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.

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. This was not having any exam during initial years but later on introduced due to many complains. CSM has a very basic criteria - must attend 2 days workshop by Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and write a very basic exam to score 24 out 35 questions. Personally, I have not seen anyone failing in exam and most of the time people write exam in group to pass together. This is the biggest reason for CSM loosing value over the period.

Why CSM (Certified Scrum Master)? Somehow it was communicated from beginning that CSM is a foundation workshop for Agile and Scrum. Which is NOT true. CSM is for Scrum Master and not for everyone. For other roles there are other workshops. Like for developer and tester there is Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) and for Business Analyst and Product Owner there is workshop called Certified Scrum product Owner (CSPO). Since CSM is labelled as foundation training so even CST teaches very basic stuff to meet participants expectation and avoid going deeper into Scrum Master role. This is the 2nd biggest reason for CSM to loosing value as right certificate for Scrum Master.

Will CSM helps in getting job? No but at least it can help in getting your resume filtered during screening processes. Every companies try to filter resume based on certification for Scrum Master role and most popular certificates are CSM and PSM (Professional Scrum Master). Over the period, many organizations has started ignoring CSM as right credentials for Scrum Master role and look specifically for PSM.

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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