The 5 Values of Scrum integrated with OKR frameworks

The 5 Values of scrum integrated with OKR frameworks

Values can have an almost magical impact on individual, team, and company performance. When values become a way of life, non-negotiable behavioral standards and a set of shared principles in action that identify us as a team, they become effective filters for decision-making and barometers that makes company performance more sustainable – when excellent performance contravenes your value system the performance itself is likely to not be sustainable.The 5 values of Scrum can be seamlessly integrated with OKR frameworks.

Purported values

Meaning of purported – ” appearing or stated to be true, though not necessarily so. -Alleged”.

Often companies suffer from their own purported values. Values, when they are simply in writing but forgotten and not acted upon, become meaningless and cannot be truthful or useful statements.

When team members, customers, clients, or any stakeholders read the value system of the company and the actual behavior of team members is contradictory to the values that they supposedly stand for they will question the integrity of the value system itself and by extension also question the companies’ integrity. 

‘A people that values its privileges above its principles soon lose both’

Dwight Eisenhower

Values, to be effective must be:

  1. Few 
  2. Embedded in the company culture
  3. Co-created and clearly defined within each role
  4. Not only memorable but lived used for filters during the decision-making process
  5. Upheld as behavioral standards
  6. Taken seriously and acted on by the leadership as clear examples of desired behaviors

Practical example:  A software company has eighteen values. Upon interviewing several employees they struggle to remember even three of them. Recently some users have been looking up their value system on their website to compare it with their service levels and made some negative comments such as :

‘You pride yourself on excellent user experiences, but mine has been less than excellent.’

Purported values are likely to ‘become a stick’ that others hit you with. Values should be made practical and shared, and also all team members should make a stand on the company values. 

Learn how to create a practical value system that contributes to the company performance by joining our leadership course

The 5 values of scrum 

The five values of the agile methodology of scrum are:

  • Courage
  • Focus
  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • Openness

Within the Scrum methodology, the above values serve as guidance for individual and team behavior with the intended outcome of boosting collaboration and increasing the chances of successful project completion.

There are several ways in which the five values of scrum can be implemented, including but not limited to sprint reviews, retrospectives, and daily standups in which team members receive an opportunity to review what everyone has completed.

How the values of scrum can integrate with and complement OKR frameworks

1. Courage

It takes courage to attempt something new. Furthermore, it requires bravery to persevere, especially when severe challenges arise. The aforementioned are very strong reasons why organizations should strive to build healthy and strong family cultures – when you see your team member fighting hard to succeed at your shared goals, you are likely to be inspired and feel the urgency to move forward with greater courage. 

Courage starts with a sincere commitment to the company vision, value system, and other principles that we as a team stand for. Belief is built over time as we collectively strive for achievement as a team. Belief is expanded as we improve our skills and thinking and provide support for each other. Once the belief is strong it is a simpler feat to find the courage within yourself as an individual and within the team as a collective.

Sometimes teams give up to early when they start facing challenges during the deployment of OKR frameworks such as certain actions or initiatives not ‘moving the needle’ at all in terms of actualizing key results. Courage is needed to move forward and find alternatives.

2. Focus

The Scrum value of focus seamlessly aligns with OKR frameworks as one of the OKR superpowers is, just that, focus.

Less is more when it comes to OKR frameworks and a laser-like focus on what truly matters is required to achieve sustainable success with OKRs.

Some companies have too many values, standard operating procedures, and too many goals, making it virtually impossible for team members to take action on them. 

Have fewer values, OKRs, and other principles but make them count by taking consistent action and having a clear focus on them.

3. Commitment

Without a true commitment to the tasks, initiatives, key results, and ultimate objectives of the company it is very hard to especially achieve stretch goals. The era of ‘quiet quitting’ and the ‘great resign ‘ has proven that the engagement levels of employees of which commitment is an integral part is a ‘burning point’ and an area that should be of great concern to the leadership of companies.

First, the leadership of the company should clearly demonstrate their commitment to not only the company vision and the societal impact that the company is making as an inspirational example to team members but also to the personal development of their team members.

Secondly, leaders will do well to create a motivating climate within their organization wherein it is an increasingly simpler task for team members to develop more commitment to the company and its objectives.

Fostering collaboration, creativity and inclusion are all factors that can support the commitment levels of team members. It is ultimately each team member; individual decision how committed they are, but this can be heavily influenced by the leadership of the company.

4. Respect

Basic respect for each other as team members is vital in building a strong team culture. Team members are unlikely to share and collaborate if they feel that they are being disrespected. 

Respect is not only a philosophy it is practically revealed by how we greet each other, treat each other, work together, and by how we actually do our work.  

Respect and trust form a strong foundation for relationships to grow strong over time. All stakeholders must be truly respected for an organization to be a sustainable success

5. Openness

Opennes to new ideas and giving all team members a ‘voice’ should not be mere ‘lip service’, instead it should be practices that are ingrained within the company culture. 

Team members should feels safe within their roles and know that they can freely debate ideas to ensure the validity of them. A culture of openness can help to break down silo effects as well as rigid hierarchies if they stifle progress.

Talent Development Director of the OKR Institute