Scrum Values and Courage

Apr 9, 2018 by

Scrum Values and Courage

Scrum Values; According to the Scrum Guide:

When the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone. The Scrum Team members learn and explore those values as they work with the Scrum events, roles and artifacts.

Successful use of Scrum depends on people becoming more proficient in living these five values. People personally commit to achieving the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team members have courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems. Everyone focuses on the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders agree to be open about all the work and the challenges with performing the work. Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people.

Reading the above description, we can see that adherence to these fundamental values of Scrum can be the difference between “Good Scrum” and “Ok Scrum.”  As you all know, I’m all about “Good Scrum.”

Let’s take a look at the word “Fail.” When it comes to Agile Scrum, the biggest “failure” is to repeat the same previous “failure.” In other words, failure is a part of learning. One of my favorite things about Agile Scrum is the ability for the process, if done right, to expose issues; not just with the team, but at any level. It’s how we address those issues that matter. Do we ignore them? If so, then we’re not continually improving. We need to be open and honest with each other in a respectful manner to help in the continuous improvement process that makes up Scrum. “Fear of Failure” can easily lead to shutting down open and honest communication. Transparency in Scrum reveals fail points and allows us to continually improve. Transparency takes a back seat to “Fear of Failure.” So, any Agile Scrum culture should be one of acceptance of failure so long as we have a solid process of continuous improvement so we don’t continuously have the same failures.

So, back to the Scrum Values.

  • We should have the courage to fail as we gain experience and grow to be high performance teams. With the understanding that we must learn from those failures.
  • Transparency is a key element (a Scrum pillar) to exposing failure points. If we have “hidden truths” improvement will not occur.
  • Openness and respect are the foundational values of inspection and adaption; the building blocks for continuous improvement.
  • Fear of Failure is a major impediment to having successful high performance teams. While I understand that it’s human nature to fear failure, it is also often educational and leads to improvement. Additionally, it is not impossible to overcome this fear and concentrate on the Scrum Values that lead to …. Yes, “Good Scrum.”

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