The Scrum Alliance has announced a new CSP Process. That is a new process for becoming a Certified Scrum Professional. Start here. [Note: The pages have been changed since this post.]
This is mostly good. We recommend it.
First, the main changes are:
(a) 36 months of experience (not as well defined by Scrum Alliance as I would like)
(b) 70 SEUs (same as the PDU concept) (also not defined quite as I would like)
(c) no test
Note: As you and I ask questions, I think the Scrum Alliance will define these things more carefully. Please ask them questions. This has already happened to some degree.
Second. I am not a big advocate of certifications. I am after far bigger results for you, for your Team, for your customers than that. Huge results.
And I have never been convinced that any certification can ‘prove’ that someone will get results. But, other things equal, more explicit and tacit knowledge is usually good. And more experience is usually good. These Scrum Alliance courses that lead to certifications tend to provide good information. Information that can make you more effective.
So, what is our biggest impediment, in the Scrum community?
Well, there are many things that one could point out, but let me explain my view.
Too many people are doing ‘scrum’ (as they define it), and getting results that are not as impressive as I would like. The frequency of ‘sub par’ results is too high. (Sub par usually means they get at least a 20% improvement, which is a great return on investment; but far less than we ought to be getting.) When they do full Scrum, and do it passionately, the results tend to be higher. Often very significantly higher.
I would like to see Teams regularly, almost universally, getting 100%, 200%, 500% and more improvement. I think all of them can (compared to their own baseline). (Yes, there will always be a few dysfunctional teams. And some people who should never be on a team.)
I think the 400%+ level of improvement is quite uncommon. I will guess in the neighborhood of only 15-30% of teams. This is just wrong, and we must work on it. Why does it happen so seldom?
– the firm’s culture
– lack of aggressiveness in removing impediments
– too many doing ‘scrum’ or Scrum-Butt (ie, not real Scrum)
– forgetting what Scrum is (they do it for awhile, but lose the dedication)
– many other factors
I think the CSP approach can help with this. The SEU approach is only one method to address this problem. (And, given human nature and life, we will never get 100% of the people getting 400%+ with Scrum.) But I do think the SEU approach can help.
– Because people need to get fired up again
– People need to be reminded
– People forget the first Scrum course (research shows that people forget over 80% very quickly; it is just how the brain works)
– The company culture eats away at Scrum. Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
– The core concepts of Scrum are quite foreign, or at least counter, to what most of your work environment is telling you. It is a paradigm shift. While you may absorb some basics at first, you cannot absorb the whole paradigm shift so quickly. Your brain resists. And the real art of it depends on making the paradigm shift.
– Scrum starts to ‘wash off’ (if you get the metaphor)
So, the SEUs do two things.
– They remind and enrich your brain, your muscle memory, about what Scrum really is
– They give you extra things to add to Scrum (adding things is essential to successfully using Scrum)
To me, whether you actually get a CSP is not very important. If you are using Scrum, you must continue to learn to get better. You must. And you must endeavor to take it (Scrum, innovation, productivity, fun) to the next level with your Team.
NOTE in Feb 2016: We have started to see demand for the CSP. So it is helpful professionally that way. I am not sure how hiring managers are using it, but one hopes reasonably.