CSP-SM Assignments

There are 5 assignments, all concluding with presentation to your cohort. These are:

  1. Coaching Agreement Assignment
  2. Culture Change Assignment
  3. Organisational Intervention Assignment
  4. Mentoring Assignment
  5. Inter-team Collaboration Assignment
The follow provides the full brief for each assignment.

Assignment 1: Coaching Agreement

[Covers Learning Objective 2.5: create a coaching agreement.]

Step 1. Learn about coaching agreements.

This is about the process of creating an agreement with a team or individual to engage a coaching capacity. See “Coaching Agreement” page/frame in the CSP-SM course material. Discussing specific challenges to explore in coaching or doing the actual coaching is outside of the scope of this assignment.

Note that you can do a good job of this assignment by conducting a workshop exploring the questions on either of pages/frames mentioned above. If the team or individual do not agree to coaching, that’s ok. What is most important is the discussion and what you learn from this.

If the team/individual does opt-into coaching however, please consider showing the documented Coaching Agreement artefact if possible ensuring that any sensitive information is redacted or not included. Also consider sharing summary of how the coaching went and what you learned from during the graduation call if not before.

Step 2. Run a coaching agreement workshop or discussion with an individual or team.

This could be a team that you have worked with for some time or a new team that you are beginning to work with (even in a part-time capacity). Your coachee can be a team other than a Scrum team and it can also be an individual.

Step 3. Present about the creation of the Coaching Agreement at a cohort call.

Tell the story of the process you went through toward a coaching agreement with your cohort including the following.

  1. Why the particular team or individual was chosen for this.
  2. The agreement process that you went through.
  3. Significant comments from the coachee(s) and the decision they made.
  4. The coaching agreement artefact (if there was agreement to draft one).
  5. What you learned from this experience.

As with all assignments, please time-box the presentation and Q&A. We recommend 10 mins for presentation and 5 mins for Q&A.

Assignment 2: Culture Change

[Covers Learning Objective 5.3: summarise at least two tangible examples of how you changed the culture of your team or organisation.]

Step 1: Identify a previous experience or pursue team culture change

Have you seen tangible evidence of a culture change from command-and-control to an Agile mindset amongst a team or organisation that you have worked with? In this context, consider “culture” to be a persistent pattern of behaviour.

Examples include:

  • A change from an individual “rounding up” team members for Daily Scrum to team members consistently joining the Daily Scrum of their own volition.
  • Team members taking initiative to start work on tasks or to update their Sprint Backlog themselves having previously not done this without prompts from their ScrumMaster.
  • Changing the decision-making model from a single individual making certain decisions with little or no consultation to a more participatory decision making process. Resources for this include the 7 levels of team decision making described at: Efficient group decisions using the 7 levels of decision
    making – an agile coach must have
     and Delegation Poker: https://management30.com/practice/delegation-poker/

If you have not seen tangible evidence of such a culture change, consider what may be achievable in this regard between now and your CSP-SM presentation date. Plan an intervention and action to create the conditions for such a culture change to occur.

Step 2: Present an experience report

Tell the story to your cohort of the culture change that occurred. Your presentation should include:

  1. At least two tangible examples (e.g. specific events, behaviours, quotes or paraphrasing of what people said) of how the culture changed.
  2. Identification of ways that this added value to the Development Team, Product Owner or product.
  3. Description of the role that you played in this.
  4. What you learned from this experience.

As with all assignments, please time-box the presentation and Q&A. We recommend 10 mins for presentation and 5 mins for Q&A.

Assignment 3: Organisational Intervention

[Covers Learning Objective 5.2: analyse your approach to a complex intervention that addresses the root cause(s) of an organisational impediment.] Note that this assignment can be done in retrospect for an impediment that you worked on in the past or during the period of your CSP-SM coursework.

Step 1: Identify and analyse an organisational impediment

Use an Organisational Intervention A3 or Organisational Impediment Form to identify an actionable intervention for an organisational impediment. This should include:
  • the surface problem,
  • your analysis of it (potentially in collaboration with colleagues), and
  • the intervention action as originally proposed.

Step 2: Pursue impediment intervention

Work with the appropriate parties toward initiation of an intervention. Time-permitting, follow this through to a conclusion including assessment as to how successful the intervention was.

Step 3: Present the intervention

Tell the story to your cohort including the following.
  1. Your organisational impediment analysis e.g. Ishikawa digram, 5 Whys, Problem Solving A3.
  2. The process that you went through to analyse, propose and (if possible) to pursue this intervention.
  3. Your analysis of the impact of the intervention including your analysis of the long term impact (if in the past) or your thinking about the various ways that it may play out (if in progress).
  4. What you learned from the experience.
As with all assignments, please time-box the presentation and Q&A. We recommend 10 mins for presentation and 5 mins for Q&A.

Assignment 4: Mentoring

[Covers Learning Objective 6.2: practice mentoring someone.]

Step 1: Find someone who would like mentoring from you

Consider who might benefit from your expertise and may see you as a trusted advisor. It desirable but not required that the expertise is Scrum or Agile related.

Step 2: Conduct mentoring sessions

These sessions can be quite informal and the number and duration is up to you and your mentee. What is important however is that you practice holding a mentoring stance.

During your mentoring session(s), remember to:

  • ask your mentee for feedback on your mentoring style,
  • ask how likely they are to act on what is discussed, and
  • make notes on when you entered into and departed from a mentoring stance and why.

Step 3: Present your mentoring experience

Tell the story to your cohort including the following.

  1. The process of your mentee engaging into mentoring relationship and mentoring sessions with you.
  2. What your mentee’s feedback was about your mentoring style.
  3. What your mentee indicated about their likelihood of acting on what came out of the mentoring.
  4. What you learned from the mentoring experience including your relevant expertise and limitations as a mentor.

In presenting this, spend as little time as possible on the topic matter of the mentoring discussions. Instead provide just enough for context and spend most of the time on the points above.

As with all assignments, please time-box the presentation and Q&A. We recommend 10 mins for presentation and 5 mins for Q&A.

Assignment 5:  Inter-team Collaboration

[Covers Learning Objective 5.5: experiment with at least three techniques to improve inter-team collaboration.]

Inter-team collaboration in this assignment includes (but it not limited to):

  • facilitating a new of multi-team event (see examples below),
  • making a significant variation to an existing multi-team event,
  • implementing multi-team visual management e.g. overall product Kanban board, in a way that is aimed to improve collaboration,
  • experimenting with any of the distributed co-ordination practices recommended in the LeSS literature e.g. “Travellers”, “Communicate in Code” plus “Just Talk”, and
  • changing a multi-team process, policy or incentive e.g. toward teams sharing work during Sprint when requiring something that in is another team’s Sprint Backlog.

Step 1: Identify past experiences and/or plan and facilitate inter-team collaboration

Do you have prior experience with any of the above. If so, you may be able to use one or more for this assignment.

Multi-team event options include the following. All of these are possible to do virtually.

Step 2: Present the three experiences

Tell the story to your cohort including the following for each of the three experiences.

  1. Your facilitation plan and/or experiment design.
  2. The story of introducing or facilitating this. If possible including images or videos of interaction or artefacts. Note that artefacts that you contributed to (e.g. agenda poster/board, Problem Solving A3) are more important that those that others produced (e.g. workshop output).
  3. What you learned from this experience.

As with all assignments, please time-box the presentation and Q&A. Since there are three experiences to describe we recommend 15 mins for presentation (approximately 5 mins on each of 3 techniques) and 5 mins for Q&A.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your trainer: Rowan Bunning.

Update log

13 April 2024: Removed Designed Alliance option description from Assignment 1.

28 April 2022: Changed learning objective wording as per 2022 learning objectives from Scrum Alliance. The assignments remain the same.

5 October 2021: Changed language in assignment 5 from “experiment” to “facilitate” and removed a step on “the outcome of the facilitated event”. Improved formatting with sections.