Why Should Someone Certify through Scrum.org versus Scrum Alliance?

Something that occasionally comes up in my conversations with people who are interested in Scrum training is on why I prefer training with Scrum.org and not Scum Alliance. Now in order to answer these questions effectively, one must first understand what Scrum.org and Scrum Alliance actually is, and how they differ. Together, they make up the two main Scrum certification providers on the market. When I underwent my very first introduction training in the world of Scrum, I got my training from Scrum Alliance, and then I got my second training certifications with Scrum.org. If I have to look back on my training experience with these two providers, I’d say that both offered me insightful and thought-provoking lessons into the world of Scrum and most importantly, how I could be a better Scrum Master in my profession. 

And before I get into what influenced my preference for Scrum.org over Scrum Alliance, I’d like to look at some key differences between them: 

What Are The Differences Between Scrum.org and Scrum Alliance? 

Scrum. OrgScrum Alliance
MissionTo improve the profession of Software Delivery. Improving and transforming the way we work. 
LeadershipFounded and led by Ken Schwaber, co creator of Scrum.Governed by a board of directors. 
Scrum Master CertificationProfessional Scrum Master I (PSM I)Professional Scrum Master IIProfessional Scrum Master IIICertified ScrumMaster (CSM)
Training2 day PSM Course2 day CSM Course
CoursewareOverseen by Ken Schwaber, all trainers collaboratively create, review, and ensure that a high quality learning experience. Created by individual trainers, and so the content, quality, and learning experience may vary per trainer. 
Certification You are expected to pass a meticulous assessment. Course attendance does not influence your results. The assessment is fairly easy and nearly impossible to fail. It is however compulsory to attend the full 2 days of training to pass the course. 
Certification CostThis varies, starting from $150. There is no renewal fee. First two years of certification included in the training, then $50+  every 2 years.
Other training
Professional Scrum FoundationsProfessional Scrum Product OwnerProfessional Scrum DeveloperScaled Professional Scrum

Professional Scrum Product OwnerProfessional Scrum DeveloperScaled Professional Scrum Certified Scrum Product OwnerCertified Scrum Developer
Other certificationsProfessional Scrum Product Owner IProfessional Scrum Product Owner IIProfessional Scrum DeveloperScaled Professional ScrumCertified Scrum ProfessionalCertified Scrum Product OwnerCertified Scrum Developer
More information https://www.thescrummaster.co.uk/ScrumOrghttp://www.scrumalliance.org/

Why Scrum.org?

The reason why I went with Scrum.org is simply because their courseware and assessment was much more difficult than the assessments from Scrum Alliance. Additionally, I felt that the classes at Scrum.org were more in-depth, stimulating, and disciplined. Their courseware was clear, and straight to the point, without all the fluff that can sometimes cause important lessons to be lost in translation. Everything with Scrum.org was clear from the get-go, especially what Scrum is and what it isn’t, as well as their disciplined approach on what was needed to deliver value, and how to achieve it. 

Another nice bonus is that with Scrum.org, there is no renewal fee for their certifications, which makes it more affordable and most importantly you can rest assured that once you have earned the certificate, it is yours indefinitely. Scrum Alliance does not offer the same reassurance and has always been something that bugged me because I never quite understood the value that I got from having to pay for my certificate every year. Yes I think it is fine to ask for donations or support but to expect trainees to continually pay so that they can keep their certificates valid just does not sit right with me and I’d prefer to pay for something and feel like it is finally mine to have. 

I earned it. 

So yes from being both a rainer and practitioner myself, I found that the Scrum.org road was better. 

That does not mean that doing the training through Scrum.org is an easy journey, it is actually quite difficult. But rather it is always better to opt for the more difficult road than the simple one, because then you really know that you are ready to go out into the world and confidently say that you are proficient in Scrum. I personally do not like to take the easy breezy way and have found that when I’ve challenged myself, the things that may seem difficult to others are a walk in the park for me. And I guess that’s why I am a Scrum trainer today. 

So in summary, I recommend Scrum.org because its more: 

🚀 Affordable and cost-effective. 

🚀 No renewal fee. 

🚀 Structured. 

🚀 Meticulous and challenging. 

🚀 Flexible. 

Are you interested to learn more about the world of Scrum and how you can benefit from professional training? 

Get in touch today and let’s work together on your journey to success! 

Pragmatic Shift is a Scrum Training, Agile Consulting, and Agile Coaching consultancy that specialises in delivering Scrum.Org certified scrum courses, and helping organisations increase their business agility and product development success through agile consulting and coaching.

We firmly believe that a shift to agile is a pragmatic shift. A natural evolution from traditional project management and product management. A proven, reliable, and resilient framework for addressing compelling problems and developing complex solutions.

Over a decade’s worth of experience as an agile practitioner, agile consultant, agile coach, and scrum trainer informs our pragmatic approach to change. Agile dogma has no value in the context of product development or organisational change.

Instead, we look to start where you are, work with what you have, and make meaningful interventions that align with the objectives you are trying to achieve.

Progress over perfection.

If this sounds like a pragmatic solution to you, visit the following pages for more information.

Scrum Training: https://pragmaticshift.com/training/

Agile Consulting: Coming Soon!

Agile Coaching: https://www.thescrumcoach.uk

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