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.
Broadly 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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
A certified Scrum Master encourages the whole team to work together in a better manner as (s)he has a good understanding of Scrum.
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:
Happy as Scrum Master
Happy as Agile Coach
I am a Scrum Master now, but want to become an Agile Coach
I plan to become a certified trainer or coach
I am working to become a Scrum Master
And when asked about their current titles, the following response was received:
Development Team Member
Agile Project Manager
Also, about Scrum and facilitation training, it was observed that:
And, the top three certifications among the participants were:
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:
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.
Here’s is a globally acclaimed Scrum Master certification programs:
Advanced & related Scrum Master certifications:
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.
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.
Scrum Alliance® is the authorised body for the 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.
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.
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.
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
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”.
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:
Taking a course is optional for 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.
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.
Along with the PSM certification, any Scrum.org certificate is has a lifelong validity and do not require any additional payments or renewals.
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.
Scaled Agile is the authorised body 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
EXIN is the accreditation body for Agile Scrum Master (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:
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.
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.
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.
SCRUMstudy is the accreditation body for Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)
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.).
The cost of the examination is $450.
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%.
You are required to maintain 40 Recertification Units (RCUs) every 3 years in order to maintain your 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%.
International Scrum Institute™
This certification is suitable for anyone who is interested in becoming a Scrum Master.
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.
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.
|Certification||Authorized Body||Difficulty level||Exam Duration||No. of Questions||Cost||Renewal|
|Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®)||Scrum Alliance®||Easy||No Duration||35||$1400 (including a mandatory course fee)||$100, every 2 years|
|Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM)||Scrum.org||Medium||1 hour||80||$150 (course fee not included -depends on provider)||Not required, has a lifetime validity|
|SAFe® Scrum Master||Scaled Agile||Difficult||1.5 hours||45|
$995 – $1,295 (including a mandatory course fee)
|$100, every year|
|EXIN Agile Scrum Master (ASM)||EXIN||Difficult||1.5 hours||40||$260||Not required, has a lifetime validity|
|Scrum Master Certified (SMC™)||SCRUMstudy||Easy||2 hours||100||$450||40 RCUs every 3 years|
|Scrum Master Accredited Certification™||International Scrum Institute||Difficult||1 hour||50||$69||Not required, has a lifetime validity|
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.
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.
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.
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
Being a certified Scrum Master opens the door for opportunities growth.
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.
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.
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.
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