The agile project manager is different from the traditional project manager in many ways. One distinction that stands out, however, is that while in the traditional project management setup, the project manager takes full responsibility for the project’s success or failure thereof. On the other hand, the agile project management methodology seeks to empower individual team members in their different capacities to take responsibility and accountability for the deliverables for the roles that they assume.
The Scrum approach is one of Agile’s project management methodologies commonly adopted by software developers and slowly gaining traction in other industries like financial services and marketing. The Scrum methodology is different from the traditional project management approach in that the team members and not the project manager are the ones responsible for the work.
The role of the project manager, therefore, is not to exercise control over the team members but to coach, teach, guide, and offer insight to the team about Scrum methodology, principles, and best practices. Scrum methodology promotes self-organization, transparency, collaboration, and accountability in teams to deliver high business value in short development cycles.
What is CSM (Certified Scrum Master)?
The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a foundational qualification designed to equip professionals with the fundamentals of Scrum methodology for project management. This credential is offered by the globally recognized Scrum Alliance organization. Thus, Scrum masters are project managers who use the Scrum methodology to execute their project deliverables.
A Scrum Master certification is proof that a Scrum practitioner has gained an in-depth understanding of Scrum terminology, principles, and best practices.
What are the roles of a Scrum Master?
As we have seen above, the role of the Scrum Master is majorly guiding, coaching, and teaching stakeholders about the fundamentals, principles, and best practices of the Scrum methodology. Their work is to ensure that individual team members perform their defined duties within the guidelines of the Scrum framework. They also work in close collaboration with product owners, the organization’s management, and other relevant stakeholders.
In acting as the go-between the Scrum team and the external world, their role is to protect the Scrum team from hindrances and unreasonable demands, especially by product owners. For this reason, the Scrum Master should be at the forefront in resolving issues and disputes that arise in the team in the course of executing their duties and interacting with each other or with other stakeholders.
Finally, Scrum Masters facilitate team stand-up meetings held to review sprint deliverables and end-user feedback and help the team focus on project goals.
10 things you can do with your Scrum Master Certification
The Scrum Master certification is a valuable credential for project managers. It does not only help to validate your skills but also to deliver value to the scrum team, product owner, and the entire organization.
- Advance your career in project management
The Scrum Master certification expands your career options in the project management field. Armed with the certification, some experience, plus hard work, getting promoted to the Scrum Master role is not a far-off dream. This is a leadership role that builds your Agile project management and leadership skills as you advance further in your career to become a senior Scrum Master, Scrum/Agile coach, or product owner.
While at it, remember to upskill by undertaking advanced certifications like the:
- Advanced Certified ScrumMaster
- Certified Scrum Professional
- Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster
- Certified Scrum Product Owner
- Certified Scrum Developer
- Improve your team management, collaboration, and servant leadership skills
Whether you are just starting out, experienced, or working your way up, the Scrum Master certification course is a great tool to acquire and effectively apply Scrum’s fundamental knowledge and skills. You will be equipped to work as part of a scrum team, lead scrum teams, resolve project issues based on Scrum principles and best practices, and much more. This certification places you in a position to drive insights, possibilities, and knowledge about Scrum fundamentals to the team, product owners, and the organization’s management. This is because the Scrum Master role takes the servant leadership model that promotes self-organization in Scrum teams.
- Acquire an Agile mindset
The Agile methodology is the foundation of Scrum and other project management approaches. You will not only acquire the right skills to drive change in your organization but also nurture an Agile mindset because this is where successful Agile implementation begins. A Scrum Master with an Agile mindset is in a good position to influence the buy-in of the methodology by the management and the project management teams. Not only that, an Agile mindset helps you to execute successful projects.
- Influence the smooth adoption of Agile methodology in your organization
To begin with, a Scrum Master certification equips you to establish yourself as a Scrum expert in your company. This is because it validates your skills, knowledge, and ability to use Scrum and successfully implement it. In addition to influencing others in the organization to buy into the Agile methodology for a better collaborative working environment, you will also be better positioned to facilitate the implementation process and manage the Agile risks and portfolio at different levels. In essence, you become a valuable asset to the company.
- Be part of the Scrum community of experts
With your Scrum Master Certification, you can join a community of like-minded Scrum experts and participate in the continuous improvement of the Agile methodology across industries. The Scrum community of experts is big and has a global presence. It comprises Scrum trainers/coaches, Scrum Masters, researchers, and other players. This gives you a great opportunity to interact with experts to build your knowledge and keep yourself updated with the latest development in the field.
You can also get notified. take part in Scrum events, and even contribute your expertise in such events and forums. These include Scrum Alliance Global events, user-group meetings, organizational Agile events, conferences, online community forums, webinars, and others.
- Offer consultancy services
Whether you choose consultancy as your career path or you opt to offer Scrum consultancy services for free to start-ups, small businesses, non-profits, and other institutions, there is no limit to how much you can offer as a Certified Scrum Master. Free consulting is one fulfilling way of giving back to the community. Still, you can build a career as a consultant.
If you have acquired a wealth of knowledge from working with large enterprises, you can offer Agile coaching, Scrum training, and Scrum implementation guidance. The benefit here is that you keep learning and building your experience/portfolio.
- Offer mentorship
As a seasoned certified Scrum Master with rich experience and a wealth of knowledge, launching a mentorship program can be a good way to help others advance. You could offer tutorials, help others with their Scrum projects, help novice Scrum Masters with managing and coaching their agile teams, answer questions arising from Agile/Scrum forums, offer career mentorship to professionals, and more. The reward is continuous improvement of Agile and growing the Scrum/Agile community.
Undertaking a Scrum Master certification course comes with immense benefits, continuous learning and building skills, and great possibilities in your project management career. This is because the demand for seasoned Scrum Masters to lead innovative teams in projects will continue to rise. Finally, there is much to gain from building and expanding your professional network. You will not just interact with experts in the field, you will also deepen your knowledge and take advantage of opportunities along the way.
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