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Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) done. What next?

If you have completed Certified ScrumMaster (CSM certification) from Scrum Alliance, you would have felt very satisfied because you completed a long-term pending item on your To-do list. However, this is not a compelling reason. There are better reasons to rejoice:

  1. It is not about just attending a two day class and subsequently completing a test. It is because you invested in self-development. You invested in becoming a better ‘You’. You invested in transforming to a next version of ‘You’.
  2. You spent time and money, not just for any XYZ certification, but in a world-class learning program.
  3. You learnt how to do Scrum right.
  4. You learnt what to coach your teams, customers and senior management about a true Scrum transformation.

But few questions remain for many of us. Now that, I completed CSM, what are my next steps? Can I switch to ScrumMaster job instantly? Will I get a salary hike? Will I be able to do Scrum right?

While you still quest for the above, I have some suggestions below on what one could do after completing Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) or Certified Product Owner (CSPO) class. This is a sub-set of what I generally offer in my workshops.

Continue the learning journey:

CSM (Or CSPO) is just the first step in a long Agile journey. The journey will be full of excitement, with many ups and downs, pains and gains. Such a journey can be truly satisfying and rewarding if you can learn continuously and apply those learnings in your Agile journey. Some of the opportunities through which you can continue learning are:

  1. Attend Scrum Alliance Global Gatherings or Scrum Alliance Regional Gatherings. For more information on the Scrum Alliance Gatherings, please read more at:
  2. Attend webinars on topics such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban, XP, Scaling etc.
  3. Attend Scrum Coaching Retreats which are great opportunities to collaboratively learn from fellow coaches in the community across the globe.
  4. Attend user group meet-ups conducted in your cities. There are user groups across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi NCR, Mumbai etc and several other global cities.
  5. Read a book on Agile or Scrum.
  6. Watch videos. Several practitioners, coaches and trainers created and uploaded useful videos on YouTube with real-world examples and case studies. All you need to do is just search the topic you are looking for.

Register for my flagship mentoring program ‘ASK’ for free:

If you have registered for a CSM or CSPO through PremierAgile, you are eligible to attend a free mentoring program ‘ASK’ that I conduct every week. ‘ASK’ is designed to answer your queries on:

  1. I am facing a situation in my Scrum project. How do I resolve?
  2. My management team and customer team are not Agile. How do I coach them?
  3. What are my next steps to take my career to the next level?
  4. How to earn Scrum Education Units (SEUs) that will help renew my Scrum Alliance CSM and CSPO certifications?
  5. How to implement Scrum outside software projects?
  6. And many more.

Contribute to the Agile community:

There is no better way to learn than by sharing your learnings with others, en-route you develop a lot of real-world perspectives. Contribute to the Agile community in the following ways:

  1. Speak at Scrum Alliance Global Gatherings, Scrum Alliance Regional Gatherings, User group meet-ups, your internal Agile events, other conferences and share your Agile journey experiences.
  2. Volunteer at Scrum Alliance Global Gatherings, Scrum Alliance Regional Gatherings, User group meet-ups, other conferences etc.
  3. Review abstracts at Scrum Alliance Gatherings and other conferences using your subject matter expertise in the areas of Agile and Scrum.
  4. Conduct webinars.
  5. Write blogs on LinkedIn, Scrum Alliance etc.
  6. You can also write a blog on www.PremierAgile.com by sending an email to Info@PremierAgile.com.

Offer Pro-bono consulting:

This is one of the most effective and rewarding ways I discovered in my own career. I offered pro-bono consulting to start-ups to jump-start and sustain their Agile journey based on my experiences with Fortune 500 customers.

I offered free services such as Scrum training, Agile coaching, Agile consulting during evenings and weekends to those budding start-ups who couldn’t afford hiring ScrumMasters and/or Agile coaches. This gave me exposure to some of the challenges faced by companies during Agile transformations and how they tackle them. Nothing can beat real-world learning.

You can look for start-ups, innovation hubs, not-for-profit organisations etc in your city or talk to a known contact who can introduce you to such a start-up or an organisation that needs help but cannot afford true Agile expertise.

Attend other Scrum Alliance certifications:

If you attended CSM already, then plan to attend CSPO (and vice versa). This not only gives a different perspective to the role you already learnt and certified in, but you may also be tempted to play the new role so that you are constantly growing in your career.

However, doing a lot of certifications doesn’t mean one has a lot of experience. A certification is only an endorsement of time spent in learning.

Contribute to this article:

These are suggested based on my experience. If you have any other suggestions, please contribute to this article by posting your comments below.

About the author:

The author, Suresh Konduru, is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) certified by Scrum Alliance, and is based out of Hyderabad, India. He has 22 years of working experience in Fortune 500 companies globally.

He conducts workshops for Scrum Alliance flagship certifications such as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO). These are interactive zero power-point sessions conducted across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi and other cities in India; as well as outside India. Suresh uses real-world examples, group learning activities to make the workshops learning as well as fun. Suresh also consults for Fortune 500 organisations in product development, Agile transformation and change management initiatives.

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