Thursday, March 10, 2016

Impediments that get exposed when start practicing Scrum

Development Team often encounter with an impediments by shortening sprint length is lack of good technical practices. Organizations usually focus more on facilitate Scrum Master or Product Owner workshop as soon as they plan to adopt Scrum but very few organizations facilitate workshops for Development Team. Although it has increased a lot in last 2 years but still not anywhere near to Scrum Master or Product Owner workshop.

We just wonder why? There are more people working to develop software compare to Facilitators or Product Owner then why you are ignoring it? Ignorance can cause technical debts. When there is less time and team lack good technical practices then team may start cutting corner to deliver what they have committed. This leads to technical debts and it may slow you down in long run. You may feel Scrum is not helping you in building quality product and team motivation may go down.
   
We feel there could be 2 reasons. 1st – Organization just facilitating Scrum Master (or similar) Workshop for development team and 2nd - not aware about workshop available for Development Team. There is another one – Some technical workshop is happening in bit and pieces like junit, nunit, Jenkins or selenium etc. but mainly tools training but not practice workshop.

Same applied for new hire/ campus hire. People go through a series of training when they join but not very focused in the area of Test First, TDD, ATDD, BDD, CI, Pair Programming, Mob Programming, Continuous Integration or Collaboration practices. We believe that in order to be successful, members of Scrum Development Teams must have these skills and organization must focus on investing a lot on it.

Let us know if you need more information about development team workshops, which is more suitable for your team or your team is also struggling with similar impediment.

Leanpitch develop products and provides services for both product discovery and product delivery cycles of Software Product Development. We help organization in maximizing the work of the Development Team.


Reach out us in case looking for in-house workshops on Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) or Certified Scrum Developer(CSD). Our facilitators are known for quality and commitment.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Are you investing enough to build cross-functional development team?

I do see people come to attend CSM (Certified Scrum Master) or CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner) training or many organizations ask us to facilitate in-house CSM and CSPO workshops. These 2 workshops are for Scrum Master and Product Owner and really needed in order to start practicing Scrum within organization. But what kind of workshop you are organizing for development team or what workshop you development team members are attending to gain knowledge related to development team's practices?

How you are helping to build a better cross-functional and self-organizing team? Hope you are not ignoring but are you having right workshops for them? What do you do for people working on Salesforce, Oracle ERP, Java Development, UX design, Database, .Net Development, Open Source Platform, Mainframe or Embedded Technologies either as Developer, Testers or Business Analyst?

I am raising this questions based on my interaction with development team while facilitating CSD ( Certified Scrum Developer) workshop for developers, testers and business analyst. What I usually hear that organization facilitates only Scrum Framework workshop and nothing specific to development team role. Some organizations also organize workshops on TDD, CI etc. but mainly tools training and not much focus on practices.

Since Scrum become a widely used framework for software development and majority of organizations already practicing Scrum or Scrum + Something so it has become vital to have your development team members go through role specific workshop to learn practices that can help them to be more efficient and effective.

Workshops should focus more on practices and importance of these practices rather than just tools. If they just go for junit, dbunit, jenkins or cucumber training then most likely teams will misuse these tools. Being a developer I understand one things that until I am not sure how these practices and tools useful for me, I will not use it. Maybe this is one the biggest reason that team ignore engineering practices and technical debts keeps increasing sprint by sprint.

Which is the best Agile and Scrum Certification Training Workshop?

We often hear below questions when someone decide to start agile journey or look for more valuable Agile and Scrum Certificates.
  • What kind of Scrum and agile workshop suitable for me?
  • Can I go for Scrum Master Training or Product Owner Training?
  • I am a tester and wanted to learn agile testing but how?
  • Is there any certificate for Architect, Developer, Tester or Manual Tester?
  • Which Certificate for Scrum Master? CSM, PSM or PMI-ACP?
  • I am working in scrum for last 2-3 years but now looking for certificate so which one?
  • Which agile and scrum certificate carry more value in job market?
  • I have working knowledge on Agile and Scrum but looking for certificate to change job so which certificate will help me more?
Many more similar questions so thought of writing about it in details. Below is my personal suggestions based on interactions with organizations and their leaders.


There are only 2 major Certification Authorities available but don’t worry there are many fake as well. In fact, PMI also provide certification but they are confused with their own certificate.

Scrum Alliance is the first organization started offering quality training and now accepted across the world. Most popular in countries like USA, UK, Singapore and India. Attending training by approved trainer is must in order to earn certificate and there are no exams for certification apart from CSM (Certified Scrum Master).

Be careful while choosing Scrum Alliance workshop because some of the trainers are not rated well. Below parameters can be applied while choosing.
  • What is the batch size? Anything more than 40 people batch in not good because then it will become a conference not training
  • Teaching techniques – is it based on hands-on activities or PPT reading?
  • Ask questions like how this workshop is related to Scrum Role?
  • Workshop is generic Scrum introduction or role specific?
  • Ask for feedback if possible

Scrum.org – Ken Schwaber (co-creator of Scrum) has started it after moving out from Scrum Alliance. Very good courses and highly rated but not as popular as Scrum Alliance courses. One the reason for not so popular is that Scrum.org started very late but growing very fast. Training is not mandatory in order to write exam but always suggestible for new people.

Which one to choose? Scrum Alliance or Scrum.org?

Personally I like Scrum.org courses but if you look at the market demand then Scrum Alliance is more popular. Mainly because passing CSM exam is very easy. You don’t need to explain anyone about Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)CertifiedScrum Product Owner (CSPO) and Certified Scrum Developer (CSD). These are well known certificates and even recruitment team understand very well. Scrum.Org course like Professional Scrum Master (PSM-I)Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO-I) or Professional Scrum Developer (PSD-I) also known and popular and demand is growing due to poor quality of Scrum Alliance certification. 

Which Scrum Certificate is suitable more for me based on my role?

You are working as Product Manager, Project Manager, Product Owner, Proxy Product Owner, Business owner, Functional Consultant, Senior Manager or you are responsible for P&L, Business growth, managing large product etc. then better to choose Certified Scrum Product Owner(CSPO) or Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO-I). Attending two day workshop is enough to earn CSPO but you have to write exam in case of PSPO and pass with 85% marks. PSPO is standard course provided by Scrum.Org whereas CSPO content is totally depends on trainer. 

You are working Scrum Master, Process Consultant or inspiring to become any of these 2 then join Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM-I). 2 day workshop is mandatory followed by exam for CSM. I have not seen anyone failing in exam so don’t worry. Training is not mandatory for PSM-1 but passing PSM-1 assessment with 85% is not easy so advisable to attend workshop. Attending PSM training has lot more advantage over CSM and no renewal require for PSM. 

If you don’t belong to any of the above category then most likely you are either developer, tester, consultant, team lead, test lead, architect, Salesforce developer, embedded programmer, oracle ERP consultant, BI developer, DBA or Data Warehousing developer and if Yes then go for Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) or Professional Scrum Developer (PSD-I). CSD is 5 day workshop and there is no assessment but you can choose 3 day CSD workshop if you are already CSM. PSD is assessment based and you have to pass with 85% marks. Training is not essential for PSD but recommended.

Oh you are looking for leadership, organization change, agile coach or change agent then better to look for Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) or Nexus Framework.

You wanted to demonstrate scrum knowledge and experience then you may think of becoming Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) or PSM-II as well. No workshop but some processes with pre-requisite.


Note: – I have not mentioned anything about Scrum Study, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) or Discipline Agile Delivery (DA) because I am not yet sure about it or don’t have much information about these. This is personal view and it may differ from individual.

Write to me or call me if you wanted to know more about above certification training.