Serious Scrum
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Serious Scrum

5 Values of Scrum and how can Scrum Masters work with them!!

Scrum has been instrumental in the success of many teams for years now and it is all possible to happen being centered around the 5 values of Scrum.

For any new person, onboard the Scrum train, and let me quickly recap what these 5 highly practical values are. And as I believe that a picture remains in our minds way more than just words here you go-


Now, let me take you back to your school days when you were part of one of the school teams. Are you there yet or did you start thinking about your school crushes ;-)? Me? I was part of the school dance team which used to participate at regional levels for inter-school competitions.

Why am I talking about this? Let us connect the dots now between my dance team and the 5 scrum values.

1. Courage -

“The Scrum Team members have the courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems.” — The Scrum Guide

Pic Credit:

In our dance teams, we were a group that had to work on various styles. Each time there was a different set that we had to prepare and I remember once some of the senior girls didn't like the set prepared by our teacher. One of them spoke up and suggested some changes to make it more authentic to the classical dance style.

What happened after that? We did tweak some of the steps. After this, the juniors realized it is ok to speak your mind and that really helped the team bond better. Much like this, Scrum Teams have to embed the culture of constructive criticism and open communication.

What can you do as a Scrum Master-

  1. Help the team out- If you see one of the members picking up new work, guide them if they need help then ask for it. Encourage the team to become a safe space so that there are no hitches in asking for help.

2. Have the courage yourself- Lead by example. Stand up if you feel the team is being pressured or you feel the team spirit is not good.

2. Focus-

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” — George Lucas

Pic Credit:

As the competitions ranged in themes and styles we had to prepare dances in short times and prepare/perform them to the best of our abilities. In a time-boxed Sprint, the team needs to stay focused on the goals set at the start.

What can you do as a Scrum Master-

  1. Facilitate- Coach the team to limit the number of tasks and priorities per person per Sprint to ensure everyone remains focused.
  2. Reiterate the focus in the Daily Scrum- Discuss with the team how aligned are we towards the goal?

3. Commitment-

“ People personally commit to achieving the goals of the Scrum team” — The Scrum Guide

Commitment is what drove our team. We had a combined vision of getting the regional title for our team and we were all committed to that goal. At each performance, we had to give our best and work together as a team. We had to think of how we give the best performance as a team and then to also give our best shot as an individual.

As in the school teams, Scrum Team members should be committed to the team’s vision and create realistic goals together. The teams should remain committed to the Sprint Goal over the duration of the Sprint and be self-organized in achieving the Sprint Goals.


What can you do as a Scrum Master-

  1. Facilitate the Sprint Planning- Make sure that the team is comfortable with the planning and there is scope for issue fixes along the way.
  2. Protect the team against scope creeps/changes- As a Scrum Master protect your team from unwanted changes in the Sprint, change to the Sprint Goals, and also undue pressure from the Product Owners.

4. Respect-

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” — Ken Blanchard, Author(The One Minute Manager)

As a team, to perform our best we needed to work as a single unit and that could only happen if we had respect for each other. In a Scrum Team, respect also means trusting your fellow team members to fulfill their tasks, listening to and considering their ideas, and recognizing their accomplishments.

Pic Credit:

What can you do as a Scrum Master-

  1. Celebrate Accomplishments- As a team, celebrate the achievements of each other.
  2. Respect to individuals- Give the team members their space and respect their contributions to the team.

5. Openness-

“The Scrum Team and its stakeholders agree to be open about all the work and the challenges with performing the work.” — The Scrum Guide

While learning a new dance form if any one of us was struggling, we used to communicate at the earliest so that we could learn and also tackle any problems at the earliest. Whenever the team members in the Scrum team talk about the roadblocks they are facing as early as possible, they have a stronger probability of resolutions and progress.

What can you do as a Scrum Master-

  1. Be Honest- This one has to start with you, have honest conversations with the team.
  2. Be the Safety Net- As a Scrum Master, observe things that are not going right. For example- If you see issues not being highlighted in the stand-ups ask the team members if they are on track once in a while.


If the teams truly abide by these values then there is a strong probability that we have a string self-organizing team at our hands.

Let me know what you think about the 5 values and any suggestions on how can Scrum Masters help the team is welcome. :-)

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Rishika Mittal

Rishika Mittal

A Scrum Master, an Agile Coach, a dancer, and a student for life

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