Many people continue to ask me, “What does it take to become a CST (Certified Scrum Trainer)?”
I have been a CST for many years now and have had the incredible opportunity to travel the world, meet awesome new people, and help train (and mentor) new people in the possibilities of what Scrum can deliver for teams.
For the past few months, the Scrum Alliance has been looking for input on a new CST process. I have included input early on (both in person at some face-to-face meetings and via some of the discussion groups).
The decision of the new CST process will be completed by the Board of Directors of the Scrum Alliance, the non-profit organization that certifies people as Scrum Masters in a variety of programs — including the creation of new Certified Scrum Trainers.
The note below was sent to the various lists of people who have been coming up with many competing ideas for what the “new” CST process should look like.
This is no way reflects any point of view other than my own, and I wanted to put some transparency on this topic out to the Scrum community because there are some good observations we can all take and move forward with as our community continues to grow.
Comments are welcome, as usual. Please tweet about this and send it to your friends and enemies who may be interested in what is happening within this community.
I have no inside information about “what” will happen. I am not involved in the decision process.
I *will* support whatever decision comes from the Board of Directors at the Scrum Alliance.
Here is the e-mail I sent (it is a bit long!) to the current CSTs and some of the lists of teams that are creating competing processes….
Please note: I have cross posted this note to a few groups discussing
the new CST process… this is a long posting and I am mainly doing it
to get some thoughts out of my head. I am not asking you to agree or
I’d like to just pipe in for a few moments to express some reasons for
me being relatively silent to the various “camps” coming up with new
ideas for a CST process. I’ll relate this (good or bad) using the
framework I and others teach about facilitating great retrospectives.
I have the courage to state this because I think many others who have
been silent on this topic may feel the same way (based on feedback
over the years of being with this group).
Being an introvert (as many people are in this community [we found out
recently by meeting face-to-face in Orlando]), I work very hard — by
example — to try and show others how we must step out of our comfort
zones to get better (and in the case of Orlando, I thank Jean for
stepping in and help us all keep it a positive and successful event as
Jim had to bow out at the last minute for personal life reasons!). I
highly recommend someone else step out of their comfort zone and
facilitate the next meeting face-to-face.
I am a current CST and have been for a while. As many people know, I
am extremely passionate about this topic and love teaching others the
possible benefits for them in their organizations. Over the years of
doing this (both coaching and training teams internationally), I have
personally mentored and been mentored by many of the people both
within and outside of the CST group. I am continually humbled by the
incredible experiences and passion of the people in this group and
amazed at how we *somehow* continually move forward.
When the stage was set for this new introduction of a CST process, I
understood the message from Tobias of the basic rules of this and we
were able to all have input, with a decision to be made by the Board
of Directors on March 28.
Then, I watched as we started gathering data. In this phase, I
observed that the various groups got into the serious phases of trying
to setup norms for the goal and then rapidly enter into the storming
When people are not involved in this storming phase face-to-face, our
non-verbal communications (90% +) are *lost* in just pure emails. The
groups continually went back to forming and into storming as new
people came into the different and various conversations. Some new
ideas came out of meeting face-to-face in both Orlando and other
Many insights were being generated.
Then, various ideas and sub-teams split off so people could get out of
both the forming and storming phases into the norming phase. This is
now where a lot of the sub-teams are in today. Feedback within each
of these teams now has been much different as I watch from the outside
as an observer. There are at least four proposals for the Board of
Directors to decide upon.
We are coming soon to the point where the Board of Directors will have
to complete the next phase — deciding what to do. This is an
incredibly important decision for both current and future CSTs.
A decision WILL be made. It has to be done. It is part of the
process that must be DONE in order to move forward.
When the decision is made, we will close the decision process.
As a group, we will then go back to the forming stages and figure out
how to inspect and adapt this updated CST process.
It will change over time as we attempt to implement it. It will not
be perfect. It never is.
And this is OK.
As we scale the CST group even more, we will actually see this pattern
continue. I say this because this has been a problem facing CSTs
since the “early days” when we were a very small group. Now, all the
issues continue to be required to scale. And this will continue.
I have personally made the decision to stay [relatively] quiet
throughout this process because of a statement I interpreted early on
as being, “Shut up.”
So, I did.
I understood that the process I described above would eventually
unfold. It was a personal decision on my part, and I applaud all the
people who have been involved on the various proposals. Thank you all
for doing that.
As of March 28th, a decision will be made.
I have personally decided to work with and embrace any changes that
will be required as we move forward — even if I do not agree with it
100% (as with the many contracts I have had to sign with the Scrum
Alliance in the past as a CST). I know it will not be something that
I reject 100% (and if for some reason it is, I will decide to leave
and do something else — remember, we all have a choice to do this or
go and do something else).
As a group, we need to move forward and perform on our ideas.
It will not be easy.
I hope others will join me, and encourage you to do this. If you
decide not to embrace the continual changes, leave. Really. Maybe
start something competitive (as we have seen some key founders of the
Scrum Alliance do in the past). It is OK!
This is the only way we will be able to move forward and inspect and adapt.
Let’s see what happens. Let’s also keep doing what we have committed
to do as CSTs — keep doing the best we can as the professionals we
Keep learning with the people who are willing to do this with us. We
all have a choice to do this.
I hope this expresses some of the reasons I have been [relatively]
silent during this process, and some of the observations I have made
[correctly or incorrectly, I accept that responsibility].
It is not that I do not care.
I am extremely passionate about what I do and will continue to learn
how to get better with each new person I work with around the world.
Thanks for reading this long thought process.
– mike vizdos