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Become a Scrum Master: An experiential program for gaining real-life Scrum experience.

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By: AK Infinite

Scrum is an excellent approach to managing software development projects. It breaks down work in small iterations of about two weeks called Sprints and allows for frequent updates to the plan based on feedback from customers. The Scrum Master role is pivotal in using the Scrum framework and improving the team’s effectiveness.

For people who are seeking a new job in this field, having real-life experience in managing a Scrum team and delivering a project using Scrum is often a make-or-break point in getting invited to a job interview. And for existing Scrum Masters who may be seeking new experiences to hone their skills, there are not many opportunities out there to develop real-life experience while getting coached by an expert Scrum Master.

The “Become a Scrum Master” program is a 5-week experiential program where participants work on a real project using Scrum, build real-life experience acting as Scrum Masters, and receive coaching along the way.

This experiential program uses active learning through direct experience, practical application, coaching, and focused reflection. The goal is to help students bridge the gap between theory and practice, allowing them to apply what they’ve learned in real-world settings. At the end of the program, participants have the practical experience of managing a project using Scrum and helping a Scrum team improve its effectiveness.

The program is led by Valerio Zanini, a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) with over two decades of experience in Scrum and Product Management. His company, 5D Vision, is a consulting firm based in Washington, DC, specializing in agile and product innovation. Valerio also runs Truly Scrum, a service to learn, grow, and improve the adoption of Scrum.

Valerio emphasizes the pivotal role of Scrum Masters and how their responsibility extends beyond basic practices. According to him, the key lies in cultivating both hard skills, such as knowing Jira or establishing team capacity, and soft skills, including facilitating improved communication and psychological safety within teams. Scrum Masters should empower teams to take ownership of practices while assuming the roles of guides and coaches to promote continuous improvement.

Valerio’s commitment to the Scrum Master role is evident in his unique approach to training. His experiential program is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice, preparing individuals for real-world Scrum Master positions. 

The Course

The “Become a Scrum Master” course is designed to give participants an opportunity to apply Scrum to a real project and practice the various aspects of running Scrum with a team. The course is structured over five weeks and is divided into five Sprints. Sprint 1 sets the groundwork for the project, while Sprints 2 to 5 focus on project work and practicing all the Scrum events. Each week, the participants execute a Sprint while acting as Scrum Master on the team. 

For each Sprint, the participants execute Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Retrospective. They may also identify impediments and solve conflicts within the teams. All this is designed to build expertise and confidence as Scrum Masters.

Throughout the program, participants build an online store selling physical products of their choice. In building the store, they need to make decisions about the project, acting as Product Owners. They also need to complete the work, acting as Developers. By practicing the various roles on a Scrum team, the participants learn the different responsibilities of the roles and develop a deeper understanding of the complexities of managing a Scrum team.

The work is managed using Jira and other tools. In the process, the participants learn how to set up, use, and update the tools.

With this program, participants get a well-rounded hands-on experience being a Scrum Master, applying Scrum practices, and facilitating Scrum events. In addition, they get coaching along the way, helping them refine their understanding of practices and tools and improve their facilitation skills with the Scrum events.

Who this course is for

If you are an aspiring Scrum Master, someone looking for a career change, or a Scrum Master looking to develop deeper expertise in managing Scrum, you may consider this program. This course is for you if you want to:

  • Gain more experience as a Scrum Master with the Scrum framework and tools. 
  • Get hands-on, practical experience with a Scrum team, regardless of your knowledge about Scrum. 
  • Build your confidence in mastering the Scrum process in a real-life application.
  • Prepare for job interviews or to grow in your career.

The outcomes of this comprehensive course are multifaceted. Participants not only acquire practical experience as Scrum Masters but also develop proficiency in using tools commonly employed in the field. They learn to facilitate Scrum events effectively, driving action items for team improvement. The course builds confidence in Scrum Master abilities by providing a benchmark for activities and coaching for growth.

Some of the benefits offered by the program 

The program is a great help for people interested in becoming a Scrum Master or in growing their expertise. If you have a Scrum certification like CSM or PSM and you seek hands-on, real-life experience to build your resume and increase your chances of building a career in Scrum, you should consider joining this program.

By enrolling in the “Become a Scrum Master” program participants get:

  • Practice setting up productivity tools. Learn how to set up and navigate tools Scrum Masters use to manage and track projects, such as  Kanban boards, Jira, Trello, and Miro.
  • Experience in facilitating Scrum events. Guide your teams through Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Daily Scrum, and Retrospective. This also includes solving impediments and driving continuous improvement with action items. 
  • Build confidence in your Scrum Master abilities. Compare your activities and results to that of an experienced Scrum Master, and get coaching to support your growth. Throughout the program, participants receive coaching on Scrum Master responsibilities, Scrum application, and methods for continuous improvement.
  • Practice Scrum on an actual project. While developing digital and physical products as an actual project, build your appreciation for the Product Owner role by taking responsibility for project planning. 
  • Build your set of stories. Harness your job interview skills by preparing for a Scrum Master job interview. Create a compelling story based on your real-life experiences. 

Valerio’s approach to Scrum Master training transcends traditional classroom methods, providing a holistic and immersive experience that prepares individuals for the dynamic challenges of the Scrum Master career. Through his program, he empowers aspiring Scrum Masters to bridge the gap between theory and practice, fostering a new generation of agile leaders poised for success in the ever-evolving world of product development.

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