At our open-hour session, you are invited to post your queries and get them answered by some of the top experts from the industry. Let it be Agile management, Agile Coaching, Estimation related to certifications, follow-up queries, or any other aspect of project management. You are invited to speak your mind. The open hour invites are shared in advance; mostly, it is conducted on the 2nd and 4th Friday at 7 PM IST (+5.5 GMT).
Here are the top questions discussed in our Live Open Hour Episode#43 session, streamed live on 11th November 2022. Many queries asked by participants regarding the right certification/training for professional growth were discussed by our expert Saket Bansal.
Question: I am SAFe advanced scrum master certified and have a total of 12 years of experience and 4+ experience as a Scrum Master. Based on what factors should I choose my next certification between SAFe RTE and SPC.?
Question: Is there any book for mastering Agile?
Here is the summarised answer given by Saket Bansal for questions asked by participants-
Question: I have done Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner certifications. What do I do next to excel in Agile?
Saket: The Certified Scrum Master program must have helped you understand how Scrum operates, and the Certified Scrum Product Owner program in understanding the role of a Product owner.
In Agile, you can plan a few certifications based on your aspirations. For example, suppose you aspire to work in a Product Based Organization and focus on improving your scrum knowledge. In that case, you can go for a path made by Scrum Alliance, like Certified Scrum Master (CSM) followed by Advanced Certified Scrum Master(A-CSM) and Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM).
If you are aspiring for coaching roles, you can go for the ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile coaching (ICP-ACC) program.
If you are working as a Scrum Master/Product Owner in an organization evolving towards the SAFe way of working, then you can also go for the Leading SAFe program.
So, you can pick any of these certifications based on your interest, and the rest you will discover along the way.
Role and Responsibility of an Agile Coach
Roles And Responsibilities Of An Agile Coach – iZenBridge
What Are The Roles & Responsibilities Of A SAFe® Scrum Master?
Question: What are the key areas I should focus on to be an Agile Coach in an organization which is moving more towards Agile and SAFe?
Saket: If you are part of the SAFe transformation organization as an Agile Coach, then you should focus on a few skill areas like
Along with this, you should be an expert in SAFe. One can learn more about SAFe with our Videos. With this, you should also know about Scrum and Kanban’s way of working to understand SAFe well.
From a certification point of view, I recommend you go for SAFe program consultant (SPC). This program will not just teach you about SAFe, but you will also become a SAFe Consultant, so if you want to pursue your career around SAFe, SPC is a good choice.
Apart from this, Kanban Management Professional will also be a valuable program if you are also interested in learning Kanban in-depth.
Question: I have done PSM1. Should I go for SAFe Agilist 5.1, and will it help in getting a good job?
Saket: If you are already good at the Scrum Master job and aspire to move to an organization with multi-team collaboration and working together context. Then learning and doing certification in SAFe will be a good idea.
I recommend first watching our SAFe essential videos. These videos will give you a fair idea about SAFe. If you can relate at least 30-40% with that content and see some exposure in your organization, then doing Leading SAFe (with SAFe Agilist) certification will help you. If you are working in a small organization where the Scrum way of working is followed, then taking steps towards Scrum certification will be a better idea.
Question: I am SAFe advanced scrum master certified and have 12 years of experience and 4+ experience as a Scrum Master. Based on what factors should I choose my next certification between SAFe RTE and SPC.?
Saket: I recommend you decide next certification based on the next role aspiration. If you are interested in a delivery role, you can do RTE certification from a branding perspective. With that, try to assist the Release train engineer in getting exposure to this role. Certification with experience will give you good weightage to your profile, and your transition to the Release Train Engineer role will be smooth.
The SPC certificate or program is designed for those people who are interested in the organization’s transformation coaching. It is about designing the transformation plan, coaching people, bringing the process to a sustainable state and then moving to another organization. If you are interested in a transformation/consultant job, then you can go for SPC certification.
Both these certifications are expensive, but SPC has additional recurring costs as it requires renewal every year, costing around $900.
Question: How should I plan my initial days when I join a new organization? What points should I keep in mind to assimilate good into the system?
Saket: Whenever you join a new space, your focus should be more towards learning rather than teaching. As you have limited knowledge about the organization, you should not try to change or comment on the existing process but rather focus on learning.
You can learn about the organization by-
Apart from learning, try to be as useful as possible to the team. For example, assist in various ceremonies/activities like facilitation, Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, and other activities.
Apart from this, try to build good relations and trust with team members.
Question: Will the CSM certification be sufficient to start a career as a Scrum Master?
Saket: Yes, a certified scrum master program shows that you want to start your career, but there are other steps you need to follow to be a Scrum Master.
After CSM, you will know what is happening in the industry and the expectations from the scrum Master, but with the knowledge, you need skills to perform the activities expected from Scrum Master.
Find opportunities and means to get started with skill-building activities. Some organizations may hire you based on your knowledge and commitment towards building skills. If not, join some skill-building programs and explore volunteering opportunities where you can facilitate some online or face-to-face events to gain competency in facilitation. After this, you will be good to start with the Scrum Master role.
Question: Is there any book for mastering Agile?
Saket: If you’re new to agile development or scrum, you can refer to the book Essential Scrum by Kenneth S. Rubin. And for learning about estimating and planning agile, you can refer to Agile Estimation and Planning by Mike Cohn. So, these two books will be a good start for learning Agile.
I hope you have related to some of these questions and that they helped you somehow. If you have any follow-up questions, please post in the blog’s comment area.
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For more such insights and a lot of interaction with the industry experts, stay tuned for our next “Live Open Hour” which is conducted Every second and fourth Friday at 7 PM IST on
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At our open-hour session, you are invited to post your queries and get them answered ...