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Best Scrum Master Certifications for 2021 and 2022

Best Scrum Master Certifications for 2021 and 2022
Start 2021 with a new Scrum Master document

What are the best Scrum Master Certifications for 2021? We will present in detail only some programs, but we also publish a list of selected ones that you should look at.

Scrum Master certification is a process of validation of knowledge on the Scrum framework. This is a popular method, often confused with project management practices. Scrum is mainly used in software development and does not concern project management processes such as planning, implementation, monitoring, control, and closure. However, BVOP, for its BVOP Senior Scrum Master certificate, requires some project management knowledge from its applicants. Reference: https://bvop.org/scrummaster/

The Scrum Master certification process most often requires applicants to be fully familiar with the Scrum rules in the official Guide. Some organizations, such as BVOP, have their own requirements. BVOP.org has also created its own BVOP Agile Guide. Other organizations such as Scrum Org fully adhere to the classic popular documents.

Agile has changed software development and project management and increased the demand for IT professionals with extensive experience in methodology. Today there are many varieties in Scrum. Lean, Kanban, and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) are sometimes included. Scrum master certification is widely valued in all industries. It demonstrates that professionals have the necessary training and skills to successfully participate in Agile and Scrum teams and ensure the successful development and delivery of the final product.

While Agile certified professionals are in high demand, there are only a few certification organizations whose documents are respected by employers and certification applicants.

Top Scrum Master certifications for 2021

  • BVOP Certified Senior Scrum Master (BVOSM)
  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM) I
  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM) II
  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM) III
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
  • Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM)
  • Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM)
  • SAFe 4 Scrum Master
  • SAFe 4 Advanced Scrum Master
  • Project Management Institute – Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP)

BVOP Senior Scrum Master (BVOSM)

We start with this Scrum certification program as BVOP is the newest and yet the most interesting program for the whole Agile community.

The organization created its BVOP Ultimate Guide about 3 years ago. The difference is the in-depth skills in both project management and various Agile practices such as Lean, MVP, and Kaizen. Applicants for the BVOP Certified Senior Scrum Master (BVOSM) must have a deep knowledge of Scrum, Project Management, Lean, and Kaizen.

This makes BVOP certified professionals valuable personnel with complex skills and knowledge.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certificate is guaranteed by the Scrum Alliance. This program is for candidates who want to fill the role of Scrum Master or a member of the Scrum team. This trend follows the original originals created by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. They founded the Scrum Alliance in 2002. At that time, CSM was made available to users without preconditions. Soon after, many software companies adopted Scrum and Agile practices. The creators followed their strategy that it was necessary to control the information well to increase the cost of certification for the candidates. Certification now requires personal 16-hour training before candidates can pass the test.

Through CSM training, professionals learn the Scrum framework and gain knowledge about Scrum team roles, events, and artifacts. Also, applicants learn how to lead flexible teams through a project successfully. Upon completion of the course, candidates must answer a rule of 50 questions per hour. Those who successfully pass their exam must accept the CSM license agreement and complete a Scrum Alliance membership profile.

Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM)

The Scrum Alliance’s Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) is an advanced course for those who currently hold a CSM certificate. This is an opportunity for additional qualifications. The program is offered only to professionals who have one or more years of experience in the role of Scrum Master. Reference: https://pgov.org/advanced-certified-scrum-master-training-course-free-online/ A-CSM candidates must attend educational seminars to understand specific techniques and skills.

Once all topics in the curriculum have been completed and approved by a Scrum Alliance-licensed instructor, applicants must re-accept the A-CSM license agreement and complete their Scrum Alliance membership profile. Professionals must also prove at least 12 months of work experience as a Scrum Master. However, this condition is not so easy, because the requirement of experience is valid only for the last five years. Reference: Advanced Certified Scrum Master Certification Training, https://scrumtime.org/advanced-certified-scrum-master-certification-training/

Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM)

Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM) is a program for professional analysts who want to further develop their career as a Scrum Master. These professionals should want to improve Scrum in their organization and the Agile principles they follow. Applicants for this certificate must have an A-CSM certificate in advance and have proven experience, training, and a strong knowledge of Scrum.

To receive the document, applicants must attend a certified CSP-SM training course. In this way, they can acquire advanced Agile skills and learn important techniques to help the Product Owner role work. Also, professionals must learn all additional topics of the program approved by the Scrum Alliance. And as mentioned earlier, students must again accept the CSP-SM license agreement. They then complete their Scrum Alliance membership profile. Applicants for this certificate must also prove at least 2 years of experience as a Scrum Master. In addition, the experience requirement is again for the last five years.

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) I

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) I is the certification program of Scrum org. This organization was founded by Ken Schwaber in 2009. He left the company Scrum Alliance to create his own certification body. The reasons for the disintegration of the founders to this day are not clear. Applicants for this program must demonstrate a basic level of proficiency in Scrum. They need to understand Scrum exactly as explained in the Scrum Guide.

Although there is no official training program for candidates who want to pass an exam, they have to learn difficult material. You will not be able to pass your exam if you do not know exactly and literally the whole Scrum Guide.

If you already have experience as a Scrum Master this can have a negative effect on your exam. You are likely to fail because you will think logically according to your own experience. You may answer some questions incorrectly.

Scrum.org recommends that you take a training course to improve your knowledge before taking the formal exam. The organization claims that this is the safest way to get your document. This statement is not very well-founded and proven because many professionals around the world pass their exams anyway.

However, candidates who complete a training course receive a free pass to test their knowledge. They can test their ability to interpret the Scrum guide and apply Agile principles in their work. Scrum org courses are standardized to avoid inconsistencies that may arise based on the experience and / or popularity of the instructors. This means that all teachers work from the same curriculum and students learn from the same knowledge base.

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) II

PSM II is a mid-level certification from Scrum.org. Applicants must demonstrate an advanced level of mastery of Scrum, demonstrate that they understand the basic principles of Scrum, and can effectively apply Scrum in complex real-world situations, according to Scrum.org.

The Scrum competencies of PSM II, as with PSM I, include understanding and implementing the Scrum framework, developing people and teams, managing products with flexibility, developing and delivering products professionally, and developing a flexible organization. Participation in a two-day PSM II course is highly recommended, as is completing the PSM I assessment.

Project Management Institute – Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP)

Although the Project Management Institue (PMI) does not offer specific Scrum certifications, its PMI-ACP certification is popular among Scrum Masters and Employers as it covers several flexible and Scrum practices and principles. The certification officially recognizes the candidates’ knowledge of agile principles and skills with flexible techniques. It covers many mobile approaches, including Scrum, Lean, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Test-Driven Development (TDD).

PMI-ACP requires 2000 hours of total project experience in teamwork. This Project Management Certificate (PMP) or Program Management Program (PgMP) will meet this requirement, but neither is required. Applicants must also have 1,500 hours of work in flexible project teams or with flexible methodologies and 21 hours of contact in Agile practices. The exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions and candidates have three hours to complete it. From April 1, 2019, PMI offers online exams – which means that candidates can pass the exam from home, office, or any remote location.

Start 2021 with a new Scrum Master document

No matter which program and organization you choose, get ready for 2021. Software development is increasingly entering the product world. Almost everything around is already software. And many of the products we use are created following the Scrum framework.

If you have interest and attraction in this area do not hesitate to make your plan. Undoubtedly, if you have the will and desire, you will build a stable career in the IT sector.

You may think it’s too early, but now is the time to plan your career even for 2022. Time flies.

9 replies on “Best Scrum Master Certifications for 2021 and 2022”

I would greatly appreciate it if you had published the prices of the cited programs in the article. I understand the recommendations and benefits of each of them, but so I have to check the prices of all separately.
Regards

Dear Emilia Schmidt,
Thank you for your comment.
Unfortunately, some of the mentioned programs do not have fixed prices. CSP-SM and A-CSM, for example, offer courses that have different prices. But still let’s make additions where possible.

Prices

BVOP ®
Fee: $ 70 USD per attempt

PMI (PMI-ACP) ®
Exam Fee: US $ 435.00
Non-member: US $ 495.00

PSM II ®
Fee: $ 250 USD

PSM I ®
Fee: $ 150 USD per attempt

If prices for PSM I ® and BVOP ® are for one attempt, does it mean that prices for PSM II ® and PMI (PMI-ACP) are for unlimited attempts?

Colleagues, understand that there is no such thing as unlimited exam experiments. Also, the offers you mention do not guarantee success. I know many professionals who have spent a lot of money. They failed to receive their diplomas. They are now considering alternatives. BVOP in my opinion is also a great option. Trial exams are given to anyone wishing to be licensed. We lose nothing.

I worked as a project manager for many years (10+). I could change employers whenever I wanted. I have been unemployed since the beginning of the pandemic last year. I can’t find a job anymore. I thought the problem was because of the high salary I mentioned during the job interview. I started wanting lower pay. Without success. Everyone around is already a PM. Most are also unemployed. Does it make sense to retrain as an SM? I have average technical skills (programming, design, databases, UX, UI). I will be happy to give recommendations and help. thanks

Hi guys.
I have been working as an SM for 9 years now. I know most of you dream of this job. Agile is an interesting concept. From the outside, everything sounds exciting. The truth is that the work of SM is like all other assistant professions. You are an assistant. Many of you believe that SM gets a high salary. However, these are just rumors. Many software companies even run campaigns to promote these ideas. Recruitment agencies support this statement. It’s all about selling you. Your real salary will not be what you dream of. Your professional experience will not be like a YouTube video. Interesting activities will remain only in publications in online magazines. After all, the programmers around you will make more money. And you will be their assistant and servant. Nothing more. Think before you invest money and especially time in this profession. There are so many other interesting things you can do. And you will take even more money.

@Ronan Hutchinson,

I respect the opinion of all colleagues around the world. Your story is really common. However, the publication of such personal experiences is not always objective. As a result, you reduce the motivation and ambition of young professionals. They would like to go through their professional problems. To grow in their careers and face the problems.

Many experts can find a balance in their personal lives and careers. Also, they may never fall into a professional crisis.

In today’s real world, many products and organizations have to deal with rapidly changing requirements, customers, consumers, needs. Scrum is adaptable and agile, and in order to achieve this, in order to produce a product that has high business value, a company must have a constant relationship with the public, it must understand the changing trends and requirements. You can become part of the Development team. Feedback means that when we have a minimal product, we will be able to see the reaction of consumers and customers. Whether they like it or not, whether it is useful for them or not. On this basis, research and work continue, costs and risks are reduced.

Scrum speeds up and improves workflows and real results. The team regularly receives feedback from the customer and thus improves the functionality of the product, increases its capabilities.

Also, the framework improves communication. Sometimes a client comes with a specific long-term problem, but cannot always articulate the task clearly. Agile working model allows to better understand what product and what functionality it needs.

Additionally, Scrum increases transparency. Using Scrum, the team produces a finished product after each iteration, while if the development is done according to Waterfall, the customer does not know at what stage the contractor is at the moment.

Improving the psychological climate in the team. When team members see that they have developed something important, it stimulates them for further success and achievement.

The Scrum team adapts its way of working when obstacles arise as a result of inspections. Adapts to constant changes. This adaptability is key to achieving greater value.

The framework uses empirical practices to make decisions based on experience and real situations. Ideas are tested in experiments and then perceived, rejected or changed into something better or more valuable, this ensures continuous improvement of work processes and real results.

The Product Owner role

Let me also explain the role of the Product Owner.

He is responsible for maximizing the usefulness of the product and the work of the Developer Team. The way this is achieved can vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams and people. The Product Owner is the only person responsible for managing the Product Backlog.

Product Backlog management

The Product Backlog management includes:

A clear description of the elements of the Product Backlog;

Arranging the elements in the Product Backlog to achieve the set goals and missions in the best possible way;

Optimizes the usefulness of the work that the Development Team performs;

Ensures that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all and shows what the Scrum Team will be working on first;

Ensures the Developer Team understands the elements in the Product Backlog to the required level of detail. The Product Owner can do the above work himself or the Developer Team can do it. However, the Product Owner is the one who is responsible.

Scrum is not easy to understand, and the processes of development, product work, and ensuring quality increment are not elementary and require in-depth knowledge in the field of activity and product. Also, you need to assess whether you are competent enough to do this job, whether you are willing to accept the rules of Scrum, and whether you understand the difference between a leader and a boss. This is a must and without these things probably not much will be achieved.

There are no other roles in Scrum, nor varieties or positions. A scrum team is a cohesive unit of professionals focused on one current goal – The product Goal. Furthermore, Scrum teams are multifunctional, which means that members have all the skills needed to create value in each Sprint. They are also self-governing, which means that they decide for themselves who does what, when they do it and how, find more effective ways to work, and then test these ideas in practice. Having a project manager in the team will be contrary to the principle of Scrum’s work.

If you still don’t believe in Scrum and want to control the process, a compromise can always be found. The new external project management role can be outside the team, you can communicate explicitly with the scrum master and product owner, we will create common metrics for all countries and you will report on the development.

I am currently working as a Project Manager, but I have studied a little theoretically and I have not obtained any certificate. I like the work very much and it is quite interesting. I have decided to develop in this field and I want to be a professional, not a person who misleads people. What motivates and ambitions me? Motivation and ambition here I can put them under a common denominator. We motivate that each project is different in itself. You meet different types of people and requirements.

I aspire to the fact that the different projects themselves can always teach you something new, whether from the project itself or people. I am ambitious that every risk or problem in the project motivates you to think about how to solve it or to overcome it without any problems. I also have ambitions to work in a team, how it should work, like a well-oiled machine with great professionalism to do the job well.

Also, I am motivated and ambitious by the fact that in many situations you have to think differently and more innovatively. A good motivator in Scrum is the high expectations and requirements of the contracting authority and its limited budget.

I believe that my qualities and skills that will help me in my work are responsible, disciplined, and purposeful. Precision and attention to detail, curiosity about new things. I can plan and allocate my time properly, I can listen well. I judge situations. I don’t like to take risks and have a lot of unknowns, I like to have control over things.

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