It is well-known that the early start of the agile movement began in the Japanese manufacturing sector. Long before those famous group of software designers and developers who developed the Agile Manifesto got together, the Japanese were already combining their lean thinking with iterative and incremental delivery approaches to create processes that should be recognized as being the early precursors to the later agile methods.
In a 1986 Harvard Business Review article, two Japanese researchers — Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka — first used the term “scrum” to describe practices that we considered today as being tightly related to the agile movement. Their article is referring to new practices that were being used at that time in product development initiatives in Japan.
I invite you to read this document and discover by yourself the relevance of their observations, which are surprinsigly valid until today.