Do you want to know where to get your Agile or Scrum certification? This is a common question among communities that often leads to confusion.
There are 7 main global options in the market and each of them offer different approaches but some convergence in the end. Some focus on niche markets while others try to embrace a global segment
1. Scrum Alliance
This is one of the oldest and most respected bodies that offers several certifications, although the best known certification is the Certified Scrum Master.
– Certifies Scrum Master (CSM)
– Certified Product owner (CPO)
– Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
There are also three certifications which are offered for those who need to specialize in Scrum and Agile:
– Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
– Certified Team Coach (CSC)
– Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
To obtain your Scrum Master certification you must take a course with a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainer and then take an exam from home. The latter is really easy although the fact that it is from home worries many people as they believe it degrades the value of the certification. Nonetheless, good professionals are finally seen on the field.
Another thing to consider is that certified trainers have enough flexibility here on how to approach different subjects, so that two students with different trainers may have disparate points of view.
The Scrum Professional Exam (CSP), by contrast, is relatively complex and must be taken in a certified center, which gives greater value to those who want to obtain it ( it is comparable to the PMP Agile Practitioner exam).
Scrum Alliance is one of the most serious and reputable organizations in the market and has the highest number of members with Agile certifications. It has also tried to standardize the terms and processes of Scrum in a reference book available in AgileAtlas.org.
2. Scrum Org (Scrum.org)
Ken Schwaber is one of the initial founders of the Scrum Alliance who then decided to move away and continue on his way, although today they have made several initiatives together after many years of absence. Many of their examinations are open to the public without having to take a course and offer a high level of difficulty.
– Professional Scrum Master 1 y 2 (PSM I, PSM II)
– Professional Product 1 y 2 (PSPO I, PSPO II)
The organization in turn requires instructors to use the same material, which offers much consistency between two students attending courses taught by different trainers. On the other hand, some argue that this may lead to a loss of flexibility and a more formal process to include new ideas.
It should be noted that the Professional Developer course is excellently implemented and is a decisive candidate for those seeking to have solid knowledge of Agile techniques applied to Scrum development teams.
3. PMI-ACP (pmi.org)
The well-known Project Management Institute, which finally, in addition to its classic program of courses and certifications related to traditional methodologies, started to offer the Agile Practitioner certification after carrying out a trial period during 2011.
They have an Agile practice community and recommend dozens of books for the exam preparation (many of which are the same as ScrumAlliance suggests) and there are also specific books that focus on the exam preparation. The level and questions are comparable to the Scrum Alliance Certified Professional (CSP).
Although they have been a rather late player in the adoption of Agile, they have the support of a large community.
This company was founded by Al Shalloway, who has a pragmatic view of Scrum, Lean and Agile. One of the things I like about AL is the belief that systemic thinking is the heart of Agile and Scrum.
They offer Scrum Master certifications, Product Owner and various courses on Lean and Agile and SAFe. Unlike previous companies/bodies, they also provide SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) workshops (SAFe is a Scrum scaling framework geared toward large companies).
Excellent certification option for companies with hundreds of employees, however, I still think that SAFe promotes blindly following a set of practices but does not offer a real change of mentality towards Agile.
Netobjectives is available for any company willing to align teams with Lean and SAFe.
They are specialized in providing consistent high quality material for universities and organizations. They have 3 levels of certification, which evaluate the knowledge acquired, but also the experience of the participant. They have a model that supports universities and companies willing to offer standard courses on all aspects of Agile but not just Scrum.
It is an excellent choice for universities or other similar organizations that need to teach the different topics in a unified way.\
6. Scaled Agile Academy, SAFe (scaledagileacademy.com)
They offer certifications for large companies through an adapted version of Scrum so that it can be used in more traditional companies with a high number of teams. In broad outline, the framework is used to synchronize different product backlogs at various levels, with many new roles as well as extension of classic roles.
The model offers consistency for companies that currently employ traditional methodologies and want to move towards Scrum, but is not a good candidate if they want to promote a change in mindset.
The academy is the result of the work of Dean Leffingwell, who some time ago published a book about distributed Scrum. It grew until adopted as the SAFe unified framework.
In his book, Dean, offers several techniques that can even be used in more traditional companies without a total change of culture.
– SAFe program Consultant
– SAFe program Agilist
– SAFe program Practitioner
7. Agile tester (International Institute of Software Quality, agile-tester.org)
The Business Analysis Institute (iiba.org), in collaboration with the Agile Alliancee, has published a reference material which includes seven guidelines for the practice of business analysis in agile environments.
It is also worth mentioning the work of the Agile Alliance, an organization that does not offer certifications by itself but provides a big community for those who want to explore and know the different aspects of this particular way of thinking.
IIBA is an organization of German origin that offers a five-day course focused on testers in Agile environments.
They believe that knowledge cannot simply be taught but that it has to be hands-on. That is why the course takes 5 days where not only the tools, but also the interactions between people are evaluated.
At this point in time, there are about 3000 certified people, which is a low number compared to other organizations, but an excellent option for many professionals.
Keep in mind that certifications can change from time to time, so visit the company’s page to have the latest version of the certifications.
You can now suggest to your company the type of certification based on the characteristics of your enterprise and culture.
And remember, visit our website if you need to know more about the way that Innova1st can boost your Scrum teams and company.
Thanks for listening,