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I am a Certified Scrum Master. But is that all?

12 January 2018

With certification becoming more popular — and a requirement in some organizations — many are completing the CSM (Certified ScrumMaster) certification successfully. They attend classroom training, sit for the exam, and pass it with flying colors. But is that all there is to it?

I have earned my CSM certification after practicing Agile for more than three years, and I strongly believe that the CSM is just the start of the Agile journey. CSM clarifies the Agile concepts and provides explanations for various Agile terms, which Agile practitioners tend to miss out on in real Agile scenarios. The importance of Agile values and the meaning of the Agile Manifesto are concepts that a CSM course reviews. For individuals who are new to the Agile journey, CSM certification provides great insight into Agile and Scrum thinking. The introduction of new Scrum roles actually requires proper elucidation so that people do not try to replace the existing roles of project management with the Scrum roles, as if you were to replace a project manager with a ScrumMaster, or a business analyst with a product owner. These kinds of replacements will never bring out the true effectiveness of being Agile.

Once we are a CSM, we are responsible for taking Agile and Scrum to a higher level in our work sphere. We must become catalysts for our own organizations by kindling the Agile mindset within our teams. CSM provides the base of being Agile and practicing Scrum, but how we actually implement the concepts in our daily lives depends on us. The onus of following Agile values is squarely on the people who are trying to be Agile. No certification or book can help with this aspect.

With CSM certification, the avenue to Agile and Scrum opens up. We have to keep moving forward by creating an awareness of how people follow the anti-Agile pattern, understand the importance of the four Scrum ceremonies, and know the various responsibilities of Scrum roles. We should also try to improve the effectiveness of Scrum, because that is how people will best understand it. Until CSMs are able to identify and highlight the advantages of being Agile or following Scrum, people will always mistake Scrum for an overhead.

To conclude, we begin our journey with CSM certification. But moving forward after completing CSM certification underscores our commitment to the Agile community.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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