Certified ScrumMaster Class Outline

Short, five-minute exercises and case studies will be scattered throughout the two-day session.  Longer exercises are detailed below.  Time spent on each topic will vary depending on the composition of the class and the interest in particular areas.

Day 1 Towards Your CSM

Agile Thinking: In order for us to understand the benefits of Scrum and the nuances behind its framework, we begin with the history of agile methods and how relatively new thoughts in software development have brought us to Scrum.

  1. How manufacturing has influenced software development
  2. The origins of agile thinking
  3. The Agile Manifesto
  4. The complexity of projects
  5. Theoretical Vs. Empirical processes overview
  6. The “Iron Triangle” of Project Management

Exercise: The “Art of the Possible.”

This is an opportunity to understand how small changes in behavior can have a large impact on productivity. This also turns our thinking towards new ideas and a willingness to change for the better.

The Scrum Framework: Here we’ll ensure that we’re all working from the same foundational concepts that make up the Scrum Framework.

  1. The different Scrum roles
  2. Chickens and pigs
  3. Iterative development vs. waterfall
  4. Self management concepts
  5. Full disclosure and visibility
  6. The Scrum framework overview

Exercise: The 59-minute Scrum Simulation

This popular exposure to Scrum asks us to work on a short project that lasts for just 59 minutes! We’ll walk through all of the key steps under the Scrum framework as we work in project teams to deliver a new product.

  1. Traditional vs. Agile methods overview
  2. Scrum: the silver bullet?
  3. The Agile skeleton
  4. A Scrum launch checklist

Implementation Considerations: Moving beyond Scrum’s foundational concepts, we’ll use this time to dig deeper into the reasons for pursuing Scrum. The key concepts of “empirical thinking” and “done” will be presented. We’ll also use this time to begin a discussion of integrity in the marketplace and how this relates to software quality.

Scrum Roles: Who are the different players in the Scrum game? We’ll review checklists of role expectations in preparation for further detail later in our session.

  1. The Team Member
  2. The Product Owner
  3. The ScrumMaster

Exercise: Understanding Customer Expectations

This exercise is the beginning of an extended exercise involving agile estimating and planning. During this first portion of the exercise, we’ll work with a fictional customer who has a very demanding schedule and understand how our assessment of project work plays a significant role in customer satisfaction.

Day 2 Towards Your CSM

  1. The Agile Heart
  2. Bruce Tuckman’s team life cycle
  3. Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  4. Team ground rules
  5. Getting Human Resources involved
  6. The impact of project switching
  7. The Scrum of Scrums
  8. Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)
  9. The importance of knowing when software is “done”
  10. Dispersed team consideration

The Scrum Team Explored: This exercise is the beginning of an extended exercise involving agile estimating and planning. During this first portion of the exercise, we’ll work with a fictional customer who has a very demanding schedule and understand how our assessment of project work plays a significant role in customer satisfaction.

Exercise: Agile Estimating and Planning

Although agile estimating and planning is an art unto itself, the concepts behind this method fit very well with the Scrum methodology an agile alternative to traditional estimating and planning. We’ll break into project teams that will work through decomposition and estimation of project work, and then plan out the project through delivery.

  1. Product Backlog Features
  2. Relative Weighted Prioritization
  3. User Stories
  4. Relative Effort
  5. Velocity
  6. Planning Poker and Story Points
  7. Projecting a Schedule
  8. Why Plan in an Agile Environment?

The Product Owner & Extracting Value: The driving force behind implementing Scrum is to obtain results, usually measured in terms of return on investment or value. How can we help ensure that we allow for project work to provide the best value for our customers and our organization? We’ll take a look at different factors that impact our ability to maximize returns.

  1. The Priority Guide
  2. Product Backlog Refactoring
  3. Release Management

The ScrumMaster Explored

It’s easy to read about the role of the ScrumMaster and gain a better understanding of their responsibilities. The difficulty comes in the actual implementation. Being a ScrumMaster is a hard job, and we’ll talk about the characteristics of a good ScrumMaster that go beyond a simple job description.

  1. The ScrumMaster Aura
  2. Characteristics of a ScrumMaster Candidate
  3. The Difficulties of Being a ScrumMaster
  4. A Day in the Life of a ScrumMaster
  5. The Importance of Listening
  6. Common Sense


Closing Topics: We’ll wrap up with direction on where to go next with your Scrum experience, some recommended reading, Scrum reference sites, and our graduation ceremony.

Meetings and Artifacts Reference Material: While most of this material was discussed in previous portions of class, more detailed documentation is included here for future reference.

  1. A Chart of Scrum Meetings
  2. The Product Backlog
  3. Sprint Planning
  4. The Sprint Backlog
  5. The Sprint
  6. The Daily Scrum
  7. The Sprint Review
  8. Why Plan?
  9. The Ideal Team Day
  10. Scrum Tools

Advanced Considerations

This section is reserved for reference material.  Particular interests from the class may warrant discussion during our class time together.

  1. Conflict Management
  2. A Day in the Life of a Dev Team Member
  3. Different Types of Sprints
  4. The ScrumMaster of the Scrum-of-Scrums
  5. Metrics and Risk
  6. Scaling and Team Variations
  7. Automation Tools
  8. Developing Architecture
  9. Stage Gate/Milestone Driven Development
  10. Inter- and Intra-Project Dependencies
  11. Task Boards, Project Boards
  12. PM History
  13. CMM(I)
  14. “Traditional” XP
  15. Scrum Values
  16. The Agile Manifesto

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