Letter from the Managing Director
By Carol McEwan
Hello again! I can't believe that August is behind us already! I had a very enjoyable week at the AgileAlliance 2011 conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah August 8th-12th. During the conference I met several Scrum Community Members who took the time to introduce themselves and to offer their advice and support to help strengthen the Scrum Community. I look forward to working with the community to address the opportunities we have before us.
The CSP Test Beta program is moving ahead and we've had an overwhelming response for participation from the community. Your involvement is critical, and we thank those of you who are able to participate.
The members of our in-house support team are relatively new to the Scrum Alliance and have been working diligently to enhance our work flow, website, and the ZenDesk backlog to ensure superior customer service. In April, there was a backlog of more than 400 open tickets waiting for a response (some dating back more than two months). Today we are able to respond to requests that come into email@example.com within 24 hours! We're concerned, however, that due to several staff transitions we may not be aware of some of the older requests for assistance. If you are waiting for a response submitted more than eight weeks ago, please re-submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will address it as quickly as possible.
On a final note, I am pleased to announce that the program for the Global Gathering in London has been announced! It offers an exciting line-up of speakers and events so I look forward to seeing many of you in England next month!
Scrum Alliance, Inc.
Behind the Scenes: The CSP Upgrade and What it Means for the CSM Program
By Dr. Vicki Hancock, Certification Manager
Thanks to everyone who completed the eligibility and registration requirements to become a CSP beta candidate! Here's a summary of what to expect next:
• Castle Worldwide, Scrum Alliance's testing partner, sent an email to all CSP beta candidates around September 1, 2011 with information about how to reserve exam locations, dates, and times.
• The CSP beta testing window starts October 1, 2011 and ends October 31, 2011. Exams may be scheduled throughout the month depending on the availability of testing sites. Exam locations, dates, and times must be scheduled at least seven calendar days in advance.
• Shortly after the testing window has closed on October 31, 2011, Castle will conduct meetings to examine the results of all CSP beta exams to determine the passing point using a statistical method called Modified Angoff.
• Castle will analyze the exam items to determine how effectively each one discriminates between a test-taker who knows Scrum and one who guessed at the answers. This is an important process in the beta-testing process because it helps to establish validity and reliability of the test forms. Those who take the beta version of the CSP exam will not only test their knowledge of Scrum processes, they will help Scrum Alliance and Castle to “test the test,” which will determine what items best distinguish those who understand and use Scrum processes in the workplace from those who are less experienced and may guess on the exam.
• Beta candidates will be notified of their test results via email approximately three weeks after the close of the exam window (after October 31, 2011).
Resources to prepare for the CSP beta exam are available on the Scrum Alliance website. Look for another CSP beta update in the October issue of this newsletter, and direct your questions to CSPBeta@scrumalliance.org.
Great! But What's Happening With CSM?
As you might expect, the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) program is undergoing changes as well. Scrum Alliance seeks to establish CSM as an exam-based certificate program that is in full compliance with international certification standards. That effort began with the work of Andrea Tomasini and a dedicated group of volunteers, who created a comprehensive CSM content outline.
We are currently working with Castle Worldwide to use the CSM taxonomy to validate course content as well as the exam items developed by volunteer subject-matter experts. The final product will be two forms of the same examination, of which 50% of questions are common to both, 50% are unique to each exam. They will ultimately become the CSM course examination, projected to be available by mid-November of this year.
Of course, we'll keep you posted on the progress of the project as it moves forward. Watch this newsletter and the Scrum Alliance website for further information.
An invitation to the Scrum Coaching Retreat on December 7-9, 2011 in Boulder, Colorado
By Pete Behrens
As I returned from Agile 2011 and witnessed the founding fathers (yes, they were all men) return for their 10-year anniversary of the Agile Manifesto, I couldn’t help notice how it happened. Inspired by a couple of industry leaders – Bob Martin and Alistair Cockburn, a small group of smart innovative people spent 2 ½ days at a retreat in Snowbird, Utah discussing and collaborating to create a Manifesto. The rest is history, our shared history.While some might say that our work is done, that Agile has crossed the chasm and become mainstream, I believe our work is just beginning. I believe that while many companies are seeing benefits from agility, more companies are challenged with sustaining and growing agility, and others reverting back to more traditional leadership approaches and structured methods.As members of the Scrum Alliance, our mission is to transform the world of work. As leaders in our Scrum community - the coaches, trainers, senior practitioners and change agents working inside or as external consultants – our job is to explore the unknown and highlight paths of success for others to follow.The Scrum Coaching Retreat is a call to those leaders within our Scrum Alliance community who are transforming their world of work and who wish to collaborate with peers in sharing patterns of success and failure from which we can continue to learn and upon which we can continue to build. Our theme for this conference is “Sustaining Agility beyond the coaching engagement” – helping build sustaining agile leadership, organizational structures and culture.The Scrum Coaching Retreat is modeled after that original Snowbird retreat 10 years ago. We are looking to draw a small collection (75 people) of smart and motivated Scrum leaders who are engaged in fostering agility either as an internal agent or external consultant. We will form teams focused on goals supporting our theme of sustaining agility. We will provide plenty of free space and tools for learning, discussing, collaborating, eating, playing, working, and sharing.By joining this retreat, you will be committing to participate in pre-retreat planning discussions to help focus our goals and identify working teams. As this is a new model of collaboration and engagement, our expectation is that you will be an expander (and) of ideas and thoughts to help us not only create great results but in self-organizing through the retreat structure to help us best understand how it can work. Just as in Scrum, we plan to learn through doing.If you are interested in joining this retreat, you would be wise to book early as we will likely reach capacity (75) in September. To register, please visit the retreat website. If you have questions about the retreat, please feel free to send me an email. Pete BehrensScrum Coaching Retreat CoordinatorCSC Program Leadpete@trailridgeconsulting.com
Scrum Global Gathering: London 2011 is Just Around the Corner!
By Nigel Baker
Scrum Global Gathering: London 2011 is getting closer and I can't wait! We have speakers from all over the world coming to share their knowledge and ideas about transforming the world of work through Scrum. Stephen Denning, the world renowned speaker on radical management, is talking to us about how his work has been influenced through Agile, and entrepreneur Joe Justice is sharing his awe-inspiring work on using Scrum to build a car!
Many of the major Scrum Trainers and Coaches from Europe such as Paul Goddard, Geoff Watts, Simon Bennett, Gabby Benefield, and more are running several seminars and workshops on a myriad of topics. We’ll also be joined by Bob Sarni, Bryan Stallings, and Tom Mellor from America, and Rowan Bunning from Australia. There is a truly international flavour to this gathering. A World Cup of Scrum, if you will. :-)
The Global Gathering is not just for experts, though. For anyone interested in taking their first steps in the Agile world, we have a special theme to help them learn about Agile process in a safe environment. CST Doug Shimp is running a “Scrum 101” session based on his new book, “Exploring Scrum: The Fundamentals” and CST Alan Cyment is overseeing a brilliant (and fun) simulation called “Birdie Birdie." Whatever your level of experience, there is something at the Gathering for you.
Of course, the event isn’t just going to be all serious. Gathering newbie, Agile Coach James Scrimshire, will demonstrate team dynamics via the power of multiple PCs, wifi and zombie apocalypse game ”Left 4 Dead”. Will the attendees pull together and survive a rather frightening transformation of the world, or will they pull each other apart? Literally. (Hmm… Maybe I’ve seen too many zombie films.) Attend the session and find out!
Presenters from Electronic Arts, eBay, Ericsson and Microsoft will be on hand to share War Stories and there will be plenty of official and unofficial after-conference events to attend as well. The bar is a fantastic learning spot at any Gathering, so I highly recommend staying at the official hotel. I’ll be there, I hope you can be too!
Early Bird registration ends September 9th so REGISTER NOW at http://www.scrumalliance.org/events/293-london.
Chair: Gathering London 2011
Now Open: Nominations for Board of Directors
As Mitch Lacey's term on the Board of Directors draws to an end, it's time to look ahead at who will fill the seat next. Nominations are now being accepted for review by the of Directors Nominating Committee in the coming weeks.
Please submit the name of a community member you feel would be great for this position via email at email@example.com, or feel free to nominate yourself. To be considered for a position on the Nominating Committee, please email Harvey Wheaton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THE DATE: May 7th – 9th for the SCRUM GATHERING, ATLANTA 2012 GLOBAL EVENT!
The Scrum Alliance is excited to announce the Scrum Global Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center.
CALL FOR PROGRAM CHAIR: Want to get involved in a Scrum Gathering? Here’s your opportunity! The Scrum Alliance is looking to fill the Program Chair position for the Scrum Gathering Atlanta 2012 Global Event. Click here to download the Call for Program Chair information. Deadline to submit is September 23, 2011.
October 11-13, 2011
Johannesburg: September 7-9, 2011
Cape Town: September 12-16, 2011
September 16, 2011
Congratulations New Certified Scrum Trainers!
Please join us in welcoming our newest group of CSTs!
- Skip Angel - Issaquah, Washington
- David Bulkin - Philadelphia, PA
- Peter Green - Southern California
- Marco Mulder - Netherlands
- Rafael Sabbagh - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Congratulations on completing your coursework! We look forward to seeing you around the community.
BE FRONT & CENTER
Sponsor a Scrum Gathering
When you sponsor a Scrum Gathering, your company’s message is exactly where it should be -- in front of your target audience. Gathering attendees come from all over the world and span the spectrum of Scrum practitioners, from product owners and developers to trainers and coaches.
For additional information about the sponsorship opportunities available, you can visit our website at www.scrumalliance.org or send an email to email@example.com.
Stand up and Be Heard! Take the 2011 Scrum Adoption Survey
Members of the Scrum Alliance know that Scrum can transform the world of work but researchers and Carnegie Mellon University want to know more. They've put together a short survey intended to uncover issues related to the technology transition of implementing Scrum in the workplace and need your help.
"If you work on a software project, we would like to have your input whether you use Scrum or not," says Dr. Mark Paulk, Senior Systems Scientist at Carnegie Mellon. "If you don’t use Scrum, this survey should take less than five minutes to finish. If you do, it should take less than 15 minutes. In return for participating, we will send you an early draft version of the survey results and keep you informed of any publications based on the survey.
"Your input will be considered confidential," says Paulk. "No individual, project, or organization will be identified in the publications resulting from this survey."
To participate in this important project, please take the survey before it ends on September 17, 2011. Download the project's abstract [PDF] for more information or contact Dr. Paulk directly.
A Writer's Guide to Surviving Agile Software Development
Writing in an Agile environment poses new difficulties for writers, but so did the typewriter and computer when they were first introduced. With widespread support, patience, and best practices from our managers and executives, we learned how to use Agile and discovered that the benefits it provides writers outweighs the struggles we encountered when learning how to use it.
Read more from the technical writing team at Salesforce.com.