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Reasons You Should Be A Certified Scrum Master

What is a CSM? Stage of Scrum today!CSM stands for Certified Scrum Master. The CSM is a certification given by the Scrum Alliance, a non-profit organization founded in 2001. The CSM certificate is given to a person after attending a 2-day course in a classroom about Scrum and more especially the role of a Scrum Master.The requirement of earning the certificate is to attend the class and to pass an online test (multiple choice quiz) afterward. The certification is not backed by proven Scrum Master’s experience, rather it’s a certificate earned by classroom attendance. For most professionals, the certificate is the start of the journey as a Scrum Master.How widespread is Scrum? What are the important roles and responsibilities of a Certified Scrum Master?The Scrum Master is defined as being a “servant-leader” for the Scrum Team. When you first hear the term that sounds a bit cryptic. The role is much about leadership, in a serving way, meaning the Scrum Master is responsible for the growth of others.Scrum Master vs Project ManagerTypically, there’s a misunderstanding and comparison between a “traditional” project manager and a Scrum Master. Where the project manager is occupied with the triangle Time & Scope & Resources (budget), and managing these to deliver on target.The main responsibility of the Scrum Master is to maximize the value by using Scrum as a development framework. Moreover, the Scrum Master’s role is inherently very people-oriented, while a project manager could manage a project very administratively or as well, take great care of the people involved. In Scrum, there are 3 actors: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the development team. The responsibilities of developing, delivering, and sustaining products in Scrum are spread over those 3 roles.Roles and Responsibilities of the Scrum MasterThe Scrum Master is leading, and providing a service to 3 parties:The product owner (and involved stakeholders)The development teamThe organisation (in which the development team exists)The Scrum Master is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. Scrum Masters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values.The Scrum Master is coaching, facilitating, explaining, helping where necessary to ensure an improved practicing of Scrum - not only based upon the official Scrum Guide but mostly by living and being an example of what it means to be agile and live by Scrum’s values and principles.Who should obtain a Scrum Master Certification?I’d recommend a Scrum Master Certification to anyone who’s interested to better understand Scrum, and to anyone who has ambitions to take the role of the Scrum Master.Scrum Masters can originate from many backgrounds - it’s more about the person calling to become a Scrum Master and to grow from being a “good” Scrum Master to a “great” Scrum Master. Sometimes it is necessary to unlearn a number of practices and behaviors from the past. If you truly embrace the Agile mindset, you’ll naturally grow in the Scrum Master’s role.Why become a Certified Scrum Master?The Scrum Master Certification course will give you a better understanding of Scrum and what it means to be a Scrum Master.Scrum Master is the most popular certification, selected by 84 percent of respondents. The IT industry and recruiters are looking for people who are certified. You should form your own opinion if a certification is important to you or not - but it can be a kickstart to take up this role.The most important is to understand that a certification gives a proof of attending a 2-day course and that you have the minimum knowledge to start working as a Scrum Master. Remember, Scrum is one particular approach (although very popular) to adopt an Agile methodology. You should also learn, live and apply the values and principles of the Agile manifesto.How to get your Scrum Master Certification?Given below are the Steps for earning a Scrum Master certification.Find yourself a CSM course (in this case organized by the Scrum Alliance) - courses are organized worldwide. It is also interesting to look at who is the trainer. The course is a two-day CSM course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) of Scrum Alliance.After the course, you’ll need to pass the CSM exam. After you pass the CSM exam and accept the License Agreement of CSM, complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile and enjoy the benefits of certification.Note: The CSM license is valid for 2 years, after which you’ll need to renew the license.Certification Path to Scrum Master certificationFrom the perspective of the Scrum Alliance, there’s a certification path. Previously as a Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Product Owner, you could obtain a certification of a practitioner, entitled Certified Scrum Professional.Recently, the Scrum Alliance has changed the certification path from CSM to Advanced CSM (A-CSM), with a corresponding classroom course about Advanced Scrum Mastering. Empirically, it was clear that a 2-day classroom course only covers the basic knowledge and techniques to be a Scrum Master.The Advanced Scrum Master course comprehends advanced techniques such as facilitation. If you hold your A-CSM certification, you can apply to become a Certified Scrum Professional (Scrum Master). These certifications have a limited validity period.Personally, I consider this a good thing, a certification is like a badge or a reward for specific achievement or body of knowledge at a certain point in time, and this is to be renewed periodically according to your professional experience.What it takes to be an effective Scrum Master?For me, being a Scrum Master requires competencies of coaching, facilitation and training.There’s a document describing 8 stances of a Scrum Master, I like this description as it illustrates there are several aspects to being a Scrum Master, different hats to wear. The 8 stances are Servant Leader, Facilitator, Coach, Manager, Mentor, Teacher, Impediment Remover, Change Agent.The Scrum Master is constantly trying to detect opportunities to increase the effectiveness of the application of Scrum in the team and in the organization. Inspecting and adapting (constantly looking for feedback, and acting to improve using that feedback) is core to the Scrum Master’s role.Geoff Watts describes the characteristics of a Scrum Master as being RETRAINED:Resourceful, is creative in removing impedimentsEnabling, is passionate about helping othersTactful, is diplomacy personifiedRespected, has a reputation for integrityAlternative, is prepared to promote a counter-cultureInspiring, generates enthusiasm and energy in othersNurturing, enjoys helping teams and individuals develop and growEmpathic, is sensitive to those around themDisruptive, breaks the status quo, help create a new way of workingFrom which background people can evolve to be a Scrum Master?There’s no specific previous requirement to evolve to the role of Scrum Master. I have personally seen Scrum Masters who were previously:Software developmentProject manager (or any variation thereof)Business analystOr with a completely different background; such as psychology\Being in touch with your true self and be an example of change is the greatest asset to be a Scrum Master.Top challenges for a Certified Scrum MasterAccording to me, the main challenge is to keep the application of Scrum simple, which means  not to add additional tools, techniques, processes, actors, etc which will complexify the application of Scrum in an unnecessary way.Otherwise, the challenges for a Scrum Master are not that different from other Agile frameworks or approaches. The 3 most significant challenges to agile adoption and scaling are reported as(1) Organizational culture at odds with agile values (53%),(2) General organizational resistance to change (46%), and(3) Inadequate management support and sponsorship (42%).A Scrum Master must be perseverant, diplomatic, empathic in his wording and doing.The State of Scrum 2017-2018 report indicates similar challenges:Organizational design and culture made it difficult to adopt and scaleDifficult to transition from traditional WaterfallNo clearly defined metrics to identify and measure successLack of executive management is not (anymore) a top challenge! This used to be one of the main reasons why Scrum and adoption were failing before.Career Path of a Certified Scrum MasterScrum as a framework comprehends 3 roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and (product) development team, together they are the Scrum Team. As a Scrum Master, there’s a long and bright path ahead of you to strengthen your knowledge, deepen your understanding and develop the different competencies of Scrum Mastership. And a Scrum Master job is the highest paid job, an average Certified Scrum Master Salary will be around $104,682/year.For example, you can evolve as a coach, facilitator or trainer. The industry sometimes regards the next career step of a Scrum Master, to become an Agile coach. This is not necessarily true; an organization embracing Scrum for product development can function without the need of Agile coaches.It is true that the focus of a Scrum Master can (and will) evolve. Depending upon the maturity stage of the team, a Scrum Master will focus a lot, in the beginning, to help (coach) the development team and the product owner, later the focus will shift to other teams and the remainder of the organization.In essence, a Scrum Master has the goal to become obsolete! The Scrum Masters will strengthen the competencies of the Scrum team so that they can self-organize and self-govern, eventually without the need for every day help of a Scrum Master. A Scrum Master can evolve to become a Scrum team coach or a coach for multiple teams.Scrum Master vs. Agile CoachNowadays, the position of Scrum Master is compared to Agile Coach, and many people in the industry self-claim the title. Any prejudgment set aside, there’s nothing wrong with anyone’s ambitions, but it’s important to understand the similarities and differences between the scrum Master and Agile Coach.A Scrum Master’s main focus is Scrum - there exist other Agile and Lean approaches - but being a Scrum Master is about Scrum.A Scrum Master also coaches, personal and team coaching is an important aspect in both roles.A Scrum Master is a dedicated role, to one or multiple teams. An agile coach is typically by default involved in multiple teams.An agile coach has a broader knowledge and experience of agile & lean philosophies and approaches - of course this is not excluded for the Scrum MasterA Scrum Master is also working on the organisation’s level, this is by default part of it (and described in the official Scrum Guide). Organisations who limit the influence of Scrum Masters to the team and team only, will not gain the benefits of a Scrum Master. “A good Scrum Master helps a Scrum Team survive in an organisation’s culture. A great Scrum Master helps change the culture so Scrum Teams can thrive.” – Geoff WattsScrum Masters of several teams can form themselves a Scrum team - typically an agile coach could help the group of Scrum Masters to grow to work as a team  - if needed.An experienced agile coach can help to kick-off the application of Scrum in an organisation, together with senior management / leadership teams on enterprise level - in case the Scrum Masters don’t have this experience or confidence.Effect of Scrum on software development projectsThe following is valued most by executives for Scrum-based projects (source: State of Scrum 2017-2018, by Scrum Alliance)Comparison between CSM and other related Scrum MasterNext to the Scrum Alliance, there exist Scrum.org (founded by Ken Schwaber, one of the co-authors of Scrum). Scrum.org offers its own certification path for Scrum Master, called Professional Scrum Master (PSM), level I, II, III. For more info on this, read the article “Professional Scrum Master vs. Certified Scrum Master”Demand of a Certified Scrum MasterA search on the website Agile Careers by Scrum Alliance show there are more than 1000 jobs requiring a Scrum Master certification.
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Reasons You Should Be A Certified Scrum Master

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Reasons You Should Be A Certified Scrum Master

What is a CSM? Stage of Scrum today!

CSM stands for Certified Scrum Master. The CSM is a certification given by the Scrum Alliance, a non-profit organization founded in 2001. The CSM certificate is given to a person after attending a 2-day course in a classroom about Scrum and more especially the role of a Scrum Master.

The requirement of earning the certificate is to attend the class and to pass an online test (multiple choice quiz) afterward. The certification is not backed by proven Scrum Master’s experience, rather it’s a certificate earned by classroom attendance. For most professionals, the certificate is the start of the journey as a Scrum Master.

How widespread is Scrum?
 How widespread is Scrum? 

What are the important roles and responsibilities of a Certified Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master is defined as being a “servant-leader” for the Scrum Team. When you first hear the term that sounds a bit cryptic. The role is much about leadership, in a serving way, meaning the Scrum Master is responsible for the growth of others.

Scrum Master vs Project Manager

Typically, there’s a misunderstanding and comparison between a “traditional” project manager and a Scrum Master. Where the project manager is occupied with the triangle Time & Scope & Resources (budget), and managing these to deliver on target.

The main responsibility of the Scrum Master is to maximize the value by using Scrum as a development framework. Moreover, the Scrum Master’s role is inherently very people-oriented, while a project manager could manage a project very administratively or as well, take great care of the people involved. In Scrum, there are 3 actors: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the development team. The responsibilities of developing, delivering, and sustaining products in Scrum are spread over those 3 roles.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Scrum Master

 Roles and Responsibilities of the Scrum Master


The Scrum Master is leading, and providing a service to 3 parties:

  • The product owner (and involved stakeholders)
  • The development team
  • The organisation (in which the development team exists)

The Scrum Master is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. Scrum Masters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values.

The Scrum Master is coaching, facilitating, explaining, helping where necessary to ensure an improved practicing of Scrum - not only based upon the official Scrum Guide but mostly by living and being an example of what it means to be agile and live by Scrum’s values and principles.

Who should obtain a Scrum Master Certification?

I’d recommend a Scrum Master Certification to anyone who’s interested to better understand Scrum, and to anyone who has ambitions to take the role of the Scrum Master.

Scrum Masters can originate from many backgrounds - it’s more about the person calling to become a Scrum Master and to grow from being a “good” Scrum Master to a “great” Scrum Master. Sometimes it is necessary to unlearn a number of practices and behaviors from the past. If you truly embrace the Agile mindset, you’ll naturally grow in the Scrum Master’s role.

Why become a Certified Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master Certification course will give you a better understanding of Scrum and what it means to be a Scrum Master.

Scrum Master Certification eligibility and qualification

Scrum Master is the most popular certification, selected by 84 percent of respondents. The IT industry and recruiters are looking for people who are certified. You should form your own opinion if a certification is important to you or not - but it can be a kickstart to take up this role.

The most important is to understand that a certification gives a proof of attending a 2-day course and that you have the minimum knowledge to start working as a Scrum Master. Remember, Scrum is one particular approach (although very popular) to adopt an Agile methodology. You should also learn, live and apply the values and principles of the Agile manifesto.

How to get your Scrum Master Certification?

Given below are the Steps for earning a Scrum Master certification.

  1. Find yourself a CSM course (in this case organized by the Scrum Alliance) - courses are organized worldwide. It is also interesting to look at who is the trainer. The course is a two-day CSM course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) of Scrum Alliance.
  2. After the course, you’ll need to pass the CSM exam. After you pass the CSM exam and accept the License Agreement of CSM, complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile and enjoy the benefits of certification.

Easy steps for Scrum certification
Note: The CSM license is valid for 2 years, after which you’ll need to renew the license.

Certification Path to Scrum Master certification

From the perspective of the Scrum Alliance, there’s a certification path. Previously as a Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Product Owner, you could obtain a certification of a practitioner, entitled Certified Scrum Professional.

Recently, the Scrum Alliance has changed the certification path from CSM to Advanced CSM (A-CSM), with a corresponding classroom course about Advanced Scrum Mastering. Empirically, it was clear that a 2-day classroom course only covers the basic knowledge and techniques to be a Scrum Master.

The Advanced Scrum Master course comprehends advanced techniques such as facilitation. If you hold your A-CSM certification, you can apply to become a Certified Scrum Professional (Scrum Master). These certifications have a limited validity period.

Personally, I consider this a good thing, a certification is like a badge or a reward for specific achievement or body of knowledge at a certain point in time, and this is to be renewed periodically according to your professional experience.

What it takes to be an effective Scrum Master?

For me, being a Scrum Master requires competencies of coaching, facilitation and training.

There’s a document describing 8 stances of a Scrum Master, I like this description as it illustrates there are several aspects to being a Scrum Master, different hats to wear. The 8 stances are Servant Leader, Facilitator, Coach, Manager, Mentor, Teacher, Impediment Remover, Change Agent.

The Scrum Master is constantly trying to detect opportunities to increase the effectiveness of the application of Scrum in the team and in the organization. Inspecting and adapting (constantly looking for feedback, and acting to improve using that feedback) is core to the Scrum Master’s role.

Geoff Watts describes the characteristics of a Scrum Master as being RETRAINED:

Characterstics of a Scrum Master

  • Resourceful, is creative in removing impediments
  • Enabling, is passionate about helping others
  • Tactful, is diplomacy personified
  • Respected, has a reputation for integrity
  • Alternative, is prepared to promote a counter-culture
  • Inspiring, generates enthusiasm and energy in others
  • Nurturing, enjoys helping teams and individuals develop and grow
  • Empathic, is sensitive to those around them
  • Disruptive, breaks the status quo, help create a new way of working

From which background people can evolve to be a Scrum Master?

There’s no specific previous requirement to evolve to the role of Scrum Master. I have personally seen Scrum Masters who were previously:

  • Software development
  • Project manager (or any variation thereof)
  • Business analyst
  • Or with a completely different background; such as psychology\

Being in touch with your true self and be an example of change is the greatest asset to be a Scrum Master.

Top challenges for a Certified Scrum Master

According to me, the main challenge is to keep the application of Scrum simple, which means  not to add additional tools, techniques, processes, actors, etc which will complexify the application of Scrum in an unnecessary way.

Otherwise, the challenges for a Scrum Master are not that different from other Agile frameworks or approaches. The 3 most significant challenges to agile adoption and scaling are reported as

(1) Organizational culture at odds with agile values (53%),

(2) General organizational resistance to change (46%), and

(3) Inadequate management support and sponsorship (42%).

A Scrum Master must be perseverant, diplomatic, empathic in his wording and doing.

The State of Scrum 2017-2018 report indicates similar challenges:

  • Organizational design and culture made it difficult to adopt and scale
  • Difficult to transition from traditional Waterfall
  • No clearly defined metrics to identify and measure success

Lack of executive management is not (anymore) a top challenge! This used to be one of the main reasons why Scrum and adoption were failing before.

Scrum quotation


Career Path of a Certified Scrum Master

Career Path of a Certified Scrum MasterScrum as a framework comprehends 3 roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and (product) development team, together they are the Scrum Team. As a Scrum Master, there’s a long and bright path ahead of you to strengthen your knowledge, deepen your understanding and develop the different competencies of Scrum Mastership. And a Scrum Master job is the highest paid job, an average Certified Scrum Master Salary will be around $104,682/year.

For example, you can evolve as a coach, facilitator or trainer. The industry sometimes regards the next career step of a Scrum Master, to become an Agile coach. This is not necessarily true; an organization embracing Scrum for product development can function without the need of Agile coaches.

It is true that the focus of a Scrum Master can (and will) evolve. Depending upon the maturity stage of the team, a Scrum Master will focus a lot, in the beginning, to help (coach) the development team and the product owner, later the focus will shift to other teams and the remainder of the organization.

In essence, a Scrum Master has the goal to become obsolete! The Scrum Masters will strengthen the competencies of the Scrum team so that they can self-organize and self-govern, eventually without the need for every day help of a Scrum Master. A Scrum Master can evolve to become a Scrum team coach or a coach for multiple teams.

Scrum master career path

Scrum Master vs. Agile Coach

Nowadays, the position of Scrum Master is compared to Agile Coach, and many people in the industry self-claim the title. Any prejudgment set aside, there’s nothing wrong with anyone’s ambitions, but it’s important to understand the similarities and differences between the scrum Master and Agile Coach.

  • A Scrum Master’s main focus is Scrum - there exist other Agile and Lean approaches - but being a Scrum Master is about Scrum.
  • A Scrum Master also coaches, personal and team coaching is an important aspect in both roles.
  • A Scrum Master is a dedicated role, to one or multiple teams. An agile coach is typically by default involved in multiple teams.
  • An agile coach has a broader knowledge and experience of agile & lean philosophies and approaches - of course this is not excluded for the Scrum Master
  • A Scrum Master is also working on the organisation’s level, this is by default part of it (and described in the official Scrum Guide). Organisations who limit the influence of Scrum Masters to the team and team only, will not gain the benefits of a Scrum Master. “A good Scrum Master helps a Scrum Team survive in an organisation’s culture. A great Scrum Master helps change the culture so Scrum Teams can thrive.” – Geoff Watts
  • Scrum Masters of several teams can form themselves a Scrum team - typically an agile coach could help the group of Scrum Masters to grow to work as a team  - if needed.
  • An experienced agile coach can help to kick-off the application of Scrum in an organisation, together with senior management / leadership teams on enterprise level - in case the Scrum Masters don’t have this experience or confidence.

Effect of Scrum on software development projects

The following is valued most by executives for Scrum-based projects (source: State of Scrum 2017-2018, by Scrum Alliance)Effect of Scrum on software development projects

Comparison between CSM and other related Scrum Master

Next to the Scrum Alliance, there exist Scrum.org (founded by Ken Schwaber, one of the co-authors of Scrum). Scrum.org offers its own certification path for Scrum Master, called Professional Scrum Master (PSM), level I, II, III. For more info on this, read the article “Professional Scrum Master vs. Certified Scrum Master”

Demand of a Certified Scrum Master

A search on the website Agile Careers by Scrum Alliance show there are more than 1000 jobs requiring a Scrum Master certification.

Frederik

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Blog Author

Frederik is an experienced consultant, professional facilitator, coach and trainer. Frederik is constantly looking to help organisation to gain more agility and to create happy workplaces

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2 comments

Ranjith vatsav 16 Nov 2018

Thank you Federik.nice one.I have shared

Clifford 07 Jan 2019

It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to counsel you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I want to learn more issues about it! Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Pretty

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Scrum Epic: What Is It And How To Create The Best Epics In Agile?

Scrum has been a buzzword since a decade now, and why not, it has so many success stories, hey, I am not talking about the stories which mean requirements in Scrum but the actual stories of teams and the organizations practicing Scrum. Looks like, I just gave the hint of what I would be covering in my article today.Yes, we will be talking about the requirements and how are they handled in Scrum. We will be talking about the Epic, so far, we have known Epic as a long narrative about the heroes of great historical or legendary significance performing courageous deeds but here we will touch upon a different side. Believe me, we are now going to talk about the EPICs in Scrum!What is an Epic in Agile?In simple terms, Scrum EPIC in Agile Methodology is a big chunk of work which can be divided into smaller user stories. An epic can be spread across sprints and even across agile teams. An epic can be a high-level description of what the client wants, and accordingly, it has some value attached to it. As we mentioned, an epic is a high-level requirement, hence its scope can change over the course of time.“Epics are a helpful way to organize your work and to create a hierarchy. The idea is to break down the work into shippable pieces so that large projects can actually get done and you can continue to ship value to your customers on a regular basis. Epics help teams break their work down while continuing to work towards a bigger goal.”- Atlassian                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               To explain it better, I would prefer taking a life example, let’s say, throwing a New Year party at your place can be an epic requirement for you. To do so, you’ll need to organize your effort: from the biggest objectives down to the smallest details. You should be able to respond to change, report your progress, and stick to a plan. Once you are aware of the epic, you can drill it down to create smaller tasks like creating a guest list, deciding on the menu, shopping for the grocery, decoration at home, shopping for the new year, etc.Let’s see how we can create an Epic also called Scrum Epic User Story – In today’s era, almost all the tools that the team use have the capability to create an epic, it is up to the product and the team, which type of Epic they want.Some Epics cater to the reporting needs of management. Some Epics are created with a timeframe in mind, it should not be too long and too short, i.e. it should not take more than a couple of weeks to finish. But the widely used way is Storytelling.So, what is StorytellingStorytelling is a tool which helps you visualize the flow of events and how they corroborate back up to the Epic. If you feel, your working pattern does not sit in any of the mentioned ways, create your own. Just remember, Agile is never prescriptive, it shows you the path and how you want to go over it, it’s your choice!Coming back to our example, let us try to break it down into some doable components. It is really important to create chunks out of the epic so that the team can pick those up and deliver in a sprint time. You can compare this activity to art which requires precision in terms of size, priority, minimally interdependent etc. There are some pre-set ways of doing it, like:Workflow break downHere in our example, we talked about a project where we have a New Year party, let’s see how we can break it down in terms of workflow – Shopping can be a workflow where you need to get the items from outside. Another workflow can be cooking the food for the guests, same way we can have decorating the house as another workflow. See how simple it gets to understand once you start connecting it with our lives! This also helps the product owner to easily prioritize the work, in our case, the Product Owner can be the host of the party. Some steps in the workflow may not be important right now and can be moved to later stages. Perhaps baking the cake takes on the priority as it takes time to cool down but the same can be done later as well.Role-based breakdownWe can also break an epic as per the role or the persona, there can be different roles in your product or a project, here we have role of a ‘host’, ‘guest’ or you can have a role as a ‘cook’, you can even add the roles as per your product. In a role-based breakdown we talk in terms of that particular persona, example, for a host, ‘Driving a successful party’ can be one, for a guest, it can be, ‘Looking for some fun games at the party’.Break Down around the timelineSome of the epics can be broken down according to the time it will take to complete. The team usually divides the work which can be accomplished in a sprint time. They take up the whole thing, break it into pieces and fit the pieces in different sprints as per the dependency and priority. As I have already mentioned, the breaking down requires consideration into several areas such as size, priority, interdependency etc. Thus, there are two approaches to dividing – Horizontal and Vertical. It is like cutting the cake, if you cut it horizontally, you will get a single layer but if you take a vertical approach, you will get to have a bit of all the layers. Understanding the basic differences between Epic, Story, and TaskWe have been talking a lot about Epic and its breakdown, now let’s capture how it actually disintegrates further. We had an Epic “New Year Party”, this was a big chunk of work to be accomplished, we learned about the techniques to break it down. The result of the breakdown is termed Stories, which can be accomplished in a sprint time. The stories are further broken down into chunks called ‘Tasks’, the team pulls up the tasks and completes them, once all the tasks are completed, the story is marked as Completed. The below figure explains Scrum Epic Vs User Story:Thus,Epic - A requirement that is just too big to deliver in a single sprint. Epics need to be broken into smaller deliverables (stories).Story - A requirement that the business wants. It is something that is deliverable within a single sprint.Tasks - The essentials of a story, these are the milestones to take the story to ‘Done’.Anything that we cannot measure will not yield many results, we have been hearing this for a long time. It does apply here as well. We can use burndown charts to measure how much work has been accomplished in an Epic. This also helps in predicting if the team is on track with the commitments. By keeping a watch on the Burndown chart, it becomes easy to manage the progress and the blockers (if any) that the team is facing. This not only provides transparency to the system but it also helps in building the trust for the team and the clients.How to identify Epics in AgileEpic is something which is a fairly large chunk of work and cannot be completed at one go. It is something which requires discussion and brainstorming so that it can be broken down further into smaller chunks. At the epic level, we give rough estimates which can be in the form of T-shirt sizes, swags, points or any other method the team is comfortable with. The team can track the progress in an epic through the Burndown chart which represents the progress and also reflects if there are any blockers. Benefits of EpicsEpics help in understanding the high-level requirement from the stakeholder and what exactly is the need.It also helps in defining the scope of work which is in agreement with the client. Epics articulate efficiently about final output of user needs. Epics help to track bigger thoughts in a product backlog without the need to overwhelm it with multiple things. They allow establishing a hierarchy for the backlog items where the epic represents the original idea often closely related to a particular outcome.It also helps in estimating how much time it will take to deliver. Epics are time and again used as placeholders for new views that have not been thought out completely, or whose full expansion has been postponed till essentially desirable.Epics are then evolved into split into multiple user stories that help Agile development teams effectively manage and groom their product backlog.Common Pitfalls in EpicThough there are many positive aspects of using the epics in backlog management a coin always has two sides, it has its pitfalls too! Sometimes, the teams can create confusions around the end deliverable from the epic by just viewing them as more than just large user stories. This is deceptive when the team creates multifaceted tools to distinguish between epics and user stories as well as creates far-reaching tools for chasing epics separately from other backlog items.The teams may also try to estimate the epics at a very high level though they might not have a clear picture of what is to be done. This increases the chances of ambiguity and it is very likely that the estimates will not be of any use as it will not serve any purpose in reporting.Finally, here we are, with the discussions around the Epics and how we can break it down. There is no set way to work on the epic, it about what approach suits your needs. Again, it is all about the mindset and way we deal with the backlog. Epics are always fascinating to work with!
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Scrum Epic: What Is It And How To Create The Best ...

Scrum has been a buzzword since a decade now, and ... Read More

All You Need to Know About Leading Safe 4.5® Certification With Knowledgehut

Agile is a project management process which encourages self-organization, accountability, and teamwork. This methodology progresses a moderate project management process by reducing the time required for review and adaptation. SAFe combines the power of Agile with Lean product development and systems thinking. It integrates delivery, collaboration, and alignment for multiple Agile teams and provides significant improvements to business agility, including quality, productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, time-to-market, and more. The new version i.e SAFe® 4.5 was released on June 22, 2017. This advanced version speeds up the delivery process of products and services and also offers a 360-degree build-measure-learn feedback cycle. With four major updates, SAFe has grown faster with the market since the initial release in 2011 and keeps on being a work in process. SAFe 4 Agilist certification helps you to build a strong foundation on Agile practices, standards, and applications required to enhance the  probability of the project's overall success. You might be searching for the best institute to take the course and might be thinking why only KnowledgeHut and why not others? Here we answer all your queries about Leading SAFe 4.5 Certification with KnowledgeHut. Looking for a quick overview of #SAFe? Check out our most popular download: https://t.co/Iw7rVXSK6U pic.twitter.com/oPEExo8mUY — Dean Leffingwell (@Deanleffingwell) October 31, 2017 Who is the certifying agency? SAFe® Enterprise or the Scaled Agile Framework is the provider of this SAFe® 4 Agilist Certification. KnowledgeHut offers this course by professional trainers with years of industry experience.     SAFe® Agilist certification exam cost?   The exam cost for the first attempt is included in the course fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion. Also, the candidate can retake the exam if not cleared in the first attempt and each retake attempt charges $50. Who will benefit from leading SAFe® 4.5 course? The following individuals will benefit from this course: Leaders and Executives, Directors, Managers, CIOs, and VPs Enterprise, System, and Solution Architects QA, Development, and Infrastructure Management Project and Program Managers PMO, Portfolio Managers, and Process Leads Product and Product Line Management Is it mandatory to attend the course or can a person just take the exam directly? Yes, candidates should have completed the 2 days’ Leading SAFe® 4.5 certification training course to take the exam. After successful completion, of course, your trainer registers you to Scaled Academy and after this registration, you will receive an e-mail that includes an exam link. Thereafter, you will have 30-days to take the test.  What do attendees get from the course? The course registration includes: SAFe 4 Agilist PDF certificate SAFe 4 Agilist digital badge to promote your online accomplishment  Comprehensive courseware materials by Scaled Agile Institute 1-year membership with Scaled Agile Access to members-only resources such as advance notice of upcoming SAFe products, guidance presentations, and webinars 16 SEUs and 16 PDUs 1 free attempt of the exam as the course fee includes the exam fee Can I cancel my enrollment? Do I get a refund? Your amount will be refunded in full only if the registration is cancelled within 48 hours and the refunds will be processed within 30 days of the request. For more details, check our refund policy. Note: Due to transactional costs that are applicable while refunding, all cancellations will cause a 5% deduction in the refunded amount. What topics are covered? The topics covered in our 2-day course are: Introducing the SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) Embracing a Lean-Agile Mindset Experiencing PI (Program Increment) planning Understanding SAFe Principles Implementing an Agile Release Train Leading the Lean-Agile Enterprise Exploring, Executing, and Releasing Value Building an Agile Portfolio and Empowering a Lean Portfolio Prerequisites for SAFe® 4.5 Certification? Anyone regardless of experience can attend the course. But the following knowledge and skills are highly recommended for those who really want to take the SAFe® 4 Agilist certification exam: 5 plus years of experience in business analysis, testing, product or project management, and software development Good experience in Scrum What will I learn from the course? On completion of the course you will be able to: Apply SAFe to scale Lean and Agile development in your organization Identify and apply a Lean-Agile Mindset and principles Empower with a Lean Portfolio Improve your Lean-Agile leadership skills Continuously explore, integrate, deploy, and release value Coordinate the development of large value streams Support a Lean-Agile transformation in your organization How can I apply? Follow the below steps to apply for Leading SAFe® 4.5 certification exam- Step  1: Take the 2-day Leading SAFe®4.5 course Step 2: Your trainer will send all your details to Scaled Agile after successful completion of course. Now, the Scaled Agile Academy will send you two emails: a Welcome Letter and a Learning Plan Assignment. The Learning Plan Assignment e-mail includes information about the exam. Step  3: Take the online SAFe® 4 Agilist certification exam. Step 4: Once the test is completed with the minimum passing score, Scaled Academy will update your profile to disclose the certification. Step 5: You will receive an email including official notification from Scaled Academy which allows you to the member area and helps you to make your profile public within the Scaled Agile Community. 1-year membership with Scaled Agile will be provided as well. Why KnowledgeHut for Leading SAFe® 4.5? KnowledgeHut is a silver training partner of Scaled Agile Inc (SAI) and offers world-class learning to its students with excellence and provides in-depth knowledge required to become a successful world-class professional. KnowledgeHut also offers: Free materials from Scaled Agile Framework. Tricks and tips from our professional Certified Leading SAFe experts who have years of experience in implementing it in a variety of environments. 1-year membership with Scaled Agile included in the course fee. We hope this article cleared all your queries related to SAFe® 4 Agilist certification. Connect with us to know more about the Leading SAFe® 4.5 course.t                               Training Cost                               India        USA               LVC                5500                                                499                                  E-Learning                665                   5165 Exam cost                151                   612
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All You Need to Know About Leading Safe 4.5® Cert...

Agile is a project management process which encour... Read More

CSPO Vs PSPO: Deciding Between the Two Scrum Certifications

A product owner is a leader responsible for maximizing the value of the products created by a scrum development team.Both CSPO and PSPO relate to the expertise of a product owner in Scrum framework.As Mike Cohn puts it:“The Scrum product owner is typically a project's key stakeholder. Part of the product owner responsibilities is to have a vision of what he or she wishes to build and convey that vision to the scrum team. This is key to successfully starting any agile software development project. The agile product owner does this in part through the product backlog, which is a prioritized features list for the product.”The expertise of product owner is centered around the following:It’s about the productIt’s about understanding product benefitsIt’s about customer experienceIt’s about design thinkingIt’s about collaborationCSPO and PSPO both relate to product ownership which in turn requires business acumen and competency on product vision and roadmap aspects.Both CSPO and PSPO courses offer a learning of wide array of principles, rules, practices, techniques and practical tools that help product owners become effective and successful.As Scrum.org puts it:“Product ownership is about more than mechanics: it’s about taking accountability and focusing on value in everything you do. The role of a product owner is to identify, measure, and maximize value throughout your entire product lifecycle.”If you’re someone who is comfortable with the "business side" of projects, you are probably the right person to aim for a Certified Scrum Product Owner® certification.-Scrum AllianceWhat is CSPO?As defined by the Scrum Alliance, a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is someone who has been taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer about the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable them to fulfill the role of Scrum Product Owner.What is PSPO?PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, a course and certification offered by Scrum.org. The Scrum.org mission is “To Improve the profession of Software Development”.Differences between CSPO and PSPOCSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role.PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. There’s a difference in the way of obtaining certifications and how to maintain this.Certifications issued by Scrum Alliance are obtained by taking an online exam after mandatory attending a 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending a training. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in a training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended.While it is quite easy for the people who are very involved in the Agile community to identify the most recognized certifications, but it is not a simple task for those who just arrived at the Agile world.Through this blog, I will provide you a short overview of the differences between CSPO and PSPO credentials to help you in making an informed decision.Note: Please note that these reflect my personal views only.The CSPO workshop is usually informative about Scrum and Agile although the quality may be variable and depends very much on the specific instructor and the materials they provide.The basic Comparison of CSPO and PSPOCSPOPSPOCSPO is offered through Scrum AlliancePSPO is offered through scrum.org CSPO has continuing education credit requirements every three years and is renewable. PSPO never has to be renewed Accreditation BodyThe accreditation body of the CSPO and PSPO certifications are as follows:PSPO - Scrum.orgCSPO - Scrum AllianceRenewal of CSPO and PSPO CertificationsPSPO - once earned, credential does not expire and does not require renewal.CSPO - once earned, credential valid for two years. Starting Feb 2019, renewal would require 20 Scrum educational units(earned in last 2 years only) and a renewal fee of USD 100 PricePSPO - 200 USD for certification license only. Attending the workshop could cost around 500 USD.CSPO - 500 USD. The cost varies based on the location from which you attend the workshop.Need of Course PSPO - No need to take up the course.CSPO - To earn CSPO certificate, you must attend 2 days CSPO classroom training from  a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) from Scrum Alliance.After Exam CertificationOnce you pass the PSPO exam, you will get industry-recognized "PSPO I" certification, along with a PSPO I logo that you can use to identify your achievement. Similarly, on clearing the CSPO certification exam, you will get a certificate from Scrum AlliancePassing ScorePSPO - 85%CSPO - None. Activities to be completed to achieve the credential is at trainer discretion. Time limit: PSPO - 60 minutesCSPO - NoneNumber of Questions: PSPO - 80CSPO - NoneFormat: PSPO - Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers and True/FalseCSPO - NoneLanguage: PSPO - EnglishCSPO - NoneDifficulty levelPSPO - IntermediateCSPO - NonePSPO has subsequent complexity levels in the form of PSPO I, II, IIICSPO has subsequent complexity level in the form of A-CSPO. Password Expiration DatePSPO - When you purchase a password, it is set up in Scrum.org system and emailed to you within one business day. All Students completing a PSPO course are emailed a password upon completion of the course (typically within 3-5 business days). No expiration date for passwordsCSPO - Depends on the online workflow set up by the Certified Scrum TrainerMembershipPSPO - Membership of Scrum.org and the membership does not expireCSPO - 2 Year Membership with Scrum Alliance. You are eligible to join local user groups and social networks, enjoy discounts on global events, search for careers on our online job board, and more.Other benefitsPSPO:  Once you get certified, your name will be listed on Scrum.org.CSPO: Once you receive the credential, your name is listed on Scrum Alliance portal.The verdict:The main aim of the CSPO certification is to understand the working of Scrum and the role of the Product Owner playing in a Scrum team. While the objective of the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) certification is to develop a solid understanding of the Product Owner to maximize the value of the software products and systems.PSPO has a level of difficulty associated with it. The things which I like about PSPO certification is that the certification does not mandatorily requires you to attend an in-person workshop. You can prepare all on your own and directly proceed to the examination. Also, PSPO has a lifetime validity once acquired, no need to renew the certificate. To evaluate the value of any certification we need to consider:How knowledge or competency in a subject is evaluated and how rigorous is the assessment process. The cost involved with attaining the certification and the validity also play an important role.Before reaching any conclusion on which Scrum certification is better-CSPO or PSPO to choose, you must have heard somewhere that simply earning a skill is not enough, you need to prove your potentiality to the employers. Certification is just a way to reach to the recruiters. To get noticed by the potential employer, start looking for the various certifications options available to steer your success. 
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CSPO Vs PSPO: Deciding Between the Two Scrum Certi...

A product owner is a leader responsible for maximi... Read More