KDDI, Scrum, ESM Partner to Form New Venture Optimizing Agile Project Development

―Supporting organizational transformation for rapid responses to changes in technology and markets―

  • Scrum Inc.
  • ESM, Inc.

March 8,2019

KDDI CORPORATION (Headquarters: Chiyoda, Tokyo, President: Makoto Takahashi), Scrum Inc. (Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts, CEO: JJ Sutherland) and ESM, Inc. (Headquarters: Fukui, Fukui Prefecture, CEO: Kenji Hiranabe) have formed the joint venture Scrum Inc. Japan that will enable corporate clients to achieve innovation through the introduction and the training of the Scrum framework of Agile development.[Jump to the applicable section1]

Established on January 29, 2019, Scrum Inc. Japan is scheduled to begin operation in April. It is capitalized at ¥75 million with a capital participation ratio of 51% to 44% to 5% for KDDI, Scrum Inc. and ESM, Inc. respectively.

The Scrum framework, co-created by Scrum Inc. founder Dr. Jeff Sutherland, is a practice for driving innovation. New products or features are released after repeated quick iterations based on customer feedback. Scrum has been adopted worldwide by companies and governments making it the world's most widely used Agile practice in recent years, Scrum has been in high demand among Japanese companies, which use it as a path for digital transformation to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies like 5G, IoT and AI into their business operations.

In January 2017, KDDI, Scrum Inc. and ESM, Inc. formed a business partnership to help numerous Japanese companies adopt Scrum, offering Scrum Inc. license seminars and assigning Scrum coach personnel.

Scrum Inc.'s Principal Trainer and President of Hardware Joe Justice will lead the Agile Transformation efforts and support the growth of Scrum adoption in Japan for Scrum Inc. Japan. In addition, ESM, Inc. CEO Kenji Hiranabe, having helped bring Scrum into widespread use throughout Japan in the development of software, will be the Scrum Inc. Japan board of directors. The combination of experience and expert knowledge contributed by Justice and Hiranabe, and Scrum implementation know-how of the three-way partnership will accelerate the ability of Japanese companies to realize innovation.

The joint efforts of the three partners have thus far included support for Toyota Motor Corp. next-generation vehicle development subsidiary Toyota Research Institute―Advanced Development Inc (TRI-AD) in its companywide application of Scrum. The work is contributing to the achievement of innovation through agile project development in an industry marked by rapid progress.

Scrum Inc. Founder and Scrum co-creator Dr. Jeff Sutherland commented: "Scrum Inc. helps companies worldwide to radically change their business practices to be relevant in a rapidly changing world. Scrum Inc. Japan is the first time we have established a new entity to focus exclusively on one country. The energy, passion, and determination of our partners and the opportunity to fundamentally shift Japanese business practices made this joint venture with KDDI and ESM, Inc. something we felt we had to do."

Scrum Inc. CEO J.J. Sutherland commented: "Japan is a country with a history of innovating, inventing, and executing new ways of working to great effect. The mission of Scrum Inc. has always been to change the way people work globally, and Japan offers a unique opportunity to have a definitive impact on a major world economy. KDDI, ESM, Inc., and Scrum Inc. passionately believe Scrum Inc. Japan is the natural evolution of our joint efforts to lead the Agile transformation of Japan."

About Scrum Inc.

Scrum Inc., the world's leading authority on Scrum, provides premier training, consulting, and coaching that enables organizations to deliver value faster and reduce waste. Scrum Inc. was founded by Dr. Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, and has helped hundreds of organizations, from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, fundamentally re-shape themselves to dramatically increase productivity, and drive growth.

Hitotsubashi University Professor Emeritus Ikujiro Nonaka, co-author of "The New New Product Development Game," the innovation theory upon which Scrum is based commented: "The genuine theory and practice of Scrum provided by Scrum Inc. Japan includes both growth for business and rewarding work for people. It will likely be the key to future sustainable innovation at Japanese companies, and to their co-creation of global markets."

In addition to making available the cumulative know-how of the three partner companies, Scrum Inc. Japan will bring new strength to corporate structure as it accelerates the achievement of innovation at companies that adopt Scrum.

Overview of the partnership

  • (1)
    Company name: Scrum Inc. Japan
  • (2)
    Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • (3)
    Established: January 29, 2019
  • (4)
    Business activities: Scrum Inc. certification seminars, scrum coach assignment, consulting, etc.
  • (5)
    Representative: Minoru Aramoto
  • (6)
    Capital: ¥75 million
  • [1]
    The process of joint venture is scheduled to be completed at the end of March 2019.

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