What is Product Owner's Role in Scrum?
By Susan MayLet’s start right at the beginning. What is a product? Something that a customer describes, which has market value and is built by a development team.Then, who is a product owner? The product owner definition as per the Scrum Guide is someone who is accountable for maximizing the value of the product by being the go-between the customer and the development team.The primary role of a product owner is to represent the customer to the development team. By many definitions, a Product Owner is not the owner of the product but a proxy for the actual owner.Whatever the definition, a Product Owner is hugely responsible for ensuring that the product that is built satisfies the requirements of the customer and brings in value and satisfaction.What special skills do you need to succeed as a Product Owner? If someone tells you that Product Owner skills are inborn and cannot be learnt, then do not believe them! A successful Product Owner has skills that make him/her a good communicator, an efficient decision maker, and capable of resourceful handling of the product backlog. These skills can be learnt and built upon.Skills and Competencies Required in the Product Owner RoleSo, what is the role of the Product Owner?There are many skills and competencies needed to perform a product owner’s roles and responsibilities including the following: Acting as a Liason Agent: The Product Owner is responsible for liaising with the Scrum Master to achieve enterprise objectives and ensuring satisfied customers. Facilitating Communication: Facilitating transparent, smooth communication channels between the stakeholders and the Scrum team. Risk Management: Mitigating risks by understanding their scope and identifying them at the right time. Maximizing Product Value: A Product Owner should be well-versed in Agile concepts and practices. Only then can the Agile potential be harnessed to create a product that offers maximum value to the customer. Leadership Skills to motivate: Lead, motivate and inspire Agile teams and team members to perform better. Foresight: A product owner must have the power to visualise the end-product and understand the needs of the consumer and more importantly, communicate this vision to the development team and guide the team through the development process. Ability to elicit information: A product owner must have the expertise and skills to ask the right questions. This will help them to understand both sides of the story; in other words the development team’s and the customer’s point of view. Ability to refuse the customer: Let’s face it, as a Product Owner you are there to please the customer. But that cannot be at the cost of your development team. You must learn to identify requirements that are undeliverable and have the courage to say ‘NO’ to the customer.Product Owner Responsibilities: Key Tasks The key tasks a Product Owner carries out include: Defining the product features Prioritizing the development tasks Adjusting the features and priority after each sprint as required Rejecting or accepting work results Keeping customers updated about status and getting their feedback Aiding the Scrum Master in fulfilling their responsibilitiesProduct Owner Responsibilities: Key Deliverables A Product Owner job description would look something like this: Support and implement Scrum values and practices that will provide better customer service Collaborate with key stakeholders and ensure that product is delivered using Agile values Manage, groom, and prioritize sprint backlog Work with development team to plan stories for upcoming sprints and determine acceptance criteria Review metrics, monitor progress of user stories and sprints, measure value of deliverables Manage and mitigate project risks and ensure that customer feedback is incorporated Negotiate and resolve customer escalations Implement solutions with development team and ensure that business objectives are met.What’s the difference between the Product Manager and the Product Owner roles? (Product Owner vs Product Manager) As a Product Owner you will find yourself often mistakenly called a Product Manager. While there is just a thin line that separates the two roles, they are none the less different.A Product Manager is responsible for the development of products, manages its requirements and ensures that the product satisfies the guidelines of the customer. A Product Manager in essence also performs the role of a Product Owner.A Product Owner’s responsibilities in the context of Scrum are that of being a representative of the customer and the proxy owner of the product. A Product Owner’s role is defined and specific. They have to ensure that the product is built using Scrum principles and is as mandated by the customer.A Product Manager’s role is more inclusive and covers the entire lifecycle of the product, all along helping customers stay in the loop and overseeing delivery of the product.The difference between the two roles can be thought of as a Venn diagram where a smaller circle, representing the Product Owner is contained within a larger circle, representing the Product Manager.That brings us to another question which is the difference between Product Owner and Business Analyst.That brings us to another question which is the difference between Product Owner and Business Analyst. Product Owner vs Business AnalystProduct OwnerBusiness AnalystThe Product Owner works on the business side of the product.The BA usually works on the technical or agile team side.Is a proxy for the customerIs the representative of the development teamGenerally, has more business knowledgeGenerally, has business knowledge coupled with technical knowledgeWhile there may be demarcations between the roles, there are also frequent overlaps and depending on the type of agile project a business analyst may perform the role of a Product Owner with success. But in order to do this the BA must be able to understand the business side of the product and be a communication and technical representative of the business.Required Experience and Knowledge in the Product Owner RoleLike in all other roles, experience makes one better at the role. As you work on more and more projects, your skills as a product owner will enhance. Certifications such as the CSPO and PSPO also help in polishing your skills and expertise in product ownership. As a Product Owner you will be expected to have knowledge of:Scrum concepts Product vision Scrum estimation Product backlog prioritization Release Management Timeboxing SprintsFan-Out Model of Product Manager, Product Owner, and Agile TeamsThe Fan-out model essentially defines how resources should be allocated across the organization to optimise work flow, ensure maximum productivity and eliminate creation of bottlenecks.According to Scaled Agile, Inc, each Product Manager can usually support up to four POs, each of whom can be responsible for the backlog of one or two Agile teams.The fan out model indicates the relationship between the product manager, product owner and the teams that is the ideal composition to ensure successful scaling of Agile.Conclusion The Product Owner is often described as an agile project’s real superhero. A good product owner successfully navigates the balancing act--of keeping the customers happy and not overburdening the team with unrealistic requirements.An Agile project is made up of a Product Owner, Scrum Master and the development team. The product owner maximizes the value of the product created by the development team and ensures stakeholder management. Without a product owner, there is no Scrum team.The Standish Group data shows that consistently over the last 20 years, for over 500,000 projects, 64% of features delivered to customers are never or rarely used. And this is because of a lack of a proper Product Owner.Product Owners are an indispensable part of Agile teams and enterprises. To learn more about how you can leverage this demand and be a part of modern agile organizations check out these popular product owner certifications.
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How CSPO Certifications Affect Your Salary?
By Susan MayOverview of CSPO® Salary The Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) certification offered by the Scrum Alliance® is among the most sought after credentials in the world of Scrum. The Product Owner’s role is critical to the success of the Scrum team, and therefore organizations look for professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to add the right value to the product. In today’s scenario, when we are in the middle of a pandemic and employment crisis is looming large, a question that would plague most of us is about the CSPO certification value. Is the CSPO certification salary in India worth the cost you invest in getting trained? In this blog, we attempt to shed light on the average salary that you would earn on gaining the CSPO certification based on various parameters including city, experience and designation. Scrum professionals have an average annual base salary of $100,500. Moreover, 55 percent saw an increase in their annual base salary from 2016 to 2017.—Scrum Alliance Salary Survey CSPO Salary based on CountryThe CSPO credential is well recognised all over the globe. Your salary depends largely on the country you work in.CountryCurrencyAvg. Salary per annumUnited States of AmericaUSD105,521CanadaCAD88,182IndiaINR1,748,929United KingdomGBP52,173AustraliaAUD124,233The CSPO salary in India ranges from INR 2m to INR 5m per year for the designation of a Product Owner. ReferenceCSPO Salary based on experienceAs Scrum practitioners’ years of Scrum related experience increase, so does their average annual base salary-- Scrum Alliance Salary SurveyIn general, the average annual base salary for an individual just beginning their career in Scrum rose in 2017-- Scrum Alliance Salary SurveyThis table shows the rise in salary that can be expected with increasing years of experience. Years of ExperienceAvg. Salary range per annum (in USD)< 166,000 - 75,0001-475,000 - 83,0005-991,000 - 100,00010-1997,000 - 109,00020+ 100,000 - 108,000CSPO Salary based on DesignationScrum practitioners who start as entry level professionals can gain more advanced certifications over the years, and go on to executive director or project management roles. Here’s an indication of the average salary earned by CSPO certified professionals based on their designation.DesignationAvg. Salary range per annum (in USD) Product Owner60,000 - 119,000Operations Manager43,000 - 105,000Project Manager 49,000 – 113,000Software Engineer62,000 – 128,000Executive Director45,000 - 170,000Senior Business Analyst64,000 - 115,000What is the average salary of a CSPO? According to the Scrum Alliance Salary Survey of 2018, a professional’s age, experience and number of certifications all contribute to the salary earned. The average salary of a CSPO is around USD 105,521 per annum. A question most Scrum professionals have is, which is a better credential for a product owner: the CSPO or the PSPO?CSPO vs PSPO certificationThis table shows some of the salient differences between the two certifications. CSPO®PSPOTMCSPO is offered through Scrum Alliance.PSPO is offered through Scrum.org.CSPO candidates are required to take a mandatory 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.For PSPO you need not undertake a formal training course in order to attend the exam.At present, there is no exam associated with this credential.Candidates have to pass a rigorous certification exam to attain the credential.To keep the credential in good standing, a CSPO must log in 20 SEUs every two years, and pay a renewal fee of $100.The PSPO credential never has to be renewed and has a lifetime validity.CSM vs CSPO salary The CSM® certification helps you perform the role of a servant leader by gaining the skills needed to be an effective Scrum Master. The average Certified ScrumMaster® salary is $91,588/ year, while experienced professionals with the CSM certification can earn up to 107,000 - 118,000 USD on an average. What are the most common skills that a CSPO should have? Product Owners are the all-important connection between the Scrum team and the stakeholders. They can ensure that the right product is delivered by projecting the vision of the stakeholders aptly to the development team. The CSPO credential is a reflection of expertise in Product Owner skills.But apart from gaining Scrum skills, a product owner should also nurture the following soft skills to become an indispensable resource.Communication skills: Good communication skills are key to a product owner’s success. The Product Owner must have the ability to understand stakeholder vision and communicate it effectively to the development team. Empathy: While being open to stakeholder ideas and suggestions, the Product Owner must also learn to say ‘no’ to unreasonable demands and ideas. The Product Owner must be empathetic towards the development team and understand that the development team cannot develop every idea or feedback the stakeholders have. Ask the right questions: A product owner must have the courage to ask questions to both the stakeholders and the development team. From why a particular addition is needed to how it is going to be added to the product, asking questions and getting clarity will make a product owner more successful. Vision: It is important that the Product Owner understands the vision of the end user. A product owner must also have the foresight to align the vision and business goals of the stakeholder to that of the company. This will ensure smooth progress of the project through the development lifecycle. Which CSPO designation pays the most?As a CSPO, you can have the following designations: Business Analyst Project Manager Product Manager Chief Executive Officer Depending on the size of the company, CEOs can make from $122,107 to $678,008 a year.ReferenceWhat qualifications do employees need to become a CSPO? There are no prerequisites for pursuing the CSPO certification, and any professional, regardless of their level of expertise, can attend the CSPO training course. To become a CSPO, you need to: Undertake 14-16 hour CSPO training from a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®). Accept the License Agreement, and complete your Scrum Alliance® profile. Renew your credential every 2 years with a $100 fee and by logging in 20 Scrum Education Units.ConclusionAccording to Scrum Alliance’s Salary Survey of 2018, CSPO salaries increase by approximately $2,000 for three to five years of Scrum practice, and approximately $12,500 for five to seven years of experience in the role of a PO.Scrum is still a growing field and there are hundreds of organizations across the globe that are looking for Certified Scrum Product Owners who can bring in their expertise and help the organization flourish. This is a great time for you to invest in the CSPO certification and embark on a successful career.Disclaimer: All the statistics mentioned above are accurate as of February 2021.
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What is The Cost of CSPO Certification Cost in 2021
By Susan MayIf you’re looking for opportunities in the ever-expanding Agile space, you would have already heard about the CSPO® certification. The CSPO®, an acronym for the Certified Scrum Product Owner®, is a certification from Scrum Alliance® that validates your commitment to the world of Scrum, enhancing your capabilities as a Product Owner on a Scrum team.With the CSPO, you can shoulder the responsibility of taking on the role of a PO—collaborating with customers, stakeholders and the team, managing the product backlog and proactively maximizing the business value.Why should you go for a CSPO® certification?The CSPO Certification value is globally acclaimed, as Agile methodology has been proven to boost productivity across industries. The Product Owner plays a critical role in the success of a Scrum team, and as the face of the product, he or she guides the development toward maximizing product value, ensuring customer delight.Certifications from Scrum Alliance are highly sought after in Agile environments, and with a CSPO under your belt you will find that your future looks promising indeed!Increasing Demand for CSPO® Certified ProfessionalsNo longer is Agile confined to the IT industry; today it is gaining acceptance across all industries and domains. The Product Owner on a Scrum team is a key role for project success. Even if a product is delivered on time and within budget, it is of little value if it’s not what the end user wants! As a key member of the Scrum Team, the Product Owner shoulders the responsibility of giving the project strategic direction and adhering to the product vision. The Product Owner is the person who determines the value to be delivered, making sure that the final product is both efficient and effective.The CSPO credential is one of the most sought after in the Agile space, as it validates the holder’s capability of handling fluctuating markets and responding to the changing dynamics of the industry. Organizations look for individuals with expertise in managing Agile projects, and CSPO holders are highly regarded for their knowledge and prowess.Benefits of CSPO® Certification The CSPO certification value is immense, and by getting certified you can take advantage of the high value that employers place on Scrum Alliance certifications. A CSPO credential will expand your career opportunities across industries that have adopted Agile. With a CSPO credential, you can demonstrate your proficiency not just in the Scrum principles and processes, but also in the role and responsibilities of a successful PO The courseware introduces you to core Scrum knowledge and skills. You will get the confidence and competence to successfully guide agile teams on the product vision You can act as the bridge between the SM, team and stakeholders You will get access to Scrum Alliance groups and local networks and can interact with like-minded professionals to share experiences, widening your perspective and gaining comprehensive Agile knowledge. Certified Scrum Product Owner salaries are likely to be higher than those of non-certified peers. This certification can lead the way to advanced certifications, such as the A-CSPO and the CSP-PO from Scrum Alliance. These higher level certifications can open up a world of opportunities in your career and can drive value for your organization.Certified Scrum Product Owner SalaryThe CSPO certification can lead to very lucrative career growth. Payscale indicates that a Product Owner gets an average salary of INR 17,39,722 annually, while a senior PO can get 30 lakh INR on the average. Companies like Dell, Oracle, HSBC and Amazon, among many others, hire CSPOs with Amazon paying the highest compensation packages, ranging from 20-50 lakh INR a year. In the US, the average CSPO salary is $94,442 / yrProcess to become a CSPO®So, how do you get CSPO certified? Attending a 14-16 hour training that is led by a Certified Scrum Trainer®(CST®) online or in person is mandatory to understanding the CSPO Learning Objectives and get certified. The course curriculum skilfully combines theory and hands-on experiential learning to help you to thoroughly comprehend all the Scrum principles and processes, and get a deep understanding of what the CSPO role and responsibilities entail.Having successfully completed the course, follow these steps to get your CSPO certificate: Visit the Scrum Alliance website. Your login credentials from the "Welcome CSPO" email can be used to create an account. Answer 'yes' or 'no' to the question on Marketing opt-in Accept the CSPO License Agreement Download your certificate from Scrum Alliance:CSPO® Training CostThe CSPO training cost depends on the country and also on the institute that you select to undertake your training. You can choose from in-person or virtual training courses, which are available at the same cost. Regardless of the training mode you choose, you will get the advantage of the same robust learning and experiential curriculum as with an in-person course, and can interact with your instructors in real-time.Rather than looking for the cheapest CSPO certification, do look for a reputed training institute that is a Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance, and delivers comprehensive courses through Certified Scrum Trainers who have industry experience and training expertise.CSPO® Exam FeeAt present, there is no exam associated with the CSPO credential and attending an in-person two day (16 hour) or live online (14 hour) Certified Scrum Product Owner® course that is delivered by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) is sufficient to get certified. CSPO® Certification RenewalGetting the CSPO certification is only the beginning of your Agile journey, and you are expected to grow in your knowledge and skills as long as you are an active Scrum practitioner.Every two years you are required to renew your certification by paying $100 as a renewal fee, and logging in 20 Scrum Educational Units (SEUs). You can clock your SEUs through educational opportunities, attending events or by volunteering your time or effort in an unpaid capacity and giving back to the global Scrum community.CSPO® certification cost in different countriesCSPOs are highly sought after across the world, as they are proven to have the knowledge and skills needed to drive successful product delivery.The table below indicates the approximate costs for CSPO certification in India and other top countries.CountryCurrencyCSPO Cost RangeUSAUSD1000-2000IndiaINR20000-30000CanadaCAD1000- 1500AustraliaAUD1000-1200United KingdomGBP800-1000Maintaining your credential in good standing is also an important part of the CSPO certification.The CSPO certification cost, therefore, consists of two components:CSPO® Certification Cost HeadActual CostClassroom/Online training costBased on location as mentioned above.Renewal fee$100 and 20 SEUs, every two years.ConclusionThe Product Owner’s role is a pivotal one, as the person who aligns the product development processes to map to the end user needs, maximizing product value and boosting work productivity at all stages. Not everyone is qualified to be a good Product Owner. It takes deep insights and an understanding of the Scrum principles and processes to be successful in this field.Organizations need trained Agile teams, who are aligned to a common vision and offering value-driven solutions to ensure business growth. As a CSPO certified professional, you can gain a valuable foothold in this sought-after career path that leads to rewarding opportunities and high levels of work satisfaction.The CSPO is only the first step in your journey. As you gain more years of experience and increase your portfolio of certifications, you will get career opportunities that are more challenging, highly satisfying and immensely rewarding.
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If you’re looking for opportunities in the ever-expanding Agile space, you would have already heard about the CSPO® certification. The CSPO®, an acronym for the&...Continue reading
Scrum Master Career Path - Essential Guide
By Susan MayWith agile practices being widely adopted across forward-thinking companies, the demand for Scrum Masters who play a critical role in the implementation of the Scrum framework is at an all-time high. A Scrum Master is a ‘servant leader’ of the team who addresses all facets of the processes and practices that are at the core of Scrum. As the champion of the project, the Scrum Master is at the same time a guide, mentor and facilitator who serves the team, product owner and stakeholders, and has the best interests of the business in mind.If you are a Scrum Master or someone who is aspiring to be one, you might have wondered at some point—what’s next? A Scrum Master’s role is inherently versatile. Scrum Masters are adept at stepping in wherever needed, performing multiple functions and tailoring their approach to meet the changing needs of the team or project.A Scrum Master Has Options!As a Scrum Master, you’ll find that you have plenty of career options. The more experience you have with Scrum, you will find that you could take on the mantle of an Agile coach, a mentor and guide, a Product Manager or Product Owner, or much more. You can undertake Scaled Agile certifications, collaborate across distributed teams, and work toward scaling agile across the enterprise. You can even undertake Project Management certifications and move to the role of a Project Manager. As the world of Scrum continues to evolve, you will find that many more opportunities open up for professionals who have proven Scrum expertise.The Typical Career Path of a Scrum Master Quite typically, Scrum Masters start by serving one team on a single product. As they gain experience, they could start working with several teams on the same product, or even across multiple products. Many professionals continue on the same pathway, serving in leadership positions or more challenging roles as a Senior Scrum Master or Chief Scrum Master. There are others who choose to side step into the role of a Product Owner, a Developer or a Manager. As they gain more experience in any of these roles, they can leverage their expertise to become an Agile coach or mentor, or work as an Agile Transformation leader who guides large-scale transformations across enterprises. There is always scope for improvement and for learning something new, and whatever the path chosen, the skills and capabilities learnt as a Scrum Master will prove invaluable in any situation. The Scrum Master Becomes a Product OwnerAs your role evolves, you might just find that you love the product itself, rather than the process of building it. You could explore the role of the Product Owner, and play a part in determining the why, what and how behind the product itself—as against determining the agile processes that go into creating that product. Product Owners, in tandem with the Scrum Master and team, work the Sprint Backlog and keep the product vision alive. They help to communicate with stakeholders and end users, and collaborate to build products that deliver value.The Scrum Master Becomes a ManagerScrum Masters are not managers in the typical sense, as they do not manage people or teams. They do, however, manage the process followed by the team. In their role as a facilitator, Scrum Masters are required to manage conflicts and remove impediments, which requires a good deal of collaboration, communication and empathy. These same skills will stand them in good stead if they choose to take on the role of a Manager.The Role of the MentorPart of a Scrum Master’s responsibilities is to inculcate and foster the Agile Mind-set, which is essentially the role of a Mentor. By constantly reminding the team to follow Agile systems properly, the Scrum Master ensures successful implementation of the principles and processes. He or she must not only be well versed in the ‘What’ of Scrum, but should also know the underlying ‘Why’s and ‘How’s that Scrum embodies.Next Step: Scrum CoachSeeing the positive changes that Scrum brings to a project can be exhilarating. If you’d like to catalyse a similar transformation across the organization, or even work with different organizations on their Agile implementation journey, then you could choose to be an Agile coach. Your experience and expertise will prove invaluable in guiding individuals and teams to transform the ways in which they are working. Scrum Coaches have the ability to coach at the managerial or executive level, and should be familiar with business agility and change management strategies to lead significant transformations.Career Options and Career Development of a Scrum MasterAgile has been found to be an operating model that is able to traverse the complexities and challenges of the new world, and companies that have adopted agile are able to manage the impact of change and cope with crisis in a much better way. As indicated by the ScrumMaster Trends Report from Scrum.org in conjunction with Age of Product, the role of a Scrum Master is becoming more critical to ensuring project success in difficult times. LinkedIn called out the role of a Scrum Master as one of the most promising jobs of 2019 and this trend will continue through the decade.While they are most sought after in software development projects, Scrum Masters are also at the core of a range of industries, ranging from Manufacturing, Government, Healthcare, Finance and Insurance, to Engineering and Technology and Consulting Services.A Scrum Master Focuses on Soft SkillsA large part of a Scrum Master’s role is to ensure that everyone is on the same page, moving forward smoothly without conflict or any obstacles, and assisting both the team and the Product Owner to achieve goals. This requires a deep focus on soft skills. To be an exceptional Scrum Master, you should have strong communication and collaboration skills, and should have the empathy and understanding required to work with the team as a coach and guide. Teams are made of individuals who may have strong personalities that could often cause conflict. It is the Scrum Master’s responsibility to defuse any tension, resolve conflicts and dissolve any obstacles to the progress of the work. By working as a servant leader, the Scrum Master can motivate and encourage the team to perform beyond their best and achieve all targets without fail. Scrum Master vs Project ManagerScrum Masters and Project Managers perform roles that could overlap, but are really quite different. A Project Manager assumes a key leadership role on a project, contributing to all ten knowledge areas of project management. A Scrum Master, on the other hand, is termed a ‘servant leader’, managing the process of Scrum rather than the people, and contributing toward the resource management, scope management and quality management areas of the project.Scrum Masters facilitate Scrum events such as Sprint meetings and Daily Stand Ups, while the Project Manager creates overall time schedules and manages meetings on a regular basis.A Project Manager has the option of choosing any framework, traditional or agile; but the Scrum Master works with only the Agile Scrum model.For more clarity on the roles, here are the key responsibilities of a Scrum Master and a Project Manager:Scrum MasterProject ManagerAssists and guides the team on Scrum values and principlesAllocates and manages the budgetControls the processes so that they do not deviate from Scrum practicesAssigns people to tasksHolds regular meetings with the team in order to discuss the progress and plan future sprintsHandles change managementRemoves impediments to smooth progress, such as lengthy approvals, dysfunctional tools, poor communication from other departments, internal conflicts, etcNegotiates and communicates with stakeholdersSets in place risk management measuresMonitors and manages the project workflow, schedules and status and ensures that goals are metIdentifies and allocates resourcesThe Best Career Path: Agile Project Manager Organizations that have embraced Agile are resilient, easy adaptable to evolving changes and have proven that they are consistently quicker to market. These forward-thinking companies are able to outperform their peers time and again, simply because of all these capabilities. Especially in today’s world where change is the only normal, companies that employ agile practices are miles ahead in terms of customer satisfaction, operational excellence and employee engagement.Project managers are also greatly in demand due to their capabilities of leading successful projects that conclude on time and within budget, upholding consistent quality across products and services. In such a scenario, the ideal career path would be one that combines the best of both worlds; as an Agile Project Manager! Agile Project Management is a field that is strongly coming into its own, using an iterative approach to the traditional project management lifecycle. Agile Project Managers cope with rapidly evolving scenarios much better as they are able to quickly change their direction, scope and focus as the need emerges.Agile project managers direct agile change by doing the following: They have an overall project vision, start in a broad direction and adapt to changing requirements. By working collaboratively, rather than in a hierarchical manner, they can achieve more in a shorter time. They learn from evolving conditions and are flexible to changes. By continually reflecting, learning and adjusting the ways of working at regular intervals, they are able to ensure customer satisfaction at every stage. They achieve the target in incremental stages.ConclusionA Scrum Master is uniquely positioned on an Agile team, working with the development team as well as the Product Owner to ensure that everything is perfectly in sync and on track to produce the best quality product. They wear many hats and take on the role of a leader who serves the team, rather than managing them. The word “Scrum” had its origins in Rugby and this is a useful analogy as well; as in Rugby terms, the Scrum Master has mastery over the roles of a team coach, referee and a team member all at once! A Scrum Master’s role will always be in demand. To get started, visit this link !
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The Importance of Maintaining your CSM® certification
By Susan MayThe Scrum framework has brought in immense benefits to organizations— helping them deliver superior quality products, even while ensuring flexibility, responsiveness, alignment and visibility to projects. Organizations seek to bring in the benefits of Scrum by having their workforce adopt Scrum at all levels. Specially trained Scrum professionals help implement scrum processes and practices and are instrumental in scaling it from the team to the organizational level.The importance of hiring experts for Agile Scrum transformation is not lost on recruiters and organizations, which is why there is a lot of demand for certified Scrum professionals who can bring in their expertise to bring about successful agile/scrum transformation. The Certified ScrumMaster®(CSM®) is an entry level credential offered by the Scrum Alliance® to candidates who clear the CSM test and show a level of expertise in implementing Scrum principles and processes. A CSM certified professional can excel in the role of a Scrum Master, giving the team an environment that is conducive for maximizing their potential and innovating excellence. Why Renew Your Certification?Scrum is continuously evolving—and so are the roles associated with it! A Scrum Master’s role is deeply rooted with the evolution of Scrum in the organization. The Scrum Master’s decisions on all things pertaining to Scrum can help the organization realise the benefits of scrum implementation, which include happy customers and good quality products. Scrum and Agile certifications are regularly updated by certifying bodies to reflect real world improvements and enhancements made to the technology the certification pertains to. This equips holders of the credential to remain in touch with new innovations and changes and imbibe best practices. Renewing or maintaining your certification is a reflection of your commitment to keep up with the latest changes and a validation of your skill in accomplishing tasks that are rooted in the real world.Scrum Alliance offers exclusive benefits to CSM holders who maintain their certification by renewing it on time. These include:Exclusive access to a suite of valuable tools, such as the Comparative Agility Personal Improvement (PI) tool and a premium subscription to Comparative Agility, a $299 yearly value, among othersRegular curriculum updates through access to industry leading coaching, resources, and training. You can avail of Scrum Alliance content, informative webinars, training, and opportunities for volunteering at Scrum events which will earn you Scrum Education Units (SEUs)Network with over 150 Scrum user groups in 32 countries worldwide, and get the benefits of community sharing and online learning.Besides this, renewing your CSM® certification will help you: Re-validate your knowledge, abilities, and skills in all matters ScrumGet your skills re-endorsed by Scrum Alliance--the largest and most influential Agile certifying bodyDifferentiate yourself from your non-certified peersEnhance your career prospectsIncrease your earning potentialShow your commitment to continuous excellence Use it as a stepping stone to gain more advanced scrum master certifications levelsKeep your badge active and access resource, trainings and coaching, and promote your achievement.Ready to renew? Renewal RequirementsIt’s important that you renew your CSM certification to keep it current and prevent it from expiring. This will help you exhibit your continued commitment to your organization and to Scrum. You have to renew your CSM credential every 2 years, and this can be done earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and paying the renewal fee. The details are as below:SEUs requiredFee for renewal20$100SEUs, or Scrum Educational Units, help to demonstrate your continued commitment to the world of Scrum. Every two years, you are required to earn 20 SEU credits to renew your CSM certification. SEUs can be earned by a variety of ways, such as the following:Watching a community webinarVolunteering in Scrum related activities. Participating in local user groupsAttending a Scrum Gathering at a global or regional levelBecoming an Agile/Scrum writer. Writing a blog, article or white paper.Brushing up your knowledge. Reading a book on Scrum/Agile.Renewal FeeThe renewal fee for the Certified ScrumMaster credential is $100. Scrum Alliance is a non-profit organization, and a portion of this renewal fee is used by Scrum Alliance to fund community programs and User Groups around the world. You can renew your CSM credential within 6 months of its expiry date by paying the fee and logging in the SEUs you have collected.How do I renew my CSM certification?To keep your certification in good standing, you need to renew your CSM credential anytime within 6 months of its expiry. You can renew your credential by following these steps:Step 1: Log in to your Scrum Alliance account.Step 2: Click on the ‘certification dashboard’.Step 3: Scroll to the ‘Actions’ window and click the renewal link. Step 4: Submit the full amount of SEUs needed for renewal. The categories under which SEUs are grouped are: Learning, Event, Volunteering or Other.Step 5: Pay your renewal fee of $100Scrum Alliance also helps you to automatically extend the expiration date of your CSM by attending other Scrum Alliance certification courses. For example, if you have a CSM that expires on June 9, 2021, and you take an A-CSM course on January 5, 2021, then your original CSM will advance two years, so that both your CSM and A-CSM will both expire on January 5, 2023.Conclusion Keeping your certifications up to date helps to fuel Scrum communities worldwide, helping all practitioners to improve their Scrum journeys. Renewing your CSM gives you a whole lot of benefits by keeping you in sync with Scrum and giving you a chance to explore and learn more through the various activities involved in earning the Scrum Education Units. Maintain your CSM certification, stay connected with Scrum specialists around the world and succeed in your Scrum career! If you have any doubts, or wish to know more, visit our CSM page!
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The Scrum framework has brought in immense benefits to organizations— helping them deliver superior quality products, even while ensuring flexibility, responsiveness, alignment and visibility to...Continue reading
What is a CSPO® Certification?
By Susan MayAs Agile teams step up to address changing industry dynamics, strong involvement with the business is an imperative to ensure product success. Many Agile teams feel that it is not easy to get collaboration and commitment from the business managers and stakeholders; especially in the face of rapidly evolving project requirements. This is where a Product Owner’s role comes into sharp focus.In any Scrum team, the Product Owner’s role is critical to success. LinkedIn has identified this role as an emerging job in 2020 with a 24% annual growth in the US, and the demand is only expected to be on the rise through the next decade.The Product Owner is the leader who is responsible for the value of the products created, overseeing every stage of the project’s development and acting as a bridge between the team and the stakeholders.The PO takes into account evolving needs instead of following a prescriptive textbook approach to tasks. The role of the PO is a powerful and versatile one that is easily accessible to those working on an Agile team, who find themselves interested in business analysis, project management or the marketing aspect of a product. Many professionals find themselves drawn to the CSPO role, as the appeal of being able to make transformative decisions that could result in innovative products is very stimulating.What is CSPO Certification?The Certified Scrum Product Owner®(CSPO®) from Scrum Alliance® is a validation of the holder’s expertise in the business side of Scrum projects. A CSPO certification on your resume will show potential employers that you are committed to maximizing the value of your team’s work and to creating products that delight the customer. With the CSPO, you can undertake the role of a Product Owner, and:Get an in-depth understanding of Scrum values, principles and rolesLearn what the responsibilities of a Product Owner entailEngage with the global community of Scrum Alliance practitioners dedicated to continuous Scrum practice and improvement, andCreate products that meet customer needs and industry requirements, by leading and implementing Scrum in the team.Get a higher CSPO salary associated with the credential.Who can undertake the CSPO? An aspiring CSPO could be someone who is interested in learning more about Scrum, or who has an interest in the business side of the organization and wishes to focus on the PO role. A good CSPO candidate could be a project manager transitioning from traditional to Agile projects, or a developer, software development manager or architect, product manager, team member, and anyone interested in understanding Agile principles and the Scrum framework. Prerequisites for CSPO CertificationAt present, there is no certification exam associated with the CSPO. Undertaking the 2 day (16 hours) training led by a Certified Scrum Trainer® is sufficient to gain the credential from Scrum Alliance. There are no prerequisites to attend the training, but reading the Scrum Guide and Agile Manifesto before the class will help you to quickly absorb the concepts. Once you have attained the certification, you can add it to your resume so that potential employers are aware of your new knowledge.Cost of CSPO CertificationThe CSPO certification cost is included in the training offered by a Certified Scrum Trainer. On completing the course, the CST will update your details on the Scrum Alliance website, and you can login to download the CSPO certificate.The PSPO certification from Scrum.org is also a sought after credential for Product Owners, but is considered to be far more challenging than the CSPO certification, as candidates have to pass a rigorous exam before getting certified as a PSPO.Advantages of CSPO CertificationThe CSPO certification on your resume is a powerful validation of your knowledge and competencies in the world of Scrum. You can demonstrate to potential employers that you have what it takes to create the product vision and ensure that the team does not stray from it. You will be able to put the Product Backlog in order, and make sure the product is all that the customer could ask for.With the CSPO certification comes a two year membership with Scrum Alliance. This membership offers a sought-after platform where you can network with like-minded professionals from across the world, sharing experiences, learning new things and nurturing progress in your Scrum journey. You can get a robust community experience, which includes membership of user groups, forums, discounts, and webinars that help you earn Scrum Education Units (SEUs). Members also discuss job openings with the group, and by furthering your active connections in the Scrum world, you can get ahead in your career.How to get CSPO Certified?To get the CSPO credential, you must mandatorily attend an in-person two day (16 hour) or live online (14 hour) Certified Scrum Product Owner® course that is delivered by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST). Having successfully completed the course, you can follow the steps outlined below: Visit the Scrum Alliance website. Your login credentials from the "Welcome CSPO" email can be used to create an account. Answer 'yes' or 'no' to the question on Marketing opt-in Accept the CSPO License Agreement Download your certificate from Scrum Alliance: Go to Settings (top right-hand corner) Select 'Certification Dashboard' Under 'Actions,' select 'Print Certificate' Select 'Size' Click 'Generate ScrumMaster / Scrum Product Owner Certificate' Finding a Good CSPO Trainer It’s important to choose a reputed training provider who has the experience and expertise to help you understand the learning objectives. Do a background check on the training institute to ensure that they are an authorised REP of Scrum Alliance, and that the training is delivered by Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs). An experiential workshop will help you to gain a deep understanding of concepts, and if the training is interspersed with plenty of group activities, mock scenarios and games, you will learn faster and cement your understanding.Renewing your CSPO CertificationThe CSPO is by no means the end of the road. Scrum is a journey of continued learning, and getting the certification was just the first step! To keep your certification alive, you need to log in 20 Scrum Educational Units (SEUs) and pay the renewal fee of $100 every two year cycle. SEUs can be obtained in any of several ways: by participating in events, furthering your learning or volunteering in events to give back to the community. This ensures that you hold your membership in good standing, and will have continued access to the exclusive, free tools that are available only to Scrum Alliance members.The CSPO certification value is very significant, so do ensure that you keep your credential updated at all times.CSM vs CSPOTransitioning to Scrum can be challenging, and many professionals find it hard to decide between the two most popular certifications from Scrum Alliance, the CSM and the CSPO.The Scrum Product Owner is responsible for maintaining the product vision and ensuring that goals are achieved, while the Scrum Master ensures that Scrum theories, practices and mandates are followed. If you are more interested in the business aspects of the project, then the PO role is for you!ConclusionThe Product Owner can be considered the evangelist of product value, who determines the deliverables that are important to each stakeholder and sets priorities to deliver clear value. The CSPO certification is a globally acclaimed credential that certifies that the holder can make a positive impact on a Scrum team, opening the doors to many rewarding Agile opportunities.It is also a stepping stone to advanced level courses such as the A-CSPO and the CSP-PO that can widen and deepen your knowledge and expertise in the PO role.If the role of the CSPO interests you, check out our training schedules and get certified!
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Beginner's Guide to Scrum Master Roles
By Susan MayYou have gone through a comprehensive training, you have gained the certificate. You even have a digital badge to demonstrate your Scrum knowledge. But how exactly would you define your role as a Certified ScrumMaster®? Are you a project manager? Or are you a servant leader? What is the role of a CSM® in an organizational and team context? As a Scrum Master, you’re expected to be the Agile and Scrum expert on the team. Your expertise on Scrum values, principles and processes is what keeps the team on track and ensures that the Scrum framework is implicitly followed at every stage of the project, by every level of the team. A Scrum Master, therefore, is someone who lives and breathes Scrum and helps others transition from non-Scrum to Scrum in order to reap its benefits.What is a Scrum Master Also Known As? The Scrum Master is also known as the servant leader, following the philosophy where the main goal of the leader is to serve. The servant leadership style of working involves not just asking what resources are doing—but helping them do better by removing any hindrances that might be affecting their productivity. The Scrum Master ensures that the team members are working in an environment that fosters maximum productivity. The servant leadership also extends to those that the team members serve, that is the customers. The Scrum Master will create conditions that are conducive to achieving results that are aligned to the customers’ needs, and that fit the overall organizational goals and business objectives. There are many hats that the Scrum Master needs to wear. The responsibilities are diverse and require him or her to apply their knowledge for the upward development of a Scrum team. As a servant leader, a Scrum Master will: Be conscious of serving others and not themselves Create a leadership legacy that endures Help team members perform to the highest level of their capabilities Selflessly manage team members Create conditions that will help the team, as a whole, perform Expected Benefits The CSM certification comes with several benefits. You can Become a Scrum expert and implement the framework to gain benefits Create a work environment conducive to success and innovation Learn to avoid internal and external distractions and solve disputes Create a high performing team Enhance your Agile toolkit and get lucrative job offersCommon Pitfalls As a Scrum Master there are certain pitfalls you should avoid: Know the difference between a Scrum Master’s responsibilities and that of a project managers. Do not overlap the two. Do not tell your team ‘to do’. Instead create an environment where communication is free and development high. Your job is to further the application of Scrum principles, processes and values. Involve the whole team in project development. You are not solely responsible for delivering the project. The whole team is! The sooner the glitches from a project are removed, the better. Waiting to remove obstacles will only cause them to blow up. Not conducting daily stand ups will cause unsolved problems to fester and prevent open communication. Do not underestimate Agile transition. Go at it with all that you have to ensure success. Do not put off creating the product back-log. That’s among the most common reasons for product failures. Last but not the least, make sure that your team is not over-pressured. Work towards unburdening them by removing impediments and clearing obstacles.Skill LevelsModern projects are complicated—with complex targets, teams that span geographies, and the use of modern technologies. A Scrum Master needs to deal with all this, while ensuring that Scrum processes are always followed. This transformation is an ongoing process. The modern Scrum Master, hence, needs to have certain skills that will help meet goals. These skills include: Adaptability Focus Collaboration Empathy Technical skills Agile mind Soft skills InquisitivenessScrum Master Responsibilities A good Scrum Master always goes beyond the title and focuses on helping further the adoption of the Scrum framework. The top 10 responsibilities of a Scrum Master include: Implement servant leadership and ensure that scrum practices are followed Motivate teams and help them discover their potential Engage in and foster collaboration among team members, product owner and stakeholders Be a change agent Open communication channels between all members involved in a project Scale Scrum at the organizational level Help teams maximise their performance Remove any internal or external distractions that might hinder team performance Help product owner with product backlog Facilitate team progressScrum Master Roles A Scrum Master plays a role and undertakes several responsibilities in supporting the product owner, the development team and the organization as a whole. Scrum master's Role in Supporting Product Owners The Scrum Master helps the Product Owner thus: Helps maintain product backlog Demystifies the product backlog to the team Assists the product owner in helping the team understand end goals and expectations Helps establish and implement Agile principlesScrum Master’s Service to the Development TeamThe Scrum Master helps the development team in these ways: Removes obstacles that may hinder the team’s performance Conducts Daily Standups and Reviews to streamline progress Helps team create high quality products Ensures that the Scrum framework in implemented correctly Helps team transition to Agility and ScrumThe Scrum Master's Role in the Organization The Scrum Master helps the organization in many ways: Scales Scrum from team level to organizational level Aids in change management Helps in problem solving Helps create superior quality products and understand the need of the customer Helps teams and stakeholders adopt and practice scrum Scrum Master Learning Path The Certified ScrumMaster® learning path, as defined by Scrum Alliance®, helps you understand the role and responsibilities of a Scrum Master. It de-clutters the focus areas and sets the tone to help you embark on a journey of continuous learning. It consists of core competencies that include: Understanding and applying Agile and the Scrum framework Understanding the three roles in Scrum Managing Scrum ceremonies, artefacts and sprints Developing and delivering products through planning and estimationScrum Master TrainingA Scrum Master certification will help you validate your skills and expertise in implementing Scrum. A Scrum Master certification such as CSM is your ticket to gaining lucrative Scrum Master roles and salaries. The CSM certification offered by Scrum Alliance is a good option for entry level Scrum Masters or those who want to polish up on their Scrum skills. This is also a great start to go on to gain higher Scrum certifications such as the Advanced Certified ScrumMasterSM certification. The training details for the CSM course are as follows: Attend a 16-hour face-to-face course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®). Scrum Alliance Registered Education Providers are required to offer trainings that are conducted by CSTs. On completion of the training, give the CSM exam, which is a 1-hour, open book exam of 50 questions. You successfully pass the exam on correctly answering 37 out of the 50 questions. Once you get your certified you need to renew it every 2-years to maintain it. This can be done by earning and logging in 20 Scrum Education Units® and paying a fee of $100.Top Qualities of a Successful Scrum MasterA Scrum Master, after all, has been hired for skills in Scrum. A good Scrum Master will become successful by ensuring that Scrum and Agile are properly adhered to and implemented in the course of the project. A successful Scrum master is a coach and motivator par excellence. Having soft skills such as the ability to communicate, smoothen conflicts and facilitate processes can make you a successful Scrum Master. Brush up your technical skills. Stay on par with the latest technologies to understand what your development team wants and needs. To be successful, let go of your title and invest your energies in the adoption and facilitation of Scrum. Scaling Scrum from the team to the enterprise will speak volumes of your success and talent as a Scrum Master.ConclusionEveryone cannot be a servant leader. It takes a special resource, namely the Scrum Master who can be a servant leader and drive project success through the adoption of Scrum. A Certified ScrumMaster is the certification that will help you become a successful Scrum Master and imbibe the core values of Scrum which are commitment, focus, openness, respect and courage. Do you have what it takes to be a successful Scrum Master? Take the first step on what could be an immensely satisfying career path, by visiting our CSM page!
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How does a Scrum Master career look like?
By Susan MayToday’s world is in a state of flux, and industries are constantly evolving. With new technologies coming to the fore every other day, there is a lot of uncertainty around how to ensure that the skills you have will continue to have relevance in the future. While the Scrum Master’s role is in demand today, is it a career that is future proof? Indications are that it will continue to be highly sought after across industries, in the immediate future as well. Scrum Master Definition: Who is a Scrum Master? According to Agile Alliance, “The scrum master is the team role responsible for ensuring the team lives agile values and principles and follows the processes and practices that the team agreed they would use.” In other words, a Scrum Master is someone who is an expert on the know-hows of Scrum, and can coach and lead others in its implementation. A Scrum Master’s career can be lucrative and professionally rewarding. Why is a Scrum Master’s role important? The recent pandemic has reinforced the need for organizations to be agile to cope with changing times. A Scrum Alliance® membership survey outlined in the State of Scrum Report 2016 showed that companies from across sectors are using Scrum and Agile to innovate and remain competitive--an indication of the popularity and importance of Scrum even before the disruption caused due to the pandemic. The same survey also indicates the evolving role of a Scrum Master. The Scrum Master has the expertise and capability to perform multiple functions and wear many hats. From streamlining processes, to facilitating collaboration to bringing about organizational change, a Scrum master is a master of all trades. More than ever before, in the current disruptions that industries are forced to navigate, a Scrum Master is needed to guide a project to success and help meet organizational objectives. Scrum Master Responsibilities The road to agile and scrum transformation is never smooth. And it is virtually impossible without the involvement of one role—that of the scrum master. As organizations have grown, so has the scope of projects and teams. With so many teams and so many responsibilities, a lack of co-ordination can lead to chaos. A scrum master brings about collaboration between teams and stakeholders, removes obstacles and creates an environment of innovation and growth for the development team. In your career as a Scrum Master your main responsibilities will be to: Be a servant leader who encourages self-organization Act as a as a facilitator among team members Ensure Scrum practices are followed Remove obstacles so that the team can maximise performance Protect the team from internal and external distractions Ensure a good relationship between the product owner, the team and external stakeholders Set up an environment where the team can perform more effectively Manage the scrum process in coordination with the scrum team Conduct retrospective meetings Address team progress Scrum Master Job Description A scrum master’s job involves overseeing of the day-to-day activities of the scrum development team. They aim to implement scrum processes and principles and ensure timely delivery of the product by working in tandem with stakeholders and the product owner. The Career Path of a Scrum Master If you have been in a scrum master role for a few years, the question topmost on your mind must be about your career path. What are the future roles that are open to you? A true Scrum Master’s career trajectory cannot be complete without continuous learning and self-improvement. That being said, a scrum master’s unique ability to coach, facilitate and lead agile in an enterprise-wide transformation effort cannot be ignored by the management. Scrum Masters who have started out on their careers can go on to gain advanced level skills and serve as experts in managerial positions. Some of the top-level scrum positions are Chief Agility Officer, VP of Agility and eventually Chief Executive Officer. Scrum Master as an Agile Coach One of the primary responsibilities of the scrum master is to help team members understand the values and principles of agile; and reinforce the benefit of being in an agile model. In the process, the scrum master performs the role of an agile coach. Can the Scrum Master act as a Product Owner? While in many cases these two roles often overlap, according to the Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, these are primarily distinct roles and need different people carrying them out to avoid conflict. The product owner has a specific responsibility and that is to serve the customer or stakeholder. The scrum master serves the development team and works with the product owner. Both roles have different scope and agenda and should be separate. A Scrum Master as a Mentor In the process of helping the team understand agile and scrum principles and processes and helping transformation, the scrum master invariably performs the role of a mentor. Scrum masters also become mentors due to their ability to resolve conflicts and promote a peaceful working environment. Is the Scrum Master a Manager? While a Scrum master’s role is a management level position, the scrum master cannot be called a manager. Managing the team or team members does not come under the purview of a scrum master’s responsibilities. The scrum master manages the scrum process rather than people. Scrum Master as a Transformation Expert This is where the expertise of a scrum master can be truly gauged. An effective scrum master is one who is able to transform an organization to agile and help others achieve their potential by clearing impediments and roadblocks. Scrum Master in a Leadership Role A Scrum Master’s role is to create and lead self-organizing teams, motivate the teams and help them perform without any impediments to deliver superior quality products. The Scrum Master’s expertise in bringing about transformation, coaching on agile, facilitation skills and servant leadership are skills that will be more indispensable when the Scrum Master takes on higher leadership roles in the company. Scrum Master Certifications There are several Scrum Master certifications available, each with their advantages and benefits. The most prominent among these is the Certified ScrumMaster® certification by Scrum Alliance. Other certifications include Professional Scrum Master (PSM™) by Scrum.org, SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) by Scaled Agile Academy, Inc, Project Management Institute- Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® by Project Management Institute (PMI)® and Scrum Master Certified (SMC™) by the SCRUM study. These certifications will help you start a career as a scrum master or refine your techniques to help work better. They are a validation of your skills and will help you land lucrative scrum master jobs. Scrum Master Salaries According to Glassdoor, certified Scrum Masters on an average earn around INR 1447310 per annum in India. A Scrum Master earns an average annual salary of $97,319 in the U.S., and on gaining a Certified ScrumMaster® credential could earn $118353 a year on an average. Scrum Master Jobs Scrum and Agile have now transcended far beyond the world of IT. Their benefits have now found resonance with companies in diverse sectors who are adopting scrum to stay in the competition and cope with the fast-changing economy. Scrum Masters can make their careers in telecom, manufacturing, retail and government organizations. Some of the companies hiring scrum masters are: Philips Dell Honeywell Allstate India Goldman Sachs Siemens Informatica Capgemini Intel Zensar Technologies Accenture Vodafone India Services Private Limited Techstar Software Development India Pvt Nokia Siemens Networks Ltd France Telecom Rockwell Automation Synacor Frontier Communications Corporation Johnson Controls Multiple and More Challenging Teams As the scope and geography of projects increase, one has to deal with multiple team members belonging to different cultures, and work to deliver products that suit the needs of stakeholders and customers. A millennial scrum master’s work involves collaborating across multiple distributed teams and handling change when there is resistance, even as you strengthen the agile development team. A scrum master with the right training and expertise can carry out the responsibility of working with multiple teams with success. A Scrum Master Has Options Once you start out on a career as a scrum master, you have plenty of options ahead of you. By leveraging your expertise and knowledge of scrum you can take on roles of an agile coach, product owner, mentor, and leader. There are plenty of certifications available that will help you broaden your knowledge or build on your existing knowledge and skill set to take on these challenging roles. Scrum Master vs. Project Manager Are these roles interchangeable? No, they are not. While both roles work towards ensuring delivery of quality products and mentoring and guiding teams, a project manager’s role is focused on delivering the project on time, within budget and within scope. A scrum master’s focus is on the implementation of Scrum principles and values, ensuring that goals are met in short sprints and the team is able to perform without any roadblocks. The main differences between the responsibilities of a Scrum Master and a project manager are as mentioned below:Project ManagerScrum MasterPlays a lead in all phases of the project and is involved in all activities from planning, through execution and till the closing of the project.Plays the role of a facilitator and ensures smooth progress of the projectPlans and creates budget and the related documentsControls the Scrum processes and facilitates Scrum ceremoniesWorks with upper management to ensure the scope and direction of the projectMakes a team aware of Agile and Scrum, fostering the right mind-set to deliver successfully and resolves conflictAssigns tasks and prioritiesTogether with the Product owner and the team, prioritizes and manages sprint backlog to ensure timely deliveryWorks with management and clients to create schedules for completion of the projectMotivates the team, and deals with any barriers to the delivery of the productConclusion Scrum adoption has increased exponentially with 65% of IT enterprises globally now endorsing the Scrum framework. This growing adoption of Scrum indicates the need for and the importance of a Scrum Master’s role. A career as a Scrum Master can help you to build motivated, high performing teams that work together smoothly to achieve business goals. As a Scrum Master, you’ll have a career that is future proof. Visit this link to find out more!
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Top Benefits of Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) Certification
By Susan MayWith the Scrum Master’s role getting more crucial for large scale projects with large scope, organizations prefer to invest in talent that comes with a verifiable background of Scrum expertise. While there is no competition to on-the-job experience, a degree that certifies you as a Scrum expert is a sure way to get noticed and prove your Scrum-worthiness. The Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) is one such certification that has, time and again, proven to be beneficial to not just the holder in validating their skills, but also for the organization that hires a Scrum Master to greatly enhance their bottom-line margins. Certification value: Up for debate As a Scrum Master wanting to get ahead in your career and show a commitment to excellence, you may have considered getting a certification. But if you’re wondering whether or not the CSM certification is worth it, here are some stats for you! According to the 2017 edition of the “State of Scrum” by Scrum Alliance, in a survey conducted 54% organizations responded that they value certifications and look to employ individuals who are certified, over their non-certified peers. Of these, 91% respondents said that they preferred Scrum certifications. 80% organizations responded that the CSM from Scrum Alliance® was the most preferred Scrum certification that they hired. Of the individual respondents who were surveyed, 83% had the CSM credential to their name. This shows the positive and upward acceptance trend of Scrum and associated Scrum Master certifications, by organizations across sectors. Other types of Scrum Master Certifications such as the Professional Scrum MasterTM(PSM) certification from Scrum.org are also globally accepted. Agility wanted! Technology is changing at warp speed, throwing projects and organizations in a state of flux. The recent pandemic has added to the chaos, and organizations have been forced to rethink their business strategies to stay afloat. Comparatively, agile organizations have fared much better. They have been able to adapt and adopt faster and keep up with changing markets and competitions. Adoption of agile improves customer satisfaction, enhances team performance by keeping them motivated and helps increase chances of project success. Agile transformation is what every organization in the millennium is striving towards in order to survive the next decade. WHY DOES THE CERTIFIED SCRUMMASTER® (CSM®) COURSE COST MORE THAN SOME OTHER COURSES? The CSM credential is considered to be among the world’s best Scrum Master certifications. Offered by the Scrum Alliance®, an organization dedicated to promoting agile through trainings, education and research, the CSM course and certification imbibes in the professional the must-have skills that are needed to succeed as a scrum master. With the CSM, a professional will be able to perform the primary responsibilities of a successful scrum master, including the ability to facilitate, collaborate, solve impediments, coach, and address problems. Depending on factors like location and trainer, the cost of Scrum Master Certification is approximately between $700 and $1500. The price bracket of the CSM certification varies across the globe. If you feel that the cost of gaining the CSM credential is on the higher side, then rest assured that this is a worthwhile investment! Scrum Master salaries are highly lucrative, and once you become a Certified ScrumMaster you can earn up to $118353 a year on the average. ISN’T SCRUM SIMPLE ENOUGH? WHY DO I NEED THIS COURSE? While Scrum processes and principles may seem simple, organizations are often confused when it comes to agile adoption and Scrum implementation. Many teams are unable to get guaranteed results from Agile adoption in their projects. This is where a CSM can help. As a CSM, you will have the expertise and skills to navigate the processes and techniques of modern agile project delivery and lead your team and project to success. The CSM certification and training helps imbibe in you the agile mind set, and teaches you the art of building quality products, understanding and delivering customer needs and keeping stakeholders happy. You will be able to steer the team towards a successful project by clearing impediments and fostering an environment of innovation. By gaining the CSM credential you will be able to: Be a servant leader who encourages self-organization Act as a facilitator among team members Ensure Scrum practices are followed Remove obstacles so that the team can maximize performance Protect the team from internal and external distractions Ensure a good relationship between the product owner, the team and external stakeholders Set up an environment where the team can perform more effectively Manage the scrum process in coordination with the scrum team Conduct retrospective meetings Address team progress I AM ALREADY A PMP®. WHY SHOULD I GET MY CSM®?The PMP and CSM are both quite different. The Project Management Professional is a credential that will help you become a project manager par excellence. As a PMP, you can provide faster solutions and ensure projects stay within scheduled costs and time-frames. If you are already a PMP, then a CSM will help you gain the skills and expertise to lead Agile and Scrum projects and help your team and eventually your organization turn agile. The primary responsibilities of a project manager and scrum master differ in these aspects: PMP from PMICSM from Scrum AllianceProject Management certificationAgile certificationRequires prior experience and a degree or diplomaCan be undertaken by a novice, no specific education qualifications or experience requiredGain the ability to implement best practices laid out in the PMBOKGain the ability to implement Agile and foster an Agile mind setGives mastery over project management terminology, methods, processes and tacticsGives mastery over team roles, events and artefactsEnsures scope , schedules, direction and budget of a projectMotivates the team to achieve sprint goalsAs a project manager overseeing an Agile project, the CSM certification will benefit you immensely. So, will taking the Certified ScrumMaster course really benefit my career? Scrum adoption is at an all-time high, with 65% of IT enterprises globally now having adopted the Scrum framework and benefited from it. This growing adoption of Scrum underscores the importance of a Scrum Master’s role. The CSM certification helps you gain skills and expertise that are needed to succeed as a scrum master including the ability to facilitate, collaborate, solve impediments, coach, and solve problems. You can advance your career by gaining the CSM credential from Scrum Alliance and become among a niche group of CSMs around the world. Take the first step in your Scrum career today. Visit this link to make a start!
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With the Scrum Master’s role getting more crucial for large scale projects with large scope, organizations prefer to invest in talent that comes with a verifiable background of Scrum expert...Continue reading
How to pass the CSM® test
By Susan MayCertified ScrumMaster®: What is it? The Certified ScrumMaster® is a credential awarded to those who are able to display expertise and knowledge of Scrum processes and practices. It validates their knowledge of the Scrum framework and their ability to successfully lead projects. The CSM is awarded by the Scrum Alliance, an internationally renowned organization, and requires candidates to display their knowledge by clearing the comprehensive CSM exam. Agility is a continuous process and the CSM certification is the first step towards achieving excellence in this field. It starts you on a journey of self-excellence, serving as a stepping stone for higher Scrum certifications. Benefits of CSM Certification The CSM is issued by the Scrum Alliance, a reputed organization known for its high standards and commitment to further Scrum and Agile adoption across industries through dedicated trainings, seminars and teachings. According to the 2020 Robert Half Technology Salary Guide, the Certified ScrumMaster credential is among the most valuable certifications in IT today. The CSM is an entry level certification useful for those who are just getting started into Scrum or have been asked to manage Scrum projects. As a CSM holder, you will be able to perform all the responsibilities expected from a Scrum Master of an agile project. You will be able to: Perform as a Servant Leader who assists the team to succeed with the Scrum framework Remove impediments that hinder the work of the development team Help create an environment where the team can grow and foster innovation Create good communication channels between the team, the product owner and external stakeholders Ensure that all processes of Scrum are followed to maximise benefits Enjoy high salaries. The latest Payscale salary trends show professionals with CSM certification in India earning an average salary of INR 1,256,944. In America, the Certified ScrumMaster salary on an average is $136k. Eligibility Requirements for the CSM Exam If you want to become a Certified ScrumMaster you have to fulfil certain criteria that include training from a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) and clearing a test. Let’s look at the eligibility requirements to gain the CSM credential as mentioned by Scrum Alliance. You need to attend a face-to-face course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®), or receive private coaching from a Certified Agile Coach (CAC) Have 14 hours of live online or 16 hours of in-person training with your CST, or 25 hours of face-to-face interaction with your CAC Attending the course does not have any prerequisites, anyone with an interest in Scrum and who wants to gain the CSM credential can attend the training. The Certification Process Your certification process starts with identifying a training provider and completing the mandatory training period for CSM as stipulated by the Scrum Alliance. The steps to gain the CSM certification are as mentioned: Step 1: Take the 16 hour or 2-day CSM® course delivered by a CST® from a Global Registered Education Provider of Scrum Alliance. Step 2: On successful completion of the course, you will receive a welcome email containing a link to activate your Scrum Alliance® certification account. The email also contains your login credentials Step 3: Login to Scrum Alliance and complete your profile Step 4: Select My Dashboard and click on "Take CSM test" Step 5: Select your preferred language and take the Scrum Master certification online exam. CSM is an open book, 1-hour online test with 50 MCQs. Step 6: To pass the test, correctly answer 37 out of the 50 questions within the 60-minute time limit. The passing score is 74%. Step 7: On successfully passing the test, you will receive Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) designation from Scrum Alliance. You will also receive a 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance. CSTs and Authorized Training Centre Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainers, as the name suggests, are trainers of Scrum who have been rigorously vetted by Scrum Alliance. Scrum trainers have to undergo stringent certification requirements in order to be certified as CSTs. According to Scrum Alliance, CSTs “turn learning from ‘informational to transformational’ and actively contribute to a passionate community of change agents around the world.” In the world of Scrum Alliance, authorized training centres are called Registered Education Providers. These Institutes are rigorously screened and after an extensive evaluation are awarded the REP status by Scrum Alliance. Scrum Alliance also regularly evaluates REPs to ensure that they are maintaining standards set by Scrum Alliance which include high quality instructors who imbibe the values of Scrum Alliance and courseware that matches the exam objectives. CSM Exam Format Once you complete the course, you are allowed to take the CSM exam. Scrum Alliance’s Certified ScrumMaster exam is an online test, consisting of 50 multiple choice questions. You will have 1-hour (60 minutes) to finish it. You need to score a minimum of 74% in the exam to pass the Scrum Master Certification exam and obtain the certification. The CSM exam fee is generally included in the training cost if you opt to train from a REP. What if one fails to pass the CSM in one go? If you fail the CSM in your first attempt, Scrum Alliance allows you to retake the exam at no cost for the first 2 attempts within 90 days after you receive your welcome email. You will however be charged a minimum of $25 every time you attempt, from the third attempt onwards or if you attempt the exam 90 days after receiving the welcome email. How does one complete the CSM evaluation and receive Scrum Alliance Certificate? On completing your training under a Certified Scrum Trainer, you are eligible to give you exam. You need to correctly attempt 37 out of the 50 questions within the 60-minute time limit to pass. Once you complete the test, you can download your CSM certification by following these steps: Login to Scrum Alliance Go to Settings (top right hand corner) Select 'Certification Dashboard' Under 'Actions,' select 'Print Certificate' Select 'Size' Click 'Generate ScrumMaster / Scrum Product Owner Certificate' Remember that your certificate will be available for download only after you have accepted the ‘License Agreement’. You must renew your CSM certification every two years. You can do this by paying $100 and logging in 20 SEUs (Scrum Educational Units) every two year period. SEUs can be clocked by completing approved educational training, or taking part in various learning activities. You can also earn SEUs by providing non-compensated professional Scrum services and giving back to the community. Ready to get CSM certified? 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What is a CSM® Certification?
By Susan MayIn an ideal Scrum project, teams would be responsible for their own workflows, managing their processes and tools smoothly. However, reality is quite different and teams that are transitioning to Agile are often lost without a leader to guide them along the way. This responsibility falls on the Scrum Master, who is relied upon as the owner of the transition to the Scrum framework. The Scrum Master’s Role The Agile Manifesto declares the Scrum Master’s role to be critical to the success of an Agile project. Defined as a servant leader, a Scrum Master is the engine of a well-oiled Scrum team who keeps the project running without any hiccups. The importance of a Scrum Master can be gauged by the fact that this role is instrumental to ensure that quality is maintained over each sprint, conflicts are managed, and collaboration is improved—all by implementing scrum principles and values. How Does a Certification Help? Because the Scrum Master’s role is so crucial to the success of an Agile team and an Agile product, it is natural that organizations look for Scrum Masters who have the background and expertise to reflect their understanding and experience of Agile and Scrum values and principles. This has put certifications such as the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) in high demand as they reflect the holder’s expertise in Scrum values, principles, and practices and proficiency in implementing the Scrum framework. A CSM has the demonstrable capability of performing at the highest level and leading the team along the path to success. What does CSM® stand for? The CSM or Certified ScrumMaster® is a certification issued by the world-renowned Scrum Alliance®, which is dedicated to helping foster an agile world through trainings, education and research. Scrum Alliance memberships are highly sought after as they provide an excellent platform for professionals to network with other like-minded scrum enthusiasts and progress in the agile journey of continuous improvement. With a Scrum Alliance membership, you will be privileged to get access to local user groups, online social networks, discounts on gatherings, and other additional member-only resources. Definition of CSM® CSM®, which is an acronym for the Certified ScrumMaster®, is a credential from Scrum Alliance that is obtained on completing the two-day training delivered by Certified Scrum Trainers® or CSTs, and successfully passing the CSM exam. A Scrum Master is considered to be a servant-leader for the Scrum Team, who is responsible for promoting and facilitating Scrum practices across the course of the project. He or she is required to be well versed in Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values in order to oversee successful implementation of the Scrum framework at every step, maximizing the value created. What is CSM® certification? The CSM course and certification imbibes in the professional the must-have skills that are needed to succeed as a Scrum Master, including the ability to facilitate, collaborate, remove impediments, coach, and solve problems. With the CSM, a professional will be able to perform the primary responsibilities of a successful Scrum Master namely: Be a servant leader who encourages self-organization Act as a facilitator among team members Ensure Scrum practices are followed Remove obstacles so that the team can maximise performance Protect the team from internal and external distractions Ensure a good relationship between the product owner, the team and external stakeholders Set up an environment where the team can perform more effectively Manage the scrum process in coordination with the scrum team Conduct retrospective meetings Address team progress A Scrum Master is a servant leader, a coach and mentor, a teacher, facilitator, manager and change agent, as well as someone who skilfully removes impediments....all rolled into one! Requirements of a CSM® certification: The path to becoming a Certified ScrumMaster® It’s easy to gain the Certified ScrumMaster certification if you fulfil the prerequisites and work towards clearing the exam. In order to be eligible to give the exam, Scrum Alliance requires you to attend a 16-hour face-to-face course, or a 14 hour online course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®). Courses are available at Scrum Alliance registered education providers. These courses help you understand the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles and implement them as a Scrum Master or Scrum team member. On completion of the training you need to successfully clear an online CSM exam. Once you have received the CSM certification you need to maintain it, which means that you have to keep it active. This can be done by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and renewing your certification every two years. Along with the certification, you also earn a two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. If you have a Scrum Alliance membership, you get a specially designed logo to highlight your credentials which you can use as your signature. Pricing of CSM® Certification Most registered education providers include the CSM Certification cost for the first attempt in the course fee. Before you decide to enrol make sure to enquire about the course fee, exam fee and other associated benefits that you would receive from enrolling with a registered education provider. CSM® Exam Layout and Passing Grade The CSM test contains 50 multiple-choice questions based on the CSM Learning Objectives, and candidates will have one hour to complete it. The passing score is 74%. You will not be able to pause the test, but questions can be bookmarked to answer later during the 60-minute time limit. Can the CSM® course be taken online? Many registered education providers are now providing the Scrum Master certification online due to the pandemic. The exam too can be taken online. Once you complete the CSM course and get instructed by Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs), Scrum Alliance will send you a link to create login credentials. Click on the link received from Scrum Alliance and create your own login credentials. You can then take the 1-hour online CSM® test using those credentials. What is the Need for a CSM® Certification? The CSM designation demonstrates to your employers that you have what it takes to lead a Scrum project through to successful completion. It shows that you have in-depth knowledge of Scrum terminology, practices, and principles and can take on the role of a Scrum Master or a Scrum team member. This credential can be your first step on the path to a successful Agile career. Benefits of being a CSM® Certified Scrum Masters increase the likelihood of a project’s overall success by implementing Scrum principles and techniques in the right way. They can act as servant leaders who facilitate challenging Scrum projects, removing obstacles that stand in the way of smooth progress and guiding the team members to achieve project goals. Who can do the CSM®? There are no specific prerequisites to attend the CSM Certification course and attempt the exam. Novices on their Scrum journey, or professionals who wish to further their understanding of Scrum can get the CSM certification. Advantages of gaining a CSM® credential A CSM credential highlights your proficiency not just in Scrum but also in applying it within different Scrum environments. It highlights and validates your core Scrum knowledge. Gives you the confidence and ammo to successfully lead agile teams Helps you get ahead in your career Gives you the expertise to lead and motivate the team to success Certified ScrumMaster salaries are likely to be higher than those of non-certified peers. How to get Certified as a CSM® To gain access to the CSM test, you must mandatorily attend an in-person two day (16 hour) or live online (14 hour) Certified ScrumMaster® course that is delivered by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST). Without attending the course, you will not be able to gain access to the online CSM test. Having successfully completed the Certified ScrumMaster course, you will receive a welcome email with a link to activate your Scrum Alliance® certification account, and can then sit for the CSM test. Here’s how to become a Certified Scrum Master: Visit the Scrum Alliance website. Your login credentials from the "Welcome CSM" email can be used to create an account. Answer 'yes' or 'no' to the question on Marketing opt-in Accept the CSM License Agreement Select My Dashboard and click on "Take CSM test". You will be prompted to select your language. You will then be redirected to the test.com site, and can start the exam. The 1-hour exam comprises 50 MCQs, out of which 37 must be answered correctly to pass. On passing the test, you can receive your CSM certificate. To download your certificate from Scrum Alliance: Login to Scrum Alliance Go to Settings (top right-hand corner) Select 'Certification Dashboard' Under 'Actions,' select 'Print Certificate' Select 'Size' Click 'Generate ScrumMaster / Scrum Product Owner Certificate' Choosing a good CSM® Training Course Provider Choose a reputed training provider who has the experience and expertise to help you understand the learning objectives and pass your exam at the first attempt. For this, it is important that the training institute should be an authorised REP of Scrum Alliance, and the training must be delivered by Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs). They should be able to provide you with an immersive learning experience and the learning collateral you need, such as practice tests and reference courseware, to refresh your knowledge and practice your competencies. They should also be open to clearing your doubts and providing exam prep support in case you are having any last-minute pre-exam jitters! Maintaining your CSM® certification Scrum is a journey of continuous learning—and keeping an active Scrum Alliance certification is very important to your professional practice. In order to maintain your CSM certification in good standing, every two years you will need to renew your credentials. To renew your CSM, you should obtain 20 Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) which can be obtained in any of several ways: by participating in events, learning or volunteering, for example. Once you have the required SEUs, visit the Scrum Alliance portal, submit the SEUs certificate and pay the US$100 renewal fee. Ready to start your Scrum journey? 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