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Scrum Team Composition - The Ideal Team Structure for Agile

Scrum is all about small teams that can adapt and evolve quickly, and the Scrum Guide states that the ideal Scrum size of a team is 11 or fewer people. Large teams are not prescribed by Scrum as teams with more people eventually result in more processes and hierarchies.But what if you are dealing with a large project and a large budget? What if the scope of your project necessitates a larger team? What does Scrum advise in this case? In this blog, we attempt to take you through the structure of a Scrum team, the differences between a traditional team and an Agile team, and the various roles and responsibilities of scrum team members.The reason Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber and co-created the Agile Manifesto was because of the rigidity associated with traditional project management methods and teams.  Traditional teams follow a top-down approach, are led by a manager and must follow a rigid hierarchical process during the software development lifecycle.Agile teams on the other hand are small, independent units that are cross-functional, responsive, and self-managing, which means that there is no one leader and decisions such as who does what and when, are taken by the team members. The team has just one focus, and that is to deliver something at the end of a certain timeframe, and all the team members collectively work towards it.  This autonomy and self-organization that embody the values of Agile help Scrum and agile teams perform better and keep them motivated.Traditional team vs Agile Team structureTraditional teams are based on function and generally one team will be involved in completing the entire project. Alternatively, specialized teams may be involved in completing certain chunks of the project. For example, developers create code, designers are involved with UX, and testers will test functionality.  Agile, on the other hand, has several small teams working on a project with each team being involved in completing a particular section of the project and delivering a particular function. Teams will include members having different skill sets, which are needed to deliver the function that has been assigned to the team. They will collaborate as and when needed. This structure is needed in order to self-organise and ensure better focus for the part of the project that the team is involved in.Building a Scrum Team: Scrum Team CompositionThe Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities from stakeholder collaboration, verification, maintenance, operation, experimentation, research and development, and anything else that might be required—Scrum GuideA scrum team is mainly made up of three main roles:DevelopersScrum MasterScrum Product OwnerThe scrum team often chooses itself. Which is to say; that the Product Owner along with the Scrum Master chooses the developer or the development team; or in more progressive organizations, the Product Owner chooses the development team. These two, in turn, choose the Scrum Master who they think would best be able to perform the duties of a servant leader. The Product Owner is often chosen by the management based on his or her capabilities.According to the Scrum Guide, the development team consists of five to eleven people including developers, testers, architects, designers etc.The Scrum team is driven by its common goal, which is to create product value and ensure that all stakeholder requirements are met. In Agile organizations, Scrum teams are required to be self-organized and empowered to take their own decisions.Structure of Scrum Team: The three Roles and their responsibilitiesAs described earlier, the scrum team consists of the development team, the scrum master and the product ownerThe development team: Redefining “developer”The development team is at the core of the scrum project. The team is made of more than just developers, and comprises UI/UX designers, testers, writers and others who are part of the team due to their skill and ability to contribute to the sprint goal.  Though the product owners own the product backlog and order and prioritise it, they do this with the help of the development team. The development team can give product owners an estimate of the sprint size. The development team maintains utmost transparency and keeps the product owner and the scrum master up to date with progress made. Although they follow the vision put forth by the product owner, they are empowered to take their own decisions, and they do this by being self-organized.  Once the product backlog is defined and the sprints are underway, the development team meets every day in what is a called a daily scrum meeting. These short fifteen-minute meetings help developers define the progress made and set the agenda for the next day's work. They are also able to call out any impediments that may be blocking progress. This ensures transparency through the progress of the project as everyone including the product owner known the progress made in the sprints so far.  The development team strives to meet the sprint goals within each sprint, thus keeping the project on track.The Product Owner: Setting clear directionThe Product Owner is the owner of the product vision, creating the product backlog and defining the product goal that needs to be achieved. The product owner ensures that the development team is clear on what needs to be achieved in each sprint and there is no ambiguity in understanding the client requirements or the product to be built.  The product owner’s responsibility is to ensure that the product backlog is maintained with the utmost transparency and that the scrum master and the development team are on the same page in terms of understanding the sprint goal for each sprint. He or she maximizes value by prioritizing products that need to be delivered first.  The Product Owner is the bridge between the stakeholders and the development team, facilitating clear communication between the two. This makes this role very crucial as they must earn the trust of both parties by working in the interest of both.  Through product backlog management, stakeholder management and release management, the product owner keeps the project on track, ensures stakeholder satisfaction and with the development team delivers a high-quality product at the end of each sprint.The Scrum Master: Holding it all togetherIt’s not an understatement to say the scrum master holds it altogether. From supporting the product owner to acting as a servant leader for the team, the scrum master does it all.The chief responsibility of the scrum master is to ensure that the team can perform without any distractions or impediments to their work. This would involve solving issues and removing roadblocks that may threaten to hinder progress.  The Scrum Master is also a scrum evangelist and must ensure that the team is working according to Agile and Scrum professionals. This requires them to coach and mentor the team on Scrum processes—and not just the team, but the Scrum Master also has the larger responsibility of promoting Scrum in the whole enterprise.  Their servant leadership style of working helps Scrum Masters to aid the development team in its day-to-day activities while also supporting the Product Owner in maximizing value, managing and ordering the product backlog, sprint planning and in communicating sprint goals effectively to the development team.  The Scrum Master strives to bring in transparency and self-organization and helps the team in following the empirical approach to working.Get started with agile scrum rolesSo, now you know the three main parts to a scrum project. But which role would suit you best? This depends largely on your skills, experience and interest.  If creating, designing, building and delivering is what excites you more, then being on the development team would be your niche. You can deliver value through every sprint and challenge yourself to create, innovate and build new things. As a developer you may often double up as a scrum master for your team, especially if you are well versed with agile.If promoting agile and scrum in the organization and mentoring folks on processes and practices is your jam, then you will be a great Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, your servant leadership skills will be put to test. This people-centric role will help you manage teams and help them reach their goals.  If product management, interacting with customers and the business domain is what you like best, then you will do marvellously as a product owner. You must put on your thinking caps and interpret the requirements of the stakeholders to the team. Not just this, you may also be required to help customers understand what else their product can do or provide. You must be at your diplomatic best keeping not just the stakeholders happy but even your development team.When Should You Start Creating a Second Team?If Scrum Teams become too large, they should consider reorganizing into multiple cohesive Scrum Teams, each focused on the same product. Therefore, they should share the same Product Goal, Product Backlog, and Product Owner—Scrum GuideGenerally, when the scope and the budget of the project increases, more team members get assigned and there is a need to split the teams for better efficiency.  The keyword here is ‘same product’ which means that even multiple teams need to continue having the same goal and objective and work towards achieving it. Experts emphasize on following the Agile values of collaboration and communication even when multiple teams are involved.  Although each team should have clearly defined goals and there should be separation of work, a high level of collaboration between multiple agile teams must be achieved. This can be achieved through daily stand ups, cross team retrospectives and cross team release planning.What Do the Experts Say?The Scrum Guide suggests having between three and nine team members who are executing the sprint backlog. Scrum works best in smaller teams, so if your team size is increasing then it is time to start creating the second team.  Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of the Scrum Framework, says that one can create multiple teams of an optimal size that best suits the Scrum operations in the organization.Jeff Bezos has forever implemented the two-pizza rule in Amazon, which is that every internal team should be small enough that it can be fed with two pizzas. Amazon follows this approach to enhance efficiency and scalability.Signs That the Team Is Getting Too BigYour daily scrum or stand ups are exceeding the 15-minute recommended duration because your team is too largeYour grooming and sprint planning sessions are less productive and more confusing as there are suggestions from too many peopleRetrospectives are leading to more conflict and there are fewer similar things tying up team members togetherCross-functional TeamsWhile splitting a team, the product manager must make sure that teams continue to remain cross-functional. While there may be a tendency to split teams based on similar types of skills, this will go against the values of Scrum. The split teams must have team members who have a diverse range of skills and should focus on delivering sprint goals together as a team.  Agile teams are cross functional, which means that an agile team brings together people of different expertise who work together to achieve a common goal. This index on cross functional teams is because such teams are said to foster innovation, are highly productive, accountable, adaptable to change, flexible and reach goals faster due to their collaboration and self-organization.Cross-functional teams are said to work better when the team size is small. This is expected since such teams have people with diverse skills and diverse personalities.  In order to achieve success, the onus is on choosing the right team members. The right team should be assembled to get the best out of the cross functional collaboration.It’s also important that such a team is given the right tasks and assigned the right goals. Though there is a high degree of autonomy in cross functional teams, it is important to give them the right direction so that they know their end goals. If clear goals are not defined there may be a tendency to go beyond allocated resources.  While there is a huge degree of autonomy with the teams, it important that such teams have a common thread that ties them together. A leader can be the common link between all team members. The leader ensures that there is consistent and open communication between the team members, each team member is given the proper tasks, goals are defined, the team is placed above the individual and success is shared by all the team members.  Conflicts and tensions between team members in such a diverse group is natural, but this is where the leader, often the scrum master, steps in and ensures conflict management.  There are several tools available in the market that help cross functional teams perform better. These tools make communication and retrospection easier, a requirement that is more important these days when team members are scattered across geographies, and projects are more intense.Should the Teams Have Separate Backlogs?The general rule of thumb is to have a single product backlog for a particular product. Managing a backlog may become cumbersome as more and more sprints get added, and technical debt increases.  This problem arises more when you are working with multiple teams. As a product owner you may be tempted to create multiple backlogs.  But keep in mind that Scrum is quite rigid about having only one product backlog for one product as having multiple backlogs can create confusion, reduce collaboration, create more silos and lead to teams getting frustrated.  A single backlog may be difficult to manage, especially when multiple teams are involved but remember that it also helps to ensure that there is a single goal shared by all teams, there is more communication and collaboration, dependencies are reduced and there is lesser confusionConsider Expanding the Product TeamMost teams generally have a single product owner, but if it is a large project with multiple teams then we can consider adding more members to the product team. As a product owner with a large portfolio, you may get overwhelmed with managing the different aspects of the role. In such a case you could consider adding junior product managers who can take on the responsibility of handling every task, like writing user stories, quality assurance, validating new features and more.  Scrum Roles vs Job TitlesThe beauty of scrum is that it is value driven. The three core job roles of scrum master, product owner and development team are roles and not titles. But the problem arises when you are mapping titles to roles. A team or an organization has titles such as lead architect or associate tester, while Scrum has roles. How do you as an organization transitioning to agile, map these titles to roles?  A good workaround for this is to map people to roles instead of mapping titles to roles. You need to see which professional, or team member possesses the skills that will help them work better in the Scrum role. Your project manager, for example, may be great at helping team members by solving their problems, negotiating and handling conflict. This person will make a great scrum master.  Understanding what qualities, a particular role needs and then cross referencing it with your resources is the best way to map people with roles. Placing the people with the best characteristics in a particular role is an important aspect of scrum which will ensure happier teams and more productivity.

Scrum Team Composition - The Ideal Team Structure for Agile

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Scrum Team Composition - The Ideal Team Structure for Agile

Scrum is all about small teams that can adapt and evolve quickly, and the Scrum Guide states that the ideal Scrum size of a team is 11 or fewer people. Large teams are not prescribed by Scrum as teams with more people eventually result in more processes and hierarchies.

But what if you are dealing with a large project and a large budget? What if the scope of your project necessitates a larger team? What does Scrum advise in this case? In this blog, we attempt to take you through the structure of a Scrum team, the differences between a traditional team and an Agile team, and the various roles and responsibilities of scrum team members.

Traditional team vs Agile team The reason Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber and co-created the Agile Manifesto was because of the rigidity associated with traditional project management methods and teams.  Traditional teams follow a top-down approach, are led by a manager and must follow a rigid hierarchical process during the software development lifecycle.

Agile teams on the other hand are small, independent units that are cross-functional, responsive, and self-managing, which means that there is no one leader and decisions such as who does what and when, are taken by the team members. The team has just one focus, and that is to deliver something at the end of a certain timeframe, and all the team members collectively work towards it.  This autonomy and self-organization that embody the values of Agile help Scrum and agile teams perform better and keep them motivated.

Traditional team vs Agile Team structure

Traditional teams are based on function and generally one team will be involved in completing the entire project. Alternatively, specialized teams may be involved in completing certain chunks of the project. For example, developers create code, designers are involved with UX, and testers will test functionality.  

Agile, on the other hand, has several small teams working on a project with each team being involved in completing a particular section of the project and delivering a particular function. Teams will include members having different skill sets, which are needed to deliver the function that has been assigned to the team. They will collaborate as and when needed. This structure is needed in order to self-organise and ensure better focus for the part of the project that the team is involved in.

Building a Scrum Team: Scrum Team Composition

Scrum Team Composition

The Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities from stakeholder collaboration, verification, maintenance, operation, experimentation, research and development, and anything else that might be required—Scrum Guide

A scrum team is mainly made up of three main roles:

  • Developers
  • Scrum Master
  • Scrum Product Owner

The scrum team often chooses itself. Which is to say; that the Product Owner along with the Scrum Master chooses the developer or the development team; or in more progressive organizations, the Product Owner chooses the development team. These two, in turn, choose the Scrum Master who they think would best be able to perform the duties of a servant leader. The Product Owner is often chosen by the management based on his or her capabilities.

According to the Scrum Guide, the development team consists of five to eleven people including developers, testers, architects, designers etc.

The Scrum team is driven by its common goal, which is to create product value and ensure that all stakeholder requirements are met. In Agile organizations, Scrum teams are required to be self-organized and empowered to take their own decisions.

Structure of Scrum Team: The three Roles and their responsibilities

As described earlier, the scrum team consists of the development team, the scrum master and the product owner

The development team: Redefining “developer”

The development team is at the core of the scrum project. The team is made of more than just developers, and comprises UI/UX designers, testers, writers and others who are part of the team due to their skill and ability to contribute to the sprint goal.  

Though the product owners own the product backlog and order and prioritise it, they do this with the help of the development team. The development team can give product owners an estimate of the sprint size. The development team maintains utmost transparency and keeps the product owner and the scrum master up to date with progress made. Although they follow the vision put forth by the product owner, they are empowered to take their own decisions, and they do this by being self-organized.  

Once the product backlog is defined and the sprints are underway, the development team meets every day in what is a called a daily scrum meeting. These short fifteen-minute meetings help developers define the progress made and set the agenda for the next day's work. They are also able to call out any impediments that may be blocking progress. This ensures transparency through the progress of the project as everyone including the product owner known the progress made in the sprints so far.  

The development team strives to meet the sprint goals within each sprint, thus keeping the project on track.

The Product Owner: Setting clear direction

The Product Owner is the owner of the product vision, creating the product backlog and defining the product goal that needs to be achieved. The product owner ensures that the development team is clear on what needs to be achieved in each sprint and there is no ambiguity in understanding the client requirements or the product to be built.  

The product owner’s responsibility is to ensure that the product backlog is maintained with the utmost transparency and that the scrum master and the development team are on the same page in terms of understanding the sprint goal for each sprint. He or she maximizes value by prioritizing products that need to be delivered first.  

The Product Owner is the bridge between the stakeholders and the development team, facilitating clear communication between the two. This makes this role very crucial as they must earn the trust of both parties by working in the interest of both.  

Through product backlog management, stakeholder management and release management, the product owner keeps the project on track, ensures stakeholder satisfaction and with the development team delivers a high-quality product at the end of each sprint.

The Scrum Master: Holding it all together

It’s not an understatement to say the scrum master holds it altogether. From supporting the product owner to acting as a servant leader for the team, the scrum master does it all.

The chief responsibility of the scrum master is to ensure that the team can perform without any distractions or impediments to their work. This would involve solving issues and removing roadblocks that may threaten to hinder progress.  

The Scrum Master is also a scrum evangelist and must ensure that the team is working according to Agile and Scrum professionals. This requires them to coach and mentor the team on Scrum processes—and not just the team, but the Scrum Master also has the larger responsibility of promoting Scrum in the whole enterprise.  

Their servant leadership style of working helps Scrum Masters to aid the development team in its day-to-day activities while also supporting the Product Owner in maximizing value, managing and ordering the product backlog, sprint planning and in communicating sprint goals effectively to the development team.  

The Scrum Master strives to bring in transparency and self-organization and helps the team in following the empirical approach to working.

Get started with agile scrum roles

So, now you know the three main parts to a scrum project. But which role would suit you best? This depends largely on your skills, experience and interest.  

If creating, designing, building and delivering is what excites you more, then being on the development team would be your niche. You can deliver value through every sprint and challenge yourself to create, innovate and build new things. As a developer you may often double up as a scrum master for your team, especially if you are well versed with agile.

If promoting agile and scrum in the organization and mentoring folks on processes and practices is your jam, then you will be a great Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, your servant leadership skills will be put to test. This people-centric role will help you manage teams and help them reach their goals.  

If product management, interacting with customers and the business domain is what you like best, then you will do marvellously as a product owner. You must put on your thinking caps and interpret the requirements of the stakeholders to the team. Not just this, you may also be required to help customers understand what else their product can do or provide. You must be at your diplomatic best keeping not just the stakeholders happy but even your development team.

When Should You Start Creating a Second Team?

If Scrum Teams become too large, they should consider reorganizing into multiple cohesive Scrum Teams, each focused on the same product. Therefore, they should share the same Product Goal, Product Backlog, and Product Owner—Scrum Guide

Generally, when the scope and the budget of the project increases, more team members get assigned and there is a need to split the teams for better efficiency.  

The keyword here is ‘same product’ which means that even multiple teams need to continue having the same goal and objective and work towards achieving it. Experts emphasize on following the Agile values of collaboration and communication even when multiple teams are involved.  

Although each team should have clearly defined goals and there should be separation of work, a high level of collaboration between multiple agile teams must be achieved. This can be achieved through daily stand ups, cross team retrospectives and cross team release planning.

What Do the Experts Say?

The Scrum Guide suggests having between three and nine team members who are executing the sprint backlog. Scrum works best in smaller teams, so if your team size is increasing then it is time to start creating the second team.  

Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of the Scrum Framework, says that one can create multiple teams of an optimal size that best suits the Scrum operations in the organization.

Jeff Bezos has forever implemented the two-pizza rule in Amazon, which is that every internal team should be small enough that it can be fed with two pizzas. Amazon follows this approach to enhance efficiency and scalability.

Signs That the Team Is Getting Too Big

  • Your daily scrum or stand ups are exceeding the 15-minute recommended duration because your team is too large
  • Your grooming and sprint planning sessions are less productive and more confusing as there are suggestions from too many people
  • Retrospectives are leading to more conflict and there are fewer similar things tying up team members together

Cross-functional Teams

Cross-functional Teams While splitting a team, the product manager must make sure that teams continue to remain cross-functional. While there may be a tendency to split teams based on similar types of skills, this will go against the values of Scrum. The split teams must have team members who have a diverse range of skills and should focus on delivering sprint goals together as a team.  

Agile teams are cross functional, which means that an agile team brings together people of different expertise who work together to achieve a common goal. This index on cross functional teams is because such teams are said to foster innovation, are highly productive, accountable, adaptable to change, flexible and reach goals faster due to their collaboration and self-organization.

Cross-functional teams are said to work better when the team size is small. This is expected since such teams have people with diverse skills and diverse personalities.  In order to achieve success, the onus is on choosing the right team members. The right team should be assembled to get the best out of the cross functional collaboration.

It’s also important that such a team is given the right tasks and assigned the right goals. Though there is a high degree of autonomy in cross functional teams, it is important to give them the right direction so that they know their end goals. If clear goals are not defined there may be a tendency to go beyond allocated resources.  

While there is a huge degree of autonomy with the teams, it important that such teams have a common thread that ties them together. A leader can be the common link between all team members. The leader ensures that there is consistent and open communication between the team members, each team member is given the proper tasks, goals are defined, the team is placed above the individual and success is shared by all the team members.  

Conflicts and tensions between team members in such a diverse group is natural, but this is where the leader, often the scrum master, steps in and ensures conflict management.  

There are several tools available in the market that help cross functional teams perform better. These tools make communication and retrospection easier, a requirement that is more important these days when team members are scattered across geographies, and projects are more intense.

Should the Teams Have Separate Backlogs?

Product BacklogThe general rule of thumb is to have a single product backlog for a particular product. Managing a backlog may become cumbersome as more and more sprints get added, and technical debt increases.  

This problem arises more when you are working with multiple teams. As a product owner you may be tempted to create multiple backlogs.  But keep in mind that Scrum is quite rigid about having only one product backlog for one product as having multiple backlogs can create confusion, reduce collaboration, create more silos and lead to teams getting frustrated.  

A single backlog may be difficult to manage, especially when multiple teams are involved but remember that it also helps to ensure that there is a single goal shared by all teams, there is more communication and collaboration, dependencies are reduced and there is lesser confusion

Consider Expanding the Product Team

Most teams generally have a single product owner, but if it is a large project with multiple teams then we can consider adding more members to the product team. As a product owner with a large portfolio, you may get overwhelmed with managing the different aspects of the role. In such a case you could consider adding junior product managers who can take on the responsibility of handling every task, like writing user stories, quality assurance, validating new features and more.  

Scrum Roles vs Job Titles

The beauty of scrum is that it is value driven. The three core job roles of scrum master, product owner and development team are roles and not titles. But the problem arises when you are mapping titles to roles. A team or an organization has titles such as lead architect or associate tester, while Scrum has roles. How do you as an organization transitioning to agile, map these titles to roles?  

A good workaround for this is to map people to roles instead of mapping titles to roles. You need to see which professional, or team member possesses the skills that will help them work better in the Scrum role. Your project manager, for example, may be great at helping team members by solving their problems, negotiating and handling conflict. This person will make a great scrum master.  

Understanding what qualities, a particular role needs and then cross referencing it with your resources is the best way to map people with roles. Placing the people with the best characteristics in a particular role is an important aspect of scrum which will ensure happier teams and more productivity.

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KnowledgeHut

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

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

What is the Cost of Top Scrum Certifications in 2022?

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

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

Best Career Paths of Successful Scrum Masters in 2022

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

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