Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster™

SparkPlug Agility's CSP-SM course is built to provide you with the tools, techniques, and skills necessary to help you grow personally and professionally, and bring a whole new set of techniques back to your organizations.    

We are proud to be the first organization in North America approved to offer this course in classroom format!  We have redesigned this course to be offered online, with the same interactivity and learning experience you have come to expect from Chris. This course meets all of the learning objectives set by the Path to CSP Educator team with Scrum Alliance, and is the final step to achieving your CSP-SM designation!

This three-day course is a highly interactive, learner-focused experience, with students sharing with and learning from one another across settings and activities. Exercises range from self-reflection and exploration to class-wide simulations designed to create experiences that "stick" and create stronger, more skilled, and empowered Scrum Masters.      

What Sets our CSP-SM Apart?

  • Three days of instruction - An additional day of instruction and interaction lets you get much deeper into topics and really fill your toolbox. We have more interaction not only with other students but also a more personalized interaction with Chris Li, who is one of the world's premier instructors of the Path-to-CSP level Scrum Master courses. Our CSP-SM course roster size is limited, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to get individualized support and feedback. 
  • Work outside of class - Many programs have a large amount of work that occurs outside of the classroom, using self-study as an alternative to in-depth discussion and exercises in the classroom. Our pre-course assignments are specifically created to enhance the in-classroom experience, not to gloss over or limit discussion of learning objectives. With three intensive days of instruction, our post-class assignments can be shorter, and specifically used to apply techniques in your own context. 
  • Training component - Several of our students are interested in becoming trainers themselves, and our course spends significant time helping participants prepare for taking this next step. Inspired by the challenging "Guide" level certification path set out by Scrum Alliance, we dedicate more class time to lesson design and delivery. 
  • Coaching component - Also in the "Guide" level category, many of our students are interested in becoming a Certified Team Coach or Certified Enterprise Coach. We bring some real-world concepts and tactical tools designed to make you a better coach. 
  • This is what we do! - While some organizations strive to be "all things to all flavors of agility", our primary passion at SparkPlug Agility is our set of courses focused on making our students excellent Scrum Masters, with a wide variety of tools, techniques, and experiences that prepare you for the real world. We have a passion for supporting agilists with teams on the ground every day, rather than catering to executive leadership or purely theoretical practices. 
  • World leader in advanced offerings - We are proud to have been the first training organization in north america to offer both the A-CSM as well as the CSP-SM in a classroom-based format. Chris Li is the third Path to CSP Educator approved in the world and has taught A-CSM and CSP-SM courses for several years. He also volunteers time working with Scrum Alliance and other trainers to support the Path to CSP program and its strategy. 
  • Scrum Education Units - Our class awards up to 40 hours of SEU credits, 24 in class and 16 outside, as opposed to other programs that offer as few as 16 total. With the recent changes to Scrum Alliance's certification renewal process that now requires SEU credits, this course enables you to gain these valuable hours toward maintaining your certifications

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for the experienced Scrum Master ready to take the next step in their career learning.  The CSP-SM is a highly regarded industry certification, demonstrating both theoretical Scrum knowledge and practical experience with teams and organizations..  Agile leaders, including coaches, consultants, program and project managers, facilitators, and technical leaders, can all benefit from building their Scrum Master skills with the CSP-SM.

Students must have an active A-CSM certification before attending this course.  

To receive your CSP-SM certification from Scrum Alliance students must have an active A-CSM certification and satisfy the following requirements:

  • Complete the CSP-SM course, delivered by a Path to CSP Educator 
  • Demonstrate at least 24-months of Scrum Master experience in the past five years by uploading your role-specific experience to your Scrum Alliance Profile


Pre-Course Learning
Our course includes a short assignment prior to class to help prepare you for course discussions, drawing ties to your own context.  This assignment provides a jump-off point for conversations, exercises, and lessons with other students and the instructor.  Please plan to spend up to four hours completing this pre-course assignment.  

We start class with a set of activities to re-acclimate you with the fundamental elements of Scrum and important highlights from your A-CSM.  We also look at separating the basics of Scrum from common anti-patterns and behaviors commonly observed in organizations.  

Many of our CSP-SM students are looking to advance their career in the area of coaching, potentially taking the next step toward certifications from Scrum Alliance like CTC or CEC.  Building on the coaching concepts introduced in the A-CSM, we contrast the discipline with other concepts such as Consulting and Mentoring.  We explore important coaching assumptions and create the beginnings of a coaching agreement that you can use with potential clients.  

As new teams form or established teams look to improve, they engage in a range of discussions to align their activities and document how they will work together.  This module prepares you for these conversations, including identifying roles and responsibilities, contrasting Feature and Component teams, and reinforcing technical concepts.  

There is a big difference between a group of individuals working on a similar effort and a “real team.”  This module focuses on the specific attributes and behaviors to look for and establish in a team, including complimentary skills, common purpose, and mutual accountability, exploring identifiers in the Team Performance Curve.  

Scrum Masters often encounter unhealthy interpersonal behaviors on their teams.  This module explores these dysfunctions by defining the behaviors and how they are linked to one another.  You will learn a valuable set of tools you can use in your organization to identify dysfunctions, and new techniques to establish the trust, accountability, and results needed for a team to perform at their best.  

This module focuses on defining and expanding the concepts of team performance, and the link between commitment to team basics and regular behaviors of an effective team.  We introduce the Drexler Sibbet Team Performance Model and its Performance Indicators, empowering you with this tool and a set of facilitated activities you can use to improve your team’s performance.    

The death of any system is rooted in local optimization.  We will look at Scrum with a fresh point of view, examining it as a system.  We will explore the roots of lean thinking and continuous improvement, relating the core concepts of Lean to Scrum.  

Organizations struggle with many challenges and obstacles to delivering value.  By exploring types of wastes and the relationship of production wastes to their development counterparts, this module will better equip you to identify and reduce waste in your organization, including tools to visualize the relationships within a system.  

Organizations are continuously re-inventing themselves, their products, and how they work.  We will present several interesting and deliberate techniques you can take back to your organization to catalyze change.  We identify change areas in your context and tie them to these techniques, empowering you with approaches to help make those changes a reality.  

Scrum Masters often act in the role of teacher, and many of our CSP-SM students are looking to take the next step in their agile careers as trainers.  Our course is unique in that we specifically focus on growing your skills in this area. Inspired by the process of becoming a Certified Scrum Trainer, this module walks you through designing and delivering a lesson on a Scrum Foundations topic.  With feedback from your peers and one-on-one guidance from Chris Li, you will leave this module with valuable techniques to improve your effectiveness as a trainer.  

Agile professionals are often asked to create a space for others to do their best thinking.  You will learn, participate in, and practice advanced techniques from the real-world environments of today’s Scrum teams.  Highlights include low-fidelity, high-impact techniques to help groups to get shared understanding in an interactive and conversational manner.  

While not explicitly required by Scrum, having aligning conversations around Vision are crucial to a Scrum Team’s success.  This module introduces you to the fundamental elements of a Vision, with tools to decompose those ideas into actionable pieces.    

Scrum Masters often provide their expertise in building and managing the Product Backlog.  You will learn a helpful technique to improve how your teams write Acceptance Criteria, explore concepts around scaling the role of a Product Owner, and identify areas to consider when segmenting your Product Backlog.  

When someone sends an invitation to a meeting, they are asking for an attendees most valuable thing, time.  This module focuses on the considerations necessary to create an effective agenda. We will revisit the logic model that you can use to craft an agenda that provides clarity and shared understanding of a discussion, to maximize the limited and valuable resource of time.  

Another highlight of our CSP-SM learning experience, you will further grow your teaching and leadership skills by participating in a class-wide simulation to develop a set of instructions that someone can use to facilitate Scrum Events in your place. Going beyond “by the book” activities, we simulate common real-world challenges like multiple teams, complementary planning sessions, and remote teams. You will leverage your personal experience as well as many tools and techniques from class.  The constructive one-on-one feedback on both your materials and instructional style will help prepare you for developing new agile leaders in your organizations.  

Organizations are not always set up to succeed in implementing Scrum. Challenges in culture and structure can get in the way of seeing results.  We will introduce organizational structures that support multi-team Scrum, with real-world examples you can use to learn from as you apply structures in your own context.  

This module incorporates reflection on the learning experience itself and celebration of your accomplishments as a class.  You will create an action plan and identify powerful takeaways from your experience, interacting and sharing insights with your peers.  

Your Path to CSP learning does not end in the classroom.  You will leave class with a set of assignments to apply the tools and techniques from class in your own context.  These activities enable you to leverage your new skills and share your findings with Chris Li, receiving additional one-on-one guidance even after the course is over.  Successfully completing these assignments is the final step in achieving your CSP-SM!