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What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?

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. Last Words: 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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What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?

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  • by Richard Paul
  • 18th Apr, 2017
  • Last updated on 06th May, 2019
  • 7 mins read
What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?

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 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 Best quotes

CSM Vs PSM Certification

CSM VS PSM

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?


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?

What is CSM & PSM 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?

CSM & PSM 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:

How Difficlut 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?
 

CSM & PSM Exam Certification 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.

Last Words:

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.
 

Richard

Richard Paul

Blog Author

Richard Paul is seasoned professional of the project management domain. He during his tenure has to his credit many successful projects. In his leisure time, he writes and educates his audience on the latest in project management. He can be contacted for coursework assistance by following him on social media channels.

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4 comments

Subramanian Kaushik 16 Feb 2018 1 likes

Nice post !! Thanks for sharing the differences....

kritesh anand 05 Mar 2018

Thanks for sharing scrum professional work which will helps you to make csm certification easily.

Nivedita Telang 08 Jun 2018

Hi, It was a very good article for CSM / PSM. I got good information related to PSM certification. Although I have one question here that where can I get PSM material or how can I avail this course.

KnowledgeHut Editor 24 Dec 2018

Hi Nivedita, Thanks for your feedback on the article. You can checkout our course here: https://www.knowledgehut.com/agile-management/psm-certification-training. And for PSM materials and other queries please get in touch with us.

VK 25 Aug 2018

Thanks for the blog, keep this updated.

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Scrumban | best Kanban and Scrum

Scrumban is a blend of Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban is an Agile methodology, created to help the existing Scrum teams in exploring Lean and Kanban concepts in the organization & also Scrum and kanban is deciding new agile benchmark in organization. But, why is there a need of merging Scrum and Kanban methodologies? The discrete syllables “Scrum” and “ban”, are enough to describe the several phases of transition from Scrum to Kanban. Basically, Scrumban is an Agile management framework, that is implemented when the teams opt for Scrum as the working way and use Kanban methodology as a magnifying glass to view, understand and carry out continuous improvement in the work.   Today, many organizations are experiencing some issues with the Scrum methodology, so they steer their way of working to the Kanban methodology. But some of the enterprises have discovered an optimized means of clubbing the methodologies forming ‘Scrumban’, as a new way for the teams to follow.   Why are teams merging Scrum and Kanban?   The need of combining these two concepts is due to the cons of both the technologies. Let us see the disadvantages of Scrum and Kanban methodologies. Cons of Scrum: Scrum works according to the emphatic guide. ‘Sprints must be time-boxed to a month or less’, as mentioned in the the Scrum guide. This rule is deccelerating the working pace of the teams.  Each sprint should result in a potentially releasable product at the end of each increment. Scrum teams are asked to deliver the software- designed, coded and tested to the stakeholders, in a very short span. This causes more ‘anxiety’ among the team members. Scrum teams have to entirely commit to the customers’ requirements. In case they fail to achieve the high-priority target, they might have to decide to add some technical debts to solve the time-boxed problem. Cons of Kanban: Kanban provides a very linear technique of work. It was firstly used in the car manufacturing line, which was successful as well. So, it is believed that the Kanban can only be used in the systems which have repeatable processes.  Kanban is not very useful in complex systems like software development process as the software needs change at each and every point.  Merging Scrum and Kanban Corey Ladas was the first to coin the term “Scrumban”. According to him,  “Scrum can be a useful scaffold to hold a team together while you erect a more optimized solution in place. At some point you can slough off the cocoon and allow the pull system to spread its wings and take flight.”    In one of the article, Corey suggested that the time-box principle, mandated by the Scrum, is no longer necessary. In a recently released book, Ajay Reddy stated- “Although Scrumban has evolved as a framework over the years, it has no definitive guide or definition. In fact, as highlighted early in this book, several “authoritative” sources disagree about what Scrumban actually represents”.   There are a few changes made in the practices of ‘Scrumban over Scrum’. Let us look at those changes: Added some specialized teams and functions Self-organization concept, but with some specific boundaries Applied the policies explicitly in the working styles Queuing theory and the laws of flow are applied   Let us see that how Scrumban is distinct from a Kanban method, as follows: Organized around the teams Prescribed a proper framework for the teams to work instead of just specifying a technique as in Kanban Realized the value of time-boxed iterations Focuses on continuous improvement techniques   The team needs a proper structure and a set of practices as a starting point of any project. Comparatively, Scrum is prescribed more than the Kanban technique. Newly formed teams usually benefit from the structured framework. Those teams who like structure and continuous improvement by the Scrum but want continuous flow which is provided by Kanban can go for the Scrum/Kanban hybrid i.e. Scrumban. Large enterprise framework viz., Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) make use of the both models- Scrum and Kanban.   We provide both Scrum training & Kanban Training
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Scrumban | best Kanban and Scrum

Scrumban is a blend of Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban ... Read More

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