Thanks for your email. On Monday, July 31, 2006, at 9:42:12 AM, you
> If Scrum were prescriptive and full of procedures and technical details, we
> could train the people who graduated from the CSM course as being skilled in
> these techniques and procedures. The basis of Scrum, even more than xP, is
> change . from waterfall where nothing is known until the end to iterative,
> incremental where much is known throughout, from top-down directions to
> self-management, and from individual specialization to teamwork. The
> purpose of the certification course is to help people understand this
> change, to gain insights into it, and to become a change agent when they
> return to their organizations.
Yes. What is most interesting to me in that regard is that the word
"Certified" is surely an important aspect of selling the course. I
picked up somewhere at A2006 that in some realm, two courses of some
kind were offered, one with cert and one without, and the one with
sold much better.
> Facilitating change is hard, and those who are good at it are few. The
> courses have normal curves of skills in change when people leave. Some will
> be very good at implementing Scrum and causing change. The bulk will
> understand and do their best. Some shouldn't have come. I believe that
> software development profession will be better as a result of all of them
> being exposed. The primary test that they are certifiable would be that they
> vote with their feet. If the idea of Scrum and the change required is beyond
> them, they would leave during the course. However, our educational system
> teaches us to sit through anything, so that metric doesn't work.
Yes. I think that the purpose of the course might not be to teach
people to facilitate change in general, but a specific kind. That
is, in fact, a very difficult job, as I'm sure you agree.
Scrum relies on the theory that teams will self organize to do well.
I believe that theory is not borne out in practice, primarily
because most teams don't know how to do well. I suspect that Toyota
does more than put random groups of people together to build cars,
for that matter.
But that's fine with me. Watch for my CTSFST course, coming soon.
> So, I am left with the metric that everyone who attends probably is more of
> a change agent and understands Scrum better than before. They are certified
> as having attended the course.
Yes. Granted again that the course is valuable. However the
certificate reads "Certified ScrumMaster", not "Person Who Is
Certified to have Sat Through Two Days of Training". The phrase CSM
confers more honor than it actually provides, I think.
> Mid-level marketing. yeetch! The people who are trainers were specifically
> selected by me because I believe that they understood Scrum, had insights
> into why and how the change would happen, had belief that they could make
> this change happen, and a passion for doing so. I view them as disciples of
> these insights and beliefs, not as mercenaries. I believe that their actions
> bear out my selection. Of course, we are all human, and errors and variances
> occur. The test is the sum of one's life, of one's actions.
I don't know offhand who all the CSM(T) are, but certainly all the
ones I know, and most of the people in the Agile movement that I do
know, have a generally good understanding of Agile and are of good
heart, not just mercenaries. And we're all in this, to some degree,
to make money. Perhaps if we had enough money to retire, we'd still
do this: I'd like to think so. Some, however, might not.
As I look at the emerging and growing companies who are in the Agile
market, most of the people seem honestly engaged to me. However, I
also see people who have learned what Agile is, not at the hands of
people who were part of inventing it, but more through reading or
osmosis. Some of them just don't get it: tales of more than one case
of advice that is both ineffective and decidedly non-Agile in spirit
have reached me from time to time.
No doubt some big consulting firms will declare themselves Agile
within the next year or so. I guess it must happen.
It's almost enough to make me look for the next thing, not just
Agile 2.0. :-(
> I would like to believe that we aren't headed the way of CMM. And I do what
> I can - sometimes better and sometimes worse - to keep us on track. My
> primary job is keeping Scrum simple, keeping Scrum "open source", and
> keeping the community alive and vital. The more people that are able to
> successfully shift to Agile principles and use Scrum to make change happen,
> the more pleased I am. And, you know how hard that is.
I do know. I know you try to do those things, and so do I, and so do
many of us. I'm not seeing a push toward simplicity, or toward "open
source", as a major trend within Agile.
Regarding "open source", there's something I don't understand. Could
you please relate for me the term "open source" with respect to
Scrum, to the creation of a defined and blessed "hierarchy" of CSM,
CSM(P), CSM(T), and, if it's true, the forthcoming rank of
ScrumCardinal, all descending from a "sole source" for Scrum?
Speculation or experimentation - which is more likely to give the correct answer?