Have you ever considered becoming a Scrum Master certified in Scrum? Perhaps, like me, you were wondering whether the investment in the certificate is worth it. If you ask your colleagues around you, you will find that many people have different opinions about certifications. I will also give you one possible view on this topic in today’s article. Take it as a contribution to the puzzle, then make up your own mind.
Benefits of getting a new certificate
Before embarking on any certification, you should be clear about why you want the certificate. The certificate is not free, so what can be the benefits for which you will spend your money?
- I’ll gain more confidence – if you’re a new scrum master and you’re worried about how you’ll cope in a new position, a certificate can help you gain more confidence.
- I will demonstrate the achievement of a specific level of knowledge – a trusted company that already has a name in the agile world will confirm that you know Scrum.
- Help when looking for a new job – the certificate also fulfills its function when looking for a new job. A number of companies state that they are looking for job applicants and a certificate is an advantage. It is easier for them to verify what the applicant can do. And if you have more certificates, it can be seen that you are continuously taking care of your own development. Before you make a name for yourself in the market as a Scrum Master, having a certificate on your resume can help increase your credibility with potential employers.
- My own development – last but not least, preparing for certifications will force you to learn new things that you don’t know yet and also try something out at preparatory trainings
What are the limitations of the certificates
Every thing in the world has its advantages and disadvantages. Certificates are no exception. And it is precisely some of these limitations that lead some people to not get certified for agile approaches.
- Mindset certificate does not do – the certificate confirms that you are a certified scrum master, product owner, or agile leader. But it doesn’t say anything about whether you’re great or bad at it. This is because expertise is only one piece of the puzzle that makes up a successful scrum master. You also need to have an experienced agile culture and think like that. And that’s something you won’t learn in the best training. You have to gradually build your own agile mindset over the years based on your knowledge and experience.
- Limited validity of some certificates – some certificates need to be renewed. If the renewal is associated with testing and verifying that you are really into the craft, it makes sense. But in some cases, extending the validity of certificates is a purely business matter. In this case, you pay regular renewal fees. Therefore, be aware of the need to renew the certificate in the future
I am choosing a new certificate
So you already know why you want to get a new certificate? Great! Here we go! And where can I order it?
There are a number of companies and associations on the market that offer various agile certifications. In addition to Scrum, it is also Kanban, or various scaling frameworks such as LeSS or SaFe and others. But in today’s article, for simplicity, we will limit ourselves to Scrum only. The most well-known associations issuing Scrum certificates include Scrum.org and the Scrum alliance. They are similar in terms of the content they verify.
The following criteria can help you make your choice:
- If you want a certificate also for the sake of better employment, be sure to choose a company that has a well-known name in the agile world.
- Also see if you will get the certificate for an unlimited period of time or if you will need to renew it after some time. If you need to prove that you still have the knowledge when renewing your certification, that’s fine. But if it is only an administrative extension and a fee to the certifying company, consider whether there is a cheaper alternative. 😊
How to prepare for the exam
On the website of the certification authority, you can buy both the certification exam itself and the training that will prepare you for the exam. Some certifications can also be obtained just by participating in workshops or trainings.
If you already have more experience, you can prepare for the certification exam yourself, or an experienced agile coach or another colleague can help you with your preparation.
If you decide to buy a certification preparation course, choose the company you buy the course from carefully. In most cases, each certification authority has its own conditions for who can prepare commercially for certification. Therefore, if a company does not indicate on its website whether the course is led by, for example, a certified scrum trainer, ask them about this authorization. Otherwise, you run the risk of paying someone who doesn’t have the necessary credentials and maybe even the education to prepare for your certification.
Where can you order Scrum certification preparation in the Czech Republic? These companies in the Czech Republic offer courses delivered by professionals – certified Scrum trainers. At the same time I asked the representatives of these companies to comment, in a few sentences, on the Scrum certification courses they offer:
- Scrum DoJo, solves long-term education for agile teams and organizations. It is currently the only provider of Scrum.org certification training on the Czech market. He can also provide courses in English. You can also find Scrum DoJo courses in the portfolio of agile academy, Pumped and HPE.
- agile academy, is the first certified partner of the Scrum.org network (PTN – Professional Training Network) in the Czech Republic. He works with four certified trainers (PST – Professional Scrum Trainer).
- Zuzana Šochová, offers certification courses from the Scrum Alliance, the oldest and most well-known in the certification market. Scrum Alliance is primarily concerned with understanding the mindset. If you want to understand the essence of agile approaches, ScrumAlliance courses are not only the right start to your agile journey, but also offer support to experienced agile practitioners. You can also find these courses for ScrumMasters, Product Owners and Leadership in the Gopas computer school catalog.
- Agile Lean House – you can also get certified at Agile Lean House. This is not a Scrum.org certificate like the two companies mentioned above, but an Agile Lean House certification. The courses are also structured differently. On the courses, they focus on complexity (Cynefin), use inspiration from the military (turn the ship around) and also focus on their own concepts (enabling constraints) on the course.
Of course, each of the mentioned companies also provides other services. In the context of our today’s article, however, we limited ourselves to Scrum certification only.
Agile certificates are one component that can help you become a successful scrum master. But keep in mind that the necessary part that you will need to add to your work is an agile mindset as well as experience that is relevant to the field that your team does. Unfortunately, this takes time and we all have to go through this on our own.
On the other hand, in the agile community you will also find a lot of great scrum masters and agile coaches who don’t get their certificates and yet are excellent at their craft. And the reverse is also true. Therefore, always notice in your colleagues how they themselves set an example for others in what they do.
Don’t just rely on certificates, try to gain new experiences. And approach agility and your knowledge with humility. You can read more about humility in the agile world, for example, in our article Loss of humility easily and quickly.
Did we forget a great company that prepares for Scrum certifications? We will be happy if you add it! Write to us in the comments. And if more of them gather here, we will make a signpost for them. 😊