After an inspiring journey, I reached a milestone in my life; in July 2017, I became a Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer (PST). Why did I want to become a PST? How did I get there?
In 2011, I was a junior IT project manager in a multinational corporation. Starting a project required building a plan in order to reach a certain unique goal. To make planning easier, I ended up with splitting projects in 3-month horizons, each one leading to the delivery of something valuable for the user. I was told that experience was needed to make plans that could stand the test of time. Splitting projects in multiple shorter-duration efforts came with additional costs in administration and budget request cycles, but I did not care since I was able to provide project members with an environment in which they could achieve clear, shorter-term goals.
2012 was the year in which I discovered agile and Scrum. I started pioneering Scrum together with a couple of colleagues. Looking back, it was really immature and mechanical Scrum, but it provided lessons in team forming and capability building in order to be able to deliver value every two to three weeks. Working in these short cycles with a pre-funded initiative seemed to release people from the administration and budget request cycles, giving them time for creativity and a more relaxed atmosphere that enabled a team to form.
My first true Scrum experience came a year later when I was working as a Scrum Master in a self-organizing team. Cycle times dropped from at least nine months to being able to deploy every week. And quality improved dramatically with the build-in quality control and automation of testing, environment provisioning and deployment. But most importantly, teams were stable for way longer periods of time and it provided numerous lessons for me about team forming and dynamics. It was a team working together that enabled all the breakthroughs in speed and quality improvements.
Working as a Scrum Master in different environments and being able to teach and coach Scrum Masters in their role led to people taking initiative. Not only in their jobs, but in their lives. This truly energized and inspired me to take it up as a goal in life:
Helping people take ownership of their personal journeys
Scrum is something beautiful. It is something I experienced and I’d love for others to have those same positive experiences. When I learned about the possibility of becoming a PST, I immediately subjected myself to the feedback loop of the PST application process.
I started co-training with collegues who were PST already and one acted as a mentor in my PST journey. From the co-training experience I knew that I wanted to become a PSM trainer. The first step was the simplest one from an activity perspective, but it was the hardest one from a mental perspective: writing my job application at Scrum.org. It just takes courage to draft a good letter and press the ‘Submit’ button.
Don’t let fear guide you and know that if you choose to enter the PST application process it is not a zero sum game. To me it felt like starting a Sprint in a series of multiple Sprints. I was able to create my Sprint Goals and to create my own plan in order to achieve that goal. And after a couple of Sprints, I got to that moment that I was proudly able to say ‘my product is finished’ and I was able to join the fantastic community of PSTs.
If you feel like joining this community, and you have a similar background, don’t hesitate, take your leap, start at https://www.scrum.org/become-professional-scrum-trainer/psm
Feel free to contact me if you want a mentor in this process.