Skip to main content and Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Address the Agile Product Management & Development Skills Gap with New Course

December 13, 2017

Agile Methods Course Enables Graduate Students to Add Value More Quickly to Employers Upon Entering the Workforce

Boston and Pittsburgh – December 13, 2017, the mission-based organization dedicated to improving the profession of software delivery through training, certification assessments and community, announced today a new academic offering at Carnegie Mellon University that will help address the Agile skills gap in today’s workforce.


The elective Agile Methods course, listed within Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, weaves the official courseware, usually delivered in two consecutive days, into a mini-semester of learning. Scrum prioritizes delivering value through releasing “Done” products by doing, which in a class setting means that students gain more from this model of immersive learning than from lectures. Students learn Scrum by examining the roles of the Scrum Team, Scrum events, Scrum artifacts, the Scrum Values and how to apply Scrum in the real world.


Course participants also have an opportunity to pursue certification as a Professional Scrum Master (PSM I). By learning the skills of a Scrum Master and becoming PSM I certified before graduation, students are better prepared with the proven skills that employers desire, such as understanding what it means to be a servant leader, knowing the basics of moving an organization to employ empirical release planning and process control, and using self-organization as a means to deliver value continuously to customers.  


“The skills gap, when it comes to applying Agile frameworks like Scrum, is a real and costly problem for organizations looking to quickly onboard new members to their IT teams. This course seeks to close that gap, providing Carnegie Mellon students with the practical skills they need to add value to their employers more quickly upon entering the workforce,” said Dave West, CEO of “The courseware helps smooth the transition for graduate students entering any professional career that deals with complex products – be it a career in management consulting, banking and finance, or a more traditionally technology-based job.”


The Agile Methods course is taught by John Davis, a Professional Scrum Trainer and adjunct professor at Heinz College. Davis designed the course with the intent for it to evolve so that it can continuously add value to graduate students who want to learn these practices before entering the workforce.

“The Agile Methods course teaches students to become servant leaders who help organizations apply a new system of values and principles so that cross-functional teams become resilient in the face of complexity, while delivering on the promise of continuous value,” said Davis. “By offering this curriculum to students, we are ensuring they enter the workforce with a basic understanding of the Agile principles that today’s employers want their workers and future leaders to possess.”


“Professor Davis’ Agile Methods course teaches students what is needed to positively contribute to a workforce in which people with different backgrounds, experiences and other skills need to work together to achieve great results,” said Tushar Agarwal, a student in Heinz College’s highly ranked Master of Information Systems Management program, upon completing the course. “I developed a strong foundation in Agile methods because of the course and applied what I learned to my internship at Goldman Sachs where I was able to competently and successfully work on a project comprised of both Agile and traditional teams.”


The program, which launched in Spring 2017, has seen a 100 percent increase in student enrollment, from 25 students in its inaugural course to 50 this past fall.



Based on the values and principles of Scrum and the Agile Manifesto, provides comprehensive training, assessments and certifications to improve the profession of software delivery. Throughout the world, our solutions and community of Professional Scrum Trainers empower people and organizations to achieve agility through Scrum.  Ken Schwaber, the co-creator of Scrum, founded in 2009 as a global organization, dedicating himself to improving the profession of software delivery by reducing the gaps so the work and work products are dependable.



Visit for further information on the organization’s Professional Scrum assessments, training and global community; follow us on Twitter @scrumdotorg and read more from our community of experts on the blog.




Chrissy Kinch

fama PR