Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New CSP Process

The Scrum Alliance has announced a new CSP Process.  That is, a new process for becoming a Certified Scrum Professional.  See here.
This is mostly good. We recommend it.
And some discussion.
First, the main changes are:
(a) 3 years of experience (not well defined by S.A. – sorry)
(b) 60 SEUs (same as the PDU concept) (also not as well defined as I would like – again, sorry)
(c) no test
(Note: As you, and I and others ask questions, I think the Scrum Alliance will define these things more carefully. Please ask them questions.)
Second. I am not a big advocate of certifications. I am after far bigger results for you, for your Team, for your customers than that.  Huge results.
And I have never been convinced that any certification can ‘prove’ that someone will get results. But, other things equal, more explicit and tacit knowledge is good. And more experience is usually good. And these Scrum Alliance courses that lead to certifications tend to provide good information. Information that can make you more effective.
So, what is our biggest impediment, in the Scrum community?  Well, there are many things that one could point out, but this is what I think.
Too many people are doing Scrum or ‘scrum’ (as they define it), and getting results that are not as impressive as I would like. So, the frequency of ‘subpar’ results. (Subpar is still usually at least 20%, which is a great return on investment. But far less than we ought to be getting.)
I would like to see Teams regularly, almost universally, getting 100%, 200%, 500% and more improvement.  And I think all of them can (compared to their own baseline). (Yes, there will always be a few dysfunctional teams. And people who should never be in a team.)
I think the 400%+ level of improvement is quite uncommon.  I will guess in the neighborhood of 15-30%.  Why?
Many reasons:
- the firm’s culture
- lack of aggressiveness in removing impediments
- too many doing ‘scrum’ or Scrum-Butt
- a forgetting of what Scrum is
- many other factors
I think the CSP approach can help with this. The PDU approach is only one method to address this problem. (And, given human nature and life, we will never get 100% of the people getting 400%+ with Scrum.) But I do think the PDU approach can help.
- Because people need to get fired up again
- Because people forgot the first Scrum course (research shows that people forget over 80% very quickly; it is just how the brain works)
- The core concepts of Scrum are quite foreign, or at least counter, to what most of your work environment is telling you. So, while you may absorb some basics at first, you cannot absorb the fine points. The real art of it.
- Scrum starts to ‘wash off’ (if you get the metaphor)
So, the PDUs do two things.
- They remind and enrich your brain, your muscle memory, on what Scrum really is
- They give you extra things to add to Scrum (adding things is essential to successfully using Scrum)
To me, whether you get a CSP is not very important. But, if you are using Scrum, you must continue to learn to get better.  And you must endeavor to take it (Scrum, innovation, productivity, fun) to the next level with your Team.

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