We have learned that Scrum's foundation is on empirical process theory, which means that you gain knowledge with experience, and you make decisions based on what is known. We have also read about the three pillars that hold the empirical process - Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation. What do we need to ensure that we follow these three pillars in Scrum? It is where Scrum Values comes into the picture. These Scrum values ensure that the empirical process comes to life.
In this tutorial, we will discuss the following topics:
- What are the Scrum Values?
- Misconceptions on Scrum Values
What are the Scrum Values?
Scrum is not just about the process; it is also about the Scrum values that the team needs to follow to be successful. Let's have a look at these Scrum values, and understand what each one of them means.
Scrum Team members need to have the courage to do what is right. They should have the courage to work on tough problems. The team should not be afraid of failures. We know that the scrum team takes their own decisions, and each of these decisions could have risks involved. The team should not hesitate to take these risks as long as they have done sufficient due diligence. It's essential to understand and accept that nobody is perfect. It takes courage to accept the mistake and take corrective actions. The Scrum team should also have the courage to accept the responsibility of failure collectively.
The Scrum team should solely focus on the Sprint and Sprint goal. They should not get distracted by anything that is not related to the sprint goal.
Roles in the Scrum team have a clear definition, along with their focus areas. Scrum Master should focus on getting impediments removed. The team should concentrate on getting a product increment done at the end of the Sprint. Additionally, the aim of the Product owner should be to get the product backlog prioritized and answering any questions that the development team may have.
The design of the Scrum events is to help the team focus on the right areas. Sprint planning helps define a clear sprint goal, on which the team can focus. Daily Scrum event helps the team members to focus on the day's work and highlight any impediments. Sprint Review event helps the team to focus on presenting the team's work and getting feedback. Sprint retrospective event helps the team to focus on the improvement areas that we can take in subsequent sprints.
Each member of the scrum team should be committed to the success of the product increment. Once the sprint goal finalizes, the development team should show commitment to complete the goal. The commitment could be an individual where the team member takes ownership of his assigned work. Also, the commitment could be as a team where the team will take collective responsibility to support each other and complete the sprint goals.
The Scrum Master should commit to remove impediments, and also make sure everyone follows the three pillars (Transparency, Inspection, and Adaption ). He should not be making any decisions just for the sake of getting things done.
The Product owner should show commitment by optimizing the product value and tak0ing the decisions that are in the best interest of the product. He should not make decisions to please stakeholders.
A Scrum team cannot be successful without having respect for each other. It includes respect for one's skill set and role. However, respect is not just limited to these attributes. It goes much beyond this, and there are multiple avenues where the team needs to show respect.
Each member of the team should attend daily scrum meetings on time. It shows respect towards other team member's time. Everyone should attend sprint planning and agree as a team on what the Sprint can accomplish. Moreover, the Scrum Master and other stakeholders need to respect the development team's decision. It also shows respect for their skill set and knowledge.
In addition to the above, the Product owner is responsible for prioritizing the backlog, and he can change the priority as needed. The scrum team should respect his decisions.
The team should be transparent on the progress, and they should mark the story done only when it's complete. One should also proactively highlight any issues and risks in sprint review. It shows respect to the stakeholders by keeping the progress transparent to them.
The Product owner talks to stakeholders and considers their viewpoints and feedback on the product. It shows respect for the stakeholders. Additionally, respect embeds in everything you do in a Scrum, and it's one of the essential ingredients for the success of the team and the product.
Scrum requires transparency and openness. The team should be open to working with each other and accept the diverse viewpoints of each team member. Additionally, team members should be transparent about their work and the progress they have made. They should also highlight any issues they are facing. As an example, the development team member is facing a problem, but he thinks that he will be able to resolve it during the day. As such, he doesn't highlight it in daily scrum meetings. It may result in delays, and also team would not appreciate the fact that he was not open about the progress to standing up.
In the Spring review event, the team should be open to present what's done, and also open to hearing the feedback of stakeholders.
In Sprint's retrospective event, the team should be open to hearing what has not gone well, and they should not feel bad about it.
Misconceptions on Scrum Values
We have got a good understanding of Scrum values, and now it's time to look at some of the common misconceptions that people have on these scrum values.
- Courage - At times, people make the mistake of thinking that courage means to stick to your viewpoint if you think it's right. While it's important to highlight a diverse view, it is essential to make decisions collectively and not bring the ego in between.
- Focus - We know that the team should focus on sprint goals. However, at times people focus more on making customers happy, which could mean giving additional functionalities than what is committed in acceptance criteria. While this may seem like a good thing to do, it increases the overall scope of sprint work, and this may lead to non-completion of planned work.
- Commitment - If a team member commits to work (or a technical solution) without understanding the work, and just because a senior development team member asked him to do so is not the correct definition of commitment. Moreover, it could lead to failure as only a few members are dictating what needs to be done by the entire team.
- Respect - Often, senior team members think that they are doing a favor by helping others, and they should command respect because of that. Scrum is teamwork, and there are no favors. Respect is earned and not commanded.
- Openness - Some team members consider that talking everything about their work in daily stand up is openness. Subsequently, they fail to realize that transparency doesn't mean to highlight all the details, but it's to highlight progress and any impediments.
Conclusively, I hope you got a great understanding of Scrum Values, and how these are important for the success of the team and the product increment.