Once you get a PSM certification, you become eligible to apply as a candidate to various organizations that use Scrum methodology in optimizing their team’s performance. With PSM certification and proper experience level in using Scrum, any individual can apply for the position of Scrum Master or Scrum Coach or even Product owner. But at the same time, it is imperative that candidates keep learning and try to get as many certifications as possible to be the best in their profession. PSM certification is already a marker for candidates who are serious about their goals and want to perform better at an individual level so that they can help their team members to perform better.
But PSM certification does not mean that one has the best idea about Scrum principles. There are various other certifications one can take in order to enhance their career within the Scrum framework. Scrum is part of the Lean-Agile framework and is used for the optimal performance at the team level. The Lean-Agile framework is ideal for implementation at the organizational level. Depending on the preference of a candidate, he/she can choose the next certification to help their experience and career to grow.
There are three different levels of PSM certification: PSM I, PSM II, PSM III.
Apart from these, there are other certifications available within the Scrum framework which will help one to get the best and holistic idea about the principles and methodologies of Scrum. Once someone gets the certification of PSM-I, the natural progression they feel is to get the PSM-II certification. But most experts have a different idea. This is largely because most Scrum frameworks are divided according to difficulty levels. Every certification has different tiers of difficulty from the foundation, intermediate, and advanced. Most experts suggest candidates to qualify the certificates from one difficulty level before going for the next difficulty level. There are few reasons for that.
- Having a wide range of knowledge about the same methodology will help one to implement the framework from different angles.
- The certification exams of the different certificates have questions that overlap and can be similar making the probability of passing all the exams higher.
iii. When you are taking examinations from the same difficulty level which can have similar questions you have fresh knowledge from the previous examinations which will help you to optimize time while getting the best benefit.
The following is the best sequence in which one can go about learning the complete framework of Scrum principles.
The foundational certificate courses are: PSM-I, PSPO-I, PSD-I. These levels do not need practical experiences while the total corpus of theoretical knowledge required is small.
PSM-I: people who have already qualified the PSM-I certification knows the amount of knowledge one needs to pass the PSM I certification. As long as one is well versed with the Scrum Guide one can easily pass the PSM-I exam.
PSPO-I: This certification exam is almost identical to the PSM-I certification and that is why experts advise taking this exam right after PSM-I. Along with PSM-I knowledge, this exam includes some extra concepts which can be learned easily using ‘Software in 30days’ guide which is invaluable.
PSD-I: Among the foundational tier of exams, PSD-I is probably the most difficult one since it includes a wider scope of concepts. Test Automation and Continuous Integration are such concepts. This exam is useful since it includes some concepts which will be elaborated on in the PSM-II and PSK-I assessments, making it an introduction to the more complex principles which will be learned in the intermediate tier.
The intermediate tier includes assessment exams like SPS, PSM-II, PAL-I, or PSK-I. This is one of the lengthiest tiers as it includes a lot of practical questions to train candidates in surviving real-world situations. The questions asked in this tier assessment include study cases that can have more than one correct answer so that the candidate’s individual problem-solving skills are understood effectively.
SPS: This exam is a good way to get introduced to the concepts used for the implementation of the scrum to scale projects and the Nexus Framework. Out of all the other exams in this tier, this one is the easiest and does not require as much effort as the other ones.
PSM-II: the reason for this exam to come after SPS is due to its assessment of a Scrum Master’s mastery in taking care of scaled projects. It includes questions that are somewhat covered in the SPS exam. And it is also easier than the PAl-I and PSK-I exams making it a good gateway to something more difficult.
PAL-I: The theoretical content of both PSM-II and PAL-II is similar, but the assessment of PAL-I is very different from PSM-II. PAL-I is an assessment for organization leaders and executives who will plan the execution of agile in their organization to bring in profit.
PSK-I: The new Kanban guide is focused on this exam which is also the last exam in the intermediate group. The focus of this exam is product management and introduces the concepts which will be elaborated in PSPO-II.
Advanced tier includes only two exams. PSPO-II, then PSM-III. The reason for these exams coming in the advanced level is due to the number of concepts that are explored and the subjective question types which will include a lot of critical thinking from the candidates to pass the exams.
PSPO-II: This exam has a particular focus on product management and is ideal for people who are looking to take up a job as a Product Owner.
PSM-III: This exam basically includes all the theoretical concepts and practical experiences that an expert in Scrum and Agile framework needs to have. This also assesses an individual’s analytic reasoning so that they have the presence of mind to deal with any problem at any level in the Agile framework.
Whatever may be the focus of an individual and whatever path one decides to take one thing is for certain: having certification in PSM opens better opportunities and learning scopes that can only increase the qualifications of an individual.