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Scum is a framework or technique for completing projects that is agile and iterative. The word comes from rugby which Takeuchi and Nonaka chose as the metaphor for their "The new new product development game" (Harvard Business Review, January-February 1986.) Takeuchi and Nonaka argued that fast and flexible approach was needed to develop new products quickly.

The traditional sequential or "relay race" approach to product development- exemplified by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's phased program planning (PPP) system-may conflict with the goals of maximum speed and flexibility. Instead, a holistic or "rugby" approach-where a team tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth-may better serve today's competitive requirements.
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