Scrum is about people first.
Whether people within the team and organization, or customers, Scrum is about people.
It is not about process, operations, or things. This is why values come into play and are important.
For a group of people to work together, it is extremely useful to have an understanding of shared principles and values.
But what is a value?
A value is your judgment of what is important in life, or within a certain context.
So, the five values of Scrum are "Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, Courage."
With everyone agreeing on these values, it is a lot easier to stay in sync and go toward the same goals, together.
Commitment can take several forms. But the idea is the same.
For a team to be successful, its members must be committed to it and to each other. Just like any relationship, without commitment, you do not have much of a relationship.
For example, when you see somebody needs help or is struggling, it should be natural, out of commitment, to offer help and support. Scrum has a flat hierarchy. Everybody should feel they can contribute without having to be coerced or from fear for their job.
The iterative (repeating cycles) and short sprints / phases, helps to stay focus.
Focus as a value seems self explanatory otherwise. In reality great Scrum practitioners understand focus is not about process or goals.
For example, make sure to focus on why you are doing something while doing it. This is where your deep focus should be.
Similar to the value commitment, for the team relationship to work, great Scrum practitioners know that openness is crucial.
Openness is critical for the team to be effective, because the team must be self-organizing. In order to do this, every team member needs a clear understanding of what is going on, why and who. Good decision making requires good information. Since this information cannot come from "the top" (there is no top in Scrum), it must come from everyone, equally.
For example, you should be forthcoming about where you are, including if you have difficulties. A difficult one is when you admit you made a mistake and asking the team to help you to recover.
“Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people.”
You should respect your colleagues. You should respect their decisions and experience.
You should receive what you give, so this value is important for the team to work well together.
For example, you should assume another team member took care when they decided in a way or another. It is not always easy. Maybe you have more experience, or maybe you think you have a better idea. But look at it this way: if you want others to respect you in what you do, that should be your incentive to give them respect first.
Frankly, Agile and Scrum require a lot of courage.
Team members need to be courageous to be opened and transparent about their work, their activities, production, .. basically everything.
Several examples above take courage to do. This is why, without courage, it would be difficult to uphold all five Scrum values.
As a last example, and not to repeat those above, you can demonstrate courage when you tackle Agile and Scrum itself, as a system. It is difficult to always face unknowns and challenge yourself to always learn and be better. It would be a lot easier to coast and hide after a while. It takes courage to take on the challenge of becoming always better at what you do.
You should learn more our own SAM9000 Academy, you will find Agile study guides, ebooks or you can buy our books on Amazon. Also, learn from about Scrum from the Scrum Guide itself, the official source.
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