With a Scrum Training, one of the first things that will be explained, that when it comes to Scrum, a project consists of Sprints and Sprints are built up of events. The role which each of these events plays and the way in which they take place can differ considerably based on factors like the the product that is being developed, the experience of the people involved in the project, and the preferences of the team members themselves. In general though, as most Scrum Trainers will tell you, in a traditional Scrum project, a Sprint contains at least four major events, namely Scrum planning (also known as Sprint planning, the Daily Scrum, the Sprint Review, and the Sprint Retrospective.
Besides the roles and the events that are relevant to Scrum-based projects, the so-called artefacts also represent a key element of the Scrum framework. Usually, there are three artefacts that present in every Scrum team, namely a Product Backlog, a Sprint Backlog, and a type of backlog that defines a “finished” part for you. An artefact in a Scrum environment is a type of tool that teams can use to solve complex problems together. Considering the particular role and importance of the Product Backlog to the correct functioning of a Scrum team, we also dedicated a separate piece to this artefact.
As you probably know by now, Scrum is an agile methodology to help plan, manage, and optimise product development cycles by cutting them up in a series of fixed-length iterations. As we wrote before, both earlier in this article and in separate articles in this Scrum series, a Scrum production cycle or Sprint consists of at least four main events: Sprint planning, Daily Scrums, the Sprints themselves, and Sprint Retrospectives. In our series, we have also covered the Sprint Reviews, which take place after the Sprint ends and before the Sprint Retrospective is held. In order to help Scrum teams perform these events with ease and to chase the highest possible product value for the end customer in the most efficient manner possible, Scrum teams can make use of several sets of tools that were especially designed for use in Agile projects. Our previous four articles were on a few different Scrum and Agile tools, namely Scrum Boards, Kanban Boards, burndown charts, and Scrum poker.
To complete this series on the Scrum methodology, this piece will be on Scrum training, followed by a final, summarizing article on the Scrum framework and the guides, like this one, that can help you to achieve true Scrum expert status. As you have probably understood by now, the Scrum methodology is not necessarily complex, but a correct implementation of the theory does require a considerable amount of discipline, experience, and, of course, training.
Basically, Scrum training and certification refers to courses and exams that provide instructions and certify aptitude in Scrum, one of the commonly used Agile frameworks for managing complex projects. Many different companies provide Scrum training and certification programs, both online and offline, with some being more widely recognized and accepted in the world Agile. Scrum.org is considered by many experts as one of the most reputable Scrum certification organisations. That's why, in order to get a better idea of what Scrum training is and what it exactly consists of, we will study Scrum.org's Scrum training offer first. After that, we will also take a brief look at some of the alternatives that are available on the market right now.
Scrum training with those who created and maintain it
First off, Scrum.org is one of the leading, globally recognised providers of Scrum training as a result of its widespread network of experts and its high-quality courses, but that's not the organisation's only active selling point. On their website, they state that at Scrum.org, you are “learning from those who created and maintain it”, which is a direct reference to founder Ken Schwaber. Earlier in this Scrum series, we mentioned the Agile Manifesto as a foundation for everything Agile and Schwaber is one of the seventeen people who initially designed and signed it. He did so together with Jeff Sutherland, with whom he worked to formulate the initial versions of the Scrum framework and wrote the industry-leading Scrum Guide.
Nowadays, Schwaber is still one of the leaders of the Agile movement and he runs Scrum.org since 2009, which provides Scrum resources, training, assessments, and certifications for Scrum Masters, Scrum Developers, Scrum Product Owners, and organisations using Scrum. Before 2009 though, was responsible for founding the Scrum Alliance, another of today's most recognised and popular providers of Scrum training, and creating the Certified Scrum Master programs and its derivatives. He resigned from the Scrum Alliance in 2009 after a disagreement with the board regarding assessments, certification, and a developer program. He subsequently founded Scrum.org, where he led the development of new courseware, assessments, and partnerships to improve the quality and effectiveness of Scrum. Over the years, he has also published and updated Scrum with Jeff Sutherland, which is where Scrum.org's previously mentioned claim is based on.
At Scrum.org, you can find several training programs, certifications, and Agile aids, and we will take a look at what they offer in terms of training and certification. When it comes to Scrum training, Scrum.org offers various programs, including Professional Scrum Foundations (PSF), a course of two days that teaches Scrum by experiencing what it’s like to deliver products using the Scrum framework, Professional Scrum Master (PSM), a course of two days where students learn how to use Scrum to optimize value, productivity, and the total cost of product ownership, and Professional Scrum Developer (PSD), a course of three days that teaches all members of the Development Team how to create high quality software using the Scrum framework. All of the courses and course materials are created and maintained by Ken Schwaber himself and the Professional Scrum Trainers (PST), who themselves were educated by Scrum.org. Whether a course is taught in Amsterdam, Sydney, or Nairobi, all of the Trainers use the same materials, so that students are learning from the same content regardless of their teacher and location.
Scrum training is one thing, though, but in more than a few professional situations, you will be asked to certify your skills. That's why Scrum.org, like most other providers of Scrum training, also provides assessments to examine, enhance, and certify your knowledge of Scrum, which are all based on the Scrum Guide (by Schwaber and Sutherland). Usually, people first do some Scrum.org Professional Training before taking the assessment, but this is not mandatory. The assessments cover a range of areas related to the knowledge and real world usage of Scrum, and passing these consistent assessments is highly regarded as true industry certification by individuals, organizations, and industry associations. According to Scrum.org, certification is more than just a way to show you attended a class though, which is why their Professional certifications are available to anyone who can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject in detail. Among many other certifications, Scrum.org provides assessments for Professional Scrum Masters, Scaled Professional Scrum, and Professional Agile Leadership, just to name a few.
Other types and providers of Scrum training
When explaining what Scrum training is and what it exactly consists of, we figured it would be easiest to use a provider of such training as a reference, Scrum.org in our case. That does not mean that there are no other recognised and effective Scrum training providers and programs, though. On the contrary, as a result of the growing popularity of the Scrum framework not just in software development, but also in many other industries, demand for qualified for Scrum training has increased considerably as well. We have used Scrum.org as our sample reference, but here a few other providers of Scrum training that are more than worth checking out in case you are considering taking a course.
The Scrum Alliance (scrumalliance.org)
The Scrum Alliance, which was co-founded by Scrum.org founder Ken Schwaber in 2001, is globally recognised as one of the premier providers of Scrum knowledge, training, and certification. They provide several programs per team role, including Scrum Master and Product Owner, a set of so-called guide-level certifications, which are designed to authorize well qualified coaches and trainers as educators, mentors, and thought leaders in agile principles and the Scrum framework, and Agile leadership programs, aimed at leaders who seek to enhance their workplaces with the values of Agile.
The Project Management Institute (pmi.org)
The Project Management Institute (PMI) provides an extended range of courses on project management, including some focused on Agile. The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) course, for example, formally recognizes your knowledge of Agile principles and your skill with Agile techniques. The company itself actually states that this is their fastest growing certification. This certification requires at least 2000 hours of project experience, 1500 hours working on Agile projects, and at least 21 hours of training in Agile practices.
The Dutch company EXIN is another well-known and most importantly well-reputed provider of Agile Scrum Mater certification. As a certification, the EXIN Agile Scrum Master combines agile principles and scrum practices with practical assignments. It tests the competences required to facilitate, coach, and enable a cross-functional team as a Scrum Master, and it is aimed at managerial professionals in the fields of IT project management, software development, business management, and IT service management.