Certified ScrumMaster Course FAQ
Certified ScrumMaster Course FAQ
Q: Are all Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) courses the same?
Absolutely NOT! If you look at a CSM course listing at www.scrumalliance.org/courses you will see the following statement near the top of the screen:
“While the Scrum Alliance provides a list of core concepts that must be covered in the class, each instructor creates his or her own material, allowing courses to differ based on the strengths, interests, and experiences of the instructor.”
Once upon a time there was a list of things which had to be taught during CSM courses. We’ve reproduced the list here. This list still contains the basics of most CSM courses, but most, including ours, go well beyond this initial list. In our case we add many exercises around the people skills of facilitation, coaching, conflict resolution and leadership which we believe are necessary to be successful as a ScrumMaster. See our CSM course description for more information.
Q: Can anyone teach a Certified ScrumMaster course?
No, only people the Scrum Alliance recognizes as a Certified Scrum Trainer may lead a CSM course. As of May, 2010 there are approximately 110 Certified Scrum Trainers throughout the world. Bob Hartman is one of only 13 people recognized as both a Certified Scrum Trainer AND a Certified Scrum Coach. We believe this dual certification shows the depth of experience Bob brings to each course.
Q: Do all CSM course attendees become Certified ScrumMasters?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. There are 3 main reasons for not achieving CSM status after a course:
- The individual did not meet the trainer’s expectations of attendance and therefore will not become eligible for CSM status.
- After the course the attendee did not follow directions in the Scrum Alliance generated email which asks them to set up a profile.
- After setting up a profile the attendee did not complete the online CSM evaluation administered by the Scrum Alliance.
Q: What is there beyond CSM?
The Scrum Alliance has several certifications available. Depending on the individual one or more of the certifications described at www.scrumalliance.org/scrum_certification may be something to strive for. Most people achieving CSM status should immediately start working to become a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) which proves not only a knowledge of Scrum (CSM), but also an ability to USE Scrum.
Q: How can it take 2 days to teach the Scrum recipe?
Wow, if this is your attitude going in, please DO NOT sign up for one of our courses! We have to admit that teaching the Scrum framework basics is only a very small portion of the course. However, as we mention in our courses, the hard part is everything which isn’t listed on the diagram of the Scrum framework! We go into detail on how to hold effective meetings, do effective estimation and planning, how to facilitate, coach, resolve conflict and lead a team. 2 days is hardly enough to do all of this, but if we took longer people would be too worn out when they left! To confirm this for yourself, feel free to look at our CSM Course description page.
Q: Why is becoming a CSM important?
There are currently well over 60,000 people recognized as CSMs around the world. In many industries the CSM designation is a requirement for employment as a leader of an agile or Scrum team. Eventually this will be changing as organizations recognize the increased value of people holding a CSP certification, but we are not there yet. In the meantime, becoming a CSM is a pre-requisite for becoming a CSP.
Q: Do you have references from people who have taken your courses?
We have a lot of them? First of all, look at the sidebar on the right and see how our recent courses have been rated. Near the bottom of the list you will see some quotes taken directly from course evaluation forms. If you refresh the page the quotes will change. There are a LOT of quotes that can be chosen! In addition, you can look at Bob Hartman’s CST application to see what students, organizations and other Certified Scrum Trainers and Certified Scrum Coaches wrote in support of his application. Lastly, feel free to look at Bob Hartman’s LinkedIn profile and see all the positive recommendations.
Q: What if we want to register multiple people for a course?
We give discounts for groups of 3 or more, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in this situation. We’ll work out an approriate discount for your group. However, if you have a group of 8 or more then it probably makes sense to bring the course to you! We do on-site courses for many organizations in this situation. Again, email email@example.com and we can discuss how to arrange this. If you prefer phones to email (and we do!) then please call 1-303-766-0917 for further information.
Q: What if we aren’t happy with the results of the course?
Based on all of the courses we have done over time we are convinced this won’t occur, but we have a refund policy just in case it ever does. The policy is very simple: If you aren’t satisfied at the end of a course just let us know and we’ll refund whatever you paid to be in the course. We will ask you to write a short note explaining why you aren’t happy and how we could change the course to make it better for the next time. We ask for this short explanation in exchange for having fed you for a couple of days. We feel it is a fair trade. We also have never had anyone take us up on it. Even though we usually show 1-2% of people who would not recommend the course to others, they don’t ask for their money back, they simply didn’t feel the course was applicable to people they knew. This usually is because we expect people to participate and want to learn, not just sit and be fascinated by PowerPoint slides for 2 days!
Q: The Scrum Alliance website says there are discounts available, how do i get the discounted price?
The discounted pricing is based on when you pay for the workshop. Generally, signing up more than 30 days in advance gets the largest discount, while signing up more than 2 weeks in advance will still give a significant discount. Click the Enroll Now! link and find the workshop you want to attend. It will show the current price.
Q: What if I’m down on my luck (ie. under employed), do you give discounts?
We do! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us the situation. We’ll work with you to get you into the course at a reduced rate. In Colorado you may qualify for Workforce in Action funding which would actually pay the entire course fee for you. If you are paying it yourself we’ll talk about your budget and whether we can work with it. We haven’t turned anyone away yet.
Q: I’m interested in attending, are there still seats available?
Click the Enroll Now! link and find the workshop you want to attend. If it doesn’t show as Sold Out then there are seats still available. We usually allow registrations right up to the last hour before a workshop, so it is likely you can still get in, even if you decide very late.
Q: I’ve registered for these workshops in the past and they have been canceled, will this one be canceled?
We very rarely cancel a class. If a class is canceled for whatever reason, we usually do it 3-4 weeks in advance, refund the entire purchase price and give you a discount code to use for a future class. If it is within 2 weeks of the date of the workshop and the workshop is still listed when you click Enroll Now! then the workshop is definitely not going to be canceled. We use the early signup discounts to generate the number of people required to hold the workshop, so we end up canceling a much lower percentage than other organizations.