5 Core Values of Scrum

As many of my readers are probably aware I'm a big, big LinkedIn user! The other evening I was reading a discussion in one of the Scrum Master groups on LinkedIn and happened upon a thread discussing the 5 cores values of Scrum and there continued relevancy. 

So what are the 5 core values?  Focus - Courage - Openness - Commitment - Respect.

Focus – Team focus and Sprint goals are important responsibilities for the Scrum Master. The Scrum Master  should remove all impediments from the Team and protect the Scrum members from external influence.

The Product Owner and Scrum Master should be responsible for ensuring a well refined (groomed) backlog which is both estimated and ordered and the team should be fully be focused on delivering the work committed to in the sprints.

Courage – The Scrum Master needs to have the courage to stand firm against stakeholders and the Product Owner when it's right to do so! Whilst at the same time the Scrum team needs the courage to commit to as much work as possible within the Sprint whilst respecting the definition of done.

Openness – This really is one of the core values that makes Agile so different from other project management styles!However - I've seen and worked with many self declared 'agile' teams who are rather to fond of hiding the truth from the business/stakeholders and lack the courage to be fully engaged and open! But I digress! The Product Owner should be open and willing to accept change and to embrace new ideas.

The Back log should be fully qualified and visible so that everyone is aware of what work is up and coming - I once worked with a team who were totally terrified by this concept.... The management tried had and were trying their very best to conceal what work lay ahead... The idea of having a public board on display in the office caused them to physically display real anxiety!... Whilst the same management were excited about the concept of better visibility of the Scrum team workings and gauging velocity! Remember openness is in both directions. The retrospective which is often overlooked should also be fully open... with problems openly discussed! 

Commitment –  The Scrum team commits to what they will complete each sprint. They also commit to how the work will be ‘done’ and to meet the Definition of Done.  The Team commits to doing whatever is collectively necessary in order to meet their goals. The wider organisation also commit to support the scrum team and to respect the values of Agile.

Respect –This is perhaps one of the important values in Agile... And sadly one that I often observe is not followed! The Product Owner gets to dictate what work gets done and in what sequence - And it's the responsibility of the Scrum team to respect those decisions.

However The Product Owner must trust and respect the team to decided how they will accomplish this and respect the team when they push back or if they believe the Product Owner is encouraging them to overcommit.

The Scrum Master should be aware that they are not management but the servant leader responsible for ensuring that the Scrum team is able to run at maximum efficiency and  to coach stakeholders, Product Owner and the Scrum team on all things agile!