Letter from the Managing Director
By Carol McEwan
As 2011 draws to a close, I've been reflecting on the many exciting changes I've seen at Scrum Alliance since I came on board in April of this year.
Our membership continues to grow at a steady pace, we've implemented new procedures that allow our support team to address member issues quickly and efficiently, and our development team has been hard at work redesigning and adding new features to our site.
Looking back, my favorite memories of the year were the opportunities I had to attend the Scrum Alliance Global Gatherings in Seattle, Washington and London, England, and to meet many of our community members face to face. It was a wonderful opportunity to network and form connections with the Scrum community, and I hope to see many new faces at the Global Gatherings in Atlanta, Georgia and Barcelona, Spain.
At the end of November, the Scrum Alliance staff met for a strategy meeting to map out our plans and goals for the coming year. We spent a considerable amount of time reviewing and updating our Strategic Plan to reflect on our goals and vision for 2012. We're putting the final touches on the plan and will post it on our website in time for the new year.
I always enjoy using this space to spotlight one of our staff members and this month I'd like to introduce someone who's name you may already recognize. Tonya Thomas has been with Scrum Alliance for five years and plays an integral part of our membership team. Her responsibilities include administering the CST, CSP, CSD, and the REP program. As the administrator, she ensures that submitted applications are complete, sends them to the reviewers, and notifies the applicants of the outcome. Tonya always has her finger on the pulse of what's happening at every stage of the application process and we really appreciate all her hard work!
I would like to thank the many volunteers who offered their support to the Scrum Alliance in 2011. Your dedication has helped us achieve many of the goals identified in the current Strategic Plan and certainly made my first eight months with Scrum Alliance more enjoyable. In the coming year, I look forward to implementing the new CSM and CSP exams in January and executing the 2012 Strategic Plan.
I wish everyone a prosperous New Year.
Scrum Alliance, Inc.
CSP Beta Program: An Update
By Dr. Vicki Hancock, Certification Manager
As of January 1, 2012, Scrum Alliance will offer an updated version of the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) credential that implies that those holding it have a full understanding of Scrum and its implementation regardless of the Scrum role in which they work. To reach this milestone, Scrum Alliance volunteers, staff, and our testing partner, Castle Worldwide, have been working to transform CSP into a certification program that meets worldwide standards for structure and testing.
In October, 203 Scrum Alliance members qualified for and took the CSP beta exam. This beta step, along with activities that followed it, helped us "test the test" of newly developed examination items, verify the questions to include on future CSP exams, and identify 142 new Certified Scrum Professionals, a passing rate of 70%. The new 150-question, 3-hour CSP exam will be available beginning January 1, 2012. At that time, the written application and interview process will be discontinued.
All Scrum Alliance members should watch their email for a detailed message about the new CSP program that includes eligibility requirements, exam information, and details about the CSP license agreement and certificate. Current CSP holders will receive a separate email with information about how the new program will impact recertification. Email your questions or observations to email@example.com.
Progress Update on the Agile Skills Project
By Ron Jeffries
The project prototype site is now up at http://agile.webmitten.com. We emphasize "prototype!" There isn't any content yet: we're waiting for authors to provide it.
We have thirty (30!) people signed up to write articles. Most of these will be Scrum Primers. We have a few people who plan to provide articles in other areas, such as Kanban or other practices as well. We had not intended to send out invitations for anything other than Scrum Primers, but the occasion arose to reach out to some people in the Kanban community, and we have also picked up some strays along the side of the road.
We picked Expression Engine to serve as the technical base for the site. It provides some powerful ways of organizing the information and looks to be able to serve us well in that regard. Our support person on that, Laura Fisher (mitten), is well known to us and has been instrumental in getting things going.
There are many things to do:
- We will be installing a forum capability on the site, so that authors can ask questions, get answers, and generally talk among themselves about what's going on. I expect that we'll make most of the forum at least public read-only, and that we'll be pretty open about providing write access to interested parties.
- We need to import information from the http://agileskillsproject.org site. And we need to get those ideas, and many others, expanded.
- We need to organize the site in some useful way. We are intentionally holding off on that until we get a better sense of what information will be there.
- We need to keep things visible. Scrum, Agile, Lean, Kanban are all about visibility. We are committed to keeping enough information out there about what's going on and what's planned so that you can understand and support the project. In particular, we need to find some low-cost way of displaying the backlog and progress.
To sum up, this is a big project, but we knew that going in. Our purpose in the initial six months is to get enough of it in place to allow the community to decide how to go forward with it. (Or to cancel it, of course, but that's not our plan.)
We could use help. If you'd like to help out somehow, please contact us. Thanks!
Sagas: Bringing User Stories to Life
By Ross Hall
User Stories provide a powerful and succinct way of managing the individual requirements that a project is expected to deliver. The theory is that by taking an approach that centres on how a person might use a system in a particular way it will be easier to focus development teams on creating something that is useful, valuable and usable. Each story is meant to represent a small, self-contained piece of the puzzle that, when combined, create the big picture that everyone is supposed to work towards.
Keeping track of this bigger picture requires... Read more on our website.
Sustainable Pace: Trusting Your Teams
By Maria Matarelli
Endless business requirements, desired features, market pressures… There is always more work that needs done. Sometimes, it may feel like endless sprints where you thought you saw the finish line, but every time you round the track they tell you there’s another lap. You dig deep and pull together the energy to continue to sprint, but again, you round the last turn and push forward toward the end and people on the sidelines are yelling “another lap, another lap” and you check to see if you can find the energy to keep going, but you can’t. You keep thinking you’ll have a break but it never ends. The sprints are seemingly endless back-to-back cycles and you see no end in sight. You need to catch your breath, you need water, you’re getting blisters -- you’ve burnt out... Read more on our website.
Mark your calandar for the Scrum Gathering Atlanta 2012 - Check out the sponsorship opportunities HERE. Thank you to our signed sponsors.
Title Sponsor – VersionOne will be hosting our Welcome Evening ... stay tuned for exciting details! VersionOne will also be exhibiting so plan to visit them during the gathering.
Gold Sponsor – PMI will be exhibiting and sponsoring a lunch!
Bronze Sponsor – 3Back are sponsoring the lanyards!
Check back in early January for the launch of the submission system and an opportunity to submit to the call for papers.
Mark your calendar for the Scrum Gathering Barcelona 2012 – October 1 – 3, 2012 at the Fira-Palace, Barcelona, Spain.
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