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Tag Archives: Certified Scrum Master

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Certified Scrum training versus Professional Scrum training

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You have choice when determining what kind of professional training you are going to receive – Certified Scrum or Professional Scrum. Within the Scrum community you also have choice in the style of training and certification you choose to receive, and from whom you choose to receive it.

Scrum is an Agile methodology with increasing value in innovating organizations. And your options for training allow you to choose a variety of roles within the Scrum team, most notably Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team Member (Product Developer). As the Scrum framework increases in popularity, the desire for knowledgeable professionals who understand the intricacies of Scrum, not just the framework but also the roadblocks and challenges, are essential to the organization.

Take Scrum training from a knowledgeable expert, who has experience transitioning organizations from traditional project management mindset to Agile methodology. This is because learning Scrum roles and framework is only half the challenge! Implementing Scrum in the real world requires insights from a Scrum trainer who has been through the real ropes of transition before.

Scrum training options:

There are two organizations that offer Scrum training and within these organizations, professionals are certified to be trainers who deliver Scrum training to you. The organizations are Scrum Alliance, offering Certified Scrum courses, and Scrum.org, offering Professional Scrum courses.

Innovel offers Certified Scrum Product Owner® and Certified Scrum Master® courses through private in-house training options and public courses.

Choosing your Scrum training course:

  • Trainer selection. Do your research and determine the right trainer for you based on references, testimonials and word of mouth. As stated above, you are looking for someone who has bench strength in implementing Scrum in the real world, not just teaching credentials. The Scrum Alliance has a rigorous process for trainers to receive credentials to teach their Certified Scrum courses. These trainers are called Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs). There are only 200 in the world as it is a highly specialized and skilled group of Scrum leaders. Robin Dymond is the lead trainer at Innovel and is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) with Scrum Alliance Robin has been a CST since 2008, and has lead Agile transitions in the US, EU and Canada. He incorporates stories from these experiences into every training class.
  • Class size. It is very important you ask what size the classes will be that you are considering attending. Scrum framework comprehension is largely achieved by the practice of exercises, teamwork and interaction with the Scrum trainer. This is best achieved when a class size allows for discussion and group work. A class that is too small does not allow sufficient discussion and peer-learning. A class that is too large does not allow sufficient opportunity to ask the trainer questions about your unique situation. Innovel recommends class sizes minimum of 10 students and maximum 30 students. Our training sweet spot is 12-24 students. All classes are optimized for this ideal learning environment.
  • Certification or accreditation. Certified Scrum Master® (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) are the designations most widely recognized worldwide. These designations are most sought after by innovating organizations. These are provided by Certified Scrum Trainers® through the Scrum Alliance. Both designations require 2-day in depth training. Certification for CSPO is achieved when the trainer alerts Scrum Alliance that you have fully attended and actively participated in the rigorous 2-day training. Certification for CSM also requires full attendance and participation in the course, as determined by the trainer, but also requires completion of an online exam after the course is finished. The CSM exam and a 2 year membership with the Scrum Alliance are included with the cost of your training course. There are no additional fees.

    Professional Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Product Owner designations are offered via Scrum.org. Designation as a PSM does not require a hands-on training course with a qualified instructor, but rather tests your knowledge based on your experience. PSM training courses are available, however gaining an accreditation is done via exam, typically with an additional fee.

    Both courses are based on the official Scrum Guide. Innovel provides Certified Scrum training via the Scrum Alliance. We believe that Innovel Certified Scrum Master and Innovel Certified Scrum Product Owner training is the preferred choice of training and certification for discerning professionals, seeking both a valuable accreditation and world-class leadership in Scrum.


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Is getting my Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) worth it?

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This is the key question most people need to answer before deciding to take a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course.

What everyone wants to know is “will this really benefit my career?”

In short, yes, it will. 

But even though you may feel the course will benefit you, there are still some common objections that may be roadblocks to committing to the CSM course. Some of these are:

  • It is comparably expensive (when looking at less rigorous Scrum training programs).
  • It is inconvenient to leave work for 2 full days (or more, if traveling to the training).
  • It cannot be completed online.

And when looking at the value of this training and certification there are a handful of common questions:

  • Isn’t Scrum simple enough? Why do I even need this course?
  • Why take a Scrum Alliance certified course when there are cheaper, quicker options?
  • I am already a PMP, why do I need this certification too?

Anyone considering taking their Certified Scrum Master course with Innovel will need to answer these questions. Read on, we’ve made the homework easy for you. And if you still are wondering, just drop us a note and we’ll be happy to address anything else you need to know.

Why does the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course cost more than some other courses?

The Certified Scrum Master® (CSM), by Scrum Alliance, is the most widely recognized certification in Agile and Scrum. The Certified Scrum Trainers® (CST) in the Scrum Alliance include the inventor of Scrum and many thought leaders who pioneered Agile principles and practices.

One of the reasons for its success is that the Scrum Alliance sets a very high bar to become a CST. Setting a high bar for the trainers the Scrum Alliance ensures participants have an excellent learning experience. Trainers must have substantial real world experience implementing Scrum in multiple organizations, and share stories from these experiences in the training. They must be excellent at both doing and teaching.

Why is the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) 2 full days in person and not online?

There are key reasons why this training will never be offered online. Learning a new way of working involves questioning, discussing, trying out ideas and learning from experiences with other participants. Participants learn the principles of Scrum by working in teams, and gain confidence by solving problems together. Participants can bring up questions that relate to their current work situation and have them answered and receive advice by someone who likely has dealt with that same issue in the past. While people will not retain everything covered in the course, they retain the memory of the experience, the framework, and the confidence to try it.

Isn’t Scrum simple enough? Why do I need this course?

There are many ways to learn, there are many books and videos on Scrum, there is the Scrum Guide available for free online, and there are meetups on Scrum and Agile in many cities. We recommend using all these resources. Do you need the CSM to do Scrum? No, just as you don’t need a music teacher to learn to play music. Students who know Scrum and have been doing it for a while and attend my Certified Scrum Master course still find it beneficial. They often find new ideas and different perspectives on implementing Scrum. They gain clarity on previously unclear ideas and contribute to the class by sharing their experiences. They learn new techniques and ideas they can try in their organization.

I am already a PMP. Why should I get my CSM?

As a project manager you have learned a certain way to fulfill your role. Implementing Scrum to run projects is fundamentally different then the ideas presented in the PMBOK. By taking your CSM you will learn a very different and far simpler and more practical framework to manage projects. By getting your CSM you are demonstrating to potential employers that you are flexible and have more then just one way to help them organize and deliver projects and products. Demand for the PMP in IT and software development is in decline, since most organizations are moving towards Agile and Scrum to manage the work. A CSM can help you make the transition.

So, will taking the Certified Scrum Master course really benefit my career?

There are distinct trends affecting most industries today that lead all answers to YES.

We’d love to hear your feedback or answer any other questions you may have. Just drop us a note at info@innovel.net. Or, if you are ready to sign up for any public Certified Scrum course visit our Public Courses information page.