A lot has happened in the 6 days since starting my scrum journey. I have morphed from reading Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum book to reading Scrum for Dummies to enrolling in CC Pace’s certified scrum master prep course to passing the CSM exam. As I have noted that I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired with the same old results. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Well, last Sunday I was sick of the same old result and decided to email four LinkedIn connections regarding scrum, agile and ITIL. All four had PMPs like me so they knew what it took as project managers to pass the other certification exams. The three who responded all told me that scrum was the way to go so I embarked on my journey. The hardest part was finding a CSM exam prep workshop on such short notice. I found one because I was determined! Nothing was going to stop me from changing my life around!
First, in scrum, let’s start with a definition of ‘done’. The Scrum Guide defines the definition of done as ‘ a shared understanding of what it means for work to be complete’. Although I don’t have a team, my definition of ‘done’ is earning my certified scrum master (CSM) license by Thursday. Once, I have a definition of ‘done’, I start planning my sprint. My sprint in this case is the reading and workshop necessary to complete my definition of ‘done’. Since I have defined done and completed the sprint, I am going through to the sprint retrospective (there is no sprint review meeting here). Below are the three sprint retrospective questions:
What went well?
People: My LinkedIn connections were phenomenal with their advice.
What didn’t go well?
I could had done without the blowhard instructor who went on massive 25-30 minute tangents (Tuesday’s lunch was 20 minutes late due to one.). I was forced to take control of my own education through reading the Scrum Guide and Scrum for Dummies because I did not get what was sufficient to pass the CSM exam. My team also had someone who constantly talked about the Army but never fought in battle (my father fought in Vietnam, maternal grandfather fought in Korea and paternal grandfather fought in World War II). The Scrum Alliance’s CSM exam portal went down because there were too many of us on the site. I was forced to take the CSM exam at home. I received harder questions forcing me to find two online test resources and relying on the Scrum Guide. I passed the CSM scoring 94.3% (33/35).
What have I learned?
My biggest learning lesson is that I can change my circumstances in 5 days flat. My mentality has changed. That CSM workshop class costs $1295 but I view this amount as an investment instead of an expense. I have paid nearly $2000 to prepare for the CAPM and PMP certifications. Attaining these two licenses, have propelled my income from $71,400 to $115,000. Scrum gives me more continuous improvement tools to better myself. That the product owner role is right up my alley because it has a business slant to it. I possess an MBA and this is right up my alley. Furthermore, I am clearer on agile, scrum and will consider resubmitting my PMI-ACP certification application. I love technology and continuous improvement. I will start reading more about scrum and agile books because I am big on both. Finally, I now qualify for 2-3 times as many jobs because of my CSM. I know that my future is bright and that I this $1295 CSM workshop will pay dividends.