Monday, April 3, 2017

Is CSM (certified Scrum Master) certificate still valuable?

I often get below questions regarding Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Training and especially from mid-level managers like traditional project manager, release manager, development manager and test manager etc.

1. Which agile certificate is good for me? I wrote a blog for that. You may like to read here
2. Will CSM help in getting job?
3. Will CSM help me learning about Agile?
4. Is CSM mandatory for Scrum Master role?
5. Will CSM help me to switch from Developer to Scrum Master?
6. Is CSM useful for QA Engineers?

Here is my answer starting from what is CSM, why CSM, why not CSM and what are the alternatives of CSM.

What is CSM (Certified Scrum Master)? A training and certification program launched by Scrum Alliance in 2001. This was the 1st certification training launched by Scrum Alliance and this is oldest so very popular is few countries. Initially there was no exam but got introduced later on due to many complains as per my knowledge. CSM has a very basic criteria for participant like must attend 2 days workshop by Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and write a very basic exam to pass and gain certificate. Personally, I have not seen anyone failing in exam and most of the time people write exam in group to pass together (I was told by many but I can't prove it). 

Why CSM (Certified Scrum Master)? Somehow it was communicated from beginning that CSM is a foundation workshop for Agile and Scrum. So anybody wanted to understand agile and Scrum, they just join CSM workshop. But this workshop was for Scrum Master as name suggest. For other roles there are other workshop like CSD for development team and CSPO for Business Analyst and Product Owner. Since CSM is labelled as foundation training so even CST teaches very basic stuff and avoid going deeper into Scrum Master role. Again this based on my knowledge after helping many people to gain CSP (Certified Scrum Professional).

Will CSM helps in getting job? No but at least it can help in getting your resume filtered during screening process. Most of the company filter resume based on certification so CSM credential help in Scrum Master role. Many organizations has started ignoring CSM now due to poor process of certification and started demanding PSM credential. PSM is known for quality exam and total cost of ownership is much lesser because PSM doesn't require renewal every 2 years like CSM. 

Will CSM helps in learning Agile? Yes it does. Because it covers basic scrum framework (most popular agile methods). Alternately, you can look for Professional Scrum Foundation (PSF) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM) from

I am leaving here with rest of questions and would prefer to hear from you about your understanding :)

Thanks for reading! Do let me know if there is any questions related to agile and scrum certifications.


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