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Liberating Structure Principles for Scrum Teams

Updated: Apr 13

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” - Leo Tolstoy


Do you agree that teams who work together do a better job and produce better results? Do you agree when you feel engaged and included your performance improves? Many individuals want to work at top of their intelligence and provide the same opportunities to others; they always like to work with such organizations and communities. The most common part of such an organization is the liberating structure, as the liberating structure is what makes it happen. The liberating structure provides various easy and convenient ways to replace conventional practices. As in our previous article, we have gone through the introduction of liberating structure and understand how it’s easy to design and include everyone in shaping upcoming steps in building an organization everyone wants.

In today’s topic, we will discuss the ten principles of liberating structure.


Scrum teams


Ten Principles of Liberating Structure

The principles include some dos and don’ts of the desired actions, and behavior and show how they stifle trust, inclusion, and innovations when used in the wrong approach.


1. Include and Unleash Everyone

The primary principle in liberating structure is to include and unleash which is the most important one as it consists of including everyone to move further for shaping the steps. It includes hearing all the voices, and ideas, and acknowledging contributions by respecting their opinions. With this principle, even the silent person in meetings who do not voice their opinions will feel encouraged to express themselves. This will surely make the scrum team have some surprising solutions for complex issues surfacing every possible idea.


2. Build Trust as you go

As we have always seen trust and psychological safety is always the key element in the scrum team’s development. We must ensure that this is improved to keep the transparent atmosphere of a team where every issue is shared, easing the inspection and adaption of the product roadmap and product backlog easily during the sprint review. Providing psychological safety will ensure even the elephant in the room is discovered and discussed freely.


3. Practices Deep Respect

Scrum teams with their self-management and effective collaboration mages product backlog and product work more effectively which help them in achieving sprint goals. During this process, they need to face various issues and problems which needed solutions. The best solutions in such situations are always offered by the team within. These solutions are tailored and crafted by the people who have worked and had experience in the same situations on daily basis.


4. Learn by Failing

In most cases, teams get stuck wherever complex problems occur where simple solutions do not work. Many teams even get themselves into analysis paralysis in such situations. The best solution to overcome such a situation is to keep on trying and making small experiments and validate them. Learn by failing, and see what works.


5. Practices Self-Discovery within Team

Scrum teams are trained to find out their solutions to problems, conflicts, and questions. They use their creativity, knowledge, and experience for it. They work on it without external dependency and bring transparency within the team.



6. Enlarge Freedom and Responsibilities

With the scrum framework scrum teams are committed to three main goals; product goals, sprint goals, and definition of done. Scrum teams are responsible to live up to this goal but also have the freedom in selecting their path to achieve them.


7. Emphasize Possibilities

With lots of dependencies and impediments, scrum teams might get unhappy, demotivated, and frustrated which may confuse their goals. Scrum teams must always focus on what is possible instead of meddling with the unexpected. Scrum teams must focus on the position and boost their motivation.


8. Engage in Seriously Playful Curiosity

A liberating structure enables a team to have playful curiosity in their serious work. It helps in using different parts of thinking to visualize challenges and playfully share understanding but towards serious outcomes.


9. Never Start without Clear Purpose

Last but not least scrum teams need to have a clear purpose that will give teams an existence, meaning, and inspiration with a solid foundation. The liberating structure provides various easy and simple application techniques to achieve this clear purpose in a team.


10. Invite Creative Destructions to Enable Innovation

While accepting change one needs to also let go of the present. Similarly, scrum teams need to let go of the current processes, behavior, and working ways to accept the new and improved methods. They have to face their internal and environmental resistance while doing so but once done it will reward with innovation.


The liberating structure frees the team to follow valued practices that are previously difficult to follow due to conventional structure. Liberating structures with their principles make it easy to implement the right practices within teams.




About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.


Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. We provide various SAFe certification courses along with DevOps, Scrum, Agile Coaching and more trainings. Write to us at contact@advanceagilty.com for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.

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