Why a LeanSSC? Why a Lean Certification?
Written by Mike Cottmeyer Thursday, 14 May 2009 04:10
I wasn’t at the conference and so all I can do is read the press release. After reading I’m confused.
- Why does the world need a Lean Consortium?
- What does the Consortium hope to achieve?
- Why do we need another certification?
- How will this certification be different from the CSM/CSC/CST?
Confused in Ottawa
I don’t know that I’ll have all the answers here… the organization is brand new…. just barely out of concept… so some of this will shake out over the next few weeks. I can tell you the reason that I was interested in exploring creating a new organization.
As it stands right now, the DSDM Consortium and the Scrum Alliance are the only organizations offering certification. Very few people have heard of the DSDM certification and clearly the Scrum certification has exploded over the past few years. I like Scrum, I practice Scrum, and while not a CST… I teach Scrum. Scrum is a great small team framework but I do not believe that Scrum by itself is scalable.
Most of the teams that are scaling Scrum have expanded the idea of a single Product Owner to the idea of a Product Owner team. This is not part of base Scrum but is essential to coordinate the activities of many teams working in concert. Also, many large organizations are built around large system components, components that are products in themselves… these teams are building integrated systems within large component architectures. Scrum gives no guidance on how to do this.
In any organization that is large and complex enough for the feature team model to break down, you have to start looking for effective ways of managing flow across the organization… how to manage work in progress… how to manage constraints… how to manage dependencies. Scrum gives no guidance on these scaling issues… Lean does.
There were two primary camps in the room when the LeanSSC was formed. There were people that thought of Lean as a discipline unto itself… one with its own body of knowledge. The were also people in the room that felt strongly a LeanSSC needs to build on the foundation of agile, embrace what we know, but build lean scaling principles into the fabric of that body of knowledge. Personally, I am hoping the LeanSSC takes the latter approach.
So to answer your questions directly:
1. The world needs a LeanSSC because there is an agile body of knowledge that is bigger than what Scrum is prepared to address. By creating an organization that is broader than Scrum, one that can embrace a broader body of knowledge, we have the opportunity to engage academia, corporations, and individuals that are interested in advancing that body of knowledge.
2. Some of this will be worked out over the next few weeks but the general idea is to identify the body of knowledge, create a set of Lean/Agile competencies, and provide certification around these competencies. You might also imaging a structure that allows member organizations to contribute to and benefit from the growing collection of intellectual property. Ideally we create a very open system.
3. The Scrum certification has been great in leading the software industry to a broader knowledge of Scrum in particular and agile in general. Scrum as it stands now does not meet the needs of the enterprise… people that are making Scrum work in the enterprise are using techniques that are counter to Scrum and certainly not contained in the Scrum training material. The LeanSSC has the opportunity to broaden the certification track and give companies a path to build a more competent workforce. I can’t imagine that people believe Scrum is all you need to know to build large scale software projects.
4. I suspect it will be based on a set of published competencies. I suspect that there will be multiple training courses to address the various competencies. I suspect that any training organization will be able to deliver competency training and that to receive certification in a competency will require a test. I suspect there will be multiple paths through the competencies based on the objectives of the person or persons receiving the training (developer, manager, senior leader). This is not defined yet… but I suspect it will be a much more open system.
I would like to reiterate that this is all MY opinion and may not reflect the official position of the LeanSSC or any of the individual founders. There is a lot of work to do… the formation of the organization is just a first step.