Agile in Nonprofits Interview with JJ Sutherland

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JJ Sutherland, CEO of Scrum Inc. also has years of personal experience using Agile in the nonprofit field. I was thrilled that JJ was willing to share a few pieces of advice specifically with the nonprofit community to help nonprofit professionals and organizations think about how to embrace their Agile mindset and implement the Scrum Framework. 


Often, when nonprofits are presented with the Scrum framework, they ask about how to “translate” the framework to the nonprofit setting. Our team partnered with your colleagues at Scrum, Inc to present the first Scrum Master for Nonprofits course which Agile in Nonprofits continues to offer. Our shared main message is that the Scrum framework is the “rule book” and we use nonprofit case studies within our courses to give you inspiration for how you create your unique “play book” for your nonprofit organization. JJ’s advice for nonprofits that are thinking about their “play book” was, no surprise, right on point. Check it out in the video clip below:


I have heard JJ say countless times that the most important thing about implementing the Scrum framework is to get started, not to stress about all the details and having things be perfect. To literally, “just” get started. Many nonprofit professionals though still struggle with or stress about *where* to get started. JJ has some great advice on where within the Scrum framework and the 5 events of the framework to get started. Here his advice directly from him in the video clip below:


Sometimes the question about getting started gets derailed a bit by the concern about who is starting the conversation about embracing an Agile mindset or trying to implement the Scrum framework. In looking at the nonprofit case studies we have been gathering at Agile in Nonprofits, there is often an Agile leader that spearheads the start of the organization’s Agile journey. But their title isn’t always CEO/Executive Director for the organization. Here is JJ’s definition of what it means to be an Agile leader for you to consider and share with your colleagues:


There were so many nuggets, and the three clips above are just a few of the highlights from the interview with JJ. You can see the full 15-minute interview with JJ here:



View all of our upcoming trainings and free resources to help you on your Agile journey on our website: