The ScrumMaster Diaries: #3 – Becoming a CSM

Dear Diary,

I completed day 1 of my 2-day Certified ScrumMaster course today and I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed.  I didn’t have any idea there was a prerequisite of reading a particular book.  Luckily not a lot of other people knew about that either so I didn’t look too stupid.  Nothing we covered today was particularly difficult, it was just new to me.  A whole lot of it seemed like common sense, but as was pointed out, common sense isn’t so common, especially in software development!

I thought it was interesting to cover the history of agile and scrum and then to compare/contrast different methodologies.  I wish we hadn’t spent an hour on it, but it was interesting.  I just don’t know how it will help solve the problem.  Maybe if I was still in the mode of “selling agile” to the company it would have helped.

On the other hand the parts about how the Scrum Master role differs from a traditional project manager role was VERY useful.  Changing from command and control to serving, leading and facilitating will be challenging for some people.  It won’t be hard for me since I never had any control anyway <ha>!

I also liked the estimating part a lot.  Again, it makes sense, but it is so different from what we normally do that I wonder how it will work.  I’m not so sure management will approve of playing poker, even if it is Planning Poker!

The last thing we did was a Scrum simulation.  That was a ton of fun, but I wish it did more to advance my learning.  I guess I got to see Scrum in action, but on such a small scale I’m not sure I learned as much as I would have liked.

Well, on to bed now.  Another full day of CSM training tomorrow!

– Nick

Dear Diary,

I am almost a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) although I’m not sure why.  It seems too easy to sit in a class for 2 days then take a test you can’t fail.  Oh well, 60,000+ CSMs can’t be wrong.  It must be useful.

Today we dug into the Scrum process including the meetings, artifacts and roles a bit more.  We also discussed scaling Scrum and how to start up new Scrum implementations.  I learned quite a bit – I think.  It still seems like too much common sense, but I have to admit I probably wouldn’t have thought of most of it on my own.

I am glad that we covered all of the Scrum process in detail.  I now have a much better idea what each role is supposed to do.  They don’t map so directly to traditional roles.  I’ll need to keep that in mind when I talk to the group as a whole.  It will also be interesting to see how QA reacts when I tell them about estimating as a whole team and things get completed EVERY sprint which means testing more than just at the end of a project!

Tomorrow I meet with the rest of the team to fill them in.  It should be an interesting meeting!

– Nick


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Bob Hartman

Known as Agile Bob, brings over 30 years of experience and broad industry knowledge cultivated by serving in almost every role in the software industry including developer, tester, documentation writer, trainer, product manager, project manager, business analyst, senior software engineer, development manager and executive. Over the past 15 years Bob has grown from being an early adopter of Agile to his current status as a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) and Certified Enterprise Coach℠ (CEC) and an expert in training, coaching and mentoring across all areas of Agile development. Bob is a popular speaker, having spoken at numerous major conferences, seminars, workshops and user group meetings where his engaging style, holistic view of development and personal anecdotes are always well received by attendees.

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