Agile roles like the Scrum Master are seeing a sharp rise in hiring. This demand has been fuelled by the popularity of Agile and the advantages it brings into organizations including sustainability, adaptability, satisfied customers, lower costs, more efficient processes and teams. Organizations are keen on capitalizing on the expertise of certified individuals to drive their Agile and Scrum transformations and reap the benefits of Agile.
In this blog we attempt to look at two of the most popular Scrum certifications PSMTM and CSM® and the difference between the two.
CSM stands for Certified ScrumMaster® and is a credential offered by the Scrum Alliance. This is an entry level certificate for those who want to grow in the field of Agile and Scrum by mastering the Scrum framework and understanding all about team accountabilities, events, artifacts and methods of implementing Scrum and guiding teams. The CSM credential proves the holder’s expertise on Scrum practices and their ability to successfully lead projects through their collaborative, organizational, and communication skills.
According to the State of Scrum 2017-2018, CSM is the most popular and sought-after Scrum credential. The CSM is given to professionals who attend the training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer and successfully clear the CSM exam.
The learning path to CSM includes the following topics:
PSM stands for Professional Scrum MasterTM and is offered by the world renowned Scrum.org. There are three levels to the PSM depending on complexity—PSM I, PSM II and PSM III. Based on a curriculum derived from the Scrum Guide, the PSM credential validates a professional’s ability to implement the Scrum framework and drive value. The PSM I credential is given to practitioners who can demonstrate a fundamental understanding of Scrum by passing the exam.
The learning path for PSM I, includes the following topics
|Path to gaining the certificate||Professionals are required to complete a 16-hr live online or in-person CSM course conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer. On successful completion of this Certified ScrumMaster® training process, and after clearing the exam, you will be awarded the designation of Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) by Scrum Alliance.||Professionals are not required to attend a 2-day training session, but it is highly recommended. Professionals with a high knowledge of Scrum and its application to teams and in driving value, can directly appear for the PSM I exam and clear it to gain the credential from Scrum.org|
|Exam Pattern||Open book, Online exam. Multiple Choice Questions||Open book, online exam. Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, and True/False|
|No of questions||50||80|
|Duration||60 minutes||60 minutes|
|Exam Re-take||The Scrum Alliance allows you to take the CSM exam at no cost for the first 2 attempts within 90 days after you receive your welcome email. You will be charged a minimum of $25 each from the third attempt or after completing your 90 days.||The Scrum.org allows you to retake the Professional Scrum Master exam if you fail. Two attempts are permitted within 14 days after you receive your key, at no additional cost.|
|Certification Cost||Exam fee included in the workshop fee||$150 USD|
|Renewal||CSMs are required to earn 20 Scrum Educational Units (SEUs) within the past two years, in addition to the $100 renewal fee that has to be paid.||Valid for lifetime. No renewal required.|
|Education Units||Participating in a 2-day training program can help you gain 14-16 Professional Development Units and Scrum Education Units||On completing 14 hours of training, you can gain 14 Professional Development Units and 14 Scrum Education Units|
|Reliability of course content||CSM requires a 2-day training that is taken by a CST. Different CSTs may have their own interpretation of the content and hence learners will also have different interpretations based on what they learn.||Since there is only one body that decides the exam content and curriculum, the content remains consistent.|
|What next||After obtaining Certified Scrum Master® Certification, one can pursue advanced certifications like Advanced Certified Scrum Master® Certification (A-CSM®) and Certified Scrum Professional® – Scrum Master Certification (CSP®-SM).||After obtaining Professional Scrum Master™ I Certification, one can pursue advanced certifications like Professional Scrum Master™ II (PSM II), and Professional Scrum Master™ III (PSM III) certification courses.|
In this post-pandemic world, Agility and Scrum are the only things that can help organizations survive. Having Certified Scrum Masters and Professional Scrum Masters in the workforce can help teams deliver quality products, reduce risks, ensure stakeholder collaboration and raise the profile of the organization. Pursing any one of these credentials will put your career on the roadmap of success. You can aim for lucrative positions and prove your expertise in delivering value.