Scrum as a Calling

During the Scrum Guide refresh of 2016, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the co-founders of Scrum, were interviewed about the importance of Scrum values. During the discussion on Commitment, Sutherland said, “I wouldn’t say it’s commitment to Scrum itself. It’s commitment to being better people, better teams, better companies . . . It’s about commitment to life; it’s a bigger thing than Scrum or the Scrum guide.” Schwaber followed up by discussing a deeper fulfillment in our entire lives, which Sutherland said is his “hope always for Scrum teams – that people could make a great contribution to life, to work, to their families, with whatever they are doing.”

Bigger than Scrum or the Scrum Guide? Commitment to life? What’s going on here?

In this interactive session, we’ll examine what it means to look at Scrum as a calling and what it would look like to extend the Scrum values of Commitment, Courage, Focus, Openness, and Respect to all the areas of our life. We’ll “get fierce” in asking ourselves powerful questions about who our stakeholders are within four categories of our lives – Personal (mind, body, spirit), Professional, Community, and Family - and what it means for us to fully engage with these values holistically and authentically.

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Outline/Structure of the Talk

I’ll draw on the Scrum guide values and learnings from leadership gurus like Stew Friedman (Total Leadership) to guide activities and discussion on integrating these values into all areas of our lives.

Introduction/Agenda Overview (5-10 minutes)

Making the case for Scrum as a calling, looking at movement over the past couple of decades towards a new organizational paradigm of bringing our whole selves to work (and vice versa).

Five Scrum Values (15-20 minutes)

As a group, we’ll brainstorm what the five values mean to us. With worksheets to guide us, we’ll do silent writing and then share what we come up with. What words come to mind when thinking about this value? Which of our role models espouse this value? What is stopping us from living this value fully right now?

Four Domains (20-25 minutes)

As a group, we’ll discuss the four domains, who our stakeholders are in each, and how the Scrum values could apply in each domain. Again, we’ll have worksheets to guide us, doing silent writing and then sharing what we’ve come up with. Who are our most important stakeholders in each domain? What are their expectations of us, and ours of them? What would it look like for us to more fully live each value with respect to that domain and its stakeholders? What specific actions can we take to improve? What support do we need?

Next Steps/Wrap-up (5-10 minutes)

Define the next steps we want to take individually. Final words on servant leadership and being “agents of change” in a larger context.

Note: each attendee will (probably) only have time to finish their thoughts on one Scrum value and one domain during the session. It’s up to each person to continue this work on their own to complete their personal vision.

Learning Outcome

Attendees should walk out with a vision (or at least the beginnings of one!) for living more authentically and holistically, with tools to help them reflect more deeply on what it means to follow Scrum values and become more fully engaged in making “great contributions life, to work, to their families, with whatever they are doing.”

Target Audience

All Scrum practitioners

Prerequisites for Attendees

Basic familiarity with Scrum and its values

schedule Submitted 4 months ago

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