How to Get Your Boss to Pay for Scrum Training

Convincing your Boss to Pay for Scrum Training

With businesses tightening their budget, it’s getting harder and harder to convince your boss to pay for professional scrum training. People ask us all the time how we suggest they get their boss to cough up the tuition.

The traditional response is to explain paying for professional training helps employees become better prepared to do a better job. Armed with new tools and techniques, not only does the employee’s performance improve because the employee is better equipped to do their job, the team’s performance improves because the employee shares these new techniques with the rest of the team.

To be more effective you can modify the traditional response to include concrete benefits. If your boss pays for the class, then after the class, you offer to create a plan that applies one or two of the new techniques you learn and metrics to measure improved performance.  Who can say no to concrete benefits?

I also recommend these additional three reasons to pay:

  1. Continuous learning
  2. Professional development and certification
  3. Find out how the competition does it


1. Continuous Learning

We’re agile and agile is all about continuous learning, right? Is your team stagnating a bit? Do the same problems continue sprint after sprint, retrospective after retrospective?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, then the continuous learning reason may just get your boss to pay for scrum training. Everyone can use some fresh insight. Explain to your boss that scrum is evolving. New tools and techniques come out every day.

After you attend the class, you can bring back process improvement suggestions that the entire team can benefit from. The next few retrospectives after scrum training can result in process changes that increase productivity. Isn’t that worth the cost of admission?

2. Professional Development and Certification

Most professional certifications require continuing education hours in order to renew, such as the PMI PMP. If your boss paid for your initial certification or your boss pays for the renewal of your certification, then paying for the continuing education hours required to maintain your certification should be a no brainer.

Even if your boss does not pay for your certification, you can argue that your boss definitely benefits from employing someone who cares enough to obtain and maintain professional certification. If your boss shares the benefit, then your boss should share the cost. #Justsaying

3. Find Out How the Competition Does It

We all enjoy going to scrum training because we meet people from other companies, network and learn the techniques they apply to maximize their team performance. Some of the students we network with at class may work for our competitors. We get insight into how they practice scrum. You may never get that detailed insight at a professional dinner.

Discussing what works and what doesn’t with others at training class is a natural way to share ideas and learn real life application of the techniques discussed in class. Even if none of the attendees work for direct competitors, learning how the other companies practice scrum and what techniques they’ve tried, allows you to leverage their experience in your own practice. You can’t get that information in a book!

I hope these suggestions start you thinking about how to apply business reasoning to encourage your boss to pay for scrum training.

If you have some other techniques do share!

Cynthia Kahn

Cynthia Kahn

Cynthia Kahn  503.799.5500




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