Last week's issue of the Scrum Alliance August newsletter erroneously directed those interested in the CSP Beta Test Program to a link requesting immediate payment rather than registration information. This revised issue of the newsletter contains the correct link and information on becoming a CSP Beta Test Program candidate.
If you were one of the individuals who submitted payment for the CSP Beta Test before the link was disabled, please complete the online registration form and you will be contacted directly by Scrum Alliance support staff. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Managing Director, Scrum Alliance
Letter from the Managing Director
By Carol McEwan
Wow, it's hard to believe that it is the beginning of August, summer is almost over, and I have been in the role of Scrum Alliance Managing Director for four months!
Since my introduction to you in May, I have had the pleasure of attending the very successful Scrum Gathering in Seattle where I met several members of the Scrum community and witnessed the first CST Review. In June, the Scrum Alliance Support Team (SAST) met in a two-day summit designed to review roles/responsibilities and processes to identify opportunities in which we can support the members of our organization with more agility. In July, I attended a “Program Summit” with a self-organized team that was formed as the result of some concerns that were raised during the Gathering and the desire to make recommendations for change.
This month, I would like to highlight some of the changes that your support team has already implemented or plan to implement as a result of the opportunities that were identified at the SAST Summit held in June -- the first one is customer service!
As our community continues to grow at a very rapid pace, it’s our goal to adapt to the needs of the community just as quickly. In order to do that, we’ve made some simple changes to the way we process and prioritize requests, as well as cross-trained the support staff so that more than one person can respond to your needs.
Many of you have already been introduced to Zen Desk, a tool that allows us to track our progress, measure our success, and identify where we can improve. Zen Desk was selected to manage your incoming requests and in order to track our success, we’d like to remind you to send your requests directly to email@example.com. Many members still send emails directly to support staff they know which is understandable since it’s human nature to do business with people we know, like, and trust. However, we assure you that your questions will be answered in a more timely manner if you submit them through Zen Desk than direct email.
We are currently developing a set of metrics that we will share with you each month, starting in September's newsletter, as well as make them available at www.scrumalliance.org. We also understand that some questions or concerns may be more critical in nature, and it would be beneficial to talk to a “live person" so for these situations, we will be activating a Scrum Alliance Support Desk phone number for your use in the near future.
The second area of focus is the Scrum Alliance website! If we use our home as an analogy, we believe that our home page is analogous to our “front door.” It should be welcoming and warm, and once inside it should offer an easy to follow floor plan. Based on the input we have received and the support issues we have recently addressed, it’s apparent that we need a new front door and a much better floor plan! We’re confident we will have a successful repair/remodel to our home by the end of the year and look forward to inviting you all to the “open house.”
Identified in the Scrum Alliance Strategic Plan [PDF], we state that expanding our presence through renewed focus on Gatherings, Partner Events, and Organizational Outreach is very important. To that end, I would like to introduce our new Community Liaison, Jill Paul. She is responsible for maintaining focus on our goals, expanding our presence in the community, and organizing volunteer involvement. Please feel free to contact her to discuss ideas and suggestions you may have.
Next week I will be attending the Agile Alliance 2011 conference in Salt Lake City, where Scrum Alliance is sponsoring the Coach's Corner. In October, I look forward to another successful Scrum Alliance Global Gathering in London and the opportunity to meet more community members.
Next month I’ll update you on the outcome of the Program Summit that I mentioned earlier, introduce you to more staff members, and provide you with customer service metrics as we move forward and develop our internal team to support your needs.
Earn Your CSP and Save $100: Become a Beta Tester
In the July newsletter, you read about Scrum Alliance’s current efforts to transform the Certified Scrum Practitioner (CSP) program, as well as our search for 200 beta testers to help us validate the examination that will become a requirement for earning the CSP credential. Here’s how to determine your eligibility to participate and find resources to prepare and register for the beta test.
You are eligible to participate in the CSP beta test if you currently hold either the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) credential AND have a minimum of one year of experience using Scrum processes in your work. By participating in – and passing – the CSP beta test, you will earn the designation Certified Scrum Professional, a credential renewable every two years.
To help you prepare for the beta test, we have prepared a CSP Beta Candidate Handbook [PDF] that includes an outline of the content that will be addressed on the exam and recommended resources with which to review and prepare for the test. It also includes some helpful tips on test preparation and test-taking strategies.
To register as a CSP candidate, please visit the online application. We have discounted the registration fee by $50 for the 200 applicants we seek for the CSP beta test. (Registration will be first-come, first-served for those who complete the registration form, are determined to be eligible, and whose payments are confirmed.) In addition, those who pass the beta test will be eligible for a $50 discount on their first CSP renewal fee, for a total savings of $100.
The beta test window is scheduled from October 1-31, 2011. During this time period, each candidate will be required to register to take the beta test at one of hundreds of proctored test centers around the world. To learn more, link to the Scrum Alliance online CSP beta test information page.
The Scrum Alliance team looks forward to your participation in this next step as we upgrade the CSP program. To pose questions or offer comments, please send us an email at CSPBeta@scrumalliance.org.
Behind the Scenes: The CSP Upgrade
Dr. Vicki Hancock, Certification Manager
In last month's newsletter, we discussed what Scrum Alliance intends to accomplish with the current upgrade of the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) Program. One major player in this effort is Castle Worldwide, Inc. This test development and administration company provides examination delivery, design, and development services to certification and licensure organizations, government agencies, corporations, educational institutions, and trade and professional associations whose members and clients are located all over the world.
In March 2011, Scrum Alliance identified Castle as the company best qualified to provide the expertise necessary to transform the CSP credential by facilitating development of a legally defensible examination as well as a clearly defined set of policies and procedures for administering both the exam and the program. With a goal of launching the improved CSP by January 1, 2012, Castle and SA have been working together to make the following progress:
- Review by Castle staff of references on Scrum methodology
- Meeting of Scrum subject-matter experts (SMEs) to outline domains, tasks, and knowledge and skills that are associated with any of the roles played by newly qualified CSPs in the workplace
- Large-scale validation study among Scrum professionals to provide information that was used to assess the appropriateness of the various elements of the CSP analysis as delineated by the panel of SMEs
- Development of a taxonomy (content outline) to be addressed in the CSP examination (for more detail, see the CSP Analysis Report [PDF]
- Meeting of Scrum SMEs to create a bank of over 300 examination questions
- Validation of exam questions by Castle and Scrum SMEs
- Creation of two 150-item examination forms for beta-testing
- Development of a CSP Beta Candidate Handbook [PDF] that includes test procedures and resources to assist candidates as they prepare to take the CSP exam
Beta-testing will help to establish validity and reliability of the test forms. Those who take the beta version of the CSP exam will not only test their knowledge of Scrum processes, they will help Scrum Alliance and Castle to “test the test,” which will determine which items best distinguish those who understand and use Scrum processes in the workplace from those who are less experienced and may guess on the exam.
For those reasons, beta testers will be notified of their performance on the exam only after all testers have completed their exams and Castle meets with Scrum SMEs to review and apply a psychometric method (Angoff) to establish a passing score.
During the beta-testing period, Castle and Scrum Alliance will be working on a comprehensive Policies and Procedures Guide, intended to standardize and clarify how candidates become eligible for, apply for, and finally achieve the CSP credential. The Guide will also address re-certification policies, including multiple options for achieving re-certification.
As we continue to make progress toward our January 2011 goal, Scrum Alliance and Castle are working closely to transform CSP into a certification program that meets worldwide standards for the internal structures and testing procedures required to offer a well defined, well respected credential in the agile community, recognized as the primary credential for Scrum professionals and sought by the employers who hire them.
|It's Ordered - Not Prioritized!
By James O. Coplien
In the past, the Scrum Guide consistently used the word "priority" for the Product Backlog or noted that the Product Backlog was “prioritized.” While the Product Backlog must be ordered, prioritization is only one technique — and rarely a good one at that.
The new Scrum Guide instead uses the term ordered for the Product Backlog. This reflects long-held understanding by many leaders in the Scrum community. Let’s clarify the reason for the change
. ... Read More
Save The Dates!
October 11-13, 2011
November 4, 2011
Avenue, Airport City, Israel
December 7-9, 2011
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