Thursday, January 21, 2010

Certified SCRUM Master Trainning :: Day 1

My good friends at BigVisible offer some of the best Agile/SCRUM training and coaching around. I have been looking forward to my CSM class, taught by Giora Morein, for quite some time. I have taken Scrum training before, but this is more involved and should set me up pretty well to pass the Agile Alliance's SCRUM Master exam.

Day one started off with some introductions. It was cool to get a sense of who was there and why. Most of the participants are there through their employers. Only one other guy was there on his own dime, like me. The group is made up of IT folks and PMs. I, of course, am the only designer.

We set up in groups of four and did an exercise that simulates a sprint (aka, an iteration). Getting people who are new to Scrum to understand things like team velocity, planning games, story writing and point estimations can take some work. Generally speaking, people who want to learn agile frameworks are very open to it. They get that there's less documentation and more collaboration, for instance, but they need to compare these new things to something they know. Like, a Story Backlog is NOT a BRD...

So, we did some story point estimations, worked through the stories (folding hats, blowing up balloons, bursting said balloons, stuff like that) and learned how points work to make up a team's velocity.

After lunch, Giora did a very comprehensive presentation that introduced the Agile Manifesto, the cost benefits of using Agile over Waterfall, some guiding principals for Agile development and Team Member Rolls.

An interesting observation here is that, the people in the room all 'get it'. They are there because they already understand the potential upsides. And they all say the issues around getting Agile going where they work, is getting buy-in from the powers that be or from the the non-Agile teams already in place.

All in all a great day. More to come tomorrow.


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