Preparing for Professional Scrum Master II

Recently I got the PSM II and would like to share some points and notes I made on my physical notebook during preparation.

I really like reading on my kindle and laptop, but to writing my notes I prefer using paper and pen. It has some downsides like sharing these notes with others and can be difficult to search for something you wrote after some time, that’s why I’ll try to resume this medium profile. Ahh… and the reason I’m starting from “PSM II” instead of “PSM I” it’s just because everything is still fresh related to this second certification.

First of all, some thoughts I have about PSM I and PSM II:

While PSM I focus on the technical application of Scrum, the PSM II considers that you are already working with Scrum for a while, faced different challenges applying it, but have the knowledge of the framework and now you are seeking mastery. Although it is not mandatory having the first Scrum Master certification to get up with the second one, you can see some logic on this certification's path. It helped me during II assessment had studied to the first test.

  • PSM I — Focus on Scrum Framework, events, roles, artifacts
  • PSM II — Focus on Scrum Master role, and challenges faced in many different situations

I would even advise, that it would be better to prepare for PSM II after some time working with Scrum because this test focus on many practical situations we might face. I would say it’s not good to skip steps… Each certification fits one different phase during the Scrum learning path.

Now I’ll share some points that helped me during the preparation for this test

During the test watch out for some terms like: must, should, could. Changing these words change the whole meaning of an answer or question. For example:

“Remind the development team that at the end of each Sprint a potentially releasable increment must be delivered and ask how this decision will impact this goal.”

Change it to “could” and one correct answer becomes incorrect. Be Careful with this kind of “trap”.

In general, in the presented scenarios that Scrum Master is acting to solve conflicts, acting as servant-leader, removing impediments, etc., it’s not expected that he acts directly to solve the issues. It’s not expected that Scrum Master will take the side to defend Development Team or Product Owner.

Most of the answers avoid these direct actions, it’s expected that as a facilitator, the SM ask, guide, teach, coach… Getting back with the first point, be careful with some words like “Advise”, “Explain”, “Determine” (direct posture), “Talk”, etc.

The Scrum Master is expected to enable self-organization and decentralization in the Scrum Team.

He enables it by giving boundaries and structure to keep it going.

In some questions, PSM II gets back with some foundations we saw during PSM I. For example:

  • what is and who defines the Definition of Done
  • multiple teams, we must have 1 Product Backlog

Read carefully the Scrum Guide I thought it a good thing to review all Scrum foundations.

These are some points that I faced preparing for this test. I really liked studying for this certification, helped me to review some approaches that I did in the past, review some situations and how we can, thinking over Scrum Values, overwhelming challenges, and disseminate these values and agile culture with the teams we work.

I’ll keep trying to bring my wrote notes here, hopefully, I can share with others whatever I learned :)