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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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Create TasksHelps dev team break down the stories into tasksHelps dev team break down the stories into tasksBreaks down the approved stories into tasks and create a task list10. Estimate TasksHelps the dev team create the effort estimated task listHelps the dev team create the effort estimated task listCreates the effort estimated task list11. Create Sprint BacklogHelps the PO create sprint backlogCreates the sprint backlog and lists the tasks that need to be completed in the sprintHelps the PO create sprint backlogImplement12. Create DeliverablesGuides the dev teamHelps dev team if neededWorks on creating sprint deliverables13. Conduct Daily Stand-upArranges and conducts the meetingsMay or may not attend the meetingsAttends the meetings and defines any problems or issues faced14. Groom Prioritized Product Backlog Helps PO to groom the backlogUpdates and maintains the backlog continuouslyHelps PO to groom the backlogReview and Retrospect15. Convene Scrum of ScrumsHelps teams collaborate and notes any impediments that may be hindering work--Mentions their progress or any issues they may be facing16. Demonstrate and Validate Sprint Helps dev team in displaying what it has createdApproves or rejects what the dev team demonstratesDemonstrates deliverables to PO and stakeholders17. Retrospect SprintMeets with dev team to ponder on lessons learnt during the sprint. Documents the recommendations--With scrum master retrospect's on sprint and uses the recommendations for the next sprint18. Ship DeliverablesAlong with other team members ships acceptable deliverablesAlong with other team members ships acceptable deliverablesAlong with other team members ships acceptable deliverables19. Retrospect ProjectGets together with other team members and identifies the lessons learntGets together with other team members and identifies the lessons learntGets together with other team members and identifies the lessons learntSo, what best describes a Scrum team? There are many facets to a Scrum team, but the most relatable description would be a highly interconnected and cohesive unit that works together to solve issues. A well-organized Scrum team can raise the ROI of an organization and ensure long term stakeholder commitment.
What Best Describes a Scrum Team?

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Scrum Software for the Ultimate Project Management

Technology has made our lives easier. The number of tools and devices we have at our disposal has made our lives more productive and our work more efficient. The Agile software development methodology has been adopted by several organizations to improve their adaptability, responsiveness, and productivity.  How can we improve the way we incorporate Agile Scrum into our projects? Scrum tools can be the answer. Just like the other gadgets in our lives, Scrum software and tools help improve the productivity of our teams, keep stakeholders happy and help us deliver better products. Before we jump into the use and needs of Scrum software and tools let us understand more about Scrum roles and how they work.Three essential roles for Scrum successThe Scrum Guide defines three pillars of a Scrum team, which include:The Scrum MasterThe Product OwnerThe Development TeamThe Scrum team is a small unit which is self-organised and works towards achieving the same goal; that is, the development and deployment of the product and customer satisfaction.Three essential roles in a Scrum TeamThe Scrum Product OwnerThe Scrum Product Owner is among the most essential roles in the Scrum team and acts as a bridge between the stakeholders and the development team. More involved with the business side of the software development process, the PO represents the customer and can be considered as their proxy.  The Product Owner defines the product vision, and, along with the Scrum Master and the development team works towards delivering a product that matches stakeholder needs.The Scrum MasterThe Scrum Master is the servant leader whose main responsibility is to ensure that the Scrum team can perform to the best of its abilities. They do this by overseeing the day-to-day activities of the Scrum team and removing any impediments that may hinder the productivity of the development team. The Scrum Master facilitates stakeholder collaboration along with the product owner and ensures that teams can handle complex environments and deliver projects successfully.The Scrum development teamThe development team generally consists of three to nine people, according to the Scrum Guide. These would include developers, testers, designers and more. The team is allowed to take decisions and decide the length of the sprint and how they will go about it. The development team collaborates to create a high-quality product increment at the end of each sprint that is as per the expectations of the stakeholders.Scrum ceremonies or eventsScrum has five formal events as defined by the Scrum Guide. These events help to validate the Scrum artifacts and implementing them helps enhance transparency. The events are also called ceremonies and are:Sprint PlanningDaily ScrumSprint ReviewSprint RetrospectiveThe SprintWhat Does A Scrum Tool Do?What would you need a good Scrum tool to do? Make your life easier by making processes more efficient and less cumbersome, help you deliver quality products without making a huge dent on your budget, right?  With Scrum topping the popularity charts for Agile project management methodologies, the need for efficient Scrum tools has risen. There are plenty of Scrum tools available that fit the bill and provide interfaces that help teams seamlessly follow Scrum processes and reap its benefits. These tools help:Increase productivityIn task management, daily scrum management  Increase team collaborationIn progress tracking and risk managementScrum Software for the Ultimate ProjectThere are several Scrum software tools that aid in project development using Scrum; not just in technical environments, but in non-technical sectors as well. Software like JIRA, Infinity, TargetProcess, QuickScrum, Wrike etc provide:User friendly GUICompetitive pricingProduct backlog managementTime tracking and calendar tools for schedulingScrum metrics and chartsSprint planning toolsThird party tools for integrationUser story mappingBurnup and Burndown chartsand many more features that will help Agile teams serve their customers better, improve return on investment, reduce costs, enhance collaboration and ensure stakeholder satisfaction. These tools help team uphold the values of Agile and make implementing the Scrum framework easier.Best Scrum ToolsHere are some of the best Scrum tools available in the market:1. JIRAJira is a popular tool used by large organizations to manage their Scrum projects. It has numerous features including customizable scrum boards, reporting features and more. Here’s how teams benefit from this toolCustomizable Scrum and Kanban boardsRoadmaps to communicate with team and with stakeholdersAccess to tools for Agile reportingView of code and deployment statusEnd to end DevOps visibilityEasy scalabilitySecure deploymentDeveloper tool integrationRich APIs to automate processes2. TargetProcessThis tool has been especially designed for teams that want to scale agile. It offers a number of customizable features that make it easy to work with scrum and agile.  Here’s how teams benefit from this tool(Source: Targetprocess Agile Portfolio and Work Management Tool)IdeationBuilt in reports to analyse data and uncover trendsGather ideas across sourcesCloud hosting and on-premise hostingEnterprise grade securityCollaborate across the enterprise  Collaborate with DevOps tools including GitLab, Azure DevOps, GitHub etc3. VivifyScrumThis tool is marketed as an all-in-one solution to manage projects, collaborate and track. Here’s how teams benefit from this tool (Source: Agile Project Management Software - VivifyScrum)Tools to manage agile projects—organize, manage, track and deliverCollaboration boards to effectively collaborate with team and stakeholdersCreate invoices to track and manage business and clientsManage teams and track tasks4. InfinityThis tool is among the most popular in Agile and Scrum organizations due to the many customizations and features it provides. Its various tools help reduce time to market, ensure better quality, improve collaboration and enable customer satisfaction.Here’s how teams benefit from this tool Source: Infinity | Customizable Work Management Platform (startinfinity.com)How Can Scrum Apps Benefit Your Team?The number of Scrum apps and software available in the market for Scrum projects is mind boggling. Which one you choose depends on the requirements of your team and project, and each comes with its own benefits. Some of these benefits include:They help teams, organizations and the product being createdThey ensure better quality by providing the right framework, support mechanism and the right processesAllow for continual improvement by putting in place a feedback loop and sprint reviews by stakeholdersHelp solve impediments and daily issues by incorporating daily testing and product owner feedback into the development processEnsure upfront documentation and help prioritise high value items in the product backlog, thus decreasing time to market.  Quick feedback also helps improve the product and thus helps in continuous improvement.The faster marketing of products increases return on investment, helps tap the market demand and ensures long term benefits for the customer and thus earns their trust for the organizationThe primary tenet of Agile is team collaboration. Scrum software tools help in high level collaboration between the Scrum Master, Product Owner and the development team. Teams can organise, review, plan and discuss everyday tasks, meetings, impediments and more.How to Pick the Best Tool for Your Team?With so many options available, choosing the right Scrum tool for your team can be a tricky task. What you need to do is go through the features of the best tools and see which one best fits your requirements. While the number of features you get will be directly proportional to the money you are ready to pay for the tool, there are some basic requirements your tool must satisfy.Backlog creation:  The very basic format of a Scrum project lies in the creation of a product backlog which sets the pace for the entire project. The backlog is primarily created by the Product Owner with assistance from the Scrum Master and the development team. The tool you choose should help you create the product backlog so that you can prioritise items, define the sprints and identify sprint goals.Implement feedback:  Scrum projects are based on the Agile values of continuous feedback. Your scrum tool should have features which will make your customer’s feedback and requirements easily accessible to you. This will help you implement these changes at the earliest. This continuous feedback loop will help keep customers happy.Sprint creation:  Scrum is iterative and adaptive and works by breaking down projects into small sized sprints. Your tool must aid you in the creation of sprints and burndown charts. These help you keep track of your progress on the project and are essential components of a Scrum project.The other things your tool should be able to do include:Plan and trackCustomise process templatesCustomise dashboards and reportsHelp in time managementHelp create epics and storiesProvide collab and reporting toolsProvide review toolsAnd just like you will create a product that is user friendly, the tool you use also needs to be user friendly for the team. If your team is happy using it, and it makes your life easier and your projects better, then you have the right tool!
Scrum Software for the Ultimate Project Management

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Safe Agile Ceremonies - Expert Guide

“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating.” ― Denis WaitleyWhat are SAFe agile events (or) ceremonies? – a brief overview:Before we jump into the topic, could I just take you a step back and remind you what SAFe is all about? SAFe is a way of taking any iterative Agile way of working (normally restricted to a team or few teams) and scaling it up at various levels of the organization, whilst applying a mindset of Lean manufacturing. It also deals with scalability at various levels. Beginning from Essential SAFe right up to Full SAFe, the framework caters to all organizational levels of scaling agility. As part of this, it broadens the core idea of agility mindset beyond just projects/development teams right up to executives/CXOs, who must prepare for enterprise level uncertainties. In a sense, it provides valuable enterprise level scaling insights helpful for the executives to tackle any uncertainties/risks associated with a project.As you start applying SAFe in your organisation, it is important for you to understand how each level works in conjunction with the other, depending on how mature your SAFe enterprise is. The key link between these levels is the SAFe specific events which help with smooth value delivery facilitation. The events help with alignment across teams, ARTs etc thus helping in managing risk by providing a level based cadence and synchronization.Essential SAFe - Your First Level of Scaling Using an Agile Release Train (ART). Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled AgileWhy do we need level-based ceremonies?While it is important to go through your team level events (like the 4 sprint events if you are doing scrum etc.) it is important to have the scaling events that help with bridging gaps and unblocking dependency between teams. The most important part of these SAFe specific events is for ‘Business Stakeholders’ to get a look (demo) at a proper incremental product and thus the value arising out of it. Makes sense? It did for me and let me tell you why.I was once associated with 3 feature teams, who were working towards a common product goal. They all had the same business stakeholders but were working on individual features. Team A was working on developing a Login page, Team B was working on a landing dashboard while Team C was hopping along, trying to provide a search functionality for the user. All of them were applying the Scrum framework and were running their own events. Sprint demos were happening individually and were being represented by the Product owner separately along with his business analysts. All seemed fine but there was a nagging problem. The product owner was worried, because he couldn’t bring any business stakeholder to view the demos, as they were being run in silos and there was no visibility on the incremental product. Well technically there was, but they would have to sit through three or four-hour events individually to get bits and pieces of the product demo. In the real world, it's not a possibility simply because your business stakeholders will not have that much time to spend on multiple demos. It is not a good use of their time either. So, what’s the solution? Simple, it’s SAFe to the rescue! Let’s try and understand how the SAFe specific events help with this.Prescribed PI Cadence for Various Levels of Scaling. Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled AgileHow do the events (or) ceremonies help to scale up according to the levels in SAFe:SAFe is very relevant and designed to thrive in situations where there are significant cross functional dependencies between agile teams and support / functional teams (infrastructure teams, architect community etc).  Essential Level:   As you start to scale up one level up, you will be working with anywhere between 5-12 agile teams who will all be collectively working towards a common goal which is the program increment or PI. The anchoring catalyst that brings them all together is your ART (Agile release train). Before getting into the events, lets understand the various roles involved at this level because this is the common denominator across all levels of SAFe and across organizations. This is where you need to get it right without which there is not much use in scaling higher. Key Roles involved: Release Train Engineer (RTE) System Architect/Engineer Product Management   Business OwnersPrescribed events on a typical Agile release train (ART). Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled AgilePI PlanningAccording to me, PI planning (hands down) is THE most significant aspect of executing this framework. This is where all the magic happens. It is sometimes referred to as the heart of the framework as it offers a clear vision of what the program increment needs to be, what the cross-team dependencies are and how they bring together the cultural sustainability much needed within the release trains. It is so important, that if carried out incorrectly it could lead to several ambiguities, development challenges and mostly a disastrous product increment. However, when it works well, the iterative cycle serves to flesh out the crucial elements of the plan and the processes ensure buy in from the stakeholders.Duration: A normal PI planning is a 2-day activity, which is a face to face cultural get together of the various ART teams. However, a new 3-day distributed PI planning has been introduced to help with geographically distributed teams (across various time zones), very apt for the current pandemic situation.“There is no magic in SAFe® except maybe for PI Planning”. – The authors of the SAFe framework.In big organizations with multiple distributed teams across multiple vendors, work streams etc. it is almost impossible to run these teams independently, whilst still having to deliver an incremental program. SAFe via the PI planning exercise mentioned above, helps with sorting out these issues by recognising cross team dependencies upfront, constantly negotiating & visualising them. This doesn’t just stop with the PI planning but the framework also proposes a cadenced way of continuing this via the scrum of scrums. The Program Board is an ideal way to showcase the cross-team dependencies.A sample SAFe Program board. Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled Agile1. Inspect and Adapt (I&A)An inspect and adapt event is scheduled after every PI. This event is dedicated to aligning to the principles of Kaizen, which simply means to change for the better. The events contain self induced thought processes to revalidate your assumptions that everything is working OK. The I&A event consists of three sub-parts as below:  PI System DemoQuantitative and qualitative measurementRetrospective and problem-solving workshop2. ART Sync Agile release trains tend to apply a cadenced synchronization process to help manage the ability to focus on continuous value delivery. An ART sync will typically comprise of the below sub-events.  Scrum of Scrums: This event is for representatives from all the teams on a release train to come together in a regular cadenced manner, especially on large ARTs. This is normally facilitated by the release train engineer (RTE) and will involve scrum masters of the individual teams and a few selected team members (authorised by the team). The sole purpose of the SoS calls are to understand progress towards the common goal, validate cross team dependencies and unblock impediments that may arise out of them. Duration: The length and frequency of the meeting will depend on a few factors like the size of the ART, the release frequency, type of features being worked on, ability to decouple releases etc. For e.g an ART which releases features into production every 4 weeks might want to have an SoS call every 2 weeks for about an hour. Again, if this doesn’t work for you, just inspect and adapt to what works well for your organizational needs. Just make sure that the SoS is utilised for its sole purpose and not just status updates as depicted in the below comic representation.Scrum of Scrums PO SyncThis event is represented by the Product Owner, business analysts and the product management group. This is used mainly to level up the product backlog refinement and for clarifying PI (Program Increment) scope, reviewing roadmaps and grooming for the upcoming PIs.Duration: Very similar in concept to the SoS, so just follow what works for the group. 3. System DemoAs part of a common understanding towards delivering incremental software, shortly after each iteration in the PI, there is a system demo scheduled. Work completed across all teams from the release train are compiled in a stable environment before it is reviewed by the business stakeholders and other important sponsors who may have a keen interest in the product. This is on top of the individual team level demos that happen after each iteration.Duration: Anywhere between 2-3 hours that will allow time for a demonstration of the program increment in a collative manner, on top of what has been delivered from the previous PIs as well.In case your ART is pretty small, then you may want to have just have some of the events combined into a more generic ART sync, where all roles come together to collaborate towards the program increment. This can sometimes occur if the ART is focusing on a particular value stream, confined to limited business functionality, rather than elaborate features.Solution/Portfolio LevelsAs you scale higher, the processes and events become much less prescriptive. There is a good reason for this because the focus at this level is not just on having repetitive demos that have already happened before but on building thought leadership around business outcomes and enhancing business agility. Which is why we will not be diving deep into that in this blog. But let us look at the events that occur at the macro level.Lean Budget Review  Idea Sharing via Communities of Practice (not a formal event but a collaborative group)Solution DemoPortfolio SyncRoadshowWhat are the benefits of SAFe Agile ceremonies?:The Magic of PI planningWell, the more I talk about this, the more excited I am. A PI planning event when carried out to its truest purpose, gets half the job done. Here is where most of the brainstorming occurs and business value gets determined and, in some cases, gets assigned in a quantifiable manner to user stories and helps with the prioritisation.PI Planning Synchronisation towards a common goalThe events are a constant reminder that all teams are working towards delivering incremental value either on a particular value stream, or feature or program. An RTE and Product Management will help reiterating the need to focus on the larger goal whilst helping sorting out inter team dependencies.Less prescriptiveAs is the framework itself, SAFe events/ceremonies are less prescriptive. An SPC would recommend, apply the principles but inspect and adapt as to what works for your organization. As per the example I provided earlier w.r.t to the duration of the SAFe events, start with something reasonable and then validate its effectiveness. Then leave Kaizen to do the rest.Visualization of incremental value deliveryOpportunity for Business stakeholders and sponsors to have a look at the overall program increment every iteration, thus helping them evaluate the progress and provide timely feedback on market trends. What are the common mistakes?Lack of a shared product visionThings can go wrong if there is not enough representation in the product management group, say for e.g at the PO Sync event. This can lead to a blurred product vision with each team working out of sync. This may ultimately get detected too late, probably at the time of the system demo, and lead to a whole lot of unwanted rework.SoS as a status updateThe Scrum Of Scrum event should be used as an event to unblock cross team impediments or dependencies and not to just update what each team has been doing or is doing in its current sprint. TimeboxingGiven the scale at which these events will be conducted, it is critical that the associated events are facilitated in a timeboxed manner or else the participants could end up sitting and talking for hours. Roles like RTE, SPC Coaches etc will be critical in addressing this issue.Remote facilitationLack of effective collaboration tools could lead to some disastrous situations whilst facilitating the SAFe events. Given that most teams are running virtual ceremonies/events at the moment, its crucial to establish a working distributed model. This will then ensure that the platform is set up for the most effective collaboration and cross-functional work to take place.While you try to scale, as per the implementation roadmap, its essential that you solidify the process around which your ARTs will be functioning. It’s like setting the railway tracks with the correct track gauge matching the configurations of the wheelsets of the trains that will run on them. If not, they will just derail. As your ARTs pass through your set process, they will only benefit by sustaining focus and pace while moving towards a successful incremental product delivery.Thanks for your patience and wish you all the very best in your Agile journey. In case you want me to write about any specific topic, please feel free to comment below and I’ll be more than happy to add them to my ‘Blog Backlog’. If you liked the article, please do share it among your agile community to help spread the word.  Hope to see you soon, with more such interesting topics.
Safe Agile Ceremonies - Expert Guide

“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing... Read More

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