Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) – How to decide?

Popularity of Scrum Alliance’s Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is well established & CSM has become the starting point of certifications for anyone involved in a scrum software product development. Scrum Alliance’s CSM program has been in demand from 2007 onwards.

In similar lines, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) has gained huge popularity in applying Agile & Scrum @ Enterprise level, from Portfolio to Program to Team level. Huge number of successful implementations in the last 4 to 5 years & large number of customer real life case studies has only increased the adaptation of SAFe® @ various organizations. Given this, SAFe® Scrum Master (SSM) certification has become  very important certification for Scrum Masters operating in large programs or larger enterprises that contain multiple teams, which may or may not have implemented SAFe®  yet.

In this blog we will look at the differences between the 2 certifications (CSM and SSM):

Learning Objectives Certified Scrum Master®  (CSM)  SAFe®  Scrum Master (SSM)
Focus Understand role of Scrum Master at Team level Understand Scrum Master’s role at Team Level    and also understand the bigger picture of the Program ( Release Train)
Events Learn team level events like Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Daily Stand up, Sprint Retrospective Learn team level events like Iteration Planning, Iteration Review, Daily Stand up, Iteration Retrospective as well as Program level (Release Train)events like Program Increment Planning
Interactions Learn Scrum Master’s interactions with team, Product Owner Learn Scrum Master’s role with team, Product Owner,Program Manager (called Release Train Engineer), other Scrum Master’s (as in Scrum of Scrum), System Architects,  Product Manager(s)
Concepts & Principles Agile,Scrum Principles, XP Agile, Scrum Principles, Lean Principles, Systems Thinking,    XP, Kanban for Flow, Devops
 Tools & Metrics Planning Poker, Burn-down chart for metrics Planning Poker for Estimation, Burn-Up Chart, Continuous flow Diagram, Burn-down chart for metrics
 Target Audience Profile New to Scrum Product development, Experienced members of Scrum Product development team New to Scrum Product development, Experienced members of Scrum Product development team,New to or existing users of Kanban development, New to or existing users of Agile Release Trains (Program level scrum)

Hope you find the blog article helpful in your decision making.

Wishing you great learning.

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