How long has it been since you took your Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) or Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) course? If you are like many Scrum and Agile practitioners, the last time you attended formal training was around three to five years ago. However, as recent events have shown us, a lot can change in the world of work in three months, not to mention how much can change in the span of three years!
If the work you are doing today has not varied much since your initial CSM or CSPO course, then you probably do not need much of an upgrade to your knowledge. However, if you are like most Scrum and Agile professionals I know, you probably do need an upgrade for one of the following reasons:
- You’re on the path to your dream job: for many practitioners the ultimate dream job is to be a Certified Team Coach (CTC), Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) or Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). If one of these certifications is your career destination, and all you have today is a CSM or CSPO, then you need to start a continuing education path that begins with Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) or Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) and ends with Certified Scrum Professional – ScrumMaster (CSP-SM) or Certified Scrum Professional – Product Owner (CSP-PO). In order to qualify for a CST, CEC or CTC certification with the Scrum Alliance, an active CSP-SM or CSP-PO designation is required.
- Your business is undergoing a transformation: eight in ten businesses today are undergoing a digital transformation to fundamentally change the way they operate and interact with their customers. For some enterprises, this change is driven by competitive pressures. Others are changing as a result of customer demand and many more are being disrupted by market events. Regardless of what is driving change, many organizations have adopted Scrum, and other Agile frameworks, to facilitate this transformation.
Yet many organizations are relying on people with basic skills acquired during CSM and CSPO courses to drive fundamental business change and that does not make sense. CSM and CSPO courses are good, but they were never designed to be much more than an introduction, not workshops to support a roadmap for a business transformation.
To support a business transformation, enterprises need a sustained and thoughtful program of advanced Scrum and Agile education to equip ScrumMasters, Agile coaches, Product Owners, product managers and Development Team members with the skills, knowledge and frameworks needed to engage and lead their parts of the transformation.
Professionals who do not level up from CSM or CSPO, miss out on important promotions and leadership opportunities during a transformation.
- You want to operate at the organizational level: most Scrum and Agile practitioners start off at the team level, so it makes sense for them to begin their professional journey with introductory courses like CSM or CSPO. However, as these individuals move along in their careers and increase their span of influence, they need a new set of practices and tools as they engage with a broader range of stakeholders and different types of strategic problems. While basic concepts and principles introduced in CSM and CSPO are universal, a program of advanced Scrum training goes beyond basic Scrum practice and focuses on the essential communication, collaboration and leadership frameworks needed by Agile professionals operating at the enterprise level. For people that only have a CSM and CSPO, they run the risk of being relegated to the “kids table” because they are not seen as credible organizational change agents with senior leaders and executives who operate on the enterprise level.
- You want to build your confidence: did you know that on average interviewers reach final decisions about applicants in only four minutes!!! Ouch!!! This tells us that in today’s competitive job market, having a basic certification is just not enough. The best job candidates have the certifications plus speak confidently about their on-the-job experiences resolving organizational challenges using Scrum and other Agile practices. In my experience, that type of confidence is developed through intentional practice combined with helpful guidance from an experienced professional. Consequently, whether you are going to obtain practical experience in your advanced studies should be an important consideration when selecting a program.
Where to Find Advanced Scrum Training
There are a lot of choices out there regarding advanced Scrum training — two day in-person classes, on-line real time classes, on-line/on-demand.
Because of my belief that confidence comes from practical experience, I have co-created four advanced Scrum certification programs, A-CSM, A-CSPO, CSP-SM and CSP-PO, that are designed to provide learners with over forty hours of on-the-job practice where they have the opportunity to apply new tools and frameworks to real-world scenarios in their actual place of business, under the mentorship of a Certified Scrum Trainer. I created the programs with Jason Tanner, CST, and we have found our style of blended, asynchronous learning boosts and sustains a learner’s confidence and performance over the long term. Our programs are designed to give our learners new ideas, tools and frameworks and gain experience to give them confidence in their next job interview.
These programs are on-line and , on-demand, so you can work at your own pace, from anywhere. This allows you the luxury of actually gaining the experience as you go along. Moveover, our programs allow you to obtain the A-CSM then CSP-SM, or A-CSPO then CSP-PO on-line, on-demand format we have been perfecting since 2016. Contact us to learn more, speak to one of our trainers or continue your Agile journey with us today!