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5 Core Scrum Values and Principles

Scrum is an effective Agile practice that allows teams to focus on the most important work and increase performance. However, implementing Scrum does not end with adding in the roles and events. It is just as important for the team to start implementing the Scrum values as their way of working.

So, let’s explore what these values are and what they mean in the context of Scrum.

If you are looking for more information on Scrum, check out this post:

What is Scrum?

What are the 5 Scrum values?

According to, there are 5 Scrum values that every Scrum Team should uphold. They are listed as follows:

  1. Courage
  2. Focus
  3. Commitment
  4. Respect
  5. Openess

These values are meant to guide the mindset of the team members when they work on projects together. As such, they become a part of every Sprint, planning, and retrospective. The Scrum values are here to guide the team on how they should be working and become a vital part of any decision made during the Sprints. They help foster trust and transparency.

Need a refresher about the Scrum terms and practices, grab this Scrum cheat sheet!


Let’s look closer at each of the Scrum values to see what they mean.

1. Courage

Scrum Team members have the courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems.

When we think about this, it takes quite a bit of courage to start implementing Scrum. So, most Scrum Teams already are a little courageous in their mindset and this should be encouraged as you continue on in Scrum.

During the projects, it is important to have the courage for making tough decisions, adjusting the backlog, or facing the fact that the team cannot meet the deadlines. This also means preventing things such as mid-Sprint changes or taking on too much work because the stakeholders are requesting it.

Such a courageous and open approach will allow for all involved parties to have a transparent view of the situation and move forward in the best and most productive manner.

2. Focus

Everyone focuses on the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team.

As it is stated in the Scrum guide, each Sprint is an effort solely focused on achieving the Sprint Goal. This second Scrum value enforces that statement by asking the team members to only work on tasks that are directly related to this goal.

This might seem tough at first, but only adding tasks that directly affect your goal brings tremendous value. You maximize the team efforts, minimize distractions and achieve the best possible results at the end of the Sprint. Besides, working only on goal-related tasks creates less confusion and multitasking which is another big time thief in most projects.

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3. Commitment

People personally commit to achieving the goals of the Scrum Team.

Commitment is something we like to see in every project and Scrum is no different. However, it does specify two levels of committing – to your team and to your goal.

First, each team member should be committed to performing their part of the work. Meaning their team members can trust that the tasks will be finished on time. While if there are any issues, they will be notified and can help each other solve them.

Second, the team members should be committed to the Sprint and Product Goals. This means each team member should look at the planned work and make sure that completing it will benefit the set goals. Thus, allowing them to focus on the most beneficial and impactful tasks.

4. Respect

Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people.

Respect is another important Scrum value to implement. This encompasses both – the respect within the team and outside of it.

First, the Scrum Team members should respect each other in terms of experience, culture, opinions, etc. This allows them to be more effective in terms of work and strengthens the bonds between them as people. A team that respects all its members will work together much better.

Second, this respect should be carried over to the clients and stakeholders. The scrum team has to respect their opinions, suggestions, and the change of mind when it happens. In such a way, all parties can collaborate and come up with the best end result for all.

5. Openness

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

This last Scrum value focuses on several aspects of your process. First up, it asks the team members to be open about their work progress, challenges, and issues. This way the Scrum Team can analyze and adjust their plans as well as manage the stakeholder expectations.

Another way the Scrum team should be open is to any possible changes. These might be coming from the clients, stakeholders, or any other third party. Instead of being disregarded, they should be evaluated and then possibly adjust previously set plans.

Lastly, the Scrum Team should be open to working with each other and anyone else. According to the Sprint and Product Goals, there might be a need to work with a client or a third party. Thus, the team has to be open to such possibilities and make the most out of them.

Learn more about how to determine the Scrum team size.

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Scrum Values vs Scrum principles

So now that we know about the 5 Scrum values, you might be wondering if the Scrum principles are the same thing. Well, they are not.

The Scrum values guide the team members’ behavior. However, they are more of a mindset than actual practices that can be implemented in the team. While the Scrum principles are 6 concrete practices that each Scrum Team has to implement.

Let’s take a short look at the list.

What are the Scrum principles

1. Empirical process control

Instead of relying on a plan that has been made upfront, the Scrum Team should adapt and change based on the circumstances.

2. Self-organization

Each member of the Scrum Team is responsible for managing and completing their tasks. There is no micromanagement.

3. Collaboration

The Scrum team and all involved parties must collaborate to reach the best possible results.

4. Value-based prioritization

The Sprint tasks should be prioritized based on the value they can provide to the Sprint Goal. The biggest value items are performed first.

5. Time-boxing

All 5 Scrum events should be defined with a precise time slot and not exceed this value.

6. Iterative development

The Scrum Team must work iteratively – review and improve their process after every Sprint.

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