Alternative name(s)
Trust is also referred as believe in something or faith in something. there are different alternative names to trust, as defined by Theasurus (2013) for example:
Confidence in something
Assurance of something
Reliance on something
Sureness of something
Hope on something

The notion of trust has a high degree of subjectivity. Castaldo (2007) cited in Jagd (2010) has found 72 definitions of trust since 1960.However, most scholars seem to agree that trust involves positive expectations regarding the actions of others and the willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of others, Jagd,(2010). Mayer et al (1995:712) cited in Jagd, (2010) defines trust as the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party, based on the expectation that the others will perform a particular action important to the truster, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party.

The importance of trust over the past decade has become increasingly important in inter and intra-organisational relationships, legitimated by changes in the social structure of societies, economic exchange relations and organisational forms, (Bijlsma & Koopman, 2003). In order for organisations to keep up the globalisation and the change that comes with it, these linkages require organisations to move towards network forms and alliances, Lewicki & Bunker (1996) cited in Bijlsma & Koopman, (2003). Michra (1996) and Gilkey (1991) cited in Bijlsma & Koopman, (2003), state that trustful relations in organisations promote voluntary cooperations, thus leading to the rise in the relevance of trust to organisational performance and to the well being of the organisations entire stakeholders.

Agile values

1.Customer Collaboration:
Customer collaboration comes from trust. If trust and confidence exist among customer and person responsible for product making then that is the best combination for the success of the product.
SCRUM values include focus and commitment. Trust is the main aspect or in other words the foundation on which things build. All values like openness, courage, commitment, respect comes when there is trust and faith in each other.
2. Working Software over comprehensive documentation:
When working software is discussed over documentation than it is said to have a ready software instead of lengthy document which is preferred by almost 99% customers. For this a definition of done needs to be defined. We see that that trust makes everything easier and working software is easily achieved.
3.Individuals and interactions over processes and tools:
It has been seen that projects have achieved lot of success focusing their emphasis on customers and getting regular feedback from customers. Belief and trust is however important in order to have successful individual interactions.
4. Responding to Change over following a plan:
Trust is a factor if it is there then all agile values become easy to implement and so is the case in responding to change.
In short trust is the foundation for every possible value and practice. If the foundation is strong i.e. trust is there and confidence is there then half the work becomes easier and follows its way.

Agile principles

From the Agile Principle Manifesto, Agile Manifesto (2013), the following principles would be appropriate to this knowledge area.
  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcoming changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the work done.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organising teams.

Each of these principles displayed above relates to this knowledge area.

Agile practices

  • Collective ownership aided by daily scrum meetings allows for frequent updates and the entire team feeling responsible for the progress and success of the iterations, leading to increased levels of trust between the project team and the customer.
  • An onsite customer part of the XP practice allows for transparency and at times can leave the customer feeling more comfortable knowing they have an “inside man” working closely with the project team to assure that the product is delivered to the required standard.
  • Active stakeholder participation is an expansion of XP programing having the authority and ability to provide information pertaining to the iteration tasks, involving both parties direct and indirectly involved increases the levels of trust.
  • Displaying Models Publicly often on something called a modelling wall or wall of wonder, this support open and honest communication which can only lead in to increased levels of trust.


Tyler and Kramer (1996) discuss the importance of trust, supporting Michra (1996) and Gilkey (1991) point that trust is key to organisational performance because it enables voluntary cooperation. They state that this then becomes of relevant importance when command and control styles of management are no longer effective. There has been a significant increase in the number of people who work in groups, with an increased number of employees working from home (Bijlsma & Koopman, 2003). In such situations work on tasks cannot be easily monitored and controlled. In such working environments enfaces on cooperation and trust are key. As with agile teams, in pair programming the client has to trust that the team assigned to task/ iterations will deliver and meet the required standards. Daily scrum meetings and displaying models publically encourages engagement and cooperation with one another. The client has to trust the project team will deliver their expectations to the required standard and quality, (Bijlsma & Koopman, 2003).

Links from this KA to other KAs

Each of these areas links to the area of trust due the each of them involving a degree of relating to others and using others to succeed with tasks. An Agile Manifesto (2013) principle "Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the work done", suggests the necessity to trust and build up a relationship of trust with other individuals in order to get the work done for the tasks.


Agile Manifesto. Principles behind the Agile Manifesto. [Online]. Available at: <> [Last Accessed: 9th March 2013].

Bijilsma, K. Koopman, P. (2003) Introduction: trust within organisations. Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Vol:32 Issue:5 pp:543-555.
Jagd, S. (2010) Balancing trust and control in organisations: towards a process perpective. Department of communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskile University, Roskile, Denmark, Vol:5 Issue:3 pp:259-269. (2013). Definition of Trust. [Online] Available at: <> [Last Accessed 23rd March 2013].

External links

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Trust in Chinese Language (浏览中文版)