What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Certification?
By Richard Paul
Agile and scrum are the two dynamic tools ruling the software industry nowadays, most of the IT-based organizations and companies are looking to hire candidates who are familiar with all agile and scrum stuffs, framework, and applications.
A latest article published by Forbes Magazine says that IT professionals with certifications are earning an average of $17,000 more per year than the median IT certification salary. From an employee perspective, certifications let you demonstrate additional qualifications on your resume in addition to getting hired faster.
The demand for certified agile scrum professionals is more, Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM) are the two most important certifications for the scrum master to enhance his career further better.
Before getting into all about these certifications, let me take you to the world of Scrum,
What is Scrum and it’s framework
Scrum can be defined as the iterative framework or work management system which helps to meet the most objectives in an appropriate manner. Scrum has a wider scope and not only limited to the workshops or seminars, it is a full-time profession.
Scrum masters are those who create scrum frameworks for the organizations, CSM and PSM are the two certifications for scrum master. Many people ask about the these. Let’s get into the origin of these two.
It was the time during the 90s when the engineers in the companies were failing to deliver the right results, the companies then felt of finding a new way through which they can decrease the production as well as increase the productivity, Ken and Jeff are the two software engineers came up with this iterative framework and later in 2002 they found scrum alliance and set up Certified scrum master (CSM) and Professional scrum master (PSM).
Now let’s get into briefly about the certifications and how they will help to boost up your career. Let’s us not forget the below quote.
CSM Vs PSM Certification
Both the CSM Certification and PSM certifications focus on software development which has got their own importance and wider scope and each is different from the other. Got confused don’t worry let me explain in detail about these, which one is the better? Which will add more value to your career, which one should you go for? Let us see in detail.
How to get certified?
As far as CSM is concerned, CSM is just like any other diploma or degree program where you have to be enrolled in the institution and have to attend the classes and all the assignments. In the end, you have to pass the CSM test, and you have only two attempts at taking the test.
On the other hand, PSM is entirely different from CSM. There is no need to attend any classes for this program neither any test for the PSM 1 and PSM 2 both.
What is the passing grade?
For CSM, you have to secure at least 69% marks or 24 out of 35 to get through the Certified Scrum Master program which is very low as compared to PSM.
In PSM, the passing criteria are quite tough. You would get 80 questions and have to complete it in only 60 minutes. You have to be accurate in the answers because only those attendees with the final marks of 85%+ will pass the test and will get the Professional Scrum Master certificate.
What is the exam format?
The exam format of CSM is quite simple. The test paper of CSM is only based on multiple choice of question and they also allow you enough time to fill it twice. On the other hand, there are two levels in the Professional Scrum Master Certification program. One is PSM 1 which is also based on the multiple choice questions and the other one is PSM 2 which is also not only based on MCQ’s but you also have to write an essay in it.
How difficult is the exam:
This is the question that almost every student asks. The Certified Scrum Master program test is relatively easier than the PSM 1 and PSM 2. The reason behind is the weekly classes and the tests that you have attended on these classes prepares you for the final exam. However, PSM doesn’t have any scheduled classes systems, that is why students find hard to pass the exams. Moreover, the PSM 2 is much harder to pass as compared to the PSM 1, that is why people always leave the PSM program after taking PSM 1 certificate.
How much does it cost?
There is no standard fee of CSM. The CSM is attached to the course, and many different institutions offer this certificate program. However, the general fee of CSM starts from the US$400 to US$2,500 based on the tuition fee.
Since there is only one body that offers Professional Scrum Master Program that is why they have a standard fee of PSM. The PSM 1 only US$100 and the PSM 2 cost only US$500. Moreover, the students of PSM also given one free attempt for the PSM 1 exam for the assessment.
What is the Renewal Duration?
You have to renew your CSM credential after every two years. The first two years from you get the degree, the fee of the credential would be added in the tuition fee.
Later on, you have to renew it by paying only $100 every two years. This fee is subjected to change on the authority of the institute from where you get your CSM degree.
On the other hand, there is no need to renew your PSM credentials. Once you got this, this is yours for all of your life, and no one can take it from you.
How consistent is the both program’s content?
Because many institutes are providing CSM program that is why the program content varies from institutes to institutes and trainer to trainer.
Whereas PSM has only one body, and all the teachers of that body follow only one content. However, the interpretation of the trainers may vary.
What is the reliability of the Program content?
Because the program content in the CSM varies from trainer to trainer, that is why it is hard to keep the reliability of the program content at its top.
Every Scrum trainer creates its own program content and also its interpretation. That is why it is impossible to maintain the monotonous or the quality of the program content.
Whereas only one body provide Professional Scrum Master program and their trainers follow only one content, that is why the reliability of the PSM program is at its highest, and there is no comparison between CSM and PSM contents.
Both of the programs are highly compatible, and both have their own importance. CSM may look back in the race but its originality and the history of this program makes it equal to PSM. However, aspects like no renew, content reliability and the tuition fee of PSM makes it a better choice to take if you want to be a Professional Scrum Master with the certificate.
Go ahead, reach your destination. All the best.
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5 Ways A Project Manager Can Pull off A Winning Project Management Venture
By Richard Paul
Managing company projects is not a cakewalk. There are certain factors associated with it. You to weigh each and every possibility. Any point overlooked and the entire team’s effort goes down the flush. Consequently, we find people to lay the blame on and look towards our rivals as to what they got right.
This piece will list down certain characteristics that will enable you to achieve project management objectives.
1. Communication skills
We have all learned about communication barriers in our managerial communication class. We will revisit that class again, here. For a project to be successful its management should be first-rate and by first-rate, I mean whatever the objectives are or the intent is, it must be clearly communicated.
For a project manager, it is imperative that he is built for communication skill. And communication in its simplest form as in relaying information from one person to the other guy. Communication further expands to giving feedback, receiving feedback (read criticism), charisma to motivate your team members and the likes thereof.
Barriers ought to be eliminated, but. 7 C’s of communication must be employed at all times or at least ensured so that any noise in between can be eliminated that distorts the message. The 7 C’s are; correctness, clarity, conciseness, completeness, consideration, concreteness and courtesy.
This may appear to you as one your classes from the school but remember it is still applicable and long before the C’s became part of your textbooks, there was athinker who practically decided to do something about these barriers and coined the C’s so that future generations could benefit.
2. Organization skills
Leaving the desk messy is one thing but forgetting where you placed the project management files, which folder that messed up. Thus, organization is essential in any manager’s life let alone project manager. So learn to be organized or you should quit calling yourself a project manager.
Why I say this is because often a project entails starting and end dates. When the project is successfully executed a person may be tempted to dispose of all the data that went into producing results. But an experienced project manager will tell you that keeping a record of everything, say, for project ‘Y’ is absolutely critical.
Imagine an audit is called upon and a certain task appears to be fishy or the books look cooked. The record of the data that you kept will come to your rescue at this point because it is technically a step-by-step guide to what lead to the final outcome. It will help clarify any problems that may arise later on.
3. Negotiation skills
Negotiation does not mean that you have to get your way by hook or by crook. Negotiation means you work out a solution that benefits both the concerned parties. Often people tell themselves that since they are too good at negotiation they will have it their way even if it is at someone’s expense.
No sir that is not a negotiation skill which will result in successful project management. What’s required is rather that you be respectful of others. By becoming aggressive or disregarding your subordinates’ opinion isn’t going to get you far. Secondly, you will have to drop the winner takes all mantra. In negotiation, winning is when both parties are benefitting, mutually.
Encourage candor among your peers. Without, nobody will be able to speak the truth or what they actually feel about a certain project. It is not to allow for badmouthing but to establish an environment where opinions are valued.
Lastly, when the troubles feel insurmountable, bring in a third party to seek expert advice on how to go about in the matter. Don’t think that such an act will lessen your authority in any way, it is what good managers do; ask for help/consult.
4. Mentoring ability
Mentoring means supporting your team members. As a leader of the group, you should lead from the front. Act first and show them how it’s done. Subsequently, you can expect them to follow suit. If they make mistakes instead of lashing out at them, see if you help can help mend their errors. You can choose to warn them for the next time. Remember, you didn’t get here without making mistakes yourself.
Since the team is your responsibility and this mentality is key for a project manager. Project execution is a team effort and without your team, you cannot gain anything. If they grow you grow professionally. If their career path is fulfilling it is your feat too.
5. Tech savvy
No need for a formal qualification in IT but having knowledge of the tech side is a plus. You must know how business systems designed for project management function so that you can navigate with ease and monitor progress from thesystem only, by yourself. Of course, if the project is IT based then the manager has to be an expert in the field, perhaps a seasoned one with sound technical know-how.
So above are 5 ways that can help you in achieving project management goals. Feel free to share more in the comments section below, if I have missed out on any.
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