Agile Project Management has become the buzzword across all the industries in today’s world. According to Gartner, Inc., IT organizations are under intense pressure to manage project resources for near-real-time changes. That’s why IT organizations are on the lookout for people trained in agile project management. Gartner predicts the demand for agile project leaders will increase by 75 percent from 2013 to 2017.
The agile approach to project management equips project teams to deliver quality results in reduced timeframes, plan for continuous improvement and to quickly respond to changing requirements.
The Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile development framework for managing projects and enables the creation of self-organizing teams specializing in breaking down complex and large scope of work in a very short period of time and involving every team member to fully realize the potential and offer superior value proposition to clients. Without a doubt it is one of the popular and leading Agile practices in the industry.
The ACI-ASM® credential recognizes your knowledge of scrum methodologies, enterprise tools, techniques, transforming the business requirements into working software and ensuring the productivity of the team. It is the ideal certification to test the candidate's ability to apply the skills and knowledge necessary in the Scrum environment.
Though I was always working in an agile process environment with better-than-peer abilities, I still felt I needed a very special Agile-focused qualification if I wanted to break the glass ceiling and accelerate my growth. The ASM® program fit in my scheme of things perfectly as there's nothing as rigorous and as global as ASM®, as this qualification is from ACI®. Today, I am viewed with a greater respect by my peers and superiors and I am able to deploy global best-practices of agile more easily at my workplace.
Agile Scrum Master role is a very unique and broad role in Agile/ Scrum which combines all of the challenging aspects of traditional Project Management andScrum. Moreover, Scrum Master represents the customer point of view in aAgile project,to ensure maximum added value for each and every release to the customer.
The Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for developing and managing software projects and application development. It was first advocated in 1986 by Hirotaka Takeuchi and IkujiroNonaka. It is called the rugby approach, as the entire process is performed by one cross-functional team across multiple overlapping phases.
The potential benefits of Scrum is realized through its tools like product backlog, sprint backlog, burn-down charts and techniques like daily meetings, sprint planning and review meetings. The team is highly motivated by challenges in developing opportunities from discussing requirements to implementing the product. Hence it represents a cultural change for organizations used to more traditional methods.
Scrum - Empirical Process Control Model The Scrum is based on Empiricism which states that applied knowledge is derived from experience, observation and making informed decisions on the known factors. This approach treats product development as a self-organizing process enabling Scrum teams to deliver working model software in an iterative manner to meet customer requirements.
Transparency: Those aspects of the process that affect the outcome must be visible to those controlling the process
Inspection: The various aspects of the process must be inspected frequently enough that unacceptable variances in the process can be detected.
Adaptation: The process or the material being processed must be adjusted if one or more aspects of the process are outside acceptable limits and the resulting product will be unacceptable.
There are three fundamental roles in the Scrum method of agile software development. These are also referred to as Core roles.
The Product Owner is accountable for ensuring the team delivers value to the business and is the voice of the customer.The Team consists of a group ranging between 7-9 individuals with cross functional skills and is responsible for the delivery of potentially shippable product increments.
The Scrum Master is the buffer between the team and any distracting influences and he is responsible for removing the impediments to the team in their task of the deliverables. He is also responsible for defining and facilitating the process and facilitates the team to improve.
He is often referred to as the servant-leader.Scrum supports the core roles and a range of ancillary roles. The core roles are committed to the project and directly involved in building the product.
Ancillary roles are outside the Scrum and have no formal role in the Scrum process however they too are involved in the overall enterprise environments. They could be:
The Scrum structures product development in cycles of work known as Sprints. A Sprint is the basic unit of development in Scrum and is of a specific fixed duration, which cannot be extended whether the work is completed or not. This is called 'Timboxed' effort.
A typical Sprint is 1-4 weeks long and takes place one after another(Sprint follows Sprint). At the beginning of each Sprint, a cross-functional team selects items from a prioritized list of requirements, andcommits to complete them by the end of the Sprint; during the Sprint, the deliverable does not change.
Each work day, the team gathers briefly to report to each other on progress, and update simple charts that orient them to the work remaining. At the end of the Sprint, the team demonstrates what they have built, and gets feedback which can then be incorporated in the next Sprint. Scrum emphasizes producing working product at the end of the Sprint is really “done”; in the case of software, this means code that is fully tested and potentially shippable.
Scrum adopts the policy of “inspect and adapt” where for a unit of development the learning and experience is improved by inspecting both the resulting product and the efficacy of the existing processes and aligning them with the product goals and practices.
The Scrum Team consists of a Product Owner, th eDevelopment Team, and a ScrumMaster. Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional. Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team. Cross - functional teams have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team. The team model in Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity, and productivity.
ScrumTeams deliver products iteratively and incrementally, maximizing opportunities for feedback. Incremental deliveries of “Done” product ensure a potentially useful version of working product is always available.
The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.
The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:
The Development Team consists of professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially releasable Increment of “Done” product at the end of each Sprint. Only members of the Development Team create the Increment.
Development Teams are structured and empowered by the organization to organize and manage their own work. The resulting synergy optimizes the Development Team’s overall efficiency and effectiveness.
The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do t his by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules.
The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.
Scrum prescribes four formal events for inspection and adaptation,
Prescribed events are used in Scrum to create regularity and to minimize the need for meetings not defined in Scrum. All events are time-boxed events, such that every event has a maximum duration. Once a Sprint begins, its duration is fixed and cannot be shortened or lengthened. The remaining events may end whenever the purpose of the event is achieved; ensuring an appropriate amount of time is spent without allowing waste in the process.
Other than the Sprint itself, which is a container for all other events, each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt something. These events are specifically designed to enable critical transparency and inspection. Failure to include any of these events results in reduced transparency and is a lost opportunity to inspect and adapt.
The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-box of one month or less during which a “Done”, useable, and potentially releasable product Increment is created. Sprints best have consistent durations throughout a development effort. A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint.
Sprints contain and consist of the Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, the development work, the Sprint Review, and the Sprint Retrospective. During the Sprint:
The work to be performed in the Sprint is planned at the Sprint Planning. This plan is created by the collaborative work of the entire Scrum Team.
Sprint Planning is time-boxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter. The Scrum Master ensures that the event takes place and that attendants understand its purpose. The Scrum Master teaches the Scrum Team to keep it within the time-box.
By the end of the Sprint Planning, the Development Team should be able to explain to the Product Owner and ScrumMaster how it intends to work as a self-organizing team to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment.
The Sprint Goal is an objective set for the Sprint that can be met through the implementation of Product Backlog. It provides guidance to the Development Team on why it is building the Increment. It is created during the Sprint Planning meeting. The Sprint Goal gives the Development Team some flexibility regarding the functionality implemented within the Sprint. The selected Product Backlog items deliver one coherent function, which can be the Sprint Goal. The Sprint Goal can be any other coherence that causes the Development Team to work together rather than on separate initiatives.
The Daily Scrum is a15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24hours.This is done by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting the work that could be done before the next one. The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity. During the meeting, the Development Team members explain:
A Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the Increment and adapt the Product Backlog if needed. During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint. Based on that and any changes to the Product Backlog during the Sprint, attendees collaborate on the next things that could be done to optimize value. This is an informal meeting, not a status meeting, and the presentation of the increment is intended to elicit feedback and foster collaboration.
This is a four-hour time-boxed meeting for one-month Sprints. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter. The ScrumMaster ensures that the event takes place and that attendants understand its purpose. The ScrumMaster teaches all to keep it within the time-box.
The result of the Sprint Review is a revised Product Backlog that defines the probable Product Backlog items for the next Sprint. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted overall to meet new opportunities.
The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to been acted during the next Sprint.
The Sprint Retrospective occurs after the Sprint Review and prior to the next Sprint Planning. This is a three-hour time-boxed meeting for one-month Sprints. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter. The Scrum Master ensures that the event takes place and that attendants understand its purpose. The Scrum Master teaches all to keep it within the time-box. The Scrum Master participates as a peer team member in the meeting from the accountability over the Scrum process.
Scrum’s artifacts represent work or value to provide transparency and opportunities for inspection and adaptation. Artifacts defined by Scrum are specifically designed to maximize transparency of key information so that everybody has the same understanding of the artifact.
The Product Backlog is an ordered list of ever thing that might be needed in the product and is the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product. The Product Owner is responsible for the Product Backlog, including its content, availability, and ordering.
A Product Backlog is never complete. The earliest development of it only laysout the initially known and best - understood requirements. The Product Backlog evolvesas the product and the environment in which it will be used evolves. The Product Backlog is dynamic; it constantly change stoidentify what the product needs to be appropriate, competitive, and useful. As long as a product exists, its Product Backlog also exists.
The Product Backlog lists all features, functions, requirements, enhancements, and fixes that constitute the changes to be made to the product in future releases. Product Backlog items have the attributes of a description, order, estimate and value.
The Sprint Backlog is the set of Product Back log items selected for the Sprint, plus a plan for delivering the product Incrementand realizing the Sprint Goal.The Sprint Backlog is a forecast by the Development Team a bout what functionality will be in the next Increment and the work needed to deliver that functionality in to a “Done” Increment.
The Sprint Back log makes visible all of the work that the Development Team identifies as necessary to meet the Sprint Goal.
The Sprint Backlog is a plan with enough detail that changes in progress can be under stood in the Daily Scrum. The Development Team modifies the Sprint Back log throughout the Sprint, and the Sprint Back log emerges during the Sprint. This emergence occurs as the Development Team works through the plan and lears more about the work needed to achieve the Sprint Goal.
When a Product Back log item or an Increment is described as “Done”, everyone must understand what “Done” means. Although this varies significantly per Scrum Team, members must have a shared understanding of what it means for work to be complete, to ensure transparency. This is the definition of “Done” for the Scrum Team and is used to assess when work is complete on the product Increment.
The same definition guides the Development Team in knowing how many Product Back log items it can select during a Sprint Planning. The purpose of each Sprint is to deliver Increments of potentially releasable functionality that adhere to the Scrum Team’s current definition of “Done.”
As Scrum Teams mature, it is expected that their definition so f “Done” will expand to include more stringent criteria for higher quality. Anyone product or system should have a definition of “Done” that is a standard for any work done on it.
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I found your web site after checking out USD 2000 price from another Scrum certification provider for training and 500$ for certification. That is too much for me to personally pay for. I am interested in making a certification program from your Agile Certification Institute for ScrumMaster. However, I don't have much background and project experience with Agile/Scrum. What is your suggestion?
At this point in time, ACI® does not impose a policy that you have to be trained from any expensive training providers to appear for our certifications. You can get training on Agile concepts from our website links and also the Master Standards which are provided to you once you register for the exam. Almost 40% of our certificants appear for certifications without any additional training (other than our website links and the Master Standards made available once you register).
How are the success rates of Agile certification programs?
The first time Success rate of Accredited Agile Practitioner (AAP®) Certification Program is 80%, whereas the success rates of Accredited ScrumMaster (ASM®) Certification is 82%. For Accredited Product Owner (APO®) Certification and Accredited SAFe Agile Practitioner (ASAP®) Certification Programs are 65%. However, most candidates seem to clear the certification in their second attempt, thereby incurring no additional expenses (All our certification programs provide two attempts for a single registration towards any certification)
Can you please provide more insights about the structure of the questions of your certification programs?
The exam questions contains of a total of 75 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. The questions are based on the Master Standards approved by Agile Professional Certification Council (APCC) with a 50:50 focus on the theoretical aspects as well as practical challenges of working in an agile setting.
How soon after the registration, will I receive access to take the examination?
After you register for the exam, you have to choose a slot which is preferable for you. We provide 24 slots in a day and they are available all 365 days in a year. The remote proctoring is done via webcam (so your computer MUST have a working webcam to take up this certification). The exam software locks your screen and hence you cannot change your browser. Also you will not be allowed to move away from the computer screen during the exam. Any such violations will result in forfeiture of your attempt at the exam and you will have to take a second attempt.
How soon after the completion of my examination, will I receive my Certification and Test Results?
It is a matter of a few seconds. Your answers are processed and evaluated real-time and you will receive your test results as soon as you submit the answers of your Agile Certification Examination. However to receive the certification, you have to clear all the three levels- Written Assessment, Submission of a Thesis (600 - 900 words) and a peer / managed feedback.
Can you let me know the procedure for the examination and details of written assessment?
Before you take the examination, as part of registration you are required to upload one of the photo ID's recommended by APCC (Includes a passport, a valid driving license of your country or any other government issued photo ID). Your ID will be verified against you personally via webcam before the test lock is released on your appointed registration time so as to ensure the test takes is the person whose ID is presented. We provide 24 slots in a day and they are available all 365 days in a year. This means pretty much you can take the exam anytime you want in a year. Our proctoring team works from three different countries so as to enable 24x7 coverage of the test taking. The registration is valid for a period of one year. The remote proctoring is done via webcam (so your computer MUST have a working webcam to take up this certification). The exam software locks your screen and hence you cannot change your browser or search online or use your browser for any purpose other than taking test during this period. Also you will not be allowed to move away from the computer screen during the exam. Any such violations are treated with seriousness and you will become ineligible to continue the certification exam. You will have to take up the exam after re-scheduling and this shall be treated as a second attempt.
Can you let me know more details of Thesis submission?
The thesis to be submitted should be between 600 words and 900 words (Roughly about one A4 page equivalent). The topic can be chosen by the candidate. Several topics and samples of previous thesis submissions are provided to candidate after they clear the assessment test. Most candidates have no difficulty clearing the Thesis level.
Can you let me know more details of peer/manager submission?
Once you submit the thesis, you will have to get recommendations from three members (either peers or managers) recommending this credential be bestowed upon you. Each of the referee has to fill an online recommendation from which consists of five (5) questions on which he will be rating on a scale of 1-10 (1 is low and 10 is highest). All these recommenders must possess a valid corporate e-mail ID (Any exceptions need approval from APCC). You will have to get an aggregate of 50% in all the recommendations to obtain the ACI credential. In case, you do not get the required rating, you can modify the reference providers and re-submit to a new set of recommenders. Our past records indicate no one had difficulty clearing this final round of assessment.
What is the validity of the registration?
You must complete all the requirements of the assessment within one year from the date of registration. If you cannot complete all the formalities of the assessment, you will automatically lose your registration and have to register.
I have received your global credential for Agile Certification recently. Is there any validity to my certificate? Also, should I pay any annual membership fees?
Once you are certified by ACI®, the certification is valid for 4 years. Every 4 years you have receive 45 knowledge points (KPs) to renew your certification. The Master Standards on Agile undergo changes every few years and we want all our certificants to update their knowledge every 4 years. However, you do NOT need to write the exam again. One knowledge point is approximately equal to one hour of class room instruction or one hour of effort on reading a relevant text book etc. You will have to pay a fee of 20$ every four years to renew your credential and maintain your licence details in our certified agile Practioners database. However, most of this information is available in "My ACI" once you get certified. Most of the relevant books are available as e-copies to be read online in "My ACI®" and these count towards earning KPs.
Will you help me get a job?
ACI® does not act like a placement agency and we do not directly provide jobs to any certificants. However, "Planet ACI® " provides a networking platform for Job providers from various companies all around the planet to post relevant jobs.
While I am making examination if I lose my Internet connectivity due to some technical issues, do I have to pay again to access the certification examination?
No problem at all. If this happens please inform us per e-mail and we will reactive your examination access code free of charge.
I just passed one of your certification programs. What kind of certificate do I receive?
As soon as you complete all the requirements of the certification, you will receive a PDF certificate which is printable if you wish (as it is generated with high quality). In addition, you will also receive your paper based certificate by regular mail within 3 months of clearing all the certification requirements. Please keep in mind that our paper certifications are processed in our back offices located in Singapore, India and Qatar and will contain metal objects (lapel pins) hence you will have a long lead time of 3 months to clear the customs requirements of your country. However, our database will reflect your certificate authenticity from the instant you clear all the requirements and you can use that in your CV.
I am considering registration for your Certification program. However, I have never possessed such a certification and I just would like to understand how such a certification looks like?
You can see a low resolution and miniaturized copy of the certificate in the respective section of the programs by selecting the respecting program links and navigating.
What is the difference between the certifications provided by Agile Certification Institute and other organizations?
According to our market analysis our programs cost less than 1/5 of the lowest cost of other online Scrum certification programs with better brand in the market. Moreover, together with the trust of our thousands of certificants we have brought a modern and friendly approach into the field of online Agile / Scrum certification programs which doesn't mandate practitioners like you to receive expensive classroom trainings before you prove and certify your competence in Agile/Scrum.
Why is your cost lower than others?
We use the latest technology in certification test taking based on Remote Proctoring and Screen Locking facilities in addition to large scale certification operations which brings down our cost of operations. We pass on some of these advantages to you, our certifications takers.
Are Scrum certifications valid in Europe and in Asia?
Yes. Certifications we issue are worldwide valid including in Europe and in Asia. Our certifications are valid and recognized in more than 120 countries around the world.
Will I get reimbursement for this certification from my organization?
ACI provides you with a detailed invoice. This coupled with successful completion of a certification from ACI provides you with reimbursement in most organizations around the planet. In case, you are not successful in claiming the reimbursement, you could alert us post your successful certification through "My ACI". Our global support team will then work with the leaders of your organization to enable reimbursement.
Do I receive PDU credits for ACI courses?
Yes. Please follow PMI's procedure. Our KPs are similar to those of PMI's PDUs.
Will I get a promotion by taking up your certification?
In most organizations, this counts towards continuing education and should enable you to get recognition and improve the chances of your promotion but keep in mind that this cannot be guaranteed by ACI®. Based on a survey of more than 1000 certificants in the past, we have seen an average of 3000% ROI on their investment on ACI certifications.
I am going to register for an agile certification program. Can I make the payment by using my credit issued from a Scotland bank?
Yes. Our trusted payment partner accepts all major credit cards issued from all banks around the world including the banks from Scotland.