The empirical process, or empiricism, is a control theory wherein decisions are made based on observation, experimentation, or experience -- known quantities rather than on detailed up-front planning.
Scrum is based on this empirical process, and I have tried to portray this by using the Scrum Flower
in which the team
is, as we know, at the center of Scrum. It is all about the team!
This centerpiece, or center of the flower, is surrounded by five petals -- the five Scrum values:
- Focus. Team focus on only a few things at a time, thus working well together and producing excellent work. They deliver valuable items sooner. The ScrumMaster and product owner should help the team remain focused on their commitments by removing impediments and helping them with a good, healthy product backlog health and product vision.
- Openness. The team works cohesively and expresses how they are doing, what's in their way, and what concerns they have so that they can be addressed and no surprise is encountered.
- Respect. The team shares its successes and failures. Team members respect each other and help each other become worthy of respect. Individual team members respect each other’s responsibility and the work they do, and they celebrate failures and success together.
- Courage. As the team works as one entity, its members feel supported and have more resources at their disposal. This gives the team courage to undertake greater challenges.
- Commitment. Because the team has great control over its own destiny, its members are more committed to success.
All of this is supported by the stem leaves, or the three pillars of Scrum. These are well described in the Scrum Guide
, though I will paraphrase somewhat here:
- Inspection. The team frequently inspects and assess its use of the Scrum artifacts and watches for deviation from the goals they provide. The team also balances this inspection with the actual work that must be performed, not letting one get in the way of the other.
- Adaptation. The team makes adjustments when necessary. If they realize that part of their process is not carrying out its purpose, they adjust that process as quickly as possible.
- Transparency. The processes used need to be visible and comprehensible. Those responsible for the outcomes need to share a common language and understanding and an agreed-upon Definition of Done.
The stem and leaves, and the five petals, all support the team at the center of the Scrum process. The empirical process helps this "flower" adapt to its changing circumstances and remain healthy and productive.