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Top-paying Agile Certifications to Consider in 2021

The Agile methodology accentuates as well as functions by cross-functional teams who collaborate incrementally and iteratively to work on projects in a more flexible and responsive manner. The traditional methods of Project Development are not enough, which has led to an increase in the demand for Agile in the IT industry as well as in many other fields of engineering.Agile has revolutionized project management and software development which has led to an increase in demand for professionals who have experience and knowledge of Agile methodology and its different flavours like, Lean, Scrum, Scaled Agile, Kanban, SAFe, etc. The Agile certification is the combination of Agile training, evaluation of its methodologies and principles, along with the work experience in an Agile atmosphere. A number of certifications are now made available which tests an IT professional’s knowledge of the framework.Why Agile Certification?With organisations adopting Agile in their work culture, there is an increase in demand for professionals who are Agile certified and have experience in the field.According to The 13th Annual State of Agile Report, companies have realized various benefits by adopting Agile, with an increase in improvement in team morale (64% compared to 61% last year), along with increase in project predictability (52% as compared to 49% last year) and reduction in project risk (50% compared to 47% last year).The following states a few benefits that you can reap by attaining the Agile certification:Better SalaryBetter CredibilityBetter VisibilityHigher team involvementStay updated to the current market trendsIncrease in ProductivityHigh-quality productHigher customer satisfactionBenefits the organisation as wellLearn techniques for planning as well as estimating the cost of a project in an Agile wayTop 8 Agile CertificationsAccording to The 13th Annual State of Agile Report, when asked about the reasons for adopting Agile, the following response was received:It was less about an increase in productivity (51% compared to 55% last year), more about increasing the team’s morale (34% compared to last year’s 28%), less about reducing project risks (28% compared to 37% last year) and more about reducing the project costs (41% compared to 24% last year).A lot of options are available in the market that you can look through and choose from. It is important for you to understand the difference between the different certifications available, as well as their importance.The top 8 Agile certifications along with advanced level certifications that you can look out for are listed below:ICP-ACC (ICAgile- Agile Certified Coach) Training:The primary focus of ICP-ACC training is the mindset, roles and responsibilities of being an Agile Coach. After completion of the training, you can differentiate between and among mentoring, professional coaching, facilitating and teaching. You will also get the opportunity to learn the skills that are needed to create a safe environment within an agile team. An Agile Coach acts as a mentor for the Agile team, who has the responsibility to facilitate agile thinking and practices, as well as make sure that the team reaches the target through better team practices.Accreditation Body: ICAgilePrerequisites: It is advisable for you to have a basic idea of Agile Methodology as well as small working experience as an Agile practitioner. After successful completion of the training, the candidate will receive the designation of ICAgile Certified Coach (ICP-ACC) from an internationally recognised accreditation body, ICAgile.Who can take up this training?The ICP-ACC training that takes place over a course of three days is designed and recommended for the following:Currently working or aspiring to be agile coachesProduct OwnersScrum MastersEnterprise Agile coachesProfessionals who play a leadership role in Agile projectsIteration ManagersProject Managers and Team LeadersJob opportunities after ICP-ACC Training:After completion of the training, you can act as an Agile Coach in different organisations.Cost: $1795Average Salary: The average salary of a professional who is ICP-ACC certified is $119,883 per year.Certification/TrainingICP-ACC (ICAgile- Agile Certified Coach) TrainingAccreditation BodyICAgilePrerequisitesA basic idea of Agile MethodologySmall working experience as an Agile practitionerCareer PathAgile CoachAverage Salary$119,883Cost of Certification/Training$1795Leading SAFe® 4.6 Training Course:Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a methodology which is adapted by large-scaled Agile project teams so that the process of Agile transformation can be carried out seamlessly. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) synchronizes the collaboration, alignment, and delivery of multiple agile teams which leads to the success of the enterprise. The Leading SAFe® 4.6 training course is based on version 4.6 of SAFe.According to the 13th Annual State of Agile Report, the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) continues to grow in adoption as the scaling method of choice and was identified as the scaling method of choice by 30% of respondents.Accreditation Body: Scaled AgilePrerequisites: Completing the Leading SAFe 4.6 Training will prepare you to take the SAFe Agilist (SA) certification exam. However, the recommended prerequisites are stated as follows:A minimum of 5 years experience in software development, testing, product or project management or business analystExperience in ScrumWho can take up this training?The training can be taken up by individuals:Managers, Directors, CIOs, Executives and Leaders, VPsProject and Program ManagementDevelopment, QA, and Infrastructure ManagementProduct and Product Line ManagementEnterprise, System, and Solution ArchitectsJob opportunities after Leading SAFe® 4.6 Training: Cost: The first attempt of the examination is included as part of the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days after the day of completion of the course. In case you don't pass the examination, each retake attempt will cost $50.Average Salary: CertificationLeading SAFe® 4.6 Training CourseAccreditation BodyScaled AgilePrerequisitesA minimum of 5 years experience in software development, testing, product or project management or business analystExperience in ScrumExam InformationAnswer a set of 45 questions within a duration of 90 minutes; out of which 34 should be answered correctly.Career PathAgile CoachSAFe Release Train EngineerSAFe Program ConsultantCost 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.PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (Exam: PMI-ACP)®The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® helps you in recognizing your knowledge of Agile principles and Agile technique skills, helping you to work better with employees, stakeholders and peers.Accreditation Body: Project Management Institute (PMI).Prerequisites:The following are the prerequisites needed:2,000 hours of project experience, that is, working on teams.In addition to the above stated hours, either 1,500 hours of working on agile project teams or working with agile methodologies.21 contact hours of training in agile practices.Who can take up this certification?If your organisation is adopting Agile practices or if you are working in an agile team, this course will help you grow.Along with the experience and training, this course validates your real-world, hands-on experience and skills.Job opportunities after PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (Exam: PMI-ACP):The candidates after completing their course will be eligible for the following job opportunities:PMP Scrum MasterAgile TrainerTechnical Business AnalystProject ManagerDeputy Project ManagerBusiness AnalystAgile Project ManagerDigital Channel plannerCost: For PMI Members: US$435.00For non-PMI members: US$495.00Average Salary: The average salary of a PMI-ACP® is approximately $123,000 per year.CertificationPMI Agile Certified Practitioner (Exam: PMI-ACP)®Accreditation BodyProject Management Institute (PMI)Prerequisites2,000 hours of project experience, that is, working on teams.In addition to the above stated hours, either 1,500 hours of working on agile project teams or working with agile methodologies.21 contact hours of training in agile practices.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 120 questions within a duration of three hours.Career PathPMP Scrum MasterAgile TrainerTechnical Business AnalystProject ManagerDeputy Project ManagerBusiness AnalystAgile Project ManagerDigital Channel plannerAverage Salary$123,000Cost of CertificationFor PMI Members: US$435.00For non-PMI members: US$495.00Renewal CostEarn 30 PDUs (professional development unit) in agile topics, every three years.Certified Scrum Master (CSM®):The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating the processes while at the same time work with the Product Owner along with the development team and ensure that the Scrum values and practices are being followed. Scrum Master Certification is the highest in demand Scrum Master Certification, where you can about the Scrum framework as well as get a better understanding and functioning of the Scrum team events, roles and artefacts.Accreditation body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites: The CSM Course is commonly taken up by professionals who are working in IT and non-IT sectors and wish to deepen their understanding of Scrum. Hence, it is recommended for you to be familiar with the basics of Scrum, as it will help you to understand the overall framework of Scrum in less duration of time.Who can take up this certification?This certification can be taken up by the following professionals:Professionals who wish to become a Scrum MasterManagers of Scrum TeamsProduct Owners and DevelopersTeams who are transitioning to ScrumIf the candidate is working as a Scrum Master already, then completion of this course will help them nourish their Scrum skills and knowledge.Certification Procedure: You will have to first attend a two-day training, after which you have to attend an online test. The two-day training is regulated by a Certified Scrum Trainer and has been authorised by the Scrum Alliance.The certification has to be renewed every two years from the day of certification by paying a $100 fee without any additional training or examination.Job opportunities after Scrum Master Certification:After completion of the Scrum Master Certification course, you can join organisations as a Scrum Master. Apart from this, as a Scrum Master, you can opt for becoming mentors, product owners, coaches, managers, or continue with being a Scrum Master working in more challenging situations.Cost of certification: The cost of Scrum Master Certification ranges between $700 to $1500 depending on different factors like location and trainer.Average Salary: The average salary for a Certified Scrum Master falls in the range of $100,00 to $130,000.CertificationScrum Master Certification (CSM®)Accreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework in a short duration of time.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 50   within an hour; out of which 37 should be answered correctly.Career PathScrum MasterMentorCoachManagerProduct Owner.Average Salary$100,00 to $130,000Training Cost$1000Cost of Certification$700 to $1500.Renewal Cost$100; the certification needs to be renewed every two years without any extra training or examination.Advanced CSM (ACSM):If you are a Certified Scrum Master who has a minimum one year of working experience as a Scrum Master, then you can apply for this course. This course will help you get a deeper insight into Scrum and its practical use as well as learn different ways to coach the product owners and team members.Accreditation Body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites: To become an Advanced CSM, you need to have a minimum work experience of twelve months. Moreover, you should have a basic understanding of Scrum as well as its usage and implementation.Who can take up this certification?This certification can be taken up by:Individuals who wish to work as a Scrum Master and have completed the CSM courseTeams transitioning to ScrumScrum Team ManagersTeam members like developers and product ownersAnyone who wishes to get distinguished in the global marketCertification Process: You will have to first attend a training certified by ACSM where you get to learn techniques and skills which go beyond the basics of Scrum, such as interaction, coaching, facilitation and team dynamics. It is necessary for you to have a working experience of 12 months as a Scrum Master in the previous five years.The certification has to be renewed every two years from the date of certification by paying a fee of $175 without any additional training or examination.Job opportunities after Advanced Scrum Master Certification: Become a more professional practitioner as a Scrum Master and work as a Coach, Mentor or a Product Owner after completion of the ACSM course.Cost of Certification: The cost of ACSM certification varies roughly between $1295 to $1495.Average Salary: The average salary of an A-CSM professional varies between $100,00 to $130,000.CertificationAdvanced Scrum Master CertificationAccreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the framework perfectly in a shorter duration of time.Twelve months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years.Career PathScrum MasterMentorCoachManagerProduct OwnerAverage Salary$100,00 to $130,000Cost of Certification$1295 to $1495Renewal Cost$175; the certification needs to be renewed every two years with no extra training or examination.Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)This course focuses on scaling Scrum to big organisations while focusing on topics like lean concepts, coaching, system thinking, emotional intelligence, facilitation, and deeper understanding of the Scrum Framework.Accreditation Body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites:24 months of work experience as a Scrum Master in the last five yearsAn active A-CSM certificationAttend 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 up this certification:Managers of Scrum teamsTeams transitioning to ScrumScrum team members such as developersJob opportunities after Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM) Certification: Become a professional practitioner of Scrum Master for big organisations and learn to discover the underlying potential of different teams. Work as a Scrum Master, mentor, coach or a Product Owner while at the same time get various opportunities to attend exclusive CSP events along with other leaders from across the globe in Scrum and Agile.Cost of Certification: CSP-SM certification roughly costs around $1295.Average Salary: The average salary of a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM) is calculated to be roughly around $115,000 across the United States.CertificationCertified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)Accreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework in less time.An active A-CSM certification24 months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the previous five years.Career PathScrum MasterMentorCoachManagerProduct OwnerAverage Salary$115,000Cost of Certification$1295Renewal Cost$250Certified Scrum Product Owner Training®(CSPO):With the CSPO certification, become a Product Owner and enhance your skills to lead Agile teams as well as motivate your team members. Learn ways to facilitate smooth and proper communication between the team and stakeholders to increase the scrum functionality.The Certified Scrum Product Owner training is conducted by the Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers (CSTs), who bring together classroom study, group discussions and hands-on practice sessions. The training is spread over a span of two days.Accreditation body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites: It is advised that you have a basic knowledge of Agile. To appear for certification, it is important for you to present a 2-day CSPO course certificate, which is obtained after completing the course successfully.Who can take up this certification?Obtaining the Certified Scrum Product Owner certification can be marked as useful for:Scrum team members like Developers and Product OwnersTeams that are transitioning to ScrumScrum Team ManagersProfessionals who wish to pursue Professional Scrum Master™ certificationJob opportunities after CSPO Certification: Completion of this course will help you grab positions as:Product ManagerGeneral Product  ManagerSenior Product ManagerProgram ManagerCost of Certification: The course certification starts at a price of $1295.Average Salary: The average salary for a CSPO certified professional is $101,459 per year.CertificationCertified Scrum Product Owner Training®(CSPO)Accreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework in a short duration of time.Career PathProduct ManagerGeneral Product  ManagerSenior Product ManagerProgram ManagerAverage Salary$101,459Cost of CertificationThe course certification starts at a price of $1295.Renewal CostThe CSPO certification can be maintained by earning SEUs (Scrum Education Units®) every two years.Certified Scrum Developer® Training This course will help you in strengthening your skills in Agile software development. With Certified Scrum Developers certification, you get the opportunity to learn specialized Agile engineering skills as well as have a proper working understanding of Scrum and Agile principles. The main goal of this training is to expose you to the important tools and techniques which are needed to build software in an incremental and iterative manner that Scrum requires.Accreditation Body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites: To earn a CSD, it is necessary that you take up at least five days of formal training, which is taught by a Scrum Alliance-approved CSD instructor and Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider (REP®).If you are already CSM certified, then you need not take the first two days of training and can start directly from the technical training session from the third day.Who can take up this certification?The course of Certified Scrum Developer®  is designed in such a manner that is it most beneficial for software developers (programmers) who are working on building software in a Scrum environment.Job opportunities after Certified Scrum Developers:After attaining the Certified Scrum Developers certification, you can apply for the following job positions:Salesforce DeveloperAssociate Salesforce DeveloperSenior DeveloperScrum MasterScaled Agile Scrum and Transformation ManagerAgile Scrum LeadAgile Project ManagerCost: The cost of certification is included in the course tuition.Certification Process: After completion of your five-day training session, you will be required to demonstrate your understanding of Agile engineering practices, for which you will have to pass a CSD assessment which will be provided by the trainer. The trainer will be responsible for uploading and paying the certification fee for the candidates as they take the CSD-track courses.If you are a member of the Scrum Alliance as well as a CSM, they can take a 3-day CSD Technical Course. After which, you will receive a notification to accept your CSD license. The CSD certification will be added to your profile, which will be valid for two years.  The CSD certification needs to be renewed every two years. For renewal, 20 SEUs (Scrum Educational Credits) should be earned every two years along with a renewal fee of $100.Average Salary: The average salary of a CSD professional is $71,750 per year.CertificationCertified Scrum Developer® TrainingAccreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesFive days of formal training, which is taught by a Scrum Alliance-approved CSD instructor and Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider (REP®).CSM certification holders can skip the first 2 days of training and directly take the technical training from the 3rd day.Career PathSalesforce DeveloperAssociate Salesforce DeveloperSenior DeveloperScrum MasterScaled Agile Scrum and Transformation ManagerAgile Scrum LeadAgile Project ManagerAverage Salary$71,750Cost of CertificationThe cost of certification is included in the course tuitionRenewal Cost20 SEUs (Scrum Educational Credits) should be earned every two years along with a renewal fee of $100.Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM) PSM™ I:Professional Scrum Master™ training is a two-day training course entailing the basics of Scrum along with topics like Scrum Frameworks, roles of a Scrum Master. The course integrates team-based exercises with instructions, focusing on team dynamics, team motivation, conflict resolution and improved planning and estimation.Accreditation Body: Scrum.orgPrerequisites: There are no specific prerequisites needed for attending this course or undertaking the examination. The Professional Scrum Master™ training can be attended by any individual who is interested in attending the training and giving the examination. After course completion, you will receive a password for PSM I assessment which is conducted by Scrum.org. Subsequently, you can opt to proceed and undertake the PSM II and PSM III assessments.Who can take up this certification?Taking up the Professional Scrum Master™ training course will benefit the following individuals:Scrum Team members such a Product Owners and developersProfessionals who wish to pursue the Professional Scrum Master™ CertificationTeams which are transitioning to ScrumScrum Team managersJob opportunities after Professional Scrum Master™ certification:After being a certified Professional Scrum Master, the candidate can apply for the following fieldsScrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterProduct OwnerCoachMentorCost: Starts from  $150.Average Salary: The average salary for a certified Professional Scrum Master is $100,500.CertificationProfessional 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.Type of questions asked is multiple choice, multiple answer and true/false.Passing score: 80 percent.Career PathScrum MasterMentorCoachManagerProduct OwnerAverage Salary$100,500Cost of Certification$150PSM™ II:PSM™ II is a 2-day long, advanced level Scrum Master course. It is designed in such a way that it will help you in your professional development. However, it is required that you have a minimum of one-year work experience as a Scrum Master and wish to increase your abilities to be a Scrum Master.Accreditation Body: Scrum.orgPrerequisites: Certified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™)Minimum of one-year work experience as a Scrum MasterWho can take up this certification?If you have cleared the PSM™ I assessment, then you can opt for PSM™ II assessment. However, before attempting the PSM™ II assessment, it is important that you possess advanced knowledge on Scrum, as well as experience in implementing Scrum or have attended a PSM™ course.Job opportunities after Professional Scrum Master II™ certification:The candidate can apply for the following fields:Scrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterProduct OwnerCoachMentorCost: The cost of PSM™ II assessment is $250.Average Salary: The average salary of a PSM™ II certified professional is $117,000.CertificationProfessional Scrum Master II Training (PSM II)Accreditation BodyScrum.orgPrerequisitesCertified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™)Minimum of one-year work experience as a Scrum MasterExam InformationAnswer a set of 30 questions within 90 minutes.Passing Score: 85%Type of questions asked is multiple choice, multiple answer and true/false.Career PathScrum MasterMentorCoachManagerProduct OwnerAverage Salary$117,000.Cost of Certification$250PSM™  III: The Professional Scrum Master™ level III (PSM III) is an assessment which is available to candidates who have passed the PSM™ I and  PSM™ II courses and wishes to master an eminent level of Scrum. PSM™ III is the highest level of knowledge that a Professional Scrum Master™ can obtain.Accreditation Body: Scrum.orgPrerequisites: Certified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™) and Professional Scrum Master™ II (PSM™ II)Who can take up this certification?If you have cleared the PSM™ I and PSM™ II assessments, and wish to gain a distinguished level of Scrum Mastery, then you can take up the PSM™ III assessment. Job opportunities after Professional Scrum Master III™ certification:The candidate can apply for the following fields:Scrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterProduct OwnerCoachMentorDevelopersDeveloper ManagerSenior DeveloperCost: The cost of PSM™ III assessment is $500.CertificationProfessional Scrum Master™  III Training (PSM™ III)Accreditation BodyScrum.orgPrerequisitesCertified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™) and Professional Scrum Master™ II (PSM™ II)Exam InformationAnswer a set of 34 questions within 120  minutes.Passing Score: 85%Type of questions asked is multiple choice and essay types.Career PathScrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterProduct OwnerCoachMentorDevelopersDeveloper ManagerSenior DeveloperCost of Certification$500Kanban Management ProfessionalKanban Management Techniques provides a developmental transformation approach instead of abrupt changes. The main motive behind this course is to improve the workflow of your team. The course discusses the Kanban values, methodologies, and other factors that are involved in a Kanban system. Get to understand and learn about the early stages of the Kanban method. In order to obtain the certification, you do not need to clear any examination. Instead, you will have to attend courses recognised by KMP in order to get the certifications. The Kanban Management Professional courses hold a lifetime validity, without any need for renewal.Accreditation Body: Lean KanbanPrerequisites:It will be beneficial for you if you have the basic knowledge about Kanban. There are no specific prerequisites.Who can take up this certification?If you are a professional who wishes to optimise their career in the following fields:Agile CoachProject ManagersProgram ManagersSoftware developersBusiness analystsJob opportunities after Kanban Management Professional certification:After completion of the course, you can opt for any of the following job profiles:Scrum MasterTeam ManagersAgile CoachSenior Agile CoachCertificationKanban Management ProfessionalAccreditation BodyLean KanbanPrerequisitesIt will be beneficial if the candidates have basic knowledge about Kanban. There are no specific prerequisites.Career PathScrum MasterTeam ManagersAgile CoachSenior Agile CoachAgile Certifying Accreditation BodiesThe following is a list of a few Agile Certifying Bodies:ICAgileScaled AgileProject management InstituteScrum AllianceScrum.orgLean KanbanICAgile:ICAgile is the abbreviation for International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile). It is an organisation that consists of experts, pioneers, and trusted advisors. They help people and organisations become more agile. Their main motive is to achieve agile sustainability with the main focus on the transformation of people instead of the process.Scaled Agile: Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI) is the leading provider of SAFe® courses. It uplifts the career growth of an individual as well as organisations as it offers various role-based courses and certifications, along with being a knowledge base for enterprises to adopt Agile.Project Management Institute (PMI): The Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded in the year 1969. Till date, it has delivered value for more than 2.9 million executives around the globe through education, advocacy, collaboration and research. They help professionals advance in their careers and organisational success.Lean Kanban: Lean Kanban university holds classes that guide the candidates and their organisations through the Kanban Method and model their work using Kanban.Scrum Alliance: Founded in the year 2011, it is now a globally renowned organisation which supports Scrum adoption, research and networking, with its main focus on organisational transformations. It is the most established organisation for Agile membership and certification and has trained more than 750,000 professionals worldwide.Scrum.org: In order to improve software delivery, Scrum.org provides training, assessments and certifications based on the principles of Scrum and Agile manifesto. They empower people all around the globe to achieve agility through Scrum. Scrum.org was found in the year 2009 by Ken Schwaber.ConclusionWith many options available in the market, it is important for you to make a wise call after looking out for all options and decide what you need. If they wish to achieve benefits in their career or are willing to change their jobs, CSM and PMI-ACP can prove to be the best choice. If you target on attaining knowledge, then opting for PSM I and then going on to its higher level will help you achieve so. Choose the best course according to your requirement and make a leap at the chance to achieve what you wish for!

Top-paying Agile Certifications to Consider in 2021

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Top-paying Agile Certifications to Consider in 2021

The Agile methodology accentuates as well as functions by cross-functional teams who collaborate incrementally and iteratively to work on projects in a more flexible and responsive manner. The traditional methods of Project Development are not enough, which has led to an increase in the demand for Agile in the IT industry as well as in many other fields of engineering.

Agile has revolutionized project management and software development which has led to an increase in demand for professionals who have experience and knowledge of Agile methodology and its different flavours like, Lean, Scrum, Scaled Agile, Kanban, SAFe, etc. The Agile certification is the combination of Agile training, evaluation of its methodologies and principles, along with the work experience in an Agile atmosphere. A number of certifications are now made available which tests an IT professional’s knowledge of the framework.

Why Agile Certification?

With organisations adopting Agile in their work culture, there is an increase in demand for professionals who are Agile certified and have experience in the field.

According to The 13th Annual State of Agile Report, companies have realized various benefits by adopting Agile, with an increase in improvement in team morale (64% compared to 61% last year), along with increase in project predictability (52% as compared to 49% last year) and reduction in project risk (50% compared to 47% last year).

Response received for benefits of adopting agile

The following states a few benefits that you can reap by attaining the Agile certification:

  • Better Salary
  • Better Credibility
  • Better Visibility
  • Higher team involvement
  • Stay updated to the current market trends
  • Increase in Productivity
  • High-quality product
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Benefits the organisation as well
  • Learn techniques for planning as well as estimating the cost of a project in an Agile way

Benefits of agile certification

Top 8 Agile Certifications

According to The 13th Annual State of Agile Report, when asked about the reasons for adopting Agile, the following response was received:

It was less about an increase in productivity (51% compared to 55% last year), more about increasing the team’s morale (34% compared to last year’s 28%), less about reducing project risks (28% compared to 37% last year) and more about reducing the project costs (41% compared to 24% last year).

Response received for benefits of adopting agile

A lot of options are available in the market that you can look through and choose from. It is important for you to understand the difference between the different certifications available, as well as their importance.

The top 8 Agile certifications along with advanced level certifications that you can look out for are listed below:

ICP-ACC (ICAgile- Agile Certified Coach) Training:

The primary focus of ICP-ACC training is the mindset, roles and responsibilities of being an Agile Coach. After completion of the training, you can differentiate between and among mentoring, professional coaching, facilitating and teaching. You will also get the opportunity to learn the skills that are needed to create a safe environment within an agile team. An Agile Coach acts as a mentor for the Agile team, who has the responsibility to facilitate agile thinking and practices, as well as make sure that the team reaches the target through better team practices.

Accreditation Body: ICAgile

Prerequisites: 

It is advisable for you to have a basic idea of Agile Methodology as well as small working experience as an Agile practitioner. After successful completion of the training, the candidate will receive the designation of ICAgile Certified Coach (ICP-ACC) from an internationally recognised accreditation body, ICAgile.

Who can take up this training?

Who can take up this training

The ICP-ACC training that takes place over a course of three days is designed and recommended for the following:

  • Currently working or aspiring to be agile coaches
  • Product Owners
  • Scrum Masters
  • Enterprise Agile coaches
  • Professionals who play a leadership role in Agile projects
  • Iteration Managers
  • Project Managers and Team Leaders

Job opportunities after ICP-ACC Training:

After completion of the training, you can act as an Agile Coach in different organisations.

Cost: $1795
Average Salary: The average salary of a professional who is ICP-ACC certified is $119,883 per year.

Certification/TrainingICP-ACC (ICAgile- Agile Certified Coach) Training
Accreditation BodyICAgile
Prerequisites
  • A basic idea of Agile Methodology
  • Small working experience as an Agile practitioner
Career PathAgile Coach
Average Salary$119,883
Cost of Certification/Training$1795

Leading SAFe® 4.6 Training Course:

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a methodology which is adapted by large-scaled Agile project teams so that the process of Agile transformation can be carried out seamlessly. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) synchronizes the collaboration, alignment, and delivery of multiple agile teams which leads to the success of the enterprise. The Leading SAFe® 4.6 training course is based on version 4.6 of SAFe.

According to the 13th Annual State of Agile Report, the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) continues to grow in adoption as the scaling method of choice and was identified as the scaling method of choice by 30% of respondents.

Accreditation Body: Scaled Agile

Prerequisites: 

Completing the Leading SAFe 4.6 Training will prepare you to take the SAFe Agilist (SA) certification exam. However, the recommended prerequisites are stated as follows:

  • A minimum of 5 years experience in software development, testing, product or project management or business analyst
  • Experience in Scrum

Who can take up this training?

The training can be taken up by individuals:

  • Managers, Directors, CIOs, Executives and Leaders, VPs
  • Project and Program Management
  • Development, QA, and Infrastructure Management
  • Product and Product Line Management
  • Enterprise, System, and Solution Architects

Job opportunities after Leading SAFe® 4.6 Training: 

Cost: The first attempt of the examination is included as part of the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days after the day of completion of the course. In case you don't pass the examination, each retake attempt will cost $50.

Average Salary: 

CertificationLeading SAFe® 4.6 Training Course
Accreditation BodyScaled Agile
Prerequisites
  • A minimum of 5 years experience in software development, testing, product or project management or business analyst
  • Experience in Scrum
Exam InformationAnswer a set of 45 questions within a duration of 90 minutes; out of which 34 should be answered correctly.
Career Path
  • Agile Coach
  • SAFe Release Train Engineer
  • SAFe Program Consultant
Cost 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.

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (Exam: PMI-ACP)®

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® helps you in recognizing your knowledge of Agile principles and Agile technique skills, helping you to work better with employees, stakeholders and peers.

Accreditation Body: Project Management Institute (PMI).

Prerequisites:

The following are the prerequisites needed:

  • 2,000 hours of project experience, that is, working on teams.
  • In addition to the above stated hours, either 1,500 hours of working on agile project teams or working with agile methodologies.
  • 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.

Who can take up this certification?

If your organisation is adopting Agile practices or if you are working in an agile team, this course will help you grow.

Along with the experience and training, this course validates your real-world, hands-on experience and skills.

Job opportunities after PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (Exam: PMI-ACP):

The candidates after completing their course will be eligible for the following job opportunities:

  • PMP Scrum Master
  • Agile Trainer
  • Technical Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Deputy Project Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Agile Project Manager
  • Digital Channel planner

Cost: For PMI Members: US$435.00
For non-PMI members: US$495.00
Average Salary: The average salary of a PMI-ACP® is approximately $123,000 per year.

CertificationPMI Agile Certified Practitioner (Exam: PMI-ACP)®
Accreditation BodyProject Management Institute (PMI)
Prerequisites
  • 2,000 hours of project experience, that is, working on teams.
  • In addition to the above stated hours, either 1,500 hours of working on agile project teams or working with agile methodologies.
  • 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.
Exam InformationAnswer a set of 120 questions within a duration of three hours.
Career Path
  • PMP Scrum Master
  • Agile Trainer
  • Technical Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Deputy Project Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Agile Project Manager
  • Digital Channel planner
Average Salary$123,000
Cost of CertificationFor PMI Members: US$435.00
For non-PMI members: US$495.00
Renewal CostEarn 30 PDUs (professional development unit) in agile topics, every three years.

Certified Scrum Master (CSM®):

The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating the processes while at the same time work with the Product Owner along with the development team and ensure that the Scrum values and practices are being followed. Scrum Master Certification is the highest in demand Scrum Master Certification, where you can about the Scrum framework as well as get a better understanding and functioning of the Scrum team events, roles and artefacts.

Accreditation body: Scrum Alliance

Prerequisites: 

The CSM Course is commonly taken up by professionals who are working in IT and non-IT sectors and wish to deepen their understanding of Scrum. Hence, it is recommended for you to be familiar with the basics of Scrum, as it will help you to understand the overall framework of Scrum in less duration of time.

Who can take up this certification?

This certification can be taken up by the following professionals:

  • Professionals who wish to become a Scrum Master
  • Managers of Scrum Teams
  • Product Owners and Developers
  • Teams who are transitioning to Scrum

If the candidate is working as a Scrum Master already, then completion of this course will help them nourish their Scrum skills and knowledge.

Certification Procedure: 

You will have to first attend a two-day training, after which you have to attend an online test. The two-day training is regulated by a Certified Scrum Trainer and has been authorised by the Scrum Alliance.

The certification has to be renewed every two years from the day of certification by paying a $100 fee without any additional training or examination.

Job opportunities after Scrum Master Certification:

After completion of the Scrum Master Certification course, you can join organisations as a Scrum Master. Apart from this, as a Scrum Master, you can opt for becoming mentors, product owners, coaches, managers, or continue with being a Scrum Master working in more challenging situations.

Cost of certification: The cost of Scrum Master Certification ranges between $700 to $1500 depending on different factors like location and trainer.

Average Salary: The average salary for a Certified Scrum Master falls in the range of $100,00 to $130,000.

CertificationScrum Master Certification (CSM®)
Accreditation BodyScrum Alliance
PrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework in a short duration of time.
Exam InformationAnswer a set of 50   within an hour; out of which 37 should be answered correctly.
Career Path
  • Scrum Master
  • Mentor
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Product Owner.
Average Salary$100,00 to $130,000
Training Cost$1000
Cost of Certification$700 to $1500.
Renewal Cost$100; the certification needs to be renewed every two years without any extra training or examination.

Advanced CSM (ACSM):

If you are a Certified Scrum Master who has a minimum one year of working experience as a Scrum Master, then you can apply for this course. This course will help you get a deeper insight into Scrum and its practical use as well as learn different ways to coach the product owners and team members.

Accreditation Body: Scrum Alliance

Prerequisites: 

To become an Advanced CSM, you need to have a minimum work experience of twelve months. Moreover, you should have a basic understanding of Scrum as well as its usage and implementation.

Who can take up this certification?

This certification can be taken up by:

  • Individuals who wish to work as a Scrum Master and have completed the CSM course
  • Teams transitioning to Scrum
  • Scrum Team Managers
  • Team members like developers and product owners
  • Anyone who wishes to get distinguished in the global market

Certification Process: 

You will have to first attend a training certified by ACSM where you get to learn techniques and skills which go beyond the basics of Scrum, such as interaction, coaching, facilitation and team dynamics. It is necessary for you to have a working experience of 12 months as a Scrum Master in the previous five years.

The certification has to be renewed every two years from the date of certification by paying a fee of $175 without any additional training or examination.

Job opportunities after Advanced Scrum Master Certification: 

Become a more professional practitioner as a Scrum Master and work as a Coach, Mentor or a Product Owner after completion of the ACSM course.

Cost of Certification: The cost of ACSM certification varies roughly between $1295 to $1495.

Average Salary: The average salary of an A-CSM professional varies between $100,00 to $130,000.

CertificationAdvanced Scrum Master Certification
Accreditation BodyScrum Alliance
Prerequisites
  • Basics of Scrum to understand the framework perfectly in a shorter duration of time.
  • Twelve months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years.
Career Path
  • Scrum Master
  • Mentor
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Product Owner
Average Salary$100,00 to $130,000
Cost of Certification$1295 to $1495
Renewal Cost$175; the certification needs to be renewed every two years with no extra training or examination.

Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)

This course focuses on scaling Scrum to big organisations while focusing on topics like lean concepts, coaching, system thinking, emotional intelligence, facilitation, and deeper understanding of the Scrum Framework.

Accreditation Body: Scrum Alliance

Prerequisites:

  • 24 months of work experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years
  • An active A-CSM certification
  • Attend 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 up this certification:

  • Managers of Scrum teams
  • Teams transitioning to Scrum
  • Scrum team members such as developers

Job opportunities after Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM) Certification: 

Become a professional practitioner of Scrum Master for big organisations and learn to discover the underlying potential of different teams. Work as a Scrum Master, mentor, coach or a Product Owner while at the same time get various opportunities to attend exclusive CSP events along with other leaders from across the globe in Scrum and Agile.

Cost of Certification: CSP-SM certification roughly costs around $1295.

Average Salary: The average salary of a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM) is calculated to be roughly around $115,000 across the United States.

CertificationCertified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)
Accreditation BodyScrum Alliance
Prerequisites
  • Basics of Scrum to understand the overall framework in less time.
  • An active A-CSM certification
  • 24 months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the previous five years.
Career Path
  • Scrum Master
  • Mentor
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Product Owner

Average Salary$115,000
Cost of Certification$1295
Renewal Cost$250

Certified Scrum Product Owner Training®(CSPO):

With the CSPO certification, become a Product Owner and enhance your skills to lead Agile teams as well as motivate your team members. Learn ways to facilitate smooth and proper communication between the team and stakeholders to increase the scrum functionality.

The Certified Scrum Product Owner training is conducted by the Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers (CSTs), who bring together classroom study, group discussions and hands-on practice sessions. The training is spread over a span of two days.

Accreditation body: Scrum Alliance

Prerequisites: 

It is advised that you have a basic knowledge of Agile. To appear for certification, it is important for you to present a 2-day CSPO course certificate, which is obtained after completing the course successfully.

Who can take up this certification?

Obtaining the Certified Scrum Product Owner certification can be marked as useful for:

  • Scrum team members like Developers and Product Owners
  • Teams that are transitioning to Scrum
  • Scrum Team Managers
  • Professionals who wish to pursue Professional Scrum Master™ certification

Job opportunities after CSPO Certification: Completion of this course will help you grab positions as:

  • Product Manager
  • General Product  Manager
  • Senior Product Manager
  • Program Manager

Cost of Certification: The course certification starts at a price of $1295.

Average Salary: The average salary for a CSPO certified professional is $101,459 per year.

CertificationCertified Scrum Product Owner Training®(CSPO)
Accreditation BodyScrum Alliance
PrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework in a short duration of time.
Career Path
  • Product Manager
  • General Product  Manager
  • Senior Product Manager
  • Program Manager
Average Salary$101,459
Cost of CertificationThe course certification starts at a price of $1295.
Renewal CostThe CSPO certification can be maintained by earning SEUs (Scrum Education Units®) every two years.

Certified Scrum Developer® Training 

This course will help you in strengthening your skills in Agile software development. With Certified Scrum Developers certification, you get the opportunity to learn specialized Agile engineering skills as well as have a proper working understanding of Scrum and Agile principles. The main goal of this training is to expose you to the important tools and techniques which are needed to build software in an incremental and iterative manner that Scrum requires.

Accreditation Body: Scrum Alliance

Prerequisites: 

To earn a CSD, it is necessary that you take up at least five days of formal training, which is taught by a Scrum Alliance-approved CSD instructor and Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider (REP®).

If you are already CSM certified, then you need not take the first two days of training and can start directly from the technical training session from the third day.

Who can take up this certification?

The course of Certified Scrum Developer®  is designed in such a manner that is it most beneficial for software developers (programmers) who are working on building software in a Scrum environment.

Job opportunities after Certified Scrum Developers:

After attaining the Certified Scrum Developers certification, you can apply for the following job positions:

  • Salesforce Developer
  • Associate Salesforce Developer
  • Senior Developer
  • Scrum Master
  • Scaled Agile Scrum and Transformation Manager
  • Agile Scrum Lead
  • Agile Project Manager

Cost: The cost of certification is included in the course tuition.

Certification Process: 

After completion of your five-day training session, you will be required to demonstrate your understanding of Agile engineering practices, for which you will have to pass a CSD assessment which will be provided by the trainer. The trainer will be responsible for uploading and paying the certification fee for the candidates as they take the CSD-track courses.

If you are a member of the Scrum Alliance as well as a CSM, they can take a 3-day CSD Technical Course. After which, you will receive a notification to accept your CSD license. The CSD certification will be added to your profile, which will be valid for two years.  

The CSD certification needs to be renewed every two years. For renewal, 20 SEUs (Scrum Educational Credits) should be earned every two years along with a renewal fee of $100.

Average Salary: The average salary of a CSD professional is $71,750 per year.

CertificationCertified Scrum Developer® Training
Accreditation BodyScrum Alliance
Prerequisites
  • Five days of formal training, which is taught by a Scrum Alliance-approved CSD instructor and Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider (REP®).
  • CSM certification holders can skip the first 2 days of training and directly take the technical training from the 3rd day.
Career Path
  • Salesforce Developer
  • Associate Salesforce Developer
  • Senior Developer
  • Scrum Master
  • Scaled Agile Scrum and Transformation Manager
  • Agile Scrum Lead
  • Agile Project Manager

Average Salary$71,750
Cost of CertificationThe cost of certification is included in the course tuition
Renewal Cost20 SEUs (Scrum Educational Credits) should be earned every two years along with a renewal fee of $100.

Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM) PSM™ I:

Professional Scrum Master™ training is a two-day training course entailing the basics of Scrum along with topics like Scrum Frameworks, roles of a Scrum Master. The course integrates team-based exercises with instructions, focusing on team dynamics, team motivation, conflict resolution and improved planning and estimation.

Accreditation Body: Scrum.org

Prerequisites: 

There are no specific prerequisites needed for attending this course or undertaking the examination. The Professional Scrum Master™ training can be attended by any individual who is interested in attending the training and giving the examination. After course completion, you will receive a password for PSM I assessment which is conducted by Scrum.org. Subsequently, you can opt to proceed and undertake the PSM II and PSM III assessments.

Who can take up this certification?

Taking up the Professional Scrum Master™ training course will benefit the following individuals:

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

Job opportunities after Professional Scrum Master™ certification:

After being a certified Professional Scrum Master, the candidate can apply for the following fields

  • Scrum Master
  • Associate Scrum Master
  • Product Owner
  • Coach
  • Mentor

CostStarts from  $150.

Average Salary: The average salary for a certified Professional Scrum Master is $100,500.

CertificationProfessional Scrum Master Training (PSM)
Accreditation BodyScrum.org
PrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.
Exam Information
  • Answer a set of 80 questions within an hour.
  • Type of questions asked is multiple choice, multiple answer and true/false.
  • Passing score: 80 percent.
Career Path
  • Scrum Master
  • Mentor
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Product Owner
Average Salary$100,500
Cost of Certification$150

PSM™ II:

PSM™ II is a 2-day long, advanced level Scrum Master course. It is designed in such a way that it will help you in your professional development. However, it is required that you have a minimum of one-year work experience as a Scrum Master and wish to increase your abilities to be a Scrum Master.

Accreditation Body: Scrum.org

Prerequisites: 

  • Certified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™)
  • Minimum of one-year work experience as a Scrum Master

Who can take up this certification?

If you have cleared the PSM™ I assessment, then you can opt for PSM™ II assessment. However, before attempting the PSM™ II assessment, it is important that you possess advanced knowledge on Scrum, as well as experience in implementing Scrum or have attended a PSM™ course.

Job opportunities after Professional Scrum Master II™ certification:

The candidate can apply for the following fields:

  • Scrum Master
  • Associate Scrum Master
  • Product Owner
  • Coach
  • Mentor

Cost: The cost of PSM™ II assessment is $250.

Average Salary: The average salary of a PSM™ II certified professional is $117,000.

CertificationProfessional Scrum Master II Training (PSM II)
Accreditation BodyScrum.org
Prerequisites
  • Certified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™)
  • Minimum of one-year work experience as a Scrum Master
Exam Information
  • Answer a set of 30 questions within 90 minutes.
  • Passing Score: 85%
  • Type of questions asked is multiple choice, multiple answer and true/false.
Career Path
  • Scrum Master
  • Mentor
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Product Owner
Average Salary$117,000.
Cost of Certification$250

PSM™  III: 

The Professional Scrum Master™ level III (PSM III) is an assessment which is available to candidates who have passed the PSM™ I and  PSM™ II courses and wishes to master an eminent level of Scrum. PSM™ III is the highest level of knowledge that a Professional Scrum Master™ can obtain.

Accreditation Body: Scrum.org

Prerequisites: 

  • Certified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™) and Professional Scrum Master™ II (PSM™ II)

Who can take up this certification?

If you have cleared the PSM™ I and PSM™ II assessments, and wish to gain a distinguished level of Scrum Mastery, then you can take up the PSM™ III assessment. 

Job opportunities after Professional Scrum Master III™ certification:

The candidate can apply for the following fields:

  • Scrum Master
  • Associate Scrum Master
  • Product Owner
  • Coach
  • Mentor
  • Developers
  • Developer Manager
  • Senior Developer

Cost: The cost of PSM™ III assessment is $500.

CertificationProfessional Scrum Master™  III Training (PSM™ III)
Accreditation BodyScrum.org
Prerequisites
  • Certified Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™) and Professional Scrum Master™ II (PSM™ II)
Exam Information
  • Answer a set of 34 questions within 120  minutes.
  • Passing Score: 85%
  • Type of questions asked is multiple choice and essay types.
Career Path
  • Scrum Master
  • Associate Scrum Master
  • Product Owner
  • Coach
  • Mentor
  • Developers
  • Developer Manager
  • Senior Developer

Cost of Certification$500

Kanban Management Professional

Kanban Management Techniques provides a developmental transformation approach instead of abrupt changes. The main motive behind this course is to improve the workflow of your team. The course discusses the Kanban values, methodologies, and other factors that are involved in a Kanban system. Get to understand and learn about the early stages of the Kanban method. In order to obtain the certification, you do not need to clear any examination. Instead, you will have to attend courses recognised by KMP in order to get the certifications. The Kanban Management Professional courses hold a lifetime validity, without any need for renewal.

Accreditation Body: Lean Kanban

Prerequisites:

  • It will be beneficial for you if you have the basic knowledge about Kanban. There are no specific prerequisites.

Who can take up this certification?

If you are a professional who wishes to optimise their career in the following fields:

  • Agile Coach
  • Project Managers
  • Program Managers
  • Software developers
  • Business analysts

Job opportunities after Kanban Management Professional certification:

After completion of the course, you can opt for any of the following job profiles:

  • Scrum Master
  • Team Managers
  • Agile Coach
  • Senior Agile Coach
CertificationKanban Management Professional
Accreditation BodyLean Kanban
PrerequisitesIt will be beneficial if the candidates have basic knowledge about Kanban. There are no specific prerequisites.
Career Path
  • Scrum Master
  • Team Managers
  • Agile Coach
  • Senior Agile Coach

Agile Certifying Accreditation Bodies

Few Agile Certifying Bodies

The following is a list of a few Agile Certifying Bodies:

  1. ICAgile
  2. Scaled Agile
  3. Project management Institute
  4. Scrum Alliance
  5. Scrum.org
  6. Lean Kanban

ICAgile:

ICAgile is the abbreviation for International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile). It is an organisation that consists of experts, pioneers, and trusted advisors. They help people and organisations become more agile. Their main motive is to achieve agile sustainability with the main focus on the transformation of people instead of the process.

Scaled Agile: 

Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI) is the leading provider of SAFe® courses. It uplifts the career growth of an individual as well as organisations as it offers various role-based courses and certifications, along with being a knowledge base for enterprises to adopt Agile.

Project Management Institute (PMI): 

The Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded in the year 1969. Till date, it has delivered value for more than 2.9 million executives around the globe through education, advocacy, collaboration and research. They help professionals advance in their careers and organisational success.

Lean Kanban: 

Lean Kanban university holds classes that guide the candidates and their organisations through the Kanban Method and model their work using Kanban.

Scrum Alliance: 

Founded in the year 2011, it is now a globally renowned organisation which supports Scrum adoption, research and networking, with its main focus on organisational transformations. It is the most established organisation for Agile membership and certification and has trained more than 750,000 professionals worldwide.

Scrum.org: 

In order to improve software delivery, Scrum.org provides training, assessments and certifications based on the principles of Scrum and Agile manifesto. They empower people all around the globe to achieve agility through Scrum. Scrum.org was found in the year 2009 by Ken Schwaber.

Conclusion

With many options available in the market, it is important for you to make a wise call after looking out for all options and decide what you need. If they wish to achieve benefits in their career or are willing to change their jobs, CSM and PMI-ACP can prove to be the best choice. If you target on attaining knowledge, then opting for PSM I and then going on to its higher level will help you achieve so. Choose the best course according to your requirement and make a leap at the chance to achieve what you wish for!

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

Author

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

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Technology has made our lives easier. The number of tools and devices we have at our disposal has made our lives more productive and our work more efficient. The Agile software development methodology has been adopted by several organizations to improve their adaptability, responsiveness, and productivity.  How can we improve the way we incorporate Agile Scrum into our projects? Scrum tools can be the answer. 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What Best Describes a Scrum Team?

We are living in an age where speed is the secret to success, and the one who gets the product out first is the winner. In this digital transformation world, organizations that have adopted Agile will succeed; as Agile is all about adaptability, quick delivery and customer focus.  Scrum, the most used Agile framework is all about addressing complex problems through adaptation and value creation. Scrum teams are at the core of a Scrum project. What best describes a Scrum team? Let’s attempt to answer this question.What is Scrum?A term borrowed from rugby; Scrum actually means ‘to huddle’. It signifies how rugby payers huddle together and work as a team in order to gain possession of the ball. Like its namesake in the sport of rugby, Scrum in Agile software development also signifies a process that brings together a team of individuals who work together under complex circumstances to create a product. The term was first used by researchers Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in their 1986 research paper, "The New Product Development Game."“Scrum is a framework that encourages teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while working on a problem, and reflect on their wins and losses to continuously improve”—Atlassian Agile coachWhat is the Scrum Methodology?Scrum is a framework under the umbrella of agile development methodologies, along with Kanban, Extreme Programming, Feature-Driven Development, Crystal, and Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM).The Scrum methodology focuses on delivering products of the highest quality through effective collaboration between teams involved.  Scrum is based on the three pillars of empirical process control, which are transparency, inspection, & adaptationThe Scrum FrameworkScrum is an Agile methodology framework that follows an iterative and incremental approach for project management, and breaks down large projects into small chunks called epics and sprints.  Each sprint results in the creation of a product and the cumulative effort of all the sprints adds to the improvement of the overall end product. The Scrum framework encourages high level collaboration among team members which comes in handy in tough project situationsWhat is a Scrum Team?Scrum.org is what best describes a Scrum Team by defining it as ‘a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.’ So, in essence Scrum teams are self-organized and highly productive teams that deliver quality products in a highly collaborative environment.  A Scrum team’s success is based on the Scrum values that they share. These are:Commitment:  Commitment is one of the hallmarks of Agile teams. Teams collaborate and work on a common goal through a high degree of communication and trust between them.Courage: Scrum teams must have the courage to fail. Fail fast is a benefit in Agile and Scrum as this helps them discover hidden faults and recover quickly. Scrum teams must have the courage to try new things, innovate, fail and then learn from their failures to ultimately achieve success.  Focus: Having focus is a mandatory requirement of Scrum teams which ultimately helps them limit the work in progress.  Openness: Transparency and openness is also one of the empirical processes on which Scrum is based. Teams that are open and transparent with one another trust each other more and work better towards reaching a successful end point.Respect: Respect between team members is a must, irrespective of the methodology or framework they use. Respect between Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Development team members will help foster trust and enhance collaboration and co-operation between teammates.What describes a Scrum team?A Scrum team consists of three main roles. These are:Development TeamScrum MasterScrum Product OwnerThe development team consists of five to eleven people including developers, testers, architects and others. The Scrum team has a shared goal and through their collaboration and skills of self-organization and motivation, they reach this goal.What is a Scrum Master?The Scrum Master, also known as the servant leader, helps empower the team and guides them on the use of the Scrum framework. Their main responsibility is to ensure that the development team can perform to the best of its abilities, and they do this by removing obstacles or impediments that may hinder the progress of the development team. The Scrum Master is the agile coach and mentor who helps team members understand Agile and its processes and aids in enterprise-wide agile transformations.The Product OwnerThe Product Owner is the bridge connecting the stakeholders and the development team. They define the product vision and through their skills and intelligence drive the project with help from the Scrum Master and the development team. The product owner maintains the perfect balance between the stakeholder and the development team, helping each understand the other’s point of view. They are also well-versed in agile and scrum values and principles and guide the team and well as the stakeholders on the agile ways of working. Creating stakeholder satisfaction is an important responsibility of the product owner and they do this by ensuring that requirements are met, and the product created meets quality standards expected by the customer.The Development TeamThe development team is the driving force of the Scrum project. This team is empowered by the Scrum Master and the Product Owner to take decisions and be as autonomous and independent as possible. At the same time there is a high level of collaboration and transparency among the team members and between the dev team and the Product Owner. The dev team is balanced and helps the product owner manage the backlog and deliver an acceptable product at the end of every sprint.Why is the Scrum team required for organizations?Any organization that wants to go agile and implement projects using the scrum framework has to do so by getting together an efficient scrum team. Scrum has proven to be extremely successful at team levels and it is the Scrum team that drives the project to success. Scrum teams with their collaboration, self-organization, innovation and collocation are able to drive success and business value.A table that summarizes the Scrum Team’s responsibilities in the various Scrum processesScrum PhaseScrum processScrum Master responsibilityProduct Owner responsibilityDevelopment team responsibilityInitiate1. Create Project Vision------2. Identify Scrum Master and Stakeholder(s)--Identifies Scrum Master--3. Form Scrum TeamAlong with the PO decides dev teamAlong with the SM decides dev team--4. Develop Epic(s)Helps PO in developing epicsDevelops epics and arranges user group meetingsHelps PO in developing epics5. Create Prioritized Product BacklogHelps PO in epic refinementRefines epicsHelps PO in epic refinement6. Conduct Release PlanningHelps PO and dev team with backlog prioritization and determining sprint lengthReviews the backlog and develops release planning scheduleHelps PO with backlog prioritization and determining sprint lengthPlan and Estimate7. Create User StoriesHelps dev team and PO write user storiesWrites user stories and incorporates them into the Prioritized Product BacklogWrites user stories8. Approve, Estimate, and Commit User StoriesEstimates the effort required to deliver the product defined in each user storyApproves user stories for the sprintAlong with the SM estimates the effort for each sprint and9. Create TasksHelps dev team break down the stories into tasksHelps dev team break down the stories into tasksBreaks down the approved stories into tasks and create a task list10. Estimate TasksHelps the dev team create the effort estimated task listHelps the dev team create the effort estimated task listCreates the effort estimated task list11. Create Sprint BacklogHelps the PO create sprint backlogCreates the sprint backlog and lists the tasks that need to be completed in the sprintHelps the PO create sprint backlogImplement12. Create DeliverablesGuides the dev teamHelps dev team if neededWorks on creating sprint deliverables13. Conduct Daily Stand-upArranges and conducts the meetingsMay or may not attend the meetingsAttends the meetings and defines any problems or issues faced14. Groom Prioritized Product Backlog Helps PO to groom the backlogUpdates and maintains the backlog continuouslyHelps PO to groom the backlogReview and Retrospect15. Convene Scrum of ScrumsHelps teams collaborate and notes any impediments that may be hindering work--Mentions their progress or any issues they may be facing16. Demonstrate and Validate Sprint Helps dev team in displaying what it has createdApproves or rejects what the dev team demonstratesDemonstrates deliverables to PO and stakeholders17. Retrospect SprintMeets with dev team to ponder on lessons learnt during the sprint. Documents the recommendations--With scrum master retrospect's on sprint and uses the recommendations for the next sprint18. Ship DeliverablesAlong with other team members ships acceptable deliverablesAlong with other team members ships acceptable deliverablesAlong with other team members ships acceptable deliverables19. Retrospect ProjectGets together with other team members and identifies the lessons learntGets together with other team members and identifies the lessons learntGets together with other team members and identifies the lessons learntSo, what best describes a Scrum team? There are many facets to a Scrum team, but the most relatable description would be a highly interconnected and cohesive unit that works together to solve issues. A well-organized Scrum team can raise the ROI of an organization and ensure long term stakeholder commitment.
What Best Describes a Scrum Team?

We are living in an age where speed is the secret ... Read More

Safe Agile Ceremonies - Expert Guide

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

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

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