Scrum values every Scrum Developer should know
The word Scrum is not an acronym, contrary to some people’s belief, nor does it have a concrete origin. However, the Scrum framework of product development does have a concrete, albeit flexible structure. It is an approach that overcomes problems in traditional product development methods such as time lost in adjusting to changes in requirement by the customer, or stalling of progress due to unavailability of a certain specialist and so on. Scrum is built on a strong set of values, which places people before the product or organization. It’s benefits have been realized by several organizations and hence it continues to be endorsed and adopted by companies who want to have that edge in this competitive market.
Owing to the rising popularity and adoption of Scrum in various IT and non IT industries, becoming a Scrum expert and taking on the role of a Scrum Master or a Scrum Developer is an attractive option, but looking at Scrum as a methodology or a procedure would be a mistake, it is important to understand the core of Scrum’s philosophy, which is built on the strong foundation of its values. A properly designed Certified Scrum Developer (CSD®) certification makes sure it gives emphasis to the values as much as the methods. Let us briefly see the values that make up Scrum and how they play out.
What are Scrum Values?
Since the first Scrum project implemented over two decades ago, Scrum values were not clearly defined by the founders nor did they formally form a regular thing in most places Scrum was implemented. It was in 2016 that the founders of Scrum (Schwaber and Sutherland), in a webinar, laid down a set of clearly stated values. The values may look as simple as from a school textbook, but making every move in the line of these values is not as easy as it seems, and that makes it highly essential for anybody related to Scrum to understand these values thoroughly.
Courage is important in Scrum to accept that things may change and plans may have to be quickly rearranged. Scrum members need courage in various small and big things such as not delivering poor quality or undone products.
Even before it was officially put in as a value, Scrum brought focus to the team by its time-boxed goals and self-organized team structure. By focusing on shorter, incremental goals, a Scrum team does not lose focus, which would have been the case if in order to reach the final goal it was working on a lot of things with a long-term plan and a large number of factors.
Commitment in Scrum is about dedication to what Scrum demands, i.e. delivering products (parts of products) with quality in an efficient manner. The commitment is not to a rigid goal, or it would contradict the flexibility philosophy of Scrum; rather, it is about committing to doing anything that one can, to satisfy the aims of Scrum as a framework. In this context, a scrum team member should commit to quality, transparency, the team, and adaptability.
As discussed earlier, Scrum emphasizes people before products. This means, members of the Scrum team should respect each other’s abilities and opinions if they have to be multi-functional, as Scrum requires. It means the Scrum team has to respect the customer and any sudden changes in their requirements. It also means respecting the diversity of any kind and working together because Scrum is impossible if people work in isolated manners.
Going back again to the same point of emphasizing people before products, it again implies that every team member should be as open to the other members of the team, about anything and everything related to the project as possible. A key responsibility of the Scrum Master and Product Owner is to have communication within and outside of the team, as without openness and transparency there can be considerable confusion. Additionally, teams can only self organize if each individual is open about his/her work or views.
If you are a Scrum member or have made the wonderful decision of becoming a Scrum expert by possibly taking a CSD course, it is essential to understand and abide by the Scrum Values. Although they seem simple, it is likely that one may get lost in the technicalities of their tasks and forget the guiding principles. Having all the values in clear sight, even physically, by pasting the contents of it in your workplace and writing down how you are going to make sure your work abides by every value is certainly a good idea.