What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?
By Richard Paul
Agile and scrum are the two dynamic tools ruling the software industry nowadays, most of the IT-based organizations and companies are looking to hire candidates who are familiar with all agile and scrum stuffs, framework, and applications.
A latest article published by Forbes Magazine says that IT professionals with certifications are earning an average of $17,000 more per year than the median IT certification salary. From an employee perspective, certifications let you demonstrate additional qualifications on your resume in addition to getting hired faster.
The demand for certified agile scrum professionals is more, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) are the two most important certifications for the scrum master to enhance his career further better.
Before getting into all about these certifications, let me take you to the world of Scrum,
What is Scrum and it’s framework
Scrum can be defined as the iterative framework or work management system which helps to meet the most objectives in an appropriate manner. Scrum has a wider scope and not only limited to the workshops or seminars, it is a full-time profession.
Scrum masters are those who create scrum frameworks for the organizations, CSM and PSM are the two certifications for scrum master. Many people ask about the these. Let’s get into the origin of these two.
It was the time during the 90s when the engineers in the companies were failing to deliver the right results, the companies then felt of finding a new way through which they can decrease the production as well as increase the productivity, Ken and Jeff are the two software engineers came up with this iterative framework and later in 2002 they found scrum alliance and set up Certified scrum master (CSM) and Professional scrum master (PSM).
Now let’s get into briefly about the certifications and how they will help to boost up your career. Let’s us not forget the below quote.
CSM Vs PSM Certification
Both the CSM Certification and PSM certifications focus on software development which has got their own importance and wider scope and each is different from the other. Got confused don’t worry let me explain in detail about these, which one is the better? Which will add more value to your career, which one should you go for? Let us see in detail.
How to get certified?
As far as CSM is concerned, CSM is just like any other diploma or degree program where you have to be enrolled in the institution and have to attend the classes and all the assignments. In the end, you have to pass the CSM test, and you have only two attempts at taking the test.
On the other hand, PSM is entirely different from CSM. There is no need to attend any classes for this program neither any test for the PSM 1 and PSM 2 both.
What is the passing grade?
For CSM, you have to secure at least 69% marks or 24 out of 35 to get through the Certified Scrum Master program which is very low as compared to PSM.
In PSM, the passing criteria are quite tough. You would get 80 questions and have to complete it in only 60 minutes. You have to be accurate in the answers because only those attendees with the final marks of 85%+ will pass the test and will get the Professional Scrum Master certificate.
What is the exam format?
The exam format of CSM is quite simple. The test paper of CSM is only based on multiple choice of question and they also allow you enough time to fill it twice. On the other hand, there are two levels in the Professional Scrum Master Certification program. One is PSM 1 which is also based on the multiple choice questions and the other one is PSM 2 which is also not only based on MCQ’s but you also have to write an essay in it.
How difficult is the exam:
This is the question that almost every student asks. The Certified Scrum Master program test is relatively easier than the PSM 1 and PSM 2. The reason behind is the weekly classes and the tests that you have attended on these classes prepares you for the final exam. However, PSM doesn’t have any scheduled classes systems, that is why students find hard to pass the exams. Moreover, the PSM 2 is much harder to pass as compared to the PSM 1, that is why people always leave the PSM program after taking PSM 1 certificate.
How much does it cost?
There is no standard fee of CSM. The CSM is attached to the course, and many different institutions offer this certificate program. However, the general fee of CSM starts from the US$400 to US$2,500 based on the tuition fee.
Since there is only one body that offers Professional Scrum Master Program that is why they have a standard fee of PSM. The PSM 1 only US$100 and the PSM 2 cost only US$500. Moreover, the students of PSM also given one free attempt for the PSM 1 exam for the assessment.
What is the Renewal Duration?
You have to renew your CSM credential after every two years. The first two years from you get the degree, the fee of the credential would be added in the tuition fee.
Later on, you have to renew it by paying only $100 every two years. This fee is subjected to change on the authority of the institute from where you get your CSM degree.
On the other hand, there is no need to renew your PSM credentials. Once you got this, this is yours for all of your life, and no one can take it from you.
How consistent is the both program’s content?
Because many institutes are providing CSM program that is why the program content varies from institutes to institutes and trainer to trainer.
Whereas PSM has only one body, and all the teachers of that body follow only one content. However, the interpretation of the trainers may vary.
What is the reliability of the Program content?
Because the program content in the CSM varies from trainer to trainer, that is why it is hard to keep the reliability of the program content at its top.
Every Scrum trainer creates its own program content and also its interpretation. That is why it is impossible to maintain the monotonous or the quality of the program content.
Whereas only one body provide Professional Scrum Master program and their trainers follow only one content, that is why the reliability of the PSM program is at its highest, and there is no comparison between CSM and PSM contents.
Both of the programs are highly compatible, and both have their own importance. CSM may look back in the race but its originality and the history of this program makes it equal to PSM. However, aspects like no renew, content reliability and the tuition fee of PSM makes it a better choice to take if you want to be a Professional Scrum Master with the certificate.
Go ahead, reach your destination. All the best.
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A Journey Towards Earning a Leading Safe® 4.6 Certification
By Nicolas Casel
Our blog regularly provides insights about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®), like 4 main features that enable SAFe®. You can also go through an article stating the benefits of SAFe® Agilist certification. Also, we recently published a specific article about the benefits to get the SAFe® 4.5 Certification, and here we give some details about the Leading SAFe® 4.6.What is SAFe®? When any large organization wants to go Agile, it can hardly skip the Scaled Agile Framework ® (SAFe®). Now, this framework has become the world’s leading framework for companies that target to scale Agile. Also, SAFe® is described as the “Agile Enterprise Big Picture”, as it helps to apply Agile and Lean practices and principles to the whole organization, from the Team to the Portfolio level.Benefits of the SAFe® certification For any professional, being SAFe® certified brings recognition to be able to support all kinds of organizations in their Lean and/or Agile transformation. Indeed, SAFe® is the most used framework for scaling Agile, especially in big companies like the ones listed in the US Fortune 100. Consequently, holding a SAFe® certification makes a candidate profile very attractive compared to employers’ expectations.Accreditation body of SAFe®The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®®) has an official certifying body: Scaled Agile, Inc. This accreditation body guarantees “ a valid, reliable, and consistent method of assessing SAFe® skills, knowledge, and mindset “ (read more About SAFe® Certification ).Salary of the SAFe® certifiedSalary for SAFe® certified professionals can vary across regions and experience:EuropeIndiaUnited StatesAgile Coach€ 70,000Rs 2,220,000$135,000Product Owner€ 80,000Rs 1,900,000$115,000Scrum Master€ 55,000Rs 1,220,000$95,000Software Engineer€ 60,000Rs 1,630,000$75,000Job roles/Target audience of the SAFe® certificationThe target audience of the SAFe® certification is wide and covers all these positions: Executives and Leaders, Managers, Directors, CIOs, and VPs Development, QA, and Infrastructure Management Program and Project Managers Product and Product Line Management Portfolio Managers, PMO, and Process Leads Enterprise, System, and Solution ArchitectsStatistics related to SAFe® certification(Note: All the data mentioned here is provided by payscaleEuropeIndiaUnited StatesGenderFemale: 10%Male: 90%Female: 40%Male: 60%Years of experiencePopular companiesDeutsche BankINGBNPViseoPhilipsOmicron4Com TechnologiesMotorolaAir France KLMCA, Inc.Syntel, Inc.Tata Consultancy Services LimitedInfosys LimitedAccentureJohnson ControlsFederal Express Corporation (FedEx)Cap GeminiUsaa InsuranceVencore, Inc.TechSmith CorporationJohnson ControlsSAFe® Agilist Exam detailsWhat is the format of the exam?The SAFe® certification exam is in the Multiple Choice Questions formatHow is the exam delivered?The exam is Web-based (single-browser), closed book, no outside assistance, timed.How to get access to the exam? Once they have completed the Leading SAFe® course, candidates can access the exam. For this, they will use the SAFe® Community Platform. How long is the exam?The exam duration is 90 minutes.How many questions? The SAFe® exam consists of a total of 45 questions.What is the passing score? 34 out of 45 (75% passing score). What is the exam language?English. How much does the exam cost?The course registration fee covers the first exam attempt, provided that the candidate takes the exam within 30 days of course completion. Then, it will cost $50 for any additional attempt.What are the exam prerequisites? There are two main prerequisites to take the exam. First is to have an experience using the Scrum framework, the second is to have more than five years in one or several of these fields: project or product management, business analysis, software development.What is the exam retake policy of the exam?A first retake, meaning a second attempt on the exam, can be done at any moment after a first attempt. In case of a third attempt, candidates have to wait for 10 days and in case of a fourth attempt, they have to wait for 30 days.Leading SAFe® 4.6 Exam preparation SAFe® Agilist Certification exam questionsHere are some of the questions that might be helpful in exam preparation- How to run agile on multiple teams?How to synchronize the work of these teams?How to prioritize organizational demands?How to scale an agile architecture?How to deal with risks in an agile way?Agile and governance, is it possible?Can you highlight the addition and changes in 4-level with 3-level SAFe® 4.0?Can you define a System Team?Can you explain the difference/relationship between a Value Stream and an ART?What is the key to crossing back in forth or connecting the various levels of SAFe®?What is the difference between a Capability and an Epic or Theme?Why would you decentralize decision making? Doesn’t this disempower the product owner or cause confusion about who is the final decision-maker?Are there any reasons that Scrumban would not work with SAFe®?We have some applications that use Scrum delivery practices and some that are milestone driven (waterfall). Can SAFe® 4.0 support both epic and user story management planning, backlog prioritization for Scrum teams, as well as requirements management for our waterfall teams (until they transition to agile)?Some teams may run continuous integrations while others not. How can we balance this if we have a fixed Program Increment timeline?Is SAFe® making it more complex and less agile (e.g., more rigid, additional control)?Exam study materialsKnowledge and skill required by the job role are primarily measured by the exam. In order to prepare well for the exam, candidates can use various online resources like these ones:The course materials are one of the most important components from the course because they offer an opportunity to refer back to the content delivered during the class. All candidates can access to it within the SAFe® Community Platform.The Study guide delivers comprehensive details about the job role and the exam, like a reading list. Here again, it is accessible via the Learning Plan in the SAFe® Community Platform.Another element of the Learning Plan in the SAFe® Community Platform is the Practice test. It offers predictability of success on the exam because it works with similar time duration and level of difficulty and provides the same number of questions.You can go through the SAFe sample test that contains 8 questions that will help you in SAFe 4.6 certification exam preparation.Ways of earning Leading SAFe® 4.6 certificationAttend the courseCourse completion is the first step toward SAFe® certification.Scaled Agile training classes are designed with the learner in mind. Incorporating active learning techniques with a robust role-based curriculum is a great start to the SAFe® learning journey.Receive access to the SAFe® Community Platform after the class, which provides access to study materials & the exam.Study for the examDetailed exam study guides are available to help prepare for the exam and are part of the Learning Plan provided to candidates on the SAFe® Community Platform. Each study guide provides relevant and content-specific exam information, such as the certification role description, prerequisite skills and knowledge, exam objectives, and a comprehensive reading list.Practice tests can help prepare for the exam and are part of the Learning Plan on the SAFe® Community Platform. With a practice test, candidates can ‘test before the test.’ It simulates the actual certification exam in duration, difficulty, and topic area. Passing the practice test does not guarantee to pass the certification exam, but it provides a testing simulation, and the score report can be used to identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Practice tests are available at no additional charge, delivered through the Learning Plan in the SAFe® Community Platform, and can be taken as many times as needed. Note that the testers will receive the same bank of questions each time, but the questions will be randomized.Sample tests provide the examples of the type and format of the questions to expect on the certification exam. They are publicly available for all exams under Exam Details on each certification detail page.Leverage experience. It’s more than being book smart. Scaled Agile exams test specific knowledge, skill, experience, and attitudes related to each SAFe® job role. Combining a person’s learning and studying with their real-world experiences is a key to becoming SAFe®® Certified.Take the ExamA link to the exam is included in the Learning Plan on the SAFe® Community Platform.Candidates have 30 days after course completion to take the exam at no additional charge. However, once they start the exam, they’ll have a fixed time to complete it.Complete exam information, including exam time limit, number of questions, and a sample test, is available for all the exams under Exam Details on each certification official page.What will you get on passing the SAFe® 4 Agilist exam?Becoming a Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist requires an exceptional range of skills and is a career path for many servant leaders (Scrum Masters). SAFe® 4 Agilist certification includes:Getting the Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist PDF certificateGetting the Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist digital badge. Any candidate can promote their accomplishment onlineNote: Digital badge permits individuals to share authentic certifications online through email signatures, digital resumes, and social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Digital badging consists of metadata that indicates a Certified SAFe® professional’s qualifications. Scaled Agile has partnered with Acclaim to provide digital versions of SAFe® certifications.Getting one-year membership to the SAFe® Community Platform. It also includes access to the SA Community of PracticeGetting access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other SAFe® certified professionalsNote: SAFe® Meetups provides opportunities to the SAFe® certified across the globe. SAFe® Meetups allows to connect with each other face-to-face, share best practices (sometimes SAFe® experts attend or speak in these sessions to enable learning), and gain knowledge on Scaled Agile Framework in a local setting.Getting access to a variety of learning resources to support you during your SAFe® journey.Summing It UpFor professionals who are looking for career development in the Agile field, SAFe® certification can be the most relevant option today. It gives a guarantee to the companies that they hire individuals with the skills required to scale Agile and a strong knowledge of the SAFe® environment. On top of that, it is important to know that a large majority of big enterprises have implemented SAFe® and that the hunt for SAFe® certified professionals is still very active.
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11 Reasons Why You Should Do CSM® Training Today
By Shweta Iyer
A hardworking team stands on the success of the Agile project. Scrum Master is the only responsible person to stand behind the hardworking team and put Scrum processes on a right track.Definition of the Scrum MasterThe Scrum Master acts as an facilitator to an Agile development team. Scrum is a framework that implements the Agile methodology. The team members become self-organized and allow changes quickly to accord the Agile principles. The Scrum Master manages the process in exchanging the information.According to the State of Agile report 2018, the top five reasons for implementing Agile are:75% Accelerate software delivery64% Enhance ability to manage changing priorities55%Increased productivity49% Improved business/IT alignment46% Enhances software qualityBut, there is nothing to worry about as these shortfalls can be declined by becoming a professional in Scrum and the chances of finishing a project successfully within a time can be improved as well.Nowadays, organizations across various industries started implementing the Agile methodology. Considering these benefits of Agile like delivering quick results along with the reduction in the budget by performing endless iterations, organizations are paving their way towards successful Agile implementation.The reason to get the Scrum Master Certification (CSM) is the rising popularity of the Agile and Scrum certified individuals in the IT industry as well as in non-IT sectors. A widely pursued IT certification is the CSM certification, that is being recommended across all the industries. However, you need to know the basic concepts of Agile and Scrum methodologies to gain a CSM certification.If you are implementing Agile in your project and is being broadly used in your organization then Certified Scrum Master (CSM) deserves to be your first choice as it entails the Scrum fundamentals. This matters a lot in case if you are playing any role from the Scrum team member.Below is the graph from Google trends, representing the rising demand for CSM certification between the year 2017-2018. Following Scrum best principles and practices requires a thorough understanding of its concepts and values that can be obtained through credentials such as the Certified Scrum Master (CSM)—a course that provides professionals with knowledge and skills that help them in the long run.Why you should do the Scrum Master Certification (CSM)?In reality, we know that certifications provide an additional value once we acquire some experience. The CSM certifications act as an add-on to your career. Listed below are the reasons to get your Scrum Master Certification and the advantages of pursuing the CSM training:1) Have a strong knowledge of ScrumIf you are not familiar with Scrum, knowing about the certification will educate you with the required skills to utilize it effectively. If you are in the initial stage of using Agile methodology for your project, the CSM certification will provide you the basic knowledge.2) Update your mindsetTo work with the Agile methodology with Scrum effectively, we need to develop an Agile mindset. The Agile mindset is a key factor for the teams to achieve successful Agile and self-sustaining approach. Industry-oriented certification and training will benefit this kind of mindset. As a member of Scrum team, you will think in an Agile way, that will lead to a decrease in disagreements, more successful projects and a better team collaboration.3) Knowledge of Scrum ArtifactsThis certification includes the concepts like the product backlog, sprint backlog, burndown charts etc. which are the pillars of a Scrum project. These Scrum concepts will be an advantage for the organizations to deliver the project in iterations.4) Be admissible and catch your marketThe certifications will provide you an in-depth practical knowledge to improve your career. It makes you relevant and marketable in your field. CSM certifications will improve your career growth across any organization or industry that engages with Agile values. This certification proves that you have an Agile mindset and knowledge of Agile concepts.5) CSM certification benefits your organizationIt is difficult for any organization to adopt a new methodology as it affects the entire structure of the organization including:ProcessesManagementPeopleClientsIn this regard, it is quintessential for all the customers to achieve some tangible and real benefits in the early stage with self-managing teams and incremental iterations. If you are not a certified member, you might miss the opportunity to establish yourself as a Scrum master in your organization.6) Influence your organization to adopt Agile your organization already has well-trained Agile professionals, the management would be more comfortable to invest in adopting the Scrum methodology. The CSM certification shows the management that you have the knowledge to work with Scrum and implement its approach.7) Strengthening teamworkWe have a few organizations that consider Scrum master certification for different departments over different people. This certification generally has a positive result when it comes to working with your peers. As a certified Scrum Master, you will have the potential to build and strengthen the core understanding of Scrum while working together with your peers. With multiple Scrum experts along with all departments, the organization gets benefited with Scrum experts in all departments with an instance of knowledge that can lead to the successful execution of Agile and Scrum methodologies.8) Establish your basic Scrum knowledge to peersThe Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification shows your efforts and knowledge of Scrum that makes you capable of working within the organization. You don’t need to waste your time to show your credibility in your workplace, your certification speaks about that. 9) Join the society of scrum expertsOnce you are a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) you will earn the stature to mingle with a society of authorized Scrum experts committed to ensuring continuous improvements with an Agile approach. Scrum Alliance is an authenticated site that has Scrum features in a global network. This community will actively provide knowledge in a way to discover events and provide instructions.10) Qualified employees get success in projectsIf your Agile project is successfully done then a team member of certified Scrum Master will benefit from a huge reward. And also, the clients would recognize the potential value of a Scrum team that work together to apply Scrum in a productive way.11) One more feather to your career cap?Certification indicates a sign of honor. If you are being a part of the management, allowing employees to get certified proves your acumen and commitment to enhancing their skills.Who should take up the CSM course?Certified Scrum Master training is helpful for everyone who wants to become smart in implementing Scrum in their organizations. Doing a certification course in Scrum strengthens the Scrum Master's experience.This learning event is highly productive and effective for both leaders and members. As the course is completely revolving around the Scrum Master role, individuals who are planning to take up this role will get benefited more from this course.There is one reputed company in Denmark that sends all the employees from receptionists to senior management to the Scrum training, in order to make them knowledgeable about Scrum concepts and enhance operations throughout their company. There is no such fixed set of the target audience for the Scrum Master Certification course. It is designed not only for Scrum Masters but also for the complete project or product delivery teams and anyone interested to work with the Agile teams. The target audience can be a-Software EngineerProduct ManagerProject ManagerTeam LeaderBusiness AnalystDevelopment team memberTesters, etc.Conclusion These are many key benefits for obtaining Certified Scrum Master (CSM) training. Unless we have a basic knowledge of the responsibilities of the Scrum Master, we can’t move to the advanced levels in CSM. In the end, Certification is the best platform that will help you to become an Agile Leader. Click here If you are really curious to know about each and every certification in detail towards your Agile leadership journey.
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