235/365 How I became a Scrum Master

If you are not aware… I have made my paid Agile Scrum course free on my YouTube Channel.. And so I thought I will write about how I became a Scrum Master. The course is 6 part and here is Part 1.. You can watch all of them on the Penpositive YouTube channel

I wanted to always write about how I got here. I have several years’ experience working in the Hi-Tech space across three continents and 4 countries. It is nothing great looking at how traveled the general Tech Public is now a days. Before I got into Software Delivery I had a stint in Software Services Sales, Professional services, People Management and Product Marketing. I ended up at the Software delivery side of things via a Content Management route.

Around 12 years back I became fascinated with Content Management starting with my love for blogging. I started with delivering open CMS solutions and progressed to enterprise CMS solutions using Documentum Web Publisher and Adobe Experience Manager. Somewhere in between I landed on a Scrum Master role. It was more of a PM role that ran on Sprints. It is true that before this I had some knowledge of Scrum and had read a bit about Agile Programming as I was transitioning from the front-end customer engagement into a delivery role but nothing enough to be a Scrum Master.

Some people say that is a reverse progression Customer Facing to Delivery :). I don’t think so because there is only progression, no reverse or forward progressions.

Wearing a Scrum Master’s Hat with no formal training in Scrum had both its benefits and Challenges. The benefits included that solid foundation learned from really getting hurt bad. The Challenge always was the long learning curve and the bruises that came with it. But all went well for me by the time I got myself certified. And that was two years into the game and many decent Sprints later.

So for me I was playing the role of a Scrum Master much before I was officially certified as one. May be that is why I always think Certification should be backed with real experience on doing the work, always. I am not saying it has to be in the same order as I had. Since I learned much of it on the job, I went through so much iterations of my own knowledge and skills, that I kind of started having a philosophical connection with the Scrum Model.

I started seeing this whole process work for me personally that I started looking at Scrum beyond just the development of software.

Getting Certified was an interesting turn of events, because till then though I was a Scrum Master in my role, I did not really go out and say I was one even in my resume. I continued to call myself a Project Manager. But once I got certified I also started meeting many other people who had certification. To my surprise some of them had nothing to do with Scrum. A point when I felt my Pre-Certification experience added so much value to me as a Fresh Certified Scrum Master, when it comes to acting on the field.

Another turning point in my Scrum career was when I did my first training online for a team of 30 people with an average experience of 10+ years and included Project Managers, Delivery Heads, Developers, QA Engineers and so on.

A team of 30 who logged in for a 16 hour session across 4 days from many different countries. That is when I figured that my practical experience and learning from my own mistakes coupled with my story telling based Coaching and anecdotes kept a virtual class going well.

When you are a Scrum Master, for a while people always think what next. Some go the Manager Route, Some go the Coaching route and some even go the Product Owner route. But I chose a role of Scrum Master for multiple teams which helps me to be a Scrum Master for some team and a Mentor and coach for others.

Finally I decided that my career Goal is to bridge that Gap between Certification and Execution and the best way was to start blogging, that will help other aspiring Scrum Masters, people interested in getting certification and also help me in advancing my career.

We live in a ‘Not so Perfect’ world. An ideal scenario is good and an understanding of what that can be is needed for a foundation, but we all know that ideal scenarios do not exist everywhere. Every organization and every team and every individual is in a constant state of change in one way or other and you need to be creative in your processes and its practical application in order to build great products without complicating things. So I always stand my ground to be pragmatic and not rigid.

I have found there is more debate on what is truly Scrum and what is not. But the bottom line is what works for you. If I am a Scrum Master, my job is not to change what you do but to do things better. I am not married to any one process over others but I practice Scrum and try to figure out how best it works for my team.

Categories: Being Agile, Blog, Work & Career

Tags: , , , , ,

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