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Scrum Master Certification - The Definitive Guide

What is a Scrum Master?The Scrum Master in a Scrum team is responsible for managing the process, while at the same time ensures that the team is observing the Scrum theory, rules and practices. They are not a part of the decision-making process, but they act as a guide for the team, thanks to their experience and expertise. They also help in simplifying complex projects.Scrum Masters act as a facilitator and advisor for the Scrum team and are always on a continuous lookout for the team’s development. Moreover, they make sure that Scrum adoption is successful in their organisation.Roles played by a certified Scrum MasterBroadly speaking, the role of a Scrum Master is challenging as they are responsible for the functioning of the team as well as monitoring the Scrum processes and events. Professionals with a Scrum Master certification, however, are acknowledged to be the masters of the art of facilitation and drive their teams to success.An efficient (and certified) Scrum Master ensures that the Definition of Done (DoD) is being followed, and this helps him maximize the potential of the team.A Scrum Master has several important responsibilities, to name a few:Act as a supervisor for the Scrum TeamKeeps the Scrum Team protected from any external requests or disruptions as well as over-commitmentsAssists the Scrum EventsTake measures to  maximise the productivity of the teamBuild trust and transparency between the teamMake sure that there is proper communication between the Scrum Product Owner and Scrum TeamPromote daily stand-up, as neededThe popularity of the role of a Scrum Master has increased exponentially in the past few years. Glassdoor has included Scrum Master in their list of highest paying jobs, with a rank of 20 and a median salary of $98,239 USD. On top of this, LinkedIn has included Scrum Master in top 2019 most promising jobs list.What are the benefits of Scrum Master certification?Legit concern. If knowledge is the fundamental aspect here, what is the need for a Scrum Master certification at all?Recently certified Scrum Masters will have so many positive anecdotes to share.1. Validation from the industryAs a professional Scrum Master certified by an accreditation body of global repute has a lot to contribute to the industry. Basic benefits aside, a globally valid Scrum Master Certification lets you:Expand your career opportunities across multiple sectors embracing Agile practicesDemonstrate your scrum knowledge and skillsLearn about the fundamentals and scope of ScrumEngage with active Agile practitioners committed to continuous improvement and deliveryScrum Master certifications do not just merit a raise in salary but offer several additional benefits which include but are not limited to the following.Now that you already know the benefits of Scrum Master certifications in terms of knowledge, salary, designation, mindset, and industry value, let us walk you through the roles and responsibilities of certified scrum masters.2. Scrum knowledge and skillsEarning a Scrum Master certification will help you in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed in any project that entails scrum. Having a scrum certification will also give you the motivation and confidence to implement Scrum across different sectors and projects.3. Grow in your careerBeing certified as a Scrum Master will make you more marketable and relevant in your field. It equips you with the skills that will help you reach the goals of the business and offer the highest value to the customer. It is the basic validation of an agile mindset, knowledge and skills to apply in organisations.4. Boost team’s collaborationA certified Scrum Master encourages the whole team to work together in a better manner as (s)he has a good understanding of Scrum.5. Change of mindsetMore than doing Agile, being Agile fosters teamwork, avoids conflicts and helps create more successful projects.According to a survey conducted as stated in the 2019 Scrum Master Trends, when asked about their current title, the following response was received by the participants:ChoicesResponses (%)Happy as Scrum Master15.85Happy as Agile Coach10.95I am a Scrum Master now, but want to become an Agile Coach20.65I plan to become a certified trainer or coach22.59I am working to become a Scrum Master11.49Other18.47And when asked about their current titles, the following response was received:ChoicesResponses (%)Scrum Master39.45Agile Coach15.56Development Team Member5.84Product Owner3.15Product Manager9.62Agile Project Manager3.26Product Manager1.24Others21.87Also, about Scrum and facilitation training, it was observed that:83% of participants had formal Scrum training17% of participants had formal facilitation training15% of participants had no certifications45% of participants had more than one certificationAnd, the top three certifications among the participants were:Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)Professional Scrum Product OwnerTM  (PSPO I)Scrum has been adopted by many big organisations like Google, Spotify, IBM, 3M, etc. Moreover, Scrum is no more limited to the fields of the IT sector. According to a State of Scrum Report 2017-2018, participants voted Scrum Master (85%) as the top certification of 2017.The following is a list of departments that use Scrum other than the IT department:Operations or Production - 42%Research and Development - 31%Sales and Marketing - 25%Content Development, Management - 24%Consulting - 22%Human Resources - 19%Financial or Accounting - 18%What is the average salary of a certified Scrum Master?As a certified Scrum Master, salary is the last thing you need to worry about. A Scrum certification alone will boost your salary manyfold.According to a research by Glassdoor in 2018, the role of Scrum Master is one of the highest paid jobs in the United States with a median base salary of $98,239 and with job openings of over 1800. Being certified makes the Scrum Master a more accomplished person for the job, providing prospective employers with acknowledgement of their skills.The following is the average salary of a Scrum Master by region, as per the survey: 2019 Scrum Master Trends.CityAverage SalaryNorth America$113,295Europe$76,889South America$43,505Africa$62,571Asia$40,326Oceania$149,507Top Scrum Master CertificationsHere’s is a globally acclaimed Scrum Master certification programs:Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) by Scrum Alliance®Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I) by Scrum.orgSAFe® Scrum Master (SSM) Certification by Scaled AgileEXIN Agile Scrum Master by EXINScrum Master Certified (SMC™) by SCRUMstudyScrum Master Accredited Certification™ by International Scrum Institute™Advanced & related Scrum Master certifications:Advanced-CSM® (A-CSM®) by Scrum Alliance®Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM)  by Scrum Alliance®Professional Scrum MasterTM II (PSM II) by Scrum.orgProfessional Scrum MasterTM III (PSM III) by Scrum.orgPMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® from Project Management Institute (PMI)How do I get a Scrum Master certification?To become a professional Scrum Master, you need to clear an examination or assessment and get certified. This will help you to get a better understanding of the fundamentals of  Scrum framework, values, practices and applications. It also provides a level of expertise and knowledge. Having a certification means an acknowledgement that you hold the core knowledge of Scrum as well as know how to engage with other practitioners for further collaboration and improvement.It is necessary to familiarize with Scrum and understand the prerequisites that are needed to attend any certification course. With various certification courses available in the market, it is equally necessary to research well and choose a certification according to their needs and demand.The procedure for getting certified is roughly the same for all Scrum Master certifications:Step 1: Attend training or take a course, as per the certifying body’s requirement.Step 2: Register for an examination as per the certification.Step 3: Take a test and score at least the minimum required score.Step 4: Get certified.To make things easy for you, we have put together a list of the best Scrum Master certifications which will help you get essential knowledge of the how to get certified and can also help you decide which certification to opt for.1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the most widely acknowledged Scrum Master certification. To become a Certified ScrumMaster, it is essential to attend a 2-day classroom training, after which you will be required to take an online test. You will acquire the required essential knowledge in this two-day training, which is conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®) authorised by the Scrum Alliance®. The topics of discussion during the training include Scrum frameworks, its usage, User Stories, Estimations and Release Planning.According to the State of Scrum Report 2017-2018, Certified ScrumMaster® is the most popular certification, selected by 84% of the respondents.1.1 Who is the authorised body for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?Scrum Alliance® is the authorised body for the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification.1.2. What is the eligibility & prerequisites for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?There are no eligibility criteria for a CSM certification. But, it is advisable to have familiarity with the Scrum framework. You have to take up a two-day (16 hours) course, which is conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®). This course provides an overview of supporting and organising a Scrum team.Taking a course is mandatory for Certified ScrumMaster® certification.1.3. What is the cost of Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?Cost of 2-day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course is around $1000 (depends on your training provider), which also includes the cost of certification and examination fee.1.4 How to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) with Scrum Alliance®Attend a 2-day Scrum Master course from a Registered Education Provider (REP) like KnowledgeHut.After your course completion, you’ll receive an email with a unique username from Scrum Alliance® to register online. Click on the activation link, log in with the given username and create your own password. Fill in your profile information in all the mandatory fields.Proceed by clicking on “Take CSM® test” form the certification dashboard that can be reached on the settings page. You can take the test within 90 days after completion of the Scrum Master course.Take the test.After passing the test, you can download your internationally valid Certified ScrumMaser® certificate from the certification dashboard (under the “Print Certificate” option). Scrum Alliance® has partnered with BadgeCert Inc. allowing you to display a secure and verifiable digital certification badge on social networks, resumes, email signatures, and websites.1.5. What will the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification exam be like?Take the test, which comprises of 50 multiple-choice questions based on the CSM® learning objectives within a 60 minute time limit. The test can be taken anytime, anywhere and is available to take in English, Spanish (Castilian), Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Danish, Czech, and Russian. You’ll be tested on the types of topics and questions as mentioned in CSM Test Specifications Outline. The passing score is 74% - this means you should have answered 37 questions correctly.1.6. Reattempts for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification examIf you don’t pass your exam in the first attempt, you can take up a second attempt without any extra charge.If you fail the second time as well, you can attempt the exam again by paying a fee of $25 to ScrumAlliance.If you are a Certified ScrumMaster and are wishing to level up, then you can opt for the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification. The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification has been discussed further in the blog under the advanced certification sectionHow to renew your Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?Every two years, it is necessary to get the CSM certification renewed by paying a fee of $100 as well as earn 20 Scrum Education Units® (SEU®). Learn how to earn SEUs here.2. Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)Professional Scrum Master I is another highly sought after Scrum Master certification offered by Scrum.org, founded by Ken Schwaber — the co-creator of Scrum — after he parted from Scrum Alliance®.Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) is a course with 2-days duration that covers the process theory and the principles of the Scrum framework, also covering the role of the Scrum Master. This course contains instructions as well as team-based exercises, which teaches the core of the Scrum and Agile movement.According to the 2019 Scrum Master Trends, on Scrum and facilitation training, the maximum number of votes were obtained for PSM I certification, which is 53 % of the participants.Scrum.org says Microsoft uses the PSM I assessment “to validate knowledge as part of its Silver and Gold Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) competencies”.2.1. Who is the accreditation body for Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)?Scrum.org2.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I) certification?There are no specific prerequisites for undertaking the examination or attending this course. The Professional Scrum Master training can be attended by professionals who are interested in attending the training and giving the examination. After completion of the course, you will receive a password for PSM I assessment conducted by Scrum.org. Subsequently, you can decide if you should proceed and undertake the PSM II and PSM III assessments.The following individuals can benefit by taking up the Professional Scrum Master training to showcase the fundamental level of Scrum mastery:Professionals who wish to pursue the Professional Scrum Master CertificationScrum Team managersTeams which are transitioning to ScrumScrum Team members such a Product Owners and developersTaking a course is optional for PSM I certification.2.3. What is the cost of the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I)certification? If you are well-versed with Scrum, taking a course is optional. PSM I assessment fee is $150 per attempt.But if you to attend a 2-day training, the exam fee for the certification is included in the course price of around $350 and depends on the training provider. If you have attended the training, you’ve two attempts to clear your exam as opposed to only one chance when attempting the exam without any training.2.4. Here’s how to become a Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM) professionalAttend a 2-day PSM training (optional). You’ll need an Assessment Password to take the test - after clearing which you’ll receive the industry recognized PSM I Certification.If you have paid for your PSM course, you’ll receive the Assessment Password to your email address. If you haven’t taken the course, you’ll have to buy PSM I assessment online to receive the Assessment PasswordThe password doesn’t have an expiration date but is valid for one attempt only if you haven’t taken the PSM 1 course, and two attempts you have taken the course.Take the test.After the completion of the assessment, the results will be emailed to you. Here’s an example Scrum.org Assessment Results email.If you have scored at least 85% in your test, your certificate and badge will be added to your member profile on Scrum.org. Your name your name will also be added to the public list of certified professionals on their website.2.5. What will be the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I) examination like?With the knowledge of the Scrum Guide (authored by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland), official Scrum.org resources, and other suggested reading material, you can assess your basic Scrum knowledge before taking the actual assessment that covers topics from multiple Focus Areas defined by the Professional Scrum Competencies.  The PSM examination that can be taken in Enlish language only, consists of a total of 80 questions in the following formats: multiple choice, multiple answers and true/false.PSM exam can be a bit difficult and you’ll have 60 minutes to attempt all the questions, where you’ll have to score a minimum of 85% in order to pass the examination.2.6. How to renew the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM) certificationAlong with the PSM certification, any Scrum.org certificate is has a lifelong validity and do not require any additional payments or renewals.3. SAFe® Scrum MasterGain a thorough understanding of the roles of a Scrum Master in a SAFe® enterprise by attending a 2-day course. With the help of this course, explore the roles of a Scrum Master at the enterprise level and prepare yourself to plan and execute the Program Increment successfully, which is the primary enabler of alignment through all levels of SAFe® organisation. Discover different approaches to become a servant leader and coach to build high performing Agile teams.  3.1. Who is the authorised body for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?Scaled Agile is the authorised body for SAFe ® Scrum Master certification.3.2. What are the eligibility & prerequisites for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?The course is open to all, regardless of what experience you hold. But, the following prerequisites are recommended for those who wish to take the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification exam:Insight of Agile concepts and principlesAwareness of Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP) and KanbanWorking knowledge of hardware and software development processes3.3. What is the certification cost for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?The first attempt of the exam is included as a part of the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days of completion of the course. Each retake attempt costs $50.3.4. Here’s how to become a SAFe® Scrum Master professional:The very first step is to attend a SAFe® Scrum Master course. This is a requirement as this will help you gain access to all the study material as well as the examination.Upon completion of your SAFe® Scrum Master course, you can gain access of the examination within the SAFe® Community Platform.Take the test.After clearing the test, you’ll get a Certified SAFe® 4 Scrum Master PDF certificate or a Certified SAFe® 4 Scrum Master digital badge along with a one-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform, which includes access to the SSM Community of Practice.3.5. What will the SAFe® Scrum Master certification examination be like?The SAFe® Scrum Master certification examination can be taken in English, consists of a total of 45 questions of the type multiple choice and multiple select, and out of which you are required to score a minimum of 73% (33 out of 45) to obtain your certification. The time duration for the exam is 90 minutes. Here are a few sample test questions.3.6.Reattempts for SAFe® Scrum Master certification examThe first retake, that is the second attempt of the examination can be taken immediately after the first attempt. The third attempt requires a 10-day wait, while a fourth attempt requires a 30-day wait. Each retake attempt costs $50.3.7. How to renew your SAFe® Scrum Master certification?SAFe® certifications hold the validity for one year. After the completion of first year, you will be required to renew your certification by paying a renewal fee of $100.4. EXIN Agile Scrum Master (ASM)The EXIN Agile Scrum Master certification is a unique certification that combines the Scrum practices and Agile methodologies along with practical assignments. The certification tests the proficiency of a Scrum Master which is required to coach, facilitate and enable a cross-functional team. The course covers various topics like the role of the Scrum master, Adopting Agile, Agile planning estimation, control, monitoring, etc. This certification can be attained by professionals belonging to fields like business management, IT project management, Software development, IT service management.4.1. What is the accreditation body for the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) certification?EXIN is the accreditation body for Agile Scrum Master (ASM) Certification.4.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for ASM certification?There are no particular eligibility criteria for the Agile Scrum Master course. But it is mandatory for you to successfully complete an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training.This certification is suitable for professionals in the following fields:Business managementSoftware DevelopmentIT Project ManagementIT Service Management4.3. What is the cost of the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) examination?The cost of the examination comes around $260, without any training course. If you have opted for a training course, it will include the exam fee as well.    4.4. What is the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) examination like?The  EXIN Agile Scrum Master certification examination consists of a total of 40 multiple choice questions (can be taken in English, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Latin American Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, Czech, Chinese). The difficulty level for the examination is advanced and the exam duration is 90 minutes. You have to score a minimum of 65% in order to pass the examination and to get the ASM certification.5. Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)The Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) professionals can ensure that the Scrum Team is provided with the proper environment which helps the team in completing the project successfully. It is the duty of the Scrum Master to make sure that the Scrum process is being followed, while at the same time he is responsible to guide, facilitate and teach the Scrum practices to everyone who is involved in the project.5.1. Who is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)?SCRUMstudy is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)5.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for SMC™ certification?This certification is suitable for anyone who is interested in becoming a Scrum Master. There aren’t any specific prerequisites needed for this course. But, if you  who have completed the Scrum Developer Certified (SDC™) certification before opting for this certification are highly preferred.Moreover, it is recommended that you attend a 2-day SMC classroom training provided by a SCRUMstudy approved Authorized Training Partner (A.T.P.).5.3. What is the cost of the Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) examination?The cost of the examination is $450.5.4. What is the Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) examination like?The  SMC™ certification examination consists of a total of 100 Multiple Choice questions. The exam duration is 120 minutes. The current pass rate of this examination is 95%.5.5. How do I maintain my Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) certification?You are required to maintain 40 Recertification Units (RCUs) every 3 years in order to maintain your certification.6. Scrum Master Accredited Certification™The Scrum Master Accredited Certification Program is an online test examination that can be taken from anywhere around the world. The examination success rate is 98%.6.1. Who is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?International Scrum Institute™6.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?This certification is suitable for anyone who is interested in becoming a Scrum Master.6.3. What is the cost of certification for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?The test and certification cost for Scrum Master Accredited Certification is $69, with no other hidden costs or fees involved.The number of re-attempts: you can retake your examination for 10 times, without any additional fee. If you fail at your last attempt, the full amount of registration fee will be refunded to you.6.4. What will the Scrum Master Accredited Certification™ be examination like?The test contains 50 multiple-choice questions that you have attempt within 60 minutes. In order to obtain the certification, you will have to answer at least 60% of your test questions correctly.Summary of comparison between Scrum Master CertificationsCertificationAuthorized BodyDifficulty level Exam  DurationNo. of Questions CostRenewalCertified ScrumMaster (CSM®)Scrum Alliance®EasyNo Duration35$1400 (including a mandatory course fee)$100, every 2 yearsProfessional Scrum MasterTM (PSM)Scrum.orgMedium1 hour80$150 (course fee not included -depends on provider)Not required, has a lifetime validitySAFe® Scrum MasterScaled AgileDifficult1.5 hours45$995 – $1,295 (including a mandatory course fee)$100, every yearEXIN Agile Scrum Master (ASM)EXINDifficult1.5 hours40$260Not required, has a lifetime validityScrum Master Certified (SMC™)SCRUMstudyEasy2 hours100$45040 RCUs every 3 yearsScrum Master Accredited Certification™International Scrum InstituteDifficult1 hour50$69Not required, has a lifetime validityAdvanced and Related Scrum Master certifications1. Advanced CSM® (A-CSM®)If you have Certified ScrumMaster certification from Scrum Alliance® and have twelve months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years you can get Advanced CSM® certificate after taking the class and “successfully completing all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering”.This course demands that you need to have a basic understanding of Scrum along with its practical usage and implementation. This workshop will help you get a deeper insight into the  Scrum Framework and how it relates to the Agile Manifesto and learn the ways to coach the Product Owner and development team members. You can renew your A-CSM® by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) every two years.2. Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM) The CSP-SM certification is unique and distinct to developers. Along with the certification, the professional get opportunities to attend exclusive CSP events along with many other leaders in Scrum and Agile. The certification helps professionals to make an impression on the recruiters as well as attract a higher rate of pay.If you have an active A-CSM® certification with 24 months of experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years, and attend a CSP-SM workshop which is conducted by the Scrum Alliance® approved ‘Path to CSP Educator’, you can get certified after “Successfully complete all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering”You can renew your CSP-SM by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) every two years.3. Professional Scrum MasterTM II (PSM II) & Professional Scrum MasterTM III (PSM III)The Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II) and Professional Scrum Master III (PSM III) are advanced-level courses from Scrum.org. You can attend an optional 2-day training for PSM II, while there isn’t any training required for PSM III. If you have cleared the PSM I assessment, can opt for PSM II assessment. If you have cleared the PSM and PSM II assessments and if you wish to gain a distinguished level of Scrum mastery can take up the PSM™ III assessment.PSM II assessment will cost you $250, will have 30 questions to answer in 90 minutes, and needs at least 85% passing to get certified. Whereas, PSM III assessment will cost you $500, will have 34 questions to answer in 120 minutes, and needs at least 85% passing score to get certified.4. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® from Project Management Institute (PMI)PMI-ACP acknowledges your knowledge and skill in Agile principles and techniques. The PMI-ACP covers agile approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP) and test-driven development (TDD.)If you have 2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams along with1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies and 21 contact hours of training in agile practices, you can get PMI ACP certified after clearing the exam having 120 multiple-choice questions within 3 hours. You can renew your PMI-ACP certification every 3 years by earning professional development units (PDUs) in agile topicsThe Career path for a Scrum MasterBeing a certified Scrum Master opens the door for opportunities growth.1. Scrum MasterAfter completing the Scrum Master certification, the Scrum Master gets to perform all the roles that a Scrum Master is assigned to do. They need to work in this position for a minimum duration of one year to five years.2. Senior Scrum MasterAfter Scrum Master, you progress to becoming a Senior Scrum Master. A Senior Scrum Master needs to gather advanced knowledge of the best practices of Scrum and should know how to implement them in teams as well.3. Agile CoachFor the transition to become an Agile Coach from a Senior Scrum Master. It is essential for you to have a minimum of five years of knowledge in being a Scrum Master along with at least one year of experience of coaching and mentoring.Scrum is an Agile development framework which is used to manage the process of product development. The Scrum Master is a person who is responsible for implementing Scrum amongst the team members, remove the obstacles faced by them and make sure that the team members understand Scrum and its principles. He does the planning, takes care of the team backlog, sprint retrospective and sprint demo.Scrum Master certification opens the door to a leap in career growth. There are many certifications options to choose from. With the provided information, we hope you will choose a best Scrum Master certification as per your expectations and requirement work towards your getting your dream job.

Scrum Master Certification - The Definitive Guide

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Scrum Master Certification - The Definitive Guide

What is a Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master in a Scrum team is responsible for managing the process, while at the same time ensures that the team is observing the Scrum theory, rules and practices. They are not a part of the decision-making process, but they act as a guide for the team, thanks to their experience and expertise. They also help in simplifying complex projects.

Scrum Masters act as a facilitator and advisor for the Scrum team and are always on a continuous lookout for the team’s development. Moreover, they make sure that Scrum adoption is successful in their organisation.

Roles played by a certified Scrum Master

Roles played by a certified Scrum MasterBroadly speaking, the role of a Scrum Master is challenging as they are responsible for the functioning of the team as well as monitoring the Scrum processes and events. Professionals with a Scrum Master certification, however, are acknowledged to be the masters of the art of facilitation and drive their teams to success.

An efficient (and certified) Scrum Master ensures that the Definition of Done (DoD) is being followed, and this helps him maximize the potential of the team.

A Scrum Master has several important responsibilities, to name a few:

  • Act as a supervisor for the Scrum Team
  • Keeps the Scrum Team protected from any external requests or disruptions as well as over-commitments
  • Assists the Scrum Events
  • Take measures to  maximise the productivity of the team
  • Build trust and transparency between the team
  • Make sure that there is proper communication between the Scrum Product Owner and Scrum Team
  • Promote daily stand-up, as needed

The popularity of the role of a Scrum Master has increased exponentially in the past few years. Glassdoor has included Scrum Master in their list of highest paying jobs, with a rank of 20 and a median salary of $98,239 USD. On top of this, LinkedIn has included Scrum Master in top 2019 most promising jobs list.

What are the benefits of Scrum Master certification?

Legit concern. If knowledge is the fundamental aspect here, what is the need for a Scrum Master certification at all?

Recently certified Scrum Masters will have so many positive anecdotes to share.

1. Validation from the industry

As a professional Scrum Master certified by an accreditation body of global repute has a lot to contribute to the industry. Basic benefits aside, a globally valid Scrum Master Certification lets you:

  • Expand your career opportunities across multiple sectors embracing Agile practices
  • Demonstrate your scrum knowledge and skills
  • Learn about the fundamentals and scope of Scrum
  • Engage with active Agile practitioners committed to continuous improvement and delivery

Scrum Master certifications do not just merit a raise in salary but offer several additional benefits which include but are not limited to the following.

Now that you already know the benefits of Scrum Master certifications in terms of knowledge, salary, designation, mindset, and industry value, let us walk you through the roles and responsibilities of certified scrum masters.

2. Scrum knowledge and skills

Earning a Scrum Master certification will help you in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed in any project that entails scrum. Having a scrum certification will also give you the motivation and confidence to implement Scrum across different sectors and projects.

3. Grow in your career

Being certified as a Scrum Master will make you more marketable and relevant in your field. It equips you with the skills that will help you reach the goals of the business and offer the highest value to the customer. It is the basic validation of an agile mindset, knowledge and skills to apply in organisations.

4. Boost team’s collaboration

A certified Scrum Master encourages the whole team to work together in a better manner as (s)he has a good understanding of Scrum.

5. Change of mindset

More than doing Agile, being Agile fosters teamwork, avoids conflicts and helps create more successful projects.

According to a survey conducted as stated in the 2019 Scrum Master Trends, when asked about their current title, the following response was received by the participants:

ChoicesResponses (%)

Happy as Scrum Master

15.85

Happy as Agile Coach

10.95

I am a Scrum Master now, but want to become an Agile Coach

20.65

I plan to become a certified trainer or coach

22.59

I am working to become a Scrum Master

11.49

Other

18.47

And when asked about their current titles, the following response was received:

ChoicesResponses (%)

Scrum Master

39.45

Agile Coach

15.56

Development Team Member

5.84

Product Owner

3.15

Product Manager

9.62

Agile Project Manager

3.26

Product Manager

1.24

Others

21.87

Also, about Scrum and facilitation training, it was observed that:

  • 83% of participants had formal Scrum training
  • 17% of participants had formal facilitation training
  • 15% of participants had no certifications
  • 45% of participants had more than one certification

And, the top three certifications among the participants were:

  • Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)
  • Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)
  • Professional Scrum Product OwnerTM  (PSPO I)

Scrum has been adopted by many big organisations like Google, Spotify, IBM, 3M, etc. Moreover, Scrum is no more limited to the fields of the IT sector. According to a State of Scrum Report 2017-2018, participants voted Scrum Master (85%) as the top certification of 2017.

The following is a list of departments that use Scrum other than the IT department:

List of departments that use Scrum

  • Operations or Production - 42%
  • Research and Development - 31%
  • Sales and Marketing - 25%
  • Content Development, Management - 24%
  • Consulting - 22%
  • Human Resources - 19%
  • Financial or Accounting - 18%

What is the average salary of a certified Scrum Master?

As a certified Scrum Master, salary is the last thing you need to worry about. A Scrum certification alone will boost your salary manyfold.

According to a research by Glassdoor in 2018, the role of Scrum Master is one of the highest paid jobs in the United States with a median base salary of $98,239 and with job openings of over 1800. Being certified makes the Scrum Master a more accomplished person for the job, providing prospective employers with acknowledgement of their skills.

The following is the average salary of a Scrum Master by region, as per the survey: 2019 Scrum Master Trends.

CityAverage Salary

North America

$113,295

Europe

$76,889

South America

$43,505

Africa

$62,571

Asia

$40,326

Oceania

$149,507

Average salary of a Certified Scrum Master by region

Top Scrum Master Certifications

Here’s is a globally acclaimed Scrum Master certification programs:

  1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) by Scrum Alliance®
  2. Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I) by Scrum.org
  3. SAFe® Scrum Master (SSM) Certification by Scaled Agile
  4. EXIN Agile Scrum Master by EXIN
  5. Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) by SCRUMstudy
  6. Scrum Master Accredited Certification™ by International Scrum Institute™

Advanced & related Scrum Master certifications:

  1. Advanced-CSM® (A-CSM®) by Scrum Alliance®
  2. Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM)  by Scrum Alliance®
  3. Professional Scrum MasterTM II (PSM II) by Scrum.org
  4. Professional Scrum MasterTM III (PSM III) by Scrum.org
  5. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® from Project Management Institute (PMI)

How do I get a Scrum Master certification?

To become a professional Scrum Master, you need to clear an examination or assessment and get certified. This will help you to get a better understanding of the fundamentals of  Scrum framework, values, practices and applications. It also provides a level of expertise and knowledge. Having a certification means an acknowledgement that you hold the core knowledge of Scrum as well as know how to engage with other practitioners for further collaboration and improvement.

It is necessary to familiarize with Scrum and understand the prerequisites that are needed to attend any certification course. With various certification courses available in the market, it is equally necessary to research well and choose a certification according to their needs and demand.

The procedure for getting certified is roughly the same for all Scrum Master certifications:

Step 1: Attend training or take a course, as per the certifying body’s requirement.

Step 2: Register for an examination as per the certification.

Step 3: Take a test and score at least the minimum required score.

Step 4: Get certified.

To make things easy for you, we have put together a list of the best Scrum Master certifications which will help you get essential knowledge of the how to get certified and can also help you decide which certification to opt for.

1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the most widely acknowledged Scrum Master certification. To become a Certified ScrumMaster, it is essential to attend a 2-day classroom training, after which you will be required to take an online test. You will acquire the required essential knowledge in this two-day training, which is conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®) authorised by the Scrum Alliance®. The topics of discussion during the training include Scrum frameworks, its usage, User Stories, Estimations and Release Planning.

According to the State of Scrum Report 2017-2018, Certified ScrumMaster® is the most popular certification, selected by 84% of the respondents.

1.1 Who is the authorised body for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?

Scrum Alliance® is the authorised body for the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification.

1.2. What is the eligibility & prerequisites for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?

There are no eligibility criteria for a CSM certification. But, it is advisable to have familiarity with the Scrum framework. You have to take up a two-day (16 hours) course, which is conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®). This course provides an overview of supporting and organising a Scrum team.

Taking a course is mandatory for Certified ScrumMaster® certification.

1.3. What is the cost of Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?

Cost of 2-day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course is around $1000 (depends on your training provider), which also includes the cost of certification and examination fee.

1.4 How to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) with Scrum Alliance®How to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) with Scrum Alliance®

Attend a 2-day Scrum Master course from a Registered Education Provider (REP) like KnowledgeHut.

  1. After your course completion, you’ll receive an email with a unique username from Scrum Alliance® to register online. Click on the activation link, log in with the given username and create your own password. Fill in your profile information in all the mandatory fields.
  2. Proceed by clicking on “Take CSM® test” form the certification dashboard that can be reached on the settings page. You can take the test within 90 days after completion of the Scrum Master course.
  3. Take the test.
  4. After passing the test, you can download your internationally valid Certified ScrumMaser® certificate from the certification dashboard (under the “Print Certificate” option). Scrum Alliance® has partnered with BadgeCert Inc. allowing you to display a secure and verifiable digital certification badge on social networks, resumes, email signatures, and websites.

1.5. What will the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification exam be like?

Take the test, which comprises of 50 multiple-choice questions based on the CSM® learning objectives within a 60 minute time limit. The test can be taken anytime, anywhere and is available to take in English, Spanish (Castilian), Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Danish, Czech, and Russian. You’ll be tested on the types of topics and questions as mentioned in CSM Test Specifications Outline. The passing score is 74% - this means you should have answered 37 questions correctly.

1.6. Reattempts for Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification exam

If you don’t pass your exam in the first attempt, you can take up a second attempt without any extra charge.

If you fail the second time as well, you can attempt the exam again by paying a fee of $25 to ScrumAlliance.

If you are a Certified ScrumMaster and are wishing to level up, then you can opt for the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification. The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification has been discussed further in the blog under the advanced certification section

How to renew your Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) certification?

Every two years, it is necessary to get the CSM certification renewed by paying a fee of $100 as well as earn 20 Scrum Education Units® (SEU®). Learn how to earn SEUs here.

2. Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)

Career path of PSM
Professional Scrum Master I is another highly sought after Scrum Master certification offered by Scrum.org, founded by Ken Schwaber — the co-creator of Scrum — after he parted from Scrum Alliance®.

Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) is a course with 2-days duration that covers the process theory and the principles of the Scrum framework, also covering the role of the Scrum Master. This course contains instructions as well as team-based exercises, which teaches the core of the Scrum and Agile movement.

According to the 2019 Scrum Master Trends, on Scrum and facilitation training, the maximum number of votes were obtained for PSM I certification, which is 53 % of the participants.

Scrum.org says Microsoft uses the PSM I assessment “to validate knowledge as part of its Silver and Gold Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) competencies”.

2.1. Who is the accreditation body for Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I)?

Scrum.org

2.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I) certification?

There are no specific prerequisites for undertaking the examination or attending this course. The Professional Scrum Master training can be attended by professionals who are interested in attending the training and giving the examination. After completion of the course, you will receive a password for PSM I assessment conducted by Scrum.org. Subsequently, you can decide if you should proceed and undertake the PSM II and PSM III assessments.

The following individuals can benefit by taking up the Professional Scrum Master training to showcase the fundamental level of Scrum mastery:

  • Professionals who wish to pursue the Professional Scrum Master Certification
  • Scrum Team managers
  • Teams which are transitioning to Scrum
  • Scrum Team members such a Product Owners and developers

Taking a course is optional for PSM I certification.

2.3. What is the cost of the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I)certification? 

If you are well-versed with Scrum, taking a course is optional. PSM I assessment fee is $150 per attempt.

But if you to attend a 2-day training, the exam fee for the certification is included in the course price of around $350 and depends on the training provider. If you have attended the training, you’ve two attempts to clear your exam as opposed to only one chance when attempting the exam without any training.

2.4. Here’s how to become a Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM) professional

  1. Attend a 2-day PSM training (optional). You’ll need an Assessment Password to take the test - after clearing which you’ll receive the industry recognized PSM I Certification.
  2. If you have paid for your PSM course, you’ll receive the Assessment Password to your email address. If you haven’t taken the course, you’ll have to buy PSM I assessment online to receive the Assessment Password
  3. The password doesn’t have an expiration date but is valid for one attempt only if you haven’t taken the PSM 1 course, and two attempts you have taken the course.
  4. Take the test.
  5. After the completion of the assessment, the results will be emailed to you. Here’s an example Scrum.org Assessment Results email.
  6. If you have scored at least 85% in your test, your certificate and badge will be added to your member profile on Scrum.org. Your name your name will also be added to the public list of certified professionals on their website.

2.5. What will be the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM I) examination like?

With the knowledge of the Scrum Guide (authored by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland), official Scrum.org resources, and other suggested reading material, you can assess your basic Scrum knowledge before taking the actual assessment that covers topics from multiple Focus Areas defined by the Professional Scrum Competencies.  

The PSM examination that can be taken in Enlish language only, consists of a total of 80 questions in the following formats: multiple choice, multiple answers and true/false.

PSM exam can be a bit difficult and you’ll have 60 minutes to attempt all the questions, where you’ll have to score a minimum of 85% in order to pass the examination.

2.6. How to renew the Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM) certification

Along with the PSM certification, any Scrum.org certificate is has a lifelong validity and do not require any additional payments or renewals.

3. SAFe® Scrum Master

Gain a thorough understanding of the roles of a Scrum Master in a SAFe® enterprise by attending a 2-day course. With the help of this course, explore the roles of a Scrum Master at the enterprise level and prepare yourself to plan and execute the Program Increment successfully, which is the primary enabler of alignment through all levels of SAFe® organisation. Discover different approaches to become a servant leader and coach to build high performing Agile teams.  

3.1. Who is the authorised body for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?

Scaled Agile is the authorised body for SAFe ® Scrum Master certification.

3.2. What are the eligibility & prerequisites for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?

The course is open to all, regardless of what experience you hold. But, the following prerequisites are recommended for those who wish to take the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification exam:

  • Insight of Agile concepts and principles
  • Awareness of Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP) and Kanban
  • Working knowledge of hardware and software development processes

3.3. What is the certification cost for SAFe® Scrum Master certification?

The first attempt of the exam is included as a part of the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days of completion of the course. Each retake attempt costs $50.

3.4. Here’s how to become a SAFe® Scrum Master professional:

  1. The very first step is to attend a SAFe® Scrum Master course. This is a requirement as this will help you gain access to all the study material as well as the examination.
  2. Upon completion of your SAFe® Scrum Master course, you can gain access of the examination within the SAFe® Community Platform.
  3. Take the test.
  4. After clearing the test, you’ll get a Certified SAFe® 4 Scrum Master PDF certificate or a Certified SAFe® 4 Scrum Master digital badge along with a one-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform, which includes access to the SSM Community of Practice.

3.5. What will the SAFe® Scrum Master certification examination be like?

The SAFe® Scrum Master certification examination can be taken in English, consists of a total of 45 questions of the type multiple choice and multiple select, and out of which you are required to score a minimum of 73% (33 out of 45) to obtain your certification. The time duration for the exam is 90 minutes. Here are a few sample test questions.

3.6.Reattempts for SAFe® Scrum Master certification exam

The first retake, that is the second attempt of the examination can be taken immediately after the first attempt. The third attempt requires a 10-day wait, while a fourth attempt requires a 30-day wait. Each retake attempt costs $50.

3.7. How to renew your SAFe® Scrum Master certification?

SAFe® certifications hold the validity for one year. After the completion of first year, you will be required to renew your certification by paying a renewal fee of $100.

4. EXIN Agile Scrum Master (ASM)

The EXIN Agile Scrum Master certification is a unique certification that combines the Scrum practices and Agile methodologies along with practical assignments. The certification tests the proficiency of a Scrum Master which is required to coach, facilitate and enable a cross-functional team. The course covers various topics like the role of the Scrum master, Adopting Agile, Agile planning estimation, control, monitoring, etc. This certification can be attained by professionals belonging to fields like business management, IT project management, Software development, IT service management.

4.1. What is the accreditation body for the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) certification?

EXIN is the accreditation body for Agile Scrum Master (ASM) Certification.

4.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for ASM certification?

There are no particular eligibility criteria for the Agile Scrum Master course. But it is mandatory for you to successfully complete an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training.

This certification is suitable for professionals in the following fields:

who should opt for ASM certification?

  • Business management
  • Software Development
  • IT Project Management
  • IT Service Management

4.3. What is the cost of the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) examination?

The cost of the examination comes around $260, without any training course. If you have opted for a training course, it will include the exam fee as well.    

4.4. What is the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) examination like?

The  EXIN Agile Scrum Master certification examination consists of a total of 40 multiple choice questions (can be taken in English, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Latin American Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, Czech, Chinese). The difficulty level for the examination is advanced and the exam duration is 90 minutes. You have to score a minimum of 65% in order to pass the examination and to get the ASM certification.

5. Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)

The Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) professionals can ensure that the Scrum Team is provided with the proper environment which helps the team in completing the project successfully. It is the duty of the Scrum Master to make sure that the Scrum process is being followed, while at the same time he is responsible to guide, facilitate and teach the Scrum practices to everyone who is involved in the project.

5.1. Who is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)?

SCRUMstudy is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)

5.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for SMC™ certification?

This certification is suitable for anyone who is interested in becoming a Scrum Master. There aren’t any specific prerequisites needed for this course. But, if you  who have completed the Scrum Developer Certified (SDC™) certification before opting for this certification are highly preferred.

Moreover, it is recommended that you attend a 2-day SMC classroom training provided by a SCRUMstudy approved Authorized Training Partner (A.T.P.).

5.3. What is the cost of the Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) examination?

The cost of the examination is $450.

5.4. What is the Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) examination like?

The  SMC™ certification examination consists of a total of 100 Multiple Choice questions. The exam duration is 120 minutes. The current pass rate of this examination is 95%.

5.5. How do I maintain my Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) certification?

You are required to maintain 40 Recertification Units (RCUs) every 3 years in order to maintain your certification.

6. Scrum Master Accredited Certification™

The Scrum Master Accredited Certification Program is an online test examination that can be taken from anywhere around the world. The examination success rate is 98%.

6.1. Who is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?

International Scrum Institute™

6.2. What are the eligibility requirements & prerequisites for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?

This certification is suitable for anyone who is interested in becoming a Scrum Master.

6.3. What is the cost of certification for Scrum Master Accredited Certification™?

The test and certification cost for Scrum Master Accredited Certification is $69, with no other hidden costs or fees involved.

The number of re-attempts: you can retake your examination for 10 times, without any additional fee. If you fail at your last attempt, the full amount of registration fee will be refunded to you.

6.4. What will the Scrum Master Accredited Certification™ be examination like?

The test contains 50 multiple-choice questions that you have attempt within 60 minutes. In order to obtain the certification, you will have to answer at least 60% of your test questions correctly.

Summary of comparison between Scrum Master Certifications

CertificationAuthorized BodyDifficulty level Exam  DurationNo. of Questions CostRenewal
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®)Scrum Alliance®EasyNo Duration35$1400 (including a mandatory course fee)$100, every 2 years
Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM)Scrum.orgMedium1 hour80$150 (course fee not included -depends on provider)Not required, has a lifetime validity
SAFe® Scrum MasterScaled AgileDifficult1.5 hours45
$995 – $1,295 (including a mandatory course fee)
$100, every year
EXIN Agile Scrum Master (ASM)EXINDifficult1.5 hours40$260Not required, has a lifetime validity
Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)SCRUMstudyEasy2 hours100$45040 RCUs every 3 years
Scrum Master Accredited Certification™International Scrum InstituteDifficult1 hour50$69Not required, has a lifetime validity

Advanced and Related Scrum Master certifications

Advanced and Related Scrum Master certifications ​

1. Advanced CSM® (A-CSM®)

If you have Certified ScrumMaster certification from Scrum Alliance® and have twelve months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years you can get Advanced CSM® certificate after taking the class and “successfully completing all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering”.

This course demands that you need to have a basic understanding of Scrum along with its practical usage and implementation. This workshop will help you get a deeper insight into the  Scrum Framework and how it relates to the Agile Manifesto and learn the ways to coach the Product Owner and development team members. You can renew your A-CSM® by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) every two years.

2. Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM) 

The CSP-SM certification is unique and distinct to developers. Along with the certification, the professional get opportunities to attend exclusive CSP events along with many other leaders in Scrum and Agile. The certification helps professionals to make an impression on the recruiters as well as attract a higher rate of pay.

If you have an active A-CSM® certification with 24 months of experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years, and attend a CSP-SM workshop which is conducted by the Scrum Alliance® approved ‘Path to CSP Educator’, you can get certified after “Successfully complete all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering”

You can renew your CSP-SM by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) every two years.

3. Professional Scrum MasterTM II (PSM II) & Professional Scrum MasterTM III (PSM III)

The Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II) and Professional Scrum Master III (PSM III) are advanced-level courses from Scrum.org. You can attend an optional 2-day training for PSM II, while there isn’t any training required for PSM III. If you have cleared the PSM I assessment, can opt for PSM II assessment. If you have cleared the PSM and PSM II assessments and if you wish to gain a distinguished level of Scrum mastery can take up the PSM™ III assessment.

PSM II assessment will cost you $250, will have 30 questions to answer in 90 minutes, and needs at least 85% passing to get certified. Whereas, PSM III assessment will cost you $500, will have 34 questions to answer in 120 minutes, and needs at least 85% passing score to get certified.

4. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® from Project Management Institute (PMI)

PMI-ACP acknowledges your knowledge and skill in Agile principles and techniques. The PMI-ACP covers agile approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP) and test-driven development (TDD.)

If you have 2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams along with1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies and 21 contact hours of training in agile practices, you can get PMI ACP certified after clearing the exam having 120 multiple-choice questions within 3 hours. You can renew your PMI-ACP certification every 3 years by earning professional development units (PDUs) in agile topics

The Career path for a Scrum MasterThe Career path for a Scrum Master

Being a certified Scrum Master opens the door for opportunities growth.

1. Scrum Master

After completing the Scrum Master certification, the Scrum Master gets to perform all the roles that a Scrum Master is assigned to do. They need to work in this position for a minimum duration of one year to five years.

2. Senior Scrum Master

After Scrum Master, you progress to becoming a Senior Scrum Master. A Senior Scrum Master needs to gather advanced knowledge of the best practices of Scrum and should know how to implement them in teams as well.

3. Agile Coach

For the transition to become an Agile Coach from a Senior Scrum Master. It is essential for you to have a minimum of five years of knowledge in being a Scrum Master along with at least one year of experience of coaching and mentoring.

Scrum is an Agile development framework which is used to manage the process of product development. The Scrum Master is a person who is responsible for implementing Scrum amongst the team members, remove the obstacles faced by them and make sure that the team members understand Scrum and its principles. He does the planning, takes care of the team backlog, sprint retrospective and sprint demo.

Scrum Master certification opens the door to a leap in career growth. There are many certifications options to choose from. With the provided information, we hope you will choose a best Scrum Master certification as per your expectations and requirement work towards your getting your dream job.

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

Author

KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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3 comments

Kisha 19 May 2019

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new things you post?

Jeffery 24 Jul 2019

Great article! Thank you :)

bindu reddy A 06 Aug 2019

Hi, Thanks for the wonderful explanation about Scrum Master Certification. I learned scrum master roles and salary and complete guide was awesome. Thank you knowledgehut for a great article!

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However, while Agile looks at improving the delivery of products or services, ITIL is focused on streamlining processes and practices. Both are complementary components of DevOps, which works to seamlessly integrate the interaction and flow between the two IT functions of development and operations. By blending together the key points of both frameworks, a successful DevOps culture can be built.Can You Integrate Agile and ITIL?As technologies keep evolving and organizations step up to stay ahead of these advancements, IT teams find themselves at the centre of transformations. Technologies like cloud computing, AI and IoT have fuelled innovative ways of working, which require agility in order to embrace the transformative changes necessitated by the industry.  Both Agile and ITIL have always focused on building products or services that meet customer needs and deliver high quality. They believe in keeping processes simple, acting quickly and streamlining value delivery—together offering a blueprint that maximizes the creation of value. With the advent of ITIL 4, the ITIL framework had added Agility to the framework, in a transition that has proven to be a gamechanger. ITIL 4 embraces Agile and DevOps ways of working, and encourages a collaborative, iterative, and customer-centric approach to ITSM. ITIL 4 nudges teams toward a new frame of reference that is customer-centric and adapts more easily to what teams need, and how they work. The most radical change that ITIL 4 has brought about to enable this shift is the concept of the Service Value Chain (SVS), which represents the interlinked set of activities that must be undertaken to create highly valuable products and services that are closely aligned to customer expectations. Along the way, inefficiencies, redundancies and bottlenecks are eliminated, improving delivery speed and optimizing resource allocation. Value and value-based tools are given an overarching emphasis in ITIL 4, with Lean thinking driving co-creation of value. By seamlessly aligning Agile and ITIL to drive DevOps, organizations can pave the way to quality services with quick turnaround times. The Last Word Today’s businesses are in a state of constant change with advancements in technologies also happening at warp speed. This unpredictability needs to be reined in to create stability, while at the same time allowing for enough flexibility in order to adapt to the evolving changes. A combination of ITIL and Agile offers the best solution for business service management solutions. A DevOps approach that merges ITIL’s best practices with the smooth change management enabled by Agile, offers the perfect recipe for business success in an uncertain world. 
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ITIL vs Agile: Make Right Choice for Your DevOps C...

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What Is an Agile Environment? Explained With Example

As more and more companies choose to go the Agile way, there is growing appreciation for the many transformational benefits that this innovative suite of methods can provide.Agile represents a radical deviation from traditional, siloed project management processes. It does away with legacy systems and processes, infusing flexibility and the willingness to embrace change. With a network of cross-functional teams working in tandem to deliver products and services that are closely aligned to the changing expectations from the market, Agile is guaranteed to deliver fast, optimize resources and maximize value. The first step in adopting an Agile operating model is to set the stage, laying a foundation where flexibility, innovation and adaptability can thrive—the Agile environment. How can your organization create a fluid environment that fosters the Agile mindset and easily aligns itself with change? Let’s find out. Being AgileAt its core, Agility is much more than a set of principles and processes; and in order to reap the benefits of this methodology, it’s very important to get everyone on board with the Agile mindset. What this means, is that in order to do Agile, you must first be agile. What, exactly, does this mean? The dictionary defines Agility as ‘the ability to move quickly and easily’. And this is indeed the essence of what being Agile is all about.  Simply stated, Agility in project management is the ability to move quickly, easily and adapt to changing circumstances. When project requirements change, the team must analyse the change and course-correct as needed so that they can keep on top of customer needs.  In order to do all this, they must be on board with the Agile mindset. As Steve Denning, author of the book The Age of Agile, put it: “(Agile) is a shift in mindset from a top-down bureaucratic hierarchical approach to a very different way of thinking about and acting in organizations. If you have don’t have the Agile mindset you are going to get it wrong.” What this entails is a complete shift in the ways we think and the ways we do things. When the team blindly follows processes without understanding and internalising the core Agile values, the Agile transformation is unlikely to succeed. What Makes an Agile Environment? Agile follows four values, which inform and guide all the processes and practices in an Agile environment. These are: Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools Working software over Comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation Responding to change over Following a plan As stated in the Manifesto, it's not that the items on the right are not valued! It's just that the items on the left are valued more, and that’s what brings about agility. An agile environment, therefore, is one that fosters and supports a culture that encourages teams to work collaboratively toward achieving goals, while implementing the Agile framework and following its values and principles.  Agile environments help teams to be nimble, accept change and adapt to evolving requirements, thus bringing in innovation and creativity in the development lifecycle. An Agile environment will ensure that Agile values are followed.Characteristics of Agile EnvironmentsFocus on customerAgile approaches have the customer squarely in focus at all times. Customer needs are emphasized and the team’s highest priority is to satisfy the customer through quick, early deliveries of incremental value. Stakeholder feedback is solicited at every stage and is incorporated into subsequent iterations. By keeping all those who matter in the loop, customer satisfaction is guaranteed.Embracing changeAgile is all about embracing change. Even late in the development cycle, if there is a change in requirements or features, the team should retract their steps and accommodate the change, rather than stick to a rigid, predefined plan. The team is required to be nimble, adapt and pivot to embrace new, evolving circumstances.Leaving room for innovation Agile does not apply a cookie cutter method to project management; rather, it allows room for flexibility and innovation. Agile teams work in close collaboration, brainstorming to find solutions and working as a team to come up with innovative ideas. Agile fuels new ways of thinking, and comes up with brilliant, ingenuous products and services that are a cut above the competition. Focus on process improvement Agile methods are a natural choice for projects where high quality is a key focus. Agile techniques help teams to improve their processes in a continual cycle, where they inspect, reflect and adapt themselves at the end of each iteration. Process improvement events such as Reviews and Retrospectives are built into each cycle, and teams enhance and deliver value at every stage. Working in iterations The iterative approach taken by Agile focuses on delivering incremental value in stages, rather than all at once in the end as was the case with traditional processes. Each iteration is timeboxed, typically with 2-week cycles, and there is a release of value at the end of each cycle. The product is therefore successively refined and its quality is continually enhanced. Collaboration Agile teams all work together collaboratively toward a shared common goal. They do this through shared responsibilities and accountability to deliver products of value and high quality, as a team. Right from defining tasks and estimating effort to developing, testing and releasing, the team is closely aligned with each other in meeting the shared objectives.Examples of Agile EnvironmentsAn example of an organization that has successfully adopted the concept of an Agile environment is Google. Google’s Mountain View office houses workspaces that are fluid, with plenty of space for functional collaboration. With less space allocated to individuals and more space designed around collective teams, Google teams have a positive, exciting workspace that is fluid and dynamic and supports creating value together. Communal tables in open spaces encourage stand-up meetings, while project rooms on the periphery have tools for group workshops. Teams can use dedicated team rooms with writable wall surfaces and display areas where brainstorming sessions can take place. Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Salesforce and other forward-thinking organizations have also recognized the importance of providing their employees with creative, collaborative infrastructure and spaces that will help foster innovation and fuel productivity.How to Create an Agile Physical Environment An organization that wants to go agile can start by offering a conducive environment; one that equips its workforce with the right physical infrastructure and tools. They can do this in several ways:  By collocating the teamA collocated team that is able to hold face-to-face conversations is in the best position to collaborate well. When teams are in the same physical space, trust is enhanced, communication is encouraged, and transparency is the result. A workspace should ideally have no hierarchy at all, with open-plan workstations that allow people to collaborate more easily. They can get clarifications at once instead of waiting for online responses, and can help each other when they find themselves in a tough spot. However, in today’s world collocation of teams is not always an option. Teams that are distributed across geographies and time zones can take advantage of online collaboration tools such as Teams, ProofHub, Trello, Asana and so on to stay on the same page and keep in touch on a real-time basis. Set up a dedicated physical space Teams that are in the same location will perform better when they have a dedicated team room where they can work together in close proximity. One wall can be set up with whiteboards and pin up boards for team collaboration, mapping of tasks and so on. The space can be set up to boost productivity; workstations around the edge of the room and a conference table in the middle will work well. Keep the team safe from distractions Any outside distractions, such as interference from management, consults on other projects, and so on will throw the team off track and greatly hinder progress. It is the Scrum Master’s responsibility to smoothen any and all such obstructions, and some of the ways in which this can be done are listed here: Avoid multitasking Work on one goal at a time Let the team figure out who works on what Block any outside distractors Distractions will drain the team’s focus and result in wasted time, energy and effort.  Equip the team with the right tools There is no dearth of productivity-enhancing tools that can help a team stay on track with respect to schedules, budget and resources. Some tools that will enhance the team’s productivity and boost progress are: Zepel Jira Github Wrike Trello Conclusion As hundreds of organizations have found to their delight, an Agile transformation results in real and lasting positive impact. When done right, Agile can empower organizations to outpace the competition, adapt to changing market scenarios, work on innovative solutions to everyday problems, and continuously maximize value.  
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Planning Poker: An Agile Estimating and Planning Technique

One thing that all Agile teams have in common is their capacity to have fun while they work.  are creative, flexible and think out of the box; and working on an Agile team is a far cry from working on a dreary, process-heavy waterfall project. By building in collaborative team activities and doing away with excessive documentation and rigid mandates, Agile team members are always on their toes and passionate about their work.  One of the innovative ways in which they work is by planning Poker, a consensus-based game that helps to arrive at estimates and work out timelines for releases. Let’s find out how to play Poker!  What Is Planning Poker? Definition and Process‘Planning Poker® is the secure, fun way for agile teams to guide sprint planning and build accurate consensus estimates.’ - planningpoker.com  There’s no doubting it; Agile estimation is very hard. A project in which the requirements are continually changing is definitely going to have volatility in terms of timeframes, budgets and schedules. How, then, can the team chalk out a roadmap and figure out milestones and releases? Arguably the most popular way to estimating schedules on an Agile project, Planning Poker is a technique that allows each team member to weigh in on the planning process for each user story.  Here’s how the process plays out: The team uses a deck of Planning Poker cards which have values printed on one side, say  0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40 and 100. These values represent the units in which the team will be carrying out the estimation, which could be (for example) story points or ideal days. The Product Owner describes a feature that needs to be developed. The team asks doubts, discusses the feature and gets the required clarity. Each estimator holds a set of Planning Poker cards and selects one card in private. The number on this card will indicate their estimate for the work on the feature. They place the card face down on the table. All the cards are revealed at the same time, so that no one is influenced by another person’s decision. If everyone has the same value, that is chosen as the estimate.  If not, outliers are discussed, and another round of estimation is carried out. This process is continued till the team arrives at a consensus for the estimate. The estimates for subsequent features are taken up one by one, in a similar manner. Common PitfallsThe process is not completely intuitive, and while it is simple it could take a newbie some time to get used to the concept. Teams that are new will, therefore, often fall short of the estimate or go too long. However, with experience they will be able to arrive at more accurate estimates. For a sprint with many features, this process could take longer than expected as each estimate might run into multiple rounds of consensus building. If there is one experienced member who is very dominating, he or she might lead the discussions and quell the opinions of others on the team (who might be saying the right thing but might not be heard). Again, this method does not always work well with distributed teams, as for the process to work well, they should ideally be in a face-to-face session. If the story is not fleshed out well, the estimate might not be accurate.Expected BenefitsThe most significant advantage of Planning Poker is that every team member’s voice is heard. This increases team morale and build the right rapport. The group gets into the rhythm of discussing and collaborating on the project, which will hold them in good stead for the rest of the journey. These discussions help to give clarity on the features to be built, and dispel any ambiguity around the user stories. This ‘game’ builds commitment and accountability. As each team member has contributed to the estimate, they will work toward achieving it wholeheartedly. Last but not least, Planning Poker is fun!  Agile Estimation – Relative Vs AbsolutMost of us are used to absolute estimates. Let’s take an example. If you’re asked, for instance, how long you would take to walk three rounds of a park, you’d probably say that you can walk one round at a brisk pace in 8 minutes. You are not going to tell them your answer in relative terms, for example, you would never tell them that you can walk one round in four fifths of the time it would take X to do the same! In Agile, however, we prefer to work with relative estimates, as this offers more flexibility. Story points are determinations of the effort needed to complete task A, relative to the effort needed to complete task B. As there is a lot of uncertainty around the requirements, and the team does not want to spend too much effort estimating on a task that might change very soon, story point estimation is the perfect way to arrive at a rough and ready calculation of the level of effort needed for a task. When Should We Engage in Planning Poker?Typically, a Planning Poker session will be held just after the initial product backlog is written. It could take up to a few days, and is useful in creating initial approximate estimates that will be used to determine the scope, and plan and size the entire project. In an Agile project, it is only to be expected that product backlog items get added as the project unfolds. It would therefore make sense for the team to hold subsequent agile estimating and planning sessions during every iteration. These sessions can be held a few days before the end of the iteration, or whenever the team feels it is most convenient. How Does Poker Planning Work with a Distributed Team?Planning Poker always works best with a team that can sit across a table and hold discussions. However, this is not always possible, especially when teams span geographies and work across different offices.  In such cases, Planning Poker can work over a conference call or a Skype session. A Product Owner could share a set of items that have to be estimated, and the estimators log in at a prescheduled time and pick and show their cards over the video call, in much the same way as they would in a face-to-face session. There is a moderator, usually the Product Owner, who leads the discussions and makes notes. Does Planning Poker Work?Yes, it certainly does, and teams that use this method report that they are able to arrive at more accurate estimates more consistently than when other methods are used. Averaging individual estimates will always lead to better results.The reason for this is that when team members are all allowed to weigh in on the planning process, everyone’s opinion is heard. This is not the case when estimation is carried out by a project manager who does not take the team’s opinions into account. Since it is the team members who are ultimately working on the project, they will have the best sense of the effort needed to finish each task.Tips for Planning Poker in ScrumPlaying Planning Poker for the first time? Here are some tips from the pros, to help you get your game going! While it is definitely a game, it’s a serious game and not to be taken lightly. Each member must carefully evaluate the feature and calculate the time they feel it would take to complete it in its entirety. If they have any doubts, they should get them clarified. The discussion that ensues will help the team to get going in the right direction during the development phase, as it clears the air and removes any ambiguity. Agile estimates are relative and should not be converted to work hours. This will negate the value of using flexible Agile story points. The estimate is team-level and not on an individual level, as the team drives the work. If your opinion differs from that of others, make sure that you speak up. Your understanding of the feature may be the right one. It’s also important to note that the team should never suppress the voice of each individual; rather they should hear what everyone has to say with patience and understanding. Keep the card sizes small. Most teams like to use numbers smaller than 13, as larger stories will not fit into one sprint. If the story is too large, it should be broken down into a manageable chunk of work. Even if someone on the team is new to Planning Poker, make sure that they are not excluded. The entire team must be engaged. Keep expectations realistic. Point value creep, which is a condition where the estimates of stories inexplicably become larger over time, leads to unrealistic expectations and too much pressure from stakeholders. This causes stress and burnout in the long run. In the End.... As with everything to do with Agile, Planning Poker is a process that sounds easy enough but might take time and experience to get right. Take our tips to heart and be wary of the potential pitfalls that we have listed out, and your team will be able to get the most benefit from this tool! 
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Planning Poker: An Agile Estimating and Planning T...

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