5 Core Scrum Values and Principles & Why are they important

The Scrum methodologies are one of the most widely used project management frameworks today. This technique adds structure to complex projects, promotes a sense of personal responsibility and keeps the work moving forward. 

An effective Agile practice, Scrum allows the team to focus on critical tasks and enhance performance. However, implementing Scrum is not only about adding events and roles. The team must also implement the Scrum values and principles in their work culture. 

Members must commit to upholding these values for the projects to reach their full potential. This blog will comprehensively discuss the various Scrum values and principles, shedding light on the concepts

What Is Scrum?

Scrum can be described as an Agile project management model that helps teams structure and manage their work with a set of principles, values and practices. 

The Scrum methodology encourages people to learn from their experiences, self-tackle when dealing with problems, and reflect on wins and losses. This helps the team members achieve their full potential and continuously improve. 

Scrum has several fundamental values that give the team members a code of ethics and behavioural guidelines. These values dictate certain rules of conduct the teams must incorporate and abide by when employing Scrum. 

On the contrary, Scrum principles are the guidelines for applying the framework to any work setting. A Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK) is appointed whose primary duty is to set non-negotiable guidelines for the company. 

Hence, the Scrum values in Agile guide how a Scrum team must behave, and the Scrum principles act like road signs to show how Scrum must function in a business. 

Understanding the Five Values of Scrum

A Scrum team has four leading roles — Scrum master, product owner, stakeholders and team members. All these professionals are working towards one particular goal — creating value for their customers or clients. Every member of the team plays a crucial role in providing this value. 

There are five values of Scrum, namely commitment, focus, respect, courage and openness. Scrum teams try implementing these using sprint reviews, daily standups and retrospectives where every member can review what has been completed and what needs to be done.

Let us understand the 5 Scrum values in depth: 

1. Commitment

The first value of Scrum is commitment. Every Scrum team member has to commit to achieving the team’s goal. This isn’t limited to meeting deadlines and other milestones. 

Even though meeting deadlines is a part of commitment, the scope of this value expands far beyond benchmarks. It also indicates the meta-concepts of the company’s vision and cause. 

The Scrum methodologies teach continuous improvements and optimisation of efforts. Every team member must be committed to quality, learning and doing their best. 

2. Focus

Focus talks about following the plan and helping fellow team members to achieve the same. One of the main elements of the Scrum framework is sprint — a defined work time period allotted for completing tasks. 

Scrum teams are given one to four weeks to create a product increment. This is why team members must focus on meeting the assigned goals. 

To focus on the allotted tasks, the team must eliminate distractions and try to multitask as much as possible. Distractions can cause setbacks, inevitably increasing the project’s time frame. This would lead to excessive work being done by the members, defeating this methodology’s purpose. 

Standup meetings are perfect for explaining the sprint target and the project timeline. The Scrum master must talk to the team members openly and ensure they have achievable tasks. 

3. Respect

This Scrum value specifies that every Scrum team member must treat others as equals irrespective of their education, social status, age, gender, etc. Your colleagues’ life outside of the workplace does not matter. All that matters is that you all work together to achieve the common goal. 

Scrum team members must respect each other, including one’s culture, experience and opinions. Mutual respect helps strengthen the bonds between team members, increasing the team’s efficiency. 

Respect helps establish better communication between the members of a team. This also helps in accepting constructive criticism and working on making it better. 

This respect must be spread beyond the team members to the customers – listening to their demands and complaints and ensuring their needs are met. Scrum teams must know that sometimes clients change their minds due to circumstances beyond their control. In such a situation, mutual respect is crucial in understanding the client’s needs. 

4. Courage

It takes courage to step outside of one’s comfort zone. Staying committed to a goal and focusing on achieving it helps one to stay dedicated. This also enables them to solve any challenging issues and develop unexpected solutions. 

Every team member will inevitably face some or other kind of challenge during a project lifecycle. They must have the courage to tackle any intimidating or challenging tasks. 

Choosing the safer route might temporarily simplify things, but the solution will not be creative, innovative or productive without the appropriate courage. Scrum teams must be prepared to face any challenges that might come in their path. 

Be confident enough to address the unknown. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you encounter anything you are unaware of. 

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5. Openness

Openness implies being open-minded in terms of communication between members of various disciplines. Scrum teams and project stakeholders should keep the communication lines honest and open. Both parties should be able to discuss the needed workload and its challenges. 

Having transparency helps in creating trust between all the parties. This also allows openness to change. In this constantly upgrading world, embracing change is necessary to survive. When innovations are rolled out, old methods take a backseat. Scrum members must be ready to face changes as and when they occur. If any company does not practise openness, roadblocks, bottlenecks and missed deadlines will soon follow. 

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The Six Principles of Scrum

The Scrum framework has been built on six principles that every Scrum team must follow. If the team members follow the six principles, they are less likely to face any drawbacks. The six Scrum principles have been mentioned below:

1. Empirical process control

The three main ideas of Scrum are inspection, transparency and adaptation. The empirical process focuses on observation and experimentation instead of a detailed, upfront plan. 

2. Self-organisation

No team member can micromanage the activities of another member. Scrum teams can produce more when the team members can self-organise and are not led by the neck. An independent Scrum team helps establish shared ownership and better buy-in. This principle helps in creating an innovative environment promoting growth.

3. Collaboration 

This principle focuses on the three pillars of collaboration — articulation, awareness and appropriation. This principle specifies that project management is a shared creation process. It relies on the efforts of the team working together and interacting among themselves to produce the best results.  

4. Value-based prioritisation 

This principle stresses the need to organise and prioritise various tasks according to their value for the company and the end-user. The prioritisation process continually evolves and is carried throughout the project lifecycle until its successful completion. 

5. Time-boxing 

This principle schedules and allocates time to various activities. Scrum teams complete tasks in ‘sprints’ with a specified time allotted to each. Proper time allocation helps in the planning and execution of the entire project more efficiently. The goal of time-boxing is to eliminate any delays or wasted time. 

6. Iterative development 

Scrum projects are constantly changing and evolving, which requires constant adjustments by the Scrum team. This principle specifies how these changes should be managed more efficiently and productively, creating products that meet the client’s requirements. 

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Need for Values in Agile and Scrum

The five Scrum values have been designed to guide the mindset of the Scrum teams as they work on various projects. The Scrum core values act like guidelines that every Scrum team must follow as it become a vital part of the decision-making process. These values help in building transparency and trust. 

Applying the Scrum values examples in a project management cycle has several advantages. Some of them have been discussed below:

  • Higher productivity 

Organisations using the Scrum methodologies try to create a collaborative environment where the team members can work in a productive and supportive manner. They can build on the team’s knowledge, experience and skills with continuous learning. 

Scrum team members can focus on the most important tasks for a particular project, which helps increase productivity. 

  • Better communication 

Scrum values can help in establishing an effective environment where team members can communicate easily with each other. 

This helps reduce internal resistance and increase the speed at which teams share the information. This allows the Scrum teams to coordinate better than working alone, increasing the team’s efficiency. 

  • Higher morale 

Implementing the Scrum values helps create a collaborative environment where the members feel appreciated and supported. This helps in improving the morale of the teams across the company as a whole. 

This helps create more motivated teams that can do their tasks more efficiently. The organisation will benefit from the contribution of all the team members. 

  • Better planning

Companies applying the Scrum values often advocate a culture of planning. In this manner, individuals can effectively plan their work, allowing them to learn about the company’s needs. A proper plan helps the teams understand how to build software that addresses the client’s needs.

  • Improved collaboration 

Companies that use the Scrum methodologies try to focus on maximising the collaboration between team members. This allows them to work together towards a common goal and improve efficiency by sharing their skills and knowledge. Improved collaboration helps the teams in achieving their goals more effectively. 

  • Better agility

Companies can use the Scrum methodologies to try to have a culture of flexibility and speed. Due to this, the employees are motivated to work rapidly and make changes as and when needed to accommodate new information from different sources.

  • Better decision making

Scrum values help individuals make better decisions. It allows them to focus on their goals and use the focus to guide their work. This allows the professionals to think more clearly about their decisions. 

How To Apply Scrum Values to Everyday Work Life?

The Scrum values are excellent for the workplace, even if you are not following the Scrum framework. Communicating the Scrum values with your fellow team members is very important. 

As a Scrum team member, you must:

  • Showcase courage by taking up challenging tasks.
  • Practise focus by sticking to your schedule.
  • Embody commitment by sticking to the plan made by your team.
  • Respect your team members by trusting them to complete their work independently.
  • Model openness by communicating honestly about the improvements needed in the team.

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Scrum methodologies are one of the most widely used ways of project management. These are values that a team should work together to achieve. 

Practising Scrum methodologies will help you achieve some of the most complex tasks and foster clarity and great teamwork in all the company’s decisions. These values help establish the norms which help shape a Scrum team’s operations. 

The Scrum values and principles are easy to understand but challenging to implement. A thorough understanding of the Scrum values and principles is essential to build a project management career. 

Why do we need Scrum values?

Organisations use Scrum values to guide their team's work. These values are essential as they help give meaning and context to the work done by a company.

Which Scrum value is most important?

The Scrum value, openness, is significant. It stresses transparency, which is one of the core pillars of Scrum.

What are the Scrum pillars vs. Scrum values?

The pillars of Scrum are transparency, adaptation and inspection. In comparison, the core values of Scrum are courage, commitment, focus, openness and respect. They complement each other.

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