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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