Magdalena Jackiewicz
Editorial Expert
Magdalena Jackiewicz
Reviewed by a tech expert

The 6 principles of Scrum and how to apply them for product development excellence

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Scrum, a prominent Agile framework, is built upon three core pillars and six fundamental principles. The latter not only provide guidance, but also actionable tasks that are essential for ensuring the effective delivery of high-quality software products.

These six principles of Scrum are:

  1. empirical process control,
  2. self-organization,
  3. collaboration,
  4. value-based prioritization,
  5. time-boxing, and
  6. iterative development.

Below, I'm taking a closer look at each of these Scrum principles and explaining how these translate to our work environment and daily operations.

Let's get started!

Empirical process control

In Scrum, the decision-making process is guided by the principles of observation and experimentation, rather than relying heavily on upfront planning. This approach, known as empirical process control, is centered around the three pillars of Scrum: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Transparency plays a crucial role in Scrum by ensuring that all information related to the project is accessible and visible to everyone involved. This includes details about the progress, challenges, and any changes that occur throughout the development process.

Inspection, the second Scrum pillar, emphasizes the regular and thorough assessment of the project's progress. It involves frequently reviewing the work completed, the current state of the product, and the overall adherence to the project's goals. Through inspection, teams can identify any deviations from the desired path, potential risks, and opportunities for improvement.

Adaptation is the third pillar that underpins empirical process control in Scrum. It involves the ability to respond and adjust based on the insights gained through observation and inspection. This Scrum principle acknowledges that requirements and circumstances can change during the course of a project, and it encourages teams to be flexible and responsive.

What does empirical process control mean in the context of your project?

  • It means transparency is given utmost priority. We apply a host of project management tools, dashboards, and regular status updates to ensure that all relevant information, including project status, challenges, and progress, is openly accessible to stakeholders and all team members alike.
  • It means progress is being thoroughly examined to identify issues and areas for improvement. We frequently review the work completed, the current state of the product, and the overall adherence to the project's goals.
  • It means that any areas of improvement identified throughout the process are acted upon as soon as possible. We create a culture of continuous improvement by actively responding to feedback and adjusting project plans and processes accordingly.


Self-organization is pivotal among the Scrum values and principles, emphasizing that teams are self-sufficient and capable of making decisions autonomously. It’s what empowers team members to take ownership of organizing themselves, distributing tasks, and assigning roles, which in turn cultivates a deep sense of responsibility and accountability. This Scrum principle also encourages them to actively contribute their unique skills and perspectives to the team.

One of the key advantages of self-organized teams lies in their exceptional adaptability. With the ability to quickly respond to evolving requirements and challenges, these teams possess a remarkable agility that allows them to adjust their strategies and tactics as needed. Rather than relying on external intervention or hierarchical decision-making, self-organized teams can swiftly collaborate and make collective decisions based on their collective expertise.

Furthermore, self-organization fosters a culture of trust and collaboration within the team. As team members have the freedom to contribute their ideas and take ownership of their work, a sense of mutual respect and cooperation flourishes. This environment promotes open communication, knowledge sharing, and effective problem-solving.

How will the self-organization principle impact your project?

  • Teams will at times question your preferences, as they are vested with the autonomy to make decisions related to their work and optimizing it. If they find a better solution to an identified issue, or find that your requirements cannot be met without negatively impacting the quality of the project, they will engage in a discussion with you.
  • It will increase its overall quality: self-organizing teams will equip themselves with diverse skill sets (also from other departments) to promote collaboration and problem-solving. Such teams can work more independently and deliver value more efficiently.


Collaboration is  fundamental among the principles of Scrum, as it promotes the seamless integration of cross-functional teams working together towards common goals. To foster a collaborative environment, Scrum utilizes various channels, such as sprint planning meetings, release planning, daily standups, and retrospectives. These ceremonies act as vital conduits for effective communication, enabling team members to share information, align their efforts, and synchronize their actions.

Through active collaboration, teams can significantly enhance their problem-solving capabilities. When they poll together their diverse skills, knowledge, and perspectives, complex challenges can be tackled more effectively and in an innovative manner. Collaboration also facilitates the transfer of valuable knowledge among team members.

Moreover, collaboration in Scrum is not just limited to internal interactions; it extends to the entire team's commitment to delivering value to customers. Through collaboration, team members can align their efforts towards understanding customer needs, identifying valuable features, and delivering high-quality products or services that meet those needs. This collective commitment ensures that the team remains customer-focused and delivers value consistently.

How will collaboration be manifested in your project?

  • Through regular meetings: we schedule daily stand-up sessions between the stakeholders and the project delivery team. This is to ensure that everyone is aligned and there is clarity among team members regarding the project. We hold regular meetings, brainstorming sessions, and knowledge sharing to which stakeholders are invited, as necessary.
  • By emphasizing openness: we foster a culture of direct and frequent communication with stakeholders and among team members, which we find particularly important when our team members work remotely.
  • Through cross-functional collaboration: we also encourage teams to collaborate across functional boundaries by breaking down silos and promoting collaboration between departments to ensure a holistic approach to projects.

Value-based prioritization

Scrum places a strong emphasis on prioritizing work based on its value to both the customer and the organization. This Scrum principle is put into practice by prioritizing items in the product backlog, with higher-priority items given precedence. Our Scrum teams ensure that the most valuable features are addressed first by working closely with Product Owners. This approach maximizes ROI by delivering features that bring the most significant business impact early in the development process.

Through the Scrum principle of value-driven prioritization, Scrum helps organizations make strategic decisions about which features to develop and deliver, ensuring that limited resources are allocated effectively. The collaborative effort between Scrum teams and Product Owners allows for continuous feedback and validation of priorities, ensuring that the delivered features align with the evolving needs and goals of both the customer and the organization.

This iterative approach encourages adaptability and flexibility, enabling teams to respond to changing market conditions and customer demands. Ultimately, Scrum's emphasis on prioritization based on value leads to the creation of products that not only meet customer expectations but also provide tangible business benefits.

How will value-based prioritization be manifested in your project?

  • Through customer-centric focus: we always align project goals and priorities with the expectations of customers and stakeholders. We conduct regular and thorough review and prioritization of work items based on their perceived value, as discussed with you.
  • Through ongoing backlog refinement: our project managers maintain a well-organized product backlog that clearly outlines the work items and their priorities. We also involve product owners and stakeholders in backlog refinement to ensure alignment with business objectives.

Time-boxed iterations

Scrum principles also include the concept of time-boxed iterations known as sprints. These sprints typically span a duration of 2 to 4 weeks, providing a structured framework for development. Within these sprints, teams commit to delivering a potentially shippable product increment (by the end of each iteration).

The introduction of sprints in Scrum brings about several benefits. Firstly, it instills discipline and urgency within the development team, as they have a fixed timeframe to work towards their goals. This time constraint ensures that the team remains focused and motivated throughout the sprint, optimizing their productivity.

Moreover, sprints offer the necessary predictability to stakeholders and team members. By following this iterative approach, regular opportunities for product inspection and adaptation are provided. This allows you to anticipate when you’d be able to review the progress of the product and make necessary adjustments or provide feedback. This predictability fosters effective collaboration between the development team and stakeholders, ensuring alignment and continuous improvement.

How are time-boxed iterations ensured in our workplace?

  • Through iterations: we adopt the concept of time-boxed iterations for project planning, setting clear timeframes for achieving specific project milestones.
  • Through periodic milestone reviews: we conduct these regularly at the end of each iteration or milestone to evaluate progress and make necessary adjustments to project plans and priorities.

Iterative progress

The Scrum framework is designed to support continuous improvement throughout the development process. This is achieved through the Scrum principle of iterative progress, which emphasizes regular review and enhancement of work. Scrum teams follow a structured approach by conducting sprint reviews and retrospectives. These activities allow the team to reflect on their work, gather feedback, and gain valuable insights.

One of the key benefits of this approach is ensuring that the product remains aligned with evolving customer demands and market conditions. With regular review and adaptation, Scrum teams can quickly respond to changes in project requirements and market trends. This fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptation within the team, promoting agility and responsiveness.

Moreover, the Scrum framework helps in making the software development process more resilient. Continuous iterations and improvements help to address any potential issues or challenges early on, minimizing the chances of major setbacks. The result? High quality standards.

How will iterative progress impact your project?

  • Feedback sessions will be woven into your schedule: we’ll be gathering inputs from you at various stages of project development, so that our development teams can identify areas for improvement.
  • Continuous learning and adaptation will be encouraged: we look for opportunities for team members to acquire new skills and knowledge that can be applied to your and other future projects. It’s part of our culture.

The six Scrum principles and your digital product development

Scrum principles and values play a vital role in our processes and how we organize workloads that require inputs from our stakeholders. By following these principles, we ensure maximum adherence to tried-and-tested procedures that help us yield high-quality products that stand the test of time.

If you’d like to know more about working with us, just drop a quick message via this contact form and we’ll get back to you.

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