To understand Enterprise Scrum, we must first understand the difference between production and development. Production can be done with the “defined” approach – aka repeatable processes with repeatable tasks, and arguably with repeatable skills. Development on the other hand, always has “unknowns” into the future, so development, and development-style processes have to be managed with “empirical processes”, like Scrum. When we look how far we can carry that division, we see that that Strategy, Marketing, Product or Service Development (non-software), Software Development, Basic Research, Process Redesign, and even Startup management, are development-like processes, that can use empirical management. On the other hand, Payroll, Accounting, most Customer Service, Production or Manufacturing, Service execution that are workflow-based, are “defined processes”, that take a production paradigm.
So we define Enterprise Scrum as the application of Scrum anywhere, and at any level, of the enterprise. Anywhere where empirical management makes sense.
Where is the empirical evidence? I have seen Enterprise Scrum being practiced in the span of 16 years and 25 countries, in different flavors, of course.
Here is my conclusion:
“Empirical management” is slowly emerging – regardless of how we call it as a NEW management paradigm.
We see this trend emerge from different sources like Blue Ocean, Radical Management, Innovator's Dilemma, Innovator's Soution, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and the growing number of governance frameworks that work on multi-level feedback loops. And it is all a pre-requsite in a world that demands faster and faster innovation with a higher and higher order of change.
It is inevitable – we are on the verge of a management revolution, and at its core is empirical management, with Scrum being one of the better documented and well understood techniques we know so far.