Following this discussion I posted my thoughts on the subject. Even if I have just become a CSM, I have to agree about the importance of the certification itself; as our instructor Joseph Pelrine said, "I can only certify that we breathed the same air for a couple of days". This feeling seems to be shared by most hirers in the market. Nevertheless, I learned a lot in those two days, and I also had the opportunity to meet many skilled guys who share my very same interests.
That said, Scrum is about addressing the chaos you tipically get in a complex and fast changing environment, not about developing software: e.g. I always use it with my wife whenever we have to “refactor” our garden (ok, that’s not too complex an environment, but I’m sure you get the point). If you’re looking for practices to improve the quality of software, you’re looking in the wrong place. One word of caution: Scrum really fosters software quality improvement, but it does not provoke it. People improve software quality.
Scrum is not bad because you see many bad Scrum implementations; I’m sure you can find bad implementations of almost everything (OO is not bad because many programmers disguise their procedural code - which is not bad per se, but the mix of the two is often weird). I want to stress that a Scrum Master does not tell the team what to do, as he is not the leader; he is a servant to the team: sort of an istance of the “sacrifice one person” strategy by Cockburn, except maybe for the fact that in the latter you normally assign the sacrificed person a particular task.
I also agree with the fact that a team needs good leadership thus a good leader, even If I'm aware that many will not agree with that. I also think that the leader should emerge naturally in the team, and should not be superimposed. A team without a good leadership (I'm talking about an "internal" one) could easily end up out of action, especially an inexperienced one.