Inspire Scrum Master Training - Preparation for's PSM™ Level I
(2 day Course)


Over 70% of the organisations using agile have selected Scrum as their method of choice. Getting a suitable certification in Scrum helps ensure the competency of staff involved in implementing Scrum effectively and getting the business benefits of agile development. A key role in this is of course the Scrum Master role.

The creators of Scrum, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, have defined the key concepts and practices of Scrum and based on this have created a two level Professional Scrum Master certification scheme. This is based on passing a credible examination/assessment rather than course attendance on its own. Over 10,000 people have already been certified based on passing the PSM™ Level I online exam. (PSM™ Level II covers more advanced topics such as scaling Scrum and in addition to training and studying Scrum widely, recommends extensive hands-on experience using Scrum) See the Scrum website for more details on the PSM™ I and II exams/assessments. PSM™ I is a prerequisite to undertaking the PSM™ II assessment.

This course is intended to prepare those wishing to take the online PSM™ Level I assessment. It also provides valuable insights into the practical issues involved in getting the most from your Scrum implementation based on the practical real-world experience of industry recognised expert tutors.

In addition to covering the key elements of Scrum, this course will get participants to actively participate in the Scrum process with realistic and practical hands-on exercises that reinforce the learning points.

Tutor Bio - Fran O'Hara

Fran has over 27 years experience in the software industry having worked as a researcher, developer, tester, project manager, software development manager and quality management consultant. Fran specialises in pragmatic approaches to lean/agile, software process improvement, quality/testing, and associated practices. For the last 5 years, his main focus has been providing agile/lean coaching, training and support to organisations transitioning to agile. These include Ericsson, HMH, Aegon Insurance, Openet, WBT Systems, Celtrino, DAA, The Hartford, Payzone, Newbay and Visma Sirius (Denmark).

Fran is recognised as a thought leader in Quality and Agile and consults with clients in these areas particularly around Scrum/Kanban. He is a regular speaker at agile, process improvement and quality/testing conferences. Fran is a certified ScrumMaster and Professional ScrumMaster, an ISTQB testing tutor at advanced level, a CMMI lead assessor, a fellow of the Irish Computer Society, a director of the TMMi Foundation, and co-founder of the Irish SIG in Software Testing - SoftTest. His company is an approved supplier to Enterprise Irelands' "Lean Business Offer" support fund.

Who Should Attend

This course is appropriate for anyone working on or with a Scrum team. Whether you or your organisation is investigating Scrum, beginning to utilise Scrum or struggling to implement Scrum effectively, this course is for you. Typical attendees include Project Managers, Team Leaders as well as cross-functional team members such as Developers, Testers, DBAs, Business Analysts, etc. and project support personnel who will benefit from an understanding of Agile/Scrum.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Define the key agile values and principles
    • The agile manifesto
    • Understanding self organisation
  • Describe the origins and current role of Scrum in the software industry
    • The value that scrum provides
  • Describe the SCRUM framework including
    • Roles, Artifacts, Ceremonies, Rules, customs, timeboxes, etc.
    • Misconceptions with the framework
  • Map appropriate roles for Scrum teams from your current teams
  • Manage requirements using product backlogs
    • Define and use user stories
  • Perform effective release/sprint planning and estimation in Scrum
  • Define appropriate testing strategies for agile projects
  • Undertake steps needed to get started with Scrum on your project
  • Avoid the common pitfalls with Agile/Scrum
    • Address common objections to Agile/Scrum

Topics Covered

(Note: sample exam questions are provided throughout the course for participants to practice).
Exercises will be used throughout the course to practice the Scrum approach.

Introduction to Agile/Scrum

  • Agile values, principles and practices
  • The essence of agile methods in terms of the significant mindset change required
  • Plan driven versus Agile
  • Scrum in the software industry
  • Business benefits of Scrum
  • Self-organisation and productivity

The Scrum Framework

  • Overview of Scrum principles, ceremonies, artifacts, events and timeboxes
    • Sprint planning, daily standups, demos/reviews, retrospectives
    • Product backlog, sprint backlog, burndown charts, etc.
  • Roles and responsibilities in Scrum teams
    • ScrumMaster
    • Product owner
    • Team member
  • Misconceptions within the framework

Requirements in Scrum

  • Customer/user involvement and managing requirements in agile
  • User stories
    • Defining value-centric requirements
    • Templates and criteria for effective user stories
  • Managing product backlog

Planning and estimation with Scrum

  • Estimation
    • Estimating with incremental development
    • Estimation for user stories: story point estimation with planning poker
    • Task estimation with (ideal) time
  • Release planning
    • Project velocity and sustainable development
    • Minimising technical debt
  • Sprint planning - timeboxing and prioritisation

Working as a Scrum team

  • Daily scrums
  • The implications of self-direction
  • Maintaining healthy team behaviours
  • Monitoring and reporting
    • Backlogs
  • Project reviews and retrospectives

Agile testing

  • Agile test strategy
    • Agile testing quadrants
    • Test automation approaches - the automation pyramid
    • Agile test practices: Test Driven Development (TDD), Acceptance TDD, exploratory testing

Keeping Scrum healthy - Pitfalls and Lessons Learnt

  • This module will discuss some of the risks and common pitfalls experienced in practice by Scrum teams and how these can be avoided

Getting Started

  • Planning and preparing to implement Scrum effectively

Exam coaching and tips

Sample exam questions