Friday, April 14, 2017

Why I decided to become Professional Scrum Trainer (PST)

I have been teaching Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) course in India and other part of Asia for last 3-4 years and could have decided to take path of Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). It's also not true that I didn't think about it and didn't want to be one of the CST.
So my PST story start with my hunt for agile coaching assignment during 2015 winter. I reached out a PST asking work for me especially for scrum and engineering coach. He tried but there was no available position in his company at that time for consultant. But he suggested to try PST because it will open many door for me. I took his advice seriously and started my journey by passing Professional Scrum Master - I with 95% as this was the first requirement. Went to Netherlands and London to attend my PSM-TTT and PSD-TTT.
But somehow I decided not to pursue PST after attending TTT because I didn't want to stop teaching CSD course. A course that gave me identify in my community and course that I love teaching all the time. Scrum Alliance came with EST (Endorsed Scrum Trainer) in September 2016 and I thought of trying but that didn't workout either. Here come December 2016 and I was asked once again what I am planning for? But by that time I was sure not to choose CST as option. I started hearing lot more quality issues of Scrum Alliance certifications especially CSM and CSP. I don't want to discuss something that everyone knows about.
I took few days off in December to decide about it. Since I am a teacher and coach so do I need any license to teach or coach? No. So why need license either CST or PST? It's not about me but about people to whom I teach. If about students then my not to give best to them. Here I am with best for my student after going through some tough processes to become PST like passing PSD-1, PSM -III with 95% and clearing peer review (I think it was one the biggest panel during Xmas holiday).
It wasn't for me but for the people I teach. This line has helped me a lot in deciding my path. Something good happened just after clearing PST. You know what? Scrum Alliance has updated REP agreement in December and now I can even teach my CSD as well.
Here I am with courses that my students like learning. Write to me if you wanted to become Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) or wanted to attend my workshop to learn something real and fruitful. I organize Professional Scrum Master (PSM) and Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) training in Chennai, Bangalore, Colombo, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

Why just Scrum is not enough for successful delivery?

Why organization is not able to gain much from Scrum? Is Scrum not very useful or fit for many organizations? 

Below is my understanding based on interaction with more than 100 people those have attended my workshop either CSD, PSD or PSM.

Don’t understand Scrum Framework itself. They have either few CSM (Certified Scrum Master) people or they have just heard about it and trying to adopt Scrum but struggling. I am not against CSM or Scrum Alliance as you can see I teach Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) but I am not happy with quality of CSM training. CSM may be good at foundation level something similar to Professional Scrum Foundation (PSF) but definitely not good enough to become Scrum Master or Scrum Coach. Better to hire Professional Scrum Master (PSM).

Only Scrum will not work so you need to train your development team on modern development practices and at least teach them Test Driven Development (TDD), Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD), Continuous Integration (CI), Pair Programming, Peer Code review, Emergent Design and Collective Code ownership. Without it developing a high performing team is myth. All these practices are part of Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) and Certified Scrum Developer (CSD).

Not having Scrum Coach to help during initial stage. You need a good Scrum Coach for 3-6 months to help your team to learn Scrum faster and to support your adoption. Not having Scrum Coach may leads to situation of ScrumBut but having Coach can take you to ScrumPlus. Better to hire a Scrum Coach either full time or a consultant to help.

Above is entirely my personal view and you may not agree to it but still write your comments. You feedback will help me to improve my knowledge on this topic.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if I can help you.

I have been teaching Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) course in India and other part of Asia for last 3-4 years and teaching Scrum Developer course is really really tough. You need to be very good in technical practices and should be able to teach all these hands-on on various languages including C++, Java, .Net, Ruby, Python and JavaScript etc. Keeping pace with technologies demands more time for self improvement and continuous learning. I also started teaching DevOps practices and Agile Testing (trust me these are same like CSD but just different name) as more and more people started asking about it. Recently become certified ICAgile trainer for these 2 courses to deliver training for KnowledgeHut.

Recently I became Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) to teach Scrum.Org courses and especially Professional Scrum Master (PSM) and Professional Scrum Developer (PSD). I have already conducted few workshops and many more already planned. I actively teach PSM, PSD, and CSD in Chennai, Bangalore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

I usually see one thing very common at all these places that people know about Scrum and majority of them are practicing Scrum. If they know scrum and practice it then why wanted to attend workshop? Just because they need certificate? No. They are not able to gain much from Scrum yet and wanted to know how to maximize value by practicing Scrum.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Is CSM (certified Scrum Master) certificate still valuable?

I often get below questions regarding Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Training and especially from mid level managers.

1. Which agile certificate is good for me? I wrote a blog for that. You may like to read here
2. Will CSM help in getting job?
3. Will CSM help me learning about Agile?
4. Is CSM mandatory for Scrum Master role?
5. Will CSM help me to switch from Developer to Scrum Master?
6. Is CSM useful for QA Engineers?

Here is my answer starting from what is CSM, why CSM, why not CSM and what are the alternatives of CSM.

What is CSM (Certified Scrum Master)? A training and certification program launched by Scrum Alliance in 2001. This was the 1st certification training launched by Scrum Alliance. This was not having any exam during initial years but later on introduced due to many complains. CSM has a very basic criteria - must attend 2 days workshop by Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and write a very basic exam to score 24 out 35 questions. Personally, I have not seen anyone failing in exam and most of the time people write exam in group to pass together. This is the biggest reason for CSM loosing value over the period.

Why CSM (Certified Scrum Master)? Somehow it was communicated from beginning that CSM is a foundation workshop for Agile and Scrum. Which is NOT true. CSM is for Scrum Master and not for everyone. For other roles there are other workshops. Like for developer and tester there is Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) and for Business Analyst and Product Owner there is workshop called Certified Scrum product Owner (CSPO). Since CSM is labelled as foundation training so even CST teaches very basic stuff to meet participants expectation and avoid going deeper into Scrum Master role. This is the 2nd biggest reason for CSM to loosing value as right certificate for Scrum Master.

Will CSM helps in getting job? No but at least it can help in getting your resume filtered during screening processes. Every companies try to filter resume based on certification for Scrum Master role and most popular certificates are CSM and PSM (Professional Scrum Master). Over the period, many organizations has started ignoring CSM as right credentials for Scrum Master role and look specifically for PSM.

Will CSM helps in learning Agile? Yes it does. Because it covers basic scrum framework (most popular agile methods). Alternately, you can look for Professional Scrum Foundation (PSF) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM) from scrum.org

I am leaving here with rest of questions and would prefer to hear from you about your understanding :)

Thanks for reading! Do let me know if there is any questions related to agile and scrum certifications.