8 Differences Between PSM & CSM and What Suits You?

Difference Between PSM & CSM

Introduction

Scrum Master is an important role in the Scrum framework who keeps the agility intact within the team. Scrum master. Scrum master plays two roles within the team one is with the development team and the other is with the Product Owner and the stakeholders. With the development team, the Scrum Master is a person who facilitates the sprint ceremonies, resolves the impediments of the dev team, and continuously monitors and improves agility within the team. While SM is also a person who gives meaningful insights to the PO and the stakeholders.

 

Professional Scrum Master – PSM and Certified Scrum master – CSM are two certifications that Scrum masters can obtain if you are looking to understand more about scrum, become a scrum master in your organization, or even are looking at implementing Agile / Scrum in your team.

 

This Blog aims at explaining the key differences between both certifications keeping in mind various attributes.

 

PSM Vs CSM

 

  • Core Principle: Certified Scrum Master is a course led certification where one can learn the scrum methodology, ceremonies, artifacts, and practical ways of how to apply it in your teams, whereas Professional Scrum master is a certificate to validate your depth of knowledge on Scrum and its application
  • Certificate Provider: While CSM is a certificate given by ScrumAllaince and is more popular because of its certification process, PSM is given by SCRUM.ORG which was founded by one of the creators of Scrum itself with the intention of improving agile mindset and validating your in-depth knowledge of Scrum
  • Certification Process: In CSM, you will have to attend an instructor-led training course online or in-person which is roughly about 14 to 16 hours where you will be taught the basics of Scrum. And then take a certification exam post the training. While PSM does not need you to take a training session mandatorily, there is a scrum guide available which is your course material and you can take the certification exam as and when you think you are ready.
  • Difficulty + Assessment Preparation:  PSM assessment is difficult and you will have to go through a lot of material other than the scrum guide like Professional “Professional Scrum Competencies”, “Scrum Master learning path”, “And Scrum Master Suggested Reading”. While CSM assessment is pretty straightforward and easy, assessment preparation can be done with the material your coach or trainer provides you. Also, you may want to take up a few mock assessments before the main one to gain some confidence
  • Assessment Format: Both the assessments are for 60 minutes duration. While CSM has 50 questions PSM has about 80 questions. CSM passing percentage is about 75% while PSM’s is 85%.
  • Hands-On Training:  CSM is an instructor-led certification where your trainer/coach may include a hands-on simulation of scrum and its ceremonies. While PSM is more of you learning by yourself and you may try to implement scrum in one of your teams for a hands-on practice before you take the certification exam
  • Renewal of Certification: CSM certificate comes with a validity that has to be renewed every two years by paying some amount. While PSM comes with a lifetime validity
  • Course Content Uniformity: While PSM has a standard Scrum Guide to refer to before taking up the exam, CSM content is more dependent on the coach/trainer and may vary depending on the instructor.

Conclusion 

CSM and PSM are certifications to validate your scrum knowledge or to learn scrum and both are in a lot of demand lately because of agile adoption within the organizations.


Now the actual question is to ask yourself what is that you really need the certification for? If you are looking for a certification to maybe clear your interview/growth in your organization or to start your agile journey, then maybe CSM is best suited for you as it is pretty simple, instructor-led but comes with a renewal every two years. If you want to understand Agile / Scrum in-depth and grow along the lines of an agile coach or practitioner, maybe PSM suits you better as the assessment is more of validating your knowledge and comes with lifetime validity.


We hope we have given you enough attributes and helped you make a decision on which is better for you. With this, our blog on “ 8 Differences Between CSM and PSM” comes to an end.


Please reach out to us at “[email protected]” for any feedback, suggestions, or questions.

 

Sujith G
Agile Consultant, Benzne

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