Effective Solutions Through Partnership

How Becoming a Certified ScrumMaster® Can Help Human Resources Succeed

Agile, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Learning, Professional Development, Sacramento, Scrum, Training, Workforce Development

By Melissa McManus, Ed.D, SHRM-CP, CSM, LSSGB

Around the office they call me Doc—a gracious nickname that was earned by virtue of my doctoral degree.

However, my learning did not stop at my Ed.D. Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death” and I am a firm participant in, believer of, and advocate for professional growth and development.

As the Human Resources Manager for KAI Partners, I am also a proponent of professional development for my staff and I encourage them to complete their individual development plans (IDP) annually as a way to achieve their goals, development, and training.

I do my best to lead by example, so when the opportunity presented for me to take the KAIP Academy’s Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) course, I was in. I am always excited to learn something new and take on new challenges—for me, the CSM course was both rolled into one.

Up until this point, my exposure and involvement with scrum and agile had been minimal. If I had to add up all the experience I had with scrum, I had around 18 months to 2 years of total exposure. The majority of the exposure has come from working with my staff, many of whom work with scrum on a regular basis on their client projects.

The drive to take the CSM course came from multiple places. I had a desire to learn something new, to take on another challenge, and to be able to better understand the world my staff live in. I wanted to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk (and do it correctly!).

Overall, the CSM training was a great learning experience. It taught me a new and effective way to conduct meetings and provided a deeper perceptiveness into the world of scrum. I now feel confident in participating in scrum projects across the organization and with my management team as well.

From an HR perspective, one of the things that I learned is that scrum is about the ability to respond to change. As a Human Resources Manager, I am also a change agent. Because the landscape of HR changes consistently, I have to be flexible and adaptable and be able to give the customer (in my case, my staff) the best product possible.

The scrum course taught values that not only align with my personal philosophies, but also with my organization’s, including respect, openness, courage, focus, and commitment. Being part of an organization that practices scrum also assists in my own personal development.

Remember, growth does not have to be immediate to be meaningful and sometimes we must be patient with ourselves. One of my favorite phrases from the CSM course was, “Scrum is lightweight, easy to learn, and hard to master.” Challenge accepted!

About the Author: Dr. Melissa McManus is the Human Resources Manager for KAI Partners. Melissa is passionate about human behavior and knowledge transfer and believes that human capital drives any organization to success. Melissa is a CSM, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and SHRM-Certified Professional. She holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with a focus in Human Resource Development. She is ardent about life and describes herself as an avid bookworm. Melissa enjoys reading (a lot), going to the movies and wine tasting.

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