So much more than an intro to Scrum…
Two weeks ago, Heather and I attended Adventures with Agile’s first ever Certified Scrum Master course, taught by Tobias Mayer. Tobias is a good friend of AWA and among the first 25 trainers worldwide certified to teach Scrum by Ken Schwaber, its co-founder.
The course was very interactive, with no PowerPoint slides at all. We immediately began in a group circle, playing fun exercises and activities to get to know each other and start establishing connections. Working in small groups and teams was a consistent theme throughout the two days.
We worked through the course content in a Scrum method, in that we had a work-flow board at the front of the room. The sprint backlog was representative of the content to be covered (we did exercises in prioritising this backlog). Each sprint was a time boxed learning session covering the content pulled from the backlog.
We dived into the core values and mindset
The course did not just focus on learning the roles, artifacts and ceremonies of Scrum but we dived further into the core values and mindset. As Tobias stated:
“Scrum works much like what we do and how we operate in everyday life – it’s not alien”.
Transparency, Inspection and Adaption, the three pillars of empiricism, are so natural to us already. Combined with the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect, trust is built between the team and this then leads to collaboration and effectiveness.
Creative thinking is encouraged
Tobias doesn’t set himself apart as a teacher but really values what we learn from each other. He encourages creative thinking in order to help the learning process. We particularly enjoyed the activity where we came up with metaphors for the different Scrum ceremonies in order to understand them and remember them better.
Tobias is a fantastic teacher, we feel really lucky to have been trained by him. He seems to embody Scrum and his knowledge and experience are self-evident. He shows up with a willingness to teach, learn and have fun. He is able to be very present with the group and cover everything that needs to be covered but not stick to a fixed agenda and go where the group wants to. You are not only provided with the necessary information required to pass the exam. You will come out of the two days feeling motivated, enlightened and confident to take up the role of a Scrum Master and understand how to apply aspects of Scrum to elements of your work, even if this is outside of the world of software development.
So much more than an intro to Scrum
If you are considering going on a CSM course or are looking at recommending your colleagues to attend one, I can honestly say look no further. I have been lucky enough to go on numerous training courses through AWA (including the ‘Advanced Agile Masterclass’ with Alistair Cockburn) and the value I got from this course is right up there. It is so much more than an intro to Scrum. The value shouldn’t come from the exam certification itself but from the learnings and passion developed on the course and the confidence and capability to take these learnings back into the workplace – and this course, and Tobias in particular, deliver this brilliantly.
Tobias brings the subject to life with outstanding mastery. The practical approach, learning from doing and playing with scrum, deepens the learning and gives you confidence to go out in the world and begin your scrum master journey. – Anna