My 2 cents about the 5 scrum values, misunderstandings and my personal opinion:
courage, openness, respect, commitment, focus
Commit to the team and sprint goals, easy right? NO!
Often people are committed to something someone told them they have to. Without understanding why. We have to commit to something we decided is giving value to the product and to the client’s project and for sure a value for the client. What does it mean? It mean the team have to embrace discussion and criticism and consult the client, in a collaboration fashion. Remember the agile value of “collaborate with the client over negotiation”?
Team: Dear client what’s your goal?
Client: I want improve my ecommerce sales by 1% in 12 months, inside a budget of… in order to reach a ROI of … (S.M.A.R.T. objective)
Team: With our analysis and experience we think we should focus on those features…
When a team is involved in consulting the client in order to define and prioritize the goals to reach the objective it means it will be a strong commitment.
And more: the more team members are involved early in the discovery phase the higher is the commitment and the understanding and major are the chances to have an higher return of investment.
Involvement entails partecipation in all aspects and focus to reach single phases.
Focus on the goal.
Again an easy one, right? NO! (again)
The sprint is running, the goals are on the wall, user stories on the boards, developers, designers, architects, PO, SM are focused and committed and then the client calls asking to create a totally alien feature for the new annual general meeting…
We are not living in a utopistic world, we receive complains from clients, we want to make them happy. Trust is difficult to build and often we are willing to say “Yes” just to rise the client satisfaction. It’s normal, on every level, the employees with the chief, the team with the client.
It’s important we recognize this is normal, it occurs often and it’s in human nature and in the nature of things to change focus but on the same time it’s important to ensure focus on the team.
And more, focus is not just do the work, once the team gets a business goal, it:
- Figures out how to do the work
- Does the work
- Is aware of what’s going on
- Is responsible to resolve all the difficulties within its scope while works with other parts of the organization to resolve concerns outside their control
This focus on team responsibility in Scrum is critical.
And more: if the team is responsible of itself it’s also for the focus. So the team should be able to remove all distractions