As you likely know, advancing your career usually goes beyond simply showing up for work day in and day out, putting your head down while you hope for the best. Making the most of your career, especially when you have big goals to set in place, requires a calculated effort to reach your maximum potential. Beyond simply meeting basic production expectations, and the drive to succeed, you also need the tools to make the most out of every opportunity you find in the here and now, as well as the ones lurking on the horizon.
Agility is a concept in the business world and plays a prominent role in managing projects. It has a great deal to do with software development. However, its philosophy and founding principles can carry over into a wide range of industries and impact individual careers.
Scrum Alliance® is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire individuals, as well as leaders, and organizations through practices, principles, and values designed to create a workplace that is joyful, prosperous, and also sustainable. They offer a variety of courses and certifications and have a global membership that exceeds 750,000 agile practitioners.
Their foundational and advanced certification educational offerings employ a progressive model that is typically completed over a two-year journey. These programs allow the participants to select an educational track designed to improve their core Scrum knowledge. It includes building skill sets, as well as the developing the important tools needed to evolve as an agile practitioner..
An agile business or organization embraces the core agile philosophy and encourages it to grow within the organizational culture as well as its structure and use of technology. This includes adopting customer-centric practices.
Organizations that wholeheartedly adopt an agile mindset respond quickly as well as effectively to opportunities or threats in their external or internal industry environments.
An individual can choose between one of three different paths along the course to earning their CSP. Each path has its own rewards and opportunities to help the practitioner advance both their knowledge and experience, while also being able to help their organizations adopt agile practices.
One option is to transition into being a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®). CSTs help people learn and understand the core principles and values that serve as the foundation for Scrum
Another popular path CSPs choose is to become a Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach. Also known as CECs, these Scrum experts are well-versed in theory as well as practice. They have a deep understanding of Scrum practices and principles through practical real-world experiences. CECs help a company navigate through the process of becoming an agile organization.
The third path that some choose is embrace is being a Certified Team Coach. Also known as a CTC, they work with multiple Scrum teams, within or across departments.
Alexxis Holquin is a member of Scrum Alliance. “I work with the volunteer program to engage new individuals who want to volunteer in the community, earn some SEUs, and do important things like give back to the community,” explained Holquin.
She often attends special events sponsored by Scrum Alliance designed to bring together agile and Lean practitioners to learn, play, and network together. This is done through a series of breakout sessions, as well as peer-to-peer experiences.
Throughout her networking experience, aspiring CSMs and those who want to learn more about Scrum coaching and training ask Holquin a lot of questions. However, there are two that are the more common than others.
“I get asked quite a bit about how to become a Scrum Alliance coach”, say Holquin. Of course, to become a Certified Enterprise Coach or Certified Team Coach, one needs to embrace the path of being a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP). This path to CSP program has expanded in recent years to be role-specific based on whether the individual is a Certified ScrumMaster® or some other specific type of Scrum professional.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that to become a CTC the individual must first hold their CSP for at least one year or more. This also requires a lot of hours of dedication and activity with coaching hours. There are also a limited number of certified coaches allowed through the Scrum Alliance program.
“A lot of people also ask me how they can enter their SEU’s for attending special training events” added Holquin. The process is actually very easy. The individuals only needs to log into their dashboard on the Scrum Alliance website and enter the appropriate information. In the case of something like an all-day event, an attendee can earn eight full SEUs which works out to being one for every hour in the eight-hour event.
There’s no doubt about it agile businesses are poised to have greater success in the short-term as well as the long term. Their customer-centric philosophy, as well as their ability to adapt to changes in their external or internal business environment, allows them to make the most out of outcomes and outputs.
Sure, the journey toward earning certification takes some time, but nothing worth doing ever comes easy. The best practices put forth by the Scrum Alliance and other agile training organizations are designed to be thorough as well as flexible. Being able to adopt Lean and efficient practices ultimately allows your organization to make advancements through significant improvements in overall effectiveness.