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Top Scrum Certifications of 2021

A question that plagues most entry-level or even mid-career Scrum professionals is: “is a Scrum credential really worth it?” The answer—it most definitely is! According to the Salary Survey of Scrum Professionals 2017-18 , even entry level professionals, with just one scrum certification, earn much more than their non-certified counterparts. Scrum certifications were also the most requested certifications in 2020 with the Certified ScrumMaster being most in demand, according to employment website Indeed.com. Employers are more than ever before, looking at hiring certified Scrum professionals, a fact validated by  Indeed.com’s survey, which places the CSM above the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential in its list. So, you know how to future proof your career. Get a Scrum certification!  SourceHere’s a list of the top paying Scrum certifications that will help you in career progression, leverage this hiring demand in 2021-2022 and earn high salaries.CSMCSPOPSMA-CSMPSPOSAFe Scrum Master CertificationPMI-ACPScrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)  This entry-level Scrum credential from Scrum Alliance, is a great starting point for professionals who want to gain an understanding of Scrum team roles and responsibilities, Scrum events and Scrum artifacts.CSM Demand: CSM, was the 9th most-requested certification this year in the Indeed.com survey. With an average salary of approximately $120K per annum and 24% expected job growth rate in the next 3 years, CSM is indeed the gold standard for Scrum certifications.   Source: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Schools & Reviews | Indeed.com Benefits Of CSM Gain a high degree of proficiency in executing Scrum. Become an Agile change agent Be a servant leader. Create a highly motivated and high performing team. Open yourself to new opportunities. Earn high salaries. Average salary USD 118,353 Gets you a 2-year membership with Scrum AllianceTop companies hiring CSM professionals Retail E-commerce Energy & Utilities Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos Advertising Marketing Government Institutions. Some of the top companies hiring CSMs includeIBM Tata Consultancy Services CapGemini Honeywell BOSCH Accenture DeloitteWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a course taught by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance or by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®). KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Eligibility for CSM exam: Attending an in-person two day (16 hours) or live online (14 hours) Certified ScrumMaster® course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®) is required, to be eligible for the exam. Who should take the CSM training for certificationSoftware Engineers Product Managers Project Managers Team Leaders Business Analysts Product Managers Software Developers Product Owners Software Development Managers Software Architects Software Testers Team Leads QA Managers Development team members Testers Anyone who would like to build a career as a Scrum Master Duration to get certified: Attending a 14-hour live online or 16 hour in-person course is mandatory for appearing for the exam. Once you complete the course, you should reserve some time for ensuring a thorough preparation before attempting the exam. If you successfully pass the exam, you will get your results immediately and you are a qualified CSM. The total duration in order to get CSM certified, including course, study time and exam should take you around a couple of weeks. Course fee for certification: Rs. 23,999/- in India, $ 1295 in the US Application fee for certification: NA Exam fee for certification: Included in course fee Exam Format: Online test comprising of 50 multiple choice questions. Duration: 1-hour Pass mark: 74%  Retake fee for certification: The second attempt is free if you attempt the exam within 60 days of course completion. The retake costs $25 after first two attempts.2. Certified Scrum Product Owner®(CSPO®) Another offering from Scrum Alliance, this credential is for professionals who want to cement their career as Product Owners and want to validate their expertise on Scrum terminology, practices, and principles. CSPO Demand: Product Owners have been recognised for their innumerable contribution to Scrum teams and their role as a bridge between business and development. With 90% modern teams using Scrum for product development, the Product Owner’s role as an intermediary who maximises value and motivates teams, is not lost on recruiters. Which is why the demand for product owner keeps rising and each day hundreds of open positions for product owner roles are added.  Benefits Of CSPO Enhance your knowledge of Agile practices Maximise value and enhance stakeholder satisfaction Grow your network and speak a global product owner language Get a 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance Earn lucrative salaries CSPO salary: $105,845.Top companies hiring CSPO professionals IT Telecom Healthcare Financial Manufacturing Education Some of the top companies hiring CSPOs includeGartner Intel Dell Bosch PayPal Mastercard Axis Bank SAP IBM Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a course taught by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance or by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®). KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Eligibility for CSPO exam: There is no exam. Aspirants need to successfully complete a 14 hour live online or 16 hours of in-person training with a CST, or 25 hours of face-to-face interaction with a Certified Agile Coach to be certified as CSPO.  Who should take the training for CSPO certification Project Managers Developers Product Owners Managers-Software development Architects-Software development Product Managers Software developers Software testers Team leads/Team members interested in learning Scrum Duration to get certified: 14 hours or 16 hours or 25 hours, depending on the mode of training you choose.Course fee for certification: Training cost: INR 24999 in India, USD 1295 in US and CAD 1495 in Canada 3. Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™)The Professional Scrum Master™ I is an offering from Scrum.org, a global organization founded by Scrum co-creator, Ken Schwaber. This credential with its high standards of training and exhaustive assessment, ensures that holders have mastery over the Scrum framework.  PSM Demand: According to the 2019 Scrum Master trends by Scrum.org, PSM I was among the top three certifications among survey participants. Scrum is by far the most commonly used agile framework and its popularity is not going to diminish any time soon.  PSM I is lucrative and career defining. Benefits Of PSM Lead a team of Scrum specialists who bring the benefits of Scrum to projects. Perform the responsibilities of a servant leader Resolve conflicts and tackle challenges to deliver the best at the end of every Sprint. Address organizational challenges in using Scrum effectively Display a high level of Scrum expertise Earn high salaries; upto USD 93,570 on average annuallyTop companies hiring PSM professionals Retail E-commerce Energy & Utilities Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos Advertising Marketing Government Institutions. Some of the top companies that hire PSMs J.P. Morgan Chas & Co Capgemini IBM Sogeti USA LLC Northrop Grumman CorporationWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train under PSTs or from a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.org. You can attend a face-to-face course taught by Professional Scrum Trainer (PSTs), a private coaching or complete 16 hours of live online training with a PST. KnowledgeHut is a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.org. Eligibility for PSM exam: There is no eligibility criteria for appearing for the exam. But aspirants must possess a high level of Scrum knowledge.  Who should take the training for PSM certification Project Managers Scrum Masters Scrum team members Developers Product Owners Software development managers Software Architects Product Managers Software Developers Software Coders Software Testers Team Leads/Team Members Duration to get certified: Passing the assessment is mandatory to gain the certificate. Considering that the assessment is difficult, Scrum.org suggests a thorough preparation that includes attending a course, reading the Scrum Guide and other resources. In all, it may take you 20 hrs including course and study time to get PSM certified. Course fee for certification: USD 1299 Exam format:  80 multiple choice questions and True/False questions Duration: 1 hour Pass mark: 85%   Application fee for certification : NA Exam fee for certification: $150 USD per attempt Retake fee for certification:  Two attempts are permitted within 14 days after you receive your key, at no additional cost.4. Advanced Certified ScrumMaster℠ (A-CSM℠) This is the advanced level credential after the CSM and is offered by the Scrum Alliance. If you want to continue on your agile journey and show your commitment to continued excellence, then this is the right credential for you.   A-CSM Demand: The A-CSM helps you showcase your advanced Scrum implementation skills, and ability to facilitate better dialogue between the Scrum team and stakeholders. These advanced Scrum Master skills are in high demand across Fortune 500 companies, who are ready to pay high salaries for such skills.  Benefits Of A-CSM Enable high performance teams Lead and facilitate change Resolve impediments Manage multiple teams Earn high salaries upto $115K per year Top companies hiring A-CSM professionals Retail E-commerce Energy & Utilities Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos Advertising Marketing Government Institutions Telecom Infrastructure Entertainment Some of the top companies hiring A-CSMs Google Walt Disney LinkedIn Roche BBC GE Adobe Microsoft Spotify eBay Twitter IBM Capgemini Accenture Deloitte Hewlett Packard BAE Systems Lockheed Martin ExxonMobil Verizon Walmart Dow Jones  Tesla  Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a training offered by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Eligibility for A-CSM exam  Hold a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification with the Scrum Alliance.  Attend a certified A-CSM educational offering to gain techniques and skills that go beyond the basics and mechanics of Scrum, expanding into interaction, facilitation, coaching, and team dynamics. Successfully complete all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering. This may include pre- or post-course work as deemed necessary by your approved educator to complete the learning objectives. Accept the A-CSM License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile. Validate at least 12 months of work experience specific to the role of Scrum Master (within the past five years).  Who should take the training for certification Scrum Masters Team Leads Development Managers Delivery Managers Project Managers Agile Coaches Duration to get certified: Once you have satisfied all the eligibility requirements mandated by Scrum Alliance including a minimum of 12 months of Scrum Master experience (within the past five years), you need to attend the 2-day A-CSM℠ course from a Global Registered Education Provider of Scrum Alliance post which you will get your A-CSM credential. KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Course fee for certification: USD  775  Application fee for certification: NA Exam fee for certification: There is no exam for A-CSM Retake fee for certification: NA5. Professional Scrum Product Owner™(PSPO) PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, a course and certification offered by Scrum.org. This credential helps you develop a solid understanding of the Product Owner responsibilities and maximize value of software products and systems. PSPO Demand:  Product Owner roles are the jobs of the future. Listed by LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum (Jobs of Tomorrow Report 2020) as being among the top emerging job trends, product owner roles are here to stay.  Benefits Of PSPO Own the product vision and maximize your team’s ROI Improve business value Motivate and lead Agile teams Demonstrate your proficiency in Scrum Grow your career in Scrum with confidence  Open yourself up to new opportunities Earn handsome salaries. Certified Product Owners earn $105,399, average salary, much higher compared to non-certified Product Owners Top companies hiring PSPO professionals Telecom Oil & gas Finance Government Healthcare Entertainment and more Some of the top companies hiring PSPOs includeSpotify Twitter Tesla Lockheed Martin Walmart Dow Jones ExxonMobil Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must take their training from a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.org. KnowledgeHut is a Scrum.org™ Professional Training Network (PTN) member. Eligibility for PSPO exam: No eligibility requirements. Participants must possess high knowledge of Scrum.  Who should take the training for certification Project Managers Developers Product Owners Managers-Software development Architects-Software development Product Managers Software developers Software testers Team leads/Team members interested in learning Scrum Leadership Team  Duration to get certified: 2 days training plus additional study hours before attempting the exam.  Course fee for certification: USD 999 Application fee for certification: NA  Exam fee for certification: $200 USD Exam Format: 80 multiple choice questions and True/False questions Duration: 1 hour Pass mark: 85% Difficulty Level: Intermediate  Retake fee for certification: You are allowed two attempts within 14 days after you receive your assessment key from Scrum.org at no additional cost.6. SAFe® Scrum Master Certification The SAFe Scrum Master certification certifies an individual as being capable of performing scrum master responsibilities in a scaled agile environment. SSM certified individuals can lead Agile Scrum transformations, create high performing teams and ensure implementation of Scrum practices in the organization.  SSM Demand:  According to the 13th State of Agile Survey Report (2019), the Scaled Agile Framework is the most popular scaling method. With more and more organizations discovering the benefits of scaling agile and harnessing its potential on an enterprise-wide scale, the demand for hiring SAFe certified professionals has increased tremendously.   Benefits Of SSM Perform the responsibilities of a servant leader Successfully carry out Program Increment planning Facilitate Iteration execution Manage the Program Increment Coach a successful Agile team that is highly motivated and high performing Get the Certified SAFe Scrum Master Certificate (PDF format)  Get the Certified SAFe Scrum Master Digital Badge  One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform Access to SAFe events and MeetUp Groups   Get access to various SAFe learning resources Open yourself to lucrative opportunities and high salaries—as high as $80,000 to $1,10,000 annually Top companies hiring SSM professionals Finance IT Service Industry FMCG Retail Insurance Banks  Some of the top companies hiring SSMs Cisco LEGO digital solutions Barclays Panera Bread Ericsson FitBit Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a training facilitated by an authorized training partner of Scaled Agile.  KnowledgeHut is a Silver Training Partner of Scaled Agile.  Eligibility for SSM exam:  Experience working in a Lean-Agile environment and attending a two-day training delivered by a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC).  Who should take the training for certification Program or Project Manager Scrum Master Team Lead Release Train Engineer Business Analyst Agile Coach Portfolio Manager Consultant Architect Engineer Developer Director Quality Manager Product Manager Product Owner Delivery Manager Program Manager  Duration to get certified:  2-day training followed by study time. On passing the 90 minute SSM exam you will be a Certified SAFe 5 Scrum Master. You will receive your SAFe 5 Scrum Master PDF Certificate and Digital Badge within 5-7 working days.  Course fee for certification: Rs 55999, Cost in the U.S.: USD 1099  Exam format:  Exam type – Multiple choice; Multiple select Exam delivery – Web-based (single-browser), closed book Exam duration – 1.5 hours Number of questions – 45 Passing score – SSM 4 = 33 out of 45 (73%); SSM 5.0 =33 out of 45 (73%) Exam score for SSM 5.0 has been updated effective Feb 28 8pm MST. SSM 5.0 passing score prior to February 28 was 34 out of 45 (75%). Language – English Application fee for certification: NA Exam fee for certification: First exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion. Retake fee for certification: $50 for each retake attempt 7. PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®The PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner, as the name suggests, is an offering of the world-renowned Project Management Institute.  This certification places rigorous standards on participants which is why it is highly acknowledged world over. Holders get a holistic view of carrying out project management practices in Agile environments.  PMI-ACP Demand:  According to a survey in SwarmOS, Agile adoption has helped 98% of organizations in reducing costs, enhancing bottom line margins and deliver successful products. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption rate of Agile and what these Agile organizations need are project managers who understand Agile in a variety of situations and are able to effectively steer projects by applying project management best practices. PMI-ACP professionals are therefore highly sought after by recruiters and organizations.  Benefits Of PMI-ACP Leverage the demand for Agile project managers by getting PMI-ACP certified Show your expertise in a variety of Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, and more Make yourself more marketable  Earn lucrative salaries :  $108,000 on an average  Top companies hiring PMI-ACP professionals Aerospace Engineering Manufacturing Construction Pharma Banking Some top companies hiring PMI-ACPs Boeing Booz Allen Hamilton Visa American Express AT&T Wipro Where to take training for certification:  Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI. KnowledgeHut is a Premier Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI.  Eligibility for PMI-ACP exam: General Project Experience 2000 hours of working on project teams within the last 5 years or having an active PMP®/PgMP® credential Agile Project Experience 1500 hours of working on Agile Project Teams or with Agile Methodologies, in addition to “General Project Experience” above; Training in Agile Practices 21 contact hours earned in Agile Practices Who should take the training for PMI-ACP certification Project Managers Project Planners Quality Assurance Staff Developers/Programmers Designers, Testers Project Controllers Product Owners Scrum Masters Scrum Team MembersDuration to get certified: Attending a training workshop of 3 days followed by intense exam preparation that can be from 100-150 hrs in duration is a conservative time to prepare for the PMI-ACP credential. Once you successfully pass the exam, you will be PM-ACP certified.  Course fee for certification: INR 10999, USD 1099 Exam Format:  120 MCQs, each question will have four choices Duration: 3 hours Application fee for certification : For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee. Exam fee for certification: $435 for PMI members, $495 for non-members Retake fee for certification: $335 for PMI members and $395 for non-members. 8. Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ CertificationThis highly regarded and recognised credential is offered by Scrum.Inc. This is the Scrum training developed and promoted by Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, and helps participants implement Scrum practices to bring about innovation, value and project success. Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification Demand: Considering that this certification has an agenda backed by the co-founder of Scrum, its demand in the industry is significant. The ability of certified professionals to create self-organized, high value and motivated teams is much appreciated by organizations. This has created a huge surplus of demand for Scrum professionals and this credential will put you in the market for these top roles.  Benefits of Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ CertificationDeliver high quality products and reduce costs Scale Scrum and enjoy enterprise-wide advantages Lead high performing teams Deliver products fast Earn high salaries: USD $97319  Scrum Master Certification – Getting Started & Comparison Guide 2021 (knowledgehut.com) Top companies hiring Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ professionals Financial Services Construction Engineering Pharma Data Analytics Education Tourism Government Agencies Some top companies hiring Scrum Master by Scrum Inc. Certified professionals Lockheed Martin PepsiCo Anthem Cisco Standard Chartered CapitalOne Thales FitBit Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must take the course from an authorized training provider of Scrum Inc.™. Eligibility for Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ exam: Attending a 16-hour Scrum Master course from an ATP of Scrum Inc™ is mandatory for taking the exam. Who should take the training (roles) for certificationProject Managers Scrum Masters Scrum Team Developers Product Owners Software Managers Software Architects Product Managers Testers Team Leads SAFe® practitioners interested in Scrum@Scale PMPs, PMI-ACP Team Leaders Professionals interested in Agile and Scrum methodologies Professionals who wish to explore how Scrum delivers twice the value at half the cost Duration to get certified: You need to attend a 16-hour course and spend some time for exam preparation. Once you take the exam and clear it, you will be Scrum Master certified.  Course fee for certification: $1995  Exam fee for certification: Included in training cost SummaryLinkedIn’s “Most promising jobs of 2017,” states that job openings for Scrum Masters grew 104 percent year-over-year from 2016, with a career advancement score of 8 out of 10; while Scrum Master was listed in the top 10 emerging Product Development jobs list by the World Economic Forum. Not just the number of jobs, but there is also steady increase in the base salary earned by Scrum certified professionals, and this increase based on the number of certifications that one holds.  So, more the number of certifications you add to your resume, the higher your salary goes. At the outset of 2021, there are still thousands of job openings for Scrum professionals. Equip yourself with one or more of these highest paying Scrum certifications and bring value to yourself and your organization.

Top Scrum Certifications of 2021

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Top Scrum Certifications of 2021

A question that plagues most entry-level or even mid-career Scrum professionals is“is a Scrum credential really worth it?” The answer—it most definitely is! According to the Salary Survey of Scrum Professionals 2017-18 , even entry level professionals, with just one scrum certification, earn much more than their non-certified counterparts. 

Scrum certifications were also the most requested certifications in 2020 with the Certified ScrumMaster being most in demand, according to employment website Indeed.com. Employers are more than ever before, looking at hiring certified Scrum professionals, a fact validated by  

Indeed.com’s survey, which places the CSM above the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential in its list. 

So, you know how to future proof your career. Get a Scrum certification!  Source

Here’s a list of the top paying Scrum certifications that will help you in career progressionleverage this hiring demand in 2021-2022 and earn high salaries.

1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)  

This entry-level Scrum credential from Scrum Alliance, is a great starting point for professionals who want to gain an understanding of Scrum team roles and responsibilities, Scrum events and Scrum artifacts.

CSM Demand: CSM, was the 9th most-requested certification this year in the Indeed.com survey. With an average salary of approximately $120K per annum and 24% expected job growth rate in the next 3 years, CSM is indeed the gold standard for Scrum certifications.   

Source: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Schools & Reviews | Indeed.com 

Benefits Of CSM 

  • Gain a high degree of proficiency in executing Scrum. 
  • Become an Agile change agent 
  • Be a servant leader. 
  • Create a highly motivated and high performing team. 
  • Open yourself to new opportunities. 
  • Earn high salaries. Average salary USD 118,353 
  • Gets you a 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance

Top companies hiring CSM professionals 

  1. Retail 
  2. E-commerce 
  3. Energy & Utilities 
  4. Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos 
  5. Advertising 
  6. Marketing 
  7. Government Institutions. 

Some of the top companies hiring CSMs include

  1. IBM 
  2. Tata Consultancy Services 
  3. CapGemini 
  4. Honeywell 
  5. BOSCH 
  6. Accenture 
  7. Deloitte

Where to take training for certificationAspirants must attend a course taught by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance or by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®)KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. 

Eligibility for CSM exam: Attending an in-person two day (16 hours) or live online (14 hours) Certified ScrumMaster® course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®) irequired, to be eligible for the exam. 

Who should take the CSM training for certification

  • Software Engineers 
  • Product Managers 
  • Project Managers 
  • Team Leaders 
  • Business Analysts 
  • Product Managers 
  • Software Developers 
  • Product Owners 
  • Software Development Managers 
  • Software Architects 
  • Software Testers 
  • Team Leads 
  • QA Managers 
  • Development team members 
  • Testers 
  • Anyone who would like to build a career as a Scrum Master 

Duration to get certifiedAttending a 14-hour live online or 16 hour in-person course is mandatory for appearing for the exam. Once you complete the course, you should reserve some time for ensuring a thorough preparation before attempting the exam. If you successfully pass the exam, you will get your results immediately and you are a qualified CSM. The total duration in order to get CSM certified, including course, study time and exam should take you around a couple of weeks. 

Course fee for certificationRs. 23,999/- in India, $ 1295 in the US 
Application fee for certification: NA 
Exam fee for certificationIncluded in course fee 

Exam Format: 

  • Online test comprising of 50 multiple choice questions. 
  • Duration: 1-hour 
  • Pass mark: 74%  

Retake fee for certificationThe second attempt is free if you attempt the exam within 60 days of course completion. The retake costs $25 after first two attempts.

2. Certified Scrum Product Owner®(CSPO®) 

Another offering from Scrum Alliance, this credential is for professionals who want to cement their career as Product Owners and want to validate their expertise on Scrum terminology, practices, and principles

CSPO Demand: Product Owners have been recognised for their innumerable contribution to Scrum teams and their role as a bridge between business and development. With 90% modern teams using Scrum for product development, the Product Owner’s role as an intermediary who maximises value and motivates teams, is not lost on recruiters. Which is why the demand for product owner keeps rising and each day hundreds of open positions for product owner roles are added.  

Benefits Of CSPO 

  • Enhance your knowledge of Agile practices 
  • Maximise value and enhance stakeholder satisfaction 
  • Grow your network and speak a global product owner language 
  • Get a 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance 
  • Earn lucrative salaries CSPO salary$105,845.

Top companies hiring CSPO professionals 

  1. IT 
  2. Telecom 
  3. Healthcare 
  4. Financial 
  5. Manufacturing 
  6. Education 

Some of the top companies hiring CSPOs include

  1. Gartner 
  2. Intel 
  3. Dell 
  4. Bosch 
  5. PayPal 
  6. Mastercard 
  7. Axis Bank 
  8. SAP 
  9. IBM 

Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a course taught by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance or by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®)KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. 

Eligibility for CSPO exam: There is no exam. Aspirants need to successfully complete a 14 hour live online or 16 hours of in-person training with a CST, or 25 hours of face-to-face interaction with a Certified Agile Coach to be certified as CSPO.  

Who should take the training for CSPO certification 

  • Project Managers 
  • Developers 
  • Product Owners 
  • Managers-Software development 
  • Architects-Software development 
  • Product Managers 
  • Software developers 
  • Software testers 
  • Team leads/Team members interested in learning Scrum 

Duration to get certified: 14 hours or 16 hours or 25 hours, depending on the mode of training you choose.

Course fee for certification: Training cost: INR 24999 in India, USD 1295 in US and CAD 1495 in Canada 

3. Professional Scrum Master (PSM)

The Professional Scrum Master™ I is an offering from Scrum.org, a global organization founded by Scrum co-creator, Ken Schwaber. This credential with its high standards of training and exhaustive assessment, ensures that holders have mastery over the Scrum framework.  

PSM Demand: According to the 2019 Scrum Master trends by Scrum.org, PSM I was among the top three certifications among survey participantsScrum is by far the most commonly used agile framework and its popularity is not going to diminish any time soon PSM I is lucrative and career defining. 

Benefits Of PSM 

  • Lead a team of Scrum specialists who bring the benefits of Scrum to projects. 
  • Perform the responsibilities of a servant leader 
  • Resolve conflicts and tackle challenges to deliver the best at the end of every Sprint. 
  • Address organizational challenges in using Scrum effectively 
  • Display a high level of Scrum expertise 
  • Earn high salaries; upto USD 93,570 on average annually

Top companies hiring PSM professionals 

  1. Retail 
  2. E-commerce 
  3. Energy & Utilities 
  4. Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos 
  5. Advertising 
  6. Marketing 
  7. Government Institutions. 

Some of the top companies that hire PSMs 

  1. J.P. Morgan Chas & Co 
  2. Capgemini 
  3. IBM 
  4. Sogeti USA LLC 
  5. Northrop Grumman Corporation

Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must train under PSTs or from a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.orgYou can attend a face-to-face course taught by Professional Scrum Trainer (PSTs), a private coaching or complete 16 hours of live online training with a PST. KnowledgeHut is a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.org. 

Eligibility for PSM exam: There is no eligibility criteria for appearing for the exam. But aspirants must possess a high level of Scrum knowledge.  

Who should take the training for PSM certification 

  • Project Managers 
  • Scrum Masters 
  • Scrum team members 
  • Developers 
  • Product Owners 
  • Software development managers 
  • Software Architects 
  • Product Managers 
  • Software Developers 
  • Software Coders 
  • Software Testers 
  • Team Leads/Team Members 

Duration to get certifiedPassing the assessment is mandatory to gain the certificate. Considering that the assessment is difficult, Scrum.org suggests a thorough preparation that includes attending a course, reading the Scrum Guide and other resources. In all, it may take you 20 hrs including course and study time to get PSM certified. 

Course fee for certification: USD 1299 

  • Exam format:  
  • 80 multiple choice questions and True/False questions 
  • Duration: 1 hour 
  • Pass mark: 85%  

 Application fee for certification : NA 

Exam fee for certification$150 USD per attempt 

Retake fee for certification Two attempts are permitted within 14 days after you receive your key, at no additional cost.

4. Advanced Certified ScrumMaster℠ (A-CSM℠) 

This is the advanced level credential after the CSM and is offered by the Scrum Alliance. If you want to continue on your agile journey and show your commitment to continued excellence, then this is the right credential for you.   

A-CSM Demand: The A-CSM helps you showcase your advanced Scrum implementation skills, and ability to facilitate better dialogue between the Scrum team and stakeholdersThese advanced Scrum Master skills are in high demand across Fortune 500 companies, who are ready to pay high salaries for such skills.  

Benefits Of A-CSM 

  • Enable high performance teams 
  • Lead and facilitate change 
  • Resolve impediments 
  • Manage multiple teams 
  • Earn high salaries upto $115Kper year 

Top companies hiring A-CSM professionals 

  1. Retail 
  2. E-commerce 
  3. Energy & Utilities 
  4. Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos 
  5. Advertising 
  6. Marketing 
  7. Government Institutions 
  8. Telecom 
  9. Infrastructure 
  10. Entertainment 

Some of the top companies hiring A-CSMs 

  1. Google 
  2. Walt Disney 
  3. LinkedIn 
  4. Roche 
  5. BBC 
  6. GE 
  7. Adobe 
  8. Microsoft 
  9. Spotify 
  10. eBay 
  11. Twitter 
  12. IBM 
  13. Capgemini 
  14. Accenture 
  15. Deloitte 
  16. Hewlett Packard 
  17. BAE Systems 
  18. Lockheed Martin 
  19. ExxonMobil 
  20. Verizon 
  21. Walmart 
  22. Dow Jones  
  23. Tesla  

Where to take training for certificationAspirants must attend a training offered by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. 

Eligibility for A-CSM exam  

  • Hold a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification with the Scrum Alliance.  
  • Attend a certified A-CSM educational offering to gain techniques and skills that go beyond the basics and mechanics of Scrum, expanding into interaction, facilitation, coaching, and team dynamics. 
  • Successfully complete all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering. This may include pre- or post-course work as deemed necessary by your approved educator to complete the learning objectives. 
  • Accept the A-CSM License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile. 
  • Validate at least 12 months of work experience specific to the role of Scrum Master (within the past five years). 

 Who should take the training for certification 

  • Scrum Masters 
  • Team Leads 
  • Development Managers 
  • Delivery Managers 
  • Project Managers 
  • Agile Coaches 

Duration to get certified: Once you have satisfied all the eligibility requirements mandated by Scrum Alliance including a minimum of 12 months of Scrum Master experience (within the past five years), you need to attend the 2-day A-CSM course from a Global Registered Education Provider of Scrum Alliance post which you will get your A-CSM credential. KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. 

Course fee for certification: USD  775  

Application fee for certification: NA 

Exam fee for certification: There is no exam for A-CSM 

Retake fee for certification: NA

5. Professional Scrum Product Owner™(PSPO) 

PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, a course and certification offered by Scrum.org. This credential helps you develop a solid understanding of the Product Owner responsibilities and maximize value of software products and systems. 

PSPO Demand:  

Product Owner roles are the jobs of the future. Listed by LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum (Jobs of Tomorrow Report 2020) as being among the top emerging job trends, product owner roles are here to stay.  

Benefits Of PSPO 

  • Own the product vision and maximize your team’s ROI 
  • Improve business value 
  • Motivate and lead Agile teams 
  • Demonstrate your proficiency in Scrum 
  • Grow your career in Scrum with confidence 
  • Open yourself up to new opportunities 
  • Earn handsome salaries. Certified Product Owners earn $105,399average salary, much higher compared to non-certified Product Owners 

Top companies hiring PSPO professionals 

  • Telecom 
  • Oil & gas 
  • Finance 
  • Government 
  • Healthcare 
  • Entertainment and more 

Some of the top companies hiring PSPOs include

  • Spotify 
  • Twitter 
  • Tesla 
  • Lockheed Martin 
  • Walmart 
  • Dow Jones 
  • ExxonMobil 

Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must take their training from a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.orgKnowledgeHut is a Scrum.org™ Professional Training Network (PTN) member. 

Eligibility for PSPO exam: No eligibility requirements. Participants must possess high knowledge of Scrum.  

Who should take the training for certification 

  • Project Managers 
  • Developers 
  • Product Owners 
  • Managers-Software development 
  • Architects-Software development 
  • Product Managers 
  • Software developers 
  • Software testers 
  • Team leads/Team members interested in learning Scrum 
  • Leadership Team  

Duration to get certified: days training plus additional study hours before attempting the exam.  

Course fee for certification: USD 999 

Application fee for certification: NA  

Exam fee for certification: $200 USD 

Exam Format: 

  • 80 multiple choice questions and True/False questions 
  • Duration: 1 hour 
  • Pass mark: 85% 
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate 

 Retake fee for certification: You are allowed two attempts within 14 days after you receive your assessment key from Scrum.org at no additional cost.

6. SAFe® Scrum Master Certification 

The SAFe Scrum Master certification certifies an individual as being capable of performing scrum master responsibilities in a scaled agile environment. SSM certified individuals can lead Agile Scrum transformations, create high performing teams and ensure implementation of Scrum practices in the organization.  

  • SSM Demand:  

According to the 13th State of Agile Survey Report (2019)the Scaled Agile Framework is the most popular scaling method. With more and more organizations discovering the benefits of scaling agile and harnessing its potential on an enterprise-wide scale, the demand for hiring SAFe certified professionals has increased tremendously.   

Benefits Of SSM 

  • Perform the responsibilities of a servant leader 
  • Successfully carry out Program Increment planning 
  • Facilitate Iteration execution 
  • Manage the Program Increment 
  • Coach a successful Agile team that is highly motivated and high performing 
  • Get the Certified SAFe Scrum Master Certificate (PDF format)  
  • Get the Certified SAFe Scrum Master Digital Badge  
  • One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform 
  • Access to SAFe events and MeetUp Groups   
  • Get access to various SAFe learning resources 
  • Open yourself to lucrative opportunities and high salaries—as high as $80,000 to $1,10,000 annually 

Top companies hiring SSM professionals 

  1. Finance 
  2. IT 
  3. Service Industry 
  4. FMCG 
  5. Retail 
  6. Insurance 
  7. Banks  

Some of the top companies hiring SSMs 

  1. Cisco 
  2. LEGO digital solutions 
  3. Barclays 
  4. Panera Bread 
  5. Ericsson 
  6. FitBit 

Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a training facilitated by an authorized training partner of Scaled Agile.  KnowledgeHut is a Silver Training Partner of Scaled Agile.  

Eligibility for SSM exam Experience working in a Lean-Agile environment and attending a two-day training delivered by a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC).  

Who should take the training for certification 

  • Program or Project Manager 
  • Scrum Master 
  • Team Lead 
  • Release Train Engineer 
  • Business Analyst 
  • Agile Coach 
  • Portfolio Manager 
  • Consultant 
  • Architect 
  • Engineer 
  • Developer 
  • Director 
  • Quality Manager 
  • Product Manager 
  • Product Owner 
  • Delivery Manager 
  • Program Manager 

 Duration to get certified:  2-day training followed by study time. On passing the 90 minute SSM exam you will be a Certified SAFe 5 Scrum Master. You will receive your SAFe 5 Scrum Master PDF Certificate and Digital Badge within 5-7 working days. 

Course fee for certification: Rs 55999, Cost in the U.S.: USD 1099 

 Exam format:  

  • Exam type – Multiple choice; Multiple select 
  • Exam delivery – Web-based (single-browser), closed book 
  • Exam duration – 1.5 hours 
  • Number of questions – 45 
  • Passing score – SSM 4 = 33 out of 45 (73%); SSM 5.0 =33 out of 45 (73%) 
    Exam score for SSM 5.0 has been updated effective Feb 28 8pm MST. 
    SSM 5.0 passing score prior to February 28 was 34 out of 45 (75%). 
  • Language – English 

Application fee for certification: NA 

Exam fee for certification: First exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion. 

Retake fee for certification$50 for each retake attempt 

7. PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®

The PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner, as the name suggests, is an offering of the world-renowned Project Management Institute.  This certification places rigorous standards on participants which is why it is highly acknowledged world over. Holders get a holistic view of carrying out project management practices in Agile environments.  

PMI-ACP Demand:  

According to a survey in SwarmOS, Agile adoption has helped 98% of organizations in reducing costs, enhancing bottom line margins and deliver successful products. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption rate of Agile and what these Agile organizations need are project managers who understand Agile in a variety of situations and are able to effectively steer projects by applying project management best practices. PMI-ACP professionals are therefore highly sought after by recruiters and organizations.  

Benefits Of PMI-ACP 

  • Leverage the demand for Agile project managers by getting PMI-ACP certified 
  • Show your expertise in a variety of Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, and more 
  • Make yourself more marketable  
  • Earn lucrative salaries :  $108,000on an average 

 Top companies hiring PMI-ACP professionals 

  1. Aerospace 
  2. Engineering 
  3. Manufacturing 
  4. Construction 
  5. Pharma 
  6. Banking 

Some top companies hiring PMI-ACPs 

  1. Boeing 
  2. Booz Allen Hamilton 
  3. Visa 
  4. American Express 
  5. AT&T 
  6. Wipro 

Where to take training for certification Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI. KnowledgeHut is a Premier Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI. 

 Eligibility for PMI-ACP exam: 

  • General Project Experience 

2000 hours of working on project teams within the last 5 years or having an active PMP®/PgMP® credential 

  • Agile Project Experience 

1500 hours of working on Agile Project Teams or with Agile Methodologies, in addition to “General Project Experience” above; 

  • Training in Agile Practices 

21 contact hours earned in Agile Practices 

Who should take the training for PMI-ACP certification 

  • Project Managers 
  • Project Planners 
  • Quality Assurance Staff 
  • Developers/Programmers 
  • Designers, Testers 
  • Project Controllers 
  • Product Owners 
  • Scrum Masters 
  • Scrum Team Members

Duration to get certifiedAttending a training workshop of 3 days followed by intense exam preparation that can be from 100-150 hrs in duration is a conservative time to prepare for the PMI-ACP credential. Once you successfully pass the exam, you will be PM-ACP certified.  

Course fee for certificationINR 10999, USD 1099 

Exam Format:  

  • 120 MCQs, each question will have four choices 
  • Duration: 3 hours 

Application fee for certification : For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee. 

Exam fee for certification$435 for PMI members, $495 for non-members 

Retake fee for certification$335 for PMI members and $395 for non-members. 

8. Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification

This highly regarded and recognised credential is offered by Scrum.Inc. This is the Scrum training developed and promoted by Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, and helps participants implement Scrum practices to bring about innovation, value and project success. 

Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification Demand: Considering that this certification has an agenda backed by the co-founder of Scrum, its demand in the industry is significant. The ability of certified professionals to create self-organized, high value and motivated teams is much appreciated by organizations. This has created a huge surplus of demand for Scrum professionals and this credential will put you in the market for these top roles.  

Benefits of Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification

  • Deliver high quality products and reduce costs 
  • Scale Scrum and enjoy enterprise-wide advantages 
  • Lead high performing teams 
  • Deliver products fast 
  • Earn high salaries: US$97319 

Scrum Master Certification – Getting Started & Comparison Guide 2021 (knowledgehut.com) 

Top companies hiring Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ professionals 

  1. Financial Services 
  2. Construction 
  3. Engineering 
  4. Pharma 
  5. Data Analytics 
  6. Education 
  7. Tourism 
  8. Government Agencies 

Some top companies hiring Scrum Master by Scrum Inc. Certified professionals 

  1. Lockheed Martin 
  2. PepsiCo 
  3. Anthem 
  4. Cisco 
  5. Standard Chartered 
  6. CapitalOne 
  7. Thales 
  8. FitBit 

Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must take the course from an authorized training provider of Scrum Inc.™. 

Eligibility for Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ exam: Attending a 16-hour Scrum Master course from an ATP of Scrum Inc™ is mandatory for taking the exam. 

Who should take the training (roles) for certification

  • Project Managers 
  • Scrum Masters 
  • Scrum Team 
  • Developers 
  • Product Owners 
  • Software Managers 
  • Software Architects 
  • Product Managers 
  • Testers 
  • Team Leads 
  • SAFe® practitioners interested in Scrum@Scale 
  • PMPs, PMI-ACP Team Leaders 
  • Professionals interested in Agile and Scrum methodologies 
  • Professionals who wish to explore how Scrum delivers twice the value at half the cost 

Duration to get certified: You need to attend a 16-hour course and spend some time for exam preparation. Once you take the exam and clear it, you will be Scrum Master certified.  

Course fee for certification: $1995  

Exam fee for certification: Included in training cost 

Summary

LinkedIn’s Most promising jobs of 2017,” states that job openings for Scrum Masters grew 104 percent year-over-year from 2016, with a career advancement score of 8 out of 10; while Scrum Master was listed in the top 10 emerging Product Development jobs list by the World Economic Forum. Not just the number of jobs, but there is also steady increase in the base salary earned by Scrum certified professionals, and this increase based on the number of certifications that one holds.  

So, more the number of certifications you add to your resume, the higher your salary goes. At the outset of 2021, there are still thousands of job openings for Scrum professionals. Equip yourself with one or more of these highest paying Scrum certifications and bring value to yourself and your organization.

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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2 comments

Ravi Kumar 18 Jun 2019

Thanks for the information. I recommend everyone to follow Knowledgehut blogs

Deeksha 18 Jun 2019

I am searching for this type of article,finally i found it from your site,thanks for the article.

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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. 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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.
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There are plenty of Scrum tools available that fit the bill and provide interfaces that help teams seamlessly follow Scrum processes and reap its benefits. These tools help:Increase productivityIn task management, daily scrum management  Increase team collaborationIn progress tracking and risk managementScrum Software for the Ultimate ProjectThere are several Scrum software tools that aid in project development using Scrum; not just in technical environments, but in non-technical sectors as well. Software like JIRA, Infinity, TargetProcess, QuickScrum, Wrike etc provide:User friendly GUICompetitive pricingProduct backlog managementTime tracking and calendar tools for schedulingScrum metrics and chartsSprint planning toolsThird party tools for integrationUser story mappingBurnup and Burndown chartsand many more features that will help Agile teams serve their customers better, improve return on investment, reduce costs, enhance collaboration and ensure stakeholder satisfaction. These tools help team uphold the values of Agile and make implementing the Scrum framework easier.Best Scrum ToolsHere are some of the best Scrum tools available in the market:1. JIRAJira is a popular tool used by large organizations to manage their Scrum projects. It has numerous features including customizable scrum boards, reporting features and more. Here’s how teams benefit from this toolCustomizable Scrum and Kanban boardsRoadmaps to communicate with team and with stakeholdersAccess to tools for Agile reportingView of code and deployment statusEnd to end DevOps visibilityEasy scalabilitySecure deploymentDeveloper tool integrationRich APIs to automate processes2. TargetProcessThis tool has been especially designed for teams that want to scale agile. It offers a number of customizable features that make it easy to work with scrum and agile.  Here’s how teams benefit from this tool(Source: Targetprocess Agile Portfolio and Work Management Tool)IdeationBuilt in reports to analyse data and uncover trendsGather ideas across sourcesCloud hosting and on-premise hostingEnterprise grade securityCollaborate across the enterprise  Collaborate with DevOps tools including GitLab, Azure DevOps, GitHub etc3. VivifyScrumThis tool is marketed as an all-in-one solution to manage projects, collaborate and track. Here’s how teams benefit from this tool (Source: Agile Project Management Software - VivifyScrum)Tools to manage agile projects—organize, manage, track and deliverCollaboration boards to effectively collaborate with team and stakeholdersCreate invoices to track and manage business and clientsManage teams and track tasks4. InfinityThis tool is among the most popular in Agile and Scrum organizations due to the many customizations and features it provides. Its various tools help reduce time to market, ensure better quality, improve collaboration and enable customer satisfaction.Here’s how teams benefit from this tool Source: Infinity | Customizable Work Management Platform (startinfinity.com)How Can Scrum Apps Benefit Your Team?The number of Scrum apps and software available in the market for Scrum projects is mind boggling. Which one you choose depends on the requirements of your team and project, and each comes with its own benefits. Some of these benefits include:They help teams, organizations and the product being createdThey ensure better quality by providing the right framework, support mechanism and the right processesAllow for continual improvement by putting in place a feedback loop and sprint reviews by stakeholdersHelp solve impediments and daily issues by incorporating daily testing and product owner feedback into the development processEnsure upfront documentation and help prioritise high value items in the product backlog, thus decreasing time to market.  Quick feedback also helps improve the product and thus helps in continuous improvement.The faster marketing of products increases return on investment, helps tap the market demand and ensures long term benefits for the customer and thus earns their trust for the organizationThe primary tenet of Agile is team collaboration. Scrum software tools help in high level collaboration between the Scrum Master, Product Owner and the development team. Teams can organise, review, plan and discuss everyday tasks, meetings, impediments and more.How to Pick the Best Tool for Your Team?With so many options available, choosing the right Scrum tool for your team can be a tricky task. What you need to do is go through the features of the best tools and see which one best fits your requirements. While the number of features you get will be directly proportional to the money you are ready to pay for the tool, there are some basic requirements your tool must satisfy.Backlog creation:  The very basic format of a Scrum project lies in the creation of a product backlog which sets the pace for the entire project. The backlog is primarily created by the Product Owner with assistance from the Scrum Master and the development team. The tool you choose should help you create the product backlog so that you can prioritise items, define the sprints and identify sprint goals.Implement feedback:  Scrum projects are based on the Agile values of continuous feedback. Your scrum tool should have features which will make your customer’s feedback and requirements easily accessible to you. This will help you implement these changes at the earliest. This continuous feedback loop will help keep customers happy.Sprint creation:  Scrum is iterative and adaptive and works by breaking down projects into small sized sprints. Your tool must aid you in the creation of sprints and burndown charts. These help you keep track of your progress on the project and are essential components of a Scrum project.The other things your tool should be able to do include:Plan and trackCustomise process templatesCustomise dashboards and reportsHelp in time managementHelp create epics and storiesProvide collab and reporting toolsProvide review toolsAnd just like you will create a product that is user friendly, the tool you use also needs to be user friendly for the team. If your team is happy using it, and it makes your life easier and your projects better, then you have the right tool!
Scrum Software for the Ultimate Project Management

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Safe Agile Ceremonies - Expert Guide

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

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

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