While most of the people see the Scrum Values as separate values, I see them as complementary, and dependent on each other.
Openness and Courage
Let’s start with openness. Openness is complementary to transparency. Openness means that we must be open to ideas and challenges, for example, no matter who they come from. Courage and Openness go hand in hand. Openness can’t be expressed if on the other hand there is no courage. Courage will allow people to express their proposals, then openness will allow these proposals to be taken into account. However, having courage to say the truth or to ask for something doesn’t mean disrespecting.
And that’s the next Scrum Value: Respect. Scrum wants people to educate themselves to respect each other, whatever their hierarchical level and whatever their function. The theory of the systems says that most of the companies’ problems are system problems, not individuals. That is why when facing problems, we don’t have to blame individuals with disrespect. Because this disrespect will induce a hostile environment, undermining productivity and creativity.
It is essential to embrace these three values at all organisation levels in order to improve leadership. This begins with the self-organising and self-managing Scrum team, but this mindset must be shared by the entire organisation. The management and the organisation must respect people, and be open to change and improvement. This will allow the teams to be confident, and therefore have the courage to come up with new ideas. This will take inspection and adaptation to another level, beyond the product and the team boundaries.
Once these three values are adopted, they will foster new ideas about products. But this not enough. We must apply these ideas and obtain the benefits from them.
For this the team, or the individual who has to carry it out, must not be disturbed by anything else. Everyone needs to focus on the goals and the work that needs to be done to achieve them.
Which brings us to the next value: Focus. The Product Owner must keep their focus on the product vision, and on optimising the value of the product. The Development Team must keep its focus on the Sprint Goal, and the work that needs to be done to achieve it. For the Scrum Master the first focus is on the Scrum team that they serve. They have to serve the Scrum Team so that it can achieve its goals.
Then their second Focus is on how to help the whole organisation improve. Keeping Focus within the Scrum team means that its members can work on different things at a time, but overall, all keep the common goal at the centre of their actions.
The ultimate value: Commitment
All of these four values make it easier to have a committed team. Some people believe that being committed means working overtime. Others believe that for the development team to be committed, it must absolutely deliver everything that has been planned during the Sprint Planning. This is not the real meaning of commitment.
Rather, commitment means that the team is committed to being professional, delivering value without having individual interests influencing choices. It also means that it is committed to doing its best, and to being ready to constantly improve.
Commitment is the ultimate value, because a committed team means that they are committed to applying Scrum and therefore all of its other values. It means that it gives itself all the means to be efficient, productive and creative.
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