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Think Big - Act Small: A New Way For Agile Teams?

We all love planning. And planning big is what we do. Don’t you have great visions for your life when you start a brand new year? You identify a great big list of New Year resolutions and set yourself some goals to achieve within the year. When you are soon after your primary education you research and end up planning big on what academic and professional qualifications to achieve and within what timeframe.Even Google has become a part of your elaborate planning! So much so that, even before you key in your exact query on planning, it readily comes up with so many suggestions!Basically, even the search engine giant has got one thing right about you. You always plan big!!But, Agile tells us to think big and not to plan big. Thinking big has a deep meaning. When you embark on a journey you need to think and clarify the bigger picture of the whole journey. For example, if your employees embark on their annual trip you need to set a bigger picture for the staff on the objectives of the trip. Is it merely a journey to somewhere far away, chill and come back the next day? Or are your objectives for the staff to bond a bit better, communicate and build team spirit that can create a positive atmosphere at your workplace?Think big for your Agile projects as well. Identify the bigger picture for the solution that you are trying to develop. Spend time to understand the business outcomes that the solution is trying to achieve and know the key principles for high-performing Agile teams.Is it a solution to improve efficiency?Is it to improve collaboration and convenience?Is it to increase profitability and market share of the organization through better reach?Think about where the solution will be deployed and who will be using it. How will the solution get operationalized and what impact would it have on the Stakeholders. Try to draw forth as much information as possible to identify above aspects of the solution.Thinking big is not only from the business perspective. Think big in terms of the entire solution landscape, the context and the entire solution architecture as well. There is no need to identify a comprehensive solution design and architecture right at the inception. But always keep the entire solution and the key components in mind when you do the design. Make it and evolving architecture by building in the capability to plug in components as and when required. Technology and client needs are changing and hence adaptability is a key.Though you think big you must always make sure to take small baby steps at a time. Acting small means to identify the smallest piece of work or task that needs to be done to make sure that the project progresses forward. Think of a driver that has met with a car accident and is confined to a wheelchair. He will have to go through hours of physiotherapy just to be able to stand up on his two feet again. Then he will start taking one step at a time in his quest of walking again.Concepts that can be measured while thinking Big1) Working in a team incrementally and iteratively  The product size determines how many increments it will take to complete the work. The notion behind working in iterations is to get the status of work at the end of the long stage. e.g. For Development stage, it may take two week cycles over the period of 3 months.Working in increments shows doing a group of tasks at a time, then adding another group in the next iteration. At the end of each iteration, you can show the completed task to the client. This way helps to get early feedback, can update the changes, test out ideas, and deploying before the timeline.  Dedicated teams are nothing new to creative land, what is different, is that it means that they are really dedicated to the project full-time, rather than working on a bunch of other projects at the same time.Now, we know in agency land, this can be hard to pull off, since we have a tendency to move resources around as needed, because of skill-level or other resource issues.Now, you can still manage teams as a dedicated resource by, keeping all of the related projects with one team. All of the pieces are then prioritized (working with the client to decide). This gives you big idea on building a successful Agile team. The big idea is that you work in a dedicated team, and at the end of each iteration, or time period, you have something of value to show the client. In the first time period, the client decides what should get worked on, and with each iteration you add things in the order they are of value (incrementally), and then repeat the process through multiple interactions till the work is done.2) Change should be embracedThe client asks for change, team produce a change, and charge for it. In traditional methodology, teams were preventing change. For software development projects embracing the client’s changes early and updating before the deployment date can be very impactful.Planning plays a crucial role in Agile. Though your end product is outstanding, how to deal with the market demands and conditions is critical part for embracing opportunity and change.In Agile methodology, the Stakeholder and the team prioritize and chooses the highest-priority work to be completed during that iteration. Being flexible at an iteration stage, the client should not ask for the changes during this time. But your team can maintain the scope-of-work by working in 1 or 2 week intervals. If any changes needed then those changes can be pushed to the next iteration. There are some characteristics of new Agile teams that includes limit to what team can accomplish during a fixed period of time. Things can go out of the scope, resources and costs can still change.Agile software development projects are exactly like that. You first think big to identify all components of the solution and the tasks that the team members need to work on as Product backlog items. These are initially at a really high level – may be as epics.Now you can groom the stories and break them down into smaller stories or tasks that can be assigned to individual team members. Remember the 1-2-3-4 rule? One or two implementation team members should complete a story or task taken to the sprint within 3 to 4 days. Acting small will help the team develop something visual and demonstrable as soon as possible so that it can be sent for feedback as early as possible.Think big, act small are 4 simple words with a great deep meaning which leads in creating new Agile teams. For an Agile team to become a successful robust team these are key principles for high performing Agile teams that can be preached and followed diligently.So, do you think big but act small?
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Think Big - Act Small: A New Way For Agile Teams?

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Think Big - Act Small: A New Way For Agile Teams?

We all love planning. And planning big is what we do. Don’t you have great visions for your life when you start a brand new year? You identify a great big list of New Year resolutions and set yourself some goals to achieve within the year. When you are soon after your primary education you research and end up planning big on what academic and professional qualifications to achieve and within what timeframe.
ResearchEven Google has become a part of your elaborate planning! So much so that, even before you key in your exact query on planning, it readily comes up with so many suggestions!

Basically, even the search engine giant has got one thing right about you. You always plan big!!

But, Agile tells us to think big and not to plan big. Thinking big has a deep meaning. When you embark on a journey you need to think and clarify the bigger picture of the whole journey. For example, if your employees embark on their annual trip you need to set a bigger picture for the staff on the objectives of the trip. Is it merely a journey to somewhere far away, chill and come back the next day? Or are your objectives for the staff to bond a bit better, communicate and build team spirit that can create a positive atmosphere at your workplace?

Think big for your Agile projects as well. Identify the bigger picture for the solution that you are trying to develop. Spend time to understand the business outcomes that the solution is trying to achieve and know the key principles for high-performing Agile teams.

  • Is it a solution to improve efficiency?
  • Is it to improve collaboration and convenience?
  • Is it to increase profitability and market share of the organization through better reach?

Think about where the solution will be deployed and who will be using it. How will the solution get operationalized and what impact would it have on the Stakeholders. Try to draw forth as much information as possible to identify above aspects of the solution.

Thinking big is not only from the business perspective. Think big in terms of the entire solution landscape, the context and the entire solution architecture as well. There is no need to identify a comprehensive solution design and architecture right at the inception. But always keep the entire solution and the key components in mind when you do the design. Make it and evolving architecture by building in the capability to plug in components as and when required. Technology and client needs are changing and hence adaptability is a key.

Though you think big you must always make sure to take small baby steps at a time. Acting small means to identify the smallest piece of work or task that needs to be done to make sure that the project progresses forward. Think of a driver that has met with a car accident and is confined to a wheelchair. He will have to go through hours of physiotherapy just to be able to stand up on his two feet again. Then he will start taking one step at a time in his quest of walking again.

Concepts that can be measured while thinking Big
Concepts that can be measured while thinking Big1) Working in a team incrementally and iteratively  
The product size determines how many increments it will take to complete the work. The notion behind working in iterations is to get the status of work at the end of the long stage. e.g. For Development stage, it may take two week cycles over the period of 3 months.

Working in increments shows doing a group of tasks at a time, then adding another group in the next iteration. At the end of each iteration, you can show the completed task to the client. This way helps to get early feedback, can update the changes, test out ideas, and deploying before the timeline.  
Working in a team incrementally and iteratively  Dedicated teams are nothing new to creative land, what is different, is that it means that they are really dedicated to the project full-time, rather than working on a bunch of other projects at the same time.
Now, we know in agency land, this can be hard to pull off, since we have a tendency to move resources around as needed, because of skill-level or other resource issues.

Now, you can still manage teams as a dedicated resource by, keeping all of the related projects with one team. All of the pieces are then prioritized (working with the client to decide). This gives you big idea on building a successful Agile team.
 
The big idea is that you work in a dedicated team, and at the end of each iteration, or time period, you have something of value to show the client. In the first time period, the client decides what should get worked on, and with each iteration you add things in the order they are of value (incrementally), and then repeat the process through multiple interactions till the work is done.

2) Change should be embraced

The client asks for change, team produce a change, and charge for it. In traditional methodology, teams were preventing change. For software development projects embracing the client’s changes early and updating before the deployment date can be very impactful.
Change should be embracedPlanning plays a crucial role in Agile. Though your end product is outstanding, how to deal with the market demands and conditions is critical part for embracing opportunity and change.In Agile methodology, the Stakeholder and the team prioritize and chooses the highest-priority work to be completed during that iteration. Being flexible at an iteration stage, the client should not ask for the changes during this time.
 
But your team can maintain the scope-of-work by working in 1 or 2 week intervals. If any changes needed then those changes can be pushed to the next iteration. There are some characteristics of new Agile teams that includes limit to what team can accomplish during a fixed period of time. Things can go out of the scope, resources and costs can still change.

Agile software development projects are exactly like that. You first think big to identify all components of the solution and the tasks that the team members need to work on as Product backlog items. These are initially at a really high level – may be as epics.

Now you can groom the stories and break them down into smaller stories or tasks that can be assigned to individual team members. Remember the 1-2-3-4 rule? One or two implementation team members should complete a story or task taken to the sprint within 3 to 4 days. Acting small will help the team develop something visual and demonstrable as soon as possible so that it can be sent for feedback as early as possible.
Cost of change curveThink big, act small are 4 simple words with a great deep meaning which leads in creating new Agile teams. For an Agile team to become a successful robust team these are key principles for high performing Agile teams that can be preached and followed diligently.

So, do you think big but act small?

Rumesh

Rumesh Wijetunge

Chief Innovation Officer - Zaizi Limited, Chief Operating Officer - LearntIn (Pvt) Ltd., Director /

Rumesh is an IT business leader with over 12 years of industry experience as a business analyst and project manager. He is currently the CIO of Zaizi Limited, a UK based data management company heading the operations in Sri Lanka, the COO of LearntIn, a global training institute based in Sri Lanka and is also a lecturer / trainer at multiple private universities on management, IT, business analysis and project management subjects. He is the current president of the IIBA Sri Lanka chapter and is one of the most qualified and sought after trainers in Sri Lanka. Refer his LinkedIn profile for more details and to see more articles he has written on linkedin

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Top Agile Methods for Better Productivity

When a Scrum development team works on the productivity of a team using the Agile methodology, the first thing that comes to attention is the metric used to measure how much work the team does in an iteration: velocity. On the contrary, using velocity helps a Scrum development team to determine a team’s average capability on a normal sprint followed by how much they will agree to achieve in the next sprint iteration. The velocity is not preferred to determine the team’s productivity as it is just a simple indicator based on past sprints.The thing that matters at the end is the result and what the team has produced. A team is not recommended to be pushed to fasten its velocity. In the end, the outcome might be unpredictable as the team might economize on acceptance testing, avoid fixing bugs, or minimize restructuring to reach the target velocity. The key to increasing the velocity of the team is to resort to focusing on optimal velocity over time instead of maximized velocity. This also determines the overall quality of the finished product. Here are the top Agile methods involved in Scrum to allow the team to be more productive over time. 1. Eradicating obstaclesOne of the most important duties of a Scrum Master is to get rid of obstacles early and throughout the development process. This begins with asking appropriate questions while User Stories are being written. This gives developers space and time to do their work. While they are working, a Scrum Master also protects the development team from any disturbances from the stakeholders.In situations when the team does get interrupted, it is recommended for the team members to contact the Scrum Master to get their queries and issues resolved. Having a clear and focused mind is the key to operating at the highest level.The most obvious step is to avoid distractions as they are the primary reason for decreasing a team’s productivity. The team is unable to focus when they are asked to clarify why their productivity went down.2. Daily scrum meetings An efficient team always has a small group of professionals, the numbers can go to a maximum of 9. Anything more than that leads to communication issues and more consumption of time in meetings or huddles. A bigger team, in cases, can be split into two or more. A big team leads to more complications and misunderstandings and hence, is not a good idea. A larger team means more loss in information while exchanging thoughts and ideas and that will result in everybody in the team spending more time and effort to get any message or data across. 3. Team Capacity It is a known fact that all the team members must attend the daily scrum every day. The meeting can last for not more than 15 minutes everyday to get an overview of the proceedings and the advancement of the undertaken work. All the concerns and ideas put across and need solutions during the meetings can be parked so that all of them can be addressed together. Any topic not related to the purpose of the meeting can be talked about at a fixed but separate time of the day.Furthermore, communicating with each other during the meeting will help in exchanging more information.4. Product backlog The backlog is the key to knowing where a product goes and what needs to be created on priority. So, everything in a project must be kept and properly maintained via a backlog. User Stories should have enough details and can be reordered in case of a change in priority. More accurate User Stories lead to less time consumption for the development team to understand them.An up to date and well-maintained backlog during an Agile project should have enough User Stories for at least one or two sprints.5. Constantly improving mindsetScrum is a continuous method that involves development because the whole method can be changed, not just the software. The point is to find something that requires alterations and to achieve it in the next sprint. This allows the team to tackle one issue at a time and move forward.Finding a clear move in the sprint retrospective to support the team is necessary. Someone must take ownership to act to make things work. This can be achieved by taking the baby steps first, like small actions that can be easily done and are less time-consuming. During a sprint retrospective, it is recommended to take suggestions from each attendee and go for the most appropriate one. After that, a plan will be laid out to realize the chosen idea.6. Interruption bufferWhile running an application in production, it is necessary to keep maintaining and providing new features. However, there can be interruptions, like a bug that needs to be reported urgently or another team needing a developer for assistance. The point is, Sprints will be with interruptions and dealing with problems that other teams encounter must also be addressed as one unit. A capable Scrum Master will log all these interruptions noting the number of interruptions, the time consumed in dealing with the same and then add them to the next sprint. 7. Have a vision of the task at handThe team works more efficiently in getting the deliverables when the Scrum Master already has laid out a blueprint to work on. This also includes having metrics and other relevant charts displayed, doing which will also let stakeholders and colleagues track the production rate. Refreshing the burndown chart daily and displaying the desired sprint result will reflect customer or team satisfaction. Furthermore, a roadmap showing the working of the product will further enhance the vision of the team. There are multiple ways of sharing information to give everybody the idea of how things are going on while working on the product. To concludeWhen looking at the broader picture of the correct way to motivate a team to get the desired output, a successful team follows a very realistic and simple approach by using plain common sense that is instilled by the Scrum Master. Understanding how the team works and realizing the working style of each team member is one of the most important observations of an adept Scrum Master. It is a collaborative effort that cannot be done by one person but needs responsible efforts from every working member on the task. After all, it is not about ‘Me’ but ‘Us’ that helps in building a product successfully on time.
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How to Become a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

Who is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO® )?A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team.  (*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users) (*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)A Certified Scrum Product Owner is a certification issued by the Scrum Alliance for the Product Owner role.Roles and Responsibilities of the Certified Scrum Product Owner :A Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product (or service, …) being built. The Product Owner is responsible for WHAT will be built by the development teamThe role of the Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding.When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity. The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson for the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved. The strategic significance of the CSPO®The Product Owner role in Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategic and operational aspect. The Product Owner is the personification of the end-users, customers, business stakeholders. He or she represents the different views, perspectives and he or she is finally accountable for maximizing value.To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job.Sometimes, a Product Owner is a role given to a person, as an additional role to his/her existing function. To my experience, a Product Owner requires at least half the time of a normal day job. I have seen Product Owners who were not involved in the necessary activities. Given below are the duties crucial to any Product Owner.Do’sTreat requirements as a hypothesis, focus on learningEnsuring Product Backlog items are clearly expressedKeep slicing for value (use techniques as user story mapping)Create a shared understanding by visualizationChallenge the team by asking open questionsChallenge your stakeholders by repeatedly asking “Why?”Engaging with end-users to get feedback, treat the sprint review at the last responsible moment to get feedbackFacilitating Product Backlog Refinement (necessary to ensure items are ready to be planned in an upcoming sprint)Treat estimates as estimates, not commitments, trust the teamFeed the team with problems not only solutionsFocus on goals (long-term and short-term)Communicate uncertainty to stakeholders, as uncertaintyUnderstanding Lean Product DevelopmentDo engage in retrospectivesBe fair about what’s done and not doneSet an example, act and speak according to Scrum Values and Agile PrinciplesTips to consider for becoming CSPO® What is CSPO®  certification?CSPO®  stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. It’s the initial (entry-level) certification of a Product Owner. Scrum Alliance is the accredited body of the CSPO® . Now, let’s see the steps for becoming CSPO® . Prerequisites to become a CSPO® There are no specific prerequisites to attend a course. You can attend a live online or in-person course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®), or receive private coaching from a Certified Agile Coach (CAC). After successfully completing the course, you will be asked to accept the CSPO License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile.Who can take up this CSPO®  course?Anyone interested in the Product Owner can take up this course.Why you should become a CSPO®  certified?A CSPO®  certification is accreditation and a proof of a body of knowledge at a specific point in time. The industry is asking for certifications, so if you want to take up the Product Owner role, a certification can give you this extra accreditation.Difference between CSPO®  and PSPO CSPO®  is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role. PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended. You can study the PSPO Subject Areas.Importance of the CSPO®  certification for an individual to boost his/her career as a successful Product OwnerYou need to decide for yourself if you think certifications are an added value. Eventually, it’s about a hands-on experience in the role. I do think that classroom course offers an added valueIn case you want to take up the role of a Product Owner, and you have not much knowledge yet, a classroom course is recommendedIn case you already are working as Product Owner, and you want to refresh your knowledge, take an updated perspective, a classroom course is recommendedCSPO®  certification validityCertification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. The certification is 2 years valid. You can read here how it works to renew your certification.Step-by-step process to become a CSPO®  1. Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance website2. Prepare for the trainingRead and understand the Scrum GuideRead and understand the manifesto for agile software development3. Attend the 2-day course. Enjoy!Salary and career growth of Certified Scrum Product Owner vs Non-certified Scrum Product OwnerHere, you can see an overview of the certifications path offered by the Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. According to the 12th state of the Agile report by VersionOne, the chapter is about “Agile Methods and Practices”, having a dedicated customer or product owner is a technique indicated by 63% of the respondents. In the 2017 State of Scrum report (by Scrum Alliance), 40% of certifications are Certified Scrum Product Owner. 81% agree that certification improves practice.ConclusionBeing a product owner is a satisfying job! If you get a certification it will add an extra line on your curriculum which will catch the eye of recruiters. Besides that, it’s a learning journey and you’ll only understand the traits of the job by experience. Get your CSPO® certification today.Have a successful career ahead!
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It helps to promote productivity while at the same time it helps you communicate and collaborate with your peers in a better manner.Prove and put Scrum knowledge into practice: The process to earn Scrum Certification requires you to go through a rigorous agile scrum master training, which helps you get a better job and career opportunities.Join the community of Scrum experts: With a Scrum Certification, you can connect with various professionals. This ensures continuous improvements that you will learn and achieve with an Agile approach.Enhance sale: Make your Scrum teamwork in a more flexible manner, ensure fast delivery and quick releases. Being Scrum Certified enables you to make this difference for your organisation.How does Scrum work?The Scrum Framework comprises of three categories, which are Scrum Roles, Scrum Events and Scrum Artifacts. The following discusses, in brief, the mentioned three categories.Scrum RolesThe Scrum framework is defined by three core roles: Development team, Scrum Master and Product Owner.Development Team: The Development team is a group of self-organised, cross-functional people, who work together to create products as well as test the incremental releases of the products at the end of each sprint.Scrum Master: The Scrum Master serves as a facilitator for his team members. It is his responsibility to ensure that the Team adheres to the Scrum practices and rules. He acts as a coach to the development team, product owner and stakeholders, and works towards removing the impediments that the team faces.Product Owner: A Product Owner is responsible for conveying the vision of the project to his team members who are building it. 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The tasks covered in the previous 24 hours is discussed and the tasks to be carried out during the next 24 hours is planned out.Sprint Review: A Sprint Review is conducted after Sprint ends. The increment completed and the tasks that have not been completed are discussed during the Sprint Review.Sprint Retrospective: During a Sprint Retrospective, the whole team comes together and reflects on the Sprint process, that is, discuss what tasks were completed and what problems they faced. The main motive behind this is continuous improvement.According to The 13th Annual State of Agile Report, the top 5 Agile Techniques are:Daily standupSprint/Iteration PlanningRetrospectivesSprint/Iteration ReviewShort IterationsScrum ArtifactsScrum Artifacts include product backlog, sprint backlog and product increment.Product Backlog: It is a document which consists of an ordered list of all the product requirements. The Product Owner looks after the Product Backlog, who prioritises them as per the requirement.Sprint Backlog:The Sprint Backlog is a specific list of all the items from the Product Backlog which are to be worked on in a sprint.Product Increment:A product increment is the sum of all the completed product backlogs since the software release.Top Scrum Certifications1. Certified Scrum Master (CSM):CSM is modestly the most used Scrum Master Certification. With the help of this certification process, you can learn about the Scrum framework and get a better understanding of team events, roles and artifacts.Accreditation body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites: The CSM® course can be taken by any professional who wants to deepen their Scrum understanding. CSM® course is usually taken up by the professionals working in IT and Non-IT industries. Therefore, it is recommended to become familiar with the basics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.Who can take up this certification?The following individuals can take this course:Anyone who would like to build a career as a Scrum MasterTeams transitioning to ScrumManagers of Scrum teamsScrum team members such as product owners and developersIf you are already working as a Scrum Master, then taking this course will help you to strengthen your Scrum knowledge and skills.Certification Procedure: You will have to attend a training of two days duration, after which you will be required to take an online test. The two-day training is conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer who has been authorised by the Scrum Alliance.The CSM certification has to be renewed every two years by paying a fee of $100 without any additional examination or training.Job opportunities after Scrum Master Certification: After attaining your Scrum Master Certification, you can act as a Scrum Master. Scrum Masters can opt to become mentors, coaches, managers, product owners or continue being a Scrum Master in more challenging situations.  Cost: Depending on factors like location and trainer, the cost of Scrum Master Certification comes approximately between $700 to $1500. The price bracket of the CSM certification varies across the globe, click here to know more.Average Salary: The average salary of a Certified Scrum Master ranges between $100,00 to $130,000 across the United States.CertificationScrum Master CertificationAccreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 50   within an hour; out of which 37 should be answered correctly.Career PathScrum Master, Mentor, Coach, Manager, Product Owner.Average Salary$100,00 to $130,000Training Cost$1000Cost of Certification$700 to $1500.Average Salary$100,00 to $130,000Renewal Cost$1002. Advanced CSM:If you are a Certified Scrum Master and have a working experience of minimum one year as a Scrum Master, then you can apply for this course. This course will help you get a deeper insight of Scrum along with its practical usage and learns multiple ways to coach the Product owner and the team members.Accreditation Body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites: As a certified Scrum Master, you should have a minimum of twelve months of working experience to become an Advanced CSM. You should also have a basic understanding of Scrum along with its usage and implementation.Who can take up this certification?The following individuals can take this course:Anyone who would like to build a career as a Scrum Master after completing the CSM courseScrum Team managersTeams which are transitioning to ScrumScrum team members such as product owners and developersAnyone who wishes to distinguish himself in the global market.Certification Procedure: You will have to attend an education offering of certified ACSM to learn techniques and skills which go beyond the basics of Scrum, like interaction, coaching, facilitation and team dynamics. Also, you will be required to have an experience of 12 months as a working Scrum Master in the last five years.The certification has to be renewed every two years by paying a fee of $175 without any additional examination or training.Job opportunities after Advanced Scrum Master Certification: Work towards becoming a more professional practitioner of Scrum Master, learn how to untap the underlying potential of your team. Work as a Scrum Master, coach, mentor or a Product Owner.Cost: Depending on different factors like location and trainer, the cost of Scrum Master Certification ranges approximately between $1295 to $1495.Average Salary: The average salary of an Advance Certified Scrum Master ranges between $100,00 to $130,000 across the United States.CertificationAdvanced Scrum Master CertificationAccreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.Twelve months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years.Career PathScrum Master, Mentor, Coach, Manager, Product Owner.Average Salary$100,00 to $130,000Cost of Certification$1295 to $1495Renewal Cost$1753. Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)This course focuses on topics like lean concepts, system thinking, coaching, emotional intelligence, facilitation, deeper understanding of the Scrum Framework and scaling Scrum to big organizations.Accreditation Body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites:An active A-CSM certification24 months of experience as a Scrum Master in the last five yearsAttend a CSP-SM workshop which is conducted by the Scrum Alliance approved ‘Path to CSP Educator’.Who can take up this certification?The following individuals can take this course:Scrum team members such as developersTeams transitioning to ScrumManagers of Scrum teamsJob opportunities after Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM) Certification: Work towards becoming a more professional practitioner of Scrum Master for big organisations, learn how to un-tap the underlying potential of different teams. Work as a Scrum Master, coach, mentor or a Product Owner. Get various opportunities to attend exclusive CSP events along with many other leaders in Scrum and AgileCost: Depending on various factors, the cost of the certification costs around $1295.Average Salary: The average salary of a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)is calculated to be approximately $115,000 across the United States.CertificationCertified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)Accreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.An active ACSM certification24 months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years.Career PathScrum Master, Mentor, Coach, Manager, Product Owner for big organisations.Average Salary$115,000Cost of Certification$1295Renewal Cost$2504. Professional Scrum Master (PSM)Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM), is a two-day course which covers the theory and principles of the Scrum Framework and the roles of a Scrum Master. This course combines team-based exercises with instructions in order to teach the heart of the Scrum and Agile movement.Accreditation Body: Scrum.orgPrerequisites: The PSM course can be taken by any professional who wants to deepen their Scrum understanding. It is recommended to familiarize with the basics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in a shorter course of time.Who can take up this certification?This course is apt for professionals who are involved in product delivery using the Scrum Framework. It is particularly most beneficial for Scrum Master, Team members and managers, that is, those people who are accountable for getting the most out of Scrum.Job opportunities after Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM): After being a certified Professional Scrum Master, the candidate can apply for various fields, to name a few:Scrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterProduct OwnerCoachMentorCost: Starts from  $150.Average Salary: $100,500CertificationProfessional Scrum Master Training (PSM)Accreditation BodyScrum.orgPrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 80 questions within an hour.Passing score: 80 per cent.Career PathScrum Master, Mentor, Coach, Manager, Product Owner for big organisations.Average Salary$100,500Cost of Certification$1505. SAFe 4.0 Scrum Master (SSM)It is a two-day course, during which the attendees gain a proper understanding of the roles of a Scrum Master in the context of SAFe enterprise while at the same time, prepare them to plan and execute the Program Increment(PI) successfully. PI is an enabler of alignment for all the levels of a SAFe organisation, which includes the facilitation of Scrum in the enterprise and executing the Iteration Planning.This course will validate that you can now perform the role of a Scrum Master in a SAFe environment, which will help you increase your value to organisations and teams which are implementing SAFe.Accreditation Body: Scaled Agile.Prerequisites:Regardless of experience, this course can be attended by anyone. But it is recommended to have the following prerequisites for the ones who intend to take the SAFe® Scrum Master (SSM) certification exam:They should be familiar with Agile concepts and practices.Basic knowledge and awareness of Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP) and Kanban.Proper working knowledge of hardware as well as software development processes.Who can take up this certification?This course can be taken up by Scrum Master who are new to this and need to perform the role. While this course can also be taken up by the existing Scrum Masters who wish to know about their role as a Scrum Master in a SAFe environment.Other than them, Team leads who wish to understand the roles of Scrum Master can also take up this course.Job opportunities after SAFe 4.0 Scrum Master (SSM): Based on the candidates' experience, the candidate can apply for various roles. To name a few:Scrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterAgile Scrum MasterAgile Project ManagerAgile Project DirectorAgile CoachProduct OwnerCost: The first attempt of the exam is included in the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days after completing the course. After that, each retake costs $50.Average Salary: $114,546CertificationSAFe 4.0 Scrum Master (SSM)Accreditation BodyScaled AgilePrerequisitesFamiliarity with Agile concepts and practices.Basic knowledge and awareness of Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP) and Kanban.Proper working knowledge of hardware as well as software development processes.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 45 questions within a duration of 90 minutes; out of which 33 should be answered correctly.Career PathScrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterAgile Scrum MasterAgile Project ManagerAgile Project DirectorAgile CoachProduct OwnerAverage Salary$114,546Cost of CertificationThe first attempt of the exam is included in the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days after completing the course. After that, each retake costs $50.Renewal Cost$100; Every one year from the date of certification earned.6. Scrum Master Certified (SMC)The professionals who are certified as Scrum Master Certified (SMC) ensure that the Scrum team is working in an environment which helps them in completing their project successfully. The Scrum Master has the responsibility to ensure that the Scrum process is being followed. He guides the Scrum practices to everyone who is involved in the project.Accreditation Body: SCRUMstudyPrerequisites:There are no particular prerequisites for this certification, but a SDC™certified professional is more preferred.Who can take up this certification?This course is apt for professionals who are involved in product delivery using the Scrum Framework. It is particularly most beneficial for Scrum Master, Team members and managers, that is, those people who are accountable for getting the most out of Scrum.Job opportunities after Scrum Master Certified (SMC): After completion of the course, you can opt for the following job opportunities:Scrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterCoach Scrum MasterProduct Owner/ManagerCost: $450 USDAverage Salary: The average salary for a Scrum Master Certified professional ranges between $100,00 to $130,00 USD.CertificationScrum Master Certified (SMC)Accreditation BodySCRUMstudyPrerequisitesThere are no particular prerequisites for this certification, but a SDC™certified professional is more preferred.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 100 questions within a duration of two hours.Career PathScrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterCoach Scrum MasterProduct Owner/ManagerAverage Salary$100,00 to $130,00 USDCost of Certification$450 USDRenewal CostEarn 40 recertification credits every three years.7. Agile Scrum Master (ASM)The Agile Scrum Master certification combines scrum practices and agile methodologies with practical assignments. It tests the ability of the professional that is required to facilitate, enable and coach a cross-functional Scrum Team as a Scrum Master.Accreditation Body: Exin.Prerequisites: You are required to have successfully completed an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training, which is mandatory.Who can take up this certification?This certification aims the managerial professionals who are in the fields of IT project management, business management, software development, and IT service management.Job opportunities after Agile Scrum Master (ASM): The professional can look forward to the following job opportunities after completing the Agile Scrum Master course:Scrum MasterAgile CoachAssociate Scrum MasterProgram ManagerCost: $260 USDAverage Salary: The average salary of an Agile Scrum Master ranges between $100,00 to $130,000 across the United States.CertificationAgile Scrum Master (ASM)Accreditation BodyEXINPrerequisitesThe candidate is required to have successfully completed an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training, which is mandatory.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 40 questions within a duration of 90 minutes; Pass mark being 65%.Career PathScrum MasterAgile CoachAssociate Scrum MasterProgram ManagerAverage Salary$100,00 to $130,00 USDCost of Certification$260 USDWhat is Scrum?Scrum is a lightweight framework with the help of which people can address complex problems to deliver projects of the highest possible value. It is primarily used for software development processes by using iterative and incremental practices to work towards a well-defined goal.It is a subset of Agile as it follows the Agile Manifesto, which expresses a set of values and principles to help make decisions on how to develop higher-quality software in a quicker and better manner. Organisations have benefitted by Agile Scrum process as:It increases the productivity of the team.It increases the quality of deliverable products.Helps in getting a better grip of the project schedule.It provides a better estimate while less time is spent on creating themIt keeps the stakeholders and customers satisfied.How are Scrum and Agile related Scrum and Agile are related, but distinctly. Agile is a methodology that describes a set of guiding principles to build software through iterative development, which is described in the Agile Manifesto.Scrum follows a set of rules while practising agile software development. Even though these two models look similar and function in a similar manner, there are differences as well. Scrum aims for a product team with firm rules and guidelines. It is an incremental and iterative development methodology of Agile, that is, it can be said that it is an agile framework for developing software. Scrum does not state any detailed description or template of the process of software development, unlike many other software development methodologies. It states the desired outcome that is required, leaving it on the agile scrum team to determine the solutions to the problems that they are facing or will come across. It may be used for software maintenance projects or software development. Scrum increases the flexibility and speed of the process of product development. Organisations which have switched to agile processes like Scrum have experienced many benefits like higher stakeholder satisfaction, higher productivity, etc. The benefits experienced are further discussed in detail.Scrum Certifying Accreditation BodiesThe following is a list of a few Scrum Certifying Bodies.Scrum AllianceScrum.orgScaled AgileAPM Group InternationalSCRUMstudy1. Scrum Alliance: Scrum Alliance was founded in the year 2011. Being a globally renowned organisation, it supports Scrum adoption, research and networking, focusing on organisational transformations. It is the largest, most established organisation for Agile membership and certification that has trained more than 750,000 professionals worldwide.2. Scrum.org:Scrum.org provides training, assessments and certifications based on the principles of Scrum and Agile manifesto in order to improve software delivery. They empower people and organisations all around the world to achieve agility through Scrum. The global organisation was found in the year 2009 by Ken Schwaber.3. Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI): Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI) is the leading provider of SAFe® courses. Being a knowledge base for enterprises to adopt Agile, it uplifts the career growth of an individual as it offers various role-based courses and certifications.4. SCRUMstudy: SCRUMstudy is a globally acknowledged accreditation body for Agile and Scrum certifications. It has a large global partner network of ATPs, Authorized Training Providers, delivering training and certifications. The SBOK™ Guide has been authored by the SCRUMstudy, which is a comprehensive guide to deliver projects successfully using Scrum.5. EXIN: EXIN offers professionals certifications in a wide range of exams in the field of IT qualifications. It innovates in a continuous manner by developing exams in-house. They developed exams are both independent and with partners, which is done in order to enhance its portfolio as well as broaden the scope of the exams that are offered.Summary:Various accreditation bodies provide various Scrum Certifications around the globe. The main objective behind all the Scrum Certifications being making of a Scrum Master which will help his/her organisation achieve the goals following the Scrum framework. Choose the best certification course according to your requirements and make the best out of it!
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