May 3, 2021

Taking the First Step toward Scrum

Agile frameworks such as Scrum have continued to gain traction because of their ability to vastly improve business outcomes and employee engagement. Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.

Once firmly in the domain of software development, practitioners find that Scrum is equally applicable to many other kinds of complex work. So, if you’ve heard about Scrum and want to know how it could apply to your workplace, what’s your first step?

There’s a lot of material available online to get an initial understanding of what Scrum entails, but if you’re finding the volume and scale of that information overwhelming, getting some formal training might be a better path. 

As Professional Scrum Trainers with Scrum.org, we know that the best way to understand and apply Scrum is by using it in real-life scenarios. The maxim “Scrum is easy to understand but hard to master” is quite true. That’s why when individuals and teams ask where to start with training, we recommend the Applying Professional Scrum (APS) class.

Learn by doing with a side of instruction

We love teaching the APS class because over the course of a two-day class we can actually see the pieces fall into place for students who learn the “why” behind the Scrum framework, which helps them to put it into action in their workplace. 

The winning approach is understanding the basics through instruction and then applying them right away to gain an understanding and appreciation for how it works in the real world. Whether you’re a student with some Scrum experience or you’re a complete novice, the simulated team experiences in the class allow everyone to grow their skills together.  It’s a safe, casual environment that encourages supported practice and experimentation. Heck, we’ll go as far as saying that it’s a learning experience that’s actually fun.

Private vs. public class

Learning about and exploring Scrum as a work team in a private class has many benefits including coming away with a common understanding of how the principles can be applied in your specific workplace. In fact, there have been occasions in this class where problematic team dynamics surface during the work simulations. It turns out to be a valuable opportunity to work through those issues on the spot. We also go over the common poor practices that limit a team’s effectiveness, so team training can help get everyone on the same page.  A private class also has the side benefit of team building by participating in a project together.

An option for those who do select a private class is additional time to build an implementation plan for their organization. We facilitate this through either an extra half day or we can build this activity into the regular two-day class.

A public class is the preferred option for team members who want to further their skills on a team already using Scrum or for leaders who want a baseline understanding of the framework before introducing it to their organization. Nothing prohibits teams from registering for a public class and learning with others from various organizations can offer unique lessons of their own.

Either way, taking any Scrum.org training (private or public) comes with a complimentary password to attempt the Professional Scrum Master (PSM I) assessment. All courseware is continually updated to align with the latest version of the official Scrum Guide, so taking formalized training is the best preparation for certification.

Virtual training across borders

One of the few good things to come about as the result of the pandemic has been virtual training that is accessible from wherever you are. Also, virtual training has allowed us to “cross” our closed United States-Canada border to co-teach the APS class. Take that, COVID!

We’d love to connect with you if you have any questions about Scrum or our upcoming training opportunities. 

 

About Mary IqbalMary has 10 years of Scrum experience and has worked with Fortune 500 companies in the United States to lead new technology roll-outs and double business revenue.  Mary’s real-world tactical experience and team management strategies have helped businesses achieve accelerated growth through applying the Scrum framework.

About Jill Graves:  Jill is an Agile coach, trainer and Scrum Master with 11 years of experience implementing Scrum in the private sector.  While working at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) she won the Government of Canada 2015 GTEC Leadership Award for the CRA Agile Transformation.