me to consolidate, edit, update and write pre-existing and new content for their ScrumLab project. Scrum Inc. provides training for individuals, teams, business units and whole companies in business operations and strategy.

Team members:


  1. French


  • Scrum
  • Agile
  • Process Development
  • CMMI
  • Software Development
  • Venture Capital
  • Agile Project Management
  • Private Equity
  • Continuous Integration
  • Certified Scrum Master...
  • Iterative
  • Software Project...
  • Kanban
  • SOA
  • Start-ups
  • Angel Investing
  • OOP
  • OOAD
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Corporate Development
  • Due Diligence
  • Integration
  • Software Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Software Design
  • Web Services
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Product Management
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • SaaS
  • E-commerce
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Program Management
  • Databases
  • Process Simulation
  • Test Driven Development
  • RUP
  • SQL
  • Project Management
  • Extreme Programming
  • Cloud Computing
  • User Experience
  • Java
  • Process Improvement
  • Web Applications
  • Mobile Devices
  • Enterprise Software
  • Oracle
  • System Architecture
  • UML
  • See 35+  See less


Scrum in Sales: How to improve account management and sales processes(Link)

Agile 2011
August 2011

How to use Scrum in Sales and how it can double your revenue


Scrum and Lean: How to use them together to create hyperproductive teams(Link)

Agile Alliance
August 2011

Scrum is Lean Product Development. They were the same teams viewed by Takeuchi and Nonaka as the teams viewed by Womack who wrote Lean Thinking.


Fully Distributed Scrum, a Case Study(Link)

AGILE '08 Proceedings of the Agile 2008
August 2008

Scrum was designed to achieve a hyperproductive state where productivity increases 5-10 times over industry averages and many collocated teams have achieved this effect. The question for this paper is whether distributed, offshore teams can consistently achieve the hyperproductive state.


Scrum Metrics for Hyperproductive Teams(Link)

Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences 2013
January 2013

Scrum Teams use lightweight tools like Story Points, the Burndown chart & Velocity. While essential, these tools alone are insufficient to maintain a high energy state of Hyperproductivity. But the data collection must be extremely lightweight to avoid the Heisenberg effect. The unique contribution of this paper is to demonstrate how a light touch and lightweight strategy can be used to compare Teams with different Story Point reference scales.


Adaptive Engineering of Large Software Projects with Distributed/Outsourced Teams(Link)

Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS06)

Distributed Scrum: Agile Project Management with Outsourced Development Teams(Link)

40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'07)

While challenging, it is possible to run a distributed Scrum that violates Brooks Law. A globally distributed team can run as fast as a collocated team if certain requirements are met.



University of Colorado School of Medicine

Ph.D., Biometrics, Radiology, Preventive Medicine

Doctoral Degree in Biometrics and Radiology

Activities and Societies: Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research

Stanford University

M.S., Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science

Masters in Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science

Activities and Societies: Creative Initiative Foundation

West Point

B.S., Engineering, Mathematics, Economics

Engineering, Mathematics, and Economics

Activities and Societies: Gymnastics

Honors & Awards

Microsoft Business Framework Advisory Council, 2003-2006
Co-Investigator, OR of the Future, University of Maryland Medical System, 2003-2005
One of the “Most Influential Forces in Healthcare IT,” Advance for Health Information Executives Journal, October, 2000
President's Council, ACCION International, Cambridge, 1992-1995
Who's Who in Finance and Industry, 26th Edition, 1989
Kellogg National Fellowship, an innovative three-year leadership training program sponsored and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 1983-1986
USAF Academy Fellowship, Stanford University, 1970-1972
Distinguished Flying Cross, 11 Air Medals, Commendation Medal, 100 reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam, United States Air Force, 1967-1968
Top Gun, RF4C Phantom Aircraft Commander Training Squadron, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, 1967
Distinguished Graduate, US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Phi Kappa Phi, 9th in class of 600, 1964
Full Scholarship, Columbia University, 1959-1960

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