This week, an interesting conversation was sparked when asking one of our Scrum Masters about his role and background in the industry. Rich spoke about PSM and CSM and what the positives were from acquiring these qualifications.
What exactly are positives of acquiring a CSM then?
A CSM, otherwise known as a Certified Scrum Master, is a foundation level certification and often provided by the company that you work for. It requires two full days at a training course to soak up a wealth of Scrum knowledge. From this, you then have six months to complete your exam with a 67% pass rate (with room to research and adjust any mistakes that have been made). After completion of this course and the exam, you will become a Certified Scrum Master.
CSM is currently much more widely recognized than Professional Scrum Master (PSM), and although it isn’t entirely necessary to have a qualification to apply as a Scrum Master, being certified as a CSM is advantageous when applying for a job role.
Agilescrummastertraining.com stated that “There are over 220,000 Certified Scrum Masters so the program has certainly been successful and has also helped promote the role of Agile as a viable methodology to use with software development projects.”
As CSM is much more commercialized, it will often carry more weight than a PSM. However, obtaining a PSM is becoming much more highly regarded as more people start to gain this certificate.
Why is this?
As the two day CSM is massively popular and absolutely anybody can attend the course with a 67% pass rate, it somewhat devalues the qualification as it is so easily accessible. In contrast, acquiring PSM appears to shine a light on how much more of an advanced level scrum master you are.
Unlike a CSM, A PSM gives you the option of attending a two-day course which does not require you to go to if you feel confident enough with your existing knowledge, A PSM permits you to take an assessment straight away through Scrum.org.
While PSM shows that you have a consistent terminology and approach to Scrum, it also requires you to obtain more knowledge on the role of a Scrum Master and while it is actually more difficult to pass, it provides a wealth of useful and relevant information.
Let’s talk about cost, too. With PSM costing just £150 and CSM priced well over a grand, cost certainly sways a percentage to PSM.
Finally, as the PSM certification becomes more popular, it now appears to be an attractive addition to your CV when applying for a job. Not only does it show that you have answered a number of difficult questions in a short period of time, but it shows that you have a passion for the role and an inquisitiveness to know more.
Regardless, Passion Is Still Crucial
It is important to understand that whatever certificate you end up achieving, you must be passionate about the Scrum Master role and have a clear understanding of, and passion for, Scrum. While CSM and PSM can increase your longevity by opening some doors, and they do say something about your commitment to the role, you need to mix in the right circles to share ideas and to learn new techniques.
There’s a world of great agile and Scrum forums and meet-ups. Get out there and join in!
What do you think of the PSM and CSM? Do you have both of these? Or none? We would love to hear your thoughts.