At last night's APLN DC meeting, we were fortunate enough to have Scott Ambler present his talk on Scaling Agile Software Development: Reality over Rhetoric. Overall it was a good presentation with some nice takeaways. One thing that was noticeable was Scott's views on Scrum, CSM, Ken Schwaber. I will save most of these topics for future blogs, however I will address Scott's view on the 2 day Certified Scrum Master course.
Scott believes that the 2 day CSM course is a scam, a big lie, complete shenanigans. He believes that any professional should be ashamed if they put CSM in their email tags or business cards. And truth be told, I agree with him.
To take a 2 day course and, with no pre-qualifications, no exam, no peer review, no kind of validation or verification at all, become a Certified Scrum MASTER is deficient. Armed with only this 2 day course, one is most certainly NOT a master and is most likely NOT ready to implement Scrum without additional coaching/mentoring/help. We really should call the class what it is, a 2 day boot camp introducing Scrum.
The course itself is generally an excellent course, but one should understand what it does. The class helps the student understand the meaning of Agile and Scrum. It helps the student shift their mindset from a traditional/PMI/waterfall/EVM (EVM, one of the biggest LIES in he industry, definitely more on that in a future blog) base to an Agile/iterative/value/delivery mindset. It provides an overview of how to do Scrum and a general starting point on Scrum. For those already using Scrum or familiar with Scrum, it helps them walk through some of their thoughts, problems, and ideas. Hopefully by the end of the class, the student will be armed with some knowledge of how to implement Scrum, and more importantly, what it means to implement Scrum.
Scrum provides good process, artifacts, tools, foundation, and framework, but there are quite a few implementation details that need to be worked out and tailored to the environment. The actual implementation is quite tricky. It requires experience, expertise, and intelligence. Most people will need help if they hope to succeed just at the project level. To tackle it at an organizational level becomes an even greater challenge.
So really, understand that not all CSM's are created equal. There are some great ones out there and there are some who just had $1500 in their pockets and 2 free days to kill.