What is the Professional Scrum Foundations
The Professional Scrum Foundations (PSF) course is a 2-days course that teaches Scrum in a highly practical way. Working in a series of Sprints, teams of students build a software application, thereby facing real-life problems. The mechanics, roles, principles and (empirical) process of Scrum are demonstrated.
Common missteps and misunderstandings are discussed so students grow a higher awareness of their symptoms.
Why Professional Scrum Foundations
The word Foundation is often misunderstood by many people who are searching for a Scrum training. Often times people think that they can read the basics by themselves without having to attend a course. Yes the basics are taught in PSF course but PSF course does not only teach students the basics of the Scrum mechanics and Scrum rules, it also teaches students the mindset that is required to make Scrum as organisation’s way of working and way of thinking. Way of thinking and way of working can not be read from books or articles on the internet only, it must be experienced by students themselves. We believe that the changes in behaviours is what makes Scrum sticks inside an organisation and this will make the organisation investment much more worth it.
Not only PSF let students experience way of working and way of thinking with Scrum, it also exposes things that can go wrong if the rules of Scrum are not being followed by everyone in the organisations. Thus the course is very dynamic because the trainers must be able to improvise during the course depending on the problems that may occur during the course.
Having a solid foundation of the Scrum knowledge will make Scrum as a culture inside the organisation hence the course is called the Professional Scrum Foundations. Without a solid foundation, Scrum may never be an organisation culture and will only be seen as another methodology.
Why the whole company should attend PSF course
Every time an organisation approach us for a private Scrum training for their software development team, we always encourage the manager who is in charge to send the whole company to PSF course and not only people who will be in a Scrum team. Initially they think it’s quite a high investment to send everyone to PSF course because they think not everyone will be using with Scrum and not everyone need to know about Scrum. When Scrum is seen as a way of working, the idea of Scrum is actually applicable to other departments that is non-software development related even though not all of the Scrum mechanics may be applicable for them. And even some people may never will be in a Scrum team, at some point they will be dealing with the Scrum team thus that same understanding about Scrum is important.
From time-to-time we have always received positive feedbacks from managers and executives of the company at the end of the PSF course because sending the whole company to PSF turns out to be a better investment for the company. We have seen Sales & marketing people, graphic designers, network security people, HR and Legal people, front-desk receptionists to CEO’s secretaries at our PSF course.
After delivering PSF course to many different kind of organisations in many different countries, here are the general summaries why sending the whole company to PSF course is a better investment than only sending some people.
Same language removes communication barrier
Because Scrum introduces a whole new vocabularies, by sending everyone to PSF course, everyone in the company will use the same vocabularies even in daily conversation. PSF will teach students the lexicon of Scrum as described in Scrum Guide, the Bible of Scrum written by the co-founders of Scrum. Every Scrum.org trainers worldwide will deliver the same PSF courseware, which means every PSF students worldwide will receive the same PSF material regardless who the trainer is. This will save people’s time (and in the end it will save money) explaining the new vocabularies to those who didn’t attend the course. Everyone in the organisation will also speak the same language and have the same perspective of Scrum because of this standard courseware.
Common understanding removes resistance
Scrum is not only about standing up every morning and sticky notes on the wall. When everyone in the company attend the PSF course, everyone will share common understanding about the principles and values in Scrum which is more important than just the knowing mechanics. These shared understanding will save everyone’s time and energy debating about what Scrum practices should be done and what Scrum practices should be dropped. In the long run, these shared understanding will make Scrum becomes persistent and becomes the organisation culture.
Management support and engagement
The last thing you want when transitioning to Scrum is not getting management support and engagement. The last thing you want is management who only think that Scrum is all about technical and not related to business. PSF course is a foundational level course that is relevant to the management and the executives in an organisation because it will also expose how Scrum can impact the business. There are many success stories from teams who implemented Scrum without getting any management support but the success will probably go so far and at some point they will most probably hit an obstacle that only management can remove. By having the management to attend PSF course, the management will know how difficult the job that the Scrum team will be doing and will give their support to the Scrum team during development process.
Increased Return on Investment (ROI)
PSF is a great introductory course for organisation who are transitioning to Scrum. Though the initial investment for sending everyone in the company to PSF course is higher, but in the long run the return investment is much higher than sending only some people to PSF course.
One example can be seen from Salesforce.com where the whole company transition to Scrum as a whole rather than trying it out in one department first and scaling it out later. Transitioning the whole company to Scrum removes the complexity that may arise between teams who are doing Scrum and teams who are not doing Scrum. These complexity will also add extra overhead that can be quantified in dollars.
Practical but not all about games
We have seen many failure stories from organisations who tried to implement Scrum after reading articles from the internet because those organisations think that they do not need to attend a course to learn the foundations. PSF course is unlike any other Scrum course in the market that is very theoretical and leaves students with no clue on how to implement Scrum in their context. PSF course is highly practical which means every students will experience Scrum by solving a realistic case study using a computer in a simulated environment. Using a computer is required because software development is complex and we have seen many organisations who didn’t succeed in implementing Scrum because they attended a Scrum course with simulations done by playing games like building a city with lego blocks, playing ball point game or making a pamphlet for doggy day spa.
Focused on way of thinking and culture
Even though the simulation will be done using a computer, the focus is not on what is being developed with the computer but instead on the way of working and the way of thinking with Scrum and how to deal with complex problems that may arise using the Scrum framework hence this course is still applicable even to those who are not in software development. From these simulations, students will see things that can go wrong in Scrum implementation so everyone know how to handle such problems when it occurs in their workplace. This course will also help organisations to create a serious initial plan for transitioning to Scrum and a plan to make Scrum embodied inside the organisation.
Like all of the other Scrum.org courses, PSF course is based on standard courseware. Every Scrum.org trainers worldwide will deliver the same courseware. If you are in a multinational company with development centres in Asia and you want to send the whole company to PSF course, you do not have to send trainers from USA or Europe to Asia to ensure everyone in the company receive the same Scrum knowledge.
We have seen many companies were confused about Scrum because the teams in USA, Europe and Asia were each trained by different trainers and received different materials on Scrum and the courseware is not based on Scrum Guide but based on the trainer’s own perception of Scrum. This confusion in the end will make the return on investment for Scrum adoption become much lower than expected and prevents Scrum to stick inside the organisation. PSF will not create any confusion because of the standard courseware.