What is Scrum Certification and Why Should It be Done?

In the Agile software development world, Scrum represents the most commonly used and currently most efficient standard for software development. It’s a driving tool in creating fast, efficient and robust products, with a special focus within new market sectors and timely product launches.

ALC Training, in association with Scrum.org, offers Professional Scrum Master (PSM), the premium certification for anyone wanting to master Scrum. Successful completion of the course will afford takers the qualifications and know-how to operate as a Scrum Master (essentially, the management and reporting structure directly beneath the Product Owner).

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. 

Scrum is not a methodology. Scrum implements the scientific method of empiricism. Scrum replaces a programmed algorithmic approach with a heuristic one, with respect for people and self-organisation to deal with unpredictability and solving complex problems.

A typical Scrum workflow functions like this:

Together, this achieves an environment where everybody achieves some level of control. Product leads and stakeholders can both shape the product as it requires, while workers don’t get bogged down in an endless code cycle and can have their voice heard in the review cycle. It promotes a faster, easier, and more transparent workflow that achieves great results in less time.

Why be certified in Scrum?

Scrum is a very fine-tuned and specific process, dependant on many small “rituals” and checkpoints designed to create a cohesive whole. While one of the key checkpoints of Scrum is that organisation ends up more collaborative than it would in a traditional waterfall style, the meta-structure of the organisation needs to be rock solid.

There’s a term within Scrum named “Flaccid Scrum”, which refers to an Agile system in name only. Merely having standup meetings or compartmentalising tasks isn’t a true expression of an Agile system, but merely taking small parts of it into an existing structure.

The role of the Scrum Master is to facilitate this environment. They are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the management system and translating it into reviews and ongoing sprint tasks to be assigned by the product lead.

Essentially, they’ll be taking on the burden of the sprint beginning-to-end, having their own mini-sprints between each session.

This is a complex managerial task to continually achieve, and training is necessary to complete it. We’ve seen too many uncertified attempts devolve into “Flaccid Scrum” when this hasn’t been correctly done; a poor understanding of the role of Scrum Master throws the integral components of visibility and reporting into chaos for both the Product Owner and the Teams.

The Scrum certification process

Our PSM course is a two-day intensive focusing upon management of a development team for efficiency and effectiveness.

As a part of it, you’ll also be learning ways to adjust employees into new ways of thinking and adapting to the new way of business, all facilitated through the co-creator of Scrum, Ken Schwaber and our own Professional Scrum Trainers (PST).

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We recognise that there’s an inherent destabilisation period when adjusting, and so a significant portion of the class will develop the skills needed to understand all roles within Scrum, anticipate any issues that might arise during a switchover, and common human errors and breakpoints that may be a barrier to implementing it initially.

You’ll learn a multitude of organisational tasks and groupings, such as formulating scrum teams, adapting to new styles of reporting, risk assessment, and predictability, scaling upwards or downwards with Scrum, as well as an overview of typical Scrum planning, goals, and completion dates.

At the end of it, you’ll take a short Certification Exam for either PSM I or II, which upon successful completion you will awarded industry recognised PSM I or PSM II certification.