Every one who has ever worked with Scrum knows that it is based on empirical process control theory i.e. empiricism. Empiricism, itself stands on three key pillars – Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation.

But what would tell us that we are applying empiricism in our daily routine; what would guide us if we ever digress from our actual mission, what would bring us back on the right track?

Consider this analogy which my mentor shared with me. You go on a jungle trek, but lose your way while returning. What would you do to find the way back, find the right direction? There could be multiple answers to this question based on what you carry along with you on a trek and your experience with trekking. A simple solution would be to use a compass to find the direction in which you want to proceed.

Values, often act as a compass for us. When we are deviating from our path, values help us to get back on track. Ken and Jeff have defined 5 Scrum values, which will guide us in the rightful implementation of scrum.

The five values as defined by Ken and Jeff are

  • Commitment
  • Courage
  • Focus
  • Openness
  • Respect

Scrum Values

To quote from the scrum guide 2017

When the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone.

Commitment: We are committed to achieving the sprint goal. Commitment is to collaborate with our customers and understand their requirements. Commitment is to ensure that we always do the needful to deliver increment of working software ever sprint. Commitment is to help each other to make the product a successful product.

Courage: Courage is about challenging each other’s ideas. To understand when to say “No”. To not deliver “undone” work. Courage is about accepting that only change is constant and embracing it for customer’s competitive advantage. Courage is accepting our mistakes, taking learnings and moving on. Courage is being open to ask for help when needed. Courage is to live the scrum values.

Focus: We focus on delivering increment of working software with highest quality. Focus is on what is the need of the moment instead of thinking what will be needed in future. We focus on building the product based on what is currently known. We focus not to deliver anything that is not needed by the business; thus making the software simple and reducing waste. Our focus is making sure that we innovate and continuously improve the process, product and ourseleves.

Openness: We are open to accept changes even late in development. We are open to feedback for continuous improvement; to learn from each other. Openness to willing to learn from our mistakes. We are open to share our experiences, challenges, problems and learnings that we encounter as we perform our work. We are open to share our weaknesses and accept vulnerability. We are open to have healthy conflicts that would help us deliver better products. Most importantly, we are open to the idea that change is inevitable, unpredictable, unexpected yet we accept it.

Respect: We respect the individuals for who they are, their skills, their experiences and their individuality. We show respect towards the Scrum framework, towards values and scrum team. We respect everyone’s time. We respect views of others, their opinions and ideas. We respect stakeholders by collaborating with them often, delivering the product needed and by not building functionality that is not needed. We respect feedback. Finally, we respect change.


For successful adoption of Scrum; every member of the Scrum Team has to live by these values. Once the team starts living by the values, that is when the real potential of Scrum could be harnessed and the art of possible; becomes a reality.