I often receive a question from people asking – WHY one should attend a PSM training when it is not mandatory for taking the certification? And it is a very valid question. Also, lot of people are doubtful of taking a training because if they go for certification directly it costs them just $150 while a training will cost about $400 (in the Indian subcontinent), so why should they pay more? In this blog, I would like to answer such questions and doubts, so that people can make the right decisions.

Let me first share my personal experience on the journey of being a Scrum Master. When I was introduced to Scrum in my organization in 2010-11, I assumed that the role of a Scrum Master is that of a “Scrum Secretary”, the person responsible for taking notes, updating JIRA boards, scheduling events and so on. I lived in that bubble for the next couple of years without making much change or creating any impact as a Scrum Master. Then I took my training and was introduced to a plethora of things that a Scrum Master is supposed to do for the Scrum Team and the organization. Also, it gave me clarity on a variety of skills that I needed to acquire to become a change agent who could create business impact.

Having said that and now being a Professional Scrum Trainer, let me share my top 5 reasons why anyone should attend a training.

  1. Active Learning: The way grown-ups learn is much different from how kids learn. With a lot of research and evidence, it has been proved that grown-ups learn by doing. And whether you agree or not if you are preparing for the certification on your own; you probably might only be reading and not doing. A training workshop provides you with an opportunity to learn by implementing the concepts to practice.
  2. Clarity: Another aspect is Clarity. When we read a book or a white paper, we read it with our own biases and make assumptions about many things through our own lens of the world. The Scrum Guide which is the go-to source for Scrum has left many things for readers interpretation. And if someone interprets Scrum Guide with their biases, they are going to make assumptions which might be incorrect.For ex: Scrum Guide just has one paragraph about the Scrum Values which states that successful Scrum depends on becoming proficient in these values. But what does that mean?
    In a Scrum Workshop, we as trainers try to fill up this gap by breaking those biases and creating a shared understanding of what Scrum framework is all about.
  3. Experience Sharing: Which side of Scrum are you on? The Scrum…But or Scrum…And. Let me clarify, majorly there are two groups in which Scrum users can be classified –
    1. a. We do Scrum but our we do not have a Product Owner
    2. b. We do Scrum but our Daily Scrum happens every alternate day.

    The Scrum…Buts.

    Another group is the Scrum…And –

    1. a. We do Scrum and we also craft a Sprint Goal every sprint.
    2. b. We do Scrum and we have inculcated XP practices in our engineering culture.
  4. Peer Pressure: As humans and as individuals when it comes to holding ourselves accountable for something we are not very good at it (yes, I am generalizing it and it might not be true for everyone out there but that has been my observation). Find a learning partner or an accountability partner and you can see the difference. When you come to a training and experience your peers asking questions, challenging thoughts, expressing views; you would be also encouraged to do so, clarify your doubts and get a better understanding of the concepts.
  5. Economic Impact: Now this could be the last reason, but it might make sense to a lot of people. When you attend a PSM training in the Indian subcontinent, the fee you pay is about $400. Which is more than twice the amount of the certification if you buy the license directly from Scrum.org (considering PSM I). So why should I pay more? Here are few economic benefits of attending the training (PSM I) –
    1. a. Two attempts at PSM exam – $150 x 2 = ($300.00)
    2. b. 40% discount on PSM II exam – 40% x $250 = ($100.00)
    3. c. Content curated by course stewards and experiences of the PST – if only I could put a price tag to it.
      If you are even as good as I am at Mathematics (considering it was never my forte) you still know that you get more VALUE than the PRICE, you pay.

If you are planning to take up Professional Scrum Master, I hope this post might have answered your queries and should help you to make the right decision.

Author's Bio
Piyush Rahate

Piyush Rahate

An enabler; helping teams in their journey to pursue agility. I believe that happy teams build happy products. Build teams around motivated individuals is my daily mantra. He is having having fifteen years of experience in the industry and have donned various roles earlier.