Just over a year ago I started Scrum.org. And wow, what a year it has been! I did so because I wanted to pursue some initiatives that I hadn’t been able to previously. First, I wanted to retain the formal definition of Scrum that Jeff and I had built. Without that, methodology wars were likely. Second, I wanted to help people figure out how to use Scrum. We now have five employees and ninety associated trainers and coaches that help do so, worldwide.
I’ll blog more about each of these later, so bear with me for the summarizations. Over the last year we (Scrum.org):
- Formalized Scrum in the Scrum Guide at http://www.scrum.org/scrumguides/. There are more than twenty translations available or in progress. I’ll be providing an update in the first half of 2011.
- Oriented ourselves and our programs around professionalism, which has been reflected in the program names. This is a core message we will continue to deliver this year.
- Introduced rigorous assessments to give people the opportunity to test their knowledge of Scrum and how it is used.
- Scrum Open tests one’s knowledge of Scrum as stated in the Scrum Guide (body of knowledge). The Open assessment is a quick check of knowledge.
- PSM I (Professional Scrum Master I) assesses fundamental knowledge of Scrum and will be difficult for people that have not been exposed to Scrum. It may ask the taker to think about or interpret statements from the Scrum Guide.
- PSM II (Professional Scrum Master II) assesses one’s understanding of how to build software within the Scrum framework at a deeper level. Many questions ask the taker to draw on professional experience using Scrum.
- PSD I (Professional Scrum Developer I) assesses one’s understanding of how to build complete increments of software on a team using modern engineering tools and practices within a Scrum Sprint.
- Developed courses that teach people how to manage complex software development with Scrum, as well as how to be an effective member of a development team creating shippable increments of software. The most innovative of these courses was the Professional Scrum Developer course; this course was the first class to address the role of the Scrum developer, and it remains far and away the best.
This year, we are deploying some new items:
- Professional Scrum Team Member (PSTM) fills a gap that exists today in Scrum training. This course targets people who are new to Scrum, aren’t necessarily going to be Scrum Masters, or just want a refresh of the basics. This training is designed to function as an entry point to complex software development with Scrum. Attendees working in Scrum teams learn more about building things within the Scrum framework. We drill in Scrum fundamentals in four progressively harder Sprints. This is a two-day course, provided either in two consecutive days or four-four hour sessions. Because it is an introductory course, it is priced lower than our others.
- Professional Scrum Product Owner recognizes that product management is about much more than user stories and XP planning poker. This course teaches people how to organize requirements, plan and manage releases, and how Product Owners must constantly evolve with products. We focus on Agility, and how to leverage agility to deliver maximum business value while addressing complex demands of multiple stakeholders. Scrum is used as the framework. This course is two days in length and will be broadly available in the first half of 2011. It will also feature an assessment for those who want to validate their knowledge and understanding.
- Agile Engagement. Jeff and I have watched organizations succeed with Scrum and slide back into something less than excellence. Based on our own research and through collaboration with John P. Kotter , the international expert on leadership and change, we have devised a program for engaging with customers that want to become Agile. These are lengthy engagement, where metrics are implanted, progress measured, impediments removed, and the changes anchored within the organization. We work with renowned experts in the field of change management and use our training, coaching, and assessment programs to give people the skills they need to work in a new way. We have already partnered on engagements with Zuehlke Engineering AG, Andrena Objects AG, Quick Solutions, Inc, and Pyxis Technologies.
- Incubators. Some of our customers have products critical to the success of their business that need to be developed now. To help them do so, we have been providing incubator services. We bring together a Scrum Team comprised of their people, augment it with experts, and build the product at our headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts. We employ all of the techniques to build high value, low cost of ownership, products that can create market advantage. We are also partnering with Quick Solutions, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, to provide another incubator site.
As you can see, this will be a busy year. Scrum.org intends to “up the game” to create lasting improvements and agility for organizations that want to succeed.