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I have my Scrum Master certification—now what?

State of Agile ReportThe project management profession is in a state of dramatic change. The percentage of projects using agile or hybrid practices exceeds the number of traditional projects, according to the Project Management Institute. Agile is moving beyond technology and is now widely used in financial services, government, and professional services companies.

Agile is a dominant practice for companies going through digital transformations and accelerating customer experience through UX (user experience) design. It is also changing how operational groups manage their work.

Several hundred thousand people have taken Scrum Master certification courses with the expectation they will be prepared to lead a Scrum team. As an agile consultant and instructor, I am often asked, “I just received my Scrum Master certification, now what do I do?”

Scrum Master training provides participants with a great introduction to Agile and the Scrum framework. But it does not offer all of the skills and experience required to be a master in this critical role.

Agile is a mindset and way of working. Scrum, Kanban, and other agile methodologies are a path to achieving agility. However, merely learning the frameworks does not guarantee success.

Scrum is still the most popular agile framework, with over 50% market share. The Scrum Master plays a critical leadership role in both transforming the team and the organization. Since agile is a journey, the Scrum Master or agile coach is also responsible for continuing the teams’ development and growth.

The Scrum Guide defines the Scrum Masters responsibilities to the Product Owner, Development Team, and the Organization. Fulfilling these expectations and obligations requires experience and knowledge.

Introductory agile courses open the gateway to further learning. These certifications are like getting your driver’s license. They grant you initial permission to explore the wide and wonderful world of agile. Once inside, there are many paths to travel. A good agile coach or Scrum Master will:

  • Be a servant or facilitating leader understanding how to guide and motivate teams and influence decision-makers without formal authority;
  • Understand multiple product development lifecycles to optimize how value is delivered; and
  • Master several agile frameworks to help the team and organization select the practices that best fit their context.

Strategy Execution offers several learning and development opportunities geared to all levels, from team members to agile coach to executives leading the transformation.

StratEx has developed a unique Lean & Agile certification program that is methodology agnostic and teaches best practices from Lean, Agile, and the emerging field of DevOps. In this program, students will learn how to apply the principles of Lean, Kanban, and Agile delivery to both their IT and non-IT projects. They will also understand how DevOps is a set of principles and practices that embraces lean and agile to achieve the primary goal of continuously deliver value to customers.

Being agile is an on-going process of learning and personal development. StratEx is poised to be your partner.

This blog post is written by Strategy Execution Instructor Alan Zucker

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