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6 Metaphors To Understand The Value Of Scrum Values

19th Feb, 2024
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    6 Metaphors To Understand The Value Of Scrum Values

    The Scrum framework, a team-based approach, follows certain rules and principles, helping the organizations and professionals both to identify ‘what works best for them.’ The commitment, focus, openness, respect, courage are the five core Scrum values which are often underrated. These values add ethics to Scrum Project Management, encouraging the members to follow a defined route for project management; therefore, the understanding of these values is very important for Scrum team members

    What is a Metaphor in Agile?

    A metaphor is intended to be agreed upon by all project participants as a method of easily expressing the project's objective. A metaphor for Scrum masters helps to influence the form of the design; consequently, it is critical for communication, both within the team and with the customer. As both consumers and developers use metaphors to clarify projects, a good metaphor should be simply understood by clients while also including enough knowledge to assist design development. 

    Almost all agile techniques expressly state that "communication" is a critical value. It is intended to be software communication among the development team as well as among and with clients.  

    Scrum framework

    6 Metaphors to Understand Scrum Values

    The following six metaphors simplify the understanding of Scrum values: 

    1. Scrum Values Are Like "Fasteners"

    The fasteners are used to bind two materials, similar or different, together and resist their separation. The Scrum values serve a similar purpose by keeping the Scrum team members together despite their different roles. Scrum team members need to practice all the Scrum Values as the parts of a unit for performing up to the full potential, whether the results are as per expectations or not.   

    2. Scrum Values Are Like the "Foundation"

    The Scrum values provide a stable foundation for sustainable project development. The foundation is built on the confidence and trust of members over each other. In a well developed Scrum team, members believe in the capabilities of other members, and, it helps them to handle the challenges collectively in a planned manner. The strong foundation encourages delivering the best for each Sprint goal. The strong relationship and mutual understanding help the Scrum team perform as a unit for the common objective – profitable on-the-time delivery of best-quality project.         

    3. Scrum Values Are Like a "Compass"

    Scrum Values Are Like a "Compass"

    A number of times, a Scrum team struggles hard to hit the Sprint goals despite having required skills, resources, support and opportunities. Without having a clear vision, team members feel perished. A great vision always precedes the success; but just having a vision is not enough until you understand it in the light of your mission. Therefore, it is important to check whether the vision it is compelling all the team members to deliver their best or not.  Scrum values are the compass-like guiding tool. Scrum team members embracing the Scrum values possess the moral compass that drives them towards the Sprint goal, helps them stay together, and guides to choose the right process. The Scrum values guide the Scrum team like a compass to go ahead for a successful project delivery. 

    4. Scrum Values Are Like a "Magnet"

    The ‘Law of Magnetism’ mentioned in ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (John C. Maxwell, 1998) states that “Who you are is who you attract.” The practicing of Scrum values develops a positive energy helping you to develop an effective Scrum team and to keep all the members intact. The attitude to follow the Scrum values strictly instils the feel of unity among the team members; and, this magnetic force improves the project quality and individuals’ performance.      

    5. Scrum Values Are Like The “Sportsmanship”

    The metaphor “sportsmanship” to define Scrum values brings the notion to compete. It drives the Scrum team members to manage the complexities, challenges of shorter sprint duration, new guidelines, backlog work pressure etc. Like the sportsmanship keeps the sportsman cool despite the tough competition on the track, the Scrum values  encourage the members to focus on the targets without being perturbed by the new developments.

    6. Scrum Values Are the "Identity" 

    The defined Scrum Values are the identity of a Scrum team because these values guide the team members on ‘how to behave and act’, securing the organization’s interests while satisfying the customer as well. Your beliefs as a team member identify you because these beliefs govern your thought line and actions. The management expert Ken Blanchard says that organizations claim to have a set of behavioural values, but these values are the commonly accepted generic organizational beliefs pertaining to profitability, responsiveness to customers and integrity. Scrum values guide the members’ behaviour in the line of organization's vision & mission.

    What are the Values of Scrum?

    According to The Scrum Guide, scrum is a simple framework that enables individuals, groups, and organizations to produce value via flexible responses to challenging issues. The most considerably used and well-liked agile framework is scrum. Scrum metaphor is a specific set of guiding principles and ideals for planning and managing complicated tasks called Agile.

    Although it has its origins in software development, the term "scrum" now refers to a simple structure that is applied across many sectors to produce sophisticated goods and services that genuinely benefit consumers. It is easy to grasp but challenging to master.  


    Commitment is crucial for creating an agile culture, as scrum teams function as cohesive entities in the Scrum metaphor. It indicates that scrum and agile teams have mutual faith in one another's ability to carry out their commitments. Team members inquire when they are unsure about the status of the task. Agile teams are careful not to overcommit since they only accept assignments they are confident in their ability to fulfill.  


    One of the most beneficial qualities that scrum teams can master is the value of concentration. Agile teams are tenacious in their efforts to keep the quantity of work in progress to a minimum because focus means that whatever Scrum teams begin, they complete (limit WIP).  


    Scrum teams are constantly looking for fresh perspectives and educational opportunities. Agile teams are also upfront when asking for assistance. Each team member must be brutally honest and forthright about their personal development. If the Scrum metaphor is to achieve the biggest advancements in the shortest amount of time. The daily Scrum meeting's goal is to find and fix problems.   


    Respect is shown by members of Scrum teams for the Scrum Master, the product owner, stakeholders, and one another. Agile teams are aware that their success depends on how effectively they work together and that each individual has a unique role to play in fulfilling the sprint's tasks. They acknowledge each other's successes, accept each other's opinions, and allow one another to sometimes have a bad day.  


    The Scrum value of bravery is essential to the accomplishment of an agile team. Scrum teams need to feel comfortable asking for assistance, saying no, and trying new things. Agile teams must have the guts to challenge the status quo when it prevents them from succeeding.

    Scrum managers may encourage by, first and foremost, exhibiting it, much like respect. To stop mid-sprint adjustments or scope creep, the scrum master needs to have the guts to confront stakeholders and product owners. 

    Pillars in Scrum

    Transparency, inspection, and adaptation—the three pillars of Scrum in the Scrum metaphor—are the fundamental aspects of your organization's culture if you adopt this specific agile work style. Scrum provides several tools, methodologies, and artifacts, all of which are very useful and have various applications.

    However, the fact that scrum is based on the three pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptability makes it a highly successful and efficient framework for developing digital products. Everything else operates within the context of these ideas. You may achieve Scrum mastery by adhering to them since they define the Scrum culture.  


    Scrum values transparency highly for its three artifacts: product backlog, sprint backlog, and product increment. As choices are based on these artifacts, the scrum team and all participants need insight into scrum metaphors. Beyond those artifacts, there is more. The scrum team must be transparent about its team agreements, the means of inter-team and extra-team engagement, the corporate vision and strategy, and how the product increment fits into those plans.

    Transparency is essential for inspection to take place. Without openness, inspection is a waste of time and resources. Decisions based on an inspection without transparency will also lose time and resources.  


    Scrum teams often undergo a complete inspection of progress toward the agreed-upon product goal and the current sprint target. It allows for the early detection of problems in the development process. The most intense examination occurs during the five scrum events: sprint, sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. Inspection can also occur at any moment during development if there is reason to believe it is required.  


    Process modifications should be implemented as soon as an inspection indicates the necessity to alter the product increment or development. The scrum team decides on scrum metaphors and implements the appropriate steps. The surrounding company must enable the scrum team to accelerate the development and evolution process. Denying a scrum team self-management is an organizational anti-pattern.

    When an auditor determines that one or more method components are diverging beyond reasonable bounds and the resulting product is improper, the system or manufactured content must be modified. Immediate improvement is required to mitigate any discrepancy.  

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    Scrum framework guides to imply a team-based approach ensuring the maximum values to the customer and business. After the successful development of Scrum team, the next task of Scrum master is to get the best from each member; and, it is possible only if each member understands the importance of Scrum values and respects them as an organizational culture. Organizing the ‘Scrum certification training’ for the concerned team members helps a lot to get the best from the individuals through the smooth processes, ensuring the peak deliverance at project completion.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

    1. What are the four Scrum values? 

     The four Scrum values are respect, commitment, focus, and openness. 

    1. What does an Agile metaphor mean?  

    It is crucial for communication between team members and the customer since a metaphor for scrum master is intended to be adopted by all project participants as a method of simply outlining the project's objective and directing the architecture's structure.

    1. What five metaphors may be used to examine the Scrum values?  

    The following five metaphors make it easier to comprehend the Scrum values:  

    • Fasteners: The fasteners are employed to hold two materials—similar or dissimilar—joined and prevent their disconnection.  

    • Foundation: The Scrum ideals offer a solid framework for long-term project development.  

    • Compass: Even when a Scrum team has the necessary abilities, materials, chances, and support, they frequently fail to meet the sprint targets.  

    • Sportsmanship: Scrum ideals are defined using the concept of "sportsmanship," which emphasizes competitiveness.  

    • Identity: As they instruct team members on "how to behave and act" to safeguard the organization's interests while also delighting the client, the specified Scrum Values are the foundation of a Scrum team. 


    Shubhranshu Agarwal

    Freelance content writer

    Shubhranshu Agarwal is a technical writer with special interest in business management and project management subjects. Over the 15 years of freelance content writing, he has written a lot to help the industries, businesses and project managers to achieve the sustainable growth by implementing strategic critical management methodologies.

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