March 18, 2014

Scrum. Now that is an interesting word. It makes you think, what is scrum? Well, scrum is an Agile framework used for completing complex projects. It is often referred to as transforming the world of work. A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog. The team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wish list and decides how to implement those pieces. The team then meets daily to assess their daily progress. Once the project is complete, they review and then select a new chunk of tasks to accomplish. Scrum ensures that the most valuable work has been completed once the project ends or funding for a project runs out.

So, now that we understand the fundamentals of Scrum, why should you become a Certified ScrumMaster?

First off, on average, a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) salary is between $70,000- $100,000 and can even go higher! Secondly, you are a leader. Your job is to make sure that Scrum is understood by all members of your team and to train your team. The ScrumMaster helps everyone improve to make the Scrum team more productive and valuable.          

How do you become a CSM?

You must take a CSM course from a Certified Scrum Trainer and be able to demonstrate your progress though the online CSM test. Then, you must attend a two-day course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer and pass an exam. Once you have completed these 2 steps, you will be able to complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile. You can find a list of courses here.

Once you have become certified, you will be eligible to join a user group, contribute an article to the Scrum Alliance community, attend Scrum Alliance gatherings, and participate in the CSM LinkedIn group. By having access to all of these resources, it will further enhance your knowledge and skills ensuring that practices and principles you are responsible for implementing are being continuously improved on.

A CSM should be able to handle 2 or 3 teams at a time. Even though there isn’t a set list of what ScrumMasters overlook, here are a few examples of questions he/she should be asking themselves to make sure they are accomplishing their goals:

  • How is my Product Owner doing?
    • Is the Product Backlog prioritized according to his/her latest thinking?
    • Is the backlog an information radiator, clearly visible to everyone?
    • Can you help radiate by showing everyone printouts?
  • How is my team doing?
    • Do team members hold each other accountable to high standards, and challenge each other to grow?
    • Are the team’s task estimates and/or task board up-to-date?
    • Has the team kept focus on acceptance criteria
  • How are our engineering practices doing?
  • How is the organization doing?

By asking yourself the questions above as a CSM, you can see where you are making a difference, see the work transform into a smooth process, and advance your career.

For more information, visit http://www.scrumalliance.org/ 

Posted By: Danielle Toste

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