There are many confusions related to Agile or Scrum certification due to many providers in this field. There is no confusion when it’s come to project management because PMP is globally recognized certification program for same. Although there are other as well like Prince2 but still PMP is way ahead to others and PMP automatically become the first choice. When it’s come to Agile or Scrum then we have many providers as well as many certifications. Below is the brief about these certifications.
PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) by Project Management Institute – PMI-ACP required understanding agile as whole. Participant should have working experience and formal training on Agile including Scrum, Lean, Kanban, TDD and XP etc. Participant should clear the exam as well and exam test participants not only on Scrum framework but other agile processes as well. Please click here for more details.
Scrum Alliance certifications program – Scrum Alliance is also a nonprofit organization similar to PMI that encourages and supports the widespread adoption and effective practice of Scrum. Scrum Alliance certification is Trainer focused and yes there is exam but haven’t seen anyone failing so far. Scrum Alliance has 3 certifications covering all 3 roles that Scrum framework recommend.
Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) – CSPO is for people working as product owner or business analyst.
Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) – CSM is for scrum master or someone wants to become scrum master.
Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) – CSD is for whole team including team, scrum master and even for product owner. In fact CSD already cover most of the content of CSM course. CSD includes CSM plus other engineering practices like Agile Architecture & Design, Test Driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Development (BDD), Pair Programming and Distributed team etc.
Scrum.org certification program – Scrum.org is also similar to Scrum Alliance and started by Ken Schwaber. Ken is one the founders of scrum. The Scrum.org route has a clearer examination/certification process, more advanced scrum courseware and as Schwaber states himself, correcting some oversights within Scrum Alliance. Scrum.org also has 3 certifications to cover all scrum roles.
Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) – Similar to CSPO
Professional Scrum Master (PSM) – Similar to CSM
Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) – Similar to CSD
1st question is which certification is better for professional?
There are 2 broad categories PMI-ACP and Scrum certification. PMI-ACP is more suitable for professional those are managing/working on various different agile processes and team following different framework like Scrum for product/project development, lean for process improvement and Kanban for support activities. But scrum certifications for the professional as well beginner those want to learn and use scrum effectively in organization.
2nd question is which scrum organization certification?
I personally believe Scrum.org certification carries more values compare to Scrum Alliance because Scrum.org certification follows better examination process as well as course materials are standard and every trainer follows same course. Scrum Alliance training material depends on trainer and every trainers teach differently although being older than Scrum.org this is more popular. Scrum.org is becoming popular but will take time especially in India.
3rd question is which certification as per role CSPO/CSM or CSD?
If you are new to scrum or your organization is thinking about adopting scrum then I would suggest CSD is better because CSD covers everything that needed for scrum starting with Scrum Introduction to scrum engineering practices. Usually new entrance looks for dramatic result to start with so having right mix of Scrum discipline and scrum engineering practices can help meeting those expectations.
CSM is good to start a career as scrum master but in long run scrum master should also learn engineering practices to have high performing team and better quality product.
CSPO is different compare to CSM and CSD and this for product owner or business analyst playing role of proxy PO. CSD also have some practices that useful for PO like behavior driven development.