Scrum Framework – 3 Pillars and 5 Core Values

Scrum is a framework for developing and sustaining complex products. It is not a process or a technique for building products; rather, it is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques. It makes clear the relative efficacy of your product management and development practices so that you can improve. It employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control risk.

Three pillars uphold every scrum implementation are:

1. Transparency: Significant aspects of the process must be visible to those responsible for the outcome. Transparency requires those aspects be defined by a common standard so observers share a common understanding of what is being seen.

For example:

  • A common language referring to the process must be shared by all participants; and,
  • Those performing the work and those accepting the work product must share a common definition of “Done”.

2. Inspection: Scrum users must frequently inspect Scrum artifacts and progress toward a Sprint Goal to detect undesirable variances. Their inspection should not be so frequent that inspection gets in the way of the work. Inspections are most beneficial when diligently performed by skilled inspectors at the point of work.

3. Adaptation: If an inspector determines that one or more aspects of a process deviate outside acceptable limits, and that the resulting product will be unacceptable, the process or the material being processed must be adjusted. An adjustment must be made as soon as possible to minimize further deviation.

The five core values of Scrum implementation are :

1. Focus – Team focus and Sprint goals are important responsibilities for the Scrum Master. The Scrum Master should remove all impediments from the Team and protect the Scrum members from external influence.

The Product Owner and Scrum Master should be responsible for ensuring a well refined (groomed) backlog which is both estimated and ordered. The team should then be fully be focused on delivering the work committed to in the sprints.

2. Courage – The Scrum Master needs to have the courage to stand firm against stakeholders and the Product Owner when it’s right to do so! Whilst at the same time the Scrum team needs the courage to commit to as much work as possible within the Sprint whilst respecting the definition of done.

3. Openness – This really is one of the core values that make Agile so different from other project management styles!

Many self declared ‘agile’ teams who are rather too fond of hiding the truth from the business/stakeholders and lack the courage to be fully engaged and open!

However in Agile, the Product Owner should be open and willing to accept change and to embrace new ideas. The Back log should be fully qualified and visible so that everyone is aware of what work is up and coming. At the same time working scrum team should demonstrate better visibility on work items being worked upon gauging velocity! Remember openness is in both directions! The retrospective which is often overlooked should also be fully open, with problems openly discussed!

4. Commitment – The Scrum team commits to what they will complete each sprint. They also commit to how the work will be ‘done’ and to meet the Definition of Done.

The Team commits to doing whatever is collectively necessary in order to meet their goals.

The wider organization also commits to support the scrum team and to respect the values of Agile.

5. Respect –This is perhaps one of the important values in Agile and sadly one that often observed not been followed!

The Product Owner gets to dictate what work gets done and in what sequence – And it’s the responsibility of the Scrum team to respect those decisions. However the Product Owner must trust and respect the team to decide how they will accomplish this. Also Product owner should respect the team when they push back or they believe the Product Owner is encouraging them to over commit.

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