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Why Psychological Safety is Important for Scrum Teams?

Updated: Apr 13

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and other builds windmills.”-A Chinese Proverb.

The simple answer always to 'what agile is' will be- the capability to respond to change. To remain relevant and survive in the market organizations must be responsive to change. When I observed deeply towards agile processes and systems I came to understand that it is woven from our existence, survival of the fittest. When it comes to the business world survival of the fittest indicates the organizations that can gain maximum outcomes from minimal inputs.

As athletes require to maintain their diet, environment, and optimum training for success similarly organizations are also required to maintain the same. As athletes organizations also require us to learn that failure is part of success, I don’t mean that it’s always okay to fail but I intend to say that organizations must take failure for productive experiments and learn from it.

Agile and scrum always encourage new and continuous processes and development in the product as while changing we cannot just sit and rely on old products because customer’s needs always change. To obtain it scrum teams always embrace creativity and innovation. To obtain that it is not possible to bully scrum teams to innovate, it requires a proper environment, mindset, and a feeling of safety even while making mistakes. To achieve this freedom and safety within teams of organizations agile uses psychological safety with its four stages at its best.

Scrum Teams

First: With psychological inclusion safety people feel safe as they can be themselves and not judge their sexuality, religion, and skin tone.

Second: People feel safe and supported while learning without feeling biased.

Third: Brings a feeling of safety in people at a level that they value to contribute and provide autonomy to others for providing their contribution.

Fourth: People challenge and question status duo comfortably without any form of punishment.

These four steps of psychological safety help organizations create a flourishing environment within scrum teams. With safety and freedom in their working scrum teams can achieve the outcomes at their full potential. To bring this environment with psychological safety within the team and organization every leader in the organization is responsible for the task including product managers and scrum masters as well. Along with leaders in the organization, each team member is also responsible for creating this psychologically safe environment.

The impediment in the scrum framework creates obstacles to creating a safe environment within the teams and hence stops teams to reach their full potential. In such cases, scrum masters should identify the impediments and remove them for the teams if required they should collaborate with management and other required areas in organizations. Psychological safety is way different from content management and can be more time-consuming than project management sometimes. Psychological safety takes more time at the start as it is subjective to an individual and no single process applies to all. But once achieved it changes the complete scenario of the team providing benefits in every area teams can progress. To see what are some basic and highlighted benefits of psychological safety any team can derive are;

Benefits of Psychological Safety in Scrum Teams

  • Encourages Everyone to Speak up Because of various feelings like discomfort, ignorant, incompetence, not-valued etcetera team avoid speaking out about what they feel. But psychological safety ensures every member feels safe in the team and organization opening up about their ideas, discomfort, and thoughts required for the project and team.

  • Enables Clarity of Thought- Psychological safety gives the team an understanding of clear thinking, out-of-the-box thinking, and complete thought before accepting the task producing the best result without delay.

  • Mitigates Failure- Psychological safety allows a team to see failure in a new direction. Generally, failures are considered bad but psychological safety makes failure a stepping stone stating when we can’t avoid mistakes learn from them to reach success.

  • Supports Productive Conflicts- Conflict leads to a win at any cost mindset but in psychological safety, conflicts are taken healthily and consider another opinion as a way of different thinking not as opposition to their opinion.

  • Promotes Innovation- With psychological safety team members always feel free to share their ideas and creativity leading organizations in promoting innovations continuously.

  • Achieves Performance by Removing Obstacles- In an unsafe atmosphere team members avoid speaking out about their barriers or uncomfortable, this leads to deterioration of team performance and also customer-team relationship. But with psychological safety teams speak out their concerns wherever necessary and remove a barrier to achieving performance within time.

  • Increase Accountability- Team members without psychological safety feel embarrassed to ask for help when they are stuck. But with it, they are encouraged to share their issues and problems whenever required and get away with the obstacle without wasting time.

Psychological safety is like the best innovation in face of tradition.

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 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 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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