PSM vs CSM vs Other


I’m curious what Scrum Master certifications people hold. I know CSM is the most prevalent but am curious what the community thoughts are on scrum.orm PSM


I think there is a lot of value in the CSM personally. I know people rag on it because the “test” is pretty easy BUT I do thank being required to take 2 day in person training makes a huge difference. I knew a lot of about scrum and Agile but after attending the CSM and CSPO courses I realized a lot of what I had learned on my own was either not correct or could be improved on. Also having the opportunity to work collaboratively with other people on topics was another great learning tool.


I am currently getting ready to take my PSM. Have been studying and based on practice exams and discussions seems that the focus is on more practical application than book knowledge.


I took a two-day CSM course and then the exam; the exam was rather elementary but the real benefit was two days of solid focused conversation. Curious to see @Leanleff’s feedback from the actual PSM exam.

My feeling on certs is that if your job will pay for them, great. If it’s an out-of-pocket expense it needs to be mature, largely accepted(and acknowledged by the profession at large), and come with a collaboration environment of other cert-holders that will add value (a robust message board or other online presence), for example.


I am taking @Todd’s 2 day PSM course in a few weeks followed by the PSM. I get that the Assessment can be taken without attending the course, but for me the learning process has much more value than the 3 letters. And I personally like to learn in group settings. I have the CSM, CSPO and CSP already, and am stoked to see what the .org content looks like


I’m a bit biased on this topic but am a huge fan of the way Ken has separated the training and assessments at for many reasons. I’m not sure if you have noticed but recently updated the exam structure to include a PSM I, II, and III. The training experience and curriculum could be a whole other topic :slight_smile:.

@ryan stoked to have you!


OK I just took the PSM test and passed so now i’m PSM 1. Test was similar to the ACP test but less questions and imo less stressful. MUCH harder than the CSM test though.


Do you plan to press on to the PSM II?


Considering it it’s another 250 though


Nice work @troy!


I also just passed my PSM I… :smile:if anyone needs help or wants to prep for the exam feel free to reach out to me for help. I didn’t find the exam to be very easy. I had to take my time and read each questions carefully. I took the full hour and book marked questions and went back to them.


Nice work @Leanleff!


Two of the best study tips for anybody preparing for the PSM I:

  1. Take the Open Assessment until you achieve 100% multiple times. It’s a good idea to venture into the other assessments (Product Owner, Dev, Nexus)
  2. Read the Scrum Guide (perhaps even memorize it)


+1 to this. I went into my CSM training thinking it was just going to reiterate what I was already doing with my teams and what i’ve read in books and articles. Within the first 30 minutes I learned there was a lot I was doing that could be improved upon. I also really valued being able to ask specific questions during those two days - to both the instructor and other peers in training.


At the risk of sounding esoteric, you should be learning and improving every day, or at least setting out to do that. Theres no fun in thinking “I know this already”. I love recognizing that there is so much left to learn and improve. Thats why I am happy to take @Todd’s PSM training in a week or so, not that I want another cert, but because of the conversation, interactions and residual learning.


I agree @ryan would prefer to be in a classroom setting and have a much more interactive experience. Just wasn’t in the cards this round. I will reflect and improve for the next round :wink:


Thats why we have the Coalition. We can collectively learn here now too :slight_smile:


@ryan I fully intend on learning from you during the training :slight_smile:. A great Scrum Master and trainer I know (Gunther Verheyen) likes to promote this same idea as joining the “league of un-learners”.


Perhaps you should invite Gunther here :wink: If you go to your profile and click “Invite” you can directly invite him to our space.


You guys are on the right track here. The certification is a bonus. It is about the learning, experience, and continuous improvement. I am struggling with today’s scrum masters, because I see a lack of this commitment to improve their craft. They took the certifications 2 years ago, and most likely reverted back to a traditional plan driven mindset, thanks to their organization throwing agile labels on traditional project management practices. Now that is not their fault, and we have the commercial aspect of Agile to thank for the fact that the world has a bunch of SMs that are really PMs. I have interviewed over 100 certified SMs this past year and I would say less than 5% were true change agents that truly understood the essence of Agile and the values and principles behind it.