#105. Dan Foster, a senior consultant and solutions architect at CRM Dynamics, asks, "Have you found much benefit from your being a scrum master? If so, how did you get that training?"
I've taken the Scrum Alliance Certified ScrumMaster training and certification and the Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master training and certification. Find out which one I recommend for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform professionals and why.
You'll also find a video accompanying this podcast episode on the Customery Academy YouTube channel.
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Have you found much benefit from your being a scrum master? If so, how did you get that training?Neil Benson:
That's the question we're going to answer in this episode of Amazing Applications. Roll intro... Hi, this is Neil Benson, Microsoft MVP for business applications, and I'm a Certified ScrumMaster with Scrum Alliance and a Professional Scrum Master with Scrum.org. We're going to be discussing Scrum training in this episode, so I'm laying down my credentials nice and early. Welcome to Amazing Applications episode 105, which means you can find the show notes and a transcription for this episode at https://amazingapps.show/105. And if you listen all the way to the end there is a bonus waiting for you, and that's also included in the show notes at that link. This episode is also available on the Customery Academy YouTube channel at Youtube.com/CustomeryAcademy. That's the word customer with a Y on the end academy. Look for the video called, "How did you get scrum master training?" In this episode, we're answering a question from Dan Foster. Dan is a senior consultant and solution architect at CRM Dynamics, an HSO company. He's from Toronto, Canada. Don't forget if you've got an issue you'd like addressed on Amazing Apps, you can send it to me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or voicemail https://speakpipe.com/customery. If it's about adopting or applying an agile approach to building Microsoft business apps, I'll do my best to answer. Or we can find a guest who can answer it for you. Dan sent me a question in a LinkedIn message.Dan Foster:
A quick question for you. Have you found much benefit from your being a scrum master? If so, how did you get that training? Thanks.Neil Benson:
Thanks for your question, Dan let's get into it. Have I found much benefit from being a scrum master? Heck yeah, I have Dan! Some of you might already know how I got started with Scrum. I was running a CRM hosting company in the UK, called Increase CRM. We won a project to implement Dynamics CRM 4.0 for a 300- user company called Premier Medical Group. Debbie Crag was the operations director and our project sponsor at Premier Medical. We had pitched Microsoft's official methodology for implementing Dynamics business applications. It was called Sure Step and it's a classic, waterfall methodology with defined phases, lots of upfront documentation and a big bang release into production. At the end of the analysis phase, Dan Barber, and I had written hundreds of pages of requirements and published the functional requirements document, the FRD. We hoped that Debbie would approve it straight away so we could roll it on to the design phase immediately. You know what it's like? Downtime is a killer for a Microsoft partner and we didn't want to wait. But Debbie didn't approve the FRD straight away. In fact, she said it was ambiguous, filled with jargon, like entities and attributes. Today, we've got tables and columns, but it's the same thing. And she felt that some important requirements were missing. But more importantly, Debbie didn't want to wait for 18 months before all the functionality was ready and deployed into production. She wanted to be more involved in a collaborative development effort. And she wanted to see working software earlier and have premier medical realize the benefits of their investment quicker. So we switched to Scrum. That was back in 2008. I've only once ever fallen off the wagon and reverted to a classic sequential approach since then. Around 2011 or 2012, I spent about 18 months at the Royal bank of Scotland in London, working as a solutions architect on three CRM projects, retail banking, corporate banking and commercial insurance. I was working alongside Capgemini, Microsoft Consulting Services, and lots of other independent consultants. We succeeded in producing lots of requirements and design documentation, and we failed to produce any working software. At least in the time I was there. I understand that they've gone live in the 10 years since, but they could have been live 10 years earlier. American Homes 4 Rent, Advantage Solutions. University of New South Wales, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland and my current project at the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. Those are some of the larger business apps projects my teams have successfully delivered using Scrum since then. We've delivered on time and under budget, but more importantly, our customers have had a better return on their investment and met all their business goals. Our project owners and the project sponsors have got covered in glory and magnificence. And my teams have had the time of their lives. No, seriously. I've had lots of, uh, experienced, but bitter and twisted Dynamics professionals tell me that this first Scrum project has been the best project of their careers and they've never realized it could be this good. If you'd love to hear that kind of feedback from your customers and team members, then switching to Scrum might be worth considering. Swinging back around to Dan's question about Scrum training. I got my Certified ScrumMaster training from renowned author and Certified Scrum Trainer, Mike Cohn in about 2013. It costs around 1200 U.S. Dollars, and it was a two day in-person class in Southern California. I thought they were going to be the 10 or 20 people in the class and we get lots of interaction with Mike. It turns out that there were over 60 people in the class and the interaction was all group exercises. There wasn't anyone else in the class with Microsoft Business Apps experience, so my group exercises weren't as practical as I would have liked. But I learned enough to pass the CSM certification afterwards. And that certification expired two years later. An alternative to Scrum Alliance Certified ScrumMaster training, and the certification is the one that I recommended today, it's Scrum.org's Professional Scrum Master I certification. If you're a business apps professional, you're probably familiar with PL-900, the Power Platform fundamentals or 901 or 910 or 920, the Dynamics 365 Fundamentals. These are great courses, exams and certifications for beginners, joining our teams or joining our industry. It shows that they've got the basics covered, but it doesn't make them into an experienced architect. Professional Scrum Master level 1 is similar. It covers the fundamentals and achieving the PSM1 certification shows you've got the basics covered. I think it's a perfect starting point for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform professionals, whether you work for your Microsoft customer, a partner, or for yourself. One of the things I like about Scrum.org's certifications, like PSM1, which is different from the Scrum Alliance's certifications is that you can take the certification assessment without, um, attending the official training class. Just like Microsoft certifications, which you can take through Pearson VUE whether you have attended an official training course or not. Professional Scrum Trainers run PSM1 training courses all the time, all over the world. Today, they are online, virtual classes and they still take two days, and they cost around $1,200. The chances are that your trainer and your fellow students have never heard of Dynamics 365, Power Apps or Power BI. Luckily Dan, and for everyone else listening, I have a Scrum for Microsoft Business Apps online training course. It's designed to help you learn Scrum, achieve your PSM1 certification and apply Scrum to your business apps projects. It's got heaps of videos split across Scrum fundamentals and then proven practices for applying what you've just learned to Dynamics 365 and Power Platform projects. It's got quizzes to check your learning and a comprehensive practice exam to check that you're ready for your PSM1 certification. It's got case studies with lessons I learned from my early projects and there's a community of other students and a discussion board supporting each lesson. Redspire and Incremental Group are two Microsoft partners in Scotland, they've actually recently merged, and they have both invested in the Team Edition of the Scrum from Microsoft Business Apps course. They are getting their consultants certified in PSM1, and they're doing tremendous work in an agile manner for customers like Virgin Money in the UK. If it's time to move on from just listening or watching, uh, all about an agile approach and actually started being agile, then you can visit customery.com/scrum. Thanks for making it all the way through this video. Enter code YouTube20 today for a 20% discount on the Professional Edition of the course. Dan, I appreciate your question. Thanks for reaching out. Thanks for listening. I really appreciate your joining me on this episode of Amazing Applications. Once again, if you'd like your question about learning Scrum or applying it to your applications, you can reach me by email email@example.com or leave a voicemail https://speakpipe.com/customery. I've got a healthy backlog of questions and I hope to have some guests join me on future episodes to help me answer them. In fact, let me know if you would like to join me. That would be awesome. Drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a LinkedIn message and we'll get you on the show and we'll have a chat about a Scrum related topic for business applications. Until then, remember, keep sprinting.