Scrum Value of Courage

Scrum Value of CourageScrum Value of Courage


As a framework, Scrum is built upon five core values: commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect. This article delves into the scrum value of courage, its significance, and how it manifests within a Scrum team.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Courage
  3. Courage and the Scrum Team
  4. The Role of Courage in Scrum Roles
  5. Courage in Scrum Events
  6. Courage in Practice
  7. Conclusion

Understanding Courage

Courage refers to the willingness of the Scrum Team to face challenges, take risks, and make difficult decisions to deliver valuable products.

In the context of Scrum, courage is not just about bravery or fearlessness. It's about the willingness to confront issues and conflicts, to ask difficult questions, to admit mistakes, and to challenge the status quo. It's about having the strength to stand up for the principles of Scrum, even when it's uncomfortable or unpopular to do so.

Courage is essential for fostering a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, and adaptability.

Courage and the Scrum Team

The Scrum Team, which includes the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developers, must all demonstrate courage to succeed in a Scrum project. Each team member should:

  1. Face challenges head-on: Be willing to tackle complex problems and take calculated risks to deliver innovative solutions.
  2. Make tough decisions: Be prepared to make difficult decisions that benefit the product and the team, even in uncertainty or disagreement.
  3. Embrace change: Be open to adapting plans and processes based on new information, feedback, or changing circumstances.

The Role of Courage in Scrum Roles

Each role within a Scrum team requires courage in different ways.

  • Product Owners need the courage to say "no" to stakeholders and prioritize the product backlog based on value and feasibility. They must also be courageous to accept feedback and make necessary changes to the product vision.
  • Scrum Masters need the courage to enforce Scrum principles and rules, even when faced with resistance. They must also have the courage to facilitate open and honest communication within the team.
  • Development Team Members need the courage to commit to work, ask for help when needed, and admit when they don't know something. They also need the courage to hold each other accountable and to strive for high-quality work.

Courage in Scrum Events

Courage is a key aspect of all Scrum events, ensuring that the Scrum Team is willing to face challenges and take risks:

  1. Sprint Planning: The Scrum Team demonstrates courage by selecting challenging Product Backlog items and committing to an ambitious Sprint Goal.
  2. Daily Scrum: Developers show courage by openly discussing any obstacles they face and seeking support from their teammates to overcome them.
  3. Sprint Review: The Scrum Team and stakeholders engage in candid discussions about the Increment, addressing any issues and making tough decisions to improve the product.
  4. Sprint Retrospective: The Scrum Team reflects on the past Sprint, courageously identifying areas for improvement and creating a plan for the next Sprint.

Courage in Practice

Courage manifests in various ways within a Scrum team. Here are some examples:

  • Being transparent about progress and challenges, even under pressure.
  • Refrain from showing unfinished or undone work to stakeholders.
  • Admitting when you don't know how to do something and asking for help.
  • Holding others accountable when they are not meeting commitments to the team.
  • Accepting when assumptions were wrong and changing direction.
  • Trying to build something new, not knowing if it will work or not.
  • Sharing a dissenting opinion with a team member and engaging in productive conflict.
  • Admitting mistakes, whether they relate to technical work, decisions, or conduct.


Courage is a vital value in Scrum. It empowers teams to face challenges head-on, continuously improve, and deliver high-quality products.

By understanding and embracing the value of courage, Scrum teams can maximize their potential and truly embody the principles of Scrum.