5 Scrum Values and Beyond

Last year early in July, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the co-creators of Scrum formally added the 5 Scrum Values to the Scrum Guide. The 5 Scrum Values are as follows. I won’t go until detail the definition of each one although there is a great post by Gunther Verheyen in his blog. The following list below of the values is from a Dave West of Scrum.org blog post using examples to explain getting the value right; and in a way he provided a very clean, succinct definition for each value by using the examples.

    1. Commitment. Committing yourself to the team and Sprint Goal.
    2. Focus. Being focused on the sprint and its goal.
    3. Openness. Highlighting when you have challenges and problems that are stopping you from success.
    4. Respect. Helping people to learn the things that you are good at and not judging the things that others aren’t good at.
    5. Courage. Being transparent, but willing to change even if that means accepting that you are wrong, or that your opinion is not the direction that the team is going.
What does each one mean to me and when I work with organizations and within my own organization?

1. Commitment

Try your hardest and do anything necessary within your means to help the team achieve the Sprint Goal and make each team member and the organization better. Commit to the customer you’re delivering for that you will try your hardest. From an internal Cprime point of view – I have a commitment to my fellow coaches, Agile community, my customers, other Cprime functional groups that I will try my hardest to enable they succeed.

2. Focus

Don’t start too many things and keep juggling many balls in the air. Focus only on one or a small set of items (preferably one highest priority item at a time) to complete or improve on, deliver value, and then move to the next. Don’t dwell on the past – focus on continuous improvement and the future. From a Cprimer perspective – focus on what is most important to my stakeholder groups.

3. Openness

There will be bumps in the road – commit and have the courage to speak openly and timely about those bumps and obstacles as soon as you’re aware. Talk about the options you’re considering or implementing to overcome those obstacles and back it up with data if possible. And as a consultant to my customers – communicate freely the pros and cons of each approach. Have an opinion and guide my customer to what options there are and experiment together with the customer. And to my Cprime functional groups with sometimes conflicting priorities – communicate openly about where my focus is and what is and is not feasible in a given timeframe. I definitely need to work on this one more.

4. Respect

Every team member brings something different to the table. Each team member has strengths and weaknesses. As a team respect that in each team, members and work together to strengthen each other’s weaknesses as well as lean on each other’s strengths. Respect for the individual, respect for teams, respect for my customers. Remove any pre-conceived biases or judgments. Do not judge a book by its cover and respect that each person I come in contact with I have something to learn from.

5. Courage

Have the courage to speak up, the courage to stand-up for what you believe in but also be humbled when you are wrong. Have the courage to ask “Why” to the customer and even say “No”. Have the courage to do what is right when no one is looking. Have the courage to walk away from a customer when it isn’t an equal partnership or the proposed solution won’t set us up for success or is being driven by the wrong reasons.

If you really think about it – these values extend beyond Scrum. It is a way you can live life. I think that’s what I find most powerful about these values.

What do you find powerful in them?
Kreisler Ng
Kreisler Ng
Agile Practice Lead, Cprime