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What are the Scrum Principles?

The Scrum process was conceived as a “lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems,” as stated in the official Scrum Guide

Approaching a complex problem with a lightweight framework sounds counterintuitive, but Scrum’s wide adoption means that it does so successfully. Scrum is iterative, adaptable, and, therefore, effective at dealing with complexity and change. Scrum also relies on culture, nurturing a set of values and principles that keep team members motivated and focused on goals.

The six Scrum principles

Scrum principles are the core guidelines for applying the Scrum framework. The six Scrum principles are:

  • Empirical process control - A core philosophy based on ideas of transparency, inspection, and adaptation
  • Self-organization - Promoting shared ownership, increased team buy-in, creativity, and giving teams the opportunity to generate significantly more value
  • Collaboration - Advocating project management as a value-generating process by focusing on awareness, articulation, and appropriation
  • Value-based prioritization - To deliver as much business value as possible at every stage of the project
  • Time-boxing - A critical component of Scrum to manage planning and execution, inspired by rapid application development principles
  • Iterative development - By embracing ideas and techniques for continuous improvement, Scrum is able to produce outcomes faster

The Scrum master: Keeper of the Scrum principles

One of the responsibilities of the Scrum master is to coach team members in the execution of Agile practices. He/she has the opportunity to do so during project ceremonies by reminding the rest of the team what the principles are and how they apply to the challenges they are tackling.

Scrum principles serve as an abstract checklist for the Scrum master too: processes and outputs can be benchmarked against them.