Virtual A-CSM Course Preparation

A-CSM Preparation

We are delighted that you will be joining us for your online Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) experience.

Did you know that this A-CSM learning experience is not limited to the interactive sessions? It starts now with your preparation. There will also be some short homework exercises between sessions.

In order to make best use of our interactive course time, we are inviting you to read and watch freely available background material that will directly aid you during in-class exercises. Part A-CSM course participants have repeatedly shared that it is really important to spend some hours doing this prior to the interactive course.

We recommend that you get started now on your preparation. Here’s the full set of things to cover off.

  1. Introduce yourself on the Pre-course Miro Board (approx. 15 mins)
  2. Log relevant work experience on your profile (approx. 10 mins)
  3. Prepare your tools with our Virtual Classroom Prep advice (approx. 10 mins)
  4. Prepare for the first half of the course (a couple of hours)
  5. Prepare for the second half of the course (a couple of hours)

The following is a detailed description of each of these preparation items.

1: Introduce yourself on the Pre-course Miro Board

We will be using a powerful virtual whiteboard tool called Miro extensively throughout the course. There are some items to setup in our Pre-course Miro board ready for our first interactive session. If you have not used Miro before, it also important to practice using the tool so that you are not spending time trying to figure out how to use it during the course.

Please open our A-CSM Pre-course Board and follow the instructions, the link will be available in the Google Calendar invite for session 1.

Note that Miro works best in the Chrome and Firefox web browsers as well as the Miro desktop and mobile app.

2: Prepare your tools with our Virtual Classroom Prep advice

The quality of your online training experience depends in part on the configuration of your tools as well as your familiarity with how to use them.

We have a page of advice on hardware, connectivity and software configurations at “essential”, “recommended” and “ideal” levels. If a little tinkering can take you from essential to recommended or ideal, it may be well worth it.

Please read and conduct the tests.

If you have any issues or questions about your setup, please contact us immediately.

3: Log relevant work experience on your profile

You are most welcome to take the training at any time after your CSM. To be awarded the A-CSM accreditation however, the Scrum Alliance require you to have at least 12 months worth of ScrumMaster-related work experience documented on your Scrum Alliance profile.

Whilst we will be running through how to log your work experience during the first session of the course, we highly recommend that you have a go at doing this prior to the first session so that you can see the form to fill out and bring up any questions that you have at that time.

See our Updating Work Experience with Scrum Alliance page for instructions.

4: Prepare for the first half of the course

You will be expected to be familiar with the following material prior to the classroom training. This is very important as we will be doing exercises that use this material as input. Time will not be allocated to read/watch this material during the two day course. Even if you are familiar with a topic that an item below relates to, please read/watch this specific material on it. If you have read an older version of the Scrum Guide, please re-read it and review the changes:

Please put aside a couple of hours for this, starting more than a week prior to the course. You can expect to be asked to fill in a questionnaire about your progress shortly before the course.

For each of the items followed by a notes icon 📝, it will be beneficial for you to have your study notes available during the course as there will not be sufficient time to re-read the original material.


  1. The Scrum Guide – latest version:
  2. Origins of Scrum: 📝 Further reading about the history of Scrum will also be beneficial.


  1. Team Performance Sketchtalk—April 2009 📝
  1. Scrum Retrospective Parts 1-5: 1 – Setting The Stage, 2 – Gather Data3 – Generate Insights4 – Decide What To Do5 – Close The Retrospective by Herbi

Complimentary frameworks

  1. What is Extreme Programming? by Ron Jeffries:
  2. Kanban and Scrum making the most of both by Henrik Kniberg pp. 17-67:
  3. The Lean Startup Methodology:
  4. Lean Startup Strategy: the Minimal Viable Product:

5: Prepare for the second half of the course

The intention behind scheduling a few days between the first and second halves of your A-CSM course is to provide the opportunity to cover the coursework incrementally. This includes further readings and videos that we leverage during topic in the second half of the course.

Please put aside a couple of hours for studying the following, noting key points of relevance to you and questions that you have.

Product Backlog Refinement

  1. Impact Mapping – Visualizing impacts of your software with a demo with Astah:
  2. Agile Modeling – 03: Specification By Example:


  1. Coaching with the GROW Model – Leadership Training:
  2. The GROW model in action:

Complexity and Change

  1. Complexity, Cynefin, and Agile by Agile For All:
  2. ADAPT and Enterprise Transition Community models by Mike Cohn: – particularly slides 14-34
  3. What is Lean Change Management? by Jason Little:
  4. Brief Summary of More Fearless Change Strategies for making your ideas happen – Mary Lynn Manns & Linda Rising: – page 1 at minimum


  1. The World Café: Café to Go!
  2. Craig Larman at Agile Munich: “More with LeSS:A Decade of Descaling with LeSS” – Part 1 – Scaling? from 2:06 – 12:06 or as long as you care to watch and learn about LeSS
  3. Feature Team Primer by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde:
  4. Co-ordination and Integration: 📝
  5. Introduction to LeSS (8:14):
  6. Scrum@Scale-Guide by Jeff Sutherland:


Thank you

That’s it. Thanks very much for investing in being well prepared and maximising the value that we can attain from our time together.

You will receive a calendar invite for the first session roughly a week prior containing the details required to join the video call. We look forward to seeing you in session 1.

Change Log

Change on 11th June 2021:

  • Replaced the Sprint Retrospective article with a new one including direct links to each of the 5 parts. Covers similar material, so studying either is fine.

Change on 10th March 2021:

  • Added Product Backlog Refinement section.
  • Added Coaching section.

Changes on 7th March 2021:

  • Added Facilitation section.
  • Add The World Café article to the (de)Scaling section.

Changes on 1st March 2021:

  • Removed the second at the end on having Basic stationery available.
  • Split prep readings and videos into first and second halves (items 4 and 5).

If you started preparing prior to the 8th of May 2020, these are the changes to the pre-course material advice from prior to that date.

  • Removed article on team diversity
  • Removed article on retrospectives
  • Removed article on World Café
  • Removed Enterprise Scrum video
  • Added all items under Complexity and Change
  • Added material to have available item: Definition of “Done” and Undone