The world of project development and management has evolved significantly in the last few years, especially in the area of software development. The traditional Waterfall methodology, though respected, doesn’t meet the world’s changing requirements. Agile’s rapid application development has made it the methodology of choice for software projects. If you aren’t Agile, you are at risk of falling behind the curve and losing out in the industry’s evolutionary race!
Timely Agile and Scrum professional training will help you showcase your Agile skills and make you industry-ready. Given the number of choices available on the market, which course do you invest in for maximized returns? What are the upsides and downsides to each of the Agile and Scrum training courses out there?
Read on to find out how you can make the best choice.
EXIN Agile Scrum Master
This is a certification from EXIN claiming to be the next generation in Scrum training. This new kid on the block seems to be making heads turn with its structure and stress on Agile as a whole, with a focus on Scrum Master Training.
This Agile Scrum Master training is currently restricted to trainer-led sessions, including online classrooms. EXIN has tied up with simplilearn.com as a strategic partner to get the best-in-class training material, developed and delivered through a strong technology backbone. It involves live Agile-Scrum games which make the sessions more engaging and relevant. Additionally, the course comes with over seven hours of eLearning content, including online Agile gamification and scenario-based games that offer a taste of the real world.
An Agile Scrum Master Manager has an average income level range of $106,000 to $126,000 (Source: Indeed).
Certified Scrum Master (Scrum Alliance)
The Scrum Alliance’s CSM course is a well-known Scrum Master Course developed and popularized by the Scrum Alliance, a global certification body. The course is ideal for those with no prior experience in Scrum and is focused on inculcating Scrum values. The training is delivered via workshops or classrooms with an emphasis on activity-based learning. It builds the basic value system of Savant Leadership in participants, offering an understanding of key concepts like burndown charts, velocity, story points, and sprints. Overall, this will help understand how Scrum teams operate within product teams.
The CSM certification exam is quite simple and has 25 questions. Once you complete it, you are awarded a CSM certificate from the global body.
Note: CSM is a workshop-only model with workshops and contact training conducted by Certified Scrum Trainers. Visit ScrumAlliance.org for further details.
Taking this certification allows you to grow in your career as a Scrum Master or even work as a Product manager in some cases. The average income of CSM certified professionals in the US is estimated at $103,000 (Source: Indeed).
The Scaled Agile Framework delivers an understanding of execution and release value through Agile Release Trains. It builds an Agile Portfolio, and leading a Lean-Agile transformation at scale. Through this training, the participant gains an understanding of Lean-Agile application to support Agile teams, programs, and program portfolio management, and to coordinate large value streams. You will learn how to manage large-scale implementations with enterprise objectives in mind. This course has been around for a while but hasn’t been as popular, primarily because this is a skillset deployed only at a senior professional level. For most people, a simple Scrum Master training is sufficient. To read more about this course, visit this site.
The Scaled Agile Framework develops the skills of a senior professional to manage the larger picture aligned to business objectives.
It helps you become an Agile Coach or Project Scrum Master, who has an average income of $117,000 (Source: Indeed).
This is a popular certification from the PMI stable. The PMI-ACP is perhaps the most comprehensive of all the Agile courses listed here because it covers all aspects of Agile as laid out in the Agile manifesto. The PMI-ACP certification recognizes an individual’s expertise in using agile practices in their projects while demonstrating their increased professional versatility through Agile tools and techniques. In addition, the PMI-ACP certification carries a higher level of professional credibility because it requires a combination of Agile training, Agile project experience, and passing an examination on Agile principles, practices, tools, and techniques. This global certification also supports individuals in meeting the needs of organizations that rely on project practitioners to apply a diverse range of methods to their project management.
The exam for the PMI-ACP has changed and it’s thus important to ensure that the training provider you opt for offers courseware that’s up-to-date. The exam is a true test of the participants’ capability in the domain areas of Agile. Go for it if you have over 2,000 hours of project management experience and over 1,500 hours of experience of working on Agile project teams.
You may visit either pmi.org for more details or check out a training provider’s site.
Taking up this certification opens up the option of becoming an Agile Scrum Project Manager or an IT Project Leader with average income levels around $112k (Source: Indeed).
This is AXELOS’s recently developed and released certification, and is a very comprehensive Agile project management solution combining the key skills of Agile around the PRINCE2 framework. The course is an extension module to the existing courses offered by AXELOS and may have limited offerings because Agile in principle should not consider past backgrounds. However, for those with a PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certifications, this course may serve as the next milestone in a natural progression. Since AXELOS is a body backed by its flagship courses like PRINCE2 and ITIL, this course is likely to get traction in the market. The course is currently undergoing a pilot study and will soon be released to the global market.
This is a relatively new course and hence the data around its growth story is currently not available but I estimate that it will show a similar potential as that exhibited by PMI-ACP in terms of job roles and income levels, but slightly lower because this course will have a heavy following in the European market.