Today the Pillars of Scrum.

Sounds serious. Even pathetic, but without their tame, it is difficult to move around in a scrum.

The whole process is based on the Pillars. If they are not strong and well embedded there is a great risk that everything will collapse.

First: Transparency

This applies to all elements, processes and attitudes.

The Backlog must be transparent and known to all members of the Team.

It must be accessible to all interested parties.

It must be one, common for us and for the Customer.

Because in a scrum the basis is a relationship based on trust and good intentions.

We are honest with ourselves and with the client. Also in these difficult moments. The progress of our work is measurable and visible to all interested parties.

We communicate our problems clearly.

But we also expect clear requirements. Precise goals and knowledge of the context.

Without reliable “input” data we will not be able to meet expectations. We will also not be able to reliably assess the process of which we are part.

Transparency also means that all team members have to agree on a common terminology. It cannot leave room for guessing.

It is also important that there is a common level of communication at different levels of the process.

One of the events in the scrum where transparency is of the utmost importance is Retrospective.

It is during this meeting that we should tell ourselves everything. Every time we keep silent about problems for various reasons, we take away the chance for the team to develop.

Transparency is a value that must be worked on at every level of the organization. From relationships within the Team, with the Management as well as with the Client.

One of the basic aspects of building a culture of transparency is openness to failure. Trials and mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Only then we have a chance to act on the basis of what it is like and not how we think it is. Or even worse, as if we wanted it to be.

Second: Inspection

In its assumptions scrum is based on observation. At every level and every year we think about how we work. Such reflection should concern everyone and accompany us every day.

We regularly measure speed and efficiency. We verify whether the backlog is legible.  We verify the growth of the product and its compliance with the requirements. Is the sprint running at an even pace and there are no obstacles on the horizon that may block the goal. We think about what helps and what hinders us.

We are looking for bottlenecks in the process. We remember that the chain is as weak as its weakest link. The same with processes. Only the improvement of the weakest element, removal of a real obstacle, has a chance to bring measurable benefits.

It is extremely important that the inspection is kind. It does not aim to point out weaknesses, but to identify areas for strengthening. It allows for quick detection of non-compliance. Inspection is not understood in scrum as a tool of control or repression. It is a tool for change. And only through change is development possible.

And thirdly: Adaptation

Adaptation is all the activities that improve the process. From changing the formula of the standup, through work on the backlog to new development tools. Adaptation is the key to development.

For me, adaptation is the ability to quickly diagnose and introduce changes that are dictated by changing design conditions or result from the inspection.

There are two basic errors in scrum implementation. Adaptation without a reliable Inspection or, what is worse, in my opinion, to start an Inspection that is not followed by Adaptation. In the first case, the changes may be chaotic and not correspond to real needs. In the second case, there is a sense of wasted opportunity for development.

Scrum works not because it has three roles, five events and three artifacts, but because it is based on empiricism, which is expressed in these three pillars. This means a process based on facts, experience and evidence, in which progress is based on observations of reality rather than fictional plans.

Michalina Smolarkiewicz