Explore the Five Scrum Values to Unlock Agility in Your Team

Traditional project management can feel rigid and slow to adapt. But what if there was a better way? Consider following Scrum, a popular agile framework that prioritizes flexibility and responsiveness.

At the heart of the Scrum framework lie five core values that serve as guiding principles for teams wanting to achieve agility. These values—Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage—form the foundation upon which successful Scrum teams are built.

In this article, we'll explore each of the five Scrum values and help you learn their significance, practical implications, and transformative power. Let's start with an introduction to Scrum.

A Brief Overview of Scrum As a Popular Framework 

Agile includes different methods and systems, with Scrum being the top choice. According to Digital.ai's latest 16th State of Agile report, 87% of respondents use Scrum.

So, scrum is the most popular agile framework used for project management, especially in software development. It's designed to help teams work collaboratively and deliver products incrementally in short cycles. Here's a breakdown of the key aspects of Scrum:

Values: Scrum emphasizes transparency, inspection, and adaptation. This means teams should be open about their work, regularly inspect progress, and be ready to adapt their approach as needed.

Roles: There are three main roles in Scrum.

  • Product Owner: The person responsible for prioritizing the work and representing the interests of the stakeholders.
  • Scrum Master: The facilitator who ensures the team follows the Scrum process and removes any roadblocks.
  • Developers/Executives: The team members who do the actual work of building the product.

Team: Scrum teams are typically small and cross-functional, meaning they have all the skills necessary to complete a task without relying on others outside the team.

Iterations: Scrum works in cycles called sprints, which are usually two to four weeks long. Each sprint focuses on delivering a specific set of features or functionalities.

Events: Scrum also has several events and scrum meetings that help keep the team on track and provide opportunities for feedback. The events are as follows:

  • Sprint Planning: The team plans the work for the upcoming sprint.
  • Daily Scrum: A short daily meeting where team members discuss progress and identify any roadblocks.
  • Sprint Review: A meeting at the end of the sprint to showcase the completed work to stakeholders and gather feedback.
  • Sprint Retrospective: A meeting for the team to reflect on the sprint and identify areas for improvement.

The 5 Scrum Values You Should Follow

The 5 Scrum Values You Should Follow

Scrum thrives on five core values: commitment, focus, openness, respect, and courage. These values guide the overall team behavior.

Commitment ensures everyone is dedicated to achieving sprint goals. Focus keeps the team on track. Openness fosters trust through honest communication. Respect creates a supportive environment where everyone is valued. Finally, courage empowers the team to tackle challenges and embrace innovation. Keep reading for the details.

1. Commitment (Pulling Your Weight)

Commitment in Scrum involves dedicating oneself to achieving the team's objectives. It goes beyond mere compliance with tasks; it's about actively contributing to team success and meeting challenges head-on.

Commitment also refers to continuous improvement, where team members reflect on common goals and prioritize tasks that add the most value. Effective communication and proper sprint planning by the Scrum Master can help promote commitment within the team.

Real-life Example:

Imagine a marketing team using Scrum to develop a new social media campaign. During sprint planning, they set a goal to increase website traffic by 15% within the two-week sprint.

The graphic designer commits to creating eye-catching visuals, the copywriter commits to crafting compelling ad copy, and the social media manager commits to scheduling and monitoring the campaign.

Throughout the sprint, they hold each other accountable and support each other in overcoming challenges to achieve the shared goal.

2. Focus (Staying on Track)

Focus in Scrum refers to staying on track and helping team members do the same. It's essential for achieving sprint goals within the defined timeframe. To maintain focus, teams must eliminate distractions and avoid multitasking, which can lead to setbacks and delays.

Open discussions during standup meetings about individual workloads can aid in ensuring an achievable workload for team members, enhancing their ability to focus on completing tasks effectively. This eliminates distractions and ensures everyone is working towards a common objective.

Focus (Staying on Track)

Real-life Example

A software development team is working on a new e-commerce platform in a two-week sprint. Halfway through the sprint, a client requests adding a live chat feature – a significant undertaking.

Remembering the value of focus, the team discusses it during their daily stand-up meeting. They acknowledge the potential benefit of the live chat but decide to stay committed to the current sprint backlog, which prioritizes fixing critical bugs and implementing core functionalities for launch.

They explain their project management strategies to the client and propose revisiting the live chat feature in a future sprint.

3. Openness (Being Transparent and Honest)

In Scrum, openness means being open-minded to new ideas and different ways of working, which can drive innovation and progress. It also involves being honest about one's capabilities and the potential impact of one's work on other team members. Without a culture of transparency, bottlenecks and missed deadlines can occur, hindering project progress.

Just like you'd share challenges with your teammates during a game, Scrum encourages open communication. Team members discuss their progress, roadblocks, and ideas freely, nurturing trust and allowing for early problem-solving.

Real-life Example:

A data analyst on a financial modeling project encounters an unexpected data discrepancy during the sprint. They don't hesitate to bring it up during the daily Scrum, openly sharing their findings and concerns.

The team listens attentively, and the project manager suggests collaborating with the data source team to investigate the issue.

Through open communication and collaboration, they identify the cause of the discrepancy and ensure the accuracy of their financial models.

4. Respect (Valuing Each Other)

Respect (Valuing Each Other)

Respect in Scrum involves treating all team members as equals, regardless of their background or position. It's about appreciating each other's strengths and respecting decisions and opinions, even when there's disagreement.

Trusting team members and avoiding micromanagement are crucial aspects of respect, as they enable better communication and collaboration within the team. Team members listen openly, appreciate each other's contributions, and create a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts.

Real-life Example:

During a product review for a new fitness app, a potential user suggests a change to the workout routine interface. The product owner acknowledges the feedback with respect and explains the design choices based on user research conducted earlier.

The team then has an open discussion where the user provides additional insights into their experience. This respectful exchange allows the team to explore potential improvements that could enhance the user experience without compromising the app's overall design direction.

5. Courage (Taking the Leap)

Sometimes, in Scrum, you might encounter unexpected challenges or have ideas for improving the way things are done. Courage is about having the bravery to speak up, try new things, and learn from mistakes.

It involves staying committed to goals and being willing to question the status quo, even if it means facing uncertainty or asking tough questions. Combined with the other Scrum values, courage contributes to high team performance and morale, ultimately leading to project success.

Real-life Example:

During a sprint retrospective for a construction project, a new engineer observes inefficiencies in the communication flow between on-site workers and project managers. They muster the courage to propose implementing a project management software with real-time communication features.

The team listens openly and acknowledges the potential benefits of improved communication for project coordination. They decide to pilot the new software during the next sprint, demonstrating their courage to experiment with new approaches to improve overall project efficiency.

Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide to Waterfall Methodology 

The Importance of Living the Scrum Values

The Scrum values are the bedrock of a successful Scrum team. Living these values isn't just about following a rulebook – it's about building a mindset and way of working that unlocks the true potential of Scrum.

Recent studies show that Scrum greatly improves productivity compared to traditional project management methods. Productivity has increased significantly, ranging from 300% to 400%.

According to TechReport
The Importance of Living the Scrum Values

Here's why living the Scrum values is so important:

  • Increased Agility: Commitment, focus, and courage empower teams to respond quickly to change, embrace new ideas, and continuously improve.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Openness and respect create a safe space for open communication, knowledge sharing, and collective decision-making.
  • Improved Transparency: By openly sharing information about progress, challenges, and ideas, teams can identify and address problems early, preventing roadblocks and delays.
  • Boosted Team Morale: When team members feel valued (respect), heard (openness), and empowered (courage), morale rises high.
  • Higher Quality Work: Through commitment and focus, teams are more likely to deliver high-quality work within the set timeframe. Open communication and collaboration also contribute to better problem-solving and a focus on continuous improvement.

Living the Scrum values isn't always easy, but the benefits are undeniable. By embracing these values, Scrum teams can become more agile, collaborative, and effective.

Scrum Values vs. Scrum Principles: What’s the Difference?

Let's have a quick look at the key differences between Scrum values and principles. Scrum values tell you what kind of team you should be. Scrum principles tell you how to achieve that state. Both of them are crucial aspects of the Scrum framework, but they serve different purposes:

FeatureScrum ValuesScrum Principles
FocusMindset and behaviorsPractical implementation
PurposeDefine how team members approach work and interactDefine specific practices for using Scrum
ElementsCommitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, CourageEmpiricism, Self-Organization, Collaboration, Value-Based Prioritization, Time-Boxing, Inspection & Adaptation
OutcomeCreates the what – the ideal team cultureProvides the how – the roadmap for achieving the ideal culture

Here's an analogy to understand the difference:

Imagine you're baking a cake. Scrum Values are like the ingredients and your overall baking philosophy.

  • Commitment (using high-quality ingredients)
  • Focus (following the recipe)
  • Openness (communicating any concerns about the batter)
  • Respect (appreciating everyone's contribution)
  • Courage (trying a new frosting flavor)

Scrum Principles are like the specific steps you take to bake the cake.

  • Empiricism (testing the batter as you go)
  • Self-organization (deciding who mixes and who pours)
  • Collaboration (working together to decorate)
  • Value-based prioritization (focusing on baking time before decorating)
  • Time-boxing (setting a timeframe for each step)
  • Inspection & adaptation (checking if the cake is done and adjusting baking time if needed)

Just like in baking, Scrum values guide the overall approach, while Scrum principles define the specific steps to take for a successful outcome.

Enhance Your Scrum Team's Performance with WP Project Manager

Enhance Your Scrum Team's Performance with WP Project Manager

WP Project Manager can be your option for managing tasks within a Scrum framework, especially if you're already using WordPress for your project. Let's have a look at the features of WP Project Manager Pro that are relevant to Scrum methodology:

  • Time Tracker: Built-in timer for tracking time spent on tasks, enabling easy calculation of charges for hourly work.
  • Interactive Task Calendar: Provides daily, weekly, or monthly views of task timelines with drag-and-drop features and filtering options.
  • Control Team Capacities & Member Roles: Customizable permissions and role assignments for team members, including external collaborators.
  • Overview Dashboard: Provides a comprehensive view of all projects, team members, and project details for effective monitoring and management.
  • In-project Discussion: Facilitates seamless communication among team members through project-wise discussions.
  • Priority Management: Assigns priority tags to tasks for better task prioritization and deadline management.
  • Activity Log: Tracks all project updates in one place for better visibility and accountability.
  • Advanced Reports with Insights: Generates automatic reports for tasks, milestones, projects, and user activities with filtering options.
  • Daily Digest: Sends automatic daily email summaries to users, including pending and upcoming tasks.

Final Thought

As we conclude our exploration of the five Scrum values, it becomes clear that they serve as more than just guiding principles. By embracing Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage, teams can cultivate a culture of collaboration, adaptability, and continuous improvement.

So, dare to commit to your team's goals, promote openness in communication, show respect for diverse perspectives, and have the courage to embrace change and push boundaries. With these values as your compass, your team will navigate the project management complexities with agility and confidence.

Ready to transform your team into an agile powerhouse? Get started today by downloading our free Project Manager!

Tanvir Faisal
Written by

Tanvir Faisal

Md. Tanvir Faisal is a Content Writer at weDevs with over 7 years of experience in Content Writing, Copywriting, Proofreading, and Editing. He specializes in creating helpful content that engages readers, drives social media shares, and improves SEO ranking. In his free time, Tanvir enjoys exploring new cuisines, traveling to unknown places, and spending quality time with his family.

Have something to say? Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Table of Contents