Scrum Values – Openness

I am writing about the Scrum Values and this week it’s the turn of Openness. Being open with each other and our stakeholders is key for the success of a Scrum Team. Scrum is built on Empirism which in turn has pillars of Transparency, Inspection, and Adaption. Without Openness there is no Transparency and the whole framework comes crashing down. Lets dive into this a little deeper to explain what I mean.

In Scrum we constantly inspect our progress, we do this at least once per day using our Daily Scrum within the Sprint and then again at each Sprint Review as we examine our progress against the Product Goal. The purpose of this is to detect any issues early and adapt our plan to ensure we can meet our goal despite the problems which arise. Transparency is vital to this inspection, if we do not make efforts to make our work and current challenges transparent then we will not be able to inspect or adapt. This puts the entire team’s long term goals at huge risk.

If we do not create transparency through openness then we will be unable to inspect and adapt.

As Scrum Team Members we must value Openness and Transparency. This allows our colleagues to support us, it also allows Stakeholders to engage and steer the team to providing true value for the customer. If we are not open with our work or our concerns then we will blunder into making mistakes which could have been avoided.

In previous posts I’ve referred to Steve Trapps’ excellent blog post about Scrum Values. In it he asks key questions which lets Scrum Team members assess their own levels of Openness, these are:

  • I do not shy away from telling difficult news to team members and stakeholders
  • I do not hide away difficult issues in the hope that they will sort themselves out.
  • If something / someone is annoying me I will address it / tell them.
  • My colleagues can judge what state of mind I’m in, I can share my feelings with my them.
  • I always say the true state of an item, and do not over/under play it.

How many of these questions can you truthfully answer yes? Are you building a safe environment so your colleagues can be open with you?

Look for Openness on your teams and evangalise it yourself, the results speak for themselves.

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