A-CSM<sup>®</sup> or Advanced Certified Scrum Master is the next step on your learning journey after you earned your CSM. Through the course you will learn better facilitation skills for increased engagement from Product Owner, Scrum Team members, customers, stakeholders, and executives. You will learn about scaling Scrum beyond your own team.
These are the actual certification courses. You do the course work and submit the assignments and attend the live sessions. When you are all done we will submit your certification.
The assignments included in the respective course will validate your learning so there are no additional official tests to pass to be certified.
Yes, you have to have a CSM® on file to process the A-CSM®. Once the A-CSM® is processed we can then move forward with CSP-SM®. You have enough experience but you also need to update your profile with scrum alliance including your work history AND – on your job entry there is a checkbox at the bottom that says PATH TO CSP – you need to check that box and enter your scrum experience there in order for the certifications to process.
People who work diligently generally finish the individual courses in 4-6 weeks. It’s self-paced so it depends on how diligently you work. I have mentoring sessions weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays and a minimum of 4 are required to complete the course work.
The learning experience goes deeper since there is no time constraint. This gives you time to practice what you learned with your team before trying to grasp another concept. This way helps you retain more of the learning you gain. Also, 12 hours live with a qualified mentor where you can bring the problems and challenges you are having in your real world and get help.Also, it includes up to 12 hours of live mentoring sessions with a qualified mentor where you can bring the problems and challenges you are having in your real world to get help.
Due to technical limitations, all courses listed on the SA website show as two-day course. However, this course is self paced and the live mentoring sessions are scheduled by you as best fits your schedule. So, you can start the coursework immediately and meet with your mentor as soon as you are ready.
During live mentoring sessions, the group builds the backlog of topics to discuss. Please come prepared with any questions, challenges, or situations you would like thought partnership and mentoring for.
Yes, there are mentoring sessions options that work for all timezones worldwide.
The learning objectives for the A-CSM class fall into 7 broad categories as described below:
1.1. … demonstrate how the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto are present in Scrum
(e.g., frequent inspection and adaptation in review, retrospective, Daily Scrum).
1.2. … outline the historical development of Scrum and Agile (i.e., origins in Lean and OOP/OOD,
first Scrum teams in 1980s, first publication from OOPSLA96, Schwaber/Beedle Book 2001).
1.3. … describe at least two other Lean/Agile development frameworks outside of Scrum and explain
their value (e.g., LSD, XP, Kanban).
1.4. … discuss a scenario, based upon your personal experience, where there has been violation of
Agile principles, and demonstrate how it may be rectified and/or addressed by the ScrumMaster.
1.5. … debate at least five personality traits of an excellent ScrumMaster (e.g., proactive, curious,
humble, improving, learning, responsible, committed).
1.6. … describe the function of the inspect-and-adapt process in the Daily Scrum, sprint planning,
sprint reviews, and retrospectives.
1.7. … evaluate three situations when transparency, inspection, and adaption are not working
effectively (e.g., when the Daily Scrum is just used for status reporting, when retrospectives
are skipped, when the results of a sprint review do not influence the product backlog).
2.1. … identify at least three indicators when a group is engaged in divergent thinking and
at least three indicators when a group is engaged in convergent thinking.
2.2. … identify at least three challenges of integrating multiple frames of reference
(i.e., the “Groan Zone”).
2.3. … describe at least three ways a group could reach their final decision (e.g., fist of five,
decider protocol, majority vote, etc.).
2.4. … describe at least five facilitative listening techniques (e.g., paraphrasing, mirroring,
making space, stacking, etc.) for effective meetings/events and apply at least two of them.
2.5. … describe, using two concrete examples, when the Scrum Master should not act as the
facilitator for the Scrum Team.
2.6. … plan the contents and an agenda for at least two collaborative meetings and demonstrate
the facilitation of these meetings.
3.1. … demonstrate a coaching stance in an interaction with one or more people (i.e., neutrality,
self-awareness, client agenda, etc.) and describe how that coaching stance impacted the interaction.
3.2. … apply at least three coaching techniques (e.g., active listening, powerful questions, reflection,
feedback, GROW model, etc.) with team members, Product Owners and/or stakeholders,
and describe how the coaching technique impacted each interaction.
4.1. … apply at least two coaching techniques to foster greater self-organization within teams
(e.g., powerful questions, autonomy/mastery/purpose, active listening, etc.).
4.2. … apply a countermeasure to reduce the impact of at least three different challenges facing
a self-organizing team (e.g., bad forecast, technical debt, someone is leaving the team).
4.3. … describe how a self-organizing team approaches at least three challenges that may occur
during a retrospective.
4.4. … explain the difference between a working group and a team (e.g., teams demonstrate
on-demand leadership, ability to deal with conflicts, equal voice, well-known and practiced norms,
shared goals, mutual accountability, long-term composition, full dedication).
4.5. … identify at least three key attributes of effective Agile Teams (e.g., ground rules in place,
awareness of capabilities and capacities, effective and efficient collaboration).
4.6. … apply at least two methods for improving team performance (e.g., common goals/purpose,
shared accountability, working agreement, psychological safety, etc.).
4.7. … identify at least two pitfalls of a homogenous team (i.e., lack of different perspectives,
experiences, and viewpoints).
4.8. … describe a multi-staged model for team formation and development (e.g., the Tuckman model).
4.9. … organize and facilitate the creation of a strong Definition of Done with the Product Owner
and Development Team.
4.10. … apply at least two techniques that could be employed to encourage the Scrum Team to
improve how they describe “Done.”
4.11. … describe how a Definition of Done could be formulated for a non-software product
(e.g., insurance tariff, hardware, event).
Value of Engineering Practices
4.12. … describe at least five technical practices (e.g., from Extreme Programming: test-driven
development, pair programming, continuous integration, collective code ownership, refactoring)
that will help Scrum Teams deliver a high-quality product increment and reduce technical debt
4.13. … describe at least three ways technical practices may impact the Development Team’s ability to
deliver a potentially releasable Increment each sprint (e.g., continuous integration helps to detect
integration errors earlier and speed up releasing, refactoring improves product quality and thus
minimizes adjustments for new features, collective code ownership reduces island knowledge
and bottlenecks due to unnecessary specialization).
4.14. … identify at least three engineering practices that are essential when using Scrum at scale
(e.g., simple design, continuous integration, test-driven development).
5.1. … practice facilitating the creation (or refinement) of the product vision between the Product Owner
and the Development Team.
5.2. … explain at least two techniques for moving from product vision to product backlog
(e.g., product vision board, business model or Lean canvas, customer journey, impact mapping,
user story mapping).
5.3. … list three benefits that arise if a Product Owner participates in the retrospective.
5.4. … organize and facilitate a product backlog refinement session with stakeholders and/or team
members and explain two techniques that could be used to create product backlog items that
are ready to be taken into the next sprints (e.g., PBI splitting, BDD, SbE, estimating).
5.5. … explain Scrum to a business stakeholder (e.g., as in “Agile product ownership in a nutshell”
by Henrik Kniberg)
6.1. … identify at least three typical impediments for a Scrum Team and describe at least one way
to address them (e.g., late attendance in meetings, blocked work, supplier issues).
6.2. … list at least three techniques to evaluate impediments in depth (e.g., root-cause analysis,
fishbone, 5 whys) and describe when they might not be working.
6.2. … analyze an impediment and identify a root cause(s) and/or underlying issue(s).
6.4. … illustrate, with at least two reasons, why scaling might not be such a great idea
(e.g., products created by small teams, communication overhead, TCO).
6.5. … identify at least three techniques for visualizing, managing, or reducing dependencies
6.6. … differentiate the impact of feature teams versus component teams on the delivery of value.
6.7. … recognize at least three different scaling frameworks or approaches (LeSS, DAD,
Scrum at Scale, Enterprise Scrum, etc.).
6.8. … experiment with at least one large-scale, participatory meeting format (Open Space,
World Cafe, etc.) to scale Scrum meetings.
6.9. … apply at least two techniques to effect change in an organization in order to help Scrum Teams
be more productive.
7.1. … evaluate your personal fulfillment of the five Scrum Values and identify how you could improve
upon at least two of them (e.g., using a radar chart or other scale).
7.2. … analyze your own fundamental driving factors (e.g., respect, wealth, relationships).
7.3. … describe three characteristics of a destructive conflict (e.g., emotionality, tone of voice,
low interest in solution).
7.4. … compare at least three different ways to respond to conflict (e.g., denial, consensus, giving in,
overpowering, withdrawal), and reflect on your default pattern(s) for responding to conflict.
7.5. … describe at least two goals of a servant leader and express at least three attributes of an
effective servant leader (e.g., putting people first, communicating skillfully, being a systems thinker).
7.6. … appraise, through two specific examples, how the Scrum Master attempted to resolve an
organizational impediment while showing the attributes of a servant leader (e.g., how did they
put people first? How did they show that they are skilled communicators? How did they
demonstrate that they are systems thinkers?).
The learning objectives for the CSP-SM class fall into 6 broad categories as described below:
1.1. describe the roots of Lean Thinking.
1.2. define a kaizen mindset.
1.3. relate at least five wastes in product development to the seven wastes in Lean manufacturing.
1.4. explain the five core concepts of Lean Thinking and how they can be applied to Scrum.
1.5. relate at least three Agile development practices to Lean practices.
2.1. differentiate at least three alternatives to open discussion.
2.2. identify at least one action the facilitator can perform to support meeting participants
during divergent thinking, integration, convergent thinking, and closure that will
support the development of an inclusive solution.
2.3. apply at least five visual facilitation techniques for a collaborative session.
2.4. identify at least three practices for facilitating remote meetings.
2.5. describe at least five elements of a fundamental coaching agreement.
2.6. discuss the importance of at least two fundamental coaching assumptions.
2.7. list at least three fundamental psychological concepts that help understand
and transform individual behavior.
2.8. develop and practice teaching at least one topic on Scrum or Agile.
3.1. apply at least two different models for team development and appraise their
effectiveness in supporting team growth.
3.2. apply at least five techniques for improving team effectiveness.
3.3. explain at least three reasons why the start of a new Scrum Team should be handled
differently from a traditional project kickoff or charter.
3.4. outline at least three elements to position a new Scrum Team for success.
3.5. describe at least three responsibilities each for leadership, Product Owner,
and Development Team members when starting a new Scrum Team.3.6. plan the launch of a new Scrum Team.
3.7. define software craftsmanship.
3.8. describe the acceptance criteria for a Product Backlog item using a format suitable
for automated testing.
3.9. create a coaching agreement with the Development Team.
3.10. demonstrate at least two techniques for raising team accountability.
4.1. apply at least two techniques for moving from product vision to Product Backlog.
4.2. appraise at least three criteria that can be used for structuring a complex or
multi-team Product Backlog.
5.1. describe the nature of complex systems.
5.2. explain the importance of taking a systemic view.
5.3. describe at least two systematic methods for helping organizations improve
their Scrum adoption.
5.4. describe at least two frameworks for catalyzing organizational change.
5.5. describe your approach to a complex intervention that addresses the root cause(s)
of an organizational dysfunction and analyze the long-term impact.
5.6. demonstrate at least two tangible examples of how you developed and changed
the culture of your team (or organization) from a command-and-control to an Agile mindset.
5.7. identify at least three ways the cultural change from a command-and-control to an Agile
mindset added value to the Development Team, Product Owner, and eventual product.
5.8. describe at least one organizational design that enables multiple-team Scrum.
5.9. contrast at least two patterns for scaling the Product Owner role.
5.10. describe at least five techniques to improve inter-team collaboration and experiment
with at least two of them.
5.11. explain at least three benefits of supporting strong development practices when
working with multiple teams.
5.12. organize and facilitate at least one large-scale, participatory meeting format to scale
5.13. differentiate the impact of feature teams versus component teams on the delivery of value.
6.1. analyze your fulfillment of the five Scrum values.
6.2. illustrate at least two concrete examples of how you actively applied a Scrum value(s)
in your work.
Scrum, XP, Kanban, Intro to scaling models.
This class does include some of the foundational agile understanding that you need as a Certified Agile Coach. These Certifications are competency, experience, and knowledge based. Thus, no program in isolation will contain everything you need to accomplish to meet these goals.
You must have at least one year of agile experience reflected on your Scrum Alliance Profile Work History. You must have an active CSM®. And of course, you must finish all coursework in your A-CSM® class.
This online class explores team dynamics and ways of how to build successful teams. We take a deep dive into Scrum Master services to the Development Team, Product Owner, and the organization as a whole.
Under the guidance of the Guide Level Scrum Alliance coach the students explore ways to initiate and support organizational change and the ways to scale Scrum beyond a team and across the whole organization.
You can take our course at any time, fulfilling training requirements Scrum Alliance has for the CSP-SM® applicants.
In order to apply for the CSP-SM® certification you should hold an active Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM®) certification with Scrum Alliance. If your A-CSM® certification expired, you can reach to Scrum Alliance and reinstate it before applying for your CSP-SM® certification.
You also should have at least 24 months of proven work experience as a Scrum Master or in a role that holds Scrum Master accountabilities. These 24 months of experience should be acquired over the course of the last 5 years of your work history.
Scrum Alliance asks any CSP-SM® applicants to meet the following requirements:
You should expect receiving your certification within two weeks after you meet all the requirements and Tandem Coaching submits the proof of the course completion to Scrum Alliance.
This time can be longer depending on the Scrum Alliance review process at the time of submission. Any review comments or follow ups may hold up your certification.
Tandem Coaching Academy does not guarantee any timelines for your certification.
Tandem Coaching Academy is the only Agile training academy with an ICF ACTP delivered by Certified Enterprise Coaches, and focused specifically on incorporating professional coaching into agile careers.
A top-level professional coach in both Agile & Professional Coaching arenas (ICF MCC), Cherie Silas, Tandem Coaching Academy Head Coach holds Guide Level competency designations and achieved highest coaching standardrs in both fields and is leading the way to professionalizing the field of Agile Coaching and setting the bar high for what it means to be a competent agile coach.