We often hear below questions when someone decide to start agile journey or look for more valuable Agile and Scrum Certificates.

  • What kind of Scrum and agile workshop suitable for me?
  • Can I go for Scrum Master Training or Product Owner Training?
  • I am a tester and wanted to learn agile testing but how?
  • Is there any certificate for Architect, Developer, Tester or Manual Tester?
  • Which Certificate for Scrum Master? CSM, PSM or PMI-ACP?
  • I am working in scrum for last 2-3 years but now looking for certificate so which one?
  • Which agile and scrum certificate carry more value in job market?
  • I have working knowledge on Agile and Scrum but looking for certificate to change job so which certificate will help me more?

Many more similar questions so thought of writing about it in details. Below is my personal suggestions based on interactions with organizations and their leaders.

Scrum Certificate

There are only 2 major certification authorities available but don’t worry there are many fake as well. In fact, PMI also provide certification but they are confused with their own certificate.

Scrum Alliance is the first organization started offering quality training and now accepted across the world. Most popular in countries like USA, UK, Singapore and India. Attending training by approved trainer is must in order to earn certificate and there are no exams for certification apart from CSM (Certified Scrum Master). Only problem they don’t have any foundation course and all start with role-based training. Many participants come to workshop to understand what is agile & scrum and haven’t decided which role they wanted to play going forward. Good if Scrum Alliance launch similar program to Professional Scrum Foundation (PSF) by Scrum.Org

Be careful while choosing Scrum Alliance workshop because some of the trainers are not rated well. Below parameters can be applied while choosing.

  • What is the batch size? Too small batch or too big batch may not be good for learning
  • Teaching techniques – is it based on hands-on activities or PPT reading?
  • Ask questions like how this workshop is related to Scrum Role?
  • Workshop is generic Scrum introduction or role specific?
  • Ask for feedback if possible

Scrum.org – Ken Schwaber (co-creator of Scrum) has started it after moving out from Scrum Alliance. Very good courses and highly rated but not as popular as Scrum Alliance. One the reason for not so popular is that Scrum.org started very late but growing very fast. Training is not mandatory in order to write exam but good to attend for new people.

Which one to choose? Scrum Alliance or Scrum.org?

Personally I like Scrum.org courses but if you look at the market demand then Scrum Alliance makes sense. You don’t need to explain anyone about Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) because these are well known certificates and even recruitment team understand very well. Scrum.Org course like Professional Scrum Master (PSM-I), Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO-I) or Professional Scrum Developer (PSD-I) also known but not as popular as Scrum Alliance especially in market like India but very popular in Europe.

Which Scrum Certificate is suitable more for me based on my role?

You are working as Product Manager, Project Manager, Product Owner, Proxy Product Owner, Business owner, Functional Consultant, Senior Manager or you are responsible for P&L, Business growth, managing large product etc. then better to choose Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) orProfessional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO-I). Attending two day workshop is enough to earn CSPO but you have to write exam in case of PSPO and pass with 85% marks.

You are working Scrum Master, Process Consultant or inspiring to become any of these 2 then join Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM-I) is good choice. 2 day workshop is mandatory followed by exam for CSM. I have not seen anyone failing in exam so don’t worry. Training is not mandatory for PSM-1 but passing PSM-1 assessment with 85% is not easy so advisable to attend workshop.

If you don’t belong to any of the above category then most likely you are either developer, tester, consultant, team lead, test lead, architect, Salesforce developer, embedded programmer, oracle ERP consultant, BI developer, DBA or Data Warehousing developer and if Yes then go for Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) or Professional Scrum Developer (PSD-I). CSD is 5 day workshop and there is no assessment but you can choose 3 day CSD workshop if you are already CSM. PSD is assessment based and you have to pass with 85% marks. Training is not essential for PSD but recommended.

Oh you are looking for leadership, organization change, agile coach or change agent then better to look for Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) or Nexus Framework.

You wanted to demonstrate scrum knowledge and experience then you may think of becoming Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) as well. No workshop but some processes with pre-requisite.

Note: – I have not mentioned anything about Scrum Study, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Lean Kanban or Discipline Agile Delivery (DaD) because I am not yet sure about it or don’t have much information about these. This is personal view and it may differ from individual.

4 Comments

  1. Mangesh Gajghate-Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Nice article given about scrum master and certification. It helped me in deciding the scrum course and certification.

  2. January 25, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Many people are looking to become certified Scrum Masters to start a career in the field of Agile but are unable to decide which training option will be the best for them. This article will be very helpful at deciding the best training that one can get for Agile and Scrum!

  3. Ranjit-Reply
    May 15, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Which Certificate for Scrum Master? CSM, PSM or PMI-ACP?

    Please answer above question. it’s in your questions but i can’t see the answer

    • Naveen Kumar Singh-Reply
      May 15, 2017 at 11:17 am

      I suggest PSM for Scrum Master. CSM for just introductory training and PMI-ACP is useless.

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