I’d been toying with the idea of getting a certification in Program Management and/or Agile/Scrum practices for a long time. I never got to it partly because I have been busy with work and lots of other activities, but more than that, I always felt that having been a Technical Program Manager for almost ten years, I had my experience and results to back me up, that I did not feel that I needed a certification. I have played the role of a PO in certain cases and that of a SM during other instances. As a PO, I have dealt with various stakeholders and distilled the requirements to only have the Development Team do what is essential for the Product. So I felt I had all the practical experience I needed.
But heeding to the advice of some close friends and family members, I decided to give it a try after all. There were many options, CSM or PSM. Or perhaps PMI-ACP? You can search online for the differences between these certifications and the benefits that one offers over the others, but in the end it all boils down to getting to learn the Agile/Scrum framework in a formal setting. I decided to go with what was easily available and also one that I could get done earliest, given that I had postponed this for a while now.
I’ve an Agile/Scrum practitioner for the better part of a decade now but I discovered that often times these were not in the traditional definition.
I attended a 2-day course in Jul 2018 to get the required PDUs for the CSM certification and the following day, got certified. It is a fairly good training where you get a perspective of all the three roles in the Scrum framework. There is very little theory and lots of role playing and executing projects in a very controlled environment. Definitely recommended for people who want to learn and understand Agile/Scrum. As the creators of Scrum themselves say, it is easy to understand but difficult to practice.
One question kept coming up, how practical is it in “real-life” scenario? Well, first of all, it is important for the organization to be invested in the Agile/Scrum framework for individual teams to succeed in practicing and implementing the framework. For instance, the instructor said that if the team is struggling to meet its Sprint goal, the SM should resist doing anything and let the team fail, in order for the team to mature by facing consequences. But I feel that in real-life scenarios that might be a luxury any team member could ill-afford. But nevertheless, it was very great to implement the framework in lots of non-IT related activities in the role-playing sessions.
Do you have a certification in Agile/Scrum practices? Why did you decide to get it? Why not? How do you practice it within your organization, if you do at all?♦