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How the Scrum Values Could Help us Cope with COVID-19 Outbreak

s the world faces the current difficult situation of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the way we live is changing rapidly.

Even if you don't know what the Scrum Framework is all about, or even if software development (and for that matter, any kind of product development) or delivery is not your area of work and have stumbled upon this blogpost while doing your research on COVID-19, I urge you to read on. 

In my view, the Scrum Values help everyone, not just Scrum Teams. I recommend downloading this poster illustrating Scrum Values and I'd like to quote what the Scrum Guide says of Scrum Values. 

When the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone. The Scrum Team members learn and explore those values as they work with the Scrum events, roles and artifacts. Successful use of Scrum depends on people becoming more proficient in living these five values. People personally commit to achieving the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team members have courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems. Everyone focuses on the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders agree to be open about all the work and the challenges with performing the work. Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people.

Let's read it again, and yet one more time to help us absorb (yes, I just read it 3 time while writing this post too). Here is how I truly believe the Scrum Values could help us all human beings cope with the crisis:

Living the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect would help us increase transparency of nature of challenges at hand, inspect the situation and people around us and help us act accordingly - for example, who needs help, how do we protect ourselves and others and so on. Let us explore these values in context of COVID-19 crisis in following bullet points.

  • We personally commit to do our part to achieve our common goal of coping with new virus and develop immunity. For example, wash our hands regularly, keep our surrounding clean. The list goes on!

  • We use courage to do the right thing and work through problems. This could include things like letting people know if we feel illness and seek treatment right away. That is what we expect of others too, don't we? Also, when we know someone infected, respect them while talking with them over phone or see virtually.

  • We all focus on the work to be done. In my view it would tremendously help us to stay focused on "why" are we doing what we're doing to cope. For example, why self-isolation? And then, for office work, let's stay focused on it regardless of working in-person or virtually with colleagues. 

  • We agree to be open about all the work and challenges. In addition to discussing matters with colleagues, this could include being open family and friends of what's going on in our minds, what's bothering us and how can we help each other. 

  • We respect each other to be capable and independent people. Respect privacy. Respect when someone says they'll do something, they will do it. You'd keep your promise, wouldn't you? Remember, we all are personally committed! 

When we live the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect, I hope, it will help build trust for everyone during the outbreak. 

Thank you for reading. I am interested to know your thoughts and comments are. I encourage you to write your comments and share your thoughts. 

Stay safe, and if you are using Scrum, Scrum on!

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