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Busy month for certifications

Last post 03:18 am September 13, 2019 by James Noble
15 replies
01:27 am September 7, 2019

It's been roughly one month (early August to early September) that I've engaged in a personal training sprint with self-study. During that time I've earned my PMI-ACP, PSM1 and PSM2 certifications.


Prior to the training/studying time I had used Scrum since 2006, Lean/Kanban since 2009, SAFe since 2014 and of course traditional project management longer since before all of that. All of these experiences helped to earn the certifications.


The thing I like about certification exams is that regardless of previous work experience I've discovered that usually you learn at least one new thing in the study process. This was true for all three certifications.


I found the PSM2 the hardest one, in fact I failed in on my first attempt at 84.8% correct. The PMI-ACP has a good coverage of many things including especially the soft skills/people side of Agile. The PSM1 seemed like it was more focused on understanding the basic framework. PSM2 was more difficult because the questions were so finely crafted that it sometimes came down to a nuance in the wording or a judgement call. Sometimes thinking back on real world experiences you discovered that the masterful way you handled the situation back in the day probably wasn't the best way in hindsight.

All those who posted information on powerful books, blogs etc to read to prepare for PSM2 thank-you for doing so since it made a real difference.

It's been a busy month. I am going to start looking into the PSM3 and the trainer path. I think it will be awhile before I am ready for the PSM3 exam.

~Jamie N

01:52 pm September 8, 2019

PSM3 made me the man I am today! ;)

If you'd like some advice about it(?), really get to grips with the notion of Empirical Process Control ("Empiricism") and being able to describe the effects of a hypothetical problem or proposed change in terms of the 3 Pillars - Transparency, Inspecion and Adaptation.

08:31 am September 9, 2019

Sharing how to pass the Professional Scrum Master Level III (PSM III), wish you'll pass it in short time. 

12:09 pm September 9, 2019

Advice is always welcome and greatly appreciated! Thank-you very much for sharing.


~Jamie N

01:25 am September 10, 2019

Does anyone offer some prep training for PSM3? I see classes for PSM1 and PSM2 but not one for PSM3. I am interested if anyone wants to connect with me.


~Jamie N

01:30 am September 10, 2019

@James, PSM III requires real world experience, not classroom training.

02:30 am September 10, 2019

Agreeing with your statement Eric.


What I am looking for is someone offering a training session that goes deeper into test scenarios, things that would really make me think about the situations and how to use the scrum framework to solve them. Not looking for book learning. Would love to practice a bit before I do a $500 USD test run blind the first time.

02:47 am September 10, 2019


03:38 am September 10, 2019

Not sure your point Martin. Yes I have my PMP. I also have a number of other certifications and lots of work experience with scrum going back to 2006. 


It's very possible to have many different tools to use depending on the objectives you have set for yourself and so that you can best serve the team and the company/project/product you are working on.


While I wrote the exams in the past month for PSM1, PSM2 and PMI-ACP it's important to remember that while the finish line for these was reached this month in reality the starting line was more then a decade in the past.


What I am seeking is not a way to fast track the test and become a paper PSM3. I am looking for a mentor who can help me become an even better scrum master. The end result is gaining mastery and more competence. The paper certification is nice but not essential compared to that.


~Jamie N

11:16 am September 10, 2019

Some have blogged on this forum on the steps they took to get the PSM III. I concur with Eric, everyone's journey to PSM III starts with real world Scrum Master experience. In addition to experience, the PSM I course helped me, because there were many topics and real world scenarios covered in the course that led to deeper thinking (PSM II course was not around when I took the exam). There were also PSTs and others that provided mentoring, advice and encouragement along the way.


04:10 pm September 10, 2019

I'm doing my PMP in November!!!   Wish me luck!

12:23 am September 11, 2019

Well I have to humbly admit that I misread your comment. Please accept my apology.


Of course I wish you well with your PMP exam!


~Jamie N

07:01 pm September 11, 2019

No problem .  I know it was a one liner and might of came across a bit differently!!!    No worries all good.   I was gonna ask if you did PMP first then ACP and I wasn't sure if you had your PMP.  I'm planning to do ACP in the new year and that's what took me to do Scrum.    I don't think I'll ever be a Scrum Master but I find the framework very fascinating.

02:31 am September 12, 2019

I did my PMP back in 2016, after more then 10 years as a PM before I decided to write the exam.


PMI-ACP, then PSM1 then PSM2 was my order of execution.


The best thing I like about both Agile/Scrum and Lean/Kanban is that people are perceived as important and worth caring about. Someone said that the newer frameworks and methodologies are much more humane. I agree with that. I also prefer the servant leadership style as my main leadership style.

You will likely be surprised at how versatile the scrum framework can be, even for things you never would have originally thought of using it for. The concepts is makes transparent also shift thinking in a great way.


Best of luck!


~Jamie N


03:18 pm September 12, 2019

What did you take for Lean?   I did yellow belt Six Sigma but I'm more on the Lean/Kaizen side of things.   In other words I don't like numbers and more into workflow.

03:18 am September 13, 2019

I haven't done a certification for Lean/Kanban yet. It's on the list though.


I also haven't done anything Six Sigma yet either. Same reasons as you articulated.


~Jamie N

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