Scruam Alliance Newsletter - April 2012


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Letter from the Managing Director


By Carol McEwan

I write this note with great excitement and enthusiasm, as I am just returning home from “Scrum Day Paris 2012." It was a pleasure to meet so many people with such a passion for Scrum, and the desire to grow the Scrum Community. Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome I received while I was there. The event was organized by the French Scrum User Group (FSUG), supported by several sponsors, and attended by more than 500 Agile enthusiasts. Offering keynotes, lectures, workshops, and open spaces, the event provided an opportunity to share best practices and the latest techniques while promoting professional networking among members of the Agile community. I am sure that everyone who attended would agree that Scrum Day Paris 2012 was a great success and is looking forward to the next event!

Scrum Gathering Atlanta 2012 is just around the corner! Be sure to take a look at the official Program Guide [PDF] for all the details. In addition to Keynote speakers Clarke Ching, Tanner Corbridge, and James Grenning, there is a great lineup of sessions you won’t want to miss! Now is the time to register if you haven’t already – Early Bird pricing has been extended through Friday, April 6th. I am looking forward to seeing everyone May 7th – May 9th, 2012.

I would like to congratulate Juan Banda, for taking the initiative to organize the first Scrum Day Bolivia last month. I urge everyone to take a few minutes to read Juan’s account of what inspired him to organize such an event. Juan and his team put together a very successful event and I applaud the efforts of the entire team.

Inspired by Juan’s story? Thinking of starting a member-organized meetup in your area, or joining an already established one? Did you know, there are hundreds of Scrum User Groups meeting across the globe? User Groups are a great way to exchange ideas and network with other Scrum practitioners in your immediate area. Scrum Alliance is happy to support member-organized events, so feel free to get in touch if you'd like to plan one in your area. If you are a leader of a Scrum User Group, please make sure your User Group Profile is updated with current contact information so we can keep new members updated as appropriate.

Do you have a great story to share about how Scrum has helped you transform the world of work. Please share, we'd love to hear about it!

Carol McEwan 
Managing Director
Scrum Alliance, Inc.


Certification Programs: An Update

 By Dr. Vicki Hancock, Certification Manager

During March, we responded to quite a few certification-related queries posed directly to the support and certification email addresses. In fact, we noticed similarities among your questions, addressed here for your reference:

Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Q1: Why is the new exam pass-only?

A1: Since its launch in January 2012, we have maintained the CSM exam in pass-only status for two reasons: (1) to collect information on item performance so that we may review and revise those items that do not perform to our expectations, and (2) to collect student performance data to help us determine what the passing score should be when the exam becomes pass/fail.

Q2: What will the passing score be when the exam finally becomes pass/fail?

A2: We don’t know the answer to that question yet. However, our criteria include determining a score that will help us distinguish between someone who has a baseline knowledge of Scrum learned from the two-day CSM course and someone who has little knowledge of Scrum processes acquired mainly from reading a few articles.

Q3: When will the exam become pass-fail?

A3: We will announce the date for the transition from pass-only to pass-fail 30 days in advance. We will determine the pass/fail date when we have collected enough item- and student-performance data to determine a passing score. We expect that to happen by later this spring (U.S. spring lasts from late March until late June).

For additional questions and answers about CSM, visit our FAQs.

Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)

Q1: How should candidates report their 2000 hours of Scrum-related work experience?

A1: As part of the eligibility requirements for CSP candidacy, you must document at least one year (2,000 work hours) of Scrum-related work experience during the past two years. Scrum Alliance provides a step-by-step process, with examples, to help you with this.

Q2: What is the passing score on the CSP exam?

A2: This varies depending on the exam form and test-takers’ performance. The CSP examination results are interpreted using a criterion-referenced process called “scaling.” CSP exam results range from a low of 300 to a high of 600, with a passing point of 450. A criterion referenced interpretation means that the score conveys information about an individual test-taker on specific subject matter regardless of other test-takers' scores. For more details about scaled scores, see the CSP FAQs at http://

Progress Update on the Agile Atlas Project
By Ron Jeffries

The Agile Atlas Project has experienced substantial growth in March, as have its curators.

Landing Page

We have mentioned that the current plan is to have some basic Scrum articles on the landing page. The map on the landing page lets you select topics by clicking on the various map "locations." There are also links inside the articles, but as yet, not as many as will be there. Editing continues.

Feedback from CSTs

We invited the CSTs to comment and offer constructive feedback on the site. We received a high volume of feedback from a small number of people, and have made many attempted improvements based on that feedback.

The feedback was often quite intense and we did our best to read past the emotion and find the ideas. It's important to keep in mind that a relatively small number of people commented at all, and very few more than once. We did try to take everything into account, and will continue to do that, having saved all the threads.

Two possible approaches to the landing information have arisen: Should the description there be of "ideal", grown-up full-bore Scrum, or of a more easy-going general agreement kind of Scrum. Should it stick close to current average thinking, or be more forward looking in its scope. The consensus at present seems to think that the landing information should be middle of the road Scrum, with nothing edgy or at all radical. That's what we're currently doing.

Additional Articles

A number of new articles are up in the Articles section. As yet we have not tried to organize these in any clever fashion but intend that there will be a way to connect to them from other articles, and that there might will be navigational maps like the main one.

Backlog, Forum, Memberships

There is a backlog page, which should be or soon will be public, for people to look at and comment on.

There is a link to the Forum that is only accessible to author members. At this time, there's no activity there anyway, so non-members are missing very little.

There is a link to sign up as a member but it doesn't do anything, it is merely an artifact of the implementation. We invite authors who volunteer, from time to time. At present we have more than we can manage, so if you are interested in writing for the Atlas, please keep after us, in a gentle fashion. We'll be getting to the other pages soon, we hope.

Scrum Gathering Atlanta 2012

At the Scrum Gathering Atlanta 2012, Chet and I will be doing a presentation on the Atlas, discussing its objectives and status and answering questions.

There has been talk of organizing an Open Space to talk about the Atlas. If someone does that, and we find out about it, we'll of course participate.

Long Range Vision

We intend that this site will be properly named "Agile" Atlas, and that it will eventually extend to all the ideas that surround Scrum, including but not limited to XP, Lean, and Kanban.

We also hold that although Scrum is an excellent place to start on the road to improvement, it may not always be the most practical beginning for a given organization. We hope to explore alternative starting points on the site, with some useful guidance about how they relate.

Finally, we observe that the ultimate working out of Agility has not yet been seen, especially in large organizations trying to improve. We hope to have valued material on the future of Agile ideas and their place in the enterprise.

As always, we welcome your interest and support. Thanks!


Early Bird Registration EXTENDED until Friday, April 6th! The Scrum Gathering Atlanta 2012 is taking place at the fabulous Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center, May 7th – 9th, 2012. CHECK OUT THE PROGRAM ONLINE!

BOOK your hotel accommodations at host hotel, Marriott Atlanta Buckhead! A special rate of $149.00 + tax is being offered to all attendees of Scrum Alliance Global Gathering: Atlanta.

Check out the sponsorship opportunities HERE. Thank you to our signed sponsors: VersionOne, PMI, SolutionsIQ, 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 Scrum Gathering 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. The event will feature two great keynote speakers, Alan Cyment and Xavier Quesada Allue.

We are now accepting submissions for speakers! Click here to leave your mark on the South American Scrum community and have your ideas heard. Registration is also open and includes a special discount for Scrum Alliance members and Early Bird pricing until April 15th. Register now!

Check out the sponsorship opportunities and more details here.

Buenos Aires - Regional Scrum Gathering Organization Team

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.

Congratulations to CSP Dr. Sanjeev Raman on his new book "Conquer The Fundamentals of Scrum"!

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PO Box 40097
Indianapolis, IN 46420 |