While we believe all of our agile development training courses will help you get better at being agile, we understand that your training budget and, perhaps more importantly, the time you can commit to training, are limited. With that in mind, we've created this guide to selecting the right class for you.
Mountain Goat Software offers a variety of agile and Certified Scrum training courses. These classes are intended both for new and current agile teams and team members. Class participants benefit from our agile and Scrum classes by learning new ways of working and practical skills that can be immediately applied. All classes include an appropriate mix of lecture, small-group discussion and hands-on exercises.
|Pre-Agile Role||Agile Role||Suggested Classes|
|Team Lead||Team Member or ScrumMaster||CSM||CSPO||EUS||AEP||SWA|
|Product Manager||Product Owner||CSM||CSPO||EUS||AEP||SWA|
|Business Analyst||Team Member||CSM||CSPO||EUS||AEP||SWA|
- CSM - Certified Scrum Master
- CSPO - Certified Scrum Product Owner
- EUS - Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements
- AEP - Agile Estimating & Planning
- SWA - Succeeding with Agile
I am a ScrumMaster
The most important course for you to take is a Certified ScrumMaster course. The CSM course not only allows you to earn a CSM designation, but also gives you a firm foundation for building your agile skills. If time and budget allow, you should also consider Agile Estimating & Planning or Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements. These courses go a bit deeper into the tough topics of writing user stories and doing the planning and estimating that agile projects require.
At a certain point in your journey to become more agile, you are likely to run into problems that you cannot solve on your own. You may run into resistance from other parts of the organization, have trouble scaling your experience to multiple teams, or just come to the realization that in order to grow, you need to know more about the stickier, harder parts of agile development. At this point, you're ready for a more advanced course like Succeeding with Agile. This course picks up where a ScrumMaster courses leaves off, and delves into the hard things that can derail otherwise successful projects.
To round out your training, you might consider a Certified Scrum Product Owner course. Though this course looks at Scrum through the lens of the product owner, understanding the unique challenges that guiding a project toward the right goals brings can help you be a better ScrumMaster.
I am a project manager
The best initial course for a project manager is the Certified ScrumMaster course. This two-day course will give you a solid understanding of what Scrum is and how it can work for your agile development projects. If your budget allows, you will find also find great value in building your knowledge with a more topic-specific course, such as Agile Estimating & Planning or Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements. In Agile Estimating and Planning, you will learn new ways to plan projects that will be developed using an agile process such as Scrum. Effective User Stories provides an in-depth workshop on how to write user stories that will capture user needs and how to gather user stories, even when you can't speak to your users.
After you begin using Scrum, you will settle on the role that is right for you. Some project managers use their strong business sense and domain knowledge to become product owners. If that's you, consider augmenting your training with a Certified Scrum Product Owner. This course focuses more specifically on the unique challenge of selecting the right goals, working with stakeholders, and pointing the team towards a target. You will leave the course as a Certified Scrum Product Owner and a free year's membership in the Scrum Alliance.
Becoming agile is a journey of continuous improvement. After you have a project or two under your belt (or if you are trying to implement agile across an entire organization, even sooner), you will likely encounter problems that you don't know how to solve. You may have difficulties with the budgeting office or the PMO. You may wonder how you can still be agile while meeting regulatory compliance requirements. You may want to scale your agile process to hundreds of teams and wonder how to organize it all. At this point, you should consider a more advanced course, such as Succeeding with Agile. This course picks up where the introductory courses leave off, and delves into the stickier problems that come up on otherwise successful projects.
I am a product owner
The most important course for you to take initially is a Certified Scrum Product Owner. The CSPO course not only offers you a CSPO designation, but it also provides you with a firm foundation for your work with agile development teams. Because the responsibility for writing and grooming the product backlog ultimately will fall to you, you should also consider taking Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements. This class is an in-depth workshop on how to write user stories that will capture user needs, the six attributes of a good story, and how to gather user stories, even when you can't speak to your users. If time and budget allow, Agile Estimating & Planning is a great option for learning new ways to do the planning and estimating that agile projects require. Although user stories, estimating and planning are covered in the Certified Scrum Product Owner class, more detail is provided in these specialized one-day classes.
If you're looking to broaden your perspective, you might even consider a Certified ScrumMaster course course. Learning about the unique challenges that ScrumMasters face in trying to remove obstacles for their self-organizing teams, or about the struggles the teams have in working with product backlogs can broaden your outlook and help make you a better Product Owner.
I am a team member
The best first course for you to take is a Certified ScrumMaster course. Contrary to the name, the CSM course is not just for ScrumMasters. This entry-level course gives all team members a firm foundation for building your agile development skills. A side benefit is that it does allow you to earn your Certified ScrumMaster designation.
As your organization allows you to take additional courses, consider Agile Estimating & Planning or Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements. These courses go a bit deeper into the tough topics of writing user stories and doing the planning and estimating that agile projects require.
Being part of an agile team is a rewarding experience, but one that requires hard work and a commitment to continuous improvement. Once you've mastered the basics, consider taking more advanced courses like Agile Estimating & Planning or Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements. These courses go deeper into the tough topics of writing user stories and doing the planning and estimating that agile projects require.
You should also consider the Succeeding with Agile course, which is particularly necessary for senior team members or those leading a transition to agile or Scrum. This course delves deep into the skills and concepts necessary for long-term success, including how to incorporate technical design, interaction design, and architecture into agile projects. This course also provides guidance on teamwork, including how to effectively structure multiple teams on a large project.
I am an analyst
The best course to get you started with Scrum is a Certified ScrumMaster course. Though the name may be misleading, this introductory level course is meant for all team members and offers the basics of using Scrum for software development.
You should take advantage of the course bundles we offer and follow your CSM course with a one-day Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements course. User stories are descriptions of functionality. They are simple, clear, brief and told from the perspective of a user. These users may be actual end users, the customer, or even the software system itself. These stories ultimately make up the product backlog, the requirements of an agile or Scrum project. The hands-on user stories course will help you make the transition from a requirements specification to a product backlog. You will come away with a blueprint for writing user stories and weaving them into your development lifecycle. The class will also explore how user role modeling can help when gathering a project's initial stories.
If time and budget allow, consider taking the Agile Estimating & Planning. This one-day workshop will teach you lightweight ways to plan projects that are being developed in an agile manner.
I am involved in leading or starting an agile transition effort
If you are involved in leading or starting an agile transition effort, you are embarking on a grand journey. The change you are undertaking will be hard but in the end is worth it. To help get you started, we recommend a course such as Succeeding with Agile. You will find much of what you need in this comprehensive class, focused on getting started and getting good with agile. Teamwork, new roles, scaling, and creating improvement communities to grow more agile are all covered in this class intended to help you achieve long-term success with agile.
If you've never been involved in an agile project before, you should take a foundation-level course such as Certified ScrumMaster course first. This will provide you with a grasp on the basics and prepare you for the Succeeding with Agile class.
As time and budget allow, consider a topic-specific course such as Agile Estimating & Planning or Effective User Stories for Agile Requirements, depending on your specific role and responsibilities. If your leadership role will have you guiding teams on writing their product backlog as user stories, estimating, or planning, you will find these one-day courses highly valuable.