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Everything you need to know about PSM certification

1. Introduction to Professional Scrum MasterWho is Professional Scrum Master (PSM)?We partially give some elements in a previous article on our blog: “ How To Choose A Scrum Master? “. On top of that, it is important to   highlight that the Professional Scrum Master wear different hats according to the context: s/he is a coach, facilitator, enabler, problem- solver, proxy. His/Her main characteristic is to embody Servant Leadership. And basically, as the first promoter of Agile in the   organization, s/he truly has the Agile mindset and is more than willing to share it.Role and Responsibilities of PSM in the teamBecause the position of Scrum Master depends so much on the context, you will find multiple potential roles and responsibilities description by searching on the Internet. However, here are the basics:Coaching the organization, especially the Scrum Team, to get an Agile mindsetIncreasing the quality of deliverables and reducing time to deliverHelping the Dev Team to become self-organized and self-empoweredBuilding culture of trust, transparency, feedback and “fast failure to learn fast”\Advocating in favor of the more appropriated framework to make the Dev Team performant – it can be something else than Scrum!Ensuring that this framework is properly implemented to fit with the Scrum Team needsRemoving any impediment and blocker that prevent the Scrum Team to perform Requirements to become a PSMOfficially, there is no specific requirement: everyone is a potential candidate to become a Professional Scrum Master (PSM).Why become a PSM and what do I need to become a PSMDo you live and breathe Agile? Ok, that sounds too much.Nevertheless, have in mind that learning theory and training to open assessments is one sufficient thing to get certified but acting as a good Scrum Master requires a true behavior and belief in Agile philosophy coupled with large experience, ideally in organizations that have succeeded in their transformation.Like other jobs at “vocation”, you feel a true desire to become Scrum Master when working or at least meeting with one of them. When you meet a great Scrum Master, at some point you could become aware that you do want to do the same job: because you help people working better, feeling better at work, you participate to a radical transformation in the workplace for a better organization.2. What’s the importance of a PSM certificate?Getting a PSM certificate demonstrates the capacity to know, understand and apply Scrum in real-world situations.3. PSM Certification TrainingHow to become a PSM?Although it is highly recommended, taking a training is optional. However, taking the official exam is mandatory to get certified. Scrum.org is the official provider:Syllabus of Professional Scrum MasterA core of knowledge about Scrum remains the Scrum Guide from Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.Spend time and train seriously on the Scrum Open Assessment: this is the most realistic assessment you can train on!Next very useful resources are available with the Scrum Master Learning Path: this is a set of Professional Scrum Competencies which each contain a number of focus areas.Further reading:Scrum tutorial: An in-depth learning of Scrum, about its origin, evolution, and the progressive development of the framework.Scrum.org recommends strongly these books:Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther VerheyenSoftware in 30 days by Ken SchwaberScrum.org offers also:A very complete glossaryforums populated by threads of quality, written by contributors with solid experience in ScrumA popular blog regularly updated with highly valuable posts, again made by writers shortlisted by Scrum.orgOther Open Assessments might be relevant to gain additional perspective on the other roles of a Scrum Team: check the Scrum Developer Open Assessment and the Product Owner Open Assessment.What is the eligibility to become a PSM trainer?Eligibility to become a PSM trainer requires three conditions. First, candidates must have at least four years of intense experience as Scrum Master in software development. Second, candidates must have conducted real-world training and have delivered coaching using Scrum. On top of that, candidates passed their PSM 1 assessment with at least a 95% score.After PSM training within how many days do I need to take the certification? After PSM training, there is no minimum duration to take the certification. As soon as candidates feel they are ready, they can schedule an online assessment.4. Exam and Certification Information Who provides the certification?Scrum.Org coursesA list of Scrum.org official sessions is available online. As stated on their website:Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM) is a 2-day course that covers the principles and (empirical) process theory underpinning the Scrum framework and the role of the Scrum Master in it. This course is a combination of instruction and team-based exercises and teaches what is at the heart of the Scrum and Agile movement. The course also includes a free attempt at the globally recognized Professional Scrum Master I certification exam (PSM I).It is also important to know that taking a Scrum.org official training offers candidates a free attempt at the assessment.What is the process for applying for the certification?As passing the certification does not require to attend to the official course, candidates can directly apply on the Scrum.org website. They will receive a personal password (with no expiration date) and then they can connect to a specific page and take the exam.Cost of the Professional Scrum Master certificationThe cost is $150 per attempt. If you attend a Scrum.org training class, fees include a free attempt.The structure of the examThe exam is exclusively online. It consists of 80 Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False questions. 60 minutes maximum are allowed to perform the full exam, and only English language is available.Topics covered in the PSM examScrum Framework: this is foundational knowledge for every Scrum Team member. It covers Scrum theory as described in the Scrum Guide.Scrum Theory and Principles: this topic is more about understanding Scrum theory: empirical process, principles, and values of Scrum.Cross-Functional, Self-Organizing Teams. Questions here cover how Scrum Teams are different from traditional development teams:cross-functional, self-empowered and self-organizing people promote flexibility, creativity, and productivity.Coaching and Facilitation. Questions here are about how mindset and behavior of Scrum Master are different from traditional Project Manager: by acting as a Servant Leader, the Scrum Master facilitates and coaches full organizations in understanding and using Scrum.Sample questions of PSM exam Here are three potential questions at the PSM exam:Question 1: When many Development Teams are working on a single product, what best describes the definition of “done”?Each Development Team defines and uses its own. The differences are discussed and reconciled during a hardening Sprint.Each Development Team uses its own but must make their definition clear to all other Teams so the differences are known.All development Teams must have a definition of “done” that makes their combined work potentially releasable.It dependsCorrect answer : 3Question 2:The three pillars of empirical process control are:    1. Inspection, Transparency, Adaptation    2. Transparency, Eliminating Waste, Kaizen    3. Planning, Inspection, Adaptation    4. Respect For People, Kaizen, Eliminating Waste    5. Planning, Demonstration, RetrospectiveCorrect answer: 1Question 3:The maximum length of the Sprint Review (its time-box) is:4 hours for a monthly Sprint. For shorter Sprints, it is usually shorter.As long as needed.2 hours1 day.4 hours and long as needed.Correct answer: 1Tips to pass PSM The best way to be well prepared for the PSM official exam is to work on the Scrum Open Assessment.You can consider that you are ready once you get 100% at every attempt.Salary of the Professional Scrum MasterSalaries of the PSM can vary a lot according to level of experience, industry, company size and location. Here is a table with most common figures:USFranceUnited KingdomSingaporeJunior70,000-115,00030,000-40,00040,000-70,00080,000-100,000Mid-Senior(more than 3 years with SM experience)90,000-135,00035,000-55,00060,000-110,00095,000-125,0005. Is the PSM I certification worth investing?CSM vs PSM exam:"Differences to note" CSM PSM Passing ScoreMinimum 69%(24 out of 35 questions)Minimum 85%Exam patternMultiple choiceMultiple choice,Multiple Answers and True/False questions.Exam durationNo time limit,35 questions60 minutes to complete 80 questionsCertification Validation2 yearsLife timeCertification cost                      1200$2nd attempt is free in within 60 days        25$ for  additional  attempt.             150$(one  attempt)Exam  Level2 Days training + Exam           Much  harder than CSM       Require experience,and deep         Theoretical knowledge.The first goal at Scrum.org is to make candidates understanding how to get valuable software thanks to a high level of maturity in Agile using Scrum. In order to achieve that, Scrum.org deliver assessments to examine, improve and certify candidates’ knowledge of Scrum. On top of that, the Scrum Guide and the Nexus Guide serve as the main background for all Scrum.org assessments. Individuals that are successful at the PSM 1 certification demonstrate a fundamental level of Scrum mastery: they understand Scrum as described in the Scrum Guide and the concepts of applying Scrum. The PSM 1 certification is considered significantly more valuable than other options for Scrum.6. What next after PSM?People who follow Scrum.org courses can claim Project Management Institute (PMI) Professional Development Units credit: 14 PDUs after attending a two-day Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Keep in mind that PMI PDUs are earned for course attendance and not for passing a Scrum.org assessment.7. How much should I pay to renew PSM certification?There is no need to renew PSM certification: Scrum.org certificates are lifelong and do not require any additional payments or renewals.Career benefits of PSM certifiedConsequently, becoming now a certified and experienced professional in Agile expertise seems to be an interesting option to stay at least “employable” and marketable. Still being realistic, professionals in Agile will be directly requested either to perform the Agile transformation in many big (old) organizations or to build the Agile culture from scratch in new companies and startups. Attractive and valuable challenges are in perspective.
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Everything you need to know about PSM certification

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Everything you need to know about PSM certification
1. Introduction to Professional Scrum Master


Who is Professional Scrum Master (PSM)?

We partially give some elements in a previous article on our blog: “ How To Choose A Scrum Master? “. On top of that, it is important to   highlight that the Professional Scrum Master wear different hats according to the context: s/he is a coach, facilitator, enabler, problem- solver, proxy. His/Her main characteristic is to embody Servant Leadership. And basically, as the first promoter of Agile in the   organization, s/he truly has the Agile mindset and is more than willing to share it.


Role and Responsibilities of PSM in the team

Because the position of Scrum Master depends so much on the context, you will find multiple potential roles and responsibilities description by searching on the Internet. However, here are the basics:

  • Coaching the organization, especially the Scrum Team, to get an Agile mindset
  • Increasing the quality of deliverables and reducing time to deliver
  • Helping the Dev Team to become self-organized and self-empowered
  • Building culture of trust, transparency, feedback and “fast failure to learn fast”
  • \Advocating in favor of the more appropriated framework to make the Dev Team performant – it can be something else than Scrum!
  • Ensuring that this framework is properly implemented to fit with the Scrum Team needs
  • Removing any impediment and blocker that prevent the Scrum Team to perform

Role and Responsibilities of PSM in the team

 Requirements to become a PSM

Officially, there is no specific requirement: everyone is a potential candidate to become a Professional Scrum Master (PSM).


Why become a PSM and what do I need to become a PSM

Do you live and breathe Agile? Ok, that sounds too much.

Nevertheless, have in mind that learning theory and training to open assessments is one sufficient thing to get certified but acting as a good Scrum Master requires a true behavior and belief in Agile philosophy coupled with large experience, ideally in organizations that have succeeded in their transformation.

Like other jobs at “vocation”, you feel a true desire to become Scrum Master when working or at least meeting with one of them. When you meet a great Scrum Master, at some point you could become aware that you do want to do the same job: because you help people working better, feeling better at work, you participate to a radical transformation in the workplace for a better organization.


2. What’s the importance of a PSM certificate?

Getting a PSM certificate demonstrates the capacity to know, understand and apply Scrum in real-world situations.

3. PSM Certification Training


How to become a PSM?

Although it is highly recommended, taking a training is optional. However, taking the official exam is mandatory to get certified. Scrum.org is the official provider:


Syllabus of Professional Scrum Master

A core of knowledge about Scrum remains the Scrum Guide from Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

Spend time and train seriously on the Scrum Open Assessment: this is the most realistic assessment you can train on!

Next very useful resources are available with the Scrum Master Learning Path: this is a set of Professional Scrum Competencies which each contain a number of focus areas.

Further reading:

Scrum tutorial: An in-depth learning of Scrum, about its origin, evolution, and the progressive development of the framework.


Scrum.org recommends strongly these books:

Other Open Assessments might be relevant to gain additional perspective on the other roles of a Scrum Team: check the Scrum Developer Open Assessment and the Product Owner Open Assessment.

What is the eligibility to become a PSM trainer?

Eligibility to become a PSM trainer requires three conditions. First, candidates must have at least four years of intense experience as Scrum Master in software development. Second, candidates must have conducted real-world training and have delivered coaching using Scrum. On top of that, candidates passed their PSM 1 assessment with at least a 95% score.


After PSM training within how many days do I need to take the certification? 

After PSM training, there is no minimum duration to take the certification. As soon as candidates feel they are ready, they can schedule an online assessment.

4. Exam and Certification Information 

Who provides the certification?

Scrum.Org courses

A list of Scrum.org official sessions is available online. As stated on their website:

Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM) is a 2-day course that covers the principles and (empirical) process theory underpinning the Scrum framework and the role of the Scrum Master in it. This course is a combination of instruction and team-based exercises and teaches what is at the heart of the Scrum and Agile movement. The course also includes a free attempt at the globally recognized Professional Scrum Master I certification exam (PSM I).

It is also important to know that taking a Scrum.org official training offers candidates a free attempt at the assessment.

What is the process for applying for the certification?

As passing the certification does not require to attend to the official course, candidates can directly apply on the Scrum.org website. They will receive a personal password (with no expiration date) and then they can connect to a specific page and take the exam.

Cost of the Professional Scrum Master certification

The cost is $150 per attempt. If you attend a Scrum.org training class, fees include a free attempt.

The structure of the exam

The exam is exclusively online. It consists of 80 Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False questions. 60 minutes maximum are allowed to perform the full exam, and only English language is available.

Topics covered in the PSM exam

  • Scrum Framework: this is foundational knowledge for every Scrum Team member. It covers Scrum theory as described in the Scrum Guide.
  • Scrum Theory and Principles: this topic is more about understanding Scrum theory: empirical process, principles, and values of Scrum.
  • Cross-Functional, Self-Organizing Teams. Questions here cover how Scrum Teams are different from traditional development teams:cross-functional, self-empowered and self-organizing people promote flexibility, creativity, and productivity.
  • Coaching and Facilitation. Questions here are about how mindset and behavior of Scrum Master are different from traditional Project Manager: by acting as a Servant Leader, the Scrum Master facilitates and coaches full organizations in understanding and using Scrum.

Sample questions of PSM exam 

Here are three potential questions at the PSM exam:

Question 1: When many Development Teams are working on a single product, what best describes the definition of “done”?

  1. Each Development Team defines and uses its own. The differences are discussed and reconciled during a hardening Sprint.
  2. Each Development Team uses its own but must make their definition clear to all other Teams so the differences are known.
  3. All development Teams must have a definition of “done” that makes their combined work potentially releasable.
  4. It depends

Correct answer : 3

Question 2:The three pillars of empirical process control are:

    1. Inspection, Transparency, Adaptation
    2. Transparency, Eliminating Waste, Kaizen
    3. Planning, Inspection, Adaptation
    4. Respect For People, Kaizen, Eliminating Waste
    5. Planning, Demonstration, Retrospective

Correct answer: 1

Question 3:The maximum length of the Sprint Review (its time-box) is:

  1. 4 hours for a monthly Sprint. For shorter Sprints, it is usually shorter.
  2. As long as needed.
  3. 2 hours
  4. 1 day.
  5. 4 hours and long as needed.

Correct answer: 1

Tips to pass PSM 

The best way to be well prepared for the PSM official exam is to work on the Scrum Open Assessment.
You can consider that you are ready once you get 100% at every attempt.


Salary of the Professional Scrum Master

Salaries of the PSM can vary a lot according to level of experience, industry, company size and location. Here is a table with most common figures:


USFranceUnited KingdomSingapore
Junior70,000-115,00030,000-40,00040,000-70,00080,000-100,000
Mid-Senior
(more than 3 years with SM experience)
90,000-135,00035,000-55,00060,000-110,00095,000-125,000

5. Is the PSM I certification worth investing?

CSM vs PSM exam:"Differences to note" 

CSM 
PSM 
Passing ScoreMinimum 69%
(24 out of 35 questions)
Minimum 85%
Exam patternMultiple choiceMultiple choice,Multiple Answers and True/False questions.
Exam durationNo time limit,35 questions60 minutes to complete 80 questions
Certification Validation2 yearsLife time
Certification cost                      1200$
2nd attempt is free in within 60 days
        25$ for  additional  attempt.

             150$(one  attempt)
Exam  Level2 Days training + Exam           Much  harder than CSM
       Require experience,and deep
         Theoretical knowledge.


The first goal at Scrum.org is to make candidates understanding how to get valuable software thanks to a high level of maturity in Agile using Scrum. In order to achieve that, Scrum.org deliver assessments to examine, improve and certify candidates’ knowledge of Scrum. On top of that, the Scrum Guide and the Nexus Guide serve as the main background for all Scrum.org assessments.
 
Individuals that are successful at the PSM 1 certification demonstrate a fundamental level of Scrum mastery: they understand Scrum as described in the Scrum Guide and the concepts of applying Scrum. The PSM 1 certification is considered significantly more valuable than other options for Scrum.

6. What next after PSM?

People who follow Scrum.org courses can claim Project Management Institute (PMI) Professional Development Units credit: 14 PDUs after attending a two-day Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Keep in mind that PMI PDUs are earned for course attendance and not for passing a Scrum.org assessment.

7. How much should I pay to renew PSM certification?

There is no need to renew PSM certification: Scrum.org certificates are lifelong and do not require any additional payments or renewals.



Career benefits of PSM certified

Consequently, becoming now a certified and experienced professional in Agile expertise seems to be an interesting option to stay at least “employable” and marketable. Still being realistic, professionals in Agile will be directly requested either to perform the Agile transformation in many big (old) organizations or to build the Agile culture from scratch in new companies and startups. Attractive and valuable challenges are in perspective.

Nicolas

Nicolas Casel

Blog Author

Scrum Master / Agile Consultant with passion for fostering Agile mindset and improving User Experience.
Other skills: web development, CMS, usability, e-learning

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Being well-organized helps to stay focused on the big picture and to prioritize your own tasks and responsibilities.With regards to exhibiting your outcomes, you ought to have the capacity to recuperate all the important information and demonstrate an intelligible vision of a venture to be executed.8.They Own ProficiencyProficiency and thorough knowledge – they both can be said a basic yardsticks on the basis of which a leader’s or manager wisdom or excellence can be weighed. Being on top of your projects entails a vast amount of industry knowledge to be effective in what you do.Some learning on the money related and legitimate side of your tasks won’t hurt either. You should be seen as able and skilled by your group.9.They are Great Problem Solver!The good project managers work with a team of experts or consultants and use their mastery of handling issues in most effective ways.Nobody will anticipate that you will have a prepared answer for every single issue; you should have the capacity to utilize the knowledge of your team members and even stakeholders to produce a collective response to any problems you experience on your way to delivering a project.10.They know what is CollaborationThis is the last, and the most important trait that should exist within every good project manager or leader. A grip of group progression is fundamental on the off chance that you need your group to work easily on your ventures.When building up your group, remember this: contentions and contradictions will undoubtedly happen; as a pioneer, you’ll should have the capacity to intervene them and ensure all you colleagues progress in the direction of a similar objective.
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10 Characteristics Of a Good Project Manager

Good leaders are hard to find, but great project m... Read More

5 Amazing Benefits Of PMP Certification

Climbing up the career ladder is not easy and it takes a lot of hard work and patience. However, with a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, things can become a little easier. A PMP certification can increase your salary dramatically and benefit your career. It improves your project management skills and makes you better at handling projects. Here are some of the benefits of earning a PMP certification: Growth In Career The PMP certification course is an internationally accredited one and is recognized by the entire global business community. Most big corporates look for PMP certified project managers and earning this certification would surely land you with a better job. Everybody in the corporate world know the benefit of networking. When you become PMP certified, you’ll be in touch with people pursuing PMP certification courses and ones who are already PMP certified. You never know who might help you in getting a better job (and salary). The more people who you are in touch with in your field, the better it is for your career growth. Enhance Your Skills It’s not easy to get the PMP certification and you need to undergo rigorous training for the same. There is a also a significant amount of coursework involved. You get trained and educated in in five project management processes—planning, initiating, implementing, monitoring and controlling, and finally closing. In short, you learn A-Z of project management which you can implement in your company projects for better project execution. Expand Your Marketability A PMP certification can help reach to global organizations working in different parts of the world. It enhances your professional marketability to a great extent and legitimise your experience as a project manager. You’d also be in touch with individuals aspiring to take up the course and PMP certified professionals as already mentioned, through project management forums and discussion boards, helping you to master your expertise with their tips and knowledge. Earn More PMP certified project managers earn more than the non-certified ones. As soon as you get your PMP degree, you can command a higher pay and you can expect an immediate hike. Many surveys have shown that PMP certified project managers earn at least 20 percent more than the non-certified counterparts. Also PMP certified professionals have the capability to earn a six figure income.     Be A Project Manager Corporates Look For Last but not the least, a PMP certification shapes you as an efficient project manager, though that depends on how seriously you take up your course. A project manager needs to take care a lot of things and all such aspects are covered under this certification course. Project managers might need to train others and evaluate team members and even potential employees. A PMP certification gives you the skills and knowledge required to handle such situations as well. The benefits of PMP certification are many and not just limited to these five. No matter what your field is—commerce, finance, research, telecom, technology, or business, a PMP credential is a ideal bet for professionals looking for better job opportunities and is your stepping stone to new markets, new industries, and even new countries. The lengthy exam process and hefty exam and course fee might demotivate you for taking it up, but your money and time (and of course effort) is worth it as the returns you get is way beyond you can think of.
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5 Amazing Benefits Of PMP Certification

Climbing up the career ladder is not easy and it t... Read More