5 Scrum Values: Guide for App Owners with Real-life Examples
Hi, I’m Beata, a Scrum Master, and I’m excited to share some behind-the-scenes stories from a development team’s day-to-day. I’ll walk you through how Scrum Values really work and the tangible benefits they provide – not just for the team, but also for you as an App Owner.
Table of contents
Hi there! Are you wondering what Scrum Values are? Why are they important? How do they work in practice? Or are they just a catchphrase?
I’m Beata, and I’ve been a Scrum Master at Droids On Roids for almost three years now. Let me share insights from our software house with you.
I’ll present how individual Scrum Values manifest themselves in our team and tell you about my experience with each Scrum Value 🙂
Ready? Let’s begin by revisiting the basics.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is an approach for developing products in complex environments.
Scrum helps development teams to respond quickly to changing requirements, incorporate feedback, and deliver value to the users every week or two.
This approach helps identify and address issues early in the app development process, reducing the risk of costly mistakes and improving the app’s overall quality.
Let me show you a few compelling statistics related to Scrum and its impact on mobile app development (source: State of Agile Report from 2022).
Most companies that need mobile apps want to achieve one of three things: raising revenue, lowering costs, or reducing risk. Well-implemented Scrum is a great way to achieve it fast.
Respondents of the State of Agile Report noticed that well-implemented Scrum accelerates time-to-market, positively impacts predictable delivery, and reduces the risk. Take a look:
At Droids On Roids, we’ve been developing and refining our Scrum and Agile practices for 12 years now. We are sure about our processes and Scrum implementation. That’s why:
- Predictable Delivery
- Focus on the Goals
- and Delivery at speed (fast time-to-market)
…are our brand promises. You can read more about them here.
Now let’s focus on our main topic, which is the five Scrum Values!
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What are the Scrum Values?
The values of Scrum are crucial elements of the Scrum framework that help build a truly effective team.
Scrum Values are: Courage, Focus, Commitment, Respect, and Openness.
These values guide the behavior and mindset of the individuals within the team to create an environment of trust. This is essential for the effective development of best-quality software products!
Let me introduce the 5 Scrum Values one by one.
Courage – Taking on difficult tasks and doing what’s right
Why is Courage crucial?
Imagine that you entrust the creation of your dream product to a team that does not have the courage to speak their mind. They will only tell you what you want to hear, and you will learn about all the possible risks when it will be too late to react. Would you feel safe investing in product development with such a team?
Agile teams must be brave to demonstrate their opinion, question the status quo, and share their expertise. And it’s in your interest!
⚡ How do Droids On Roids’ teams show Courage?
- If we know in advance that the deadline we have set is at risk, we will tell you about it immediately and suggest an alternative way to reach the goal. We will not wait until the last minute, hoping to avoid dissatisfaction.
- If some of your actions slow us down, we will have the courage to tell you. Most often, we face low responsiveness and limited time, so we already have several ways to solve it.
- If some of your ideas are unclear or risky to us, we will tell you about it and ask additional questions. Thanks to this, together we will find the best solution for the product.
- We have the courage to speak up and admit mistakes. We do not hide problems. We are transparent.
➜ My story about Courage
My first experience in which I showed courage is very memorable to me. It was my first project as a Scrum Master with a very tight budget. From the start of the project, our App Owner insisted that we work faster and faster.
We began to fear that, with this approach, the quality of the product would suffer the most.
I gathered my courage and met one to one with our App Owner. I explained how her attitude affects the team and ultimately affects the quality of the product. And a best-quality product is something we all care about.
Thanks to this, we agreed and focused on precisely prioritizing tasks. We started to deliver better results in our work and, after two years, we are still working together to develop the next phases of the product.
Focus – Concentrating on daily tasks and the Product Goal
Why is Focus crucial?
Imagine that you work with a team that is constantly distracted by messages or emails. The team could be spending hours in meetings talking about “things that we may want in the distant future”. And these team members could likewise be choosing their daily tasks based on what is easy and fun. Would you believe that your budget is spent most productively?
Agile teams are relentless about limiting the amount of work in process and that translates into the success of your product.
⚡ How do Droids On Roids’ teams stay focused?
- We work on long-term and short-term goals. With the long-term Product Goal, we stay focused on the big picture of what we want to achieve. We want to know the measures of success and choose solutions that bring us closer to it. The team also chooses the goal for the upcoming week or two, and we prioritize this goal above everything else.
- We timebox meetings. This means that we choose the maximum amount of time we want to spend on it and focus on achieving the meeting goal sooner. It motivates us to park the off-topics and keep the meetings as short as possible.
- We organize days that are meetings-free. This is an entire day devoted to deep work without changing the context.
➜ My story about Focus
In one of my teams, we talked about what each of us can do differently to be more effective next month. Several people indicated that they would like to manage their time better and extend the time they are focused on deep work.
We came up with the idea of organizing one-hour workshops, during which we will share our ways to stay focused and the things that make it difficult for us.
Then we will choose the practices that appeal to us most and arrange a 2-week experiment. We want to check what works best for us. We will also let each other know when we fall out of our flow and help ourselves get back on track. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
Commitment – Pursuing the achievement of our goals
Why is Commitment crucial?
Nobody likes empty promises. The same applies to business. If we agree on a goal, we must believe that its implementation is possible. A committed team organizes themselves in a way to deliver this goal in the agreed time.
Agile teams keep their word. When they commit to something, they work together to deliver on that commitment.
⚡ How do Droids On Roids’ teams stay committed?
- The whole team defines the goal for the upcoming week or two. We make sure that everyone understands what we want to achieve and that it’s doable.
- We challenge each other if the chosen features are beneficial for the Product Goal or can possibly be done later.
- We synchronize on a daily basis to check if we are on the right track. We can reorganize or help someone from the team every day.
➜ My story about Commitment
What helps me and my teams to be committed to the goal is to visualize what particular tasks are related to it. We add special labels to the tasks that must be done to achieve the short-term goal. Moreover, we order them logically, and then developers decide who can start with which task. They know it the best.
For the next week, we track the progress every day and decide what to do each upcoming day.
You, as the App Owner, also have access to this visualization. We want you to be able to see what’s going on.
And if something goes wrong, as you already know, we have the courage to let you know as soon as possible.
Respect – Recognizing each other as capable, independent individuals
Why is Respect crucial?
Imagine you are a developer working with someone who is always late or doesn’t attend the meeting. Alternatively, envision someone who finds their opinion the most important one, or with someone who often makes fun of or criticizes your ideas. It probably doesn’t sound appealing and evokes emotions that make collaboration difficult.
Agile teams respect each other’s differences in experience, communication and personality. Members of an Agile team treat each other as equals.
⚡ How do Droids On Roids’ teams show Respect?
- We do not distinguish technical leaders in product teams – each person’s opinion is equally important.
- In larger teams, we often talk in smaller groups to create a space for everyone to speak.
- We let each other know when we need to skip a meeting.
- We are constantly learning how to provide constructive, fact-based feedback that allows us to develop.
- We respect your decisions, as the App Owner, as well as those of your stakeholders regarding product management, even if they differ from our proposals.
- We are aware that our work affects the work of others.
➜ My story about Respect
In one of my projects, we had a habit of delivering big tasks the day before the deadline. At that time, our tester was in a rather uncomfortable situation. He often had to stay after work to ensure everything worked properly. It wasn’t fair to him.
We started to split tasks into smaller parts, so that every day something would be ready for testing. The day before the deadline, we talked about which tasks would be possible to test on the last day, without doing overtime.
Thanks to splitting the tasks into smaller ones and thorough testing, the product improved its quality.
We kept good morale in the team, and our tester gained a new nickname, “The Machine” 😉
Openness – Being transparent about work and the challenges
Why is Openness crucial?
Imagine that you work with a team that is reluctant to change and experiment. You’ve made it to an important trade show that will help your business grow, and you need to change your priorities.
Your team seems upset and complains about the change.
On the other hand, you are upset with them too, because they cannot say exactly how many hours a single task will take them. Will our product succeed with such an approach?
Agile teams need to be open about upcoming changes and everyday challenges at work. Software development is a very complex environment. Keeping your problems and blockers to yourself prevents the success of the whole team.
⚡ How do Droids On Roids’ teams cultivate Openness?
- We are not looking for the guilty, but simply looking for solutions. After every week or two, we discuss what we can change as a team to be more effective.
- We are open to change and pivot if necessary to make the product more likely to succeed.
- We regularly ask for your (App Owner) feedback on our cooperation, and we take it into account.
- We do not limit ourselves to one solution, as we know that different paths can lead to the same goal.
- We talk openly about the progress of our work, and we share blockers and difficulties. We are open to help from another person.
➜ My story about Openess
Lately, I witnessed great Openness from our client.
He came to us with an idea for an app that required an additional admin panel to manage content. He had his vision of how this panel would work. The App Owner also wanted the data entry process to take as little time as possible.
We came up with a solution that was completely different from the one proposed by the client. It wasn’t as advanced and pretty as the client had imagined. However, it met the goal of fast data entry and was 80% cheaper to implement.
Thanks to the client’s Openness, we went in this direction, and we could use the saved budget for features in the app that attract more users.
Let’s sum up this part of the article.
As you may have noticed, all these values are connected to each other. It is also unsurprising that teams with Scrum Values achieve the best results. Working on Scrum Values has a positive effect on the inner motivation of team members. And inner motivation is the key to success.
Why do Scrum Values matter and what do they mean to App Owners?
App development based on Scrum Values translates into tangible benefits for you as an App Owner.
- You use the full potential of your specialists – the developers you work with are passionate about their industry. They have already developed many other digital products. They can help you choose financially optimal solutions for your needs.
- You are challenged – you’ll probably get some tough questions that will broaden your perspective on the product.
- You are aware of everything – at any time you need it, you can check the status of work, see the potential threats, or who is on vacation. We don’t hide anything from you.
- Your product is getting more valuable week by week – you can be sure that we focus on what is most important at a given moment, and we do not make promises we cannot fulfill.
- Your decisions are respected – because we understand that you know your product and business best.
- You can decide to change the direction of the product during its development – we know that seeing product development brings new opportunities and ideas. If a change of direction gives us a better chance of product success – let’s do it!
Scrum Values at Droids On Roids
At Droids On Roids, we have used Scrum Values in our daily work for 12 years. We have launched over 130 apps this way. Our team of Scrum Masters consists of 10 experienced professionals.
The core Scrum Values are so close to us that our Company Values were created on their basis.
Combined together, they make an amazing mix. And product development is not only at a high level but also a lot of fun – to us and to the Product Owners we work with.
What are the Droids On Roids Values?
- Teamwork above all – but what is teamwork without openness and respect?
- Honesty is the best policy – but you must have the courage to speak your mind to the CEO, right?
- We cultivate interpersonal relationships – and openness is key to building good relations.
- We’re goal and results obsessed – that’s thanks to the power of focus and commitment.
- We’re better today than yesterday – I love this one. I think it’s all of the values combined together. We develop as people, and thanks to this, we can develop better and better products.
If you feel that you would trust a team working on such values, then contact us 🙂
You can also read about our Our 7 steps to an accurate mobile app development cost estimate.
5 Values of Scrum – wrap up
We discussed the five Scrum Values of Commitment, Courage, Focus, Openness, and Respect, explaining their significance and their impact on successful mobile app development.
Scrum Values are not just a catchy phrase. Creating mobile applications is creative mental work. Developers need the right environment to build high-quality, useful products.
Scrum Values are essential to fostering such an environment.
When the 5 Scrum Values are embodied in the team, they create an environment of trust.