5 January 2011
This is part 3 of an on-going attempt at a systemic description of causes and effects surrounding the CSM certification. Part 1, with more explanations, was called Qualification by Proxy. Part 2 was called We Want You as Our New Recruit!
Have you ever been in a situation where the expectations on you, or your team, are so high that you feel that even a pretty good outcome might disappoint? These are the situations where experienced consultants start to “manage expectations”, knowing that quality is to a large extent subjective. This is somewhat similar to what great athletes do when they feel the weight of a whole nation demanding an olympic gold. They know that when expectations are high it is easy to perceive even satisfactory results as poor.
Have you ever seen a person that is clearly inadequate for a job? Perhaps a project manager on their first assignment? Or perhaps a newly appointed department manager straight from university? Having the right people is absolutely crucial to achieving good results. This sentiment is expressed in the first value of the agile manifesto. And complementary, having the wrong people is a recipe for failure.
Consequently, having both inflated expectations and the wrong person for the job is unfortunate. In this article I will show how the CSM certification process contributes to both these things, thereby decreasing our chances of succeeding in product development.
30 November 2010
This is part 2 of an analysis of some causes and effects of offering CSM certificates. Part 1, with more explanations, was called Qualification by Proxy.
The First Effect of ScrumMaster Certification: More Scrum Recruits
There are several effects (some good, some… not so good) that stem from the benevolent (some would even say “frivolous”) way that CSM certificates are awarded today.
In this part I want to take a look at some effects using the arguments of the Scrum trainers themselves. You see, if you ask a certified Scrum trainer (CST) why they certify, which I have, they are likely to tell you that, although certification has some unwanted effects, the positive effects from exposing more and more people to Scrum and agile thinking outweighs them. Exactly how they have determined this is more unclear.
22 November 2010
This article is the first of a series of articles that will compose an analysis of some causes and effects surrounding the Scrum Alliance Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification. The CSM certificate is given to course participants after taking part in a two-day ScrumMaster course.
Please note, this is not an analysis of Scrum or agile methods in general, nor of just any certificate. This focuses on the CSM certification only. What makes this certificate special is that it is not grounded in any real knowledge about the person who receives it. I am interested in studying the short- and long-term effect of this behaviour.
Ron Jeffries made one analysis of this, which I found inspiring. I recommend reading it to get a different view from mine.
She’s a Model and She’s Looking Good
I want to employ a systems perspective for this and model these forces using Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs). You can tell a lot from these simple diagrams and they are great vehicles for discussion and learning. I am certainly no expert in creating CLDs so please forgive me for any beginner’s mistakes.
The important thing is that I want to approach this in a systemic way. By that I mean, that I don’t want to take the CSM apart and see how it works. Instead I want to look at the world around it; the forces that contribute to its existence and its consequences. Only then can we draw conclusions as to its role, if it is fulfilling its purpose, and if that purpose is even worth pursuing.