Today I was having a discussion with a potential future client regarding agile coaching and large scale agile adoption. I found out this was ‘a tale of 2 teams’. 1 manager sent 2 people to scrum training (product owner and scrum master), then decided they knew everything there was to know about agile and set off on their course. Bravo.
Manager number 2 is the one I was having the discussions with, and manager number 2 is horrified at how things are going for manager number 1. We had some very good discussions about training, coaching and the practical application of Agile Scrum. They are asking if it is necessary to budget (time and materials) money for certification for key resources.
My thoughts: not up front, and here is why: You might find yourself in the situation of Manager 1 with people looking on in horror and no-one really understanding what you are doing (yourself included). My advice was to hire a competent coach through a full release, then evaluate how much of an accelerant (and at what point in time) formalized certification would be of help.
I have worked with some very effective Scrum Masters and Product owners who have never sat through the class, but worked with a competent coach for 6+ months. On the other hand, I continue to hear horror stories about how organizations send an individual ‘green’ into a Scrum Master course and expect this person to be able to enact an organizational transformation. My final word to the prospective client, “The ‘what’ behind agile is very simple and can be explained in a single slide. The ‘how’ and the ‘application’ is very difficult and most companies who try to go it alone fail to reap the value, unfortunately.”