First, a word of caution before moving on to describing the different classes. Over the past five years or so, many new for-profit certifying bodies have popped-up offering certs with similar names like Scrum Master Certified or Scrum Master Certification among others. That’s created a lot of confusion for potential new students. So please be wary. Do your research on the certifying body, its history and its reputation in the market before registering for a class.
The classes described here lead to certifications issued by the Scrum Alliance®, a nonprofit association with more than 600,000 practitioners worldwide. Scrum Alliance was founded in 2001, and is the largest, most established and influential professional membership and certification organization in the Agile community, guiding Agile practitioners through every step of their journey, and providing Advocacy, Community, and Education.
For those just starting on their Agile journey, I recommend they start with the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) class. The CSM is a foundational class suitable for all team members including developers, analysts, engineers, designers, project managers, product owners and functional managers. The CSM covers Agile values and Agile principles, the fundamentals of Scrum, the intricacies of the Scrum framework, Scrum roles and responsibilities, and the keys to a successful Scrum implementation.
From there I recommend the Product Owner path for Product Owners and Business Analysts (CSPO® to CSP®-PO), the Developer path for programmers (CSD® to CSP®-D) and the ScrumMaster path to ScrumMasters and coaches (CSM to CSP®-SM). More details about each certification below:
Certified ScrumMaster®: The CSM covers Agile values and Agile principles, the fundamentals of Scrum, the intricacies of the Scrum framework, Scrum roles and responsibilities, and the keys to a successful Scrum implementation. No prerequisites. Suitable for all team members and managers.
Certified Scrum Product Owner®: The CSPO covers the Agile values and Agile principles, the fundamentals of the Product Owner role, creating a vision, developing a roadmap and release plan, building and managing product backlogs, and working with customers and stakeholders. No prerequisites, though a CSM is recommended. Suitable for Product Owners and Business Analysts.
Certified Scrum Developer®: The CSD covers the fundamentals of Agile engineering practices and the skills needed to design and build reliable, robust and verifiable systems including Test Driven Development, collective code ownership, automated builds and tests, continuous integration and deployment as well as managing technical debt. CSM is a co-requisite. Suitable for programmers with 2+yrs of coding experience.
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster: The A-CSM goes beyond the fundamentals of Scrum and provides a deeper understanding of the ScrumMaster role, servant leadership and self-organization; the ScrumMaster’s responsibilities in servicing the Product Owner, the Development team and the organization; as well as advanced facilitation and coaching techniques. Requires CSM + 1 year of experience. Suitable for ScrumMasters and Coaches.
Certified Scrum Professional® – ScrumMaster: CSP-SM dives deeper into advanced Lean thinking, team dynamics and effectiveness, conflict resolution, organizational development, and scaling Scrum. Requires A-CSM + 1 year of experience. Suitable for ScrumMasters and Coaches.
Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner: The A-CSPO goes beyond the fundamentals of Scrum and provides a deeper understanding of the Product Owner role, stakeholder management and facilitation, product discovery, product strategy, product roadmaps, release management, and advanced product backlog refinement techniques. Requires CSPO + 1 year of experience. Suitable for Product Owners and Business Analysts.
Certified Scrum Professional® – Product Owner: CSP-PO dives deeper into funding and financing, economics of product development, advanced customer research and product discovery, roadmapping at scale, working with multiple Scrum teams, and product launches. Requires A-CSPO + 1 year of experience. Suitable for Product Owners and Business Analyst.
Advanced Certified Scrum Developer: A-CSD coming in 2020
Certified Scrum Professional® – Developer: CSP-D coming in 2020