Prepare for the PSM I using Scrum

Dario Di Pasquale
5 min readOct 21, 2023


Photo by Olga Guryanova on Unsplash


In the fast-paced world of project management and software development, staying relevant and competitive requires continuous learning and adaptation.

Since September 2021, I have been working at Prima, a company that utilizes the Scrum framework to manage projects efficiently.

In January 2023, I was promoted to the role of Engineering Manager, overseeing a dedicated team. As I took on this new leadership position, I felt the pressing need to deepen my knowledge of Scrum, not just as a project management methodology but also as a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.

In this article, I will share my journey of using Scrum as a methodology to obtain the Scrum PSM I certification from

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile project management framework that emphasizes collaboration, adaptability, and iterative progress. It has become a standard in the software development industry and is widely recognized for its effectiveness in managing complex projects. Scrum principles include transparency, inspection, and adaptation, making it a versatile tool for problem-solving and continuous improvement.

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Why Scrum for Certification Preparation?

Scrum is deeply rooted in the principles of empiricism, emphasizing transparency, inspection, and adaptation as its core tenets. This empirical approach to problem-solving has proven to be exceptionally effective in project management, and it seamlessly translates to the realm of learning and certification preparation.

The empiricism at the heart of Scrum means that it acknowledges that knowledge and understanding are not static, but rather dynamic and subject to change. This acknowledgment aligns perfectly with the journey of studying a subject in certification preparation, where one’s understanding may evolve and grow over time.

Let’s break down how Scrum’s empiricism supports effective learning:

  1. Transparency: In Scrum, transparency involves making all aspects of the work visible. Similarly, when preparing for a certification, being transparent with yourself about your current level of understanding, what you need to learn, and your progress is essential. Keep clear records of your study plans, materials, and achievements.
  2. Inspection: Scrum encourages regular inspection and adaptation. As you study, it’s crucial to regularly assess your comprehension of the material. Are you grasping the core concepts? Are there areas where you’re struggling? This inspection process allows you to identify knowledge gaps and areas for improvement.
  3. Adaptation: Scrum is all about adapting to changing circumstances. Likewise, when studying for a certification, adapting your study methods and priorities based on your inspection results is key. If you find that you need more time on a particular topic, adjust your study plan accordingly. This flexibility ensures that you are continually improving your understanding.
  4. Incremental Progress: Scrum promotes incremental progress towards a goal. By breaking down the certification material into smaller, manageable sprints, you create a structure that allows you to steadily build your knowledge, mastering one concept before moving to the next. This incremental learning mirrors Scrum’s iterative development process.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Scrum values continuous improvement, and this concept is directly applicable to your certification preparation. Regularly reviewing your progress, making adjustments, and striving to enhance your understanding can lead to more effective learning.

In essence, Scrum’s empiricism makes it an ideal framework for certification preparation. It embraces the dynamic nature of knowledge acquisition and encourages adaptability and transparency, all of which can significantly enhance your learning journey. Just as Scrum has revolutionized project management, it can also transform the way you approach your professional development and certification attainment.

Utilizing Notion as a Scrum Board for Certification Preparation

To embark on my journey to Scrum PSM I certification, I needed a tool to facilitate this, and that’s where Notion, a versatile note-taking and organization platform, played a crucial role.

I established a Notion template (feel free to duplicate it as a template) as my virtual Scrum board for this endeavor. Just as Scrum boards are the focal point for tracking progress in projects, my Notion database became the hub for my certification preparation. It allowed me to create a visual representation of my progress and tasks, making it easy to apply Scrum’s principles of transparency, inspection, and adaptation to my study plan.

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Starting with the Scrum Guide

In Scrum, there is no Sprint 0. So my journey began with a deep dive into the Scrum Guide. It served as the foundational text for understanding Scrum principles, roles, events, and artifacts.

The Scrum Guide is to Scrum what a textbook is to a subject, and I treated it as such. By thoroughly studying the guide, I ensured a robust understanding of the framework’s core concepts.

Tracking Progress with’s Open Assessments

As I delved into the Scrum Guide, I supplemented my learning with’s open assessments, especially Scrum Open, Product Owner Open, and Scrum Developer Open. These assessments provide a valuable opportunity to evaluate one’s understanding and knowledge of Scrum principles. They are akin to practice exams and mirror the iterative approach that is fundamental to Scrum.

For each open assessment, I meticulously recorded my scores and the areas where I struggled. These notes became the basis for my Notion database. Using Scrum’s iterative approach, I organized my database with tasks related to the specific areas I needed to improve. Each task represented a learning item, and, similar to how a Scrum backlog evolves, my database grew organically as I identified new topics that required further exploration.

My Notion Scrum board evolved as I progressed. It wasn’t a static plan but a living document. With each review, I adapted my study plan, focusing on areas where I had gaps in my knowledge. The transparency of this approach kept me motivated and allowed me to visualize my improvement over time.

Successful Certification Achievement

Once I was confident in my knowledge and skills, I decided it was time to put my learning to the test. I registered for the Scrum PSM I certification exam from, and thanks to the disciplined, Scrum-inspired approach I had taken, I was well-prepared. When I received my results and learned that I had passed the exam successfully, it was not just a certification achieved; it was a testament to the power of Scrum applied to learning.


In conclusion, the journey to obtaining the Scrum PSM I certification has been a rewarding and enlightening experience. By applying Scrum’s principles to my study approach and leveraging tools like Notion, I’ve not only achieved my certification but also developed a deep understanding of the Scrum framework.

It is my hope that this article can serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for others on their certification journey. May it help more individuals successfully conquer the PSM I exam and further embrace the power of Scrum in their professional endeavors.