In Scrum Fundamentals, Values

Scrum Values:  Commitment

Every team should have their own values to help them make decisions that are right for them.  Values act as a guide, they help a team stay true to itself, and also adapt so that they find new ways to live their values.  Scrum comes out of the box with a set of 5 values. The Scrum values help us to think how to apply Scrum as it was intended. The Scrum values are Commitment, Courage, Openness, Focus and Respect.  Here we take a look at commitment.


Commitment for the Development Team

Commitment is probably the most controversial of all the Scrum Values, since now Sprint Planning results in a forecast rather than a commitment.  Commitment really is more about the individuals and interactions within the team, the idea being that team members make commitments to each other, so that they know how they rely on each other in pursuit of their goals. How teams do that might be defined as part of their working agreements, it might show up that when somebody is struggling within the team, somebody steps in and helps them.  Ultimately it is the commitment to the team first, winning and losing as a team, growing as a team. When this works well, members of the team probably identify as members of the team before any specific role such as developer, marketing specialist, data analyst or tester.

Great teams are also committed to building the thing right, for too long they may have been pushed for more, faster, cheaper, this kind of thinking leads to poor products that are difficult to maintain.  It also leads to frustrated and unhappy customers and employees. Commitment to building the thing right means viewing all the quality and design practices that are right for your context as entry level practices, they are not negotiable.  Commit to quality and take pride in the products you build, leaving automated testing to the end will be a lot more expensive.


Commitment for the ScrumMaster

As a ScrumMaster you are committed to the team, the Product Owner and the organisation.  You are also committed to the idea that helping increase agility will help the organisation be successful.  You are the guardian of the application of Scrum. If you don’t believe it, nobody will. It’s this commitment to agility and Scrum that will allow you to hold everyone accountable to applying concepts as intended and ensuring that we are not just paying lip service to it.  Without this from their ScrumMasters many organisations fail to get benefit out of Scrum.

ScrumMasters are also committed to continuous learning and improvement, helping the team, Product Owner and organisation be the best that they can be.  You are committed to them, they are good as they are, but you believe they can achieve anything they want to, you are also committed to the idea that change is possible.  With this level of belief anything is possible.


Commitment for the Product Owner

The Product Owner is committed to their customers, helping them solve real world problems with the Products that are brought to market.  In order to achieve this takes commitment to purpose, this will show in the way that the engage everybody around their Vision.  It is this commitment that allows them to make sure the team delivers the right thing for the market.

A great Product Owner will also have commitment to their team, as they know that building great products involves the collaboration of a diverse group of people, not just one person.

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