This CSM Training Might Not Be For You
This CSM is not for everyone. If you’re just looking to check a box for your resume/CV, to add three more letters to your LinkedIn profile, or to get a cheap, easy certification, we recommend you look at the dozens of other options that are much less expensive (and not as demanding — or useful).
You can look for cheaper/easier CSMs here: Scrum Alliance CSM search
Do You Want Something More?
This isn’t a “commodity” CSM. It’s for you if:
- You want to really understand why Agile and Scrum work (when they do).
- You aren’t looking for book knowledge, but rather understanding and skills you can apply right away.
- You want to help your team excel, and you see how Scrum might help you do that.
- You have tried Scrum and had a bad experience, and you can’t put your finger on what went wrong.
There’s some real magic when Scrum is done well in the right context. If you’re not feeling that magic right now, and you wish you were, read on. Here are four reasons this might be the perfect CSM for you:
- The trainer
- The course experience
- The outcomes
- The community
Reason 1: the trainer
Think back to your favorite class in school. The same topic can be mundane, boring, and just OK in the hands of the wrong teacher — or it can be meaningful, energizing, and even life-changing in the hands of the right teacher. The same is true for CSM courses. The trainer makes the course.
Who is this guy, anyway?
I’m glad you asked! I’m Peter Green, and I’ve been leading Scrum and Agile adoptions since 2005 when I helped the Audition product team at Adobe adopt Scrum. That team had a special experience, and we recently got some of those leaders together to talk about it:
I love that team and those people! It’s evidence of what happens when Scrum is done well:
- The skeptics on the team (every team has them), after they experienced what Scrum really was, would NEVER go back to the old way.
- The results spoke for themselves. For us, it was high quality, speed to market, and sustainable pace. For you, the most important goals might be quality, predictability, productivity, innovation, engagement, or impact.
- Other teams reached out to us to learn what we were up to with this Scrum thing. We’ve seen this pattern in almost every successful adoption: A team does it well enough to get good results, and that example starts to spread.
- Leaders in the organization started to pay attention, in our case, up to the CEO. When this goes well, other people in the organization see your results and begin advocating for Scrum.
In this CSM workshop, we share lots of examples like these from Adobe and many other companies. We want you to be able to nudge your team in that direction, so we make it a focus to share what actually works in real organizations, not just how Scrum works in theory.
One Success Story? Is that all?
Fair question. There are well known, successful trainers who base their training off something they did over a decade ago. They have been cashing in ever since, with no real experience applying it in today’s contexts.
That first success at Adobe led to many other teams asking how we did it. In 2008 my manager Barry created a new role for me at the company: Agile Transformation Leader. I was already spending lots of time helping other teams enjoy the benefits of Agile, and this made it official. Soon, I was helping some of the company’s flagship product teams adopt an Agile approach. Products you might have heard about like Photoshop, Acrobat, Premiere Pro, After Effects, InDesign, and Acrobat. We paved the way for Adobe to make the shift to a subscription model, a business shift that has led to over 10x growth in the past five years. We influenced nearly every product in the organization.
And it wasn’t just the product teams. We helped IT, core technology, and R&D teams apply Agile to their unique contexts. Then we started getting calls from departments like marketing, finance, and legal. In 2010 we started helping leaders. This planted the early seeds of our Leading Organizational Transformation class.
I left Adobe in 2015 to help others create that same magic. Since then I have provided CSM training for people at hundreds of companies, from well known big ones like Apple, Amazon, and Google, to extremely diverse companies like defense contractors, power utilities, hardware manufacturers, big-box retailers, and consumer product goods companies. We’ve discovered that Scrum is a great framework for any context where you have a team of people trying to create a thing. It’s been fun to see it applied well broadly.
Lots of Certified Scrum Trainers Have Experience. How does Peter stand out?
For more than five years, I have been a close advisor to the Scrum Alliance staff on their curriculum, program, and learning objective design. I played a key role in creating the Scrum Foundations, Path to CSP, and CAL programs. If you watch the Scrum Alliance videos describing the core aspects of Scrum, you might recognize the voice. The Scrum Alliance hired me to create those videos.
I’ve presented at dozens of regional and global conferences. A partial list:
- Agile Virtual Summit 2020: The Three Jobs of Agile Management
- Agile 2019: Lightning Talks Track Co-chair
- Agile 2018: The Surprising Links Between Jazz and Agile
- Agile Arizona 2018: Mindful Facilitation and Coaching
- Agile 2018: Overcoming Immunity to Change
- 2018 Global Scrum Gathering Minneapolis: Teaching Scrum by Making a Video
- 2018 Global Scrum Gathering Minneapolis: Authentic Scrum
- 2018 Global Scrum Gathering Minneapolis: Jazz and Scrum
- Agile 2018: Lightning Talks Track Chair
- Agile Arizona 2017: The Leadership Circle: An Agile Framework for Leadership Development
- Agile Arizona 2017: Agile Approaches to Change in your Personal and Organizational Life
- Agile 2017: Lightning Talks Track Co-chair
- 2017 Global Scrum Gathering San Diego: Rediscovering the Power of the Five Scrum Values
- Agile 2017: The Leadership Circle: An Agile Framework for Leadership Development link
- Agile Arizona 2016: Building Better Backlogs through Engaging with Customers
- Agile Arizona 2016: An Agile Perspective on Leadership
- Agile 2016: A Principles Based Approach to Scaling Agile.
- Agile 2016: Stop talking to a Brick Wall – how culture impacts conversations about Agile
- 2015 Agile Indy: The Power of the Scrum Values: The Human Side of Scrum
- 2015 Phoenix Scrum User Group and SLC Scrum User Group: Presented on leadership lessons from scaling Scrum at Adobe
- 2015 Humanizing Work Conference: several presentations
- 2015 Mile High Agile: presented on the Laloux Culture Model and helping Agile work well given a particular organization’s culture.
- 2015 Phoenix Scrum Gathering Keynote: Changing the World of Work–Agile, Lean, and In Between
- 2015 Phoenix Scrum Gathering: Lean Startup for Product Owners
- 2014 Humanizing Work Conference: several presentations
- 2014 Scrum Gathering New Orleans: “The Agile Planning Mindset,” a 90-minute release planning game, and “Jazz and Scrum,” an open space session showing what we can learn about scrum and agile from jazz musicians.
- Agile 2013: The Agile Planning Mindset
- Agile 2012: Presented “Premiere Pro Scrum Adoption” experience report
- HICSS 2011: Presented paper “Measuring the Impact of Scrum at Adobe Systems” for the agile track of the conference, chaired by Jeff Sutherland and Gabby Benefield
- 2009 Global Scrum Gathering – presented “Scrum At Adobe”, talking about the Audition team’s journey in adopting scrum.
When you take the CSM from me, you’re learning from a trainer who’s helped a hugely diverse set of teams apply Scrum and Agile approaches for over a decade. Someone the Scrum Alliance relies on to help create great training and programs. Someone who’s a recognized expert on Scrum, Agile, and beyond.
Humanizing Work is not some nameless, commodity training provider where the CSM is one of dozens or even hundreds of courses we provide. Agile and Scrum are at the core of everything we do. When you register for this CSM, you’re registering for Peter Green’s CSM class, not the lowest bidder for a contract with a huge training provider. No bait and switch, no question about experience or capability.
Peter is a phenomenal instructor! He is informative, efficient, engaging, and incredibly helpful! Wonderful course!
Elizabeth, 5 stars
Reason 2: the course experience
Over the past 12 years I’ve taught and refined this course more than 500 times. I know lots of trainers who haven’t updated their content in years. I don’t know how they do it. It would drive me crazy. I’m constantly iterating on my content, improving it in small and large ways for almost every single class. When you’re creating a great product, there’s just no substitution for real iteration with real customers.
I firmly believe there’s no such thing as a training design that is done. I’m always learning more, whether it’s a new approach that works more broadly, a principle or practice that I’ve learned DOESN’T work as well as I thought, a clearer way to describe or teach a concept, a cool facilitation technique that helps the content really land and become sticky, or sometimes simply a more fun way to do something in the class. (Fun matters! We learn better when we’re having fun.) And the context for Scrum is changing all the time. People coming to class now have different needs than they did even a year ago.
All that iteration experience made it pretty easy to pivot when things went virtual. When you flex your iteration muscles all the time, it’s just a fun challenge to flex them toward a new constraint. After nine months of all of our training going virtual, we’re seeing the same awesome results with virtual training that we did in person. We did have a head start on most trainers there, since we pioneered virtual Scrum Alliance training with our A-CSPO years before the pandemic hit.
These days, there are many aspects of virtual training that we like BETTER than in-person, which shocked me. I never would have predicted that, but it’s been a silver lining during a challenging time. This virtual CSM is a fun, team-and-project based experience. No PowerPoint, very little lecture, just core concepts that you practice in a team setting. We’ll have fun learning the why and what of Agile & Scrum, then practice using it for more than half the class time.
What makes our class experience so much better?
Personal learning. Instead of tediously reciting the planned content, Peter adapts to each group and delivers what each person actually needs.
Deep understanding. You’ll learn not only what Scrum is, but also how to do it in a variety of contexts, constraints, and cultures — and you’ll understand what Scrum means to you, your team and your organization.
Working together. The virtual collaboration in this class is better than many in-person classes.
You won’t stump Peter. You’ll get a satisfying answer to every question he has time to answer, usually with a cool story to illustrate the point.
No ego. We don’t have our self-worth tied up in you doing Scrum. We don’t waste time trying to convince you. We just explain how it works (when it works) and trust you to decide whether (or how) to implement it in your team.
What do our students say?
I attended Peter Green’s CSM training in a virtual format. As someone who has had the pleasure of attending Peter’s in-person CSPO training last year, I was worried about the format and possibly not getting as much out of the class as before. Peter Green’s amazing implementation of online collaboration tools and Zoom made the class just as engaging as an in-person training (if not better)!
Kevin, 5 stars
This turned out to be such a good collaborative and interactive course that I often forgot we were not all in a room together.
Cindi, 5 stars
Peter really has perfected his trade and used technology in a way that made this socially distanced training highly engaging.
Corey, 5 stars
The training was effective, engaging, and relevant. Although it was a virtual course, it was more effective than any in person course I have taken.
Racquel, 5 stars
There was a lot of excellent practical knowledge and tools introduced throughout the two days. As someone that is also adapting to providing virtual collaboration tools for clients, I think the instructors did a great job in utilizing tools like Miro and Zoom breakout rooms to keep things engaging, and provide activities to work on with other participants.
Dan, 5 stars
Reason 3: the outcomes
Some CSM courses look at the Scrum Alliance Learning Objectives and build a course around covering those learning objectives. We helped create those learning objectives, and we think they’re important. But we don’t build a class that way. Instead, we want participants to understand a few things at a deep level. Things like:
- How understanding complex systems (and our own preferences related to them) completely changes how we approach work
- Why overlooking the human psychology of individuals and teams is at the root of most failures to adopt an Agile approach like Scrum
- What Scrum is really built to do, and what the few core practices that really matter ARE
- Why viewing Scrum and Agile through the lens of Humanizing Work helps connect everything like pieces of a puzzle
When I started teaching this course, 500 iterations ago, back in 2008, my goal wasn’t to certify that people understood the maximum amount of time the Sprint Planning meeting should take. The goal of the course was to help people enjoy the same success adopting an Agile approach as we experienced on our team. Over the years, I’ve relentlessly improved the course’s ability to achieve that goal. This course isn’t about “book knowledge.” It’s about applying the few critical principles that lead to team success.
Sure, we’ll cover the basics of Scrum. We even include our online “Agile and Scrum Crash Course” for free to everyone who registers. But if I had to prioritize people being able to list off the roles, artifacts, and events of Scrum vs people understanding why Scrum works and how to nudge it in the right direction for their team? I’d pick the latter every time. If your primary goal in attending is more book knowledge, go straight for the crash course.
And while it would be impossible to answer every attendee’s question about how this fits into their org, we do spend a lot of time looking at the unique challenges you bring to the course and tying them back to the key principles that lead to success. At the end of each course, we ask people how they’re feeling after a few days of fun but hard work. The most common answers are “inspired,” “ready,” and “educated.” Those are the outcomes of our CSM.
Reason 4: the community
Attending this CSM qualifies you to join the Humanizing Work community, which is dedicated to making work more fit for humans and humans more capable of doing great work. Each year, we hold a summer conference to assemble our alumni for a unique learning event: the Humanizing Work Conference. Attendees become part of an ongoing community that meets once a month over video conference to dive deep on community-generated topics that we address in short workshops and discussions.
The community is made up of passionate agilists doing the hard work of helping their teams and organizations thrive in complexity. The peer relationships, advice, and experience is a huge part of members’ success. The Humanizing Work Slack channel has hundreds of direct messages between practitioners every month, so we know that the connections are going much deeper than even the monthly meetings, which are amazing on their own! The Humanizing Work community is near and dear to our hearts. Members frequently express gratitude that they’ve found “their people” all over the world. When you register for the CSM, you have an opportunity to join that community — to find your tribe.
What to expect
We take training and learning seriously, and we take your decision to advance your skills seriously. As such, we use the latest training approaches and techniques, plus we bring energy and fun to ensure you learn as much as possible.
- Brain-based training to dramatically increase learning and retention.
- Opportunities throughout the course to focus on your real-world situations.
- Advanced and cutting-edge skills and techniques to deal with the specific challenges you are facing.
- In-depth engagement with your instructor and fellow attendees. If you are looking for a dry lecture, this class is NOT for you!
- Interactive, fun, and experiential learning — increasing safety and retention. Laughing helps learning.
- Expect to be challenged. In order to help your team be more successful, we’ll encourage you to change you.
Who should attend
This course is for you if any of these statements apply:
- Your team has adopted Scrum, but it doesn’t seem to be working as well as you expected.
- You or your team are considering adopting Scrum and you’re not sure if it’s right for you.
- Your team is doing OK with Scrum, but you want to see it really thrive.
- You wish you could humanize your own work and aren’t sure where to start.
- You’re a ScrumMaster or Agile Coach who is feeling stuck in addressing impediments and improvements.
- You’ve heard a bit about this Agile and Scrum stuff, but you aren’t sure what it really means and if it applies to you/your work.
Continuing Education Credits and Certification
This CSM course earns 14 PMI PDUs or Scrum Alliance SEUs.
All CSM courses from Humanizing Work are taught by Peter Green, a Certified Scrum Trainer. Successfully completing a CSM course and accepting the license agreement allows you to take the Scrum Alliance CSM exam. When you pass the exam you receive the Certified Scrum Master certification, digital badge, and two years of membership in the Scrum Alliance. Our students have a 98% pass rate on the first attempt.
Private Courses & Training
Bring this training into your organization! Public courses are great for individuals or small groups to grow their skills in a cost-effective way. But there’s nothing like a private workshop that only includes people from your organization. Private workshops allow you to dig deep into your unique challenges and opportunities.
For information about private workshops, group discounts or questions, contact us.