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How to lead change with the 5 Values of Scrum

5 values of scrum


The scrum framework has accountabilities, Events, Artifacts and Commitments. They are important but by far the most important aspect are the 5 values of scrum.

Why are the values so important? Because we deal with humans all along the lifecycle of product development. Whether you are a product owner that works with stakeholders, customers and your team, or a scrum master working with your product owner, developers or stakeholders. You are leading how your team and organizations essentially work when you implement Scrum.

Meet TeamFAST

Meet TeamFAST, the team has 5 developers, Hank the product owner, and Bob the stakeholder, an executive, who fully bought into Scrum. TeamFast is a brand new team piloting scrum in the organization.

They were looking to hire a scrum master and in the meantime had started implementing the scrum framework and they were having some challenges

The developers would plan and start working for a sprint and would many times switch their forecasted sprint work to complete something else that their manager, Jag had given them. This work was not from the product backlog.

Hank, the product owner wants the product and the team to be a big success. He was a developer in the past and is very enthusiastic to bring his experience to the team and would regularly tell the developers how to solve an issue.

Bob, the stakeholder is all bought into implementing scrum. Someone told him that adopting scrum will help him improve the speed of product delivery.  Naturally, he is expecting the speed of delivery to increase. After all, he invested a lot in the team. Bob ensured everyone is trained, they have the right tools and technology to collaborate. Yet with every sprint review, the team is slowing down and not able to deliver on the sprint forecast.

The Scrum Master

Bob doubled down his search for a scrum master and was suddenly surprised to find that I was a Certified Scrum Master looking for a consultant role in his linked in. After a series of interviews with this team he hired me to be the scrummaster for TeamFast.

In the beginning, I quietly observed as the team, Hank and Bob separately complained about the same thing. The items forecasted in the sprint are never complete and they get rolled over to the next sprint. Many a times the manager would complain about the same issue.

I decided to take small steps to help the team. After the formal sprint review was over I asked everyone for an additional hour to review the 5 values of Scrum.

I asked everyone to give me a thumbs up if they are all committed to making this team successful in Scrum? He reminded them that initially in this quest, they might slow down in delivering on the current plan.



They all gave a thumbs up. I asked them to pick a blank sheet of paper and draw what commitment looks for them. Some drew a heart, some a wedding ring, some others a handshake.

Commitment means “joined together.” It can literally transform the organization because it means backing each other up. Just like a commitment in marriage or commitment among players of a sports team. It involves sharing our sincere intent to act, and then accepting responsibility for following through on that intended action. In Scrum, everyone commits to achieving the shared goals of the Scrum Team.




Now I said, would you agree that to deliver on the work of the sprint the team needs to concentrate on what they have forecasted as per their past performance and capacity? They all agreed, Jag added that for that they need to focus.

Absolutely said Sam, they need to Focus, so on the same paper, draw an image that represents the word focus for you. Some drew a bullseye, some drew a goal post and some drew an eye. Sam further said that if the archer wants to shoot a bullseye they need complete concentration, and if that’s the case the team cannot be asked to do other tasks that might derail that focus. If those tasks are required to be done, then add them to the product backlog and order them the way everything else for the product is ordered and then forecasted in sprint planning.

In Scrum, the developers concentrate on the work of the sprint and the sprint goal without interruptions. The product owner focuses on maximizing value of the product, The stakeholders are focused on removing impediments to ensure the Scrum team succeeds and the scrum master everyone concentrates on the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team

Everyone agreed and said they will personally guard against adding any work outside of the work of the sprint.


The third value is Respect. Draw an image that comes to mind that represents Respect for you.

How could we enhance respect in this team, Respect is to develop a sincere appreciation for the unique capabilities for each member in the Scrum Team and to respect each other to be capable, independent people. The developers are responsible for the how and the sprint backlog. Let them go about coming up with the right solutions. Empower them to make decisions. Their decisions might be right or wrong, its ok if they are wrong, they will fail and they will learn.

All of us need to respect the decisions of the developers, the scrum master and the product owner to do their best. You might agree or not but having the trust in their capabilities will go a long way in the team’s long term success.



Courage means “from the heart.” It involves acting in alignment with our beliefs, especially when it is hard. Scrum Team members have courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems. The stakeholders have the courage to uphold the needs of the scrum team to ensure they are successful. There might be many challenges with market conditions or budget, but despite that supporting the team is key for the teams to succeed.

Some drew a warrior, lion, and some a sky diver on the blank sheet of paper.


Upholding Openness means upholding transparency a pillar of empirical process control. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders agree to be open about the progress of the work and the challenges with performing the work. The stakeholders need to provide honest feedback to empower the scrum team to adapt. The scrum team needs to be transparent about the progress of the work as well as open with each other on how as a team they can improve.

Once a scrum master has taught the team the 5 values of scrum they should consider facilitating a meeting to create a working agreement between the team. Everyone should agree to add behaviors that the team should have when working with each other. The 5 values of scrum should inspire what behaviors the team adds to the working agreement. Read more about facilitating a working agreement with examples.

The elements of the framework are like the brain of Scrum. The 5 Scrum values: commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect, are the heart of Scrum.

If you are a scrum master, you are the change agent. Leading change begins with the 5 scrum values

Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps: Simplifying the jargon

The internet and social media are full of Agile, Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps jargon, including incorrect and misunderstood concepts. This could be problematic for a learner seeking knowledge. Without a course with Scrum Alliance,, or DevOps Institute, this knowledge is difficult to achieve.

The Concepts & Beyond blog is a free suite of articles and videos packaged in tiny chunks. You will learn or refine your knowledge and skills to help your team and organization be effective. When you want to take your knowledge further, we invite you to join us for our  Certified ScrumMaster(CSM),  Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified DevOps Engineering Foundations (DOEF) and Training from the Back of The Room courses across the USA and Canada.

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