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 overcome the challenges you face within a working environment then you’re going to find the course challenging but enjoyable.
If you have little to no experience as a Scrum Master and you are attending the course because you want the certification or because you need the certification, then you are going to find the course incredibly difficult.
In the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course, you are taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer and your primary goal is to learn about scrum, the role of a scrum master in a scrum team, and how to be a scrum master.
There are discussions and simulations but for the most part, you are being taught and all you need to do to pass the examination is learn.
The Advanced Certified Scrum Master course validates your skills and capabilities in addition to teaching you new skills, tools and techniques.
In the A-CSM, you are required to participate and lead. You are required to demonstrate that you are a competent and capable Scrum Master.
There are a lot of discussions and simulations around the more advanced elements of scrum and you will be sharing your challenges and war stories with others. You will also be learning from others and gaining insights into how they have overcome challenges.
That’s why it is important that you have experience as a Scrum Master working in a scrum team.
If you don’t have that experience, you won’t have a context for what you are learning nor will you be able to participate in these discussions.
The ACSM digs deeper into Agile theory and provides a context for why these lightweight frameworks have proven so popular over the past two decades. It also provides insights into which kind of applications best work for Agile and Scrum.
Agile is a great answer but it isn’t the answer to every question. That’s why you need to understand the context and best case application.
You will also learn more about coaching and facilitation. Two very important parts of a Scrum Master‘s arsenal. As you progress in your career, you are naturally going to facilitate events and coach members of your team. The ACSM course will teach you how to do that more effectively and provide you with tools, techniques, and models that will help you become a great Agile coach and facilitator.
You will also practice some of these techniques and tools in simulations throughout the course to help embed the knowledge and start your journey as an Agile coach.
Scrum Masters coach people across the organisation to find compelling answers to the problems we face. Advanced Scrum Masters will use coaching as a tool to help people within the scrum team and outside of the scrum team to overcome obstacles and create the most valuable products, services and features they are capable of.
These concepts and skillsets aren’t difficult, they simply require that you are invested and make an effort to practice. For most people, these elements are immediately actionable and once you start the habit of practicing these skills, they become easier over time.
The Advanced Certified Scrum Master course also works through service to the Scrum Team, service to the Product Owner, Scaling scrum and organisational change.
Again, these are difficult concepts that will challenge you. If you have battled with any of these elements in your working environment, you are going to be super pleased to discover the answers to your challenges and will find the experience relatively straightforward to understand and adopt.
If you don’t have any experience with these challenges, you will find the subject matter to be pretty advanced and find that it is a steeper learning curve for you.
So, in summary, the ACSM is designed to be challenging and it’s designed to help you master the more advanced elements of being a Scrum Master. If you are arrive with curiosity and a mindset that embraces learning new skills and techniques, you are going to love the course.
If you are attending because you must do so, you will find the course to be super challenging.
If you like the idea of a mentored and coach-driven approach to upskill, visit our Agile Coach Academy course page.
If you would like to start your coaching journey right away, visit our on-demand Introduction to coaching course page.