Which Certification Is Best Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Product Owner?

13-Feb-2021

CSM vs CSPO

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a set of methodologies and guidelines which help software developers to manage large software development projects. Technology has changed the face of the world and this is none so true as in software development. As technology has advanced by leaps and bounds businesses and organizations have found that they have much larger ambitions than before. This is because their reach and capabilities have expanded exponentially. So with their new reach and capabilities they seek to change the world in bigger and more impactful ways. In order to do this they desire to start larger and larger software development projects.

But with larger projects come larger associated costs and requirements. Businesses and organizations find that they have to hire very large teams of software developers in order to accomplish the kind of farreaching and vast goals they set in place for themselves. Their broad vision and breathtaking design look very nice and pretty on the drawing board but in order to execute it in the real world they need very skilled and competent software developers. Not just one or two of them but a whole army. While these requirements can simply be rendered unnecessary with the help of full stack developers they are not always available or viable. One path companies seldom take but which they should consider is sponsoring their own employees for CSM Certification Training.

In such cases the troubled companies require the aid of a overarching guiding methodology or a set of guiding principles which will help them manage the large army of software developers they recruit. This methodology should be consistent, comprehensive, and elegant. It should cover all the details of software development project management with careful attention to the most minute things and should leave nothing out. There should be nothing left to be desired as far as the information for how to make software developers efficient, effective, and productive is concerned. Such a methodology is the Scrum methodology. It is this methodology which is discussed and studied in a Certified Scrum Master Certification.

What is Certified Scrum Master?

In the Scrum methodology there are several divisions of labour. The Scrum team has several members, all of whom have their various roles and responsibilities. The work that a Scrum team has to handle on a daily basis is enormous in volume. The lion’s share of this voluminous work falls on the shoulders of the Certified Scrum Master (CSM). The CSM plays the role of a magnanimous servant leader in a Scrum team. It is he who out of his kindness, compassion, and sense of duty provides all the requisite resources to the Scrum team so that they can function effectively. He is in charge of all the communication channels to and from the Scrum team to the rest of the workforce in the company. This responsibility is partially covered in CSPO Certification training.

He lays down very clear cut, transparent, and smooth channels of communication and makes sure that throughout the communication in between the members of the Scrum team and in between the rest of the workforce and the Scrum team all the guidelines and principles of the Scrum methodology are strictly followed.

What is Certified Scrum Product Owner?

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is another member of the Scrum team. He is responsible for shaping the final product and guiding the Scrum team in working towards accomplishing the goals related to the final product. He creates something called the product vision. This product vision is a kind of a manifestation of all the characteristics and qualities which the final product must have. This vision acts as a beacon of light or as a guiding lighthouse for the Scrum team when they are wrestling with various challenges and problems in the course of the development of the product. With a Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification a professional can help their team sail through all such problems and challenges easily.

The CSPO also acts as the face of the Scrum team. He has to schedule regular meetings with the potential customers and stakeholders. He has to do this in order to interact with the potential customers and stakeholders and get their input on what the final product should look like in terms of its characteristics and functioning. He has to note down their needs, interests, concerns, and expectations so that he can present them in front of the Scrum team and help the Scrum team incorporate them into the final product. A CSPO Certification teaches an individual how to note down the expectations of potential customers and stakeholders carefully.

Is there an exam for reaching the level of CSPO?

There is no exam for reaching the level of CSPO. At this point of time the Scrum Alliance has not announced any requirement for an exam. Aspiring CSPO candidates therefore are free from the daunting prospect of having to clear a difficult and challenging exam. The only hard set requirement for becoming a CSPO and getting CSPO credentials is the Certified Scrum Product Owner online training which one must take. It is a 2-day workshop which will teach one all the core concepts and topics involved in the Scrum methodology.

It is advised to the candidates herein that they only take the CSPO certification training from a Certified Scrum Trainer (or a CST). He has to have credentials showing his affiliation with Scrum Alliance and authenticating his good standing with them.

Does the CSM exam require a CSM certification?

Yes, the CSM exam requires a CSM certification. In other words, a candidate must undergo CSM certification training before he can appear for the CSM certification exam. This policy is a very major policy related to the CSM certification exam and has been set in place by the Scrum Alliance.  They enforce it very strictly and hence it is a very stringent requirement. Their reasoning is that if a candidate is to function as a full-fledged CSM in the future he must have the knowledge and skills which will be required for that position. These knowledge and skills can not be acquired simply by reading books or watching videos.

They must be developed through practical training. This practical training and hands-on experience is only available when one gets a CSM certification online from a reputed and world-class educational course provider.

What is the CSM exam format?

The total number of questions in the CSM exam is 50. It might seem, because of this small number, that the exam is very easy and that the time duration of the exam is very short. But this would be misleading because the exam, while not being a very long exam in terms of the total time period, is deceptively difficult and demanding. This can be seen from the minimum passing score. One has to give the correct answer to a minimum of 37 questions out of 50 questions in order to pass the exam successfully. This means that the minimum passing score is 74%.

Also, the total time duration available for completing the exam is 1 hour or 60 minutes. From this, it can be calculated that the candidate will have less than 1 minute available to them for solving 1 question of the exam. This is an extremely short amount of time for the difficult CSM exam questions. This shows how stressful and exhausting the exam is. It is also a testament to the incredibly high difficulty level of the exam.

Is a CSM certification better or a CSPO certification?

The answer to this question depends on the background and intent of the candidate. If one is just starting out in the professional world and is seeking his first time job, he should get the CSM certification online. The CSM certification will help him to gather the basic and essential knowledge related to the Scrum methodology and framework which will help him to perform well at his new job. He will learn how to function in the role of a servant leader and will have many opportunities to advance both his knowledge and skills, and his career graph.

If one is more attracted to the business side of Scrum instead of the technical side, he should consider becoming a CSPO by undergoing CSPO certification training. This training will help him to refine the requisite communication and presentation skills which he will have to utilize in the course of interacting with potential customers and stakeholders, and in maintaining and upholding the product vision in front of the Scrum team.

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