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Scrum Values: Is The Focus Really On People?

I recently conducted an introduction to Scrum for a new team. My preparation started with the Agile Manifesto and the 12 Principles of Agile Software Development (http://agilemanifesto.org/). I have read and re-read the Agile Manifesto and Principles repeated, but the one thread that stuck out in this recent review was ‘people.’ Values of AgileThe four core values of Agile software development as stated by the Agile Manifesto areIndividuals and interactions over processes and tools;Working software over comprehensive documentation;Customer collaboration over contract negotiation; andResponding to change over following a plan.12 Agile PrinciplesThe 12 essential Agile attributes articulated in the Agile Manifesto are:Satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable work.Breaking big work down into smaller tasks that can be completed quickly.Recognizing that the best work emerges from self-organized teams.Providing motivated individuals with the environment and support they need and trusting them to get the job done.Creating processes that promote sustainable efforts.Maintaining a constant pace for completed work.Welcoming changing requirements, even late in a project.Assembling the project team and business owners on a daily basis throughout the project.Having the team reflect at regular intervals on how to become more effective, then tuning and adjusting behavior accordingly.Measuring progress by the amount of completed work.Continually seeking excellence.Harnessing change for a competitive advantage.When I began to reflect on my training materials, it came back to people.When I began to reflect on my experience, it came back to people.It all came back to people.In fact, one of the four Agile guidelines speaks to people (25%).Individuals and interactions over processes and toolsAnd five of the 12 Principles of Software Development speaks to people (42%).Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development the team is a face-to-face conversation.The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective then tunes and adjusts it's behavior accordingly.Not just the people but the right people. Having the right people, is a part of the process. Not only it is a part of the process, it is essential to the success of a Scrum team. First, you need to ensure that you have the right skills represented.Does the team require architects, analysts, quality assurance, UI/UX, etc.? Does the team have an identified Product Owner (single wringable neck)? Does the team have a Scrum Master identified? The team should be 7 + 2 and should include the product owner and scrum master.Once you’ve determined that you have the right skill representation, you then need to evaluate if those people are the right people. Below are 6 “C’s” defining traits showing the ‘right people’ constituting the Scrum team.1. CommunicativeCommunication is a key element of the scrum as highlighted in the manifesto and 12 guiding principles. This is a fundamental change for individuals that are used to working in a silo. Scrum requires at least daily communication.Stories are often written with minimal detail in order to facilitate a conversation. Scrum requires proactive communication (don’t wait to be asked). Scrum requires great listening.  That means that the right persons need to understand the importance of communication and embrace that importance by exhibiting or learning to exhibit a proactive communicative disposition.2. CollaborativeCollaboration is also a key element of the scrum. Again, this is a fundamental change for an individual that may be used to working in a silo. Scrum highlights the ‘success and failure as a team’ mentality. That means that the team has a vested interest in and right to ensure that work is getting completed and done correctly.This is a two-way street, not only do you need to have insight into everyone’s work, but you must also be willing to provide the same insight into your own work. The team needs to be willing to pair program, swarm or even mob around stories for the team’s success.3. CreativeScrum team members need to be creative. They need to have an ability to be told what is needed without requiring someone to explain ‘how.’  Stories in their purest sense are single sentenced with perhaps a couple of sentences of acceptance criteria.4. ConnectedThe Scrum team member (including the Scrum Master and Product Owner) need to be connected to the team.  What does it mean to be connected? It means to be invested in the success of the team.It means that they know one another, they know how to interact with one another, they know how to make one another successful and in turn make the team successful. A good scrum team truly works hard and plays hard together.  A good scrum team member needs to be willing to develop a ‘work-family’ with his/her scrum team.5. Co-locatedIt’s controversial in the age of telecommuting, but a co-located team member is the best. Face to face conversations trump video conference calls, phone calls, emails, IM’s, etc. Collaboration is immediate and organic when the team is co-located. Connectedness and camaraderie come to a lot easier with co-location.  Co-location makes spontaneous collaboration via swarming, pair programming, and even mob programming that much easier.6. CoachableIf the person doesn’t possess any of the above attributes they are coachable. Not everyone will possess these skills, so coachability becomes one of the most important elements for any team member. Everything else can be taught and demonstratedIs Scrum all about People?Agile and Scrum are making the implementation of the software projects more successful by meeting the user’s, customer’s, and the business needs, and at producing software much more quickly and responsively than the traditional waterfall methodology.All the characteristics of a good Agile team is depend on these values. Once the team is identified and evaluated to be the ‘right people’ you can begin investing in team-wide training/education to establish a baseline understanding of the Scrum, the roles, the ceremonies, and the terminology is a great start to start any project in the organization.

Scrum Values: Is The Focus Really On People?

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  • by Jeremy Smith
  • 26th Oct, 2018
  • Last updated on 11th Mar, 2021
  • 7 mins read
Scrum Values: Is The Focus Really On People?

I recently conducted an introduction to Scrum for a new team. My preparation started with the Agile Manifesto and the 12 Principles of Agile Software Development (http://agilemanifesto.org/). I have read and re-read the Agile Manifesto and Principles repeated, but the one thread that stuck out in this recent review was ‘people.’
 
Values of Agile

Values of Agile
The four core values of Agile software development as stated by the Agile Manifesto are

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools;
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation;
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and
  • Responding to change over following a plan.


12 Agile Principles

The 12 essential Agile attributes articulated in the Agile Manifesto are:

  • Satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable work.
  • Breaking big work down into smaller tasks that can be completed quickly.
  • Recognizing that the best work emerges from self-organized teams.
  • Providing motivated individuals with the environment and support they need and trusting them to get the job done.
  • Creating processes that promote sustainable efforts.
  • Maintaining a constant pace for completed work.
  • Welcoming changing requirements, even late in a project.
  • Assembling the project team and business owners on a daily basis throughout the project.
  • Having the team reflect at regular intervals on how to become more effective, then tuning and adjusting behavior accordingly.
  • Measuring progress by the amount of completed work.
  • Continually seeking excellence.
  • Harnessing change for a competitive advantage.


    When I began to reflect on my training materials, it came back to people.
    When I began to reflect on my experience, it came back to people.
    It all came back to people.
    In fact, one of the four Agile guidelines speaks to people (25%).
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

And five of the 12 Principles of Software Development speaks to people (42%).

  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development the team is a face-to-face conversation.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective then tunes and adjusts it's behavior accordingly.

Not just the people but the right people. Having the right people, is a part of the process. Not only it is a part of the process, it is essential to the success of a Scrum team. First, you need to ensure that you have the right skills represented.

Does the team require architects, analysts, quality assurance, UI/UX, etc.? Does the team have an identified Product Owner (single wringable neck)? Does the team have a Scrum Master identified? The team should be 7 + 2 and should include the product owner and scrum master.

Once you’ve determined that you have the right skill representation, you then need to evaluate if those people are the right people. Below are 6 “C’s” defining traits showing the ‘right people’ constituting the Scrum team.

6 C's of scrum team1. Communicative
Communication is a key element of the scrum as highlighted in the manifesto and 12 guiding principles. This is a fundamental change for individuals that are used to working in a silo. Scrum requires at least daily communication.

Stories are often written with minimal detail in order to facilitate a conversation. Scrum requires proactive communication (don’t wait to be asked). Scrum requires great listening.  That means that the right persons need to understand the importance of communication and embrace that importance by exhibiting or learning to exhibit a proactive communicative disposition.

2. Collaborative

Collaboration is also a key element of the scrum. Again, this is a fundamental change for an individual that may be used to working in a silo. Scrum highlights the ‘success and failure as a team’ mentality. That means that the team has a vested interest in and right to ensure that work is getting completed and done correctly.
This is a two-way street, not only do you need to have insight into everyone’s work, but you must also be willing to provide the same insight into your own work. The team needs to be willing to pair program, swarm or even mob around stories for the team’s success.

3. Creative

Scrum team members need to be creative. They need to have an ability to be told what is needed without requiring someone to explain ‘how.’  Stories in their purest sense are single sentenced with perhaps a couple of sentences of acceptance criteria.

4. Connected

The Scrum team member (including the Scrum Master and Product Owner) need to be connected to the team.  What does it mean to be connected? It means to be invested in the success of the team.
It means that they know one another, they know how to interact with one another, they know how to make one another successful and in turn make the team successful. A good scrum team truly works hard and plays hard together.  A good scrum team member needs to be willing to develop a ‘work-family’ with his/her scrum team.

5. Co-located

It’s controversial in the age of telecommuting, but a co-located team member is the best. Face to face conversations trump video conference calls, phone calls, emails, IM’s, etc. Collaboration is immediate and organic when the team is co-located. Connectedness and camaraderie come to a lot easier with co-location.  Co-location makes spontaneous collaboration via swarming, pair programming, and even mob programming that much easier.

6. Coachable

If the person doesn’t possess any of the above attributes they are coachable. Not everyone will possess these skills, so coachability becomes one of the most important elements for any team member. Everything else can be taught and demonstrated

Is Scrum all about People?

Agile and Scrum are making the implementation of the software projects more successful by meeting the user’s, customer’s, and the business needs, and at producing software much more quickly and responsively than the traditional waterfall methodology.


All the characteristics of a good Agile team is depend on these values. Once the team is identified and evaluated to be the ‘right people’ you can begin investing in team-wide training/education to establish a baseline understanding of the Scrum, the roles, the ceremonies, and the terminology is a great start to start any project in the organization.

Jeremy

Jeremy Smith

Blog Author

Jeremy Smith is a 20 year IT professional. Jeremy started his IT career in Business Analysis where he was introduced to Scrum. Jeremy pursued his Scrum Master certification and in 2012 began serving as a Project Manager and Scrum Master for multiple teams. Jeremy has since moved into Agile Program Management. Jeremy has also provided Scrum coaching within his roles and independently. Jeremy graduated from Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration focusing in Computer Information Systems. Jeremy also holds a CSM (Certified Scrum Master) and a CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner) certifications from the Scrum Alliance.

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1 comments

nikhila 13 Nov 2018

Great updates. technology is updating day by day on every field. These blogs are really informative

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By getting themselves trained, leaders can begin the transformation journey armed with the necessary information.Leading SAFe® Course and CertificationLearning OutcomesThe 2 day long Leading SAFe® course results in the following learning outcomes:The knowledge and principles of Lean, Agile, DevOps, Lean Product Development Insights into achieving Business Agility through organizing around value Understanding of Lean Portfolio Management which emphasizes the need for Lean principles and Lean Budgeting The importance of PI Planning events, co-ordinating Multiple Agile Release Trains, establishing team and technical agility Customer-centric mindset and design thinking approach to Agile product delivery The importance of sustaining SAFe® transformation by creating Communities of Practice and fully empowered employees and teams. In short, the SAFe® Implementation Roadmap helps the leaders to chalk out their organization’s transformation journey. Who should take the Leading SAFe® Course? This course is just right for leaders who are in a position to influence employees, organizational structure and the future of products / solutions.  Executives of the organization that decide on the future course of business Business Unit Heads who are responsible for a Portfolio Heads of functions like Marketing/Sales/Product/IT/Engineering etc Agile Program Managers and Project Managers who steer programs and projects, Managers of teams Technology leaders like Enterprise and Solution Architects/ Distinguished Engineers/ Fellows who command a large sphere of influence on teams Leading SAFe® CertificationAttending the 2 day Leading SAFe® course is a requirement to write the exam, and participants will get access to all the study materials and the exam. Once the exam is   successfully completed, the candidate gets the below privileges as per Scaled Agile, Inc. Certified SAFe® Agilist PDF certificate Certified SAFe® Agilist digital badge to promote your accomplishment online One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform, which includes access to the SA Community of Practice Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other SAFe certified professionals A variety of learning resources to support you during your SAFe journey Benefits of taking Leading SAFe®5 trainingEvery change starts with – what is in it for me? The Leading SAFe® course outlines a generic framework that is applicable to any enterprise. For an individual employee it is a learning for life and can be applied to any organization he/she is associated with.  The SAFe® Agilist Course and Certification is one of the prestigious achievements in the individual’s professional life earning him/her respect and recognition within the Agile Community.           A SAFe®5 certified professional is eligible for better prospects within their own organization or in other organizations, if and when there is a need for job change.  According to Forrester’s Q2 2015 Global Agile Software Application Development Online Survey-“The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) is the most widely adopted enterprise Agile approach according to most survey data, with 33% using it”. With more than 70% of US Fortune 100 companies actively employing SAFe®, it is clear that the demand for Leading SAFe® is on a constant rise. Benefits of Leading SAFe®5 Training for the organization:Leadership is the foundation on which the “House of Lean” is built. A strong foundation of Lean Agile leaders, Managers and Executives help to create a learning culture for the organization by exhibiting the Lean Agile Mindset. This, in turn, paves the way for enterprise-wide transformation. Having a strong army of Agilists that are trained and certified helps the organization to sustain the principles of Lean and Agile.Agile ManifestoCorporate training for the leaders of the organization from a reputed Training provider like Knowledge Hut will ensure that all leaders are on the same page, hearing the same message at the same time. The training will become an opportunity for collaboration and the discussions during the training facilitated by the trainer can be tailored to suit organizational needs.   Why KnowledgeHut for Leading SAFe®5 Course?KnowledgeHut is a leading training provider offering a variety of accredited training programs for Corporates and Individuals. KnowledgeHut is a preferred training partner for various corporates.  KnowledgeHut offers training across 70 countries in over 250 industry-recognized courses. This includes a wide range of Courses in Agile and SAFe®.  Scaled Agile, Inc is the only certifying authority for SAFe® and KnowledgeHut is a Silver Partner of Scaled Agile, having trained more than 4000 professionals in various SAFe® certifications.  The Trainers for Leading SAFe® courses are an elite panel of accredited SPCs who also have years of experience as active SAFe® practitioners.  Learning happens through experiential workshops by accredited industry experts who bring in vast real-world experience imparting knowledge through in-class activities and simulations. Please refer here for all the details and the value-added services offered by KnowledgeHut for the “Leading SAFe® 5 “course. In conclusion, Scaled Agile Inc’s Leading SAFe®5 from KnowledgeHut will be a unique learning experience that will set the stage for success in one’s professional life. This credential benefits equally the individual, the organization and the larger cause of increasing the number of Agilists and improving the Agile Community at large.
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