The first value of Scrum is a commitment, which is easier said than done. The group needs to commit to the goal, the process, and the team. They need to make sure that they don’t take on too much and that they commit to what they do take on. Remember that Scrum is easy to talk about but very hard to do. The wonderful thing about this framework is that it gives the team the ability to be self-directed and self-managed. With that comes the need to be focused on the team and the goal. Meeting commitments is an important aspect of Scrum. This is why, as you go forward, you’ll see that work is broken down in such a way so that the team decides what to commit to and what to work toward in order to meet the end goal.
If you’ve ever tried multitasking or doing many things at once, but not being completely successful at any one task, you know that multitasking really is a myth in terms of productivity. If you focus on only a few things at a time, you will get more done. If you focus on just a few things, it is easy to clearly understand your goals and roles and responsibilities, which allows you to zero in on the work that needs to be done. The beauty of the Scrum framework is the team’s ability to choose what they can commit to. That will then allow them to focus exclusively on the work that needs to be completed and to know with some degree of certainty that they will be able to accomplish it.
Nobody likes surprises, least of all project sponsors, customers, and project managers. That is why openness is one of the five values of Scrum. Remember that one of the pillars of Scrum is transparency, which means having everything out in the open. As you move forward through the exam content outline, you’ll discover the best practices for using information radiators and big visible charts and graphs that show precisely how the project is progressing in a simple visual way. Openness also applies to the team dynamic—openness in communication, challenging the status quo, and updating the project status daily. This may be very different from your organization’s current way of doing things.
Accountability on the team level is a major aspect of Scrum, but let’s not forget the individuals. Everyone makes mistakes, and a key aspect of many Agile methodologies is the rule of no finger pointing. Respect is earned, but it is also given. The team lifts each other up and helps where needed. Team accountability also means that if one team member needs help, it is given without question. Most professionals express respect to their team members, but occasionally there is a dynamic of drama or one-upmanship. That is simply not one of the tenants of Scrum. Respect is expected, given, and received on a regular basis. If there is a problem, everyone is open about it, and the consensus is reached to solve it. This allows the team to make a commitment to the work, focus on what needs to be done and be open about their successes and challenges. Respect for the team and each other is paramount to all the other values working correctly.
For the previous four values to work, the team must be courageous. You expect change, and change can be uncomfortable. You are in very cutting-edge industries, so you must be courageous in order to push the boundaries. You must have the courage to speak up when you have difficulties or make mistakes and to challenge the status quo. Organizations who practice Scrum probably feel the chaos of this change in the beginning. Nobody likes being challenged, especially those in power positions. For Scrum to work across the organization, there must be people who are courageous enough to speak up and say, “Always doing it this way isn’t working, and we need to step out of our comfort zone and practice agility.” Much as with a tightrope walker stepping from the safe, solid platform and onto the rope, courage is needed to make changes to a less solid and rigid footing of old, worn out practices.In the sport of rugby, a scrum is a banding together of certain players on the team working toward a common goal—they are stronger working together than they are when working apart. As in most sports, there are distinct positions that are played, and Scrum in the Agile world is no different.
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