Introduction

Agile methodologies have gained significant traction since the 2000’s.  Scrum is an Agile methodology that promotes bottom up leadership by utilizing self-organizing teams, not top down direction.  To understand why Agile is such an effective development strategy or how to transition your difficult team to agile, check out our other Blog post: Corporate Agile & How do I Transition my Difficult Team to Agile? 

The big question is you are most likely having is what is the best company to certify with: Scrum.org or ScrumAlliance.org?

History

During the early 1990’s Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland jointly presented a paper at the Business Object Design and Implementation Workshop in Austin, Texas. This gained more publicity in the 2000’s and led to the birth of what we now know as SCRUM. Schwaber and Sutherland formed the Scrum Alliance and the CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certification. In 2009 Schwaber left and created his own certification, PSM (Professional Scrum Master), at Scrum.org.   One of the best articles that we have read is from .  If you haven’t read this article about the fragility of the scrum certification process, you should.  Below is our take on each program.

If only we could settle this with an epic of rap battle between Ken and Jeff.  Sigh… this topic most likely won’t reach the high ERB entertainment threshold,  lets take a quick look at the different ways people can become certified.

Scrum Alliance

The Scrum Alliance alliance offers certification to become proficient in Scrum, whether as a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Product Owner (Certified Product owner) or even Developer (Certified Scrum Developer). The test’s only requirement is a two day Scrum course (approximately $1,295, depending on the instructor). Once you have completed your training, you can take your test online. The pass acceptance score is 24/35 questions (65%). Obviously, this is not particularly difficult to pass, but it’s not meant to be. You have gone through the rudimentary training, and you understand the basics. To become truly accomplished at Scrum it takes experience. For training courses to receive certification via the Scrum Alliance, you can find a searchable list of available trainers/ courses on the home page of their siteSample of a course

Scrum.org

 

For those who do not have the flexibility for a 2-day course, or for those who have their team spread geographically, Scrum.org has you covered. Scrum.org offers certification straight up with no mandatory training. You will however need to motivated and pull your own training courses together.  Obviously, it is best to train before taking the test as it has an acceptance score of 85%. The courses are named differently than those of the Scrum Alliance (e.g. CSM is PSM (Professional Scrum Master)) but they cover the same material. Scrum.org offers 2/3 levels of certification with varying prices according to the certification. For example, a PSM certification is typically $150 for the first tier, $250 for the second and $500 for the third. A Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) only has two tiers ($200 and $500).  For all of the certifications, you do not need to take the lower tiers. If you feel you are capable, you can go straight to the top!  Don’t worry however, there is a pricey class you can attend as well for $1,495.

Failing the Scrum.org Test

Here is a story about failure and success with the scrum master certification.

Summary

Cert Type Scrum Alliance Scrum.org
Certified Scrum Master/Professional Scrum Master ~ $1000 $150/$250/$500
Certified Scrum Product Owner/Professional Scrum Product Owner  $1200 – $1500 $200/$500
Certified Scrum Developer/Professional Scrum Developer $1800 – $3000 $200

Scrum certification isn’t required, but it is a nice to have.  Because of the pricing and convenience, we enjoy scrum.org’s model thoroughly.

Note: Both sites offer various other forms of Scrum certification which are worth taking a look at, but these are the three core ones.

Additional Resources

The internet provides many free resources for Scrum training. My favorite is the Scrum Training Series by Michael James (shout out to Michael, thank you for your impressive training via your site!!)

Regarding books, if you want a quick page turner you should try ‘Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction‘ by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson. For a more in depth look into Scrum ‘The Elements of Scrum’ by the same authors will provide you with all you need to know.

If you have any questions feel free to comment below or shoot us an email at info@bytelion.com