So you want to become an Agile Scrum expert? Maybe you’re already doing scrum and want to improve your skills or you’re transitioning from one role to the other or you’re simply looking for a career change. Whatever the reason, there are many tools and resources out there to help you improve and be the best you can be in your field. Below are our top 5 tips to help you become an agile scrum expert.
Leverage Learning Platforms
If you are new to Agile and Scrum, the first thing you should do is understand what Agile is and that Scrum is an agile project management framework that is used to help teams work together. There are a plethora of learning platforms that will teach you the fundamentals of Agile and Scrum.
Atlassian is an organization that provides various software that companies can use to help streamline their work and software projects. They also offer great support and coaching tools on their platform to enhance your knowledge, beyond just learning how to use their products. The Agile Coach is a learning section of their platform that teaches you the fundamentals of Agile, Scrum and other frameworks. Reading their articles and watching the videos is a good starting point to understanding Agile, Scrum and how they are applied to projects.
Lynda is LinkedIn’s learning platform that takes you through courses and learning paths to either improve your already existing skills or learn new ones that you can apply to your life and profession. You can even gain credits or points after completion of certain courses that can be used on certain certification applications. Lynda has many agile and scrum videos and courses that can help you become knowledgeable in the field and get you closer to becoming an expert. Certain public libraries offer Lynda as one of the many resources you can get for free with a library card, so be sure to check out your local library to find out if Lynda is one of those they offer. To get started, we recommend these courses:
- Agile Foundations
- Agile at Work: Planning with Agile User Stories
- Agile at Work: Building your Agile Team
- Agile at Work: Driving Productive Agile Meetings
- Scrum: The Basics
- Scrum: Advanced
- Enterprise Agile: Growing Scrum
Pluralsight is another learning platform similar to Lynda that offers various courses and learning paths depending on your career and interests. They have a great learning path called Using the Scrum Framework consisting of 7 courses that teach you about Scrum and the various roles and responsibilities within that career field.
While there are many other learning resources and tools out there for Scrum, those mentioned above are just a small snippet of our favorites to get you started down the path of becoming an expert.
Get a Mentor or Coach
There are many things you can teach yourself about Agile and Scrum. If you’re a self-learner then you may be comfortable remembering and applying the knowledge you’ve learnt without much guidance. However, there is only so much we can accomplish on our own without the help of others. This is where a mentor or coach comes into play. Many successful people have mentors or coaches who help guide and steer them in the right direction during their careers. A mentor or coach is important because usually that person either has knowledge, skills or expertise that you are working towards. Mentors can act as guides, advisers, teachers, and even confidants. A good mentor will listen to you and provide the best guidance to help you grow and reach the next level in your life and career. A good coach will prepare a plan and teach you what you need to know to be successful in your role and responsibilities. They are usually your seniors in the field and have more experience under their belt. Having a mentor or coach who can help point you in the right direction to attaining your goals is vital. Consider getting one who is knowledgeable in Agile and Scrum.
Gain Real World Experience
You can be book-smart but how you apply the knowledge you’ve learnt is what will set you apart from others. The best way to put to the test what you’ve learnt is through real-world experience. Part of becoming an expert is being emerged in the field on a day-to-day basis and facing multiple situations where you can continue to thrive, learn and grow. You will make mistakes, but it is important that you learn from them. You’ll have opportunities to engage with colleagues and learn from them and how they do things. You’ll learn company politics and how to navigate business goals and objectives. You’ll develop strategic and problem solving skills and experience what it’s like working on an actual software project using Agile and Scrum. If you are not yet in this career field it may be harder to get the experience you need, but there are avenues such as training, apprenticeships, internships and more that can get you closer to experiencing the professional life of an agile scrum expert.
Attend Workshops and Related Events
Attending workshops and related events for Agile and Scrum can help you expand your toolbox. Workshops allow people to gather and discuss topics as well as execute activities and exercises to sharpen their skills. Workshops are a good way to have mock real-world experience of what it’s like working in your related field. You can connect with other participants, get to know them, see how they would approach certain situations and collaborate with them during the workshop activities.
Attending events can be just as lucrative. Depending on the event you attend, it could help you grow your knowledge by listening to key industry experts speak about their role and the industry they work in and what it’s like to do their work. These events also offer opportunities for you to meet other attendees and help grow your professional network.
After you’ve gained all the knowledge and experience to qualify you as an expert, the next step would be to solidify that level of accomplishment by making your qualifications official. One way to do this is by getting certified. A certification proves that you meet the necessary requirements needed for your career field, boosting your credibility and positioning you for a better salary. There are various certifications you can get that confirm you’re a scrum expert. Some of the most popular and widely recognized ones are:
To help you get prepared for these certifications, there are sites that offer certification preparation courses such as Pluralsight’s PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® learning path or Lynda’s Cert Prep: Certified Scrum Master. You can also attend certification preparation classes in your area where you are taught what you need to know for the certification exams and given mock exams to test your knowledge before you take the real one.
In conclusion, depending on where you are in your path to becoming an agile scrum expert, remember to always keep challenging yourself. Don’t get comfortable or complacent because that is when you will stop growing. Never stop learning and developing your skills to reach your career goals.