Taking 3 Steps Back: Our Origin Story

We are often asked about our name. 3Back. What does that mean? That’s a loaded question, because our name truly paints the picture of who we are as a company, as a group of people both energized and intrigued by Scrum, as respected Certified Trainers, Coaches, Consultants and Authors.

Our name, like our approach to Modern Scrum, was born out of real-world experience. It was also born out of many grueling and hot summer days spent suspended on a ladder painting houses. As our Founder Doug Shimp tells the story, one day as a teenager earning money as a house painter, he had an epiphany that would shape how he approached painting. And, years later, would shape how he formed our company.

After making some colossal painting mistakes that caused him a great deal of time and money to fix, he realized something. It wasn’t the painting itself that led to his mistakes. It was his inability to inspect his progress on the job and to adapt his work to accurately meet the needs of his customer. He realized that to deliver a good product (a well-painted house) and repeat this process with other products (more houses so he could earn more money) he needed to change his perspective. He needed to get down off the ladder and take three steps back. He needed to assess his work and make immediate adjustments. Little did he know at the time that his new ‘three steps back’ philosophy nicely mirrored the basic principles of Scrum. (continue reading below)


Fast forward several years and here we are, 3Back; a group of experts in agile practices and Scrum Theory, who are passionate about transforming these fundamentals into a practical implementation that makes Teams better. Our training, coaching and consulting is grounded in exploring real world, client-driven experiences. The result is meaningful, hands-on, adult learning focused on improving your Team’s efficiency, effectiveness, and empowerment through Scrum.

Many of us have had our own ‘three steps back’ moments. Perhaps it was when hanging pictures on a wall, or rearranging furniture in a room. We intuitively take ‘three steps back’ to alter our vantage point, pause, examine our work and make changes. In these moments, we are practicing one of the most important principles of Scrum. It makes sense. And now, so does our 3Back name.

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As Always, Stay Agile.