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How Do I Become a Certified Scrum Master?

The Agile methodology has proved to be quite effective for companies in responding to changing business needs and aiding the dynamic characteristics of business processes. The methodology promotes iterative development to achieve faster delivery of high-quality software. Scrum is an important part of the Agile movement commonly defined as the framework through which people can solve complex adaptive problems and sustainable development takes place keeping all the stakeholders in the loop.

Companies that adopt Agile practices are always on the lookout for professionals who can run and perform different Agile projects efficiently. An Agile team working in Scrum has three important roles - the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Scrum team/team members. 

Experienced professionals skilled in using the Scrum methodology are capable of managing large teams across multiple departments using this framework. They also guide the team and ensure that they have a firm grasp of the goals, scope, and product domain. Such professionals are known as Scrum Masters.

Similar to the role of a Project Manager, a Scrum Master is responsible for overseeing the routine activities, maintaining Scrum board and ensuring smooth working of the Scrum team. They find new techniques for effectively managing the Product backlog and collaborate with Product owners to arrange it to maximize value. They also assist the team members in understanding their assignments and guide them regarding the execution of each task.

Evidently, Scrum masters need to have rich experience and a thorough understanding of the Scrum framework to handle the above responsibilities. There are some certifications that validate the Scrum Master’s skills and achieving them improves their career prospects. One of the popular certifications is the Certified Scrum Master (CSM). This article lets you know more about this credential and how to achieve it through Certified Scrum Master training

The CSM Certification

The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credential is offered by the prestigious Scrum Alliance. By achieving this certification, a professional becomes capable of bringing the performance of their Scrum team to the highest level. They have a thorough understanding of the Scrum framework along with team artifacts, roles, and events. As a Certified Scrum Master, you would be responsible for protecting the Scrum team from internal and external distractions. 

There are certain requirements to be fulfilled for achieving the CSM certification. These include:

        Attend a face-to-face training program mentored by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or private tuitions from a Certified Agile Coach (CAC).

     When taking a training program by CST, live online training of 14 hours, or in-person training of 16 hours is accepted. For training from CAC, 25 hours of face-to-face interaction is accepted.

  On completing the course, a candidate has to accept the License Agreement and appear for the CSM certification exam.

    The CSM exam consists of 50 questions and the time allowed is 60 minutes. To pass the exam, candidates need to answer 37 out of 50 questions correctly.

Regarding the CSM exam, here are the domains on which you will be tested (along with their weight in the exam):

        Scrum and Agile - 6%

        Scrum Theory - 6%

        Scrum Values - 6%

        Scrum Team - 20%

        ScrumMaster - 22%

        Scrum Events - 20%

        Scrum Artifacts -  20%

The CSM certification is ideal for professionals willing to pursue a career as a Scrum Master. Developers, Software architects, Scrum team managers, and Product owners can also take their career ahead through this credential. Before applying for the certification, it is better to have some experience in Scrum, one to three years should be fine.

CSM Training 

The above information gave you a clear idea of how you can become a Certified Scrum Master. Now, one thing you must be concerned about is the mandatory training required for appearing in the CSM exam. You can look for a training provider on the Scrum Alliance website itself. Enter the certification name, location, language, and the desired date of attending the training to get the list of training providers. Often there are many options and one has to navigate through their program features. Keep in mind the factors like accessibility, value, support, and resources offered to decide which one suits your needs. You can also check the trainer’s experience or record regarding how long they have been in the field. 

Final Words

Scrum Alliance is a member-driven nonprofit certifying body in the agile space and has been supporting the agile movement since 2001. There are over 10 lakh professionals who have achieved the various certifications offered by this institute, including the CSM certification. Certified Scrum Masters are surely a valuable asset to the organizations following the Agile and Scrum methodology. It is a rewarding and high-paying career with Payscale reporting the average annual salary of Certified Scrum Masters as Rs. 1,273,924. Even entry-level professionals earn lucrative salaries by getting certified.

You should not think twice about adding a CSM certification to your array of skills. The credential can considerably expand your career opportunities and make you more relevant and a better competitor in Scrum. Companies would rely on you to contribute to organizational change and achieve business goals through your expertise and right agile mindset. So, when are you getting ready to take CSM training?

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