Discover in this post the various Scrum, Agile bodies, organizations and institutes. Include rankings on pricing, offerings and credibility.
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Scrum and the Agile circus
In truth, I like to collect such certificates. Over the last 10 years, I have acquired and for some maintained the following credentials:
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
- Professional Scrum Master I & II (PSM I, PSM II)
- Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP)
- Professional Product Owner I (PSPO I)
- Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS)
- ICA Agile Fundamentals (ICA ICP)
- ICA Agile Facilitator (ICA ATF)
- PRoject IN Controlled Environment (PRINCE2) Foundation
- PRoject IN Controlled Environment (PRINCE2) Practitioner
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Scaled Agile Professional Consultant (SPC)
- Registered Scrum Trainer (RST)
- Registered Scrum@scale Trainer (RS@S)
Now for sure, not all certificates are created equal nor are the organizations behind them. So here is a ranking – totally subjective as based solely on my opinion – on the organizations behind some of those certificates.
Now before we start, I would like to emphasize that a good trainer when going through such training can actually make a big difference.
Key Scrum bodies and organizations
In Scrum, there are only 3 bodies which count in my opinion with some very very distant 4 and 5 positions which you should consider only for budgetary perspective if any.
- Scrum.org. Scrum.org was founded by Ken Schwaber, one of the co-creators of Scrum. It offers a range of certifications, including Professional Scrum Master (PSM), Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO), and Professional Scrum Developer (PSD). Scrum.org focus on providing a consistent and unified approach to Scrum. The certificates provided by Scrum.org are lifelong and their exams hard to pass. Excellent value for money.
- Scrum Inc. ScrumInc. was created by Jeff Sutherland, the other co-creator of Scrum. ScrumInc. offers a limiting yet growing bodies of certificates based on Scrum. ScrumInc. concentrate on “true Scrum”, patterns to use for getting highly performant Scrum teams. Scrum@scale is also a key offering in ScrumInc. palette. Good value for money.
- Scrum Alliance. Scrum Alliance is one of the largest and most recognized Scrum organizations. It offers certifications like Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and Certified Scrum Developer (CSD). Scrum Alliance also provide training and resources to support Scrum adoption. The CSM has a good reputation on the market due to its long history.
- ScrumStudy. ScrumStudy is an organization that provides training and certifications related to Scrum and Agile methodologies. ScrumStudy offers a range of certification programs that are designed to validate and enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals working in Agile and Scrum environments.
- PeopleCert. PeopleCert is a behemoth in IT Service Management with ITIL and PRINCE2. It has started to offer Scrum certificates (Scrum Master, Product Owner…) since a while now. Only time will tell if this offering become significant for this company – the advantage is to combine IT Service Management and Scrum within the same certifying body.
There are certainly other Scrum bodies available on this planet but only the first three are worth the money from my perspective. For scaling Scrum though, consider the following:
- Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI). Scaled Agile, Inc. is the organization behind the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), a widely used framework for scaling Agile practices across large enterprises. SAFe incorporates elements of Scrum at its core but extends it to support larger organizations and multiple teams. You may not like it but it is a market leader, good value for money.
- LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum). LeSS is a framework for scaling Scrum developed by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde. It focuses on simplicity and applies Scrum principles to large-scale development efforts. While not a formal body, the LeSS framework has gained popularity and has its own community and resources. Good value for knowledge on how to scale, not necessarily to market yourself.
- ScrumInc. Scrum@scale from ScrumInc. is an excellent framework, consider it in case you got lost in a SAFe training or see that Nexus from Scrum.org is not enough.
Now that we have talked Scrum, let’s talk about Agile certificates.
While above organizations provide Agile certificates, below should be considered instead:
Key Agile bodies and organizations.
- ICAgile. The International Consortium for Agile is a leading global certification and accreditation body in the Agile community. ICAgile aims to promote professionalism and high standards in Agile practices by offering a comprehensive learning roadmap and certification programs. I like the knowledge that I acquired through those certifications and consider them good value for money.
Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI is a global professional organization that offers the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, the golden standard of project management certficates. While not specific to Agile, PMI recognizes its importance with various offerings
- The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification, which covers various Agile frameworks, including Scrum.
- The PMP itself whose exam has 50% of its contents on Agile or hybrid approaches
- Disciplined Agile (DA) and related certificates. DA is a toolkit that provides guidance for choosing and scaling Agile frameworks based on an organization’s unique needs. The consortium aims to support organizations in achieving business agility.
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