As much as it might sound odd, but I actually find a connection between Scrum & Personal Professional Development:
I always treat Personal Professional Development as a continious Product that is divided into phases where each phase has its own achievements "Increments".
That being said, it is always healthy to run your own personal "Sprint Reterospective" to Inspect your Achievements "Releasable Increment", Compare them to your original Plans "Sprint Backlog" and Adapt as necessary.
If your progress is going on as planned then you carry on with your next goal "Sprint". If not, then you re-add what was not achieved to your plan "Product Backlog" and re-order your priorities in terms of professional development and plans your next goal "Sprint Planning".
The only difference is with the scrum team itself as you are the whole Self-Organizing & Cross-Functional Team taking the role of Scrum Master, Product Owner & Development Team:
How much does this make sense to you ? Can you see the relationship ?
Scrum On Everyone !
Do you believe that closed book exams where you have to go to a center to sit for the exam is the best way to offer and run certification exams ?
I personally think that it is not practical at all especially that we are now in a era of advanced technology.
Why Closed Book ?
In real life, if you encounter an issue or you forgot something, you can google it and/or refer to your library for seeking information. How is this any different for an exam that is based on your experience in a certain domain ? Why does it need to be a closed book ?
If the exam is experience based, then I suspect that no matter how many references the candidate has open in front of him / her, they won't be able to complete the exam within the given time frame if they do not deeply understand the material and have solid experience in that domain.
Why the Stress ?
The stress of taking a day off, reaching to a testing center, get checked as if you are crossing boarders has a negative impact in so many ways.
Does the Closed Book / In-Person Strategy add credibility to the certification ?
It might but in my humble opinion it will be very minimal. The credibility of a certificate stems from:
What made initiate this blog is that yesterday, I sat for my PSM II Exam. It was an online exam (30 Questions - 1.5 Hours) and I passed but I assure you that I barely had enough time to finish the exam and did not have any chance to open any reference book as even if I did, it won't be of any added value if I did not understand the material in depth and had experience in that domain.
People might say, 30 Questions in 1.5 Hours is veru reasonable. Well, let me tell you something: You can't take the number of questions as a measure for time when you get a question with 4 or 5 choices and you need to analyze each choice in details in order to conclude the best answer - The questions were much more difficult and tough than most of the exams I've ever written as it tested my knowledge & experience beyond any text book. On the other hand, I had the luxury to do the exam on a weekend out of my own place and in my own comfort zone which makes a big difference.
When the exam is mostly experience based, what would you prefer:
Closed Book - In Person 200 Questions Exam
Online Test with X Number of Question that truly tests your knowledge depth and experience ?
Many highly reputable organization like scrum.org offer online exams & I think PMI too are heading towards that direction in terms of giving candidates the option of sitting for the proctored exams online from home (With certain rules and regulations). They implemented this on for the CAPM Exam which was a great initiative.
What is your opinion on this ?
I am proud to share with you another recent accomplishment. I passed my Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS) Certification with a score of 95%.
I would like to share my journey towards achieving the SPS:
1- Read the Nexus & Scrum Guides and understood everything in details.
2- Read a lot of additional documents and case studies.
3- Completed some simulation exams such as Open Scrum & Open Nexus which are available for free on the scrum.org website.
1- The exam is 1 Hour and consists of 40 Multiple Choice Questions.
2- It tests your experience & knowledge beyond the Scrum Guide & Nexus Guides.
3- Lots of questions were scenario based questions.
4- I found this exam the most difficult out of all the Scrum Certifications that I've completed so far.
I am planning on doing my GPM-b and PMI-RMP Certifications this year if all goes smooth.
I am glad to announce that I passed my Professional Scrum Master (PSM I) Certification with a score of 95%.
Although my field of expertise is in Construction & Real Estate Development but I’ve always had interest in Scrum and Agile. The PSM I is just the first step but it is indeed a very big step into this domain and it is important for any professional to expand their field of expertise.
That being said, I would like to share my journey towards achieving the PSM I Certification:
1- Read the Scrum Guide and understood everything in details. It is a 16 page guide but very conclusive in terms of the scrum basics.
2- Read some additional documents and articles like the Nexus Guide.
3- Completed some simulation exams such as Open Scrum which is available for free.
4- Total study time was 1 week (Average of 3 Hours per Day)
1- The exam is 1 Hour and consists of 80 Multiple Choice Questions.
2- It tests your experience & knowledge beyond the Scrum Guide.
3- Majority of the questions were of moderate difficulty. A lot of questions were situational questions, others were straight forward.
On Behalf of all of our Project Management Team at Field & Marten Associates, I would like to wish you all in this community and your loved ones a Blessed Merry Christmas & Prosperous New Year 2018.
Years go by fast so may this year & all the coming years be full of Great Expectations, Good Health & Collaborative Working Relationships.
It was another great year being part of this growing community. It was full of challenges, learning opportunities and contributions. I look forward for another year full of achievements & giving.
Happy Holidays Everyone !