The CSM Seven
As I think back throughout my life, there have been a lot of certifications along the way. Some of them required, such as the nerve wracking teenage driver’s license, or the nightmare inducing graduate level final exam that I took as a misguided college sophomore. Some of them purely for show, such as the hoards of cheaply framed documents that reside in a cardboard box somewhere in the corner of a cramped storage closet.
We’re busy people who thrive on productivity. Being busy makes us yearn for certifications that are not only meaningful, but helpful. Professionally, we are frequently asked or expected to attain certifications. If these certifications don’t make us do our job better or master a new skill that leads to greater productivity, then we really don’t want to give it the time of day.
I imagine many of you are thinking this way about becoming a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). Don’t feel bad. Critically walking through the “why should I do this?” argument is time well spent. So is getting your ScrumMaster Certification. Here’s some important reasons why.
Why Should I Do This?
1. You’ll get PDU’s to apply for or maintain your PMP or PMI-ACP.
That’s a lot of initials, but with that comes a lot of credibility and leverage in the workplace. Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential is a globally recognized and respected certification. Successful completion of a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) class accrues Contact Hours or Professional Development Units (PDU’s) and is a recommended method to acquire or maintain the PMP credential. ScrumMaster Certification also helps you achieve or maintain your PMI- Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) credential. PMI-ACP recognizes a proven command of agile principles, practices, tools and techniques, such as Scrum. As a PMI-ACP myself, I can personally say that’s a big deal. Plus, according to the PMI Project Management Salary Survey – Seventh Edition, PMI certifications positively impact your marketability and garner a higher salary. Need we say more?
2. You’ve got your eyes on becoming a CSP.
Perhaps you’ve got some Scrum experience under your belt. You’re realizing Scrum’s value. In fact, you’d like to go the extra mile, expand your knowledge and validate your practical Scrum experience. That means taking the necessary steps to becoming a card carrying Certified Scrum Practitioner (CSP). The coursework and focus required to earn your CSP hones your Scrum skills and makes you a stronger Scrum practitioner. Attaining your ScrumMaster Certification is the first step in becoming a CSP.
3. Your boss says so.
So, we know this isn’t your favorite reason. But, it’s a real reason. And, we bet there’s some smart thinking behind why your boss wants you to get your ScrumMaster Certification. Maybe your boss has his or her certification or is a Business Owner or a Stakeholder or a whole bunch of other Scrum roles that come with responsibilities that impact your job and would make a lot more sense to you if you were certified. (Meaning, you’d do your job better, which is what you wanted in the first place.) Or maybe your Team has some projects on the horizon where the contract requires ScrumMaster Certification. Or maybe your boss sees you as the type of inspirational Team Member that can help shape your Team’s performance through Scrum. Regardless of why your boss says so, run with it. Because we know you’ll reap the rewards.
4. You’ll get your work done better. Period.
Scrum enables Teams to perform at a higher level. It’s proven. Becoming a CSM means you and your Team will approach work differently. And, without getting into the nitty gritty of it (that’s what CSM training is for), this approach ensures dramatic improvements in:
- Return on Investment
- Delivery of Releasable Software
- Reductions in Product Failure
5. You won’t feel like a stranger in a strange land.
The ideology of Scrum goes hand-in-hand with its own language (and hundreds of user groups speak it internationally). It reminds me of a south of the border Spring Break trip when I spent a week confused and frustrated because all I could say was, “No habla espanol.” You’re probably already working with people who speak Scrum and you may feel like you have no idea what they’re talking about. That feeling doesn’t exactly breed Team productivity or contentment. ScrumMaster certification introduces you to the Scrum lingo and culture. You’ll return to your Team ready to roll, not ready to reply, “No habla Scrum.”
6. You’ll ramp up your Real World Scrum Smarts.
[contextly_sidebar id=”cIvtCiPsec9x1UulRcAtwgjroz1VLIor”]Sure you could read a book on Scrum. We know of some good ones. (Exploring Scrum: The Fundamentals) Book smarts can go a long way, but hands-on learning from trained experts with practical Scrum experience? To be a bit trite, it’s, well, priceless. ScrumMaster Certification provides an interactive, learner-centered experience. Not only will you learn Scrum skills from your own personal Scrum Yodas, if you will, you’ll practice those new Scrum skills with a Team of people just like you, intent on making all the knowledge as real and as usable as possible. You’ll be like a Scrum Sponge, soaking up learning from all directions. You’ll have nuggets of Scrum knowledge from your trainers, but you’ll also reap the benefits of learning from the other people in your class. And that can only happen in a classroom.
7. Everybody’s doing it.
Let’s be clear. You’re not 16 and your parents aren’t lecturing you on the evils of peer pressure. That being said, there is an undercurrent of Scrum peer pressure that we encourage you to succumb to. (Just don’t tell you mother.) All the cool kids are doing Scrum. Well, maybe not all of them… yet. But a lot of well respected companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo and Intel, to name a few, are champions of Scrum. And remember those hundreds of user groups that span the globe? Those user groups are out there for you to meet and mingle with. So, if we get our heads out of high school and define cool as: motivated, high-performing and satisfied, well then, yes, all the cool kids are doing Scrum. Didn’t you always secretly want to be part of that group? Now you can.