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Advanced Certified ScrumMaster Course + Workshop
Our Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course with our Agile Release Planning Workshop is unique.
Unlike others, we offer it as 24 hour: a 16 hours interactive A-CSM course, and we include the 8 hour ARP Workshop. Note: All 24 hours are required.
The A-CSM Course
The purpose of this course is to prepare you for and assess that you have achieved the next step to CSP-SM (Certified Scrum Professional – SM).
The A-CSM course helps you get to the next level. The more important movement is from some success to much more success — and also the movement from CSM to A-CSM. The next level after that is the CSP-SM course, after which you gain a CSP-SM certification.
The contents of the 2 days are explained more below.
The Agile Release Planning Workshop
A version of our Agile Release Planning workshop is part of the A-CSM course. It is very hands-on.
This is a major difference. No other CST offers this workshop (with the A-CSM or otherwise), although virtually all the ideas in our workshop were from co-training 8 times with Jeff Sutherland.
Our workshop allows you to take real work (possibly from your company) and do Agile Release Planning with it. It takes the real work of the identified Product Owner at each table, and the table team at that table does the Agile Release Planning for that work.
This is an excellent way to take the ideas of the A-CSM Course and make them practical, give you more practice building the initial Product Backlog, and show you how to show your colleagues how to use these ideas, and get started on Monday.
The ARP Workshop involves practical experience in key skill sets. These include building stories, estimating Business Value, estimating effort and slotting the stories into Sprints, as well as identifying a Minimum Viable Product. These skill sets and the underlying ideas behind Agile Release Planning must be understood well enough that you could explain them convincingly to anyone.
For this course, we have 3 main purposes:
- To enable you to take your team(s) to the next level
- To enable you to be recognized as at the next level (A-CSM)
- To help you on your way to the CSP-SM level
To be fair, the CSM Course and your own native talents and experiences should have done a lot to enable you to be successful. This course will add significantly to that.
We believe there will be both personal and career rewards for achieving this next level. The intent is that you leave this course with renewed energy to help your team, your organization and your customers achieve more success, and you leave with new practical techniques to make that happen.
During the course, participants will help the group review the basics of Scrum and how well your team is executing on the basics.
It is not necessary that your team and your company are doing Agile/Scrum perfectly — that is not expected. It is expected that you can make a persuasive case why they should do more of Scrum and do it more effectively, and thus attain greater success.
We will discuss specific techniques and tools for getting your team to execute the basics more fully and more successfully. But most of the time will be spent on more advanced topics. Beyond the basics, we will address these Learning Objectives as defined by Scrum Alliance. (You should download the LOs at that link.) Most of the time will be spent on these Learning Objectives, either learning about them or assessing them.
The key is that you must demonstrate to the Educator that you can do or you know the Learning Objectives well.
Part of the course is about learning, practicing and seeing how others do or talk about the same thing.
Still, we do not recommend coming to the course and expecting to learn everything in real time to pass the assessment. In any case, learning is still an important part of this course. Even if you are very good at skill set X, you will learn more about it in this course.
The more essential purpose of the course is assessment. The Educator must use the course time to assess each person and whether he or she is at the A-CSM level.
In the A-CSM Course, we will review what you have learned and practiced of Scrum and assess if you have reached the right level. Note: At the A-CSM level, we are expecting you to be notably better than a CSM and not yet at the level of a CSP-SM.
When Should You Take This Course?
You can only be put forward for A-CSM when you have (a) a CSM certification, (b) pass the A-CSM assessment in the Educator’s judgment and (c) obtain 12 months of experience as a ScrumMaster.
But you may take the course and be assessed by the Educator as at the right level before the 12 months has been obtained. For example: 3 months after taking the CSM course.
You may take the class before you are “ready” and use it to become ready. Then, you can take the course again (at $125 per day for hotel expenses) to be assessed at the right level.
We expect some of the people who take the A-CSM Course to be assessed as not having achieved the right level yet. These people will learn during the course, they can learn more after the course and then take the course later to be assessed at the A-CSM level.
Note: There is no Scrum Alliance test for the A-CSM currently. You will be assessed during the course, but not via a formal test. I will tell you after the course if you passed based on my overall assessment.
What You Get
Upon completion of the course and workshop, you will receive 24 SEUs (Scrum Educational Units) and 24 PDUs toward PMI requirements. In addition, with 12 months of experience and a “passing” assessment at the A-CSM level, you obtain the A-CSM certification.
In addition to the PDUs and SEUs, when you have fulfilled the requirements you receive:
- Recognition by the Scrum Alliance as an A-CSM)
- A 2-year membership to Scrum Alliance
- A printed copy of the course materials
- Fibonacci estimating cards, for use in estimating with your team
- Other Scrum-related materials
- A free copy of our draft book, “A Scrum Introduction”
- A free copy of our book on Agile Release Planning
Meet Your Trainer
Joe Little has 10+ years of experience as an Agile coach and CST and will lead this course. He has co-trained 8 times with Jeff Sutherland (one of the co-creators of Scrum) which will give you more “real Scrum” when taking this course.
Joe has an MBA and 20+ years of senior level Big 4 and related consulting experience. He also has in-depth practical experience in helping teams become very productive with Scrum and Agile. He often co-teaches these courses with other great Scrum trainers. Take a look at Joe’s blog.
- You must have a CSM.
- Normally you must have been doing Scrum for at least 3 months before you take this course, and normally for at least 3 months since you received your CSM. (The A-CSM requires 12 months as a Scrum Master on a team over a 5-year period. Some of that experience could be earned before you got your CSM.) Let’s talk if this is not true for you.
- Re-read the “Scrum Guide” by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber.
- Read Joe Little’s draft “A Scrum Introduction.”
- Read another one of Ken Schwaber’s or Jeff Sutherland’s books. (We assume you had already read one of their books.) Tell us which one you choose. If you have read all of their books and prefer to read another Scrum-related book, please tell us which one you choose.
- Read one of the articles in our list of articles, and suggest 1 article or video to be added to our list of articles and videos.
- You must describe yourself, your situation and your experiences with Scrum. We will give you more details about this.
- You must give a preliminary evaluation of yourself across all Learning Objectives. You must provide what evidence you can that you have skill in each Learning Objective (or not, maybe, in some of them). We will provide more details on this. The course will help you with this.
- You must write 1.5-2 pages of Agile/Scrum advice, which will be read by the group. It can be specific advice for a specific situation. Make it relatively specific and actionable.
Registration and Fees
- We may change the pricing at any time.
- If you need us to hold a price for you for a couple of days (e.g., to get approval), please contact us and we probably can do that.
- If you are a member of a local Agile group or PMI chapter, you can get a $100 reduction in these fees.
- Alternately, there is a 10% discount for any group of 3 or more.
- In addition, there is a 2.5% discount for cash. That is, 3% off the net due if you pay with cash (i.e., cash, not check, at the beginning of the course). To receive the cash discount, you must make a $100 non-refundable deposit (which normally is just a pre-payment) by credit card.
Policy for Changes and Refunds
If for any reason you cannot make a course, you may send another person in your place for free (no additional fee). You must identify that person before the course starts.
Fees or extra costs are more likely if you need to cancel within 16 days of the course start. Click here for more information regarding changes and refunds.