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Add the 5 Scrum Values to the Scrum Guide

The five values are incredibly important to understanding the ethos of good Scrum teams and organizations yet are not included in the Scrum Guide. This seems like a significant omission to me.

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  • Jay Conne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with the sentiments expressed by Mishkin. The necessary question is - what EXACTLY is being committed to.

    If it's to following a plan for a volume of delivered stories, we know that's a mistake in our R&D like context.

    If it's to deliver stories in priority to the agreed upon standard of DONE, that makes sense.

    If it's to deliver a Scrum Goal, in terms of a validate-able collection of functionality that's an increment of the MVP, that also makes sense.

    It's about being engaged and responsible in creating an emerging solution through a process of discovery. Any words that express this commitment are a valuable component of the solution to the question being raised here.

  • David Sabine commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hey authors, thank you for hearing and considering these voices. I'm happy to see the values are in the Scrum Guide, July 2016.

  • Sue Ryu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Why is that? These values should be added IMMEDIATELY. But then scrum is just one of the agile framework. There are other important factors, such as, feature teams, shared understanding of many things that product teams are doing daily, and so ...

  • Daniel Wilson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My 2 cents: I wonder if part of the confusion surrounding the term "commitment" as a value is also the vagueness of the term "value". The ambiguity regarding commitment seems to be between the behavior (or disposition of character) of being a committed individual rather than an act of commitment (as in a contractual sense). Commitment in both senses can be valued, but we want to emphasize that it is the first sense, that of an excellence of character, that is important. I take it that most of the scrum values can be viewed as virtues in a similar way. (I am currently doing research on this topic.)

  • Charles Bradley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Responding to some earlier comments... Here's what it boils down to with me. The previous use of the term "Sprint Commitment" was deemed to be harmful to Scrum and value delivery due to its misunderstanding by those outside the Scrum Team. As such, by bringing the word "commitment" back, I think we will be confusing a lot of people, and returning back to older habits that were deemed harmful to Scrum and value delivery. If we didn't have that baggage in the Scrum world, I wouldn't have a problem with the word in this context at all. Btw, 4 years after the term "commitment" was changed to "forecast", I still see it used at almost every coaching client I go to.

    Someone asked how many "votes" this would have to get to for me to change my mind.

    People who know me know I stand on principle, not popularity, which sometimes is to my detriment, and other times to my benefit. There is no amount of votes that would convince me otherwise. It's a principles thing. I want to improve the profession of software development like all of you do, we just disagree on the route to get there.

    I teach probably 30-40 classes a year, and coach the rest of the time, and the number of times the word "commitment" has confused people and harmed value delivery has convinced me that, IMO, we need a different word.

    So, to help allay that confusion, I'm suggesting we use a synonym that either means the same thing, or can be clarified in the guide to mean the same thing that the word "commitment" means.

    I respectfully disagree, but I'm also not going to lose sleep over it. It's just my opinion.

  • Forest Marie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Ken - to your query, yes, I'd include the Agile values as well or at least mention Scrum follows the Agile Manifesto core values and principles as I see no conflict between the 4 Agile values and the 5 Scrum values.

    As for XP, I'd leave that out of the Scrum Guide as the values conflict:

    Communication: Everyone is part of the team and we communicate face to face daily. We will work together on everything from requirements to code. We will create the best solution to our problem that we can together.

    Scrum certainly gives Development Teams a lot more autonomy and certainly doesn't suggest everyone on the Scrum team work on everything together.

    I'm careful to tell people that we use Scrum and follow the engineering practices of XP. I never say we do Scrum and XP for the subtle conflicts.

    Worst case, I'd absolutely include the 5 Core values of Scrum - without them, the Scrum team will be never reach a high performing state.

    My .02 cents.

  • Eric Wojcieszak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate
  • Karol Grodzicki commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    For me values should be in the Scrum Guide, but I would also like to hear, why they were removed.
    Ken - as for the Agile Manifesto and XP values I would rather see only references. As I understand Scrum Guide has 2 aims: as a reference definition (e.g. for whitepapers) and as a first step to learn Scrum. For neither of them Agile and XP values are needed. And we should keep Scrum Guide not too long

  • Mishkin Berteig commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Ken - great to hear from you here! My opinion: a reference the Agile Manifesto and its values and principles is sufficient. The teams I work with really appreciate the different style of the Scrum values and that the Agile Manifesto values are somehow different (although also greatly appreciated).

  • Ken Schwaber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would we also include the Agile Manifesto values. What about the overlap with XP values?

  • Doug Oates commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Perhaps this is known history. If the values were once included in The Scrum Guide, why have the values been removed? Bewildering to me.

  • Iain McKenna commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Nima Honarmandan - "if you commit to the sprint goal and you fail as a team.. what does that mean?" Probably that there are lessons that the team can learn through inspection and actions that they can take to improve (adaptation).

  • Dave Dame commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I support adding the values to the scrum guide. However, "committing" to the the principles of Inspection, Adaption and Transparency is essential so I like the word.

    I get the struggle for the word of commitment when it pertains to 'sprint commitment' because of what it implies to the rest of the organization outside of the scrum team. I have had equal struggles with the word 'forecast' as some teams lose what it means to select the right amount of work that they can reasonably complete within a sprint. However, I would rather deal with the the word forecast within the development team than battle the perception of sprint commitment across the whole global organization.

  • Iain McKenna commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Charles, I also appreciate your concerns. I found interesting your comment "This is why the word "commit" was changed to "forecast" in a previous Scrum Guide" as I believe this was done to make clear that the commitment in Scrum was not to an amount of work. Whilst that is incredibly valuable, it does not mean that commitment is not important or valuable but the commitment does need to be understood.

    There are lots of words and terms that have baggage in different cultures, to me a good scrum master works tirelessly to ensure that the meaning within the context of scrum is understood and therefore the baggage is discarded. Using other words or terms could result in dilution of the intent.

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