11 Secrets Behind Our Extremely Successful Scrum Trainings

Now that’s a compelling title! I’ve probably triggered an intense allergic response. That’s ok, I understand. Blog titles don’t get any worse. But sometimes you have to be a brave and dare to stand out. That’s precisely what Christiaan Verwijs and I did a couple of months ago when we had a crazy idea.

Why don’t we combine our strengths and offer a public Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master course?

Well, that’s a crazy idea because…

  • It’s impossible to compete with organisations like e.g. Prowareness, Xebia;
  • Most organisations have a preferred supplier for training courses;
  • Hiring a training location costs a lot of money;
  • Promoting the training will take too much time;
  • Lot’s of freelance trainers have tried it and failed;
  • The administrative part will take too much time.

Taking all these reasons into account our logical conclusion was…

Cool, let’s do this!

Our First Public Course

In December we provided our first public Professional Scrum Master course. After putting quite some effort in promotion we welcomed 12 participants in our first training. Based on the feedback it was considered a great training. If you don’t believe it, just check the pictures below. We’ve used Lego, therefore fun & learning was a logical outcome 🙂

Impressions of day 1

Impressions of day 2

Our Second Public Course

In March we’ll provide our second public Professional Scrum Master course. Last week I’ve registered another participant, this means also this training will probably have the maximum amount of 12 attendees. Awesome!

So What Are The Secrets Behind Our Success?

Based on the feedback we’ve gathered, the reasons of our extremely successful public courses are…

  • We don’t give any discount. We did experiment with some lower prices, but nobody attended our training for this reason. We offer a premium product. That comes with a premium price.
  • We have max 12 participants. We like to explore Scrum with small groups. This group size is also highly appreciated by participants. We can offer everyone the attention they deserve and have quality in-depth dialogues.
  • We provide a workshop, not a training. Like Tobias Mayer puts it: “It’s about exploring Scrum, understanding its value and purpose, and learning how to bend its framework to your own context, without breaking it.”
  • We are honest. So you’re saying some trainers aren’t honest? No. I mean we offer an honest opinion about the Scrum framework. Scrum is great. It’s easy to explain but can be extremely difficult to use. We’ll honestly offer you our many failures. You’ll have to discover it yourself, but we won’t provide you the ultimate silver bullet.
  • We provide the training together. Christiaan Verwijs and I will provide every Professional Scrum Master training together. Not a “co-trainer” and a “real trainer”. Two experienced trainers.
  • We are no Zombie Scrum trainers. Yes, be careful, they do exist. Trainers that mechanically explain the Scrum framework without any passion at all. Hmm… I should have added this as another cause for Zombie Scrum.
  • We practice what we preach. We consider ourselves Scrum practitioners. Every week we are both working with Scrum teams and gathering valuable insights about what’s working well and what isn’t. Everyone has to discover his/her own path, but we’ll share our lessons learned.
  • We are part of the Scrum community. We strongly believe in learning by sharing. We are grateful to be part of the Scrum community. As a Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer and Scrum Caretaker I’ve learned a tremendous amount from other trainers and contributors. It’s only fair to share my insights by writing and speaking.
  • We are sooo successful! Yes, yes, I’ve mentioned that before. But are we really successful? Or are we just using it as bait? Why don’t you attend one of our extremely successful training courses and find it out yourself?
  • We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Why else would we (as in Christiaan) wear suspenders and a wooden bow?

The PSM Bonus Meet-up

The previous reasons offer some explanation of why our public Scrum courses are extremely successful. I think the most important reason however is a unique extra feature our training has. It’s something no other training company will offer. It’s truly unique. It’s awesome. It’s great.

The Professional Scrum Master Bonus Meet-up!

Six weeks after the PSM course we meet again with the entire group. An additional free extra service we provide. During this session we’ll share the challenges and lessons learned every participant has experienced since the training. Everyone finishes the PSM with clear goals, during this meet-up we discuss the progress. The meet-up also proved to be an extra motivation to take the Scrum.org PSM assessment. By using the concept of Liberating Structures as facilitation techniques, everyone got familiar with the opportunities of this idea as well. It’s a win-win.


In this blog post I’ve shared 11 reasons why our public Scrum.org courses are so successful. Extremely successful. The goal was to emphasise the greatness of our courses. Although our awesomeness allows us to provide a training every week, we have chosen to provide only 1 or 2 PSM courses every quarter. It will be quite a challenge if you want to participate in our training. Given our popularity there are not many seats available. But we do have a (very long) waiting list. We can always add you to that list… no problem! Check my website for more information. Or see the banner below (in Dutch).

Modest greetings, Christiaan & Barry