Learning Tips for Certified Scrum Trainers (CST)

Training and certifications are an important part of the Scrum and Agile movements. In this article, Zuzana “Zuzi” Šochová shares some tips to improve training session. While they are more focused on the Certified Scrum Trainers (CST) needs because of her experience, they are useful for to any type of (Agile) training.

Author: Zuzana “Zuzi” Šochová, http://sochova.cz/

One of the things you have to know as a trainer is how to design a content for your class. The traditional teaching methods which were mostly about listening and reading, are very inefficient. Even if you tell a lot of stories, most of the content never survive in people brains until next week. The modern teaching methods are about experience. When you think about it, the things which you remember the most are those you experienced, things you have to figure out yourself. Therefore, the modern teaching is much more about team discussion, simulations, and facilitation of the class instead of teaching. After all, no matter what you say, people are only able to keep focus for about five minutes. Then they start their own thinking process in their mind of side thoughts initiated by any associations with what they heard and simply they stop following what’s happening.

Learning Tips for Certified Scrum Trainers (CST)

Don’t believe me? Say them something important in the middle of a 15 minutes block. Do it the best you can. Work with your voice. And then, one hour later ask them the question about it. Surprised? And it is even worse. The more different is the message you are saying to their current reality, the smaller the chance is they remember it and even hear it. It can work for mathematics, but not in a class which has only one goal: change the mindset.

The most popular book which describes a different approach to teaching and learning is Training from the Back of the Room. Get a copy and try it. The hardest is to accept that your students are creative and smart enough so they can figure it. You don’t have to tell them the answers; instead, you shall design a class in a way so they can answer their questions by themselves. They will figure it out.

Interestingly, one requirement which every Certified Scrum Trainer has to do, is to design the class content. The candidates including me were always asking why is that. But it is actually quite important. Firstly, it proves that you understand the topic enough so you can put it together in a meaningful way – and yes, during co-training with many CST candidates, I have seen people teaching Scrum in quite a random way. Cooking a soup from great ingredients, doesn’t necessarily ends up as a great soup. Teaching somebody else material is like using great chef’s recipe. And again, we are not teaching simple stuff, Agile and Scrum are about changing mindset. So it is not a cupcake recipe, it is more like baking macarons. Secondly, considering modern learning trends, where you shall facilitate (not teach) a class, and coach the entire system there to highest learning – there is no way you can copy someone else content. It must be authentic. it is like an art.

Once you got that, one of the skills you need to develop is to design a game. it is not that hard, but still, it is great to have a framework. If you like to know more, I can more than recommend Luke Hohmann’s Game Design Master Class, which shows the “secret ingredients” of serious, collaborative game design. Cooking had never been easier :). I joined game design class this summer and I very much enjoyed it, so here is my recommendation. We talked about game theory, game structure, and design strategies, all in very collaborative and fun environment.

So here is my current recommendation summary, if you want to be successful in teaching Agile and Scrum, changing people’s mindset and eventually becoming CST, a Certified Scrum Trainer which is the highest quality bar of teaching Agile and Scrum, you need the following mix of ingredients:
* Class facilitation (i.e. Training from the Back of the Room.)
* System coaching (i.e. ORCS – Organizational System Relationship Coaching)
* Game design (i.e. Game Design Master Class)

Be aware that this is not official advice; I am just one CST (Certified Scrum Trainer) sharing my personal experiences on how to be a great Agile and Scrum Trainer.

References

Training from the Back of the Room, Sharon L. Bowman, Pfeiffer Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-0787996628, http://bowperson.com/training-from-the-back-of-the-room/

Luke Hohmann’s Game Design Master Class https://info.conteneo.co/courses/gamedesignmasterclass

ORCS – Organizational System Relationship Coaching, https://www.crrglobal.com/orsc.html

About the Author

Zuzana “Zuzi” Šochová is an independent Agile coach and trainer and a Certified Scrum Trainer with more than fifteen years of experience in the IT industry. She started with Agile and Scrum back in 2005, when she was implementing Agile methods in the USA. From that time, she has been credited with Agile transformation and implementation for many companies and teams around the world. By creating and sustaining Agile leadership, Zuzi believes the worlds of work and life can be made happier and more successful. This article was originally published on https://agile-scrum.com/index.php/2017/12/10/what-do-you-need-to-learn-as-certified-scrum-trainer-cst/ and is reproduced with permission from Zuzana Šochová.

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