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DevOps: 3 Scrum Pillars in Agile principles

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

If you want to successfully adapt the Agile framework, 3 Scrum Pillars are basic mindshift that you have to make.



DevOps: 3 Scrum Pillars in Agile principles

In order for an Agile Team to maximize the adatability of Scrum, we should create a base of knowledge about the three Scrum Pillars: Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation, which is one of the most important movement to get started with Scrum. The Scrum methodoly includes several foundational principles as backbone of daily work.

Scrum methodoloy is understood with ease and all kind of product development can apply it gradually even your industry is not IT. Nowaday, Scrum is used in human resource project, marketing scenarios, education, and other fields. Even the simple of Scrum, it might be difficult to master the framework as it requires the commitment of continuous pratice and familiarisation.

What is Scrum Methodology?

The board game Othello has the slogan, “A minute to learn, a lifetime to master.” This applies really well to a team that’s learning Scrum. The basic practices and mechanics of Scrum are straightforward, and not difficult to adopt. But understanding how Scrum’s values can make those practices and mechanics result in better software can be more challenging. The rules of Scrum are simple and easy to communicate, which makes it a great start‐ ing point for many teams adopting Agile. Here’s the basic pattern for a Scrum project:

  • There are three main roles on a Scrum project: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and team member. (We capitalize “Product Owner” and “Scrum Master” when talking about the Scrum roles.)

  • The Product Owner works with the rest of the team to maintain and prioritize a product backlog of features and requirements that need to be built.

  • The software is built using timeboxed iterations called sprints. At the start of each sprint, the team does sprint planning to determine which features from the backlog they will build. This is called the sprint backlog, and the team works throughout the sprint to build all of the features in it.

  • Every day, the team holds a short face-to-face meeting called the Daily Scrum to update each other on the progress they’ve made, and to discuss the roadblocks ahead. Each person answers three questions: What have I done since the last Daily Scrum? What will I do until the next Daily Scrum? What roadblocks are in my way?

  • One person, the Scrum Master, keeps the project rolling by working with the team to get past roadblocks that they’ve identified and asked for help with. At the end of the sprint, working software is demonstrated to the product owner and stakeholders in the sprint review, and the team holds a retrospective to figure out lessons they’ve learned, so they can improve the way they run their sprints and build software in the future.

DevOps: 3 Scrum Pillars in Agile principles - basic scrum pattern
Figure 1: Basic Scrum pattern

But for a Scrum team to become effective, they need to do more than just follow the basic Scrum pattern. Effective Scrum teams are self-organizing, as Ken Schwaber explains in Agile Project Management with Scrum (note the words that we emphasized in italics):

For Scrum to work, the team has to deeply and viscerally understand collective commit‐ ment and self-organization. Scrum’s theory, practices, and rules are easy to grasp intel‐ lectually. But until a group of individuals has made a collective commitment to deliver something tangible in a fixed amount of time, those individuals probably don’t get Scrum. When the team members stop acting as many and adopt and commit to a com‐ mon purpose, the team becomes capable of self-organization and can quickly cut through complexity and produce actionable plans.

Empirical Process Control

The Scrum methodology is based on an empirical process. This concept revolves around the idea that we can find out the truth through experiments with concrete and observable results.

But in order to make good observations, there are three things necessary: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. We call these the three Pillars of Scrum.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into each one.

3 Scrum Pillars: Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation


Every members in a Agile Team should have a very clear understanding of every Sprint Goals (even Scrum goals) and their individual roles and responsibilities aligned with value increment. You should keep the practicing a suitable level of transparency within your team:

  1. All your team members and you should better have a common language and vocabulary to communicate effectively and quickly sharing information. Every team members and stakeholders always keep in their hand what they are dealing with and any neccessary action to achieve their goal.

  2. All attendee should be aligned with a unique definition of done (DoD). Everybody knows what that means and implies when an increment or task from the product backlog is done.

  3. Everyone should have a complete understanding of the Scrum artifacts: product backlog, sprint backlog, project vision and mission, increment, etc.

  4. They also have to be present during daily meetings, sprint review meetings, etc. and must be aware of the tools that the entire team uses (E.g. Burndown Chart, Scrumboard).


The Daily Scrum is one of the most effective tools that a Scrum team has at its disposal. This is because it does two very important things for the team. It functions as an inspection of the work that the team is doing, so they can adapt that work to deliver the most value. And it gives the team the opportunity to make decisions at the last responsible moment, giving them the flexibility to have the right person do the right work at the right time. When everyone on the team uses the Daily Scrum to limit the amount of planning they do to include only what’s necessary to build the next increment of the software, the whole team starts to recognize it as a valuable tool and use it effectively.

The daily cycle of visibility, inspection, and adaptation allows teams to continuously use feedback from their projects to improve how they build software. This is one of the most important features of Scrum. Scrum teams make decisions based on experience and on actual, known facts from their projects.

Take detailed conversations offline
The goal of the Daily Scrum is to identify problems, not solve them. If a problem hasn’t been resolved after a minute or two of discussion, schedule a follow-up meeting with anyone who feels they need to be involved. A lot of these follow-up meetings will be about who does what task. This is how teams self-organize: most tasks can be self-assigned, but some of them need discussion. It’s only through inspection during the Daily Scrum that you can tell which is which.


During the Daily Scrum, when one person describes what he’s working on, one of his teammates might have a suggestion for a way he can improve. If her suggestion is a good one, the work he does the next day will be better. She might also discover that he’s working on the wrong task entirely, a problem that’s most likely caused by mis‐ communication, which would also cause him to change his plans for the next day’s work. These changes are called adaptation. The daily cycle of visibility, inspection, and adaptation allows teams to continuously use feedback from their projects to improve how they build software.

Adaptation is done as soon as possible to optimize the project outcome.

This is where the sprint review meeting comes very handy. During the review, the process is assessed against the sprint goals. The entire agile team and the stakeholders collaborate about what was done during the sprint, and the things to be done in the succeeding sprint in order to optimize the product value.

Apart from the sprint review, the Scrum framework features other events for inspection and adaptation:

  • Sprint Planning

  • Daily Scrum

  • Sprint Retrospective


A Scrum team that’s doing incremental development takes the same visibility-inspection-adaptation cycle that they already use for their Daily Scrums and applies it to the project as a whole. That’s the goal of sprint planning, managing the sprint backlog, and holding retrospectives.

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