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What is Scrum Master and What are the Benefits of Getting a Scrum Master Qualification?

What is Scrum Master and What are the Benefits of Getting a Scrum Master Qualification?

What is Scrum Master and What are the Benefits of Getting a Scrum Master Qualification?

What does a Scrum Master do?

As I explained in my post What is Scrum Methodology and Scrum Project Management?, a Scrum team is self-organising meaning that there is no team leader to delegate tasks.  Issues are resolved by the whole team.  Given the nature of the Scrum team then, the Scrum Master’s role is a little different from a project manager, the latter being more of a command and control role.  The Scrum Master, in contrast, is a servant leader who makes sure that individual team members have everything they need from the start, making it more of a leading and coaching role.  Scrum Masters are responsible for promoting and supporting their team by helping team members to understand Scrum theory, practices, rules and values.  I will explain this in more detail in my next post ‘The Scrum Master’s Role’, but firstly let’s look at the Scrum Master certification.

Who would the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) course suit?

The Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) training course is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in Scrum, as well as the necessary people skills to make it successful in the work place.  There are no prerequisites for this course but familiarity with project management, software development or Agile Scrum would be an advantage.  The course would benefit anybody involved with product delivery such as team leaders, team members, developers, architects, analysts, testers, product managers, project managers, development managers, teams transitioning to Scrum and professionals who would like to pursue a career as a Scrum Master.  The course enables professionals to enhance their proficiency in both Agile and Scrum practices. 

What does the CSM course involve?

APMG, in partnership with the Agile Business Consortium (ABC) have purposely designed this course to be less IT and software focused, showing its adaptability to wider industries.   Run by certified trainers, this highly interactive two-day course addresses the principles and theory underpinning the Scrum framework and the Scrum Master’s role.  Training is based on Schwaber and Sutherland’s ‘The Scrum Guide™ The Definitive Guide to Scrum: The Rules of the Game’.  Looking at all aspects of the Scrum framework from theory and foundations to practical applications and pitfalls, this course covers team roles, events, artefacts and the rules that bind them.  The course offers a combination of instruction and team-based exercises that challenge and encourage delegates to understand Scrum principles and their application.  At the end of the two days, delegates will sit a 40-minute closed book exam consisting of 50 questions.  The pass rate is 74% (37 out of 50 questions).

What will delegates learn from the CSM course?

By taking the CSM course delegates will:

  1. Achieve a deep understanding of the Scrum Framework, theory, practices, roles, rules and values.
  2. Fully understand the role of Scrum Master and their interactions with the Scrum Team and stakeholders.
  3. Master the Scrum principles to better understand their application when returning to the workplace.
  4. Be able to construct an effective development team with an appropriate mix of skills and experience.
  5. Be able to act as a servant-leader for the Scrum Team by promoting and enabling self-organization and the creation of high value products.
  6. Understand how to facilitate Scrum Events and remove any hinderances to the Scrum Team’s progress.
  7. Help Scrum Product Owners (PO’s) shape and refine product backlogs in order to guide early and incremental delivery of a valuable product.
  8. Be able to drive the adoption of the Scrum framework for more effective product and solution development whilst working with stakeholders and other Scrum Masters to improve its effectiveness.

What are the benefits of the CSM certification?

Aside from the CSM certification looking good on any CV, one of the benefits of taking the course is that successful candidates can share their success with a digital badge to be used online.  This badge can be embedded on an email signature, website, social media profile or digital CV and is easy for employers, clients and customers to verify the delegate’s skills.  As well as this, the certification does not expire.  Another benefit of taking the APMG-ABC accredited course is that successful candidates are also entitled to one year’s free membership with the Agile Business Consortium which would allow access to a catalogue of eBooks, articles, discount on certain examinations as well as other resources produced by Agile experts.

Why choose APMG-ABC?

As I stated earlier, APMG in partnership with ABC are accredited providers and trainers.  They developed this certification in response to demand from their “community of training companies delivering Agile training services” (Richard Pharro CEO APMG).  They were looking for a more accessible, practical and engaging course for Scrum Masters and feedback from their pilot CSM courses was all positive.  Word of Warning: It is possible for you to undertake training with a non-certified CSM trainer, but the certification will not be accredited, and you may miss out on key knowledge and skills necessary to implement the effective use of Scrum principles and practices in the workplace.

What type of jobs and salary can you expect with a CSM certification?

The types of jobs a certified Scrum Master might apply for are … at risk of stating the obvious!… Scrum Master, project manager, technical project manager, program manager, project lead, and product lead developer.  The pay scale will vary according to experience but the demand for Scrum Master is on the increase and so too is the salary.  According to Totaljobs in June of 2019 the average salary for this role rose by 14%.  This increase is confirmed by Adzuna in the graph below, where, as can be seen, the demand for Scrum Master dipped in April and May but rose again in June. 

Salary and Vacany Trends for Scrum Master UK

Image Source

Whilst the highest average salary shown in this graph is £64,00 there are currently several jobs advertised that exceed this amount, such as a Scrum Master position in Salford, advertised on IT Jobswatch offering a salary of up to £73,000.  Another advertised on Linkedin for a Scrum Master in Asset Management is offering a salary of £80,000 to £85,000 (16.07.2019).  Currently on Indeed  there are 1,330 Scrum Master vacancies advertised (16.07.2019) and on CW Jobs there are 95 Scrum Master positions advertised, 67 of which are permanent (15.07.2019).  This site also states that they have 64 vacancies that are offering higher than the average wage for Scrum Master. 

If you are considering a daily rate contractual position, then you can expect to earn between £375 to £650 per day, depending on industry and area.  If you wish to take your skills abroad, then a Scrum Master in Switzerland can potentially earn up to £650 per day and in Munich a Scrum Master (media) position is advertising a salary of up to £750 per day.  A permanent Scrum Master position in Berne, Germany is advertising a salary of between £84,766 to £100,178 (CW jobs).

Industries asking for Scrum Master

Communication – Vodafone

Banking and finance – ING

Media – BBC, Netflix

Online Marketing – Yahoo

IT Organisations – Google, Intel, Microsoft, Adobe

Insurance – Zurich, Axa

There are also positions available in Aviation and Transport, Healthcare and Energy companies.

All in all, the Scrum Master certification is becoming increasingly popular across many industries and is a worthwhile addition to any CV, both digital and hard copy.  Whilst we have covered the course and the benefits of acquiring the CSM certification in this post, my next post; ‘The Scrum Master’s Role’, will describe in depth what this position entails.


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