CSM vs CSPO: Choose The Right Certification Of Agile For You

Scrum is a powerful framework that can be used to enforce agile processes in the development of software and also in several other iterative projects. When you make a transition to scrum, it brings a set of fresh concepts and roles with it. It might seem a little confusing in the beginning. Two such positions are Product Owner and Scrum Master. In this article, let’s find out the key contrasts between the two popular certifications of Scrum.

● Scrum Roles: An Anatomy of the Scrum Team
● CSPO vs CSM: Comparing the Scrum Certifications

  1. Basis of certification
  2. Demand
  3. Procedure of Certification
  4. Details of the exam

● Which one to select?

The Anatomy of the Scrum Team

Scrum is the lightweight framework of agile that can be utilized in managing incremental and iterative projects of all kinds. It has been defined by three vital roles:
Product Owner: A Product Owner is accountable for all the work that the team has to complete. He/She motivates the team members to achieve the objective and the project’s vision.
Scrum Master: A Scrum Master assures that all the members of the team follow Scrum’s rules, theories, and practices. He/She guarantees that their Scrum Team has everything it requires to complete the work like organizing meetings, removing roadblocks, etc.
Development Team or Scrum Team: It is a cross-functional and self-organizing team that works together in delivering the products.

As agile has become the standard practice in most organizations, Product Owners and Scrum Masters are in great need. Hence, Scrum certifications are vital for your career advancement. Two popular certifications of Scrum that help you to learn the base of the framework of Scrum and that uplift your career are:

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

How do you know which certification among these two will be the best for you? To figure it out you should learn a little more about the distinctions between the two certifications.

Comparing the CSM and CSPO Certifications

These certifications are compared based on the following features:
1. Basis of certification
2. Demand
3. Procedure of Certification
4. Details of the exam

Details of the Certification

The CSM (Certified Scrum Master) is a certification that covers the basic aspects of the framework of Scrum and has been designed to give a person with a powerful foundation in Scrum. The certification has been proposed by Scrum Alliance, mainly for Scrum Master roles.

The CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner) is a certification that is suitable for those who are much interested in the project’s “business side”. CSPO helps you in understanding the behind-the-scenes of product development in your company, but you will get a chance to exercise your skills in leadership as well. The certification has been offered by Scrum Alliance, mainly for the role of Scrum Product Owner.

Why look at CSM and also CSPO?

As agile is coming to be the standard practice quickly and the scrum framework is the most widespread and widely used Agile methodology, the demand for both product owners and scrum masters is shooting up.

Scrum Master has become the most sought-after position today. The influence of Agile methodology and its principles has become so fulfilling that most companies are employing Scrum Specialists and one among them is CSM. According to Glassdoor, CSM comes under the twenty-five highest-paying professions in the US. Below is an overview of the salary range earned by the Scrum Masters:
● In the US on average, Scrum Masters earn up to $125,000 annually.
● In India on average, Scrum Masters earn up to INR 1550K annually.

From the standpoint of business, the most important role of a Scrum Team will be the Product Owner. One requires a Product Owner to bring in vital business decisions about a particular product. The role is challenging.
● According to Glassdoor, a Product Owner who is certified earns an average of Rs 20,31,986 in India.
● Most of the Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco, Dell, Amdocs, HP, SAP, etc are hiring CSPO professionals continuously.

How to become Certified?

How to Become CSM Certified?
Below are the steps which need to be followed to become CSM certified:

Step 1: Register yourself with scrum alliance. It’s the Scrum official dealer.

Step 2: Attend a two-day scrum course in-person which is mandatory and is taught by the Certified Scrum Trainer.

Step 3: After completing the course successfully, you have to take up the CSM test.

Step 4: Accept the Licence Agreement of CSM after passing the test successfully and then complete the profile of Scrum Alliance membership.

Step 5: You will receive your international and lifetime valid Scrum Accredited Certification Document online instantly in pdf format.

You can make a second attempt if you have failed to clear the first time. It’s free of cost if you make the second attempt within 60 days after your first failed shot. You need to pay $25 every time you retake the test after that.

How to Become CSPO Certified?
Below are the steps which need to be followed to become CSPO certified:

Step 1: Attend the two-day course which is taught by the CST (Certified Scrum Trainer).

Step 2: Read Scrum Guide, Agile Manifesto, and also CSPO Learning Objectives.

Step 3: Accept the Licence Agreement of CSPO after passing the test successfully. Complete the profile of Scrum Alliance membership.

Step 4: There isn’t any test to get the CSPO certification. You will receive a link through email from Scrum Alliance to download the certificate.

Step 5: Maintain the CSPO certification by gaining SEUs ( Scrum Education Units) and then renewing it for a $100 fee every two years.

Exam Details

There will be 50 questions in the CSM certification exam and you should attempt those within 60 minutes. You should answer 60% of the given questions correctly at least to clear the exam and get the certification. Don’t be bothered as the rate of success is usually 98%.

No exam is required for CSPO certification. You just have to attend a two-day training session to become certified.

Which one is suitable for you?

CSM and CSPO Certifications, both of these have their advantages and merits based on the need as per the responsibilities and roles. But the decision will be in the individual’s interest. It would be better for one to become certified pertinent to the role which interests them. CSM is the fundamental scrum certification that acts as the stepping stone in building the career of the Agile practitioner and is best suited for Business Analysts, Developers, Scrum Masters, and Testers. CSPO certification and training can be useful for Product Owners, Business Analysts, Product Managers, or anyone curious about the project’s “business side”.

This concludes the article “CSM vs CSPO” and we hope that after reading this you can figure out the best certification for you.