Agile Training Certification – 1

Which Agile Training Certification Do You Have?

We all know Agile training counts for nothing if you do not have the experience, but certifications are seen by many recruiters as something professionals should try to attain.

There are lots available from different accreditation bodies.  Even though some certifications are easy to get – all you do is turn up to an agile training course – others are very difficult to achieve and are an impressive badge to display on your CV/resume.

Here are just a few reasons certifications are worthwhile:

  • Become the Go-to-Guy/Gal.  Certification requires some form of study.  This is the key to mastery, as it draws on the experience of others, as well as reflection on personal, real-world experiences – highlighting where we succeeded or messed up!
  • Dazzle your boss and potential employers with superior know-how and capabilities.  Certification demonstrates visible commitment to your career and personal development
  • Travel the world, meet interesting people and save their projects. We live in an increasingly small world and quite a few certifications are a globally acknowledged
  • Earn more money! Certification can lead to a higher salary – in the UK an APMG survey found professionals 44% of professionals with qualifications earned up to £60,000 compared to 34% without
  • Get connected and steal other people’s experiences and knowledge. Build a professional social network to continuously improve and stay up to date on current thinking and trends.
  • Shake your tail feather at recruiters. Agile is becoming ubiquitous in the IT world – it is the norm to have Agile skills and knowledge.  Certification can lead to better job opportunities.

Which is best depends on the individual or organizational circumstances.  Smaller, less formal or regulated companies might be best to go for light-weight frameworks like Scrum or XP.  Larger enterprises, with formal change and project processes, would be better suited to Agile project frameworks, like DSDM.

There are a number of Agile training options and I’ve summarized some, by provider and certifications, for your perusal in a series of posts.  Of course, full details and costs can be found on the relative websites.  Enjoy!

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The Scrum Alliance

scrum-alliance-certification

The Scrum Alliance offers basic and advanced Agile training for a range of certifications.  Basic certifications are a focus on Scrum roles and are achieved by attending an official Agile training course:

  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
  • Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)

Attending one, or more, courses and/or Scrum events earn Scrum Educational Units.  With 70, or more, SEUs candidates can apply for:

  • Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)

CSP’s can work towards 3 advanced certifications:

  • Certified Scrum Coach (CSC)
  • Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)
  • Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)

scrum-alliance-certifications

Recommended reading:

Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

ScrumMaster_Logo_Seal

Basic introduction to Scrum framework and the Scrum Master role

  • No prerequisites
  • 2-day course teaching from authorized trainer
  • Online exam – pass 24/35
  • 2-year membership of Scrum Alliance
  • 16 SEUs

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

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Basics of Scrum Product Owner role

  • No prerequisites
  • 2-day course teaching from authorized trainer
  • 2-year membership
  • 16 SEUs

Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)

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Basics of working in a Scrum development environment

  • No prerequisites
  • 5-days training, either:
    • CSM course (2 days)
    • CSD “Agile Engineering Practices” course (3 days)
  • or
    • CSD Intro agile training course (1 day)
    • CSD “Agile Engineering Practices” technical course (3 days)
    • CSD Technical Elective course (1 day)
  • Must pass an assessment by REP/instructor, either:
    • Exam administered by the instructor
    • Classroom-based assessment
    • Instructor uploads information recommending the student for certification
  • 2-year membership
  • 24 SEUs

Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)

SCR20146-Seals-Final-CSP

Advanced certification and the gateway to specialist agile training certifications.

  • Prerequisites:
    • CSM, CSPO or CSD
    • 36 months Agile/Scrum within the past 5 years in any role
    • 70 SEUs from last 3 years
  • Application process:
    • Application fee – non-refundable
    • Apply via Scrum Alliance dashboard
    • Describe 36 months experience
    • Select Scrum role and dates in role
    • Contact info for person to verify experience
    • Detail how Scrum was used for reviewers to assess experience
    • Takes up to 3 weeks – reviewers may contact applicant for clarification
    • Fee applies if successful
  • 2-year membership

Certified Scrum Coach (CTC)

Works across teams and individuals to ensure successful Scrum

  • CSP
  • Based on 4 competence areas:
    • Experience
    • Knowledge
    • Professional collaboration
    • Skills
  • Application:
    1. Requirements qualification – general qualifying experience on above 4 points
    2. Peer assessment – 7 question exam. 600 words per answer
  • Apply online – fee applies
  • Yearly license fee

Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC)

Works across an enterprise ensuring Scrum successfully implemented and adopted

  • CSP (1 year)
  • Based on 4 competence areas:
    • Experience – 2000 hours, 3 org’s, etc
    • Knowledge – deep, man
    • Professional collaboration
    • Skills
  • Application:
    1. Requirements qualification – general qualifying experience on above 4 points
    2. Peer assessment – candidate selects 3 specialties and writes 600-word synopsis for each
  • Apply online – fee applies
  • Yearly license fee

Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)

  • CST’s train official Scrum Alliance courses – must:
    • Demonstrate a deep understanding of Scrum concepts, practices, and principles
    • Be an active CSP with extensive experience implementing Scrum
    • Have taught Scrum with a CST or independently (non-certified):
      • Minimum 100 students
      • Hosted 10 multi-day ScrumMaster training sessions
    • Be an active CSPO to train CSPO courses
  • NB: You may NOT train/participate in teaching any Scrum certification other than for the Scrum Alliance
  • Applications:
    • Complete the application; provide supporting materials and fee.  The application process is comprehensive and thorough to ensure quality candidates apply:
      • Application Signature Document
      • Scrum Experience Document
      • Personal Statement
      • Course Material
      • Course Material Mapping Document
      • Training Experience Document
      • Student Feedback
      • Recommendations/References
      • Thought Leadership & Community Involvement Summary
      • Current CSP Certification
      • Video (optional)
  • Applications are pre-screened by Alliance staff and a CST will further screen an application.  Additional materials may be submitted if required in-line with the list above
  • Incomplete applications are rejected at pre-screen – applicants may reapply immediately
  • After pre-screen the Trainer Approval Community (TAC) will review (“Initial TAC Review Panel”):
    • Once underway an application cannot be changed
    • If an application fails, reapplication is NOT permitted for six months
    • If approved, an applicant is invited to an ‘Interview and Certification Panel’ interview
  • Panel interviews are at:
    • Global Scrum Gatherings
    • Regional Scrum Gatherings and Scrum Alliance-sponsored events (with five TAC members present)
    • Applications must be received at least 4 months before the event
    • Virtual interviews only considered for hardship cases
    • An interview will result in full CST status; provisional CST status; or a denial
  • Successful candidates:
    • Sign the CST Agreement
    • Pay annual fee
  • Provisional candidates must:
    • Sign the CST Agreement
    • Teach 3 public CSM courses within 6 months
    • Meet requirements around student feedback and CSM test results
  • Unsuccessful candidates are eligible to interview again after six months
  • Valid one year and renewed yearly

Scrum.org

Scrum-Org-Logo

Ken Schwaber, a co-creator of Scrum, founded Scrum.org in 2009.  Scrum.org offers professional certifications and Agile training courses from beginner to expert levels.  Scrum.org offers free, open assessments, so individuals and organisations can gauge their Scrum capabilities.

There are 7 assessments:

  • Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I)
  • Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II)
  • Professional Scrum Practitioner I (PSP)
  • Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I)
  • Professional Scrum Product Owner II (PSPO II)
  • Professional Scrum Developer (PSD)
  • Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS)

There are 4 ‘open’ assessments associated with each certification:

  • Scrum Open
  • Product Owner Open
  • Developer Open
  • Nexus Open

Lastly, Scrum experts can apply to become a certified Professional Scrum Trainer (PST)

Professional Scrum Master (PSM)

The Scrum Master certifications have two levels – PSM I and PSM II.  PSM I is an intermediate certification.  PSM II is an advanced expert certification.

PSM I

psm1-large_small

  • No prerequisites – read the Scrum Guide
  • Fee per attempt (valid for 1 attempt)
  • 80 multiple choice/multi answer question format – 85% pass mark
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Anyone with good Scrum knowledge should pass – Scrum Guide.
PSM II

psm2-large_small

  • Passed PSM I
  • Fee per attempt (valid for 1 attempt only)
  • Multiple choice, case study and essay format – 85% pass mark
  • Time: 120 minutes
  • PSM II is very difficult – more like an expert certification.  It will be re-named Professional Scrum Expert (PSE) and PSP (below) will become widely available

Professional Scrum Practitioner (PSP)

PSP_100x125

Not yet widely available and hard to find on the Scrum.org.  PSP is positioned between PSM I and PSM II, as an intermediate certification.

  • Passed PSM I
  • Fee per attempt (valid for 1 attempt only)
  • Multiple choice, case study and essay format
  • 30 multiple choice/multi answer question format – 85% pass mark
  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Intermediate level – candidates should have good working knowledge and experience

Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO)

There are 2 levels available – PSPO I and PSPO II.

PSPO I

pspo1-large_small

  • No prerequisites – read the Scrum Guide
  • Fee per attempt (valid for 1 attempt only)
  • 80 multiple choice/multi answer question format – 85% pass mark
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Intermediate level; anyone with reasonable Scrum knowledge should pass.  The Scrum Open and Product Owner Open assessments are great practice tools
PSPO II

pspo2-large_small

  • Passed PSPO I
  • Fee per attempt (valid for 1 attempt only)
  • Multiple choice, case study and essay format – 85% pass mark
  • Time: 120 minutes
  • Advanced level

Professional Scrum Developer (PSD)

psd1-large_small

Agile training aimed at those wishing to work as developers in a Scrum environment

  • No prerequisites – best to read the Scrum Guide
  • Fee per attempt (valid for 1 attempt only)
  • 80 multiple choice/multi answer question format – 85% pass mark
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Intermediate level.  The Scrum Open and Product Owner Open assessments are good practice tools

Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS)

SPS-2

Based upon the Scrum.org scaled Scrum framework – Nexus

  • No prerequisites – best to read the Nexus Guide
  • Fee per attempt (valid for 1 attempt only)
  • 40 multiple choice/multi answer question format – 85% pass mark
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Intermediate level; anyone with scaled Scrum knowledge should pass if they study the Nexus Guide. The Nexus Open assessment is a great learning tool

Professional Scrum Trainer (PST)

The route for anyone with deep Scrum knowledge and experience wishing to become an official trainer

  • Prerequisites:
    • 4+ years intense Scrum Master experience
    • Scrum coaching & training
    • No fee, but must achieve 95% on PSM I. NB: PSM II is not required
  • Apply on-line detailing:
    • Professional reference required
    • Summary of Scrum experience & motivations
  • Attend Train the trainer course:
    • Special 3-day course
    • Instructor evaluation and feedback determines if candidate application continues
  • Assessment & interviews:
    • PSM II – 95% pass required (2 attempts / 6 months)
    • Online interview with Scrum.org
    • 1 hour PST peer review
  • After qualification:
    • Yearly license fee applies
    • Must attend 1 global trainer meeting per annum

DSDM Consortium & APMG Agile Certifications

dsdmAPMG-International-Logo

The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) Agile training, from the DSDM Consortium, is an enterprise project framework rather than just a development approach.  DSDM is adaptable to projects of all sizes and easily mapped to PRINCE2, other traditional project approaches or corporate project processes.

APMG is an international accreditation organisation focusing on many areas of business certification.  APMG partnered with the DSDM Consortium to create a number of APMG Agile certifications based upon DSDM.

There are currently nine agile training courses available – pure DSDM, generic and those created for the APMG International group.  The nine certifications are split into levels from basic foundation to advanced – based upon experience and peer review:

  • Level 1
    • Agile Foundation
    • Agile Project Management (AgilePM®) Foundation
    • Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA®) Foundation
    • Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM®) Foundation
  • Level 2
    • Agile Project Management AgilePM® Practitioner
    • Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA®) Practitioner (this is not listed on the DSDM website, but is on the APMG site)
  • Level 3
    • DSDM Agile Professional
    • Agile Leader Advanced Practitioner
  • Level 4
    • DSDM Agile Trainer-Coach
  • Level 5
    • DSDM Agile Consultant

Agile Foundation

Generic Agile introduction at foundation level

  • No prerequisites
  • 1 hour, 60 question multiple-choice exam
  • 42/60 pass mark

Agile Project Management (AgilePM®)

APMG-AgilePM

The main APMG certifications for those wishing to become Agile Project Managers.

Foundation

  • No prerequisites
  • Sub-set of DSDM framework plus extra features
  • Accredited by APMG
  • 40 minute, 50 question multiple-choice exam
  • 25/50 pass mark
  • Recommended reading: Agile Project Management Handbook v2.0  (published by DSDM)

Practitioner

  • Must hold AgilePM Foundation, DSDM Foundation or DSDM Advanced Practitioner Certificate
  • In-depth knowledge of Agile principles
  • Accredited by APMG
  • 4 question paper
  • 20 marks per question
  • 40/80 pass mark
  • 5 hours exam
  • Open book (official manual)
  • Recommended reading: Agile Project Management Handbook v2.0 (published by DSDM)

Agile Business Analysis (AgileBa®)

AgileBA-Logo250px

The Business Analyst role is often overlooked in most Agile frameworks.  It is a key DSDM role and therefore this courses focuses on BA for Agile projects.

Foundation

  • No prerequisites
  • Specifically for BA’s working in an Agile environment
  • Accredited by APMG
  • 40 minute, 50 question multiple-choice exam
  • 25/50 pass mark
  • Recommended reading: AgileBA Handbook (published by DSDM)

Practitioner

  • Must hold AgileBA Foundation Certificate
  • In-depth knowledge of Agile principles
  • Accredited by APMG
  • 4 question paper
  • 20 marks per question
  • 40/80 pass mark
  • 5 hours exam
  • Open book (official manual)
  • Recommended reading: AgileBA Handbook(published by DSDM)

Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM®) Foundation

AgilePgMLogo_232px

Organisations going Agile need to be able to consider programmes as well as projects.

  • No prerequisites
  • Specifically for BA’s working in an Agile environment
  • Accredited by APMG
  • 40 minute, 50 question multiple-choice exam
  • 25/50 pass mark
  • Recommended reading: AgilePgM Handbook(published by DSDM)

dsdm

The following are pure DSDM certifications and are level 3 or above.  In terms of the experience, knowledge and understanding required to attain them they are increasingly advanced.

DSDM Agile Professional

  • Must have a minimum 6 months Agile leadership experience
  • Four steps process:
    • Get practical experience
    • Submit application to DSDM Consortium – you may be asked to re-submit
    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding by submitting a synopsis of your experience
    • Attend an oral exam to test knowledge of DSDM theory. 45-60 minutes with 2 DSDM examiners. Find out result straight away:
      • Pass – success
      • Defer – receive feedback, re-sit oral exam
      • Fail – standard not met after second oral exam attempt. Must re-start submission
    • Certificate issued by the British Computer Society

DSDM Agile Leader Advanced Practitioner

  • Must have a minimum 6 months DSDM/Agile experience
  • Four steps process:
    • Get practical experience
    • Submit application to DSDM Consortium
    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding by submitting a synopsis of your experience
    • Attend an oral exam to test knowledge of DSDM theory. 45-60 minutes with 2 DSDM examiners. Find out result straight away:
      • Pass – success! Written feedback will be received within 7 days
      • Fail – verbal feedback can be given immediately if required. Written feedback will be received within 7 days
    • Certificate issued by the British Computer Society

DSDM Agile Trainer-Coach

Advanced certification, for experts working with, or for, organisations adopting or using DSDM/Agile. Holders can deliver DSDM accredited and APMG accredited AgilePM Practitioner courses

  • Hold the DSDM Agile Professional (previously DSDM Advanced Practitioner) level certification
  • Have two years DSDM experience
  • Have coaching and training experience on two DSDM projects of three months each
  • Four steps process:
    • Get practical experience
    • Submit application to DSDM Consortium
      • Summary of experience of delivering training sessions and coaching
      • Experience of DSDM / Agile
      • Version of DSDM to be examined on
    • Attend an oral exam to test knowledge of DSDM theory. 45-60 minutes with 2 DSDM examiners. Find out result straight away:
  • Pass – Can now deliver DSDM accredited training courses and also APMG accredited AgilePM Practitioner training courses
    • Fail – verbal feedback can be given immediately if required. Written feedback will be received within 7 days
  • Certificate issued by the British Computer Society

DSDM Agile Consultant

Awarded to those with in-depth knowledge and the ability to work and influence at a senior level in organizations. Consultancy is defined in relation to management consultancy within a DSDM environment and further clarification is given in the entry requirements.

  • DSDM Consultant accreditation is the highest level of DSDM qualification available.
  • Must have completed the following experience:
    • Assignments totalling 60 weeks
    • Minimum of 40 weeks pure DSDM consultancy
    • Plus further 20 weeks consultancy experience
  • Complete application form:
    • Summarise 60 weeks experience
    • Details 3 DSDM consultancy assignments
    • Supplement one assignment with synopsis
    • Detail evidence of DSDM ‘thought leadership’

Next post covers PMI’s goodies

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By |2017-05-28T23:38:29+00:00June 23rd, 2016|Learning & Development|0 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an Agile Coach, with 20 years experience in senior leadership and consulting roles. I am also an innovative project leader and business consultant. As a certified DSDM Trainer- Coach I provide Agile training courses, coaching and consulting in London, the UK, and Europe. I'm interested in everyone's viewpoints, so please feel free to add a comment or suggestion.

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