16TH AGILE MONTH Agile Month Spring 2023

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What are the Top Skills of an outstanding Certified Product Owner?

„We practice improvement through work, work through improvement, one sprint at a time!“ – Jon Ker, co-author of Agile Manifesto

It’s inevitable that these turbulent times inspect our ability to adapt to a certain situation. Agile is quite a logical answer in these circumstances. Let’s say that you’re searching for an ideal solution and ideal vocation that has become more and more valuable in almost every business. Have you considered becoming a Product Owner? In the previous article, we talked about what skills are needed in order to be a fantastic Scrum Master.

But, what about Product Owners? Here is the most frequently asked question:

What skills do I need to have in order to become a Product Owner?

Well, before that, let’s talk about some of the myths about this role: Anybody can become a Product Owner. Doesn’t it? According to Scrum.org, a Product Owner is responsible for maintaining the entire Product Backlog. Is this really true? The keyword here is “responsible”. Ask yourself this – can a Product Owner maximize the value of work done by the Scrum Team if they are not involved in what goes on in the Product Backlog and in what order? From this perspective, it makes no sense to treat the Product Owner as the only person who can create items for the Product Backlog and prioritize them. Product Owners should work closely with the Development Team to create items for the Product Backlog and prioritize them to maximize the value of work done by them.

To become a real Product Owner Sensei you need to consider Scrum certification that is nowadays mandatory by many companies. In our ten years of experience in Product Owner courses and certification, in cooperation with Scrum Alliance as a world-leading organization, we have educated more than 1500 participants.

Imagine two different persons. Two individuals, ready to invest in their Product Owner careers. But, wait, what’s the difference between them? Answer: their skills.

#1 Always in high demand for Hard Skills

Through proper Certification, it’s easy to find out what skills are mandatory for your career as a Product Owner. But, it is truly challenging to adopt them. So, technical skills are really essential. According to Scrum Guide, Product Owners aren’t a part of the Development Team. So, if and which technical skills a Product Owner requires depend on how the role is applied, right? Actually, they will pick up an understanding of how products are made and be familiar with architectures, languages, and build cycles. Remember, they’re not building the product, they’re just collaborating with the people who are. On the other hand, organizational skills are inevitable for this role. For example, for Product Owner being a decision-maker is correlated with having analytical and negotiation skills. Many conflict situations may occur during work on creating a product. But remember, Product Owner is not only a „messenger” who does everything that the stakeholders intend to say. He/she must also have the ability to process information – discover hidden needs that even the customer or user could not imagine.

#2 Soft Skills are mandatory

These skills are somehow coming before gaining hard skills, right? Communication, as well as being an amazing storyteller is something that is nowadays mandatory for each position, not only Product Owner. Enthusiastic, assertive and excellent planner are something that you naturally adopt and also learn through Certification with your Trainer and the rest of the group.

#3 Conflict and Problem Resolver

We had to single out these skills because they’re essential for successful collaboration with Scrum Master. Remember – Scrum Masters and Product Owners are friends. They complement each other in current projects. Scrum Master should support the Product Owner in decision and empowerment issues and also help with tools and techniques. Also, Product Owner should have a global perception of the clients’ demands. For these reasons, the Scrum Master needs the Product Owner. And this is one long, unbreakable circle. As a Product Owner, you have to have the courage and the capability to engage when things get difficult. And know this: you generally have to go through conflict to get to a solution. You’ll need to be collaborative to minimize the negative, and you’ll need to mediate.

#4 And, what about the Product Leadership?

Leadership is the key to 99% of all successful efforts, right? Product Leadership is something you’ll learn continuously. But, here are some great tips that great leaders say every day:

a) “What do you need?”

This is crucial for two reasons. First, people need to know that you care about them on personal and professional levels and that you want them to succeed. Second, if you put together a great plan, you need to leverage every person’s abilities to the maximum extent possible.

b) “I trust you.”

If you can’t trust the people on your team, then they shouldn’t be in your team. You need to trust their integrity, judgment, confidence and their passion – and you need to ensure that they understand how much you depend on them.

c) “You can count on me.”

If your team can’t trust you, they shouldn’t do you the great honor of letting you lead them. So tell them you’ve got their back, and then work like hell to fulfill the promises you make.

And these are just small pieces of a great puzzle called Product Owners’ skills. Organization, empathy and a sense of community are also crucial, and we assure you that through certification, especially working with different people and their mindset, you’ll notice these significant aspects faster and smarter. ☺️


Don’t be shy and join us on this unusual journey. 🎯 

Product Owner skills are easy to find but very challenging to learn. If you’re at the beginning, maybe you are looking for Certified Scrum Product Owner Course with Petri Heiramo (24th – 26th April 2022) with Petri Heiramo. He will be your trainer, teacher, coach and true support during this important journey.

Are you with us?

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Benefits of International Agile Certification

To be certified or not? That is the question.

If someone asks you what is the most important piece of paper you have, what would you say? Whatever you choose, you know that none of these are mere papers, they represent much more. In business, becoming certified in one area is not just a piece of paper. It represents your time invested, your resources and the hard work behind it.

There are many things to consider when we decide to invest in our career. Some people take into account the financial moment behind the investment, some concentrate on the credentials of the certification body, while some focus on the applicability of the certificate – is it a local certificate, or will you be able to use it internationally?

Both local and international training provides you with different levels of knowledge and potential for further development, so you need to choose what is significant to you. If you want to learn the basics about what Agile is and what Scrum is; what are the Scrum roles and their responsibilities; how Scrum works; what a self-organizing and cross-functional team looks like; non-certified training is good enough and more rational in terms of investment. You will get what you expected, and your knowledge is sufficient to talk about this topic with your friends.

However, if your ambition is to gain valuable knowledge and if you want to develop further in this field, then you have to choose wisely. The price should not be a decisive element if you invest in your future.

Nowadays, when the whole world is becoming one big market, you want to make sure that your time and resources are well invested, and that international company recognizes and value the certification you have.

There are two world organizations that support people on their Agile career path: Scrum Alliance and Scrum Org. They have top-notch trainers, complete infrastructure, program quality standards, and continuing educational support. These are the reasons why you choose a trustful educational center.

The benefits of an internationally recognized Scrum Alliance certificate are:

  • International certificate is recognized by all companies in the world
  • Continuing education – there is continual support to improve and learn, not only for basic training programs but for advanced as well
  • Agile community – Scrum Alliance has a worldwide network that is willing to help anyone in the group
  • Regular yearly events for members, such as Global Scrum Gathering and Regional Scrum Gathering, where you have an opportunity to meet and connect with the best experts and companies in this field
  • Access to a world Agile library written by Coaches and the community of Scrum Alliance and Scrum org
  • The only recognized certificates for further development – If you aspire to become an Agile Coach you need to have basic international certificates (by Scrum Alliance or Scrum Org).

You need to take all these into consideration when you decide to invest in yourself. You don’t want to end up in a dead-end because you chose a certificate that doesn’t offer any upgrade or to pay double, because you were not informed properly prior to making a decision.

Agile Serbia has dedicated over a decade to helping people choose the best and the right certificates for them. As Scrum Alliance Registered Education Ally (REA), we are part of the renewed provider of internationally recognized certificates.

Inform well and make a good long-term decision to advance in your career.

Check the Agile Month Spring 2022 courses and join us!

What are the Top Skills of an outstanding Certified Scrum Master?

„That absolute alignment of purpose and trust is something that creates greatness.“ – Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

 

It’s inevitable that these turbulent times inspect our ability to adapt to a certain situation. Agile is quite a logical answer in these circumstances. Let’s say that you’re searching for an ideal solution and ideal vocation that has become more and more valuable in almost every business. Have you considered becoming a Scrum Master? And the most frequently asked question:

 

What skills do I need to have in order to become a Scrum Master?

 

Well, before that, let’s talk about one myth about this role: Anybody can become a Scrum Master. Doesn’t it? According to Knowledge Hut, a Scrum Master is supposed to be a person who does not involve personally into the discussions going on in the sprints and daily stand-ups and keeps his eyes on the goal even when emotions are running high during the Scrum meetings. In reality, emotional intelligence is the most important prerequisite to become a Scrum Master.

 

 

To become a real Scrum Master Sensei you need to consider Scrum Master certification that is nowadays mandatory by many companies. In our ten years of experience in the Scrum Master course and certification, in cooperation with Scrum Alliance as a world-leading organization, we have educated more than 1500 participants.

Imagine two different persons. Two individuals, ready to invest in their Scrum Master careers. But, wait, what’s the distinction between these two? Answer: in their skills.

 

 

#1 Soft and Hard Skills

 

Through proper Certification, it’s easy to distinguish soft and hard skills. But, it is truly challenging to adopt them. So, technical skills are really essential. According to Scrum Guide, Scrum Masters aren’t part of the Development Team. Actually, they’re coaching the Development Team and the Product Owner and helping the Team as a whole to see as many benefits of Scrum as possible. On the other hand, organizational skills are inevitable for your role. The Scrum Master is responsible for keeping the entire team on schedule and ensuring that no task assignments escape notice. He/she must ensure that everyone stays on track. When we’re talking about soft skills, you probably heard that every Scrum Master needs to be a proper servant leader – someone who is always at service to make others great instead of blaming or judging the team and the Product Owner. SM helps, guides and supports, in each aspect of Sprint.

 

#2 Sharing is caring

 

And encouraging collaboration, right? Scrum Masters’ skill is to carefully observe the activities of his team on daily basis. Having good communication in order to discuss ideas and plans with the team is also a desirable skill. As sharing ideas are important, listening to others’ views is also meaningful. Finally, SM shares his/her experience via conferences, meet-ups, seminars and meetings with different people within or out of the company or project.

 

#3 Worthwhile partnership with Product Owner

 

Success isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey, right? In this adventure, Scrum Masters and Product Owners are friends. They complement each other in current projects. Scrum Master should support the Product Owner in decision and empowerment issues and also help with tools and techniques.  Experienced professionals say that Scrum Master is a mix of an HR manager and Process manager, but on the other hand, Product Owner’s guiding about the business value of the product is priceless. Also, Product Owner should have a global perception of the clients’ demands. For these reasons, the Scrum Master needs the Product Owner. And this is one long, unbreakable circle.

 

#4 And, what about the Scrum Leadership?

 

Leadership is the key to 99% of all successful efforts, right? Scrum Leadership is something you’ll learn continuously. But, here are some great tips that great leaders say every day:

a) “What do you need?”

This is crucial for two reasons. First, people need to know that you care about them on personal and professional levels and that you want them to succeed. Second, if you’ve put together a great plan, you need to leverage every person’s abilities to the maximum extent possible.

b) “I trust you.”

If you can’t trust the people on your team, then they shouldn’t be in your team. You need to trust their integrity, judgment, confidence and their passion – and you need to ensure that they understand how much you depend on them.

c) “You can count on me.”

If your team can’t trust you, they shouldn’t do you the great honor of letting you lead them. So tell them you’ve got their back, and then work like hell to fulfill the promises you make.

 

And these are just small pieces of a great puzzle called Scrum Masters’ skills. Organization, empathy and a sense of community are also crucial, and we assure you that through certification, especially working with different people and their mindset, you’ll notice these significant aspects faster and smarter.

 


 

Don’t be shy and join us on this unusual journey. 🎯 

 

Scrum Master skills are easy to find but very challenging to learn. If you’re at the beginning, maybe you are looking for Certified Scrum Master Course (13th – 14th April 2021) with Petri Heiramo. He will be your trainer, teacher, coach and true support during this important journey.

Are you with us?

 

Importance of Scrum Certification or Scrum training

How much is important for your career in Scrum to have officially recognized certification? What is Scrum Certification? There is no clear definition, but we could say Scrum certification is a course where attendees are groomed to become self-motivated and become keen to accept greater responsibility. The certification serves to prove the credentials of the skills in Scrum terminology, practices, and principles.

Certificates for the main Scrum roles are issued by relevant institutions, such as Scrum Alliance or Scrum.org and others. Only these certificates are recognized internationally, and they are proven records of proper Scrum training and education. Furthermore, they are confirmation of Scrum theory and practice knowledge for the owner of these certificates.

 

Being a part of the Scrum team

Belonging to the Scrum team means to accept self-organization and responsibility. It also means the importance of self-confidence which points to becoming a self-organized individual in one’s life. Scrum certification emphasizes the importance of self-organization which ultimately results in the following:
1. Team participation and a feeling of self-ownership in members;
2. Employees are self-motivated which can lead to improved performance in a team;
3. New environment that is preferable for growth.

Being a part of the self-organized team does not mean that any team member can act in their way. Still the most important within any Scrum team are two roles, Scrum Master and Product Owner. These are the most concerned team members, who take responsibility for the whole team to be always noted and in-line with the common goals. So, what certification means for them?

 

How certification improves the practice

For the beginning, after certification, you will be much more clear about Scrum values and ceremonies. One of the greatest advantages of Scrum certification or Scrum training is that in the execution of Sprint if any of the team members require help for finishing the assigned tasks. Leading roles improve their skills of the regular interaction with the team, which is a must during the Daily Meetings.

There are so many questions about why meetings are so inefficient, they often take more than 15 minutes, Scrum team member fail with following Scrum rules. That’s why it is very important for the main roles to be well trained and to accept all values and principles prescribed by Scrum. The best opportunity to build a basis for successful Scrum in practice is exactly certified Scrum courses.

The core team of Scrum also works very closely with important stakeholders for making changes and better improvements. Experience from the certification helps team members to improve their practices with potential new ideas and approaches. That way the Scrum team can implement required changes and improvements needed, and design the product or service according to the client’s needs.

 

From a Scrum Master’s point of view

A Scrum Master certification proves that you have the necessary skills and practices that companies are looking for in this role. Agile project realization requires a dedicated person who can run and efficiently perform all operations, leading people and processes. That’s why there is an increasing demand for Scrum Masters, especially those outstanding. The certification is a milestone in reaching that level.

There are so many reasons why certification could be helpful in the Scrum Master career. It helps the practitioner to acquire and effectively use Scrum, whether as a beginner, or a professional who has executed Scrum before. Certification expands Scrum knowledge and can help you overcome obstacles. If you’re managing large teams across complex organizations, then even better.

After certification, you can significantly improve team communication and collaboration, motivating and leading team members. Scrum Master makes influence to the Scrum team with its skills helping the team to move away from the phase of storming to successful performing. Earned credentials showcase your team members that you have the experience and skills to lead an Agile team successfully.

Becoming a Certified Scrum Master can significantly expand your career opportunities because it proves that you have an Agile mindset, that is advantageous to your organization. You will enable the right skills needed to contribute to organizational change and fulfilling the business’s goals. The certification will make you more marketable in your field, bringing you more other career benefits regarding higher salary, etc. To be clear, we are speaking about recognized certificates, not about local or limited confirmations.

 

From a Product Owner’s point of view

The Product Owner needs skills such as facilitation, conflict management, creative thinking, and the ability to influence the team and other stakeholders. From a business point of view, the role of the Product Owner is very important and challenging. Certification improves the knowledge and experience in handling teams and pressures of the organization and deadlines for any Product Owner. The same as for the Scrum Master that means that you should have recognized certificate from an accredited institution.

This role is a key stakeholder who is responsible for ensuring that each product feature provides maximum value promptly. Because of some of the responsibilities and competencies of the Product Owner role and their similarity to Business Analysis or Product Manager, many times some of these roles become the Product Owner.

A Product Owner’s task as per the content of Scrum certification is to prioritize as this role represents the voice of the Customer. Certification and training are helpful for the Product Owner and Scrum team to deliver products successfully, working efficiently. The same as optimizing the working process by reaching all business goals and obtaining profit.

Since Agile quickly becoming the standard practice, and the Scrum framework has already become the most popular and widely applied Agile framework worldwide, demand for Product Owners is tremendous. Companies and organizations are looking for the perspective and skilled professionals for this role. For sure and the average salary for a Certified Product Owner shows they are appreciated.

 

Final thoughts – to be or not to be (Certified)?

Even if you don’t know much about Scrum, and you are just about to start using it or you have already started, the certification will help you build a solid base of Scrum knowledge and understand the concepts of Scrum framework. Whether you are an experienced practitioner or in the initial stages of using the Agile approach, and in the process of Agile transformation, the certification will provide you with the important knowledge, set of skills and techniques for practice improvement.

You should develop an Agile mindset if you want to work with the Agile and with Scrum effectively. The Agile mindset is a key factor for the teams to achieve a successful Agile and self-sustaining approach. As a member of the Scrum team, you have to think in an Agile way. That will lead to a decrease in disagreements, more successful projects and better team collaboration.

The certifications will provide you with in-depth practical knowledge to improve all these skills necessary to achieve the mentioned goals. Also, it makes you relevant and marketable in your field, since certification is a sign of honor as well. Certifications will improve your career growth across any organization or industry that engages with Agile, enabling your professional and personal development.

So, are these reasons strong enough for you? If yes, you may ask Agile Serbia team for any information you need, about courses, certification process, etc. Many useful answers you can find here, however, do not hesitate to ask a question, it’s our pleasure to support your Agile growth.