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Agile Coach FAQ’s

Does the Agile Coach Academy help me to achieve coaching certifications?

It’s important to distinguish between what you mean by coaching certifications. Let’s start with Agile coaching certifications. The answer is yes, the Agile Coach Academy will absolutely help you to a…

How is the Agile Coach Academy going to help me in my career?

Although career development is an important part of a scrum master’s journey, I would urge you to focus on the personal development element of the academy. Over the years I have seen people achieve pr…

Does the Agile Coach Academy actively coach and mentor me?

Yes, it does. The idea for the Agile Coach Academy was born out of conversations that Karim and I had about how there were so few resources available to help us when we first set out on our journey as…

What do I need to sign up for the Agile Coach Academy?

You need experience. You need actual working experience and practice as a Scrum Master in a working environment. The Agile Coach Academy is designed to help you overcome the challenges you currently f…

What is the Agile Coach Academy?

The Agile Coach Academy was an idea me and Karim explored when we first started Agile Centre. We had both invested thousands of pounds in courses, books, seminars, and workshops over our decade long j…

Will I be a more effective coach after doing the CSP-SM course?

You will certainly have the tools, techniques, and theory to help you become a great deal more effective, but it is going to take time for you to practice and evolve as an Agile coach. The Scrum Allia…

Is the CSP-SM course an Agile coaching course?

Yes, it is. In many ways, a scrum master acts as an Agile coach for the scrum team, the product owners, and even people in the organisation who are not part of the scrum team. Coaching and facilitatio…

How long is the CSP-SM course and how is it structured?

The Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master course is a total of sixteen (16) hours. We deliver the course in two formats. The first is over two (2) full days, from 9am to 5:30pm and the second form…

How much of a difference will the CSP-SM course have on my career?

It could have a significant impact on your career if you embed the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques into your everyday practice. A certification in and of itself will always hold value for emp…

What will I learn on the CSP-SM course?

The Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM) course was designed by the Scrum Alliance to build on the advanced knowledge of the Advanced Certified Scrum Master course and certify individual…

Is the ACSM a steppingstone to the CSP-SM course?

The Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course was designed to act as a bridge between the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course and the Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM) course. Th…

How difficult is the ACSM course?

It depends on your current skills, experience and mindset. If you find that you have mastered the basics of Scrum and are actively looking for more advanced knowledge, tools, and techniques to overcom…

Does the ACSM course translate into a better salary?

Curious about the impact an Advanced Certified Scrum Master (ACSM) course will have on your earning potential? John McFadyen takes some time out to explain how the course will benefit you. Very few co…

Could I coach new scrum masters after doing an ACSM course?

Curious about whether you will be able to coach new scrum masters after doing the ACSM course? John McFadyen explains. Yes, you can. In fact, I am hoping that you would already be mentoring and coachi…

How actionable is the ACSM course content?

It is very actionable. The Advanced Certified Scrum Master (ACSM) course is designed to help you make the transition from apprentice Scrum Master to advanced Scrum Master by providing you with the ins…

What will I be able to do after the ACSM course?

Curious about how the ACSM course will impact your #scrum career journey? John McFadyen walks us through what you’ll be able to do after attending the Advanced Certified Scrum Master (ACSM) cour…

How well recognised and respected is the A-CSM course?

The Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) certification from the Scrum Alliance is fairly young compared to the Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master certifications. I…

Will an ACSM course earmark me for promotion at work?

Curious about what promotion opportunities advanced training will offer you? John McFadyen explains in this short video. It is very seldom that a company will award a promotion exclusively because of …

What are my next steps after the ACSM course?

The Scrum Alliance designed the Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course to be the bridge between the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course and the Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-S…

Can I attend the CSP-SM course without doing an ACSM course first?

You are more than welcome to attend a Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM) course without having done an Advanced Certified Scrum Master course, but we wouldn’t advise it. The reason for…

What is the difference between a CSM and an ACSM course?

They are chalk and cheese. The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course is designed as an entry level certification that introduces delegates to Scrum and primarily, the role of the Scrum Master in Scrum. …

Does the ACSM course teach me or simply validate my skills?

The Advanced Certified Scrum Master (ACSM) course is designed to both teach you new skills as well as validate your current skills as a Scrum Master. The course was designed to bridge the gap between …

Powerful Questions in Coaching

A powerful question is a question that evokes or draws out a reaction, an insight, a fact, or an opportunity for greater exploration. Think of questions as doorways. Questions open the door to dialogu…

Benefits of Coaching to the Coachee

As the world becomes more complex, many managers and leaders are turning to certified coaches to help them make decisions and take effective action. How big is the market for coaching? The coaching in…

Avoiding Assumptions in Coaching

Assumption is defined as ‘a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof ‘ by the Oxford Dictionary, whilst the Cambridge Dictionary define assumptio…

What do I need to know before signing up for the ACSM course?

 The Advanced Certified Scrum Master (ACSM) course was designed to be a natural evolution for Certified Scrum Masters (CSM) in their quest to become a Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master. T…

Is the ACSM course theoretical or practical?

It’s a blend of both. The ACSM course features necessary theoretical knowledge and concepts that will help you better understand how Agile originated and why it has become such a powerful methodology …

How does the ACSM course prepare you to be a better Scrum Master?

The ACSM course was created by the Scrum Alliance to be a bridge between the Certified Scrum Master and the Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master certifications. It was designed to provide Certifi…

Why do I need a year’s experience as a CSM before I can attend the ACSM course?

Technically, you could join the Advanced Certified Scrum Master course a day after completing the Certified Scrum Master course, but we wouldn’t be allowed to certify you as an Advanced Certified Scru…

Does the ACSM course prepare me to be an Agile coach?

In theory, a Scrum Master is already performing the role of an Agile coach within the Scrum Team and the wider organisation. A great Agile coach is someone who has years of deeply immersed experience …

How long is the ACSM course and how is it structured?

The Advanced Certified Scrum Master course is presented over a total of 16 hours. We have two different formats available for the course, namely in-person and live online training. On the remote, onli…

What will I learn on the ACSM course?

It’s an advanced course that follows on from the Certified Scrum Master course and builds on the knowledge and experience you will have gathered in the year or so since you became a Scrum Master. My c…

How long will it take to go from Scrum Master to Agile Coach?

For many people, it’s simply a case of updating your resume or LinkedIn profile. In many ways, a scrum master is an Agile coach. When they aren’t actively involved in the Scrum process, they act as Ag…

I lead a development team. Will becoming an Agile coach benefit us?

That’s an interesting one. It depends on how effectively you can make the transition from a team leader to a coach. Are you a leader or a manager? Are you someone who has a history of telling people w…

Do Agile coaches work with individuals or teams?

They work with both. Agile coaches play an integral in helping to build great teams. They do so by working with individuals within the team independently and by working with the team as a cohesive uni…

What is the difference between a Certified Enterprise Coach and a Certified Team Coach?

A Certified Enterprise Agile Coach (CEC) is an Agile coaching certification awarded to individuals who have demonstrated competence and capability working at the enterprise level of an organisation by…

I’m an entrepreneur. Will becoming an Agile coach help me lead my organisation more effectively?

The short answer is no. You’re an entrepreneur, you already have a significant job to do. What I would advise that you do is hire or observe an Agile coach in practice. Agile is a natural fit for entr…

How much of an impact can Agile coaches have for entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs are simply leaders in business often working in a smaller business than some of the giants out there. Agile coaches can work with entrepreneurs to keep them aware of options, aware of po…

How does Agile coaching help Agile transformations?

Traditionally, Agile coaches are involved in two areas of an Agile transformation. At the team level and at the executive leadership level. In my experience, Agile coaches are often placed at the team…

I’m a project manager, can I make the transition to Agile coach?

Yes, you can. Project managers possess a great deal of valuable skills that are transferable into the Agile world. Project managers already understand the process of delivering great products that tru…

How will hiring an Agile coach help our business?

If you hire the right person and listen to their feedback and input, you’re going to find that an Agile coach is having the kind of conversations that helps the team and the organisation identify bott…

What is the difference between an Agile coach and a project manager?

Where to begin. A project manager possesses a great deal of amazing skills in project delivery. They are primarily concerned with delivering a project within a specified time frame and within a specif…

Is Agile coaching a natural evolution from Scrum Mastery?

It can be, and it often is a natural progression for many scrum masters. It was for me personally too. As a Scrum Master, you’re working on helping teams embrace Scrum to solve complex problems and bu…

How effective is Agile coaching in an organisation that doesn’t embrace Agile?

Many organisations don’t know and understand Agile. Many of them simply aren’t ready to make the transition to a completely new way of working. Some of them have great reasons why a full Agile transfo…

Are there levels of seniority for Agile coaches?

In any working environment, there are going to be people with varying degrees of expertise and experience. It’s that diversity that makes Agile coaching so valuable and rewarding. There isn’t, however…

How will I know if the Agile coach role is a good fit for me?

The best way to find out is to do the work. Be an Agile coach. An Agile coach is often a thankless job. If something goes wrong, it’s the Agile coach that gets called out for it. When things go well, …

How is an Agile coach different to a Scrum Master?

Technically, they are no different. There is a difference in style and expertise but ultimately, a great scrum master acts as a coach throughout the organisation to help the team optimize Scrum and ac…

What would be a great apprenticeship for an Agile coach?

Working in an Agile environment, with a team, to actively create and produce products or services that truly delight customers. There is no substitute for actual experience in the role, actively worki…

Can I become an Agile coach from both the Scrum Master and Product Owner tracks?

Yes, you can. In the vast majority of cases, scrum masters generally progress into Agile coaching as a result of the degree of coaching that is involved in their work as a Scrum Master. They work with…

Do project managers make great candidates for Agile Coaches?

It depends. Are they even good as a project manager? If they are, they possess valuable skills that are transferable into the coaching and Agile coaching environment? It depends a lot on mindset as we…

How do I integrate Agile coaching into a traditional management role?

Let’s start with coaching before we examine the ‘Agile’ part of that question. Over the past 100 years, management has thrived in the simple or complicated space. Production lines and civil engineerin…

Is Agile Coaching a line management position?

There’s nothing to stop an Agile coach from being a line manager, but I wouldn’t advise it. They are 2 distinctly separate roles. Line Management A line manager usually carries a great deal of authori…

Do I need to be an expert in Scrum to start my journey as an Agile coach?

It’s important to define what you mean by ‘expert’. The Scrum Guide is officially 13 pages long. It is simple to understand yet incredibly hard to master. Much of your experience in a Scrum environmen…

Do you need to be an Agile or Scrum practitioner to become an Agile coach?

Yes, you do. You really need to understand Agile. You need to have lived it, breathed it, and worked within Agile team environments to really get this stuff. You need to understand, on a visceral leve…

What are career opportunities for an Agile coach?

The sky is truly the limit. An Agile coach works with large and small organisations around the world. You could be invested in helping individuals as they progress through their apprenticeship and jou…

What is the difference between an Agile coach and a traditional coach?

A professional coach uses questions and frameworks to help guide you through thinking about the problem you are trying to solve. They help you understand, specifically, what it is that you want to do …

What is an Agile coach?

An Agile coach is someone who helps align a team with Agile values and principles so that the team can thrive. They are invested in creating an environment where teams can build products and services …

Would you recommend the CSPO course for entrepreneurs?

Yes. If you are interested in building a new product or service, Scrum and the product owner courses are great for that line of thinking. If you work in complex environments where the product or solut…

How do I progress as a Product Owner?

The product owner role is a dynamic and collaborative role within a scrum environment. You will find that you are learning every single day and the interactions and engagements you have with others wi…

Do companies invest in CSPO courses?

Very much so. We find a blend of private in-house training as well as individuals attending our public training courses via the company’s training budget. Sometimes, a company will have 12 or more peo…

Is the CSPO course theoretical or practical?

It’s a blend of both. We need to introduce aspiring product owners to Scrum theory and the scrum framework. Much of day one focuses on bringing it all together from a scrum perspective so that product…

How long is the CSPO course and how is it configured?

The Scrum Alliance require a minimum of 16 hours of training to award the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification. At Agile Centre, work on two separate configurations of the CSPO course. F…

Are there different CSPO certifications and how do they differ?

There are multiple product owner courses you can attend but only one CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner) course. The CSPO course has been developed and nurtured by the Scrum Alliance. It is internati…

What would be a good certification path for a product owner?

The Certified Scrum Product Owner course is a great place to start. It is the entry-level course that introduces you to the scrum framework and helps you understand the purpose of the events, the role…

Do I get textbooks and course materials as part of my CSPO course?

Yes, you do. On the in-person courses, you will receive an Agile Centre workbook that contains all the curriculum for the Certified Scrum Product Owner course. For the online courses, you will receive…

How well does the CSPO course prepare you to be a product owner?

It prepares you very well. It is a 2-day course so you won’t be in the sphere of mastery, but you will be in a position where you understand Scrum and understand the role of a product owner within a s…

What do you need to know before signing up for the CSPO course?

The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) course is an entry-level scrum course that doesn’t require you to have any previous scrum or project management experience. Everything you need to know will be…

How well recognised and respected is the CSPO course?

The Scrum Alliance CSPO course is one of the oldest and most widely recognised product owner courses available. Developed in conjunction with Certified Scrum Trainers, the Certified Scrum Product Owne…

What will you learn on a CSPO course?

You’ll learn about the fundamentals of Scrum. The roles. The events. The artefacts. You’ll learn how it all combines into an effective vehicle for creating new products and solving compelling problems…

Will I be able to lead product development after a CSPO course?

It depends on what you mean by lead. You won’t be able to tell people how to do their jobs and you won’t be able to tell people what to do. That is more in the domain of project management than produc…

What is a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

A Certified Scrum Product Owner is someone who has attended the Scrum Alliance CSPO course and achieved the product owner certification. What does that mean? It means that they are prepared for the ro…

Do entrepreneurs make great product owners?

It depends. A successful entrepreneur is an individual who has an idea for a product or service that will solve a customer problem or create a perceived gain in value for the customer. Entrepreneurs u…

How does a product owner integrate into a marketing team?

A product owner is the CEO of the product. They know the vision, mission and purpose of the product and they know what the product is and why it exists. A marketing team have the skills necessary to d…

Do product owners interact and engage with project stakeholders?

Scrum speaks to product rather than project, but yes, a product owner would engage and interact with product and project stakeholders across the organisation. As a product owner, you are making decisi…

Do product owners attend daily scrums?

It isn’t a requirement as defined by the scrum guide but it is an awesome opportunity for product owners to gain valuable insights into the product development process. A daily scrum is designed for t…

How will I know if the product owner role is a great fit for me?

The best way to find out is to immerse yourself in the role and give it a go. It is a unique role within the business world. The closest I’ve seen to this role is a product manager, except within the …

What are great traits of a product owner?

4 traits stand out for me as being super valuable for an effective product owner. Available This might seem strange but it’s incredibly important that a product owner is available to their team. A dev…

Can you create a product owner role in a company that doesn’t use Scrum?

Yes, you can. Agile purists will spend hours debating whether it is genuinely a product owner role or not if the rest of the team isn’t using Scrum to build that product but that is a matter of semant…

Do you need to be a developer to be a product owner for a software company?

No, you don’t. The Good It can be super helpful if you are a developer transitioning into a product owner role and have a great deal of experience building software products. You’re able to connect wi…

What do product owners do?

A great product owner acts as the CEO of a product. They are also the glue that binds the scrum team and product stakeholders together with the objective of creating the most valuable product, service…

What are career opportunities for product owners?

A product owner could be the glue that binds a small product development team together or they could be the CEO of a valuable start-up that is disrupting major organisations. The sky truly is the limi…

Are there different levels of seniority for product owners?

The Scrum Guide makes provision for the role of a product owner. It doesn’t specify seniority, nor does it make provision for a hierarchy. A product owner is a product owner. That said, there will alw…

Do project managers traditionally make great Product Owners?

Yes, they do. Although it can require a shift in perception and focus. The Pros Project Managers have great skill sets. They work closely with stakeholders, are great at communications, and excel in m…

Is the product owner role a great fit for people in creative industries?

Yes, it is. The creative industries, from software development through to design and engineering, often focus on creating products and services that have never existed before. Often, they are solving …

Meetup: ‘Co creating Great Employee Experience’ with Natal Dank

Online event, hosting Natal Dank – who heads up learning, coaching, and community at PXO Culture and is seen as a pioneer in the Agile HR movement. Overview of the event In a disruptive world, i…

How does a product owner integrate into a Scrum Team?

A scrum team consists of a Scrum Master, a Product Owner, and a team of developers. Outside of software environments, developers are the people who do the work. From content creators to writers throug…

Do you need project management experience to be a product owner?

No, you do not need project management experience to become a product owner. A product owner is like the CEO of the product. They work with elements such as product scope, cost management, risk manage…

Is a product owner a member of the development team?

They can be. In start-up environments, they often are. The CEO or founder has an idea and then sets about creating the product or service in alignment with their vision and mission for the product. In…

How is a product owner different from a project manager?

They are vastly different roles. A project manager is primarily concerned with the delivery of products within a predetermined time frame. A product owner is primarily concerned that the right product…

How is a product owner different to a product manager?

Often, a product owner is a product manager. It is the role that differs rather than the title. A common misconception is that a Product Manager is outward looking whilst a product owner is internal. …

What are SEUs?

SEUs are Scrum Education Units. They were created by the Scrum Alliance to foster continuous learning and reward Scrum Alliance members with benefits for investing in their self-development and profes…

Should I do the CSM or the CSPO course?

Ideally, you would do both. To summarise, if you have anything to do with product development or product management, then the Certified Scrum Product Owner course would be a great fit for you. If you …

Is there a recommended reading list for Scrum Masters?

There isn’t an official reading list from the Scrum Alliance or Scrum organisation, but I have created a recommended reading list for Scrum Masters at each stage of their career development. Scrum was…

I’m a project manager, is the CSM a good fit for me?

Yes, it is. It can be challenging for project managers though. Why? Because a project manager traditionally thrives within structured and ordered environments. Their training and experience are built …

How do I progress as a Scrum Master?

In the role of a developer, you would progress from a junior developer to a senior developer, and from there onto a role in management. In traditional project management, it is much the same. You woul…

I have experience as a Scrum Master. Do I need to do the CSM before doing the ACSM course?

If certification is important to you, then yes, you will need to do the CSM course before doing the ACSM course. There is nothing preventing you from joining the ACSM course, however, we simply cannot…

Can a Scrum Master also be a line manager?

The answer is yes, they can. There is nothing in Scrum that speaks to line management but there is no reason why a Scrum Master could not also be a line manager. I would, however, recommend that the S…

What is my earning potential as a Scrum Master?

It depends on your level of experience and the application, for example, whether you are a contracted Scrum Master on a daily rate or an employed Scrum Master on a full-time rate. According to Glass D…

What can I do with a CSM credential?

The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credential is an internationally recognised and respected certification awarded by the Scrum Alliance. It is a valued credential for entry-level Scrum Masters who are …

Is there an exam I need to pass to become a CSM?

Yes, there is. The Scrum Alliance have created an online international examination that consists of 50 questions. To pass the examination, you require a minimum of 74%, which translates into getting 3…