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Guide to a Successful Career Path with the Scrum Alliance Certifications

Scrum Alliance, a non-profit membership organization, established in 2001, has historically focused on providing Agile and Scrum education and certifications. Further, Scrum Alliance always aims at encouraging the Scrum adoption worldwide by transforming the work culture through guiding and inspiring “individuals, leaders, and organizations with practices, principles, and values that create workplaces that are joyful, prosperous, and sustainable.” Keeping this aim alive, Scrum Alliance accomplishes its mission by meeting the following three key principles:Inspire: Scrum Alliance inspires support leaders, organizations, and other people during their Agile transformation journey through sharing success stories, new methods, and leveraging training.Enable: This organization lets you succeed by developing various learning and support systems such as webinars, communities and user groups, and events with the help of a global network of practitioners, coaches, and trainers.Guide: That’s not it! Scrum Alliance offers guidance for the career needs of the Agile Practitioners by providing them with certifications at various levels. These certifications promote Agile values, principles, and practices, and support in switching to Agile.Bragging over 750,000 certified practitioners widespread, Scrum Alliance, Inc. currently serves as the World’s largest Agile membership organization reporting considerable growth with 5,000 and above new entrants joining a troupe of certified Agile practitioners monthly.Certifications offered by Scrum Alliance   Scrum Alliance offers 8 Scrum team Role-based certifications which include Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Developer certifications track (including foundation and advanced level), 3 Guide level certifications and 2 Agile Leadership certifications. Let us look at the different certifications offered at each level by Scrum Alliance what job roles an individual can play and after which certification, and also will help you to let you know the sequence of the certifications: Fig: Career paths based on roles Before discussing the certifications, let us look at the three categories in which Scrum Alliance certifications are divided: 1. Roles-based certificationsScrum Master track:Certified ScrumMaster®Advanced Certified ScrumMasterCertified Scrum Professional® -ScrumMasterProduct Owner track:Certified Scrum Product Owner®Advanced Certified Scrum Product OwnerCertified Scrum Professional® -Product OwnerDeveloper track: Certified Scrum Developer® Certified Scrum Professional®2. Guide level certificationsCertified Team CoachSM  Certified Enterprise CoachCertified Scrum Trainer®3. Agile Leadership certificationsCertified Agile Leadership I certificationCertified Agile Leadership II certificationNow, let us discuss each of them in details: 1. Roles-based certificationsThere are 3 different roles-based certifications, focussing on the different roles present in an Agile organization. These certifications include:Scrum Master trackScrum Master, as most of the individuals know is a facilitator for the Agile development team. The Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum team follows an appropriate Scrum process during product development. The Scrum process includes the Choosing the right Scrum framework, implementing it in the project and making sure it is followed in principle and essence correctly by the team, Product Owner, and the Scrum team.Salary of the Certified ScrumMaster® Based on the Ziprecruiter.com, a Certified Scrum Master® earns an average pay of $116,184 per annum. The salary range of the Scrum Master depends on the skills they have earned, work experience as a Scrum Master, etc. The advanced level Scrum Master certifications are also a major factor in deciding a salary of the Scrum Master.a) Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)A Scrum Master owns the Scrum project team and helps them to perform the best at the end of every Sprint. Being a Scrum Master, he/she protects the team from the distractions and aids them in executing the Scrum accurately. With this Certified ScrumMaster® certification (CSM®), you will get more career opportunities across all the industries and show your achievement on the basics of Scrum.Prerequisites required for becoming Certified ScrumMaster®:There is no predefined set of eligibility requirements to attend a Certified ScrumMaster® training as per ScrumAlliance Inc.. It can be taken by any interested professional in order to amplify their Scrum understanding. In order to gain certification, an individual must pass the CSM certification exam with 74% passing score.Steps to achieve CSM certification:Any interested individual can take the CSM course. To acquire this certification, you need to follow these steps:An individual can undergo 16-hours of CSM training from KnowledgeHut, a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) providerPass the CSM exam by answering 37 out of 50 questions correctly in 1-hour.Accept the license agreement and finish your Scrum Alliance membership profile.Target audience of the courseSince Scrum is not just applied to IT and software sector, it is implemented in other industries like government, education, manufacturing, banking, and finance. Therefore, this training can be taken up by the existing Scrum Masters, interested individuals to work in an Agile environment, and other individuals responsible for delivering the products. The target audience include- Software Engineer/Developer/AnalystProduct ManagerProject ManagerTeam Leader/Module LeaderBusiness AnalystDevelopment team memberTestersQuality Assurance ProfessionalsArchitectsUser Experience ProfessionalsAnyone wanting to improve Agile processes in their projectsCareer path of a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)Once this course is done, you can level-up your skills by taking the advanced level certifications viz,  Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM®), and Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM®).b) Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM®)Being a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®), an individual is considered proficient in implementing the Scrum values, practices, and applications. Now, it's time to move ahead with your Agile journey by achieving Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM®) certification. A-CSM® is the next level of your journey towards Scrum and Agile after completing your CSM®.With A-CSM certification, you will be able to increase engagement by facilitating communication between the Scrum team members and the Stakeholders. You can further enhance your Scrum implementation skills and knowledge and will be able to show your advanced value as a highly skilled Agile professional to the potential employer.Prerequisites to achieve A-CSM certificationYou just need to hold an active CSM certification from Scrum Alliance and you have at least 12 months of experience working as a Scrum Master.Steps to become Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM®)Attend Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM®) training from any registered education provider of Scrum AllianceComplete all the learning objectives by the approved educatorAccept the A-CSM License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profileTarget audience of the courseThe target audience of A-CSM course is the professionals who have work experience in Scrum, play the role of the Scrum Master in the Agile organizations and are CSM® certified.Career path of Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM)Once you have upgraded your skills with the Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) certification, you are ready to master in Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM®).Product Owner trackScrum Product Owner is the voice of the Stakeholders and the Customers. The Scrum Product Owner solely owns the product backlog and acts as the cornerstone of the Scrum project. A Product Owner is responsible for increasing the product value and delivers a valuable product at a high speed by strictly following the implementation process.Salary of the CSPO certified professionalsAs per the Payscale.com, the average salary of a CSPO certified professional is $101k per annum. The salary of a Product Owner keeps varying based on the skills an individual has, year/years of experience he/she has, and the most affecting factor is the advanced level certifications for the Product owner to enhance your probability of landing the best jobs in the market. c) Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®)A professional, very much interested in handling the business side of the project [such as Earned Value, Return On Investment, Velocity, Backlog calculations etc.], is probably the right person to attain a Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification. Being a CSPO, you are responsible for creating a product vision, prioritizing the product backlog, and giving the customers exactly what they are looking for [or intuitively want]Prerequisites to achieve Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certificationThere is no prerequisite to attend CSPO training. However, in order to earn this certification, an individual need to attend 2-days of CSPO course taught by Certified Scrum Trainer (CST).Steps to achieve Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certificationThe following steps need to be followed to earn a Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification:Attend two days (16 hours) of CSPO course mentored by Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)Scrum Alliance will release the certification designating you as a Certified Scrum Product Owner®The certification will be valid for 2-years from the date of issuanceTarget audience of the CSPO courseThis 16 hours of CSPO course is curated for an individual who is responsible for directing a product and setting up finance during a Scrum project implementation. Scrum Masters can also take this training without thinking that the CSM course is a prerequisite to attend the CSPO course. The CSPO certification can be viewed as an alternative to the CSM course. The target audience for this course is:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning more about ScrumScrum MastersExecutivesBusiness StakeholdersCareer Path of the CSPO certified professionalsAfter mastering the CSPO course, you can level-up your knowledge with Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPOSM) and then Certified Scrum Professional®-Product Owner (CSP®-PO).d) Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO℠) If you are a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), you are responsible for maximising the product’s business value and understanding the Stakeholder’s requirements to deliver the best at regular intervals [known as Sprints or Iterations]. Now, the next step is to achieve the advanced level certification- Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO℠) certification.Prerequisites to achieve Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner℠(A-CSPO℠) certification A candidate must hold an active CSPO certification to attend Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner® (A-CSPO®) course from Scrum Alliance and at least 1-year of work experience as a Scrum Product Owner.Steps to become Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner℠ (A-CSPO℠) certification If you have an active CSPO certification, attend an A-CSPO certification training to learn more techniques in managing the Stakeholders and Product BacklogComplete successfully all the educator-designed components of an approved institute.Scrum Alliance will ask you to accept the A-CSPO license agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile.You will get A-CSPO certification from Scrum Alliance. Maintain your certification by renewing your certification every two years.Target audience of the A-CSPO courseThis course is targeted towards practicing Product Owners who are looking to upgrade their career with the basic mechanics of the PO role and are CSPO certified.Career Path of the A-CSPO certified professionalsCertified Scrum Professional Product Owner® (CSP-PO®) certification is the next certification in the list after A-CSPO certification.Developer TrackToday, Scrum Developers have more demand in the market because of their specialized Agile and Scrum skills and proficiency in continuous improvement. Earning Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification is expanding the need of the Scrum Developers in Agile enterprises. Today, Scrum Developers are earning an average of $82k per year, playing the roles like .Net Developer, Software Engineer, IT Project Manager, and many more.e) Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD)Certified Scrum Developers® exhibit their knowledge through formal training and technical skills assessments. Being certified, they demonstrate their practical as well as theoretical understanding of Agile and Scrum principles along with Agile Engineering skills. Prerequisites to achieve Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certificationAn individual with programming knowledge can attend CSD course. To earn this certification, an individual needs to undergo at least 5-days of formal CSD training course instructed by a Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider (REP) and a Scrum Alliance Authorized Instructor. On the other hand, the certification offers the privilege to the candidates who are CSM certified. They can skip the first 2 days and directly join from the 3rd day of the technical training.Steps to earn CSD certificationThe following steps are followed to earn CSD certification:Enroll for 5 days of CSD course taught by the Scrum Alliance approved CSD instructor. It consists of two tracks to get CSD certification and the tracks are:Track 1-Attend CSM course (for 2 days)CSD technical course (for 3 days)Track 2- A basic introductory course (for 1 day)CSD technical course (for 3 days)CSD technical elective course (for 1 day)After successfully completing the course (following track 1/track 2), Scrum Alliance will send you a CSD license agreement.Congrats! You are now CSD certified. The certification will be added to your profile, which will be valid for another 2 years.Maintain your certification by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and by renewing your certification in every two years.Target audience of the CSD courseThe Certified Scrum Developer® certification is beneficial for the software developers (programmers) building software in the Scrum organizations. This course will benefit ArchitectsDBAsDesigners Developers, Development ManagersDirectors Product ManagersQA Engineers, Software EngineersTechnical Analysts, Technical LeadsTechnical Writers TestersAnyone who wants to be a good developer well aware of top Agile practices such as TDD, Extreme Programming etc.Career path of CSD certified professionalLevel-up your skills with Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) certification, once you have mastered this course. f) Certified Scrum Professionals (CSP) certificationsCertified Scrum Professionals let their teams constantly improve the implementation of Agile and Scrum practices and principles applied to the Scrum project. This certification marks CSP’s experience, skills enhanced through training and a proven Scrum knowledge in development after being certified as CSD®. Prerequisites to achieve Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) certificationsAn individual should hold an active Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification issued by the Scrum Alliance in order to achieve Certified Scrum Professional® certifications. In addition, an individual should:An individual should have at least 36 months of working experience as a Scrum Master/ Product Owner/ Developer/ Other in Agile or Scrum based project in the recent past 5 years.At least 70 SEUs [Scrum education units] in past 3 yearsSteps to earn Certified Scrum Professional® certificationsIf you have an active CSD certification, you are eligible to enroll your name for the Certified Scrum Professional® certification course as per the respective certifications Attend the CSP training to enhance your Agile facilitation and coaching skillsComplete all the educator-designed components. These components may incorporate pre- or post- course work as regraded essential by your Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) to finish the learning objectivesComplete your Scrum Alliance membership profile by agreeing to the CSP-SM/PO/D license agreement and fulfilling a minimum of 36 months of work experience as a Scrum Master/ Product Owner/ Developer respectivelyMaintain your CSP certification by renewing a certification every 2-years.Target audience of the Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) courseThe course is designed for the Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Developers with working knowledge ready to take the next step in their career learning. Agile leaders, including coaches, consultants, project managers, facilitators, and technical leaders, all can  be benefited from enhancing their skills with the CSP certification.Career Path of the Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP®) certified professionalsAn individual with CSP® certification is expected to demonstrate the practical as well as the theoretical knowledge and a body of knowledge of the Scrum roles, events, and artifacts of the complete Scrum framework. Certified Scrum Professional (CSP®) certification provides a gateway for those who are looking for their future as a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Team Coach, Agile Coach globally.2. Guide Level certificationsGuide level certifications are aimed at professionals who have advanced knowledge and well-qualified coaches, trainers, mentors, and thought leaders who spread their knowledge on Agile practices and Scrum framework among the professionals. Scrum Alliance provides one certification focused on trainers and two certifications in the coaching category. Individuals with Guide level certifications are considered as professional certifications holder from Scrum Alliance. Let’s see Guide or Elevated level certifications as follows:a) Certified Team CoachSM (CTC)The Certified Team Coach (CTC) usually works at the team level with the management, Scrum teams, and Stakeholders. Enterprise hires Certified Team Coaches to provide coaching, facilitation, training, mentoring, impediment removing, and leadership to encourage collaboration, continuous development, and value delivery across multiple teams and departments.  Prerequisites to become CTCAn active Certified Scrum Professional certification 1,000 hours of Agile coaching experience in the last 2 years without considering your role as Scrum MasterCoaching experience in at least 2 organizations Must be actively participated in at least 5 Agile eventsPractical experience of Scrum implementation and coaching experience in Agile and Scrum framework.Who can attend CTC training?The Certified Team Coach (CTC) is specifically targeted to the Scrum Evangelist interested in coaching at multiple levels. Also, Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM/PO) is the recommended certification that will make you eligible to gain CTC credential.  Steps to achieve CTC certificationTo earn Certified Team Coach (CTC) certification, an individual need to submit an application with the application feeScrum Alliance will cross-check the application to meet all the prerequisites required to earn this credentialOnce it is approved, individuals are required to pay an annual fee to maintain this certificationb) Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)The Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) by Scrum Alliance is skilled at Scrum (both in theoretical and practical knowledge). The Certified Enterprise Coaches (CECs) have years of experience in enterprise Scrum transformations and a detailed understanding of implementing Scrum practices and principles. The CECs guide organizations towards the challenges organizations are facing during Scrum adoption. Prerequisites to become Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)A candidate aspiring Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) credential must possess:Knowledge of Scrum practices, proven leadership, and coaching skills An active CSP-SM™ or CSP-PO™ or CSP® certification Working experience in Scrum team rolesCoaching experience in at least three organizations2,000 hours over the past 3 years of work experience as a Coach. Who can attend CEC training?This training is aimed at Agile professionals who are looking to guide the organizations in their Agile transformation. Steps to achieve CEC certificationSubmit an application form along with a feeScrum Alliance does a peer assessment, candidates are asked to pay the annual fee.c) Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST)The CST® certification is the most sought-after and only trainer-centric certification offered by Scrum Alliance. As a CST, you are the individuals who wishes to transform the way of working of the people and team they work with. Successful completion of the CST course will let you teach CSM or CSPO courses.   Prerequisites to become Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST)To become a CST, you should have:In-depth knowledge of the Scrum concepts, practices, and principlesAn active Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster™ (CSP-SM™) or Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner™ (CSP-PO™) or CSP® designation from Scrum AllianceHands-on experience in Scrum implementation as a ScrumMaster, Product Owner, or Development team memberTeaching experience in partnership with any Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or independently-Taught to at least 100 candidatesHosted at least 10 or more days ScrumMaster training sessions Respective certifications in order to train on the courses (e.g. if want to train on CSPO, an individual should hold an active CSPO certification.  Target audience of Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) courseThis certification is for the candidates who are well-versed in executing the Agile practices and desire to train other professionals.Steps to achieve Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) courseIndividuals seeking CST certification need to submit an application with by paying an application feeTrainer Approval Community (TAC) will review this application Once approved by them, Interview and Certification panel will invite those individuals to attend an in-person interviewYour performance in the interview will decide your full CST status or denial of the CST certificationIf approved as a CST, you are requested to sign the CST agreement and pay the annual feeIf canceled, your interview TAC will reschedule the interview3. Agile Leadership certificationsAs the world of work is changing continuously and becomes complex, enterprises and leaders are asked to continuously deliver more innovative products and services, keeping the culture of an organization zestful and gratifying. Agile Leaders produces extraordinary teams, communicate with a clear purpose, and achieve extraordinary business outcomes to the customers and their organizations. There are two Agile Leadership credentials are available:Certified Agile Leader I (CAL I)Certified Agile Leader II (CAL II)These two CAL certifications (CAL I + CAL II) by Scrum Alliance represents unique two-part education and practice-based programs to build Agile leadership competencies. The CAL certifications provides a platform to enhance your leadership skills and will make you a better leader, irrespective of your current role in the organization. We will see them in detail later on.Whom Agile Leadership  training is for?The participants for this program varies according to their professional background and work experience. The key factor here is their wish to transform workplaces into better way by executing Agile values, practices, and metrics. The CAL certifications are designed for anyone participating and interested in leading an Agile transformation. Agile Leadership training are designed for:Coach/ConsultantManagers ExecutivesCrave to play a Leadership roleLet’s take a look at two kinds of CAL certifications:a) Certified Agile Leadership I certificationCertified Agile Leadership I (CAL I) is an introductory professional course that comprises of in-depth leadership development learning objectives across five categories.  Prerequisites to attend CAL I certificationThere are no eligibility criteria to attend CAL I training. This credential can be achieved after successfully completing the set of learning objectives. The certification has no expiry date. The digital badge earned after the certification remarks your start on your agile journey.Career Path after CAL I certificationAfter CAL I certification, you can take CAL II certification to complete your Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) certifications. Career Path after CAL II certificationWith CAL II certification, you will be able to guide leaders in applying, growing, and sharing your Agile leadership journey with the Scrum teams.Prerequisites to attend CAL II certificationTo earn this credential, individuals must have CAL I certification and successful accomplishment of:Advanced Education- additional education on a unique leadership development topic, customized according to your learning journey and taught by an approved CAL educatorValidated Practice- implementing the newly earned skills at work.Renewal Policy of Scrum Alliance certificationsScrum Alliance always aims to keep the certifications and training program updated. According to Scrum Alliance, certification holders need to maintain their certifications by renewing every two years. The fee to renew the level-based certifications are:Foundation level certifications are renewed by paying $100 renewal feeAdvanced level or Professional level certifications are renewed by earning 40 Scrum Education Units (SEUs) and paying $250 as a renewal feeCoach and Trainer based certifications must be renewed annually and are required to meet all the current requirements for each such renewal.Job roles available for Scrum Alliance certified professionalsSome of the common job roles played by the Scrum Alliance certified are transformational leads, transformation coaches, Scrum Masters, developers, managers, engineers, testers, technical writers and architects. Scrum Alliance also maintains its own job panel to assist community members in their job search. If you want to know more about the recent job postings, career news, blogs, and more, you can visit Agile careers section of the Scrum Alliance.    
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Guide to a Successful Career Path with the Scrum Alliance Certifications

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Guide to a Successful Career Path with the Scrum Alliance Certifications

Scrum Alliance, a non-profit membership organization, established in 2001, has historically focused on providing Agile and Scrum education and certifications. Further, Scrum Alliance always aims at encouraging the Scrum adoption worldwide by transforming the work culture through guiding and inspiring “individuals, leaders, and organizations with practices, principles, and values that create workplaces that are joyful, prosperous, and sustainable.” 

Keeping this aim alive, Scrum Alliance accomplishes its mission by meeting the following three key principles:

  • Inspire: Scrum Alliance inspires support leaders, organizations, and other people during their Agile transformation journey through sharing success stories, new methods, and leveraging training.
  • Enable: This organization lets you succeed by developing various learning and support systems such as webinars, communities and user groups, and events with the help of a global network of practitioners, coaches, and trainers.
  • Guide: That’s not it! Scrum Alliance offers guidance for the career needs of the Agile Practitioners by providing them with certifications at various levels. These certifications promote Agile values, principles, and practices, and support in switching to Agile.

Bragging over 750,000 certified practitioners widespread, Scrum Alliance, Inc. currently serves as the World’s largest Agile membership organization reporting considerable growth with 5,000 and above new entrants joining a troupe of certified Agile practitioners monthly.

Certifications offered by Scrum Alliance   

Scrum Alliance offers 8 Scrum team Role-based certifications which include Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Developer certifications track (including foundation and advanced level), 3 Guide level certifications and 2 Agile Leadership certifications. Let us look at the different certifications offered at each level by Scrum Alliance what job roles an individual can play and after which certification, and also will help you to let you know the sequence of the certifications: 

Scrum alliance career roles

Fig: Career paths based on roles 

Before discussing the certifications, let us look at the three categories in which Scrum Alliance certifications are divided: 

1. Roles-based certifications

2. Guide level certifications

3. Agile Leadership certifications

Now, let us discuss each of them in details: 

1. Roles-based certifications

There are 3 different roles-based certifications, focussing on the different roles present in an Agile organization. These certifications include:

  • Scrum Master track

Scrum Master, as most of the individuals know is a facilitator for the Agile development team. The Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum team follows an appropriate Scrum process during product development. The Scrum process includes the Choosing the right Scrum framework, implementing it in the project and making sure it is followed in principle and essence correctly by the team, Product Owner, and the Scrum team.

Salary of the Certified ScrumMaster® 

Based on the Ziprecruiter.com, a Certified Scrum Master® earns an average pay of $116,184 per annum. The salary range of the Scrum Master depends on the skills they have earned, work experience as a Scrum Master, etc. The advanced level Scrum Master certifications are also a major factor in deciding a salary of the Scrum Master.

a) Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)

A Scrum Master owns the Scrum project team and helps them to perform the best at the end of every Sprint. Being a Scrum Master, he/she protects the team from the distractions and aids them in executing the Scrum accurately. With this Certified ScrumMaster® certification (CSM®), you will get more career opportunities across all the industries and show your achievement on the basics of Scrum.

Prerequisites required for becoming Certified ScrumMaster®:

There is no predefined set of eligibility requirements to attend a Certified ScrumMaster® training as per ScrumAlliance Inc.. It can be taken by any interested professional in order to amplify their Scrum understanding. In order to gain certification, an individual must pass the CSM certification exam with 74% passing score.

Steps to achieve CSM certification:

Any interested individual can take the CSM course. To acquire this certification, you need to follow these steps:

  • An individual can undergo 16-hours of CSM training from KnowledgeHut, a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) provider
  • Pass the CSM exam by answering 37 out of 50 questions correctly in 1-hour.
  • Accept the license agreement and finish your Scrum Alliance membership profile.

Target audience of the course

Since Scrum is not just applied to IT and software sector, it is implemented in other industries like government, education, manufacturing, banking, and finance. Therefore, this training can be taken up by the existing Scrum Masters, interested individuals to work in an Agile environment, and other individuals responsible for delivering the products. The target audience include- 

  • Software Engineer/Developer/Analyst
  • Product Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Team Leader/Module Leader
  • Business Analyst
  • Development team member
  • Testers
  • Quality Assurance Professionals
  • Architects
  • User Experience Professionals
  • Anyone wanting to improve Agile processes in their projects

Career path of a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Once this course is done, you can level-up your skills by taking the advanced level certifications viz,  Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM®), and Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM®).

b) Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM®)

Being a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®), an individual is considered proficient in implementing the Scrum values, practices, and applications. Now, it's time to move ahead with your Agile journey by achieving Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM®) certification. A-CSM® is the next level of your journey towards Scrum and Agile after completing your CSM®.

With A-CSM certification, you will be able to increase engagement by facilitating communication between the Scrum team members and the Stakeholders. You can further enhance your Scrum implementation skills and knowledge and will be able to show your advanced value as a highly skilled Agile professional to the potential employer.

Prerequisites to achieve A-CSM certification

You just need to hold an active CSM certification from Scrum Alliance and you have at least 12 months of experience working as a Scrum Master.

Steps to become Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM®)

  • Attend Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM®) training from any registered education provider of Scrum Alliance
  • Complete all the learning objectives by the approved educator
  • Accept the A-CSM License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile

Target audience of the course

The target audience of A-CSM course is the professionals who have work experience in Scrum, play the role of the Scrum Master in the Agile organizations and are CSM® certified.

Career path of Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM)

Once you have upgraded your skills with the Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) certification, you are ready to master in Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM®).

  • Product Owner track

Scrum Product Owner is the voice of the Stakeholders and the Customers. The Scrum Product Owner solely owns the product backlog and acts as the cornerstone of the Scrum project. A Product Owner is responsible for increasing the product value and delivers a valuable product at a high speed by strictly following the implementation process.

Salary of the CSPO certified professionals

As per the Payscale.com, the average salary of a CSPO certified professional is $101k per annum. The salary of a Product Owner keeps varying based on the skills an individual has, year/years of experience he/she has, and the most affecting factor is the advanced level certifications for the Product owner to enhance your probability of landing the best jobs in the market. 

c) Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®)

A professional, very much interested in handling the business side of the project [such as Earned Value, Return On Investment, Velocity, Backlog calculations etc.], is probably the right person to attain a Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification. Being a CSPO, you are responsible for creating a product vision, prioritizing the product backlog, and giving the customers exactly what they are looking for [or intuitively want]

Prerequisites to achieve Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification

There is no prerequisite to attend CSPO training. However, in order to earn this certification, an individual need to attend 2-days of CSPO course taught by Certified Scrum Trainer (CST).

Steps to achieve Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification

The following steps need to be followed to earn a Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification:

  • Attend two days (16 hours) of CSPO course mentored by Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)
  • Scrum Alliance will release the certification designating you as a Certified Scrum Product Owner®
  • The certification will be valid for 2-years from the date of issuance

Target audience of the CSPO course

This 16 hours of CSPO course is curated for an individual who is responsible for directing a product and setting up finance during a Scrum project implementation. Scrum Masters can also take this training without thinking that the CSM course is a prerequisite to attend the CSPO course. The CSPO certification can be viewed as an alternative to the CSM course. The target audience for this course is:

  • Project Managers
  • Developers
  • Product Owners
  • Managers-Software development
  • Architects-Software development
  • Product Managers
  • Software developers
  • Software testers
  • Team leads/Team members interested in learning more about Scrum
  • Scrum Masters
  • Executives
  • Business Stakeholders

Career Path of the CSPO certified professionals

After mastering the CSPO course, you can level-up your knowledge with Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPOSM) and then Certified Scrum Professional®-Product Owner (CSP®-PO).

d) Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) 

If you are a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), you are responsible for maximising the product’s business value and understanding the Stakeholder’s requirements to deliver the best at regular intervals [known as Sprints or Iterations]. Now, the next step is to achieve the advanced level certification- Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO℠) certification.

Prerequisites to achieve Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner(A-CSPO) certification 

A candidate must hold an active CSPO certification to attend Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner® (A-CSPO®) course from Scrum Alliance and at least 1-year of work experience as a Scrum Product Owner.

Steps to become Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) certification 

  • If you have an active CSPO certification, attend an A-CSPO certification training to learn more techniques in managing the Stakeholders and Product Backlog
  • Complete successfully all the educator-designed components of an approved institute.
  • Scrum Alliance will ask you to accept the A-CSPO license agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile.
  • You will get A-CSPO certification from Scrum Alliance. Maintain your certification by renewing your certification every two years.

Target audience of the A-CSPO course

This course is targeted towards practicing Product Owners who are looking to upgrade their career with the basic mechanics of the PO role and are CSPO certified.

Career Path of the A-CSPO certified professionals

Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner® (CSP-PO®) certification is the next certification in the list after A-CSPO certification.

  • Developer Track

Today, Scrum Developers have more demand in the market because of their specialized Agile and Scrum skills and proficiency in continuous improvement. Earning Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification is expanding the need of the Scrum Developers in Agile enterprises. Today, Scrum Developers are earning an average of $82k per year, playing the roles like .Net Developer, Software Engineer, IT Project Manager, and many more.

e) Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD)

Certified Scrum Developers® exhibit their knowledge through formal training and technical skills assessments. Being certified, they demonstrate their practical as well as theoretical understanding of Agile and Scrum principles along with Agile Engineering skills. 

Prerequisites to achieve Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification

An individual with programming knowledge can attend CSD course. To earn this certification, an individual needs to undergo at least 5-days of formal CSD training course instructed by a Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider (REP) and a Scrum Alliance Authorized Instructor. 

On the other hand, the certification offers the privilege to the candidates who are CSM certified. They can skip the first 2 days and directly join from the 3rd day of the technical training.

Steps to earn CSD certification

Steps to earn CSD certification

The following steps are followed to earn CSD certification:

  • Enroll for 5 days of CSD course taught by the Scrum Alliance approved CSD instructor. It consists of two tracks to get CSD certification and the tracks are:
    • Track 1-
      • Attend CSM course (for 2 days)
      • CSD technical course (for 3 days)
    • Track 2- 
      • A basic introductory course (for 1 day)
      • CSD technical course (for 3 days)
      • CSD technical elective course (for 1 day)
  • After successfully completing the course (following track 1/track 2), Scrum Alliance will send you a CSD license agreement.
  • Congrats! You are now CSD certified. The certification will be added to your profile, which will be valid for another 2 years.
  • Maintain your certification by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and by renewing your certification in every two years.

Target audience of the CSD course

The Certified Scrum Developer® certification is beneficial for the software developers (programmers) building software in the Scrum organizations. This course will benefit 

  • Architects
  • DBAs
  • Designers 
  • Developers, Development Managers
  • Directors 
  • Product Managers
  • QA Engineers, Software Engineers
  • Technical Analysts, Technical Leads
  • Technical Writers 
  • Testers
  • Anyone who wants to be a good developer well aware of top Agile practices such as TDD, Extreme Programming etc.

Career path of CSD certified professional

Level-up your skills with Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) certification, once you have mastered this course. 

f) Certified Scrum Professionals (CSP) certifications

Certified Scrum Professionals let their teams constantly improve the implementation of Agile and Scrum practices and principles applied to the Scrum project. This certification marks CSP’s experience, skills enhanced through training and a proven Scrum knowledge in development after being certified as CSD®.

 Prerequisites to achieve Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) certifications

An individual should hold an active Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) certification issued by the Scrum Alliance in order to achieve Certified Scrum Professional® certifications. In addition, an individual should:

  • An individual should have at least 36 months of working experience as a Scrum Master/ Product Owner/ Developer/ Other in Agile or Scrum based project in the recent past 5 years.
  • At least 70 SEUs [Scrum education units] in past 3 years

Steps to earn Certified Scrum Professional® certifications

  • If you have an active CSD certification, you are eligible to enroll your name for the Certified Scrum Professional® certification course as per the respective certifications 
  • Attend the CSP training to enhance your Agile facilitation and coaching skills
  • Complete all the educator-designed components. These components may incorporate pre- or post- course work as regraded essential by your Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) to finish the learning objectives
  • Complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile by agreeing to the CSP-SM/PO/D license agreement and fulfilling a minimum of 36 months of work experience as a Scrum Master/ Product Owner/ Developer respectively
  • Maintain your CSP certification by renewing a certification every 2-years.

Target audience of the Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) course

The course is designed for the Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Developers with working knowledge ready to take the next step in their career learning. Agile leaders, including coaches, consultants, project managers, facilitators, and technical leaders, all can  be benefited from enhancing their skills with the CSP certification.

Career Path of the Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP®) certified professionals

An individual with CSP® certification is expected to demonstrate the practical as well as the theoretical knowledge and a body of knowledge of the Scrum roles, events, and artifacts of the complete Scrum framework. Certified Scrum Professional (CSP®) certification provides a gateway for those who are looking for their future as a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Team Coach, Agile Coach globally.

2. Guide Level certifications

Guide level certifications are aimed at professionals who have advanced knowledge and well-qualified coaches, trainers, mentors, and thought leaders who spread their knowledge on Agile practices and Scrum framework among the professionals. Scrum Alliance provides one certification focused on trainers and two certifications in the coaching category. Individuals with Guide level certifications are considered as professional certifications holder from Scrum Alliance. Let’s see Guide or Elevated level certifications as follows:

a) Certified Team CoachSM (CTC)

The Certified Team Coach (CTC) usually works at the team level with the management, Scrum teams, and Stakeholders. Enterprise hires Certified Team Coaches to provide coaching, facilitation, training, mentoring, impediment removing, and leadership to encourage collaboration, continuous development, and value delivery across multiple teams and departments.  

Prerequisites to become CTC

  • An active Certified Scrum Professional certification 
  • 1,000 hours of Agile coaching experience in the last 2 years without considering your role as Scrum Master
  • Coaching experience in at least 2 organizations 
  • Must be actively participated in at least 5 Agile events
  • Practical experience of Scrum implementation and coaching experience in Agile and Scrum framework.

Who can attend CTC training?

The Certified Team Coach (CTC) is specifically targeted to the Scrum Evangelist interested in coaching at multiple levels. Also, Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM/PO) is the recommended certification that will make you eligible to gain CTC credential.  

Steps to achieve CTC certification

  • To earn Certified Team Coach (CTC) certification, an individual need to submit an application with the application fee
  • Scrum Alliance will cross-check the application to meet all the prerequisites required to earn this credential
  • Once it is approved, individuals are required to pay an annual fee to maintain this certification



b) Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)

The Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) by Scrum Alliance is skilled at Scrum (both in theoretical and practical knowledge). The Certified Enterprise Coaches (CECs) have years of experience in enterprise Scrum transformations and a detailed understanding of implementing Scrum practices and principles. The CECs guide organizations towards the challenges organizations are facing during Scrum adoption. 

Prerequisites to become Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)

A candidate aspiring Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) credential must possess:

  • Knowledge of Scrum practices, proven leadership, and coaching skills 
  • An active CSP-SM™ or CSP-PO™ or CSP® certification 
  • Working experience in Scrum team roles
  • Coaching experience in at least three organizations
  • 2,000 hours over the past 3 years of work experience as a Coach. 

Who can attend CEC training?

This training is aimed at Agile professionals who are looking to guide the organizations in their Agile transformation. 

Steps to achieve CEC certification

  • Submit an application form along with a fee
  • Scrum Alliance does a peer assessment, candidates are asked to pay the annual fee.

c) Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST)

The CST® certification is the most sought-after and only trainer-centric certification offered by Scrum Alliance. As a CST, you are the individuals who wishes to transform the way of working of the people and team they work with. Successful completion of the CST course will let you teach CSM or CSPO courses.   

Prerequisites to become Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST)

To become a CST, you should have:

  • In-depth knowledge of the Scrum concepts, practices, and principles
  • An active Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster™ (CSP-SM™) or Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner™ (CSP-PO™) or CSP® designation from Scrum Alliance
  • Hands-on experience in Scrum implementation as a ScrumMaster, Product Owner, or Development team member
  • Teaching experience in partnership with any Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or independently-
    • Taught to at least 100 candidates
    • Hosted at least 10 or more days ScrumMaster training sessions 
  • Respective certifications in order to train on the courses (e.g. if want to train on CSPO, an individual should hold an active CSPO certification.  

Target audience of Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) course

This certification is for the candidates who are well-versed in executing the Agile practices and desire to train other professionals.

Steps to achieve Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) course

  • Individuals seeking CST certification need to submit an application with by paying an application fee
  • Trainer Approval Community (TAC) will review this application 
  • Once approved by them, Interview and Certification panel will invite those individuals to attend an in-person interview
  • Your performance in the interview will decide your full CST status or denial of the CST certification
    • If approved as a CST, you are requested to sign the CST agreement and pay the annual fee
    • If canceled, your interview TAC will reschedule the interview

3. Agile Leadership certifications

As the world of work is changing continuously and becomes complex, enterprises and leaders are asked to continuously deliver more innovative products and services, keeping the culture of an organization zestful and gratifying. Agile Leaders produces extraordinary teams, communicate with a clear purpose, and achieve extraordinary business outcomes to the customers and their organizations. 

There are two Agile Leadership credentials are available:

  • Certified Agile Leader I (CAL I)
  • Certified Agile Leader II (CAL II)

These two CAL certifications (CAL I + CAL II) by Scrum Alliance represents unique two-part education and practice-based programs to build Agile leadership competencies. The CAL certifications provides a platform to enhance your leadership skills and will make you a better leader, irrespective of your current role in the organization. We will see them in detail later on.

Whom Agile Leadership  training is for?

The participants for this program varies according to their professional background and work experience. The key factor here is their wish to transform workplaces into better way by executing Agile values, practices, and metrics. The CAL certifications are designed for anyone participating and interested in leading an Agile transformation. Agile Leadership training are designed for:

  • Coach/Consultant
  • Managers 
  • Executives
  • Crave to play a Leadership role

Let’s take a look at two kinds of CAL certifications:

a) Certified Agile Leadership I certification

Certified Agile Leadership I (CAL I) is an introductory professional course that comprises of in-depth leadership development learning objectives across five categories.  

Prerequisites to attend CAL I certification

There are no eligibility criteria to attend CAL I training. This credential can be achieved after successfully completing the set of learning objectives. The certification has no expiry date. The digital badge earned after the certification remarks your start on your agile journey.

Career Path after CAL I certification

After CAL I certification, you can take CAL II certification to complete your Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) certifications. 

Career Path after CAL II certification

With CAL II certification, you will be able to guide leaders in applying, growing, and sharing your Agile leadership journey with the Scrum teams.

Prerequisites to attend CAL II certification

To earn this credential, individuals must have CAL I certification and successful accomplishment of:

  • Advanced Education- additional education on a unique leadership development topic, customized according to your learning journey and taught by an approved CAL educator
  • Validated Practice- implementing the newly earned skills at work.

Renewal Policy of Scrum Alliance certifications

Scrum Alliance always aims to keep the certifications and training program updated. According to Scrum Alliance, certification holders need to maintain their certifications by renewing every two years. The fee to renew the level-based certifications are:

  • Foundation level certifications are renewed by paying $100 renewal fee
  • Advanced level or Professional level certifications are renewed by earning 40 Scrum Education Units (SEUs) and paying $250 as a renewal fee
  • Coach and Trainer based certifications must be renewed annually and are required to meet all the current requirements for each such renewal.

Job roles available for Scrum Alliance certified professionals

Some of the common job roles played by the Scrum Alliance certified are transformational leads, transformation coaches, Scrum Masters, developers, managers, engineers, testers, technical writers and architects. 

Scrum Alliance also maintains its own job panel to assist community members in their job search. If you want to know more about the recent job postings, career news, blogs, and more, you can visit Agile careers section of the Scrum Alliance.    

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2 comments

nandha gopal sharma 06 Aug 2019

I feel very grateful that I read this. The ways of explanation are fabulous. It is very helpful and very informative information about the scrum alliance career path. thanks for this valuable information!

Richard 14 Aug 2019

Good information to enhance the career

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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team. (*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users)(*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)1.2 What’s the job profile of a Product Owner?The Product Owner role is Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategical and operational aspect. The Product Owner role is critical as the role is kept by 1 person (and 1 person only) for a specific product. Having 1 person holding the role simplifies the accountability in terms of having 1 spokesperson for product ownership and accountability of maximising value. This doesn’t mean that all activities are to be done by the Product Owner; otherwise the Product Owner could become a bottleneck. The Product Owner does remain accountable at all times. To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job, and it involves to understand, empathise, quickly inspect & adapt, each time with the accountability to make the right choices in terms of what to built next, in order to continuously (incrementally) deliver value to end-users. In order to better understand what kind of profile is needed to fulfil the product owner role, it’s valuable to list skills required and activities performed.When looking for a Product Owner, you’re looking for a profile with generic product management skills and product-specific skills.  The generic skills are needed to be able make decisions on a strategic and tactical level.People skills a Product Owner must have:A Product Owner also needs people skills:To empathise with users of the productTo build connections with stakeholders and to create a healthy working relationship with the team building the product. These people skills include- to be able to listen (to stakeholders, end users, team members), to translate information (between people with a different background), to be able to make  informed decisions without undermining longer-term objectives, etc.The product-specific skills are defined by the product or service that’s being built. This includes all the activities to understand the market, the needs, the job the product or service will fulfil, user-journeys, also more technical product-specific knowledge, legislation (if applicable), financial implications and any other constraintIn his book Product Mastery “From Good to Great Product Ownership”, Geoff Watts describes the skills of Product Owners with the acronym “1.3 Product Owner role and responsibilitiesThe role of Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding. When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity.  The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson of the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved.Go through other roles and responsibilities of Product Owner here.1.4 How does a Product Owner manage various stakeholders desires for the product?The Product Owner has the challenging task to manage requirements and desires of stakeholders. Each stakeholders will certainly advocate his/her demands are the most important. Here are some recommendations on how a Product Owner can deal with this:Treat requirements & desires as “desirements”, meaning, until by learning or by end-user feedback has been proven that the “desirement” is valuable, treat it as a hypothesisKeep the product backlog and its ordening as transparent as possible to all stakeholdersDon’t be seduced to prioritising in categories such as high, medium, low priority. A product backlog is ordered, no two items can have the same priority.Use techniques to prioritise impacts (impact mapping), simulations to learn stakeholders to prioritise (e.g. buy a feature), techniques to slice for value (user story mapping) 1.5 CSPO vs PSPO CSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role. PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. There’s a difference in the way of obtaining certifications and how to maintain this. Certifications issued by Scrum Alliance are obtained by taking an online exam after mandatory attending a 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending a training. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in a training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended.1.6 Product owner in agile software development The manifesto of agile software development does not specify anything about the Product Owner role. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to have an agile team without a Product Owner.The manifesto for agile software development does state a few principles which illustrate how we want to work regarding product and value delivery, for example:“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software;”“Welcome changing requirements, even late in development;”“Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale;”“Business people and developers must work together daily; ““Working software is the primary measure of progress;”You can interpret these principles as following, in what you should NOT be doing…Waste time & effort creating long-term plans, long cycle times, etc without actually delivery usable product increments to the end-users, …Waste time & effort on unnecessary specifications; unfinished product (“inventory”); or unvalidated requirements (which are assumptions in disguise), …Waste time & effort on unnecessary handovers between business people and development teams, …Waste time & effort on assuming what’s valuable for the end-users, and not verifying this by letting end-users try out working software and based upon their feedback, inspect & adapt, improve the product together, …Wasting time & effort in demanding upfront detailed estimates for unreasonable long periods (e.g. all estimates for the next year…)Wasting time & effort on detailed long-term planning, fixing agreements, treating change as evil, …1.7 Product owner in Scaling AgileLets first make the statement that you need to consider it twice before blindly scaling up any development efforts. In general, we are trying to deliver value by keeping things simple, simplify working processes, and collaborate to maximise effectiveness and customer satisfaction. In case you need to align several development teams to work together on the same product, take the following into account:A product has 1 product owner, this means in case of several teams developing on the same product, there’s 1 product ownerA product is defined as something meaningful and valuable for a customer or end-user, not a technical componentA product has 1 product backlog, as long the product lives, the product backlog existsA product owner can delegate areas of the product to other product owners, but take care to not have “proxy” product owners, with a mandate to decide. The ‘chief’ product owner remains accountable for overall prioritisation. Some scaling frameworks make a distinction between “product management” and “product ownership”, in any case ensure there’s alignment regarding product management, no conflict in priorities, and no unnecessary handovers of information.1.8 Who is accountable for the business value delivered by a Scrum team?The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value. A Scrum Team collaborates to deliver value together. The Product Owner remains  accountable.1.9 What exactly is the role of the Product Owner during the Daily Scrum?The Product Owner is not required to attend the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is an inspect & adapt time-boxed event for the development and performed by the development. This is defined in this way because otherwise the Daily Scrum will quickly be run as a status meeting (and not a daily planning event). Of course, the Product Owner can be present during the Daily Scrum, as it’s a great moment to check-in with a team, listen how a team is synchronising, ask and answer questions - after the Daily Scrum. The Product Owner, nor the Scrum Master should be leading the Daily Scrum. They can be present, but the Daily Scrum is an activity (‘Scrum’ metaphor of Rugby), for and by the development team. The Product Owner defines a sprint goal (a sprint is a time-boxed iteration to deliver a potentially shippable product increment); the Development Team inspects its progress on a daily basis towards that sprint goal, using the sprint backlog.1.10 What are certain anti-patterns regarding Product Owner?Some example anti-patterns regarding Product Owners; this can be used in an exercise to coach Product Owners. Ask what should be done to be the WORSE Product OwnerIdentify what’s actually being done of that listIdentify what should be STOPPED doing, in order to improveSome anti-patterns of Product Ownership Becoming a bottleneck in communication, so that’s there’s a delay in the flow of value between the development team, end-users, and stakeholders, …Taking decisions in isolation, so that the reason why decisions are taken are not known, nor understood, …Specifying technical solutions, and not articulating the business value, … (technical solutions are the responsibility of a development team)Pressuring the speed of delivery, resulting in less quality and inability to validate if value is being delivered, …Not listening to the product development team’s recommendations, not engaging in any healthy dialogue, …Not articulating the product’s vision, and/or strategy, resulting in development teams functioning as “feature factory”, without investigating what’s valuable and what’s not, …Inadequate product backlog management, resulting in unready items to plan, long inventory, unclear prioritisation, …Not accepting or rejecting work according to the definition of done, resulting in unclear standards of what’s a done product increment, …Not thinking how to delivery slices of value, forcing development teams to deliver components, instead of ready-to-use product increments, …Not facilitating a sprint reviewNot participating in any retrospectiveNot updating any forecast after finishing a sprintNot engaging with end-users / customers to get feedback etc2 What is the process to get a CSPO certificate?You can also follow the below steps to understand clearly.Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance websiteRead and understand the Scrum GuideRead and understand the manifesto for agile software developmentRead and understand the learning objectives of a CSPO courseAttend the 2-day CSPO courseComplete the online CSPO exam, the fee is included in the course price. After completing the course, your Scrum Trainer will upload your user information into the system of Scrum Alliance, next you’ll receive an invite to do the online exam. Recommended books and material to read and further prepare:Articles by Roman Pichler,Book Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts,  Path forward after CSPO at Scrum AllianceCertification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. As a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO™), you can continue your educational development to become an:Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO™)Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner (CSP-PO™)Certified Team Coach (CTC™)Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC™) Certified Scrum Trainer (CST™)Remember, if you’re starting as Product Owner, the CSPO certification is only the start of your journey!ConclusionBeing a product owner is a satisfying job! You are the main spokesperson for the product. You act as a catalyst between the Development Team and the outside world. You take decisions to maximise product value while taking into account various constraints.
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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a r... Read More

How Not to be Agile – Daily Stand-Up/Scrum

IntroductionHello and welcome to this, the fifth article in the series ‘How Not to be Agile’‘How Not to be Agile’ may seem a strange title for blogs about how good Agile is.  What I intend to do over this series of articles is to share with you the misinterpretations, omissions, and mistakes that people make that significantly reduce the potential benefits when an organisation, or part of it, embark on an Agile Transformation.In this article, I will cover some of the misunderstandings and malpractices that I have come across to do with the daily stand-up event; all the Agile frameworks use the term ‘daily stand-up’ for the event except Scrum which calls it a ‘daily Scrum’.As I said before, it is the content and management of the daily stand-up that is important; call the event what you like.I will start with a description of the daily stand-up and then give examples of what can go wrong.Importance of Daily Stand-Up Meetings in ScrumThe concept of a daily stand-up was first introduced to the Agile community by the Scrum framework and has since been adopted by all other Agile frameworks.The idea behind a daily stand-up is to give the whole development team an opportunity to see what has been happening in the development timebox since the previous stand-up, what is planned to be done before the next stand-up and to state any problems that they may be having.The development team uses the daily Scrum stand-up to inspect progress toward meeting the development timebox goal and the likelihood that the development timebox MVP will be met.This is recommended to be done by each team member answering 3 questions:What have I been doing since the last stand-up?What do I plan to do before the next stand-up?What blocks/impediments/issues/problems am I having?Developments over time to the daily Scrum meeting process include:Carrying out the stand-up in front of the Team Board and updating it as necessaryUsing video-conferencing and a shared, electronic Team Board for distributed teamsAdding questions such as:Has anyone given me a requirement change request?Have I learned anything about this product development that I think everyone should know about?Do I have any worries about how the team is progressing?The Scrum Guide states that the daily stand-up should take no more than 15 minutes; the Agile Project Framework suggests that normally the daily Scrum stand-up should not last more than 15 minutes but also suggests that 2 minutes per participant + 2 minutes is a good guide; for a team of 9 members this would equate to 20 minutes.If there are any ‘matters arising’ from the daily stand-up, most teams will delay discussion until after the stand-up is finished and then only those that are needed for the discussion stay behind; the rest go back to work.What the Daily Scrum Meeting is Not?During early Agile transitions it is ‘tempting’ for the management to ‘watch’ the development team closely and the daily stand-up turns into a ‘reporting progress to management’ session.This is NOT what the daily stand-up is for and all attempts to turn it into one must be resisted.An Alternative to Daily Stand-Up processThe Kanban framework and other lean process practitioners realised that the ‘standard’ 3 questions above are not really relevant because people just need to take a look at the Scrum Board (kanban) to see what they did recently and what they will do the next; remember the use of a Team Board is not ‘mandatory’ in most of the Agile frameworks but it would be unusual for a team not to use one, whether a physical board or an electronic one.                                                                     Figure 1 - Physical Team Board Example                                                                                             Figure 2 - Electronic Team Board Example So, here are the questions that a Kanban user answers:What is impeding us?Assuming, that the meetings take place in front of the board, there isn't even a need to discuss what items are impeded (since this will be visible on the board).  Therefore, all there is to focus on, is the possible and the best solutions to the problematic items.What's the flow like?Because Kanban is all about the workflow, what should be discussed at this point are any possible changes that the team can make in order to make the flow even smoother and efficient.  Also, should there be any bottlenecks, the daily stand-up is the right time to work on their best resolution.What can we improve? (how to achieve Kaizen?)This is a question is the means by which the entire team is empowered to strive for constant improvement; by allowing for the change suggestions to come from anyone in the team, there is a big chance of success.Effectively, the Kanban Framework incorporates every day what other frameworks do in the Retrospective.Whatever Agile framework that you use, if you adopt a Kanban style Team Board, you may want to use the Kanban questions during your daily stand-ups.Who Should Attend the Daily Stand-Up?It is important that all of the development team, both full and part-time, and the Agile Project Manager/Scrum Master attend the daily stand-up:The whole development team needs to be there because all team members need to be aware of what is happening in the development timebox, state any problems that they may be having and potentially offer help to other team members who may have problems.The Agile Project Manager/Scrum Master needs to be there as the Risk and Issue Manager to listen to the problems that any team members may have.The daily stand-up should be run by the development team although, in some organisations, the Agile Project Manager/Scrum Master runs the event.Other people outside of the Development Team are ‘welcome’ to attend daily Scrum meeting but are not allowed to speak; they are only there to observe the process.When Should the Daily Stand-Up Take Place?One of the tenets of all Agile frameworks is to have a cadence or ‘heartbeat’; events should be scheduled on the same day, time, and place for the whole product development time.It is strongly recommended that the daily stand-up should be scheduled to take place in the same place at the same time every working day.Case Study 1:In several organisations that I have coached in, when I arrived, the daily stand-ups were taking upwards of 30 mins; this was because:There was a detailed discussion between 1 or 2 team members about some topic or otherOne or two members were overly verbose in their explanation of what they had done and what they were going to doIn all cases, the majority of other team members were not interested in the details of the conversations or another’s work; some used the ‘wasting my time’ reason to avoid attending the daily-stand-ups.In one organisation, I was teaching an Agile class and on day 2, 3 delegates turned up 1 hour late for a 9am start.  I asked, politely, if they had a problem attending on time and was told that they had to attend their team’s daily stand-up; a laudable reason.  When I asked what time their team’s daily stand-up started I was told 9am; the event had taken 50 minutes!What was worse was that one of the delegates was supposed to be the Scrum Master for the development!Lessons:Don’t start Agile product Development without the Agile PM/Scrum Master having had at least 2 days of training on the Agile framework that they should be usingWhoever is running the daily stand-up, do not allow:Detailed explanations of work done or planned to be doneDetailed discussions of points between 1 or 2 team membersMatters will arise during the daily stand-up but discussion of these must be held over until the daily stand-up has finishedIf a team member says they have an impediment and it can be solved in about 15 seconds, then that is OK; for example, a team member may say:“ I cannot get hold of person XYZ to get the information I need”Another team member may have had the same problem in the past and may say something like:“He/she never answers the phone during the morning; call him/her after 2 pm”Case Study 2:For one engagement that I was working on, the Development Team was dispersed in 5 locations in 3 different time zones.  I noticed that one team member in another location never attended the daily stand-up; the Scrum Master obtained the answer to the 3 questions later in the day over the phone.I asked the Scrum Master why this was so and he told me that the person was in a time zone 1 hour behind the main team and had travelling difficulties getting into work for the daily stand-up time.I asked when the team member could ‘guarantee’ getting into work and would there be any problem moving the daily stand-up time.  It transpired that the time of the daily stand-up could be moved to suit the team member without inconveniencing any of the other team members.LessonsThe time for the daily stand-up should be set when all development team members have a good chance of attending; this is important for geographically dispersed teams.The Scrum Master gathering daily stand-up information after the event wastes his/her time and the rest of the team miss the opportunity to have all the information that they needCase Study 3: There have been 3 occasions when time zones  played an important part in choosing when the daily stand-up should be held:The main team was in Tokyo, there was a sub-team in Beijing, the ‘customer’ was in San Diego and management was in Helsinki; this was the first Agile product development for this team although other teams in the organization had transitioned.Although it is not normal for the customer or management to attend the daily stand-up, in this case, both the customer and management wanted to attend to make sure that the team were ‘on the right track’; the fact that I had trained the main team hadn’t given the management sufficient confidence!But the time zone differences made it difficult to choose an appropriate team for all attendees.Because there were only 1 customer and 1 manager who wanted to join the stand-up, it was decided to hold the stand-up at 1pm Tokyo time to inconvenience the main and sub-teams the least; for the customer in San Diego it was 11pm and for the manager in Helsinki it was 5am.We ran like this for 1 week after which both the customer and manager decided that they were happy with the way the main team and sub-team were operating.The Development Team were in Cebu, Philippines, and the Product Owner was in Duluth, USA; the Product Owner wanted a daily update on how the requirements were being implemented.There was no overlap in the work times of the different time zones so it was decided that the Scrum Master would start work at 1pm Cebu time, the daily stand-up would be run at 2pm Cebu time and the Scrum Master would update the Product Owner at 9pm Cebu time, 8am Duluth time.The majority of the team were in Dundee, Scotland with a few team members in Hyderabad, India.In this case, there was a 3.5 hour overlap in the work times of the different time zones so it was decided to run the daily stand-up at 10am Dundee time and 3:30pm Hyderabad time.Lessons:Although this Case Study does not demonstrate anti-Agile behaviour, it is worth noting the following lessons:When deciding a time to run the daily stand-up, the time should be set to inconvenience the development team members as little as possible; other people must choose whether their attendance during ‘unsocial hours’ is worth it to themselves.The Agile PM/Scrum Master does not have to work the same hours as the rest of the development team in the same time zone; it does depend on whether the Agile PM/Scrum Master is prepared to work ‘unsocial hours’.Where work times overlap across time zones, ensure that the time to run the daily stand-up is within the work times of all time zones. Case Study 4:I was coaching a team that was in the early stages of an Agile transformation and the team members had picked up the basics well; the daily stand-ups were running well with some good banter and team member help being offered freely.During one stand-up, I noticed a marked lack of relaxation amongst the team members when speaking and their heads were down most of the time.I asked the Scrum Master if he knew the reason for the change of atmosphere and she said that she had expected something like it but not quite so marked.There had been a manager attending for the first time; this manager had a reputation for being a bit ‘old school’; “do as I say and no arguments”.After confirming with the team members that they had felt intimidated, I researched the manager and discovered that he headed a department that was just starting to try Agile; the manager had attended the stand-up just to see how it worked and had had no intention of ‘interfering’ or making any opinions about the team members.I asked if he would like me to coach ‘his’ team through their early Agile events; he accepted and I invited him to attend all the events as an observer.After each event, I mentored the manager about his opinion of what went on.  He had a few questions about ‘why this’ and ‘why that’ and I was able to answer his questions to his satisfaction.I asked ‘his’ team members what they thought of having the manager at their events and they said that they had had some trepidation at first but after they could see that he had been there to learn and had not lived up to his previous reputation, they became quite comfortable with the manager’s presence.I told the members of the original team of this apparent change to the manager’s ‘personality and asked if he could attend the next daily stand-up; they agreed and the next stand-up with the manager present went as ‘normal’.Lessons:If there is a change of demeanour of any individual or several team members, investigate the reason; it is most probably an impediment to smooth team running.The Scrum Master could have just asked the manager not to attend anymore but given the manager’s perceived reputation, that would have taxed the Scrum Master’s diplomacy skills.By engaging with the manager, it was possible to shift his ‘old school’ manner to one that understood Agile and could cooperatively support it.ConclusionThe ‘mechanics’ of the daily stand-up are relatively straightforward if the rules of the Daily Scrum are followed strictly in a daily routine. Collated below are the best practices while implementing daily Scrum:All development team members must attend, both full and part-time members.The time and place for the daily stand-up should be chosen to give the least inconvenience to the development team members.Geographically dispersed teams can run daily stand-ups using video-conferencing and shared desktop facilities.The questions to be answered by development team members should be adjusted to suit the type of Team Board being used.Non-development team members are welcome to attend daily stand-ups but are not allowed to speak.If the attendance at a daily stand-up of a non-development team member is considered to ‘intimidate’ one or more team members, this is an impediment and the resolution must be sought.
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How Not to be Agile – Daily Stand-Up/Scrum

IntroductionHello and welcome to this, the fifth a... Read More

5 Things To Consider While Choosing A Professional Scrum Master Certification

With ScrumMasters gaining an increased demand and a lot of scope when it comes to career prospects, certifications are abundant. You can choose between a variety of courses to learn the Agile and Scrum practices. Eventually, you’re left with a choice between being a Certified Scrum Master and a Professional Scrum Master. Let’s take a quick look at which is a better course for you. CSM Vs. PSM You can easily obtain a CSM by just attending classes, whereas for a PSM, you mainly require assessment skills. Both the courses are priced around the same range, and with CSM your study material would include only the course outline. The training required is mandatory and with each instructor, you get to learn through a different training material with CSM. For PSM, you don’t need any training and the training is standardised throughout. CSM gives you a superficial knowledge on the subject, whereas with PSM a comprehensive knowledge is assured. The biggest advantage is that PSM does not require any certificate renewal, which is not the case with CSM certification that must be renewed every two years. Here are some important factors you must consider before kickstarting the course.   1. Name When choosing the best options, you have to consider a reputed course and institution. You can rely on them and can expect a hassle-free training process from experts around the world. The PSM has a globally recognised brand name that can designate an identity to you across most organisations all over the world. 2. Content CSM may be a more popular course, but PSM has a thorough syllabus that tests your true abilities in the fields of Scrum and Agile. The course is definitely a more difficult one, but pursuing it only proves your capabilities and calibre as a Professional ScrumMaster. PSM gives you a more practical approach as it deals with assessment over just a training session. You’ll be exposed to research on vast areas of Agile and how you can implement them into your projects and encourage your teams to implement the practices. 3. Exam While CSM requires just attending of classes to clear the exam comprising of 35 questions and a reasonable pass mark of 65%, PSM requires a lot more effort. To crack a PSM exam you need to go through an open assessment that tests your capabilities to take up the exam. The actual exam consists of 80 questions, and a minimum of 85% is required to pass the exam. There is also the additional pressure of time limit in PSM. Clearing the challenging PSM exam definitely adds value to your bio data. You will definitely have an upper hand at bagging a great job when compared to CSMs. 4. Training You can prepare for a PSM certification by yourself but the process could take longer and requires a lot more effort. Find the right choice from the list of reputed institutions that offer tactful training to crack the certification exam. The availability of trainers is also an important factor. If there is a scarcity in the number of instructors, you’ll end up attending a class with a large size, which in turn affects the quality of learning. 5. Cost While PSM is priced nominally, at around the same price as CSM and other Agile courses, it is absolutely worth your money. With an enhanced practical knowledge, the certification gives you a better idea on how to deal with real-time situations and problems that you are likely to face managing a team. Additionally, your career prospects are more promising with a PSM certification. Before you choose to enroll yourself in a famed institution or even decide to take up the test, research and identify the right school with courses that best suit your qualifications, requirements, and time constraints. If you choose to prepare without external assistance, gear up to put in extra effort from your end.
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5 Things To Consider While Choosing A Professional...

With ScrumMasters gaining an increased demand and ... Read More