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Nigel Thurlow Scrum trainer and agile coach presenting to a class in Japan
Standing there at the front of the room, the expert in all things Scrum and Agile. Translating your experience into learning objectives. But what does it really take to be an awesome Scrum trainer?

Well, there are a few key requirements: A lot of hard work, years of real experience doing Scrum, and a drive for endless study and self-improvement. All this on top of 100’s of hours of work iterating learning materials, designing games and activities, and flying from city to city.

Simple, right?

A day in the life of a Scrum trainer

My teaching day starts as early as 5 am as I make final decisions on materials and key exercises for class. By 7 am, I am at the training site preparing the room to maximize the interaction and setting up the class materials. By 8 am students are arriving and the “show” begins. Training students at all levels comes from my personal experience in Scrum but the class is fully guided by their questions to reinforce their own knowledge and journey. I have to be ready for anything!

At the end of class 9 hours later, I clean up the room and prepare for the next day, and that’s after spending the best part of an hour answering additional questions from those students who want to delve a little further into specific areas. After I grab dinner, it's back to class prep! I refine my backlog for the second day of class based on customer feedback from day one. Yes, we use Scrum to teach Scrum. I often fall asleep with my laptop on my bed!

At Scrum Inc., each of our Scrum trainers has been taught by and trained alongside Dr. Jeff Sutherland, the father of Scrum. They have worked in the field as Scrum Masters, Product Owners, or team members practicing Scrum as part of product delivery. All of our principle Scrum trainers have been part of at least one major Scrum transformation where they have guided senior leadership to migrate from a non-agile approach to using Scrum for Lean Product Delivery. I spend all my time between training embedded in Scrum@Scale implementations where I guide organizations along their own Scrum transformation journeys. This is how I learn what to teach you in class.

If you’re still reading then your Scrum training journey starts here…,

Albert Einstein once said, “the only source of knowledge is experience”, and the first step is to gain that experience. Get your Scrum training from a skilled and reputable organization, then join a company using Scrum. Embed yourself into a team and develop the skills to truly understand what Scrum is, the values and principles behind it, and the Agile movement. Become a Scrum Master. Become a Product Owner. Learn by doing.

Get involved in a local Scrum user group. Learn from others while sharing your own knowledge and experience. This is also a great opportunity to be a guest presenter and to volunteer to lead a discussion or coach on a topic you are passionate about.

Passion is a key ingredient. To teach and coach Scrum, you need to be passionate about Scrum and to live the philosophy. Teaching demands a passion for sharing knowledge and for developing people. Teaching is a privilege.

Commit to self-improvement. I attend multiple training courses a year with other organizations, even the ones I disagree with, as this learning is incredibly valuable for me to constantly Inspect and Adapt my own training and skills. I also train with my peers to learn from their experiences and insights. Knowledge acquisition is never ending, and it must be part of your everyday activities as a Scrum professional, but remember knowledge is not experience. In short become a learned person, a person of great and varied learning.

If this seems like you, reach out to other Scrum trainers and ask them to guide your journey. Ask to co-train with them and attend their classes. Never give up. Believe in yourself. More importantly, believe in others as you become the next guide in their journey.

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