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How to Get Started with Agile and Scrum

Hey guys, what’s going on? Anatoly from Define Agile here.

I keep answering your questions and this one is: “How do I get started with Agile and Scrum?”

It’s a very, very good question. A lot of people are just starting out, a lot of teams are just starting out, and they are not sure which way should they go. There are so many options and I’m going to navigate you through a couple of them so at least you have some idea where can you start.

Option 1 if you have lots of time: Be a Self Starter, try it with your team and lean from your mistakes

First of all, how did I start with Agile and Scrum?

In 2011, I was a software engineer, when  I have realized that a lot of our projects have changing requirements. Very often client would change their mind, and we would have to re-plan everything. I have realized that, doing a typical traditional Waterfall method did not work very well for us. At this time, I was reading about Agile and Scrum and I decided to ask my team to try it.

We were trying it for about five months. At first we made lots of mistake, we did not follow Scrum the way it was written, then in about five months, we were able to finally get to a good version of Scrum and Agile. It was pretty cool. We tried it. I learned a lot.

Mind you, not everyone has that amount of time or able to fail that much. You might have stakeholders, you might have executives, who won’t be happy with that, but I had this option- so I took it.

Option 2 for individual, if you don’t have much time: Get Certified

The other option would be, if you want to learn about Agile and Scrum as an individual, you might consider getting certification.

To prepare for certification and to understand what you are getting yourself into: there are two things you need to read. First one is Agile Manifesto which states all of the principles of Agile, the other thing, if you have decided to do Scrum is Scrum Guide .

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Certification will give you credentials, but mind you it is not necessary. You can learn it all yourself, and for the most part you can facilitate meetings without having a certifications.

If you are looking for certifications, the one I would recommend  Certified Scrum Master (CSM) from Scrum Alliance. You will learn in a class the basics of agile and scrum and will get certification upon completion. The price varies per vendor, but on average it is about $1,500 + travel expenses.

The drawback of certification course is that you will be the only one who understands Scrum and Agile, and it might be tricky to explain it all to your team. From my experience, much better approach is to transform your whole team to agile, that way everyone can be a Scrum Master.

Option 3, for team, if you don’t have much time: Transform your whole team

The third option would be is to hire a company that would onboard your whole team to be Agile. And there are many different solutions. I cannot speak for other ones but I can speak for what Define Agile recommends.

We have our own two-day Agile Introduction Course led by our two Agile Coaches. They have about 20 years of experience moving many, many teams for Agile transformation. We cover things like:

  • What is traditional Waterfall method?
  • What is Agile?
  • What is Agile Manifesto?
  • What is Agile mindset?
  • What is Scrum? What are the ceremonies?
  • What is Kanban? How can you choose between those two?
  • When should you use certain frameworks ?
  • How to persuade your boss ?
  • How to implement Agile with tools like Jira ?

For the team of 11 it is cheaper per person than certification.We are doing it all over the world. We have lots of happy customers. If you’re interested in that, please go to here  and schedule a FREE Consultation.

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