If you’re leading a Scrum team, you’re likely aware of its effectiveness in project management. However, to truly leverage Scrum, teams must embrace its five core values, much like the guiding principles of any organization. These values underpin the Scrum framework and need unanimous agreement among team members to be implemented in the team charter. We often associate “Scrum” with meetings, roles, and deliverables, yet seldom do we delve into its fundamental beliefs. Keep reading to gain insight into these five Scrum values, their significance, and how promoting these principles can enhance your team’s project management approach.
Agile – From a Way of Thinking to Actions
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Agile should be perceived as a mindset, a methodology for product creation. Unfortunately, the discourse frequently revolves around methods, practices, and structures, overlooking the fundamental philosophy. Thus, when organizations adopt Agile, it often appears they’re merely executing the process without truly grasping its essence. Scrum, a subset of Agile, is commonly delineated into a 4-3-3 structure: four crucial meetings, three roles, and three artifacts.
What are the Scrum Values?
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Scrum values constitute the guiding principles that shape the collaborative dynamics of a team, particularly among web developers. They comprise openness, courage, focus, commitment, and respect. These values foster effective collaboration and facilitate goal attainment. The success of implementing Scrum is directly tied to how proficiently individuals incorporate these five values into their daily work routines.
- Commitment: This implies that the Scrum team is wholly devoted to achieving its goals and assisting each other.
- Focus: The team prioritizes optimal progress toward their objectives above all else.
- Openness: Team members and stakeholders maintain transparency and honesty about their tasks and any challenges they encounter.
- Respect: Team members foster a culture of mutual respect, appreciating each other’s capabilities and autonomy, and expect the same in return from their collaborators.
- Courage: Members of the Scrum team have the courage to make sound decisions and address challenging issues head-on.
These values serve as a roadmap for the Scrum Team, guiding their work, decision-making, and conduct. All decisions made and actions taken should reinforce these values, not diminish or marginalize them. As team members engage in Scrum events and utilize artifacts, they gain a deeper understanding of these values’ importance. When the Scrum Team and their collaborators embody these values, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation are actively practiced, fostering a culture of trust.
How Can You Instill the Scrum Values In Your Team Members?
Instilling Scrum values in your team members may seem challenging. This is primarily because it involves altering mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors, rather than just daily routines or tool usage. Such a transformation is time-consuming and rarely straightforward. However, adherence to these values can yield substantial benefits for Scrum teams. The question then arises: how can this be achieved?
Here are some practical tips to instill Scrum values in your team:
- Treat Scrum values as living principles that should be visibly displayed, regularly assessed, and revised as necessary.
- Display these values in a common area and encourage each team member to share how they will embody these values in their daily work.
- Incorporate a “values reflection” segment in your retrospectives, enabling everyone to contemplate, discuss, and adjust their core beliefs.
- Establish a recognition system for those exemplifying Scrum values. This doesn’t need to be a grand reward – a simple, fun acknowledgment can go a long way. This recognition can be given to individuals, pairs, or even the whole team when they’ve demonstrated exceptional commitment to the values.
- Introduce a “value-drop moment” award to commend courage and encourage learning from mistakes. Ensure this is always presented positively to avoid negativity.
- The “whoops we dropped the value” prize shows bravery, but also shows when we made a mistake and lost a value. Certainly, this reward has the potential to cause negativity, so it is important to always present it in an enjoyable manner without any negative meanings.
- Invite individuals outside the team, like managers or stakeholders, to discuss the importance of these values and their personal interpretations, thereby broadening the team’s perspective.
How to Apply Scrum Values in Everyday Work?
Courage, focus, commitment, respect, and openness are pivotal in any work setting, even outside the Scrum framework. So, how do we actualize these principles in daily work? Here’s how to weave Scrum values into your everyday work:
- Share the principles: Engage in open discussions with your team about Scrum values. If using the term “Scrum” seems counterproductive, just focus on the five core values and ensure team members concur with their adoption.
- Exemplify the values: As a team leader or project manager, embodying these values is crucial. Teams are more likely to follow these values if they see them demonstrated by their leaders.
- Leverage technology: Consider digital tools that align with Scrum principles. Not all project management tools adhere to these principles. Select a platform that promotes seamless communication and fosters independent work among team members.
- Utilize beneficial tools: Implement Kanban boards and flexible process creation tools, which are invaluable for managing digital projects. Opt for software that provides robust collaboration tools and a team-oriented interface, making them ideal for Scrum teams.
Commitment within the Scrum framework signifies a team’s pledge to diligently work towards their goals and support each other. At its core, commitment implies total dedication and substantial effort. Given the inherent unpredictability associated with complex tasks and challenging circumstances, commitment in Scrum shouldn’t be misconstrued as a rigid promise or contract. While Scrum projects may not typically involve extreme urgency or life-or-death situations, the fundamental idea of commitment still applies.
Scrum teams must unite to accomplish a shared goal, requiring trust in each other’s ability to fulfill their roles and give their best. This level of commitment can only be achieved when every team member is entirely devoted to the project.
Why is Commitment Important in Scrum?
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Being committed is really important, especially when people do mental and creative work, such as coding, testing, and writing system requirements. We can’t use Frederick Winslow Taylor’s methods or the command and control management style to measure and track people’s work in this situation.
Team members need to be dedicated and focused on their work, the team, the quality, the Sprint and Product Goals, and acting professionally. Only then can they achieve great results. Being committed is very important throughout the entire Sprint. It also helps the team come up with a realistic to-do list for the Sprint during their planning meetings.
Also Read: Product Testing: Best Practices And Tips For Success
How to Have a Committed Team?
- It may seem small, but if you want your team members to be dedicated, you have to make them understand the importance of their work
- Make sure everyone on the team can see how the project is valuable for the business by asking the client representatives, product owners, and users how the software, a new feature, or a change in the application helps them in their daily work, makes them work faster, gets rid of problems, and so on
- You must encourage your team members to do more, and wanting to do more is important for staying committed
The main goal is to focus on the work of the Sprint in order to make the best progress towards these goals. What goals does the Scrum Guide talk about? Is it about the Sprint goal or the Product goal? If you read the entire paragraph from the Scrum Guide, you will see that it is talking about the goals of the Scrum Team.
The main goal of the Scrum Team is to create value by developing a product. They have a long-term goal called the Product Goal and a short-term goal called the Sprint Goal, which helps them stay focused on the main team goal. In Scrum, timeboxing helps people concentrate on what is currently important rather than worrying about things that may be important in the future.
Why is it Necessary to Focus?
Focus is very important and difficult to achieve in our fast-paced and constantly changing world. Emails, phone notifications, slack messages, social media, and other things greatly affect our work and attention. Working from home can be very distracting for some people, especially during a lockdown. However, it is important to concentrate if we want to do well in our mental tasks. If we don’t stay focused, we could waste a lot of time without getting anything important done.
How to Get Your Team Focussed?
If you want to learn about how to stay focused, concentrate, and work more efficiently, you should definitely read Deep Work by Cal Newport. You will learn many things about how to concentrate in a world full of distractions. Also, you might find these tips helpful.
- Schedule a time for the entire team where they can work without interruptions or distractions, such as meetings or checking messages through Slack. During this time, everyone is not required to read or respond to any messages on Slack
- Talk about what things distract the team during the Retrospective meeting and figure out ways to avoid, eliminate, or lessen them
- Make sure to constantly remind the team about the main objectives they need to achieve during the sprint and for the overall product
- Give the “Pomodoro” technique a try
The Scrum Team and the people who are interested in their work are honest and transparent about what they are doing and the difficulties they face. Being open and honest is really important in Scrum because it helps everyone understand what’s going on.
To make the most progress in the shortest time possible, each member of the Scrum team needs to be very honest and open about their own progress. The reason for the daily Scrum meeting is to find and fix issues. This can’t happen if team members don’t share the problems or obstacles they’re facing. In addition, team members need to be willing to work with their colleagues and see them as important contributors to the project’s success.
Also Read: Staff Augmentation Is Set To Take A Front Seat In 2022
Why is it Important to Have Openness in the Team?
Being open is very important for working well together, and working well together is very important for creating and providing high-quality products using the Scrum framework.
Everyone in the team and everyone involved in the project should be honest and communicate about their work, progress, and difficulties. Furthermore, it is crucial to be open when giving feedback and learning from others. Being open as a person also means being truthful about what you can do and how your work will impact your teammates. If people don’t openly share information, problems like delays and obstacles will happen.
How Can We Accomplish Openness Together as a Team?
- Create a setting where people can openly express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions without any restrictions
- It’s important to always be truthful and open with other people. This will make them feel comfortable to be honest with you as well
- Do not criticize, shout, or punish someone just because their opinion is different from yours (even if you think they are most likely wrong)
In a Scrum Team, everyone values and trusts each other. They see each other as capable individuals who can work on their own. In return, they also receive respect from their teammates. In a Scrum team, respect means understanding that no one person is more important than anyone else.
Respect means trusting your team members to do their tasks, listening to their ideas, and recognizing their achievements. Scrum masters can promote respect in their teams by showing respect to the product owner, stakeholders, and their team members. It doesn’t matter who your co-workers are outside of the Scrum team. What matters is how well they work together to achieve team goals. It is also important to respect and understand customers and stakeholders in order to meet their needs effectively.
Why is it Important to Show Respect?
Respect is closely linked to being open and honest with others. However, if someone is not respectful while being frank, it can come across as rude. Every group or community, no matter if it’s in the Scrum framework or not, should value different opinions and perspectives, as well as people with different personalities and cultural backgrounds.
We must also listen to and accept changes made by the client, or their decisions about how to create and improve the product. Respecting others helps us communicate better with people in different positions, and it also means being able to accept helpful feedback without getting defensive.
How to Give and Receive Respect as a Team?
- If you are a project manager or a team leader, you should set a good example for others to imitate. Pay close attention when people are speaking to you and if you have a different opinion, express it politely and considerately
- If someone on your team is being rude to others, talk to them privately and let them know that their behavior is not acceptable
- It can be very difficult when the client representative does not show respect towards the people working on the project. However, we should never ignore or overlook this behavior
- It is very important to point out specific examples and situations that show how their actions affected the team. The discussion might be difficult, so be prepared and ask your Account Manager or an HR Business Partner for help if needed
The members of a Scrum Team are brave enough to do what is right and to solve difficult problems. If you come across something you don’t know or find a problem, don’t hesitate to ask difficult questions. Your power to be truthful and ask questions about the way things are may be the thing that helps make things better during a certain time period of work.
Scrum values the courage of every person who contributes to the team. Sometimes, we don’t typically associate courage with office jobs, but there are situations where we still need to be brave. For instance, it is brave to say when something is wrong, even if fixing it will take time away from your team. It requires even more courage if a person in a higher position makes that mistake. Having courage means facing tough challenges directly instead of avoiding or giving them to someone else to handle.
Why is it Important to Have a Courageous Team?
It can be scary to question what other people think, but it’s important to speak up when we disagree or have concerns. Admitting that we made a mistake is brave, and it takes courage to protect our beliefs and principles. Show bravery by challenging yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable in order to succeed. By sticking to your goal and thinking less about yourself, you can solve difficult problems and achieve surprising outcomes.
How Can We Have a Courageous Team?
- Be brave and encourage others in your team to be brave too
- If someone is feeling shy, be sure to give them space to share their thoughts during a conversation.
- Make sure to be helpful and uplifting when helping team members step out of their comfort zones. For instance, you can ask them to lead a meeting like a Retrospective or a Sprint Review
Scrum Values-focused Reflection
We found it very helpful when we did this type of review with lots of our teams. The entire activity lasts from 1 to 1. 5 All you need is a Miro board (or even Google Sheets) and Google Meet with a breakout rooms option.
- Make a simple old-fashioned board. You can also get a template for Scrum Values that is already prepared
- Divide the people into five smaller groups (you can use Zoom or Google Meet for the online gathering). Each group will focus on a different idea or topic
- The aim is to use post-it notes to show how each attitude or behavior either helps or harms the team’s values. We can spend about 15 minutes on this task
- Gather everyone in the common room and talk about what you found and what you think
- Did you notice any good behaviors in your team? Is there something you need to stop doing?
- End the retrospective by summarizing what was discussed and coming up with specific actions that are important for your team
Difference Between Scrum Values and Scrum Principles
The five Scrum values are important qualities that guide how team members behave. On the other hand, Scrum principles are like rules from outside that ensure the right way to use the Scrum methodology. For the best outcome, use both of them together. Here are the six Scrum principles:
- Empirical process control: It means that the scrum teams will adjust and modify their approach according to the requirements of the project.
- Self-organization: It means that each team member is in charge of handling and finishing their own tasks.
- Time-boxing: It is a way for teams to set specific amounts of time for activities like planning, reviewing, and discussing progress. This helps teams stay organized and focused on their tasks.
- Value based prioritization: Each team member focuses on completing the most important tasks first.
- Iterative development: It means that the team regularly checks the processes and products to find and fix any problems or ways to make them better. Because of this, every Scrum is unique.
- Collaboration: It means that team members work together and set aside their disagreements to create something that will benefit the product or service as a whole. Trust is important because it helps team members communicate better.
In conclusion, Scrum values constitute a set of desirable traits every team member should strive to imbibe. They facilitate tackling challenging tasks, foster team unity, and bring clarity to decision-making. These values are critical in forming the guidelines that dictate a Scrum team’s operations. Teams new to Scrum often bring ingrained habits from previous methodologies like the waterfall model, which may initially clash with Scrum values. To ease this transition, it’s vital to understand the key differences between these values and help team members adjust their perspectives and attitudes accordingly. This provides a solid foundation for Scrum teams to grow and evolve in the future.
What are the five Scrum values?
Commitment, Courage, Openness, Focus and Respect are the five Scrum values which can be found in the Scrum guide.
Are Scrum values and Scrum principles the same?
No, they are not the same. Scrum values are internal guidelines to be followed by a team whereas scrum principles are external rules that help to follow this method.
Why is respect important in Scrum?
When we respect others, we can learn from people who have different roles than us. It also helps to get feedback that can be useful, without getting upset or defensive.
How do the Scrum values align with other agile methodologies and frameworks?
Scrum values align with other Agile methodologies and frameworks by embodying principles crucial for effective Agile practices. Though the Scrum framework explicitly emphasizes its five core values, these values are not confined to Scrum, but are present across various other Agile methodologies.