At our open-hour session, you are invited to post your queries and get them answered by some of the top experts from the industry. Let it be Agile management, Agile Coaching, Estimation, related to certifications, follow-up queries, or any other aspect of project management. You are invited to speak your mind. The open hour invites are shared in advance; mostly, it is conducted on the 2nd and 4th Friday at 7 PM IST (+5.5 GMT).
Here are the top questions discussed in our Live Open Hour Episode#47 session, which was streamed live on 13th January 2023. Many queries asked by participants regarding the right certification/training for professional growth were discussed by our expert Saket Bansal.
Here is the summarised answer given by Saket Bansal for questions asked by participants-
Question: I have done CSM, but I am more into project and product management. Will CSPO help me?
Saket: PMP certification is the best if you are dealing with any type of Agile or Predictive project. Suppose you are getting into the product way of working and involved in activities like business analysis, requirement management, and playing the role of a product owner in a scrum. In that case, doing a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) will be a good idea.
So, you can do CSPO, which can be done with an investment of 2-3 days. However, PMP will require around one and a half months of time investment.
Question: What is the career choice after being an agile coach?
Saket: The agile coach is a role which is more about educating, enablement, and transformation. It also involves consulting work like setting up the processes, setting up the governance model, and recommending some ways of working. It may require doing a root cause analysis of the problem and pinpointing what should be done and what should not.
So, as you have started with the consulting and transformation job, I suggest you develop some specialization and do the next level with the bigger teams and groups for jobs related to facilitating and transforming changes. Some possible titles for next-level roles are Enterprise Agile Coach, Digital Transformation Lead, Agile Consultant or Agile Transformation Lead.
To prepare for transformation-related coaching, one can explore doing ICAgile’s Coaching Agile Transformation (ICP-CAT) certification.
Question: What career path is for a scrum master in the IT industry?
Saket: There is no perfect path. However, we see the scrum master who likes doing delivery stick to delivery and starts doing delivery facilitation in a bigger context. In the SAFe world, we call it to Release Train Engineer (RTE), where the person starts facilitating delivery with the help of multiple delivery teams or managing the group of deliveries and guiding other delivery scrum masters so that they can take it forward.
Another thing which we see many scrum masters growing to is coaching and transformation. Some scrum masters may start getting into this space where they do a temporary transformation job and move forward. So, you can stick to delivery or start moving to the transformation space.
Apart from this, if you’re working as a scrum master in a hybrid organization that is a mixture of different methodologies, then you can switch to a project manager role as well.
Some Certification Recommendations:
Question: Which certification helps in getting into Agile Coaching?
Saket: The ICAgile coach program, known as ICP-ACC is a good program to understand what it takes to become an agile coach and the competencies required to be an agile coach. You will understand the outline of the role of an Agile coach and develop some of the competencies which are involved in agile Coaching.
Along with that, you need to understand what is agile and scrum well. You can do a Certified Scrum Master, Leading SAFe or Kanban-related certifications.
The main learning objectives of ICP-ACC are:
Question: Which certifications support the movement from Development to a Leadership role?
Saket: Anyone from a development background who aspires to a leadership background, then Certified Scrum Master and PMP certification hold good value. You can choose depending on what kind of environment you work. For example, you are working in IT as a development delivery lead and want to learn how scrum can be used or might be already using it. Then certified scrum master is a good starting point; if this interests you, you can grow yourself in a scrum direction.
Else if you feel that project management is your core area, then you can do a PMP certification.
Question: How PMP adds value after SAFe certification?
Saket: Let us first understand the difference between PMP and SAFe Certifications. SAFe Certifications are not generic education. The focus of SAFe certification is to teach you how things are done in a Scale Agile Framework (SAFe). Therefore, SAFe knowledge will not be fully relevant if Scaled Agile ways of working are not used.
PMP Certification is not tied to any framework. It is tied to working in a project environment, and project environments may have variations, but the core concept remains the same. Hence PMP helps in running the job in projects.
So, if you are working in the Scale Agile Framework, then PMP will not add much value because you should focus on what is needed in your organization. But if you are not working in a SAFe context or want to learn a generic way of doing deliveries in a project mode, then doing the PMP certification will be a good idea.
Question: Is the gold plating in project management good?
Saket: At first, let’s understand what gold plating is. Gold plating is giving extra and assuming that it will get liked by the customer. But giving something extra with the help of evaluation with the customer is not gold plating.
Building something without required approval or giving something extra may not be liked by the customer because something great for you may not be for the customer. Hence, project management says that always welcome great ideas but no surprises.
Question: Will doing an Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner be helpful without experience?
Saket: Criteria for ACSPO is that one should have at least one year of experience as a product owner.
Before doing A-CSPO you should do programs like PMI PBA or CBAP so that you understand concepts like how to conduct a user interview, do product research and develop some more skills in writing user stories. We also have a detailed blog explaining how to write a user story which is available on our website, and that will be helpful for you.
You should gain suggested competencies and recap your CSPO curriculum. It will help you crack the product owner job. After that, you can do Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO).
We hope you could have related to some of these questions, and they might have helped you in some way.
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For more such insights and a lot of interaction with the industry experts, stay tuned for our next “Live Open Hour” which is conducted Every second and fourth Friday at 7 PM IST on
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