3 Important Scrum Pillars – Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation

How empirical Scrum pillars are important and being implemented through Scrum Events

Whenever we talk about Agile frameworks, Scrum comes as a prominent framework practiced in software and other industries. As per 15th Annual State Of Agile Report 2021, Scrum is used 66% across industries/teams. Agile and Scrum is based on empiricism and lean thinking. Scrum has 3 pillars i.e., Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation and all scrum events are designed based on these. Here I will talk how these 3 pillars gives power to scrum and help practitioners to get maximum value out of it.

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Being transparent means making visible the work team is doing to all the stake holders. Everybody should be aware that where we are in terms of achieving product goal, sprint goal and meeting definition of done. So, stake holders are in better informed position to take better decisions. Also, it would give opportunity for making better prediction about future work and handling possible risks. Team can use adequate information radiators to making progress available to everyone. In terms of team communication also there should be transparency maintained so team knows what is going on inside and outside the team.


When work progress and data available in terms of achieving product goal, sprint goal and meeting definition of done to teams, management, and stake holders, it allows everyone to regularly inspect the trends, risks, and dependencies, if there is any variance or teams facing any impediments and help in taking informed decisions.


Through inspection, if some deviation is found, team gets opportunity to do course correction. Based on inspection, team reviews the situation, make necessary changes to the existing plan or strategy. Team becomes more agile and responsive to changes and tweaks strategy and plans as and when required.

Let’s see how empiricism works in Scrum Events –

  1. Sprint Planning
    • Transparency – PO keeps product backlog prioritized, make sure team is aware of the backlog items.
    • Inspection – Team reviews priority, capacity, velocity, risks, and dependencies
    • Adaptation – Based on the above inspection, team plans and commit the sprint goal
  2. Daily Scrum
    • Transparency – Everybody provides their work updates, what they are doing to achieve sprint goal
    • Inspection – Team reviews progress, risk, impediments, dependencies reported by team members
    • Adaptation – Based on progress made and impediments/dependencies reported, team plans their next steps
  3. Sprint Review
    • Transparency – Team showcases work done in sprint, also talk about items in progress, challenges, impediments etc.
    • Inspection – All participants review the work, customer/stakeholder ask required questions, accept/reject work done by team.
    • Adaptation – Based on feedback received, team plans work in next sprint planning.
  4. Sprint Retrospective
    • Transparency – Team members express their views, Happiness metrics and other team metrics are collected
    • Inspection – Team reviews Happiness metrics and various other sprint metrics like burn down, velocity chart etc.
    • Adaptation – Based on above metrics, team identifies Kaizen(improvement actions) for next sprint to work on.

To summarize, 3 pillars of scrum i.e. Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation are implemented in scrum events to make scrum successful. I hope this article would help you understand empiricism better in context of Agile and scrum.