PSM Assessment more than Theory

Last post 08:41 pm May 12, 2014
by Sunish Chabba
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07:23 am May 12, 2014

Hi,

As part of my journey to pass PSM I assessment I wanted to share some of my own thoughts.

This is unlike other assessments I have recently taken, such as Google Analytics. Whilst scrum is theory/methodology based, the assessment is based on understanding and approach to be a scrum master. I believe this is why I have seen forum posts from full time Scrum Masters studying like mad and coming up short on the pass mark twice whilst others complain that it is seems more about an understanding of English language than scrum theory. I would not disagree with either comment as having merit.

For me, like many others I have and continue to work within the management of digital/IT project delivery. Projects get confused with stakeholder changes, many dependent suppliers with their own agendas and complex things with many parts. I don't have the perfect and whole scrum team experience, but I do apply many of the scrum practices in my work - increasingly so.

For the assessment, I read the scrum guide many times, bought a book and spent months attending a local scrum user group. I got the open assessment down to instant recognition and quick regurgitation of correct answers noting the nuances between the way the question is asked but with the same answers.

When I first took the PSM I I felt like a fish out of water as the open assessment is a small part of prep to make you think in a certain way, the full assessment wants you to think all the way!

When I absorbed the exam question content and aligned my theory study accordingly I felt less like the fish out of water. This forum among others helped rationalize my responses to the next go at assessment.

I took the assessment again on the spur of the moment at work when things were quiet because I felt in the mindset vocabulary of Scrum. Passing I note that Scrum.org had perfectly assessed and quantified my personality profile as well assessing that I am able to study theory and recall it! This is about skills with people to support the theory, not just the theory of it.

08:41 pm May 12, 2014

John,

Congratulations on achieving the credential. And, thanks for sharing your perspective and insights on the assessment.

That said, I do hope Scrum.org Support team does take a look at the given feedback specifically, "understanding of English language than Scrum theory", as many of the participants have given similar feedback and there has been countless discussions on the ambiguities in the questions. Based on empirical process control, the three pillars of Scrum are transparency, inspection, and adaptation, and may be these need to be applied to the assessments as well.