Principles & Values

Scrum is built on the observation that product development is complex. Accurate long-term prediction is impossible. Even the near future can be challenging to predict accurately. We need to learn more about the product, our customer/user and the environment we are working in as the work proceeds. Problems, insights, and ideas will emerge as we do the work. Scrum provides a framework for allowing this discovery and learning to happen as quickly as possible while keeping us focused on delivering value early and often as we proceed.

Scrum uses an empirical approach to increase our chances of success. An empirical approach requires a basic level of trust to succeed. Mistakes will be made and are a necessary result of experimentation. Trust is an essential element to the successful use of Scrum. In Scrum, trust is built through transparency, collaboration, and accountability.

Transparency is critical to building trust in Scrum. The Scrum framework requires the team to be transparent in their work, progress, and challenges. The Scrum Team share information openly and honestly, without hiding anything from each other or stakeholders. This creates an environment of trust where everyone is aware of what is happening and can make informed decisions based on the available information.

Scrum Teams work together closely, sharing their skills and knowledge to achieve a common goal. Collaboration requires trust, as team members must rely on each other to deliver their work and meet a Sprint Goal. By working collaboratively, the Scrum Team can build a shared understanding of the work and build trust in each other’s abilities. Close collaboration also reduces hand-offs and the associated waste so we can move from idea to working product more quickly.

Scrum Team members hold each other accountable for delivering value to the customer. Scrum Teams are self-managing and responsible for managing their work and deciding how to provide it. The Scrum master supports the team and helps to create an environment of trust where the team can work together effectively.

The Scrum Values and supporting principles are designed to underpin and encourage greater trust. They are intended to shape behaviours and culture in and around a Scrum Team.

Scrum Values

  • Commitment: The Scrum Team commits to each other, the use of Scrum, and working towards Sprint and Product Goals.
  • Courage: Courage is required to adopt Scrum and move away from traditional approaches.
  • Focus: Focus is essential to allow people the distraction-free space and time to tackle work that requires deep concentration.
  • Openness: The team is open and transparent in communication and work.
  • Respect: The team respects each other’s skills, knowledge, circumstances and opinions.

Scrum Principles

  • Empirical Process Control: A decision-making method based on experimentation and observation rather than speculation or assumptions. Empirical process control is based on three main pillars: transparency, inspection and adaptation.
  • Self-management: The Scrum Team is self-managing and is responsible for managing their work.
  • Iterative and Incremental Development: Scrum delivers a working product in Increments, with each Increment building on the previous one.
  • Collaboration: Scrum encourages collaboration within the Scrum Team.
  • Value-Based Prioritisation: The Product Owner prioritises the Product Backlog primarily based on the value it delivers to the customer.
  • Timeboxes: Scrum events use fixed-length timeboxes to provide focus, encourage prioritisation, reduce waste, and create a predictable cadence to product development.
  • Continuous Improvement: Scrum is based on a culture of continuous improvement, with the team reflecting on their work and planning improvements at regular intervals.

The rules of Scrum are intended to bring the values and principles to life and to help them shape the behaviour of the Scrum Team.