top of page

📖Scrum: Definition and Core Values

Uncover the essence of Scrum – its origin, evolution, and values. Explore how this agile framework fosters collaboration and adaptability for project success.

Scrum is an agile methodology that was originally designed as a framework to achieve faster and more efficient commercial product development. The term itself comes from Rugby, where it is used to highlight the focus on teamwork in process of achieving goals.

Table of content

Preview image

Scrum in Project Management

The concept of Scrum was initially brought to light in 1986 by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka through their article, "The New New Product Development Game," published in the Harvard Business Review. Ken Schwaber, along with Jeff Sutherland, further refined this concept into a structured framework during the early 90s to assist organizations grappling with intricate development projects.

Scrum came about because people wanted to get things done faster and be more flexible than with old-fashioned project methods like waterfall. It's all about teaming up closely and working intensely together for short periods.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is based on an empirical approach to project management, where we don't know everything from the start. Instead, the team learns and adjusts as they go along, based on what they see and experience, to deliver the value they aim for over time.

For big, complicated projects where variables and requirements might change, Scrum significantly reduces risk of failure through an iterative planning approach as part of a holistic product strategy. This is certainly most relatable with software projects (see the CHAOS Report 2015 by the Standish Group to illustrate this point - page 7), however due to its flexibility, Scrum has been widely adopted and used for all kinds of initiatives. 

A Scrum Master is key to ensuring project team members can be supported and coached to achieve value and stick to the core processes within the framework. A Scrum Master plays a crucial role in helping team members, supporting them, and coaching them to reach their goals and stick to the main rules of the framework.

Scrum Framework diagram
Scrum Framework

The Scrum Master

The Scrum Master, acting as the facilitator, ensures adherence to agile practices while allowing flexibility for the team to adapt. This approach, termed 'servant leadership' in the Scrum Guide, promotes collaboration and innovation within the team without relying on hierarchical authority. The Scrum Master fosters a conducive environment following four simple steps outlined in the Scrum Guide:

On page 3 of the 2020 Scrum Guide, the simplicity of the environment a Scrum Master should foster is defined in 4 steps:


  1. A Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog.

  2. The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment of value during a Sprint.

  3. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the results and adjust for the next Sprint.

  4. Repeat

While the Scrum Guide provides detailed processes and ceremonies, it's essential not to overcomplicate them. Efficient Scrum ceremonies ensure active participation only from those committed to the project.

Scrum values

Scrum's foundation lies in empiricism and Lean principles, aiming to reduce process waste and focus solely on essentials. Understanding the three Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation is critical for harvesting its benefits.


The 5 Scrum values are:

These values are really important when we're looking closely at things. They're like a team's guiding principles for how to work and behave.

Scrum Pillars

  1. Transparency - Scrum is based on the team's access to same information and shared vision

  2. Inspection - It's crucial for the project to see how well they are doing. Team should accept failure as part of the inspection process. If something isn't working well or producing bad results, they should quickly see it as a failure. Acting fast to minimize its effects allows resources to shift to a new approach promptly, which is just as important as any lessons learned from the experience.

  3. Adaptation - During reviews like daily stand-ups or sprint retrospectives, the team needs to check, learn, and adjust based on what they find, whether it's inside the team or from outside sources like new features in a competitor's product.


While Scrum offers numerous advantages, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Organizations must align their working practices with Scrum's principles to fully realize its benefits. The essence of Scrum lies in its lightweight nature and iterative approach, evolving over time for greater success. Implementing a fully evolved Scrum playbook from outside undermines learning that is crucial for team development and enjoyment of the process.

Subtasks Navigation for Jira promo banner

More Jira Content

Join the Club

Join our email list and get access to specials deals and much more!

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page