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Justin L Beall
Justin L Beall

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DEV3L on Certified ScrumMaster

Certified ScrumMaster training focuses on the process of Scrum. This two-day training course focused mainly on theory, practices, team accountabilities, and the processes within Scrum. The course I took was facilitated by Chet Hendrickson, the co-author of Extreme Programming Installed and the first signatory on of Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Scrum can be applied outside of Software Development, but Chet focused heavily on its aspects within this domain.

Certified Scrum Master - Day 1

Introduction / Meet & Greet

"Estimation is a fool's errand" - value, what you get out of something should be more interesting than what you pay for it

Many waterfall shops out there

"Don't have to apologize for the things that happen in your house" - Chet is down to earth

Cynefin - Dave Snowden

  • Simple/Obvious (waterfall/pmi/sdlc)
  • Complicated (kanban)
  • Complex (scrum/agile/xp)
  • Chaotic (exploit)

Complacent zone - fall into chaos

"Nothing changes requirements like running software" - Kent Beck, we don't know what we need to build

Individuals are the source of complexity

Conway's Law - software mirror organization

Sprint is timeboxed experiment

"Resource" not humanizing

Deadlines are usually only concrete in project - made up

Requirements == Wants

"Waterfall Story" - Analysis & Design hit the date!

In most basic form, Scrum is about figuring out how much trouble you are in

Technical Foundation - BDD & TDD

  • Quality is Job #1
  • Automated Acceptance Tests
  • Simple Design - high cohesion, low coupling
  • Refactoring
  • Unit Tests


  • cost of slop on further development
  • Pigovian Tax

Product - Are we building the right thing?

Project - Are we on time and budget?

"Scrum, a framework for product development"

Project Goal - why are we here

Sprint Goal - iteration goal relation to project goal


  • Stakeholders (outside)
  • Product Owner (the what)
  • Scrum Master (process)
  • Developers (the how/how much, doers) #wholeteam

Purpose it to be effective, not efficient

Shared services, answer to question "How can we go slower"

"Here is our plan, you should not believe it" - planning over plan

Sprints, shorter the better

Planning Horizons:

  • Release
  • Sprint
  • Daily

Sprint Planning - 1 hour * Length in Weeks

  • -> refined product backlog
  • <- goal, sprint backlog, what+how, dod

Commit to the goal, not the plan

Last responsible moment

Daily Scrum

  • timeboxed ~ 15 min
  • developers talk to each other
  • "hope" to achieve for the day

"Three Questions" no longer apart of the guide

Certified Scrum Master - Day 2

CSM Cert

  • 2-day class
  • not very hard test (37/50) within 90 days

This is the beginning of the journey

Standup is not a serial interrogation - should be a daily inspect and adapt event

Guided Missle (inspect and adapt) vs Cannon Ball

Sprint Review

  • timeboxed - 1 hour * Length in Weeks
  • team + stakeholders
  • what next?
  • -> Product Increment (dod)
  • <- Updated Product Backlog + Status

Sprint Retrospective

  • timeboxed - 45 min * Length in Weeks
  • developers + sm (+ po) -> Working Agreements <- Updated Working Agreements

Scrum Master either facilitates or participates - not both

Safety prerequisite

Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen & Esther Derby

Prime Directive:
Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

One concrete change

Retrospective anytime - pull the andon cord whenever necessary

Toyota Flow System

Goal is effectiveness, not scrum

Backlog Refinement (Rule of Two Feet)

  • all hands
  • single
  • three (dev + po + test)

Diversity fuels problem solving

Done is binary - yes/no


  • Product Increment (real thing)
  • Product Backlog (ordered options)
  • Sprint Backlog (pbi + plan)

Throw it away, it'll come back if is interesting

More Jenkins, less Jira


  • Burn Up
  • Burn Down
  • Kanban Board


  • Definition of Done (dod)
  • Working Agreement

"Risk is the water in which the agile fish swims" - Ron Jeffries

Turn on a dime, for a dime

Reference Journal Events: Day 1, Day 2

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