Take No Prisoners: How a Venture Capital Group Does Scrum

room: Crystal B — time: Wednesday 11:00-11:45, Wednesday 11:45-12:30
Level: Practicing

In 2007, OpenView Venture Partners decided to adopt Scrum as best practice in software development in its portfolio companies and Scrum as the standard practice in all internal operations. The OpenView Scrum teams aggressively remove all impediments (take no prisoners). Attached is a reference model that supports best practices in management, sales, marketing, finance, development, and customer support in OpenView portfolio companies. After over 52 weekly Sprints, OpenView is the first non-software Scrum to provide a working manual on how to do Scrum outside of software development.


An initial draft of a proposed paper is attached. This will be revised in consultation with an Agile 2009 shepherd upon acceptance.

Jeff Sutherland, Senior Advisor to OpenView Venture Partners and Igor Altman from OpenView Labs will describe the background and implementation of Scrum for all operations at OpenView Venture Partners and for their portfolio companies which implement Scrum for senior management teams, marketing, finance, and other groups in addition to software development.

A detailed handbook of the Scrum implementation at OpenView Labs will be available to participants.

It will take 60 minutes to review the extensive learnings achieved by Scrum teams that aggressively remove all impediments. The way they doubled production and quality while significantly reducing working hours will be described and how they are working towards a second doubling of performance at a sustainable pace.

There will be 30 minutes for questions and discussion.

Learning outcomes
  • Participants will understand Agile best practices as viewed by venture capital investors on:
  • Team structure
  • Sprint length
  • Product ownership and product backlog
  • User stories, sizing and planning
  • Daily Scrums
  • Retrospectives
  • Velocity
  • Benefits and challenges
Featured participants
Primary target persona