Understanding ‘Certified Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF)’ Program

April 26, 2017  Sanjay Kumar

In the team’s agile journey via Scrum, the Scrum Master plays a key role – it can pull-up or pull-down the entire team’s efforts. Picking a suitable candidate for the Scrum Master role is only half the job done. The other (more important) half is to ensure Scrum Master gains the right mindset and the relevant skills.

What kind of Mindset does the Scrum Master need?

Scrum Master needs a different mindset than that of a traditional project manager. She needs a growth mindset. While helping the team produce desired outcomes is important, it is not enough. She must also focus on enhancing the team potential and one important aspect of that is to foster the self-managing culture among team members.

What essential skills help Scrum Master foster self-managing culture?

Being a good Scrum Master is not be as easy as it sounds, as there is a difference between conducting Scrum ceremonies and running them effectively. Expert facilitation skills are the most important skills that help the Scrum Master engage the team and channelize their energies constructively. Without good facilitation skills, the Scrum Master could be running the meetings just a regular manager would run them.

Some of the common dysfunctions seen during ineffective Agile team meetings include:

  • Scrum Master behaving like a traditional Project Manager (command & control) rather than a Servant Leader
  • Scrum Master rushing the decision making process or taking decisions on her own
  • Few senior, more vocal or aggressive team members driving decision making process
  • Disengaged team members
  • Limited knowledge sharing among members – either members withholding it or not getting enough opportunity
  • Persistent unresolved conflicts among some team members
  • Team members focusing on maximizing individual-capability rather than maximizing team-capability

The four key focus areas of an effective facilitation that will help a Scrum Master take care of the above dysfunctions are encourage full participation, promote mutual understanding, cultivate shared responsibility and foster inclusive solutions.

Certified Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF) from ICAgile is an internationally recognized certification training program for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches to acquire advanced facilitation skills that will help them conduct team meetings more effectively. These facilitation skills focus on creating a more collaborative team environment and helps team transition to a self-managing culture.

In short, think of the ICP-ATF as an “Advanced/Expert Scrum Master” training program that focuses on practical skills more than just theory. Each participant will get ample opportunity to learn and practice advanced facilitation techniques.

Below is a high level summary of how ICP-ATF compares with other leading Agile certifications:

Understanding ‘Certified Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF)’ Program
Understanding ‘Certified Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF)’ Program


For more details and the content outline, please check our course page on Agile facilitation.  You may also refer to the detailed page on ICAgile website.

Do you have any questions about the facilitation skills or the Certified Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF) Course? Comment below and I will personally revert.

Sanjay Kumar
Sanjay Kumar has over fifteen years of experience in developing and delivering software solutions for different domains such as finance, healthcare, retail and shipping. He has enjoyed different project roles, doing whatever it needs to ensure successful customer delivery - client interaction, requirements analysis, architecture and design, code development or project management. Sanjay has been practicing Agile software development best practices for almost a decade - including automated testing, limiting work in progress, incremental delivery, faster feedback cycle and continuous improvement. Sanjay carries a strong technical foundation in object-oriented programming (Java/J2EE) and database design, and believes 'working software' is an essential yet a lower-level goal; it is 'maintainable and testable software' that truly classifies someone as a good programmer. Certifications: * AKT - Accredited Kanban Trainer from Lean Kanban University * ICP-ACC – Certified Professional Agile Coach from ICAgile * CSP - Certified Scrum Professional from Scrum Alliance * ICP-ATF – Certified Professional Agile Team Facilitator from ICAgile * KMP - Kanban Management Professional from Lean Kanban University * PMI-ACP - Agile Certified Practitioner from PMI * CSD - Certified Scrum Developer from Scrum Alliance

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