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Blog

Scrum Values - What are they and why are they Important?

02 Jul 2019

The five Scrum Values are courage, focus, commitment, respect and openness. While they had implicitly been at the core of Scrum, it wasn’t until 2016 that they were officially included in the Scrum Guide as part of an update. 

Today, we will take a closer look at the five Scrum Values and how they help guide Scrum Teams in truly understanding the framework and getting the most out of it.

Scrum Values cheat sheet scrum.org

Courage

It takes courage to embrace changes that are welcomed in Scrum. It also takes courage to admit that you're wrong and that your idea might not have been the right course of action for the project. Courage is, therefore, one of the core values of the Scrum framework. It's required to avoid building stuff that nobody wants for the sake of competitiveness and instead building products with the highest value to consumers. 

What's more, it takes courage to comprehend that no project is truly predictable and that plans or the requirements may not be perfect. Courage is also required to be transparent and share any relevant information that might help the teams succeed. 

Sharing the risks, as well as the benefits relies on courage and finding inspiration and innovation in changes retypes boldness. That's why courage is a fundamental value for everyone involved in the Scrum process. 

Focus

Scrum is an incremental and time-boxed process that encourages people to focus on what's important right now and not on what may or may not become important in the near future. That's why everyone involved in the Scrum process focuses on the work at hand, as well as on the Scrum goals. 

This allows them to learn important things that are present so that experience can be used to improve work in the future. That's why sprints are there to keep people focused on making the customers happy by continuously delivering working bits of software and constantly improving what's been delivered so far. 

Commitment

The term commitment was quite twisted in the software development world, especially by the traditional methods that were strongly present for many years. That being said, commitment became mandatory because someone ordered you to commit or it was expected from you, whereas, today people in Scrum are encouraged to commit on their own volition and not because someone told them to do so. 

That's why people actually commit to their team, quality, collaboration, learning, self-organization, sprint goals and many other qualities. They also commit to doing the best they can and towards achieving excellence. That's why commitment is of the utmost importance in the Scrum framework but it should be encouraged and not enforced. That way people will actually commit to building working software instead of impersonating commitment to satisfy the upper management.

Respect

Respect is the next on the list of Scrum values. Respect is essential to foster a collaborative and self-organizing environment that Scrum teams work in. There are many ways to emphasize respect on Scrum projects. For example, you can show respect for the people and their background, experience and professionalism. You can show respect by valuing the difference in opinion. You can respect customers by not delivering products that are half-done and undeveloped. 

You show respect to stakeholders by asking for their feedback and acting upon that feedback. You can also show respect by not wasting money on building features that hold no value or features that aren't useful to anyone. You show respect by fixing exiting, as well as potential problems. 

Last but not least, you respect the Scrum framework by sharing information and avoiding isolating the Scrum teams. The collaboration and sharing of skills and experiences are vital for the success of the project.

Openness

Transparency is something a collaborative environment cannot exist without, which is why openness is, in fact, a core value of the Scrum framework. Openness encompasses telling people about your work. That way if you ever run into any problems or challenges that may hinder your progress you can always find someone willing to help you overcome obstacles. Being open towards other people's opinions and welcoming their advice is also essential. 

Both developers and stakeholders must also be open about their expectations and needs. Sharing the information and leveraging feedback is crucial for successfully developing working products that hold the highest value. In addition, being open towards changes is one of the primary principles of Agile on which Scrum is based on. That's why it's important to look at the bigger picture and be open to a broad environment in Scrum projects. 

That way people can learn from one another and share experiences towards achieving the common goal. 

The Scrum framework is simple in its design but it's not easy to implement or master it. Scrum values are there to reinforce the Three PIllars of Scrum which are essential to having strong, mature Scrum Teams. As such, they are an inseparable part of any successful Scrum experience.