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Four Scrum Events, Demystified

It's Thanksgiving month! Time to show our gratitude and be thankful. Don't you think we should be thankful for the new ways of working and how they are supporting our end-to-end deliveries? The world is going through a crisis with the Covid pandemic, yet human resources across the world are working from home/makeshift offices and making occasional office visits, while delivering quality solutions and collaborating with people across borders to work as a team. This is a true example of being Agile and adapting to the new environment. Organizations that had already adopted the Agile route pre-pandemic found it easier to transition to the new normal. While those that have not yet gone the Agile way have realized the shortcomings of the traditional ways of working, that prevent them from quickly adapting to changing market scenarios and competition. It is evident that going Agile is the only way that organizations can cope with the future and ensure that business outcomes are met.A quick overview of what is Scrum and its rolesAccording to the “14th Annual State of Agile Report”, Scrum stands head and shoulders above other Agile Methodologies. The reasons are obvious. Scrum is a simple and lightweight model that instills values needed to deliver solutions that work. There are multiple definitions around it but all of them narrow down to its being easy and lightweight, helping the team to work together and deliver quality products. As stated by Scrum.org “Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value”. Scrum has been co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, who have recently launched a new version of the Scrum Guide 2020.  "Scrum is not a methodology. Scrum implements the scientific method of empiricism" – Scrum.org.  ‘Scrum’ is a term often used in the sport of Rugby where teams learn through their experiences, collaboratively work on the solution, and retrospect on continuous improvement. Often, Scrum is equated to Agile, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Agile is a mindset while Scrum is a framework under the Agile umbrella.3 Pillars of ScrumThe magic ingredients that make Scrum popular are the pillars that hold the values, pave the way for teamwork, and allow the team to check and readjust to the pace. The foundation of scrum is based on empiricism which emphasizes that knowledge comes through experience and with the decision-making capabilities of a team. The three pillars of scrum are Transparency, Inspection, and Adaption. Transparency - Scrum is more about making things visible to all people involved. It starts with the vision and ends with the deliverables. Each individual is responsible for making things visible loud and clear with no gap in the communication of the information or the content. Inspection - Everyone involved in the scrum process needs to inspect the scrum artifacts, namely, the product backlog, sprint backlog, team board, etc. to check if they are aligned with the Sprint goal, and to check whether the Sprint goal is itself in line with the vision.Adaption - With inspection, if the team finds any deviation in the plan, or if during the inspection they feel they need to change the way they work, they can come up with new ways to adapt. While this is usually done in the retrospective meeting, the best practice is to inspect and adapt as and when required.image source Scrum roles Scrum Master - The Scrum master is the servant leader for the team who shields the team from outer interferences. He or she is a go-to person who is always ready to support and guide the scrum team with best practices, supports the product owner through coaching on handling and creating a healthy backlog. Scrum Masters are the gatekeepers of the process and if required, they can suggest the best approach for better implementation of Agile. The development team - This is a self-organized, cross-functional team that generates the deliverables for the stakeholder, based on the requirements received and discussed with the product owner. They come up with ideas to improve the quality and keep their skills upgraded as needed by the project. Product Owner - The product owner is a member of an agile team responsible for creating the backlog, helping the teams with the right understanding of the requirement. He or she also ensures that a quality product gets delivered to the stakeholders. image source Who attends Scrum Events?Scrum events are an important part of the process. These events or meetings define the way forward, help the team to pause, reflect, and re-adjust the course of action. Scrum events are attended by the development team, the scrum master, and the product owner. Optionally the management and stakeholders can join as observers. In the Sprint demo/review, the management and stakeholders are active participants, and they engage in conversations and also provide clarity and feedback on the deliverables. This grid represents the participation across the roles: RoleSprint PlanningDaily ScrumSprint ReviewSprint RetrospectiveScrum MasterYesOptional Yes(but usually always there)YesYesDevelopment TeamYesYesYesYesProduct OwnerYesOptionalYesYesStakeholders (SMEs, management, clients,etc)OptionalOptionalYesNo What are the four Scrum events? Let's drive through each scrum event and discuss every minute detail that can help in running an effective meeting. It is important to understand the purpose of each meeting, why it is done, what is the benefit, the time-frames, and the best practices around each scrum event. Sprint Planningimage source Attendees    The sprint planning meeting is attended by the development team, the scrum master, and the product owner. These roles are mandatory for an effective sprint planning meeting. Anyone apart from these roles can join the meeting as an observer or speak whenever asked to. It is good to have SMEs in the meeting while planning. When? Duration?   The sprint planning meeting is the first thing that happens at the start of a new Sprint and it is time-boxed to eight-hours for Sprints that take a month. But for many teams that do two-week sprints, two hours is sufficient. To be able to do sprint planning in a limited amount of time, it is important to organize refinement well. Purpose   Sprint planning generates the road map and the goal for the entire Sprint. Being the first activity in the Sprint, the team comes together and pulls the highest priority item from the product backlog, clarifies any doubts, and adds them to the Sprint backlog. The idea is to come up with a Sprint goal that is in agreement with the product owner and create a doable list of work items commonly known as Sprint backlog. The meeting is facilitated by the scrum master who makes sure the team focuses on the deliverables of the meeting and the intended outcome is met. If there is any disagreement among the team or with the product owner, the Scrum master can use conflict resolution techniques to resolve deadlocks. The Scrum master also keeps the time in check and helps the team to follow the time box. The Product Owner is responsible for keeping the Product Backlog ready for discussion before Sprint Planning commences. This implies adding acceptance criteria, refining requirements, and essential details for the development team to precisely estimate the effort. Best Practice    Ensure that backlog items are sufficiently refined before Sprint planning starts. Part of refinement is estimating the size of backlog items, adding details and splitting large items into smaller ones. Any backlog item which requires a lot of clarification and discussion, should not be a part of sprint planning. It also means the story is not ‘Ready’. While planning the sprint, the team should take into account any leave, holidays, or other activities that can impact the sprint commitments. Breakdown of tasks should be done in sprint planning. Daily Scrum (Daily Standup) image sourceAttendees   The daily scrum is attended by the development team, the scrum master, and the product owner. For mature agile teams, the scrum master can become optional sometimes. When? Duration?   The daily scrum meeting occurs every day, same time, same place for no more than 15 minutes. Purpose   The daily stand-up meeting allows the scrum team to discuss the current state. It is the time to inspect if the team is moving towards a Sprint goal or if there's any need to recourse the action. As the name suggests, it is a daily meeting which is ideally done while standing to make it quick. A common way of conducting a daily Scrum is to let each member answers 3 questions: What I did yesterday? What is the plan for today? Are there any impediments? The meeting is facilitated by the scrum master and is done while looking at the task board or the Sprint board for better transparency and visibility of the current state. This meeting should not be treated as a status meeting but as an opportunity to inspect and adapt on a daily basis. Everyone in the team gets a chance to talk about their deliverables and challenges while respecting the other’s view.A common agreement in teams is that only one person speaks at a time.  Best Practice   Timeboxing is key to the event, the Scrum Master should keep track of the time. The focus should not be on finding the resolutions, any issue should be taken care of in the ‘sidebar’ It should happen at the same time and same place. Focus ONLY on what is relevant to achieve the Sprint Goal as a team. Sprint Review    image sourceAttendees   The complete Scrum Team attends the sprint review along with stakeholders such as end-users, customers, management and other associated verticals (marketing, sales, support). It is important that the most relevant stakeholders are requested to attend and give their feedback, as varied feedback is vital for producing brilliant products. The Product Owner and Scrum Master should sync up prior to the meeting to discuss who needs to be involved to ensure that everyone is informed in advance. When? Duration?   Sprint Review happens at the end of every sprint. In addition to sprint reviews, it is often a good idea to get more frequent feedback from stakeholders during sprints instead of only at the end. The duration of sprint reviews is at most three hours for a sprint of a month. But for many teams that do two-week sprints, one hour is sufficient. Purpose   Sprint Review is the time where the development team showcases their efforts put to convert the raw requirement into something useful for the client. Stakeholders get a demonstration of the developed requirements as requested by them; they provide their feedback after looking at the deliverables which help to improve the product. Whatever the team presents in the sprint review meeting should meet the ‘Definition of Done’ as agreed between both – the development team and the stakeholders. The focus of the sprint review should be more on value delivery rather than points delivery. This, again, gives a platform to the team to inspect and adapt to create better solutions. Best Practice   The meeting should have a clearly defined agenda as to what the stakeholders should expect. The most valuable feedback should be added to the product backlog and prioritized by the Product Owner. Timeboxing is critical while involving the stakeholders. A dry run before the actual sprint review helps to build confidence. Sprint Retrospective    image sourceAttendees  The sprint retrospective is attended only by the scrum team which consists of the scrum master, the development team, and the product owner. When? Duration?   This is the last event of any Sprint and happens on the last day of the Sprint. The duration of the Sprint review typically ranges between one hour or two hours for a Sprint of two weeks. Purpose  The sprint retrospective is a time to reflect and introspect/retrospect on what went well, what didn't and how it can be improved for future sprints. The focus is on inspection and creating a course of action, for better Sprints moving forward. This event helps the team voice out their concerns, their appreciations or any improvements they want to see. The scrum master creates a safe environment to help the team come up with points they like or dislike and tries to create a neutral situation. The feedback from the team is collected and the action items are derived from the owners associated with each of them. At times the team might come up with a long list, in such cases, the Scrum Master should help the team prioritize and narrow down the few high-priority actionable items. The focus of the retrospective should not be always on the product but also on the process and inter-team relationships. Best Practice   The meeting should initiate on a lighter note with some ice-breakers to help the team adjust to the temperature of the room Trying out theme helps as it generates new ideas and makes non-vocal people speak up their minds. The scrum master should try ways to callout the fact that conflicts are not always bad. Quite often, some team members hold up their opinion due to fear of conflicts. Starting the meeting with previous action items builds trust in the process as they are being heard. ConclusionScrum events, if done in the right spirit, create an empirical behavior amongst teams. The Scrum master should make sure that the team understands the why, what and how of each event. These events also help to create a flow of communication and provide transparency at every level. Please share your ideas and your experiences working with agile teams around the scrum events. 

Four Scrum Events, Demystified

9K
  • by Deepti Sinha
  • 12th Dec, 2020
  • Last updated on 17th Mar, 2021
  • 11 mins read
Four Scrum Events, Demystified

It's Thanksgiving month! Time to show our gratitude and be thankful. Don't you think we should be thankful for the new ways of working and how they are supporting our end-to-end deliveries? The world is going through a crisis with the Covid pandemic, yet human resources across the world are working from home/makeshift offices and making occasional office visits, while delivering quality solutions and collaborating with people across borders to work as a team. This is a true example of being Agile and adapting to the new environment. Organizations that had already adopted the Agile route pre-pandemic found it easier to transition to the new normal. While those that have not yet gone the Agile way have realized the shortcomings of the traditional ways of working, that prevent them from quickly adapting to changing market scenarios and competition. It is evident that going Agile is the only way that organizations can cope with the future and ensure that business outcomes are met.

A quick overview of what is Scrum and its roles

According to the “14th Annual State of Agile Report”, Scrum stands head and shoulders above other Agile Methodologies. The reasons are obvious. Scrum is a simple and lightweight model that instills values needed to deliver solutions that work. There are multiple definitions around it but all of them narrow down to its being easy and lightweight, helping the team to work together and deliver quality products.

 As stated by Scrum.org “Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value”. Scrum has been co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, who have recently launched a new version of the Scrum Guide 2020.  

"Scrum is not a methodology. Scrum implements the scientific method of empiricism" – Scrum.org.  

‘Scrum’ is a term often used in the sport of Rugby where teams learn through their experiences, collaboratively work on the solution, and retrospect on continuous improvement. Often, Scrum is equated to Agile, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Agile is a mindset while Scrum is a framework under the Agile umbrella.

3 Pillars of Scrum

The magic ingredients that make Scrum popular are the pillars that hold the values, pave the way for teamwork, and allow the team to check and readjust to the pace. The foundation of scrum is based on empiricism which emphasizes that knowledge comes through experience and with the decision-making capabilities of a team. The three pillars of scrum are Transparency, Inspection, and Adaption. 

  • Transparency - Scrum is more about making things visible to all people involved. It starts with the vision and ends with the deliverables. Each individual is responsible for making things visible loud and clear with no gap in the communication of the information or the content. 
  • Inspection - Everyone involved in the scrum process needs to inspect the scrum artifacts, namely, the product backlog, sprint backlog, team board, etc. to check if they are aligned with the Sprint goal, and to check whether the Sprint goal is itself in line with the vision.
  • Adaption - With inspection, if the team finds any deviation in the plan, or if during the inspection they feel they need to change the way they work, they can come up with new ways to adapt. While this is usually done in the retrospective meeting, the best practice is to inspect and adapt as and when required.

Pillars of Scrum

image source 

Scrum roles 

  1. Scrum Master - The Scrum master is the servant leader for the team who shields the team from outer interferences. He or she is a go-to person who is always ready to support and guide the scrum team with best practices, supports the product owner through coaching on handling and creating a healthy backlog. Scrum Masters are the gatekeepers of the process and if required, they can suggest the best approach for better implementation of Agile.
  2. The development team - This is a self-organized, cross-functional team that generates the deliverables for the stakeholder, based on the requirements received and discussed with the product owner. They come up with ideas to improve the quality and keep their skills upgraded as needed by the project.
  3. Product Owner - The product owner is a member of an agile team responsible for creating the backlog, helping the teams with the right understanding of the requirement. He or she also ensures that a quality product gets delivered to the stakeholders.
    Scrum roles 

image source 

Who attends Scrum Events?

Scrum events are an important part of the process. These events or meetings define the way forward, help the team to pause, reflect, and re-adjust the course of action. Scrum events are attended by the development team, the scrum master, and the product owner. Optionally the management and stakeholders can join as observersIn the Sprint demo/review, the management and stakeholders are active participants, and they engage in conversations and also provide clarity and feedback on the deliverables. This grid represents the participation across the roles: 

RoleSprint PlanningDaily ScrumSprint ReviewSprint Retrospective
Scrum MasterYesOptional Yes(but usually always there)YesYes
Development TeamYesYesYesYes
Product OwnerYesOptionalYesYes
Stakeholders (SMEs, management, clients,etc)OptionalOptionalYesNo

What are the four Scrum events? 

Let's drive through each scrum event and discuss every minute detail that can help in running an effective meeting. It is important to understand the purpose of each meeting, why it is done, what is the benefit, the time-frames, and the best practices around each scrum event.

Sprint PlanningSprint Planning

image source 

Attendees    

The sprint planning meeting is attended by the development team, the scrum master, and the product owner. These roles are mandatory for an effective sprint planning meeting. Anyone apart from these roles can join the meeting as an observer or speak whenever asked to. It is good to have SMEs in the meeting while planning. 

When? Duration?   

The sprint planning meeting is the first thing that happens at the start of a new Sprint and it is time-boxed to eight-hours for Sprints that take a monthBut for many teams that do two-week sprints, two hours is sufficient. To be able to do sprint planning in a limited amount of time, it is important to organize refinement well. 

Purpose   

Sprint planning generates the road map and the goal for the entire Sprint. Being the first activity in the Sprint, the team comes together and pulls the highest priority item from the product backlog, clarifies any doubts, and adds them to the Sprint backlog. The idea is to come up with a Sprint goal that is in agreement with the product owner and create a doable list of work items commonly known as Sprint backlog. The meeting is facilitated by the scrum master who makes sure the team focuses on the deliverables of the meeting and the intended outcome is met. If there is any disagreement among the team or with the product owner, the Scrum master can use conflict resolution techniques to resolve deadlocks. The Scrum master also keeps the time in check and helps the team to follow the time box. The Product Owner is responsible for keeping the Product Backlog ready for discussion before Sprint Planning commences. This implies adding acceptance criteria, refining requirements, and essential details for the development team to precisely estimate the effort. 

Best Practice    

  1. Ensure that backlog items are sufficiently refined before Sprint planning starts. Part of refinement is estimating the size of backlog items, adding details and splitting large items into smaller ones. 
  2. Any backlog item which requires a lot of clarification and discussion, should not be a part of sprint planning. It also means the story is not ‘Ready’. 
  3. While planning the sprint, the team should take into account any leave, holidays, or other activities that can impact the sprint commitments. 
  4. Breakdown of tasks should be done in sprint planning. 

Daily Scrum (Daily Standup) 

Daily Scrum (Daily Standup)

image source

Attendees   

The daily scrum is attended by the development team, the scrum master, and the product owner. For mature agile teams, the scrum master can become optional sometimes. 

When? Duration?   

The daily scrum meeting occurs every day, same time, same place for no more than 15 minutes. 

Purpose   

The daily stand-up meeting allows the scrum team to discuss the current state. It is the time to inspect if the team is moving towards a Sprint goal or if there's any need to recourse the action. As the name suggests, it is a daily meeting which is ideally done while standing to make it quick. A common way of conducting a daily Scrum is to let each member answers 3 questions: 

  • What I did yesterday? 
  • What is the plan for today? 
  • Are there any impediments? 

The meeting is facilitated by the scrum master and is done while looking at the task board or the Sprint board for better transparency and visibility of the current state. This meeting should not be treated as a status meeting but as an opportunity to inspect and adapt on a daily basis. Everyone in the team gets a chance to talk about their deliverables and challenges while respecting the otherview.A common agreement in teams is that only one person speaks at a time.  

Best Practice   

  1. Timeboxing is key to the event, the Scrum Master should keep track of the time. 
  2. The focus should not be on finding the resolutions, any issue should be taken care of in the ‘sidebar’ 
  3. It should happen at the same time and same place. 
  4. Focus ONLY on what is relevant to achieve the Sprint Goal as a team. 

Sprint Review    

Sprint Review 

image source

Attendees   

The complete Scrum Team attends the sprint review along with stakeholders such as end-users, customers, management and other associated verticals (marketing, sales, support). It is important that the most relevant stakeholders are requested to attend and give their feedback, as varied feedback is vital for producing brilliant products. The Product Owner and Scrum Master should sync up prior to the meeting to discuss who needs to be involved to ensure that everyone is informed in advance. 

When? Duration?   

Sprint Review happens at the end of every sprintIn addition to sprint reviews, it is often a good idea to get more frequent feedback from stakeholders during sprints instead of only at the end. The duration of sprint reviews is at most three hours for a sprint of a monthBut for many teams that do two-week sprints, one hour is sufficient. 

Purpose   

Sprint Review is the time where the development team showcases their efforts put to convert the raw requirement into something useful for the client. Stakeholders get a demonstration of the developed requirements as requested by them; they provide their feedback after looking at the deliverables which help to improve the product. Whatever the team presents in the sprint review meeting should meet the ‘Definition of Done’ as agreed between both – the development team and the stakeholders. The focus of the sprint review should be more on value delivery rather than points delivery. This, again, gives a platform to the team to inspect and adapt to create better solutions. 

Best Practice   

  1. The meeting should have a clearly defined agenda as to what the stakeholders should expect. 
  2. The most valuable feedback should be added to the product backlog and prioritized by the Product Owner. 
  3. Timeboxing is critical while involving the stakeholders. 
  4. A dry run before the actual sprint review helps to build confidence. 

Sprint Retrospective    

Sprint Retrospective

image source

Attendees  

The sprint retrospective is attended only by the scrum team which consists of the scrum master, the development team, and the product owner. 

When? Duration?   

This is the last event of any Sprint and happens on the last day of the Sprint. The duration of the Sprint review typically ranges between one hour or two hours for a Sprint of two weeks. 

Purpose  

The sprint retrospective is a time to reflect and introspect/retrospect on what went well, what didn't and how it can be improved for future sprints. The focus is on inspection and creating a course of action, for better Sprints moving forward. This event helps the team voice out their concernstheir appreciations or any improvements they want to see. The scrum master creates a safe environment to help the team come up with points they like or dislike and tries to create a neutral situation. The feedback from the team is collected and the action items are derived from the owners associated with each of them. At times the team might come up with a long list, in such cases, the Scrum Master should help the team prioritize and narrow down the few high-priority actionable items. The focus of the retrospective should not be always on the product but also on the process and inter-team relationships. 

Best Practice   

  1. The meeting should initiate on a lighter note with some ice-breakers to help the team adjust to the temperature of the room 
  2. Trying out theme helps as it generates new ideas and makes non-vocal people speak up their minds. 
  3. The scrum master should try ways to callout the fact that conflicts are not always bad. Quite often, some team members hold up their opinion due to fear of conflicts. 
  4. Starting the meeting with previous action items builds trust in the process as they are being heard. 

Conclusion

Scrum events, if done in the right spirit, create an empirical behavior amongst teamsThe Scrum master should make sure that the team understands the why, what and how of each event. These events also help to create a flow of communication and provide transparency at every level. Please share your ideas and your experiences working with agile teams around the scrum events. 

Deepti

Deepti Sinha

Blog Author

Deepti is an Agile Coach by profession and Freelance Trainer with over 11 years of industry experience working primarily with healthcare & finance clients in delivering business. She has played a wide variety of roles in the graph of her career, whether it be, management, operations or quality. She likes reading fiction, management and loves to write her experiences. Her colleagues mostly describe her as very detail oriented person with a knack of creativity and imagination. And yes, she loves feedback more than her coffee!!

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The A-CSPO validates your ability to manage multiple projects and stakeholders and deliver business value. A-CSPO being an advanced level certification is much sought after by organizations who want to hire professionals with advanced Product Owner abilities.Other benefits of the A-CSPO certification include:Training by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)2-year membership with Scrum AllianceAccess to a number of local groups of Scrum users and social networksGain enhanced Agile Scrum implementation skillsSet yourself apart from others in the marketplaceAs a highly trained Agile professional, show advanced value to your employerEarn high salaries - 111033 USD (average)Top companies hiring A-CSPO professionalsSAP LabsSalesforceAdobeWikispeedOracleVisteonGEBBCMicrosoftBarclaysRobert BoschWhere to take training for A-CSPO certification?The training must be led by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and delivered by a Registered Education Provider (REP) or a Certified Agile Coach of Scrum Alliance.Who should take the training for A-CSPO certification?Professionals in the following job roles can take this course:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumWho is eligible for the A-CSPO certification?The A-CSPO requires the following eligibility:At least 12 months of work experience specific to the role of Product Owner (within the past five years) and an active CSPO credentialDuration to get A-CSPO certified: All participants need to attend the 2-day in-person or 14 hours live online A-CSPO training from a CST, at the end of which they will receive their credential.Course fee for A-CSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 41999U.S.: Will be updated shortlyCanada: Will be updated shortlyExam fee for A-CSPO certification: No exam needs to be taken in order to earn the A-CSPO credential. Attending a 2-day/14-hour course along with the required experience is mandated to earn the credential.Renewal fee for A-CSPO certification: $175, every 2 years3. Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO™) TrainingProfessional Scrum Product Owner™ Level I (PSPO™) is a credential offered by the Scrum.org. While the certification does not require you to take a training, an assessment needs to be cleared in order to get certified. The PSPO is a reflection of your ability to maximise skills, enhance product value and use Agile perspectives to deliver successful products.The PSPO is highly regarded in the industry as it is a rigorous exam and is based on the objectives outlined in the Scrum Guide.   Other benefits of the PSPO certification include:Own the product visionMaximize your team’s ROIImprove business value and ROIMotivate and lead Agile teams and team membersValidate your commitment to continued excellence and qualityDemonstrate your proficiency in ScrumGrow your career in Scrum with confidence Ace your interviews and get noticed for promotions at your current jobCommand higher salaries than your non-certified peersBe part of a network of industry leaders and Agile professionalsGain a stepping stone for the advanced level Professional Scrum Product Owner™ II Certification (PSPO™ II)Get the PSPO I logo that you can use to identify your achievementGet your name listed on Scrum.orgEarn salaries in the range of $98,612Top companies hiring PSPO professionalsJ.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC)Cisco Systems IncImproving EnterprisesUnitedHealth GroupBank of America Corp. (BOFA)Source: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PSPO certification: Take the training from Scrum.org’s Professional Training Network under the guidance of certified Professional Scrum Trainers (PSTs).Who should take the training for PSPO certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumLeadership Team Who is eligible for the PSPO certification?There are no eligibility requirements for the PSPO certification.Duration to get certified: If you opt for training, you will have to attend two days or 16 hours of PSPO™ I training under a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST). You will then receive a key to the PSPO™ I Assessment. Once you pass the Assessment, you are declared PSPO™ I certified and can download your certificate.Course fee for PSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 25999  U.S.: USD 1299Canada: CAD 1499Exam fee for PSPO: $200 USD per attemptPSPO Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book,Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/FalseDifficulty: IntermediateLanguage: English onlyTime limit: 60 minutesNumber of Questions: 80Passing score: 85%Retake fee for PSPO Exam: $200 USD for each re-take attempt. Participants of Scrum.org classes get free retakes if they take and fail the assessment within a certain time frame. Renewal for PSPO certification: Your PSPO certification has a lifetime validity and does not require renewal4. PMI-ACP® Certification TrainingThe Project Management Institute (PMI)® a world-renowned body known for its flagship project management credentials, now offers professionals a chance to hone their agile skills with the PMI- Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential. Its mandatory requirement of real-world Agile expertise and a thorough knowledge of Agile practices, tools and techniques means that holders of the PMI-ACP are Agile experts in every sense of the word.The PMI-ACP has huge demand in Agile organizations as it gives holders a 360-degree view of Agile and adds huge value to the skill set of a product owner.Other benefits of the PMI-ACP certification include:Helps you qualify for Agile jobs with expertise in Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, etc. which are in demand in the industryEquips you with knowledge of various Agile methodsMakes you marketable as it opens doors to many project development methodologiesGain soft skills to manage your role eloquently  Earn more than your non-certified peers ($109,556)Top companies hiring PMI-ACP professionalsBooz, Allen, and HamiltonAccentureInternational Business Machines (IBM) Corp.Usaa InsuranceAmazon.com IncSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PMI-ACP certification: The training must be taken from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMIWho should take the training for PMI-ACP certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersProject PlannersQuality Assurance StaffDevelopers/ProgrammersDesigners, TestersProject ControllersProduct OwnersScrum MastersScrum Team MembersWho is eligible for the PMI-ACP certification?The PMI-ACP requires the following eligibility:Secondary degree21 contact hours of training in agile practices12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years. A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP.8 months of agile project experience within the last 3 yearsDuration to get certified: Once you complete the required training you must take time out to vigorously prepare for the exam. You then need to set the date and give the 3-hour exam. Once you pass the exam you may refer to yourself as a certification holder although your certificate package can take six to eight weeks to arrive in the mail.Course fee for PMI-ACP certification:The course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 25999  U.S.: USD 1299Canada: CAD 1499Exam fee for PMI-ACP: $435 (for members), $495 (for non-members)PMI-ACP Exam Details:Exam Type: Closed book Format: Multiple Choice Difficulty: Intermediate Time limit: 3 hours Number of Questions: 120 of which 20 are considered pre-test questions and do not affect the score. Passing score: 85%Renewal for PMI-ACP certification: To maintain your PMI-ACP, you must earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) in agile topics every three years.5. Certified SAFe® Product Owner / Product Manager (SAFe® POPM)If scaling Scrum is your forte, then this is the right credential for you. This credential, an offering from the Scaled Agile, Inc., validates your product owner skills in delivering value by applying the principles of Lean to ensure Agile success at the enterprise scale, improving the Agile Release Train and ensuring customer satisfaction while improving bottom line margins.Considering that the Scaled Agile Framework is widely used in Agile organizations, there is a huge demand for SAFe POPM certified professionals, who can deliver continuous value at the enterprise level.Other benefits of the SAFe POPM certification include:Master key SAFe® product ownership/product management concepts like Lean Agile principles and valuesCollaborate with Agile teams to deliver valueMaster Program Increment PlanningOne-year membership to the SAFe Community PlatformOpen yourself upto new opportunitiesSAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (SPOPM) salary ranges from $83,865 to $124,613Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other Certified SAFe ProfessionalsTop companies hiring SAFe POPM professionalsBoschLockheed MartinPepsiCoAnthemCiscoStandard CharteredCapitalOneThalesFitBit  AstraZenecaSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the SAFe POPM certification: The training must be taken from an authorized training partner of Scaled Agile, Inc. Who should take the training for SAFe POPM certification?This course can be taken by:Program or Project ManagersScrum MastersRelease Train EngineersBusiness AnalystsAgile CoachesSAFe Program ConsultantsDevelopment ManagersCTOsConsultantsArchitectsEngineersDirectorsProduct ManagersProduct OwnersDelivery ManagersSolution Train EngineersSoftware DevelopersWho is eligible for the SAFe POPM certification?The SAFe POPM requires the following eligibility:Two-day training from an authorized training provider of Scaled Agile Inc. Experience in Lean and AgileDuration to get certified: Once you complete the mandatory 2-day training you can set a date to take the 1.5 hrs SAFe POPM exam. On passing the exam, you become a Certified SAFe® 5 Product Owner / Product Manager. You will receive your SAFe®️ 5 Product Owner / Product Manager PDF Certificate and Digital Badge within 5-7 working days.Course fee for SAFe POPM certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 55999  U.S.: USD 1099Canada: CAD 1395Exam fee for SAFe POPM: First exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion.SAFe POPM Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book Format: Multiple choice, multiple response Difficulty: Intermediate Time limit: 1.5 hours Number of Questions: 45 Passing score: POPM4 = 35 out of 45 (77%); POPM5 = 33 out of 45 (73%)Retake fee for SAFe POPM Exam: Each retake costs $50Renewal for SAFe POPM certification: SAFe POPM needs to be renewed each year by paying a $100 fee and earning a minimum of 10 continuing education/outreach hours (PDUs).SummaryProduct Owners are the rock stars of an Agile team—confident, articulate, sharp, great communicators and problem solvers! A solid Product Owner certification along with these qualities can give your career a total makeover and make you a team favourite. 
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Best Product Owner Certifications in 2022

The one person responsible for maximising the prod... Read More

What is the Cost of Top Scrum Certifications in 2022?

Over the past few years, the job market has witnessed an exponential growth in the demand for Scrum Master professionals.  LinkedIN listed Scrum Master as among the top 10 most promising careers in 2019. Two years on, the popularity for Scrum and Agile related roles is at an all-time high.  Getting a certification to demonstrate your capabilities will help you reach milestones in your Scrum Master career. As a certified professional, you can increase your employability, rise up the career ladder and earn high remunerations.There are a number of Scrum Master certifications available from world renowned accreditation bodies. These certifications are accepted all over the world and give you the unique benefits associated with holding an acclaimed credential.As a certified Scrum Master, you will be able to:Validate your commitment to continued excellence and quality in Scrum,  Demonstrate proficiency in Scrum values, principles, and tools,Advance your career in Scrum with confidence,  Stand out at interviews and leverage on career growth opportunities,  Earn higher than experienced non-certified peers,Become part of the global Scrum and Agile community,Network with industry leaders and Scrum professionals, and  Advance your Scrum journey with each certification.To help you understand the Scrum Master certification cost and other details, we bring you a compilation of the most popular Scrum Master certifications that are available.The following table lists different certifications with their cost and renewal cost.Sr. No.CertificationScrum Master certification CostRenewal Cost1.CSM2-day CSM training cost: INR 24999 in India, USD 1295 in US and CAD 1495 in Canada, includes examination feeRetake at no cost for the first 2 attempts within 90 days after you receive your welcome email.  You will be charged a minimum of $25 each from the third attempt or after completing 90 days post training.$100 and 20 SEUs, every two years2.PSMTraining cost: INR 25999 in India, USD 1299 in US and CAD 1899 in Canada, includes examination fee$150, if opting for the examination without trainingNot required, has lifetime validity.3.SAFe® Scrum MasterTraining cost: INR 55999 in India, USD 1099 in US and CAD 1395 in Canada. Includes examination fee.Each retake after the first attempt costs $50.Not required, has lifetime validity.4.A-CSMTraining cost: INR 41999 in India, USD 1299 in US and CAD 1499 in Canada. Includes certification fee.$175 and 30 SEUs, every two years5.Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)Training costs will be updated shortlyCourse fee covers one exam attemptRetake costs US$150.$50 USD annual renewal fee and 7 hours of professional development (minimum 5 Disciplined Agile hours) are required each year for maintaining the credential6.Scrum Inc. Scrum Master™ CertificationTraining costs will be updated shortly$100, every year.Read along to know more on the Scrum Master certifications listed above in the table. The main objective of the same is to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the various Scrum Master Certification costs as well as their renewal costs.1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the most widely acknowledged Scrum Master certification. This entry level credential is a great way to start and maintain your career in Scrum. To gain the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification, you will be required to attend a 2-day classroom training, following which you will have to take an online test.Certified ScrumMaster Certification CostDepending on where you choose to get your training from, the 2-day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course costs around $1295. This cost covers the following:A 2-day instructor led live training / 16-hour instructor-led online courseFirst two years of certification  Two attempts to take the exam (within 90 days of attending the course)  Course materials will be provided by the instructor in the class  Two-year membership to the Scrum Alliance communityCertified ScrumMaster (CSM) Renewal costEvery two years, you need to renew your CSM credentials by paying a renewal fee of $100 and earning 20 Scrum Educational Units (SEUs). This renewal fee includes the Scrum Alliance membership fee, which has a validity of two years.CertificationCost of CertificationRenewal CostCSM2-day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course costs around $1295 (costs can vary) depending on the region you train from$100 and 20 SEUs, every two years2. Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM)Offered by Scrum.org, Professional Scrum Master™ certification is highly sought after by Scrum Masters who want to lead more efficient and effective teams. This 2-day course covers the principles and processes of the Scrum framework, and helps aspirants understand the advanced thinking behind servant leadership and empiricism. The Professional Scrum Master™ assessment is available for anyone who wishes to exhibit their fundamental level of Scrum mastery.Professional Scrum Master™ Certification CostIf you feel that you have good knowledge of Scrum, understand the Scrum Guide and know how to apply Scrum within Scrum Teams, then taking the course is optional. You can take the PSM I assessment directly, which costs $150 per attempt.But if you choose to attend the 2-day training, then the exam fee will be included in the course fee, which costs around $1299, depending on the training provider. You’ll have two attempts to clear the exam if you choose to attend the training, as opposed to the one chance that you will get when attempting the exam without any training.Professional Scrum Master™ Renewal CostCertifications provided by Scrum.org hold a lifetime validity. Hence, PSM certification does not require any additional payment or renewal.CertificationCost of CertificationRenewal CostPSM$1299, depending on the training provider$150, if opting for the examinationNot required, has lifetime validity.3. SAFe® Scrum MasterSAFe ®  is a framework that helps scale agile to the enterprise. The SAFe® Scrum Master credential is a validation of the holder’s ability to be an effective Scrum Master in the SAFe environment. By attending the 2-day course, you can master the responsibilities of a Scrum Master in a SAFe® environment, learn ways to execute the Program Increment successfully and learn proven approaches to become a servant leader and coach in order to build high performing Agile teams.The SAFe® Scrum Master certification is accredited by Scaled Agile, Inc.SAFe® Scrum Master Certification CostThe course registration fee includes the first attempt of the exam, provided the exam is taken within 30 days of completion of the course, after which each retake attempt costs $50.The certification costs around $1099, which includes the mandatory course fee as well.SAFe® Scrum Master Renewal CostSAFe® certifications are valid for one year. After completion of the first year, you will have to get your certification renewed by paying a renewal fee of $100.CertificationCost of CertificationRenewal CostSAFe® Scrum Master$1099, depending on the region you train fromEach retake after the first attempt costs $50.Not required, has lifetime validity.4. A-CSMThe Advanced Certified ScrumMaster℠ (A-CSM℠), is the next step after the CSM in your evolution as a Scrum Master. While the CSM is a great entry level certificate, the A-CSM is an advanced level credential that displays your proficiency in scaling Scrum, coaching Agile teams and being an exceptional Scrum Master/servant leader.A-CSM Certification CostThe A-CSM workshop fee which includes your certification fee costs around $1099 and includes:2 Days Live Instructor-Led Online Training16 PDUs and 16 SEUs2-year Scrum Alliance MembershipYou have to attend a 2-day workshop conducted by a Scrum Alliance REP or Certified Scrum Trainer and complete all the learning objectives in order to gain the A-CSM credential.A-CSM Renewal costsEvery two years, you are required to log in 30 SEUs and pay a renewal fee of $175 to keep your certification in good standing.CertificationCost of CertificationRenewal CostA-CSM2-day A-CSM course costs around $1299 depending on the region you train from$175 and 30 SEUs, every two years5. Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)Offered by the globally recognized PMI®, the DASM is a perfect certification for those who want to be efficient Scrum Masters, improve processes and drive results with the help of the Disciplined Agile toolkit. Ensure business outcomes and gain a reputation in your organization by successfully meeting goals and bringing together enterprise architecture, portfolio management, vendor management and finance together.DASM Certification CostThe course fee for DASM certification includes the exam fee. Your training should be conducted by an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI®.DASM Renewal costTo keep your DASM credential active, you are required to pay the annual renewal fee of $50 and log in a minimum of 7 PDUs.CertificationCost of CertificationRenewal CostDisciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)Training fee will be updated shortly$50 USD annual renewal fee and 7 hours of professional development (minimum 5 Disciplined Agile hours) are required each year for maintaining the credential6. Scrum Inc. Scrum Master™ CertificationThis course and subsequent credential approved by Dr. Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum and inventor of Scrum@Scale, is among the most respected credentials in the Scrum world. It helps you understand Scrum principles, techniques and processes of creating high performing teams and make a mark for yourself in your team and organization as an exceptional Scrum Master.Scrum Inc. Scrum Master™ Certification CostThe designation is offered by Scrum Inc.™ to practitioners who successfully complete training by an authorized training provider and demonstrate their understanding by passing the exam. The training fee includes the cost of the examination, and training material approved by Dr. Jeff Sutherland. Participants need to successfully complete the course and pass the exam to gain the credential.Scrum Inc. Scrum Master™ Certification Renewal CostCredential holders must renew their Scrum Inc. Scrum Master™ certificate annually within one month from the expiration date. The renewal fee for Scrum Inc. Scrum Master™ certification costs $100 (USD).CertificationCost of CertificationRenewal CostScrum Inc. Scrum Master™ CertificationTraining fee will be updated shortly  $100, every year.What’s Your Next Step?In this article, we’ve introduced you to the most popular Scrum certifications in the industry, and compared the costs of getting certified as a Scrum Master to help you make an informed decision.  While the cost certainly is an important consideration, you should also keep in mind your primary objectives for getting certified before you make your choice. Which is the certification that will add value to your resume and help to take your career places? Or, which is the certification that is most prized by your organization? What are the skills that you’re looking to gain, and what outcomes do you hope to accomplish?  Choose wisely, and take the right steps in your Scrum Master journey!
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What is the Cost of Top Scrum Certifications in 20...

Over the past few years, the job market has witnes... Read More

Best Career Paths of Successful Scrum Masters in 2022

In this post pandemic world, more than ever before, organizations have realized the benefits of adopting agile. There’s a huge demand for Scrum Masters who can help departments go agile, increase the efficiency of teams, and help organizations respond to rapidly changing market conditions.  Having Scrum Masters on-board means better products, shorter time to market, satisfied customers and a happier workforce. As a Scrum Master, you will be sure of a career trajectory that is long and successful.  Let’s look at the best career paths for Scrum Master for 2022. Scrum master role:A Scrum Master is an indispensable part of a Scrum team because of the responsibilities that they undertake.  These include:Servant leadership:   Foremost, a Scrum Master is a servant leader and is involved in performance planning, coaching, self- organization, removing obstacles, resolving conflicts and serving the team. As a servant leader, the Scrum Master is the man Friday for the team and makes sure that development never stops and innovation continues.     Helping team members with Scrum:   The team looks up to the Scrum Master for guidance in implementing Scrum processes. If the development team is following the Scrum principles and values, then the Scrum Master needs to guide them and ensure that development is being carried out strictly in adherence to Scrum. Creates an environment conducive to innovation:Happy teams translate to better developed products; which in turn lead to satisfied customers. The Scrum Master creates an environment that helps teams work free of distractions. In such an environment, the team is more empowered to innovation and research. The Scrum Master makes sure that such an environment is provided to the team.  Daily stand-up meetings An essential part of Scrum projects are the daily stand-up meetings where issues are addressed and goals are discussed. These sprints keep the team updated and help to bring to the fore any problems that members may be facing. The Scrum Master arranges meetings and makes sure everything is on track.  Assists the Product Owner The Scrum Master helps the Product Owner in the effective management of the product backlog. This involves facilitating Scrum events, identifying backlog items and product planning.   Coaching and mentoring A scrum master will always be passionate about promoting scrum in the enterprise. Being a change leader and working towards Scrum adoption is a huge part of the Scrum Master’s responsibility. Scrum Masters mentor and coach not just teams on the principles and processes of Agile and Scrum, but departments and organizations.  Scrum Master SalaryThe role a Scrum Master in an Agile organization is irreplaceable. This all-important role is what keep development teams motivated and gives them direction in Scrum and delivering value.  The need for certified and knowledgeable Scrum Masters has driven their market value as a result of which Scrum Masters earn lucrative salaries. Let’s look at Scrum Master salaries. Average salary in USD: $92,298/ year. Entry level Scrum Masters earn $68k/year; mid-career Scrum Masters earn $100k/year while experienced Scrum Masters earn $115k/year.Job roles after Scrum MasterThe career progression of a Scrum Master can be satisfying, enriching and lucrative. 1. Product OwnerScrum Masters who are interested in the business side of the product become great product owners.  2. Senior Scrum MasterIf you are a Scrum Master committed to delivering the best value, helping an organization reach business objectives and leading multiple teams through critical resource intensive projects, then continuing on the Scrum Master journey in order to become a senior scrum master will be apt for you. Senior Scrum Masters earn huge salaries and benefits.  3. Agile Coach: A skilled Agile coach can steer the organization through the spectrum of challenges it faces and help to maximize the ROI through the different aspects of Enterprise coaching. Becoming an agile coach is among the most popular aspirations of Scrum Masters who like to motivate, teach and nurture Agile adoption in an enterprise.  Agile coaches are change leaders who promote quality improvement, increase productivity and aid in adoption of enterprise-wide agility.  4. Project ManagerThough a Scrum Master is different from a Project Manager, he or she can play the role of a project manager in non-Agile projects. These are different roles with different ways of working but a Scrum Master can transition into the role of a project manager with seniority and experience.  5. Chief Information OfficerA good Scrum Master brings out the best in the team, the project and the organization. Scrum Masters with a wealth of experience make great CIOs as they have the passion and commitment to excel, improve relentlessly and bring out the best in others.  Future of Scrum MasterLike all roles associated with Agile and Scrum, the future for the Scrum Master role is also bright and full of opportunities. From being listed as one of the top emerging jobs in product development by the World Economic Forum, and LinkedIn to being labelled as the this century’s most lucrative job roles in the 2019 Scrum Master Trends, the Scrum Master’s role is here to stay.  Scrum Master roles have transcended the IT industry and are now available in finance and insurance, consulting and professional services, engineering and technology, telecommunications transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, media, defence and more.  According to the  2019 Scrum Master Trends by Scrum.org, in organizations with 10,000 employees and less, Scrum Masters made up 18% of the total employee count.  All these statistics indicate the importance that Scrum Masters play in agile transition and in removing impediments to enable organizational growth and value. Their importance in an organization directly translates to number of jobs. On a daily basis, there are hundreds of new job listings for Scrum Master and related roles all over the world.  The acceleration of Agile adoption across organizations has increased the demand for Scrum Masters and this trend is likely to continue in the near future.How Certifications Can Help There are several certification paths that can help you on your Scrum Master journey. For example, the Scrum Alliance certification path offers certifications at every pitstop of your Scrum Master journey starting from a Certified ScrumMaster to a Certified Scrum Trainer to Certified Agile Leader credentials meant for the C-suite.    Conclusion A Scrum Master is to an Agile project what a project manager is to a waterfall project. They drive innovation, team harmony, productivity and the establishment of the Agile culture.  The Scrum Master role does not need to be static—it is evolutionary, and Scrum Masters can go on to don several hats based on their experience and expertise. While some choose to be in the thick of it all leading projects and engaging with stakeholders; some prefer to drive change in human habits by coaching team members in the adoption of Agile, culture change and transformation. As a Scrum master, your options are limitless. You have the power to drive success and aid in value creation.  
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Best Career Paths of Successful Scrum Masters in 2...

In this post pandemic world, more than ever before... Read More