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Scrum Master and [CSM] Certification

Scrum Master and [CSM] Certification

Scrum Master and [CSM] Certification

With AGILE becoming standard practice at most organizations, the scrum masters are in great demand. Here is a look at the Scrum Master role and details.

Scrum is one of the most popular framework with agile frameworks in use day to day and rightly it is used to develop complex system applications. SCRUM term is originated from rugby term. In rugby game, a scrum is a group of players trying to get the ball. In Project Management, SCRUM points to brief meetings where team members come together to talk about their successes relating to a project, how far they’ve are and how far they’ve come, what the next steps and any future challenges they predict. The meetings are brief and concentrated with result in an expedited product delivery that rides of higher quality.

Scrum master definition

The Scrum master is the facilitator of a Scrum team and is responsible for supporting a project, providing guidance to the development team and PO [Product Owner], and ensuring all agile practices are followed by team members and perform Inspect and Adapt mechanism for growth.

Scrum master role

The Scrum Master Role is at the relationship between the business, product owner, Development team and individuals, and the Scrum master’s responsibilities will vary depending on the unique needs of each business.

Scrum master responsibilities

As per The Scrum Guide, the following are the different responsibilties of Scrum masters:

  • Coaching the organization in its Scrum with Inspect and adoption.
  • Helping Development team & stakeholders [PO] understand and endorse Scrum and observed product development.
  • Initiating change increases the productivity of the Scrum Team.
  • Working with different Scrum Masters to increase the efficiency of Scrum in the organization.
  • Instructing Agile values and principles and ensuring they have been understood and adopted by the Scrum Team, and even by the whole organization if possible.
  • Implementing the Scrum framework which fits the needs expressed by the Scrum Team.
  • Listening, observing & reflecting on how the Scrum Team is reacting to first changes, then inspecting and adapting Scrum elements accordingly.
  • Protecting Team Members from any issues which make them losing focus on their primary work.
  • Identifying any impediments, & coaching Team Members to learn to solve these situations by themselves.
  • Helping the PO to manage the Product Backlog [PB] so that time-to-market is reduced, and every increment brings value to end customers Acting as a Servant Leader.

Scrum Alliance Certifications

Scrum Alliance offers certifications for paths which includes 3 tracks include:

  • Scrum Master Track (Certification)
    • CSM
    • Advanced
    • CSP
  • Product Owner Track (Certification)
    • CSPO
    • Advanced
    • CSP
  • Developer Track (Certification)
    • CSD
    • CSP

Responsibilities of the Certified Scrum Master

Responsibilities of CSM is expected to promote an Agile methodology way of working & to lead Scrum implementation in order to improve the team’s overall performance by Inspect & Adapt mechanism. It implies these activities:

The Scrum Framework

The scrum framework should be simple. It’s a traditional methodology & more we can say a framework for learning with Inspect and Adaptation. The framework, as stated, is part of the agile software development, and consists of a product owner, scrum master and team. Beginning with a PB [product backlog], which leads to sprint planning, then the sprint which is only finished when a the project is deliverable in ready state for the customer or stakeholder. Following process is a review and then the whole framework begins again with circular way. All this is being watched over by the scrum master.

Scrum – What is Process, Artifacts, Sprint

SCRUM artifacts are of vital importance as they help to share information.  Scrum defines mainly three artifacts: Product Backlog,
Sprint Backlog, and product increment.

Product Backlog – The PB is ordered list of everything which might be needed with the product & it is a single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product. The PB is never finished, it only lays out the known & best understood requirements. PB is dynamic, it keeps on changing to identify what the product needs to be useful for betterment.

Sprint Backlog – The Sprint Backlog is a group of Product Backlog items which is selected for the current or future Sprints with a plan, for delivering towards Product Increment & realizing the Sprint Goal.  The Sprint Backlog is a list of everything that the development team commits to achieve in each Sprint.
Once created, no one can add or edit to the Sprint Backlog except the
Development Team.  If the Development Team needs to drop an item from the Sprint Backlog, they must negotiate it with the Product Owner. During this negotiation, the ScrumMaster should work with the Development Team and PO to try to find ways to create some smaller increment of an item rather than drop it altogether.

Product Increment – At the end of every Sprint, the development team must complete a product increment which would be more potentially releasable, meaning that meets their agreed-upon definition of done(DOD).

Scrum Events and Artifact Transparency

Learning objective is to understand of how Scrum teams will inspect & adapt, increase transparency at the Scrum events. Sprint Planning [SP], Daily Scrum [DS], Sprint Review [SR], & Retrospective.

Sprint and Increment

Learning on the Sprint Goals consistency during the sprint. Moreover, the focus is on the outcome definition of every sprint. And, the increment must be brought to the current definition of done “DOD”.

Sprint Planning

Learning objective emphasis on the activities of the PO & Development Team during the “What” and “How” of Sprint planning & the importance of noting Sprint Goal.

Daily Scrum

The most important to understand the difference of a Daily Scrum from Status meeting. The team mainly focus on identifying constraints to support the development team. This is done from Development team!

Sprint Reviews

Learning objective focuses on the activities that occur during the sprint review which including demonstration of the increment as well as the outcome of these activities.

Sprint Retrospective

Learning objective underlines on the approaches to directing Sprint retrospective.

Product Backlog [PB]

The scrum master should be able to identify the essential characteristics & attributes of the Product Backlog.

Sprint Backlog

The scrum master should be able to demonstrate how the sprint backlog can be changed without risking the sprint goad.

Definition of Done [DOD]

The scrum master should be able to explain the importance of a strong DOD & describe risks associated with a weaker DOD. In addition to this, they should be able to create a DOD. And most important is to ensure the consistency of the DOD for multiple teams working on the same Product Backlog.

Certified Scrum Master Certification Benefits:

  • Expand your opportunities with different segments under scrum.
  • Once you gain the CSM certification, your knowledge is validated through international recognition. This is what the recruiting agencies & hiring organizations love to find out.
  • You also get openings across all the business sectors that inspire you to adopt agile practices.
  • The CSM certification is a perfect way to demonstrate your knowledge with Agile and Scrum.
  • This knowledge gets a validation once you gain the CSM credentials.
  • Certificated Scrum Master certification safeguards the holder has a great grip on the foundation of Scrum and the scope of the role and shows he commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Who can do CSM [Manager, Developer, Tester, BA, Team Lead].
  • CSM certification is the foundation to advance your skills through the advancement of your certifications that will help you to move up the ladder in your career.
  • Once you have achieved Certified Scrum Master Certification, you can pick for the next level certifications offered by Scrum Alliance.

Scrum Master VS Project Manager

There may be some confusion about the role & responsibilities of a Scrum Master VS Project Manager. Scrum master may also fulfill the role of a PM, here are key differences in the roles and responsibilities of each.


Scrum Master

Project Manager

General Role

For projects using agile methodologies, a Scrum masterplays a key role. Scrum Master role is to facilitate & coach for agile development teams in ensuring products or project are delivered on time with the quality specified.

For most types of projects, PM leads role in all project phases and activities, including planning, leading,  managing, monitoring, & closing of projects.


Support PO throughout project or product development. Lead
Scrum meetings & provide development team support during sprint planning and execution. Provide coaching to agile teams. Ensure agile principles are followed. Assist teams with prioritizing & managing of sprint backlog to ensure timely & accurate project or product delivery. Help teams to deal with any blocks to effective delivery.

Identify & document business process with project requirements, plans, progress, Deployment. Determine, document, manage the scope of a project, tasks, milestones, timelines, the budget, infrastructure and resources. Lead and mentor project teams. Determine and assign tasks and priorities on different projects. Allocate, monitor, and manage project resources with different teams as per the requirement. Set, monitor, and manage timelines. Manage project development and quality parameters. Develop strategies for managing risks, as well as risk tracking. Manage all stakeholders and their expectations. Communicate task, milestone, progress and changes to relevant stakeholders. Ensure goals are met. Close out projects and activities when they are finished in their buckets. Identify lessons learned.

Hope you enjoyed this article.

Please provide your valable feedback or post any doubts in the below comments section.

This article is written by Aditya Mannava

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