Scrum Principle #1 Made Clear!

01/08/2019 by Emily Sands

Scrum is built on 12 distinct principles of the Agile Manifesto. The better you understand these 12 principles, the better you understand how to apply Scrum Framework in your daily work. The first principle is: "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software!". But what does that mean, really? Let's analyze this principle word by word along with the values, principles, and practices that they relate to.


"Our": Who is us? It is a group of people forming a team with a purpose.

  • Values: Ownership, Communication.
  • Principles: Accepted Responsibility, Diversity, Trust.
  • Practices: Team Building

"highest priority": The team should keep its focus on the most important and value-add activities. Scrum Master is responsible for keeping the distractions out so that no external influencers able to break the team's focus.

  • Values: Focus, commitment.
  • Principles: Limiting the work in progress (WIP).
  • Practices: Product Backlog, Grooming.


"is to satisfy": How does the team determine whether the results are satisfying or not? Through a concrete definition of done (DoD) as well as a variety of tests including but not limited to user acceptance tests.

  • Values: Commitment, customer obsession.
  • Principles: Active user involvement, creating business value, quality.
  • Practices: DoD, Acceptance Tests, Sprint Reviews.


"the customer": Who is the customer? The customer is anybody and everybody that our product is going to please. Professional Scrum Product Owner is the ambassador and the representative of the customer within the Scrum Team.

  • Values: Communication
  • Principles: Customer Obsession, Active User Involvement.
  • Practices: Active Listening, User Stories, Regular Customer Involvement.


"through early and continuous delivery": The product must be broken down into iterations (a.k.a. shippable products) through which the customers are provided with early iterations of the product so that the Scrum Team can capture early feedback. Similarly, iterations must be continuous through a development and delivery cycle.

  • Values: Commitment, Feedback.
  • Principles: Frequent Delivery, Iterative, Flow.
  • Practices: Incremental Deployment, Small Releases, Product Demonstration.


"of valuable software": Customers are the only judge and the jury of the "value" that software creates for them. Not the Professional Scrum Master, not the Scrum Executive or the Professional Scrum Team Member.  Any software that does not create value for the customer is useless.

  • Values: Commitment, Focus, Customer Obsession.
  • Principles: Finance, Business Value.
  • Practices: Product Backlog, Sprint Execution. 


Let's read it once again as a whole: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software!

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