Becoming a CST #2

More thoughts on the CST Application Process…

The term “command and control” has become a term of abuse in our community, and on occasion an insult to be used when things are not going our way.  There’s irony in there somewhere, but I can’t quite tease it out.  In the effort to lead a group towards a new CST application process I have been hammered with the said insult, mostly by people who disagree with the proposal I am championing. I can own being pushy sometimes and, you know, wanting stuff to get done, but honestly, I begin hearing “Tobias, you’re so commadncontrol” as a frustrated “Things are not going my way!”.  Either I am blind to my own failings or there is some truth to my observation. Likely a little of both. There is no doubt that creating a new CST application process in a sea of conflicting opinions is massively challenging.

The process that the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors —led in this instance by Mike Cohn— are seeking is one that is objective, transparent and fair, one that all current CSTs will have to go through, as well as all new applicants, and one that is scalable to around 500 applicants per year.  As such it makes certain aspects of the process desired by many existing CSTs to be problematic.

The proposal I am championing is simple. There is only one absolute requirement: to be a Certified Scrum Professional, formally Practitioner (CSP).  Everything else is recommended and weighted, but not mandatory.  This is causing no small amount of opposition from existing CSTs, and a few others who have been mentored by CSTs towards the old process, one that did require co-training, and endorsement by existing CSTs.  Many members of this opposition group want to be gatekeepers of the process in some way, and make sure that only people of their own standard get through.  Mandatory mentoring by an existing CST, and an in-person “test” session to be held in front of a panel of CSTs are uppermost on the opposing agenda.

Why is the idea of having existing CSTs gate the process a bad idea?  Well, aside from the problem that all existing CSTs have to go through the process themselves, the fact is that we, the current Certified Scrum Trainers are just not especially good. Sorry to offend anyone, but it is true.  We are not the cream of the the Agile training world, and there is nothing special about the knowledge of Scrum we each have. We are just a bunch of project managers and developers, with varying degrees of skill and Scrum understanding, and no special teaching or facilitation backgrounds who happened to know the right people at the right time, or apply for the CST designation when the process was weak, or biased, or both.  The arrogance that many in our small community have over their status is quite overwhelming sometimes, as if we have been ordained to be the keepers of all things Scrum.

Be clear, I am talking about the group as a whole. Of course there are some exceptional individuals in the CST group, people who are highly skilled, and quite brilliant in a training context, people who inspire and create internal transformation.  But they are the exception, not the rule.  Most of us are just average.  A good few work hard to improve, and in fact do so.  Others play safe and do what they know.  Outside of the CST community, in the wider Agile world there are many, many skilled trainers, mentors and facilitators of change who are far better than many of us.  I could name a dozen off the top of my head, but I won’t as they may take umbrage to be included in a paragraph with the term “CST” in it (!) Still, despite some historical opposition to the aims of the Scrum Alliance it is these people I am hoping to attract to the Scrum Alliance, to become CSTs, to help us socialize Scrum in more sophisticated, more daring ways to wider audiences.  The new process is being designed to embrace these people as well as those coming to the application through the more traditional path of CST mentoring and co-training.  As the champion of the new process, I would like to lift the average CST ability above mediocre and towards great.

Current CSTs should not be the gatekeepers of the process. We need to seek independent, or at least disinterested assessors to do that job.  And as for this idea of “ordaining” a CST through some sort of initiation ceremony where the applicant has to perform in front of a group of experts pretending to be novice attendees, it is unnecessary, and in poor taste.  And is is brought about by a misconception. The criticism of the proposed process is that it is paper-based, and has no in-person element. This is inaccurate.

People seem to be forgetting that most applicants will have made the effort to co-train multiple times with other trainers (not just CSTs) and will have letters of recommendation from respected people they have collaborated and worked with in real life.  That is the in-person part.  Smart applicants will ask to co-train with good people and to observe their trainings in turn, and talk with them, explore ideas together.  Already experienced trainers won’t need to, and their reputations will speak for them. They have done the groundwork, the in-person work over years that we are asking novice applicants to do in months.  The focus for the experienced trainer will be to know and understand Scrum, and that (I am hoping) will have been determined at the CSP level.  A demo proves nothing.  It is fake, it is demeaning, and it feels like the person is being asked to be a performing monkey, or something. Personally, I hate the idea.

I’d like to see a process where people can apply repeatedly (i.e. each quarter) getting feedback when they fail and continually improving until they pass. To me the feedback and improvement aspect is much more Agile than any proposed stage-gate process. I’d also like to see acceptance be limited to 2 or 3 years and reapplication, or some form of renewal necessary after.  But these are just my thoughts. They are not official Scrum Alliance recommendations. Those are yet to come.

Stay tuned.

30 responses to “Becoming a CST #2

  1. Thanks again for keeping us in the loop. At first, I admit, I was thinking that without good standards that it would devolve into something worse than it is.

    But then I remembered that in my series of blog posts, one of the suggestions I made was to split the CST process into industry-specific groups. After all, if the goal is to spread Scrum, and spread it to other industries, then the industries should be responsible for managing the process. This means that we should keep it as simple as possible and find ways to use feedback and other mechanisms to tell us how things are. Inspect and Adapt.

    This afternoon I was listening to a podcast by David Anderson who brought up an interesting point – if Scrum team is truly using inspect and adapt, and they start with Scrum, then they will likely inspect and adapt their way out of it. Which makes me think that a process to broaden the reach of the CSTs would have a great effect of lessening the “secret club” mentality of Scrum, and making it another tool.

    It’s intriguing, and I can see both sides, but I’m thankful for you keeping all of us up-to-date.

    Hope you have a grand time in Orlando!

  2. Hello Tobias,

    thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Here are a few that jump into my mind:

    * The goal, in my view, is to have great trainers for the teams and individuals that want to learn more about Scrum then there is in the books. Being a CST should be a quality standard others can trust. It shouldn’t be used for the purpose of being allowed to give the C to PO’s and SM’s, just because that’s where the money is. One or two day Scrum classes for teams are equally important, no C required.

    * Useful feedback for the applicants should be paramount to the process. I might be biased as I was rejected with no useful feedback and it made me angry as I do not know what to change/improve. Even a successful application should receive feedback. Everyone has the right to learn about improvement potentials. Already the CSP process did not provide that feedback.

    * The process should be open and transparent. I like how conferences do it now more often – one submits a paper online and receives comments from the peers – everyone can read these comments.

    * How could you involve more of the community? Would it help to provide a forum, asking something like: “Imagine you would have to assess the application for a CST. What would you like to see to feel confident that this trainer will serve the trainees and this community best?”

    * I worked at a university in the UK as lecturer and more importantly in a support center to enhance learning and teaching at that university. This community has been looking into the issue of good teaching practices for a while (see http://www.seda.ac.uk/). I don’t know whether a guidance for a good teacher has been defined. However, I wonder what can we learn from that community.

    * At many universities the feedback from the students are collected and used for the evaluation of the teaching ability of a lecturer. What would it mean to use a similar system? For CSM’s, why not ask them after the test a few questions regarding their impression of the training they received and the feedback they would like to give to the trainer? Actually, what would happen if we had an open platform, where trainees can post feedback regarding trainings, not only about certification trainings. As a side effect the ScrumAlliance might gain some insights about the amount of Scrum trainings that happen around the world.

    * How to address the Scrum knowledge? That’s more difficult in my opinion. A failed or even successful Scrum implementation at a company might not tell much about the trainer or coach.

    * The active participation at conferences, Scrum user groups or writing blogs about their work enhances the credibility of a community member though to me this shouldn’t be a pre-requisite. Someone could be a good Scrum trainer without telling about this all the time. A (C)ST is already a missionary by providing trainings in the first place.

    Tobias, I wish you much success on your way to a new CST application process.

  3. David Sheriff

    Rare principles are required to work against your own self-interest. The higher you rise, the more difficulty you have hearing dissenting views. Finally, you believe your own PR. Tobias, you are the rare principled anarchist and so we tend to trust you. Does anyone else have the standing to pull this off, to take on the powerful elite, to operate beyond self-interest?

    Ask what would be good for the principle. Certainly not oligarchy, which is what “CST” appears to have become. What would we do if we really believed what we profess to teach? We would eliminate artificial scarcity. We would live and die by our reputations or, more practically, by industry standards.

    Apprenticeship can create journeymen. Only the audience anoints masters. Tests for journeymen are normal. It’s all we can hope for. Medieval Guild behavior, restricting access to preserve margins, is normal but out of fashion in modern democracies. So write the standard journeyman test. Let us all legitimize the result of your process. Put it to a vote. One CSM, one vote. We have a standards problem, we need an international code of acceptable, professional capability and behavior for trainers. Consensus is the only recognized basis for standards. Refine the document until it passes with a convincing super-majority.

    • Hi David.

      > What would we do if we really believed what we profess to teach? We would eliminate artificial scarcity.
      Yes. Well put.

      > Put it to a vote. One CSM, one vote.
      Actually, I’ll go on record to say I am not a fan of democracy. Look at its record… look at some of the governments its given us! It is a system too easily abused and subject to bullying (loudest voice wins). I’d prefer something more akin to the Delphi method, to converge on agreement, or at least consent.

      Another approach would be to use a best guess as to what is right, trusting the SA to be working in everyone’s interests, and then see what results. We may go through a little pain, but we are likely to arrive at an agreed and workable solution by doing, reflecting and adapting, rather than talking.

      None of these are recommendations… just exploring options.

  4. “Everyone thinks they are the Hero in the film – even when they are the Villain.”

    I am not a fan of having my opinion reworded and spread across the internet as a weak straw man argument, Tobias. If you disagree with a point, argue it on the IC forum, or on the CST forum or via email and not on a soapbox like this with limited comeback to yourself. You ignored the email I sent (beyond saying you skimmed it and it seemed like criticism) yet now you reply on a public setting without ability to retort.

    For instance, you intentionally misrepresent in-person independent review – a tool that EVERY CERTIFICATION BODY I have spoken to uses to review high level candidates.

    If you read my email on this you’ll find this:

    “You don’t hire on a CV: We must have in person review via interview and sessions run in front of a committee. I know of no other high level certification that does not do this. For instance PRINCE2 requires you both co-train multiple times and be reviewed in class by a PRINCE2 org (like SA) assessor.

    8.4 We must all do this: Since we all have to go through it as well – Committee would have to be crossfunctional (SA staff, SA board, CST, CSC communities) and cycled periodically. ”

    Both of these aspects remove the risk of non independence. The straw man argument you constructed above collapses.

    Tobias, from this post and others it strikes me as that you have little respect for the CST community, the concept of CST, the concept of certification and the concept of Scrum as a framework and not as a mere “spirit of agile”.

    These are all legitimate opinions – but don’t they sound very wrong coming from the Creative Director and CST of the ScrumAlliance?

    • Nigel, thanks for offering an alternative viewpoint. As I said in this post, and in the last one, the opinion I give on this blog is mine alone, it is not the opinion of the Scrum Alliance.

      As the different viewpoints get expressed and discussed (and the more public perhaps the better) we’ll all converge on something that is appropriate for our context — and meets the bigger vision of the SA, which of course is still being formed after the major shift that occurred in September.

      Your opinion is always welcome on this blog :)

  5. Toby,

    Impressions:
    – First 3 paragraphs: mmmm, not sure I agree
    – Following paragraphs: now I think I get the idea and it sounds powerful! Previous paragraphs are now a lot more meaningful

    yet: I find it useful for candidates to actually run a CSM-like course with an existing CST (hopefully the mentor?) acting as the ScrumMaster of the course (mmm, or maybe the PO? not sure). Attendants should be people willing to attend a regular CSM class, but who don’t care or can’t afford a certified class. Price should basically cover costs (400$ maybe?).
    Will keep musing about it…

    Cheers,
    Alan

  6. Thank you Tobias for the courage to share this difficult point of view.

    It seems like there is a tension between growing Scrum and maintaining quality of training.

    It also seems like there is a tension between those who have an economic franchise/monopoly and those who do not. Incumbent CST’s have a strong conflict of interest that make this a difficult situation.

    As a CSP, I am observing this and continue to wonder whether to bother with the pain of getting CST designation. I can coach, train and help people with out all the bother. For me, CST is a way to reach and help a broader group of people in my community.

  7. Toby, good post. Thought provoking. My only fear/concern is that while you speak this as a member of the community, you are the one in charge of making it happen. I can only see a picture where the items you list will be implemented – maybe I’m just blind – but it’s what the corporate world and politics have taught me. My natural reaction is to lobby – which I won’t do because I’m not afraid of not making the cut.

    Thanks for being a man who holds true to his values and principles. You make our community a better place.

    • Hi Mitch. A small correction, I am not in charge of making it happen, I am responsible for offering a solution to the BoD, who are in charge of making it happen. I have invited an alternative suggestion from those skeptical of this one. I imagine the BoD will assess both, equally, and also take onto consideration the collective wisdom of the whole community. Sure, I am in a position to influence, but that is why I was hired into this role — to influence, and to offer an alternative viewpoint to the more conventional one. Just doing my job, man :-)

  8. Hi Tobias,

    Over the last two years of being a CST I tried a number of experiments with running the Scrum training. I have also been approached by over a dozen people to help them become Scrum trainers. Out of those, I tried mentoring three people to also become scrum trainers. Of those three, all very promising, only one seems to have really been able to connect with people in the classes. I find this interesting because that means 33% of the select few that I thought were promising actually worked out in practice. In order to really discover that, it took two years and at least 10 classes for each person.

    To achieve excellence in Scrum training requires a few things. Here is some of what I have learned about this:

    1. A person delivering Scrum training needs a deep understanding of the philosophy of Scrum, but does not need a deep understanding of technical matters.

    2. A person delivering Scrum training must have strong positive presence in a classroom. This is also known as charisma or authority. The reason for this seems to be simple: when people initially come in contact with the philosophy of Scrum, it almost always requires a deep shift in thinking and only someone with strong positive presence can facilitate others through that shift. If a trainer does not have that strong positive presence, then many people will react badly and leave either unconvinced or actively opposed.

    3. A person delivering Scrum training must be able to move back and forth smoothly between concepts and information. Concepts such as “inspect and adapt” are supported by information. Likewise information like “the Daily Scrum is timeboxed to 15 minutes” are supported by concepts. Smoothly switching between concepts and information is not something that can be done with a script, or a set of comprehensive slides. It must be done on-demand. This does not appear to be a common skill.

    4. A person delivering Scrum training must be able to read the audience both collectively and individually and be absolutely committed to putting in the energy to support the audience even when the audience does not have the energy. In other words, if 20 people in a classroom are feeling sleepy after lunch, the instructor must provide energy to those twenty people. That energy comes from within and is communicated through tone of voice, movement, facial expressions, laughter, and it must transcend personality and culture.

    5. It does not matter if you read from slides, have no exercises, can’t tell a story worth a damn, or you say “um” constantly. Deep belief in the subject matter, and the ability to exude that belief will make up for any lack of technique (mostly…)

    6. A person delivering Scrum training must be dedicated to continual improvement. This should result in changes to the material after _every_ _single_ _delivery_. These changes might include: visual changes, new exercises, correction of typographical errors, new delivery techniques, inclusion of new supplementary resources such as books or web sites, sharing new stories based on what works, etc.

    I offer this list here simply in the hopes that these ideas will contribute to the improvement of the CST application process. I don’t think this is either a complete or a perfect list, but hopefully it is helpful somehow.

    For what it’s worth, once the new CST application process is ready, I will be encouraging that one person who has made it through my mentoring to apply to become a CST.

  9. Dan Rawsthorne

    Tobias, I agree with you on one very important point – the existing collection of CSTs isn’t very good. My guess is that there are about 30 good CSTs out there, where “good” is defined by having a “deep” understanding of scrum and having decent training skills. Most of the existing CST have, at best, a shallow understanding scrum.

    It seems that the process you propose would get more of the same – the CSP is NOT a very high bar to jump. This is what bothers me. For example, I expect a CST to be able to knowledgeably discuss many interesting issues, such as:
    1. PO as “accountable Team Member” vs “external client representative” vs “super knowledgable SME”;
    2. Managing Command and Control in an organization using Scrum;
    3. What self-organization could look like in various cultures;
    4. and so on…
    5. and I would expect a CST to be able to do this “out of the box…”

    Is there anything in this process that even tries to make this a reality? If so, I don’t see it. What I see is a minimal hurdle that may, in fact, do more harm than good.

    As an aside, I think that any CST who has trained more that 1000 CSMs (as a nice round number) has had to hold his/her own in many discussion of this sort. Maybe if there was a way to leverage them, as part of initial certification or ongoing validations of the CST, that could be useful. It has always been part of the SA’s model to have people “drop in” on a CST’s class – so let’s actually do this as a requirement. We have the people who can do it – there are lots of good CSTs – make it worth their while by having the SA pay their way and decreasing their CST fees. If the SA is unwilling to pay for this, I think that this proves the problem doesn’t really exist, since the PO doesn’t want a “real” solution. :)

    I worry about the whole concept, though. Where is the evidence that we have a dearth of CSTs? Are CSM applicants unable to find classes? Are the existing classes overflowing? I don’t see it, and am reminded of YAGNI – we seem to be solving a problem we don’t have, or at least the wrong problem…

    So, to summarize (in reverse order):
    1. I don’t understand the problem we’re trying to solve
    2. I don’t see how the solution solves any meaningful problem.

    Just sayin’ Dan ;-)

    • > we seem to be solving a problem we don’t have

      Good trainers and coaches will create the market. If we take seriously the SA mission of “transforming the world of work” we should set the infrastructure for that to happen.

  10. Overall, I’m going to align with Dan on this one, as I find myself doing so often. What is the problem that’s being addressed here? Why do we need thousands of CSTs? How will having that many CSTs improve the “quality” of them? And who really thinks that whatever happens during two days of training matters in the course of a career that spans years?

    On what planet is there any conceivable need for even 500 CSTs , let alone 500 per year? I’m afraid that this proposal will dilute or destroy a community that, for all of its faults, has managed to take Scrum from zero to maturity and dominance in the space of a few years in spite of deeply ingrained resistance within people, companies, and industries.

    Tobias, you talk about being a CSP as important, but then you talk about the lack of training quality among current CSTs. CSP and training skill are unrelated. And, frankly, I’m not sure how important training skill is in this situation. Compared to the effort I put in after my CSM course in order to achieve deep understanding and some level of skill, the actual two days of CSM class are almost irrelevant. The biggest thing of lasting importance that can happen during a CSM course is that the instructor can communicate passion, dedication, and integrity to someone in a way that inspires further self-education.

    So here’s my contribution: The world doesn’t need 500 CSTs. The world needs a way for anybody to learn how to be a Scrum Master by any means that they choose, with any instructor(s) that they choose, and once having learned, be Certified by an independent body and process. It’s not about how you get there, its about what you have when you arrive.

    Let’s get out of the box and get rid of the CST designation. It will be diluted beyond all recognition by this proposal anyway. Find a way to certify people that selects for results and ability and passion and knowledge and commitment and not mere classroom training or time spent in preparation.

    alan

    • Alan, I have never mentioned having 500 new CSTs. Nor has Mike Cohn. If we are to get the best trainers we may need to go through many applications. So the system needs to handle many applications. 500, 1,000, 10,000. Why not?

      It may take 500 applications to find one good trainer.

  11. Great to have (SA) empowered member of community. I hope that this will work and that community will grow in SA stuff.

  12. Amount of CSTs are irrelevant. You have either the right people or the wrong people.

    My concern is not with numbers, it’s with quality. I feel the new process will give us more mediocre trainers. Tobias judges us “all” to be mediocre. Tobias is very wrong here – but it’s his opinion. Tobias is a self confessed anarchist – Anarchists look to bring down organisations and structures that impose authority and a certification non-profit like the SA most definitely does that – so I expect no less from him then to bad mouth the SA and the SA’s certified trainers (slightly career limiting when you WORK for the SA – but principles are principles).

    My concern is adding to the small but handleable mediocre base. I want to staunch the flow of these trainers and work on the small rump that need work. (Help those that want help, remove those that do not or will not improve)

    In terms of numbers, at some point there is a balancing act between cost of certificate and value of certificate. Whether that is CSM, CSP, CSC or CST. That will find equilibrium. I don’t expect to find it yet, however, as I believe that good Scrum people will grow Scrum further. If we give the fantastic lever of CST to allow them to CSM and CSPO they will grow it moreso.

    Benefiting those of us who do Scrum as a business with more work and benefiting all of us who use Scrum by giving more opportunities to learn and share and explore these techniques in other organisations.

    But they need to be GOOD to do this. Not OK, not AVERAGE, not REASONABLE – they need be GOOD.

    I do not believe the CST process as defined by Tobias will do that.

  13. Thanks Tobias for sharing and removing at least some of the mystery shrouding the inner workings of the exclusive CST club.

  14. By way of introduction, I am Adobe’s in-house scrum trainer and coach, and have been acting in that role for the past 18 months or so. I learned about and applied scrum to my first project in 2005 and loved it immediately, over time moving from scrum master to evangelist in my immediate group (all of whom now use scrum pretty successfully) to the company’s in-house trainer. In the past year and a half, I have trained about 900 Adobe employees in scrum with what I consider to be the equivalent of a CSM course, and then have followed up with many of these teams to coach them through their implementations of scrum.

    I have considered applying for CST in the past, as every once in a while, someone asks me if they get a certificate for taking my course. But most of the people I train could care less about being a CSM, they just want to learn about the process and how it can make their work & lives better.

    I love every point that Tobias makes except for the live evaluation, and don’t read him to be saying the CSP is the only thing that matters, he is saying it is the only thing that is required, and that everything else will be assessed (I’m assuming on some weighting ratings scale).

    Regarding the live evaluation, I agree that doing it as an “audition” in front of a SA group feels somewhat pointless. However, having an individual or a group from the SA attend an ACTUAL session sounds like a great idea to me. What better way to assess a trainer/teacher than by observing how they actually teach?

    My favorite part of the whole proposal is the feedback to the applicant and the ability for the applicant to inspect/adapt their way into eventually passing the certification.

    I think the problem that Alan and Dan may not see is that the current process is a black box with little/no feedback to an aspiring CST. Frankly, the whole CST application process seems like a big mystical process to me, or I probably would have applied already and ponied up the cash.

    Things like “it’s a good idea to co-train, but not required”, the seemingly arbitrary deadlines for application review & submission, etc. all have been barriers to my application.

    Just some feedback from one type of potential customer. I don’t remember what the CSM/CSPO fee is that gets passed back to the SA, but if I train another 1000 people over the next year, that probably pays Tobias’ salary for trying to make the process more appealing to potential applicants :-).

    • Thanks Peter.

      > However, having an individual or a group from the SA attend an ACTUAL session sounds like a great idea to me. What better way to assess a trainer/teacher than by observing how they actually teach?

      There is nothing in the new process that excludes this, contrary to many assumptions that are being made.

  15. The column and the comments make great points. After reading through them, I want to add one more:

    There should be no requirement for CST candidates to co-train with other CSTs. Many CSTs, CST candidates, and firms employing them have proprietary intellectual property, and a co-training requirement would require them to divulge this information to competitors. Those who own their IP personally, and don’t mind sharing, would cope, but as Scrum and Scrum training spread, this requirement would become increasingly impractical. In fact, I suspect it would ultimately generate a backlash that would cripple the reputation of the Scrum Alliance, and of CSTs.

  16. Pingback: So you want to be a CST

  17. “There is nothing in the new process that excludes this, contrary to many assumptions that are being made.”

    That is not true Tobias. There is nothing in your suggested process requiring this. Thus it will not happen. The alternative suggestions do contain this. I regard adding this would be of great benefit to the process you suggest, but you told us we could not add this in the latest IC. In fact you told us frequently we could not, we could only adjust the points score.

    • Nigel, the IC was set up to assess (and improve) the assessment part of the process, the acceptance criteria if you like. The assessment is not the whole process. It comes at the end.

      There has been a ton of discussion on what the application part of the process should be and from those many threads we are emerging an application process which allows for many different ways of an applicant proving their worth.

      The difficulties many seem to be having is with the lack of mandatory requirements in the process, clear Yes or No rules. I content that we don’t need such rules for the process to be effective.

      You and many other people have offered ideas for the application process. Few people fully agree on anything. For example, your group insisted a video was a must-have for a trainer to prove their skills. The current IC (50 people) concluded it was a waste of time, and would show nothing of value.

      You see, it is tough to create a process that will have everyone happy. And yet… that is what my goal is here :-)

      Your input is always welcomed, and yes, the conflict can be a positive force for improvement.

  18. What I do think Tobias, is a blend of the prospective processes may produce the best option. Much like McCartney and Lennon – Creative tension leads to great results. Sticking to one direction leads to the Frog Chorus. :-)

    (I’ll give you Lennon if you let me claim Live and Let Die.)

  19. So Tobias, are you saying that SA independent review will happen as part of the application process? I hugely welcome this shift, but I am not sure that doing it up front is the best way to achieve scalability. Surely it would be best to do this at the end of the paper review? The PR will filter so that only the rump needs go through that independent SA review.

    (On the video – It was only a salve to cover the fact there was no in person review occurring. I am happy for it to be removed as it makes the need for human -2- human assessment more obvious.)

  20. > are you saying that SA independent review will happen as part of the application process?

    No, I am not saying that at all. And this is an odd place to be carrying on this dialog. A better place would be the IC group.

  21. Pity the dialog won’t continue where it can be read by the wider community.

  22. Here’s an idea for revised CST certification… Make it as easy to become a CST as it is to become a CSM. Seems like effort and knowledge to one level of certification should be applied to all levels. The reality is that becoming a CST is nearly impossible BECAUSE of how lucrative it really is. Anyone who is a CST and isn’t making well over 60K a month is a slacker. The tide will turn and the industry will recognize that the CSM is a certification that came “from the mill.” When it does, those who so proudly “guard” the CST club will be ashamed to put the designation on their business card. Or, maybe the designation will just become recognized as Certified SCRUM Thief.

  23. Hi Tobias,

    It’s OK to earn good money if you bring a corresponding value to your customer. ( and I question CEO salaries on this basis).

    The CSM training opens the door to a much better world. Some people & companies choose to go through that door, and so the training has tremendous value for them.

    Having said that, I have no doubt that Scrum Training is in a cash cow phase. A Scrum Trainer or Coach can work has much as he wants to.

    Scrum Trainings at the moment are bought, not sold. It’s demand driven (and there is a demand for non-certified trainings, too). As such, it is possible to make an extremely good living at it right now. Question is, what will happen when this phase passes? How many CSTs have a real ability to market themselves and their services. How many are identified only with Scrum training?

    If you’re not growing, you’re stagnating. The risk of sitting on cash cow is not having the time to grow yourself, your reputation, your capabilities or your offerings.You risk being pigeonholed – “ah we call him for Scrum trainings, but when we don’t need more trainings, we don^t need him anymore.”

    So I took my rejections by the CST processes as a challenge to grow and don’t regret it for a minute!

    Cheers,
    Peter

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