So now I am a Certified Scrum Master, having attended a two day course with Jeff Sutherland. It was a very inspiring and energizing experience: Jeff has been deep into many of the challenges of introducing agile over the years, and has obviously been through many of the thoughts we had in advance. He was also very straightforward about how much hard work lies ahead, but at the same time made us (at least me) really look forward to getting started.
Of course the real test is to become a certified scrum practitioner in a year or so, after having hopefully run one or more scrum projects. When working in an organization, as I do, where agile methodology is a completely new concept, I think there is the potential to exercise quite some diplomacy and education in addition to the basic scrum master (but that ist of course all part of impediment removal)!
One thing that came as a bit of a surprise to me, even after reading Ken Schwabers book “Agile Software Development with SCRUM”
as an introduction to the course, was the crucial role of the product owner. This is of course a business person, but needs to be someone with quite some knowledge of the methodology and development issues. We discussed this role, and Jeff’s recommendation was, if you do not have a trained product owner at hand, the possibility of creating a “proxy” Product Owner within IT. I’ll certainly consider that.
Preparing for the course I have collected some agile links, and you can see those in my del.icio.us favorites. I have also listened to Ken Schwabers podcasts from the Conchango blog site, and recommend those as a supplement tho the written stuff, though the sound quality is not so good due to a low bit rate. Scott Hanselmans “Line of Scrummage” is also worth listening to.