Scrum Alliance Newsletter - March 2012


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Letter from the Managing Director


By Carol McEwan

We're only nine weeks into 2012 and it's already shaping up to be an exciting year! In addition to the Global Gatherings, we're sponsoring several upcoming regional events including Colorado, Buenos Aires, and France. Our Certified Scrum Trainers have been very busy this year as the number of courses offered throughout the world continues to grow. Did you know that we have welcomed more than 8,000 certified members into the Scrum Alliance this year already? Keep an eye on our website and future newsletters for the most up-to-date information as our organization and community expands.

I would like to thank our members for their continued involvement in our growing community. Registrations continue to roll in for Scrum Global Gathering Atlanta 2012, new user groups are forming worldwide, and the number of member-submitted articles for our website has increased significantly. There are lots of ways to get plugged into the Scrum community, so please let us know if there's something we can do to help you get involved.

Speaking of the Scrum Global Gathering Atlanta 2012, can you believe that it is only eight weeks away? I just booked my travel and am excited to see everyone there. Several of the Scrum Alliance staff will be in attendance this year, so you can meet the faces behind some of the communication and support teams. Be sure to stop by the Scrum Alliance table and say hi!

Carol McEwan 
Managing Director
Scrum Alliance, Inc.


Certification Programs: An Update

 By Dr. Vicki Hancock, Certification Manager


During the first two months following the launch of the new Certified Scrum Professional examination in
January, 2012, 60 Scrum Alliance members have either taken the exam or have registered to take it. Consistent with professional certification programs worldwide, the new eligibility requirements for the CSP credential include: (1) being a current holder of the CSM, CSPO, or CSD credential; (2) having a minimum of 2,000 hours of Scrum-related work in the past two years; (3) maintaining a current Scrum Alliance membership. For more information about CSP requirements, visit the information page on the Scrum Alliance website. Send your questions by email to


We at Scrum Alliance continue to learn from the performance of CSM candidates and from Trainer input about the new CSM exam. In fact, 71 Trainers and close to 4,000 CSMs have responded to a recent Scrum Alliance survey about the exam. The results will be used to inform changes underway to improve and make decisions about the format of the exam in time for the launch of the pass/fail version on April 1, 2012. In addition, Scrum Alliance staff have scheduled several open conference calls to collect additional input. Send additional comments and questions to

Progress Update on the Agile Atlas Project
By Ron Jeffries

Enterprise Process

First the bad news. We tried to set up a by-invitation meeting to try to come up with some common understanding and agreement on "enterprise-level" process. We believe that there is probably more agreement than all the heat and noise on the subject would lead one to believe, and hoped that a few days of thinking together would provide some progress.

It was not to be. A few people were interested, some declined, some didn't reply at all. So we have had to defer that idea. We'll probably try to set something up at the Gathering among interested Scrummers. Maybe with that in place we can attract some desirable people from other related disciplines.

We'll keep trying.

Outside Help

A number of people have offered to help with various aspects of the site. We are honestly at a loss just now as to how to make use of their assistance. It would take longer to explain what we need than to do it. But that's due to change now. With a little more content and design in place over the next few weeks, we hope people will be able to find a way to help.

Atlas Site Design

We have seen some design proposals from our web design person, Laura Fisher, and think they're moving in the right direction. Kind of an abstract "atlas" vibe, but not pushing the map metaphor off the edge of the world. We'll get our favorite draft up there as soon as possible. Work in process, certainly, and please provide constructive feedback.

Map Support

Laura has devised a clever way for us to show a little map for each article, with clickable links to related topics. You'll see this coming into use quickly, to give each article a position of context.

Backlog Transparency

We still haven't cracked this one either. We'd like everyone to be able to see what is going on but so far either we're incompetent or it is just too chaotic. We believe that the next few weeks will get enough visible progress on the site itself to compensate for this but I don't mind saying that I've got a lot more understanding of why the Scrum Alliance isn't able to be more transparent to its stakeholders. A lot of the work just doesn't fit into an iterative model, plus the tools take more time to use than we can afford to spend.

This is not an excuse, but an explanation. We want this transparency badly. We just don't see how to do it.

Atlas Content

As I mentioned last month, our current plan is to provide a base of "core" Scrum material, which is heavily curated / edited / or written to provide a central organization to the site. A number of these sections are in draft form and ready to go in over the next few weeks. That should give you much more of a sense of what is going on.

Then there will be general articles, still pretty much canonical, and then a layer of more specialized or even controversial ones. We think the existence of material will make it easier for people to figure out what they want to say.


The site will be showing more visible progress in the next couple of weeks, including some design concepts to bring it together, some curator-created content, and some outside author content as well.

We are grateful for the help you've given, and for the help you have offered. Keep an eye on the site: Things should be happening more rapidly now.

Our support team gets asked lots of great questions each day. Here are some common things people want to know:

1. How do I become a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)?

A CSM certificate is granted to those who have taken a CSM course from a Certified Scrum Trainer and who have assessed their progress through our online evaluation tool. It's a three-step process:

  1. Familiarize yourself with Scrum basics.
  2. Attend a CSM course.
  3. Obtain your CSM certification after completing the course and taking the CSM evaluation (a link to the evaluation will be available on your dashboard following your course).

To find out more about our other program options, visit our Certifications page.

2. How do I renew my certification membership?

Visit this page for complete renewal and payment information for all membership and certification levels.

3. How do I search for a course?

Search for certification courses worldwide by location or date.

4. How do I generate my certificate?

As a graduate of a Certified ScrumMaster or Certified Product Owner class, you are entitled to a certificate from the Scrum Alliance. Get started right away and download your official certificate, ready to hang on your wall. The link to generate your certificate is found in the Member Actions section of your dashboard. Step-by-step instructions are found here (member login required).

5. Can I use the CSM Logo?

Upon completion of a Certified ScrumMaster course, members may use the CSM logo on their personal website or communication mediums like email and business cards. Visit the CSM logo page for details (member login required).

Have a question for our support team? Drop us a note at


Scrum for Services
By Malte Foegen, Caroline Gansser, David Croome, and Timo Foegen

Learn how one company grew the Agile framework from the development teams to their service teams, making the whole company Agile.

Agile Testing: Key Points for Unlearning

By Madhu Venantius Laulin Expedith

When quality assurance teams and management who have adopted Agile practices first put the ideas to work, they face a significant impediment in unlearning the traditional mind-set and practices that experience in traditional practices has instilled in them. Read more.


Speakers Announced! With a record-breaking number of submissions, the Co-Chairs and Review Committee were hard at work the past few weeks reviewing and selecting sessions for the Scrum Gathering Atlanta. CHECK OUT THE PROGRAM ONLINE!

The Scrum Gathering Global Atlanta 2012 is taking place at the fabulous Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center, May 7th – 9th, 2012. Early Bird Registration available until April 2nd!

Check out the sponsorship opportunities HERE. Thank you to our signed sponsors: VersionOne, PMI, 3Back, Kitty Hawk Consulting, and KM-Ware Solutions!

Mark your calendar for the Scrum Gathering Barcelona 2012 – October 1 – 3, 2012 at the Fira-Palace, Barcelona, Spain.

Co-Chairs Jaume Jornet and Heitor Roriz Filho are excited to get started! Check back for Call for Papers early this spring!


We are proud to announce our first Regional Gathering Event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, taking place May 23 - 24, 2012. There will be a traditional conference on the first day with several tracks of workshops and talks, followed by a second full day of Open Space, where attendees can propose topics and vote on sessions. Stay tuned for more information, including a Call for Papers and registration in the coming weeks.

Agile New England is excited and delighted to announce the program details for Agile Games 2012! You can explore all three days of activities including: Deep Dive Sessions, Open Game Sessions, and Open Space on our webpage.

Sponsored by Agile New England, Agile Games 2012 is an Agile Conference devoted to the serious play, collaboration, and experimental learning that power Agile software development. Agile Games 2012 will be held April 19-21, 2012 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA.

Don't forget, Early Bird Registration ends Feb. 29th. Register now and save an extra $50, courtesy of the Scrum Alliance!

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Scrum Alliance, Inc.
PO Box 40097
Indianapolis, IN 46420 |