Crowne Plaza Charlotte Executive Park
5700 WestPark Drive
Charlotte, NC 28211
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster Course + Workshop
Our Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course + Agile Release Planning Workshop approach is unique.
The purpose of this course is to prepare you for and assess that you have achieved the next step to CSP-SM (Certified Scrum Professional – SM).
Unlike others, we offer it as 3 days: a two-day interactive Advanced Certified Scrum Master course together with a one-day Agile Release Planning Workshop. The 3 days are required.
We recommend that the two (A-CSM plus ARP) be taken together at the same time, but they can be taken individually. Still, the two must be taken at roughly the same time (within four months).
The A-CSM course helps you get to the next level. The more important movement is from some success to a lot more success — and also the movement from CSM to A-CSM. The next level after that is the CSP-SM course, after which you can become a CSP-SM, but you must get to the A-CSM level first.
To take this A-CSM course you must already hold a CSM certification.
You can read more information below or sign up now at the upper left and pay via credit card. As explained below, there are also other methods to pay.
We have two main purposes:
- Enable you to take your team(s) to the next level
- Enable you to be recognized as at the next level (A-CSM) and on your way to the CSP-SM level.
To be fair, the CSM course and your own native talents and experiences should have done a lot to enable you to be successful. This course will add to that.
We believe there will be both personal and career rewards for achieving this level.
The intent is that you leave this course with renewed energy to help your team, your organization and your customers achieve more success, and you leave with new practical techniques to make that happen.
You will learn a lot of new content.
Much of it in this course will be coaching oriented. (Neither we nor Scrum Alliance mean to imply that coaching skills are the one and only skill set necessary for success, nor even the main skill set you may need now, but those skills are the main focus of the Learning Objectives for A-CSM, and hence we give them a lot of time in this course.)
You must also have learned a lot since you took the CSM course. That is, we expect you to have learned (in other ways than this course) since your CSM, perhaps largely through practice.
Part of the course is about learning and practicing and seeing how others do or talk about the same thing.
Still, we do not recommend coming to the course and expecting to learn everything in real time to pass the assessment. That we think cannot happen; no one could do that.
And, we think anyone, even Jeff Sutherland, could learn from the experience of the course. (I am not suggesting I know more about Scrum than Dr. Sutherland, only that the experience is rich enough to be educational.
In any case, learning is still an important part of this course. Even if you are very good at skill set X, we think you learn more about it in this course.
The more essential purpose of the course is assessment. I must use the course time to assess each person and whether he or she is at the A-CSM level.
So, this course is also an assessment for you and others. Have you reached that level?
You must provide as much evidence in advance of the course of your achievement as you can. Where your evidence is lacking, then we will assess you in class.
In the A-CSM course we will review what you have learned and practiced of Scrum, and assess if you have reached the right level.
At the A-CSM level we are not expecting you to be another Dr. Sutherland. We do not expect perfection, so to speak. We do expect competence, and sometimes above average skill, and maybe a few places where the skill is weaker.
We expect many people who take the course to be assessed as not having achieved the right level yet. Those people will learn during the course, they can learn more after the course, and take the course (assessment) again later, and they are very likely to pass. Your taking of the course the second time, if needed, would only cost an additional $375 (in total across the three days; this is because of our hotel costs).
The Agile Release Planning Workshop
The ARP Workshop allows you to take real work and do Agile Release Planning with it. It is highly recommended by attendees.
It can possibly be your own real project (or the product you are about to start working on), or it could be a project or product of another person at your table.
By using a lot of these new or old skills with real work, you progress to the next level with your colleagues (or, at least, people similar to your colleagues).
The ARP Workshop is discussed more below.
During the course, participants will help us cover the basics of Scrum and how well your team is executing on the basics.
It is not necessary that your team and your company are doing Agile/Scrum perfectly — that is not expected. It is expected that you can make a persuasive case why they should do more of Scrum and do it more effectively, and thus attain greater success.
We will discuss specific techniques and tools for getting your team to execute the basics more fully and more successfully.
Most of the time will be spent on more advanced topics.
Here are the Learning Objectives for the A-CSM. Most of the time will be spent on these Learning Objectives, either learning about them or assessing them.
The seven categories of the Learning Objectives are:
- Lean, Agile and Scrum
- Agile Facilitation
- Agile Coaching
- Service to the Development Team
- Service to the Product Owner
- Service to the Organization
- Scrum Mastery
We will not be confined to these categories, but they will be the main focus.
Again, the overall purpose of the A-CSM and of the more advanced topics generally, is to enable you to help your team do Scrum better and more successfully. Many of the topics are “coaching” topics, in one sense or another. So, for those of you who wish to become coaches or develop as coaches, you will be well served.
The key is that you must demonstrate to the educator (me) that you can do or know the Learning Objectives well. Some Learning Objectives are more about doing, and some are more about knowing.
You can give us or describe things before the course that satisfy many of the Learning Objectives, or you can demonstrate competence in the course via exercises.
You have to be good at a certain level — you do not have to be perfect. You will be better at some things and worse at others. So, it will in the end be an evaluation of your overall ability, not your ability in one thing. The body of your work, you might say. Still, it will not be good to be massively weak in certain areas, even if you are very very good in other areas.
You can give me writings or other evidence for many of the Learning Objectives. Just do not be wordy — I cannot read mountains of stuff.
You may take the class before you are “ready” and use it to become ready. Then, you can take the course again (at $125 per day for hotel expenses) to be assessed at the right level.
You cannot achieve the A-CSM unless you have 12 months of good Scrum experience as a ScrumMaster. Still, you may take the course and be assessed by me as at the right level before the 12 months have ended. (I will be skeptical of your understanding and ability if you do not already have six months of experience in Scrum. Still, I might be persuaded.)
But you can only be put forward for A-CSM when you have both (a) passed the assessment in my judgment and (b) obtained the 12 months of experience as a ScrumMaster.
The style of this course will be participatory. You must participate! We will ask you to lead sections or to provide advice (as a coach). You will set up scenarios, or we will ask you to identify a specific scenario and then advise how you would address the situation.
One aim is that the course experience gives you the knowledge, the interest and the motivation to take your team to the next level.
Who Should Attend
We recommend that whole teams attend. This course is an excellent way to help the team rise to the next level.
Really, anyone with interest can attend with benefit: team members, ScrumMasters, coaches (or would-be coaches), managers, Product Owners, Business Stakeholders, etc. They all need to understand Scrum and Agile better; and they each can do it better, or advise and manage people in doing it better, with this additional knowledge. We suggest that the return on investment is huge!
Scenario: Let’s say that total cost for the course is $2,000 per person and that you send seven people from one team — that’s $14,000. Your team each year produces about $3 million in value (that is, the NPV over 3 years for what they produce this year will be roughly $3 million or more). Let’s say you need a 6:1 return — that’s $14,000 x 6 = $84,000. That money ($84,000) would a 2.8 percent improvement on the $3 million. If we cannot get a 2.8 percent improvement by doing Scrum better, I’ll be greatly surprised. In fact, I would expect at minimum a 20 percent improvement in your current level of Scrum, and that is on a bad day. (Honestly, I really expect an additional 100% percent improvement, but some of your managers will not believe that.)
Upon completion of the course and workshop, you will receive 24 SEUs (Scrum Educational Units) and PDUs toward PMI requirements. In addition, with 12 months of experience and you have “passed” at the A-CSM level (“passed the course,” one might say), you obtain the A-CSM certification.
Further, once you complete the CSP-SM course (and related requirements) successfully, you will become a CSP-SM.
In addition to the course and workshop, you receive:
- Recognition by the Scrum Alliance as an Advanced-CSM (if…)
- A two-year membership in Scrum Alliance
- A printed copy of the course materials (and a soft-copy)
- Fibonacci estimating cards, for use in estimating with your team
- Other Scrum-related materials
- SEUs and PDUs as described above
- A free copy of our book on Agile Release Planning
Note: There is no Scrum Alliance test for the A-CSM. You will be assessed (in public) during the course, but not via a formal test. I will tell you after the course if you passed based on my overall assessment.
Passing will not be easy. It is pretty much guaranteed that some people will not pass. It is very likely (should you not pass the first time) that if you study and work at it, and then come to the course again and get assessed a second time, you will pass.
Samples of What You Will Learn or Improve your Skill With:
- Practical, project-proven practices
- The essentials of getting a project off on the right foot
- How to write better user stories for the Product Backlog
- How to get them to do Story Pointing and BV Pointing, and how to explain it
- How to help both new and experienced teams be more successful
- The basics of scaling Scrum, perhaps to large, multi-continent project teams
- Tips and tricks from the instructor’s 10 years of using Scrum in a wide variety of environments
The Agile Release Planning Workshop:
- Unlike others, we require a one-day Agile Release Planning Workshop as part of this course.
- Why? Because we think this skill set is so important in doing Scrum well. The ARP Workshop will teach you (and teach you how to teach others) this important set of skills and these ways of thinking.
- The workshop takes the real work of the identified Product Owner at each table, and we do Agile Release Planning for that work.
- It is an excellent way to take the ideas of Agile/Scrum (and the course) and make them practical. It builds the initial Product Backlog. It gets you and your team ready to start (re-started) on Monday.
- You may take the A-CSM course only at this time and the ARP Workshop at a later date (within the next four months). You cannot pass the assessment for A-CSM without taking the ARP Workshop.
- Attendees strongly recommend the ARP Workshop.
- You or others may also take the ARP Workshop by itself. (At least one person at each table must have taken a course by me.)
Why Choose Us
Why Choose This Trainer:
- Joe Little, who has 10+ years of experience as an Agile coach and CST, will lead this Scrum course.
- Joe has co-trained eight times with Jeff Sutherland (one of the co-creators of Scrum), and we believe you get more “real Scrum” because of this experience.
- Joe has an MBA and 20+ years of senior level Big 6 and related consulting experience.
- Joe has in-depth practical experience in helping teams become very productive with Scrum and Agile.
- Joe often co-teaches Scrum courses with other great Scrum trainers. Take a look at Joe’s blog, Agile & Business.
- Joe is a CST associated with Scrum Alliance.
Why Choose Us?
- A better trainer
- Fun, entertaining and memorable course
- More success
- More real Scrum
You may want to learn about our Referral Program and about our Refresher Program. We are also starting to offer free and paid webinars to go along with the in-person course. We offer in-house courses, as well, and could even offer this course in-house.
The content of the course and workshop are described more fully here.
- You must have a CSM.
- Normally you must have been doing Scrum for at least three months before you take this course, and normally for at least 3 months since you got your CSM. (The A-CSM requires 12 months as a SM on a team over a 5 year period. Some of that experience could be earned before you got your CSM.)
- You must have been doing things to develop as a ScrumMaster and as a coach. Essentially these things will be either practicing Scrum or learning Scrum through other methods.
- Re-read the “Scrum Guide” by Sutherland and Schwaber. (About 18 pages)
- Read Joe’s “Scrum Intro” (about 55 pages).
- Read another one of Ken Schwaber’s or Jeff Sutherland’s books. Tell us which one you choose. If you have read all of the Schwaber/Sutherland books, and prefer to read another Scrum-related book, please tell us which one you choose.
- Read one of the articles in our list of Articles, and suggest one article or video to be added to our list of articles and videos.
- You must describe yourself, your situation and your experiences with Scrum. We will give you more details about this.
- You must give a preliminary evaluation of yourself across all the Learning Objectives. You must provide what evidence you can that you have skill in each Learning Objective (or not, maybe, in some of them). We will provide more details on this. The course will help you with this.
- You must write 1.5-2 pages of Agile/Scrum advice, which will be read by the group. It can be specific advice for a specific situation. Make it relatively specific and actionable.
Our website (and especially our blog) has lots of other information that may be helpful to you.
Registration and Fees
- The Early Bird price for the two-day A-CSM Course and one-day ARP Workshop is probably above. The normal price is $2,000.
- We may change the pricing at any time.
- If you need us to hold a price for you for a couple of days (e.g., to get approval), please contact us and we probably can do that.
- If you are a member of a local Agile group or PMI chapter, you can get a $100 reduction in these fees.
- Alternately, there is a 10 percent discount for any group of three or more.
- In addition, there is a 3 percent discount for cash. That is, 3 percent off the net due if you pay with cash (i.e., cash, not check, at the beginning of the course). To receive the cash discount, you must make a $100 non-refundable deposit (which normally is just a pre-payment) by credit card.
The fee also covers food and beverage at the course (typically, a continental breakfast, a.m. break, lunch and p.m. break).
Please register using the “Register Now” button (above right). If you register multiple people, please send us an email with their names and email addresses.
You may also email us to discuss other payment methods, receipts, invoices, etc. Payment methods include USD check, money transfer, credit card, PayPal, over-the-phone (CC), cash, etc. All payments should be received before the course starts. Once we receive payment you will be registered.
The course date and location (typically hotel) may be changed up until 16 days prior to the start date. Please do not book non-refundable travel expenses without discussing with us. We can advise you when the date is set.
Policy for Changes and Refunds
If for any reason you cannot make it to a course, you may send another person in your place for free (no additional fee). This is a bit harder “last minute” with an A-CSM. You must identify that person before the course starts, and that person must satisfy the prerequisites. This will be near impossible if that happens two days before the course starts.
There are other options and other situations. Some involve notable fees or deductions. These rules are discussed here. You are responsible for reading these rules carefully. In general, fees or extra costs are more likely if you are within 16 days of the course start.
Please contact us if you have questions.