The Agile Bear Inspirations
Episode 1: Scrum Values

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The Agile Bear Inspirations, A Series

In the industry, I’m known as the Agile Bear. Don’t ask, long story—but the name stuck. If you’ve ever seen me in person, you know how befitting the moniker is. Now I wear it like a badge. The Agile Bear has since become its own brand, and now that I, Carl “The Agile Bear” Shea, am part of SolutionsIQ, I’m bringing my Agile Bear Inspirations to the AgileIQ blog.

Agile Bear Inspirations is a semi-regular series of my own personal insights on work processes, in particular, how people work together. I hope you enjoy it and glean some use from it.

In this installation of the Agile Bear Inspirations, I would like to invite each of you on an adventure and exploration of the five Scrum Values. To begin with, it might be valuable to ask the question “Why do the five Scrum values matter?” So let’s start this journey with what the five Scrum values are and why they matter.

The Five Scrum Values

  1. Focus – Because Scrum teams focus on only a few things at a time, team members work well together and produce excellent work. We deliver value sooner.
  2. Courage – Because we work as a team, we feel supported and have more resources at our disposal. This gives us the courage to undertake greater challenges.
  3. Openness – As we work together, we express how we’re doing, what’s in our way, and our concerns so they can be addressed.
  4. Commitment – Because we have great control over our own destiny, we are more committed to success.
  5. Respect – As we work together, sharing successes and failures, we come to respect each other and to help each other become worthy of respect.

Why the Five Scrum Values Matter

To understand why the Scrum values matter, you have to take a good look at the Agile manifesto:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

I steadfastly believe the Agile Manifesto is a philosophy that addresses the human and social side of working as a team but that it does not address the process steps of any particular Agile process. In this same manner, the Scrum values address the human and social side of working with Scrum. We know how to do Scrum, with its roles and ceremonies, but do we really know how to be Scrum, or to live it? To truly achieve astonishing results, we must go farther on our Scrum journey than just going through the motions of doing Scrum.

The five Scrum values guide us in how we interact as a team, on a human level, helping us to evolve to reach astonishing results. If a team is mindful of and vigorously follows the five Scrum and four Agile Manifesto values, then a team will become much more than a group of individuals adhering to just another set of process steps. After all, what is the real difference between waterfall and Scrum? It is the way we think and work together! We believe that the relationship of interactions are more important than any process in itself.

So, in the next five parts of this series, we will explore each of these values and try to gain a deeper understanding of what they mean and why they matter. I challenge you to ask yourself every day how you as an individual have applied the values from Scrum and the Agile manifesto. Why not go farther and ask your team how you as a team have applied these values? And how have you incorporated these values into your team agreements?

As you take this journey, share your thoughts, challenges, Growing plantreservations and ideas with your teammates, leaders and, of course, your fellow Agile coaches and champions. As your Agile champions, we love hearing and talking about how you are maturing as a team into real agility. After all, doing Agile is easy, but being Agile is hard! Being Agile takes time and nurturing to grow…

Read about the first Scrum Value: Focus