Breaking Down Scrum Values With Martial Arts

**Warning** - You may need safety glasses... there will be kicks, punches, boards breaking and splinters flying... with a grand finale you may never forget!!
The Scrum framework is meaningless without the Scrum values. The five values; focus, openness, courage, commitment, and respect are at the core of Scrum. These values are extremely important yet challenging for individuals and teams to embrace and live by day to day while on their agile journey. Everyone knows what these words mean, but without gaining a deeper understanding it will be difficult to truly see the value they bring to individuals, teams and organizations.
In this session we will talk through each of the five Scrum values while tying into examples from the TaeKwonDo martial art. By understanding the Scrum values through a martial arts lens, you will be able to explain why these values are so important and what you and your teams can accomplish by living these values!

Outline/Structure of the Talk

Session Activities will include:
(2) Safe, Trusting, Open Space
(5) Activity - Audience poll - To get a level set, how many people know the 5 scrum values. My hypothesis is less than 1/2 will know all 5. We'll see!
  • 30 seconds to write down the 5 scrum values.
  • Raise hands - Who got 3 or less? 4 or more? All 5?
Point to make: If you don't truly know the scrum values, how can you take the next step to embrace and live them?
(5) Overview - Review scrum and the five scrum values. Discuss points:
  • Scrum framework is the brains of scrum, the five scrum Values are the heart of scrum – scrum alliance
  • The scrum framework is meaningless without the scrum values – Faye Thompson
  • Learn the scrum values by how they relate with the TaeKwonDo martial art
(5) Agility TaeKwonDo Intersections Venn Diagram
  • Explain visually how agility and TaeKwonDo have a lot of things in common. More than you may think!
(5) Learn, Practice, Habit, Way of Life
  • Discuss how with martial arts you learn, practice, make habit and eventually become a way of life. What if people and scrum teams do this with the scrum values?
(35) The Scrum Values through the martial arts
  • (7) Focus
    • Giving focus on a task, a goal, a dream, significantly improves your chance of successfully completing it.
    • Martial Arts Demonstration - One speaker will do a series of techniques while the other speaker distracts them with loud noises.
    • Live Analogy - When you're working on achieving your sprint goal there will be many distractions that could get in your way. Stay focused on the goal. Phone calls, emails, others asking you to do that quick favor. It all adds up.
    • Drive Home Point - Think what your team could do if they had 0 distractions.
  • (7) Openness
    • Be open to new ideas. Be open to learn. BE OPEN TO FAIL. Be open to different people. Be open to different opinions and perspectives. Be open to receive feedback. If your teammates are open as well, you can give feedback, give opinions, give ideas, discuss failures and grow as a team.
    • Martial Arts Demonstration - One speaker works on a kicking technique while the other speaker provides feedback on how to make improvements.
    • Live Analogy - If you are willing to be open to give and receive information, your ability to improve is endless.
    • Drive Home Point - People struggle with discussing the tough issues that are present in the team room. People struggle with raising impediments. What could your team do if these were actually discussed in an open environment and resolved?
  • (7) Courage
    • Try something new. Take on that new project. Support the new way of doing things. IT IS OK TO FAIL. WE WANT YOU TO FAIL. It is the way to learn and improve. Bring up that hard discussion that needs to happen.
    • Martial Arts Demonstration - Explain how we test to move up in belt rank. We test in front of a room full of students and their families. We have 3 attempts to be successful. If not, we do not move up. One speaker will miss a technique once, twice, and get it right the 3rd front of everyone just like during testing.
    • Live Analogy - Be able to accept and embrace failure, get back up and try something else. It is difficult to take action while other people watch, just like raising an impediment during the daily scrum or asking for help.
    • Drive Home Point - Be ok trying, failing, learning. No matter who is watching or what the situation is, do the right thing even though it may be hard. That is courage.
  • (7) Commitment
    • Builds trust. I think of a relationship, marriage as a commitment. Commit to training. Commit to doing the right thing. Commit to a goal. Commitment is binding.
    • Martial Arts Demonstration - Display the 9 belt ranks that both speakers have achieved towards their 2nd degree black belt rank. Talk about each rank takes time, learning new things, number of moves, setbacks, time off. Summarize total amount of time and number of moves to get to where we are now.
    • Live Analogy - Does your team deliver sprint goals consistently? Do you feel the desire to do all you can to make the commitment?
    • Drive Home Point - Commit to the sprint goal. Commit to learning and growing individually and as a team. Say "I do" to the sprint goal at each sprint planning session!
  • (7) Respect
    • Way you talk with people. How you approach people. How you shake hands. How you interact. Be considerate to others. Appreciate others. Value others thoughts, feelings, reactions.
    • Martial Arts Demonstration - Both speakers will walk through how to bow to each other and shake hands to show respect. Talk through and show how putting your feet together, extending your shaking hand, using your other hand to support your shaking hand, eye contact and words all integrate into respect while bowing.
    • Live Analogy - Be sincere with everything you do. If you respect others, they will do the same. There's a a unique bond between people if respect is present. It sets the tone for things to come.
    • Drive Home Point - Don't demand respect. Treat people with respect and you will earn theirs. If team members respect one another they can become unified working towards a goal.
(10) Summing it all up
  • As each of the values are discussed, both speakers will write the values on one board each. This will result in 2 boards having focus on it, 2 boards having openness, 2 boards having courage, 2 boards having commitment and 2 boards having respect on them. Each speaker will have 5 boards, one with each scrum value on them.
  • Discuss how in this moment, both speakers are trying something new. We're living the values by being focused on our goal at hand, open that we haven't done this before, courageous do to this in front of strangers, live audience, committed to seeing it through and respectful towards each other and the audience by bowing.
    • Martial Arts Demonstration - One at a time in quick succession, the 5 boards will be held up and attempted to broken with different techniques. Different kicks and punches. No set up or preparation, just doing it.
    • Martial Arts Demonstration - The other 5 boards will be stacked one on top of another. All 5 boards will attempt to be broke at the same time.
(10) Audience questions, requests for other demonstrations, etc.

Learning Outcome

  • Have a deeper understanding of each of the five scrum values.
  • See how closely related the scrum values are with martial arts through live demonstrations throughout the session to really drive home their meaning.
  • The values are intertwined and difficult to explain without the other values - With real life and live examples, you will be able to better understand and explain the values independently.

Target Audience

You should attend this presentation if you want to gain a deeper understanding of the five scrum values, and how your people and teams can become better by embracing them!

Prerequisites for Attendees

No prerequisites are needed.



schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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