Thinking about becoming a ScrumMaster?

Or maybe you recently got your CSM Certification, and you’re still trying to get your footing.

Check out this article to learn what ScrumMasters do all day and gain some insights into the softer skills required of a ScrumMaster.

A Scrum Master plays a crucial role in Agile software development, acting as a servant leader and facilitator for the Scrum team. Their primary aim is to guide the team towards success by ensuring they understand and effectively implement the Scrum framework.

Here’s a breakdown of the key responsibilities and characteristics of a Scrum Master:


  • Implementing Scrum: They help the team understand and adhere to the Scrum framework’s principles, values, and practices.
  • Coaching and mentoring: They offer guidance and support to team members, fostering collaboration and self-organization.
  • Removing impediments: They proactively identify and address obstacles hindering the team’s progress, ensuring a smooth workflow.
  • Facilitating ceremonies: They manage and facilitate Scrum events like Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Reviews, and Retrospectives.
  • Protecting the team: They act as a shield, guarding the team from external distractions and disruptions.
  • Promoting continuous improvement: They encourage the team to reflect on their practices and identify areas for improvement.


  • Strong understanding of Scrum: They deeply understand the Scrum framework and its nuances.
  • Excellent communication skills: They can clearly articulate ideas, listen actively, and build trust with the team.
  • Leadership skills: They inspire and motivate the team, leading by example and fostering collaboration.
  • Problem-solving skills: They can creatively address challenges and find solutions that benefit the team.
  • Conflict resolution skills: They can effectively mediate disagreements and navigate complex situations within the team.
  • Adaptability and agility: They can respond to changing circumstances and adjust their approach accordingly.

Beyond these core aspects, here are some additional points to consider:

  • The Scrum Master is not a project manager in the traditional sense. They don’t dictate tasks or control the team; instead, they empower them to self-organize and manage their work.
  • The role requires a servant leadership approach, where the focus is on supporting and enabling the team’s success.
  • Being a Scrum Master can be demanding but also immensely rewarding, as they witness the team grow, evolve, and deliver high-quality work.

Do we need a Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master is pivotal in fostering self-organization, accountability, and cross-functionality within the team. The irony of being a Scrum Master is making sure the team doesn’t require a Scrum Master — the Scrum Master’s ultimate goal in my opinion is to help the team become self-sufficient and independent.

Whether or not you need a Scrum Master depends on several factors, including:

Team maturity and experience:

  • Mature teams: Highly experienced teams with a strong understanding of Agile principles and self-organization may not require a dedicated Scrum Master. They can effectively facilitate ceremonies, remove roadblocks, and continuously improve their processes without external guidance.
  • New teams: Less experienced teams transitioning to Agile or struggling with Scrum implementation might benefit greatly from a Scrum Master’s expertise and leadership. They can provide coaching, facilitate the smooth adoption of Scrum practices, and help resolve conflicts.

Project complexity and size:

  • Simple projects: Smaller, straightforward projects might not necessitate a Scrum Master. The team might be able to manage themselves effectively without additional facilitation.
  • Complex projects: Large, intricate projects with many stakeholders and dependencies can benefit from a Scrum Master’s ability to navigate complexity, coordinate stakeholders, and ensure smooth communication.

Organizational culture and support:

  • Agile-friendly environment: Organizations with a strong Agile culture and experienced Agile coaches might not need a dedicated Scrum Master for each team. These coaches can provide support and guidance across multiple teams.
  • Less Agile environment: Organizations new to Agile might need a dedicated Scrum Master to champion the Agile approach, educate stakeholders, and help transition teams to new practices.

Ultimately, the decision to have a Scrum Master rests on cost-benefit analysis. Consider the factors mentioned above and evaluate if the potential benefits of a Scrum Master outweigh the associated costs (salary, training, etc.). It may also be possible to have a part-time Scrum Master or share a Scrum Master across multiple teams, depending on your specific needs.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Alternative roles: Some organizations opt for alternative roles like Team Leads or Agile Coaches who fulfill some Scrum Master responsibilities.
  • Experimentation: You can experiment with different approaches, starting with self-organizing teams and adding a Scrum Master if needed.
  • Focus on outcomes: The ultimate goal is to deliver value effectively. Choose the approach that best enables your team to achieve its goals.

I hope this information helps you make an informed decision about whether or not your team needs a Scrum Master!

Scope and Future of the Scrum Master Role:

The scope of the Scrum Master role continues to evolve as organizations increasingly adopt Agile methodologies. Here’s a breakdown of the current and future landscape:

Current Scope:

  • Facilitating Scrum Ceremonies: Organizing and guiding Daily Scrums, Sprint Planning, Reviews, and Retrospectives to ensure smooth team communication and progress.
  • Removing Impediments: Identifying and clearing roadblocks that hinder the team’s velocity, including technical issues, stakeholder interference, or internal conflicts.
  • Coaching and Mentoring: Providing individual and group coaching to help team members grow their skills, improve collaboration, and embrace Agile principles.
  • Process Improvement: Continuously observing and analyzing the team’s performance, identifying areas for improvement in the Scrum process, and proposing adaptations.
  • Relationship Building: Fostering collaboration within the team and with stakeholders, promoting transparency, and resolving conflicts.

Future Trends:

  • Evolving from Facilitator to Leader and Coach: Scrum Masters will increasingly move beyond just facilitating ceremonies and act as servant leaders, empowering teams to self-organize and achieve continuous improvement.
  • Embracing AI and Automation: Leveraging technology to enhance project management processes, analyze team performance data, and provide personalized coaching suggestions.
  • Focus on Emotional Intelligence and People Skills: Building strong relationships and fostering high team morale will be crucial in navigating complex projects and diverse teams.
  • Specialization and Hybrid Roles: Specialization in specific domains like Agile coaching, technical expertise, or industry knowledge could emerge, along with hybrid roles combining Scrum Master responsibilities with other functions.
  • Adapting to Changing Landscape: As Agile methodologies continue to evolve, Scrum Masters will need to stay updated on new frameworks, tools, and practices to remain relevant.

Future Opportunities:

  • Agile Coach: With expertise beyond Scrum, Agile Coaches can guide entire organizations in adopting and scaling Agile practices.
  • Product Owner: Gaining product ownership experience enables contributing to strategic planning and product vision.
  • Project Manager: Combining Agile knowledge with traditional project management skills can open doors to diverse project-focused roles.
  • Entrepreneurship: Starting an Agile consulting practice or building Agile software products are possibilities for entrepreneurial-minded Scrum Masters.

The future of the Scrum Master role is promising, offering opportunities for growth, specialization, and leadership within the ever-evolving Agile landscape. Continuously developing skills, embracing new technologies, and staying adaptable will be key to success.

Things to keep in mind before jumping to get your Certified Scrum Master(CSM) Certification:

How and where do I sign up for the CSM examination?

Signing up for the CSM (Certified ScrumMaster) exam involves completing a two-day CSM course and then taking the online exam. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Find a CSM Course:

  • Visit the Scrum Alliance website to find a list of Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs) who offer CSM courses:
  • You can search by location, date, language, and delivery format (in-person or online).
  • Courses typically last two days and cover the Scrum framework, Scrum roles, events, artifacts, and values.

2. Register for the Course:

  • Once you find a suitable course, contact the CST directly to register and make payment.
  • The cost of the course varies depending on the trainer and location.

3. Attend the CSM Course:

  • Actively participate in the course to gain a thorough understanding of Scrum principles and practices.
  • You’ll learn through lectures, discussions, group activities, and case studies.

4. Receive Your Course Completion Information:

  • After completing the course, you’ll receive an email from the Scrum Alliance with your course completion information.
  • This email will include a link to activate your Scrum Alliance account and access the CSM exam.

5. Activate Your Scrum Alliance Account:

  • Follow the link in the email to create your Scrum Alliance account or log in if you already have one.
  • You’ll need to enter your course completion information and agree to the terms and conditions.

6. Schedule and Take the CSM Exam:

  • Once your account is activated, you can schedule your online CSM exam at your convenience.
  • The exam has 50 multiple-choice questions with a 60-minute time limit. You need to score at least 37 out of 50 to pass.
  • The exam fee is included in the cost of your CSM course.

Additional Resources:

What is the cost of the CSM exam?

The cost of the CSM exam is included in the cost of the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course you take. This means you don’t pay an additional fee specifically for the exam itself. However, the overall cost of the CSM certification depends on the training provider and their pricing structure, also the cost of the certification largely depends on the country you are in. However, it’s important to note that you aren’t restricted to taking the training and certification in the same country where you resideHere’s a breakdown:

  • Course fees: Prices vary widely depending on the trainer, location, and format (in-person vs online). Expect to pay between $350 and $1,300 USD for the two-day CSM course.
  • Scrum Alliance membership: Completing the CSM course includes a two-year Scrum Alliance membership, which is currently priced at $100 USD. However, some training providers might include this cost in their course fee.

Therefore, the total cost of the CSM certification, including the exam, falls within the range of $450-$1,400 USD. Remember, this is just an estimate, and the actual cost can be higher or lower depending on the specific training provider you choose.

Here are some resources to help you compare prices and find the best CSM course for you:

What is the difference between CSM and PSM?

CSM and PSM, are both the same level of certification, a beginner-level certification in scrum, offered by different bodies, but both internationally recognized bodies.

Both CSM and PSM are popular certifications for Scrum Masters, but they have some key differences:

Certification Provider:

  • CSM: Offered by the Scrum Alliance, a non-profit organization focusing on promoting and educating about Scrum.
  • PSM: Offered by, a for-profit organization created by some of the original developers of Scrum.

Certification Levels:

  • CSM: Entry-level certification with only one level (Certified Scrum Master).
  • PSM: Offers multiple levels: PSM I (similar to CSM), PSM II (advanced), and PSM III (expert).

Exam Format:

  • CSM: 50 multiple-choice questions with a 60-minute time limit. Passing score: 74%.
  • PSM: Varies by level:
  • PSM I: 80 multiple-choice and true/false questions with a 60-minute time limit. Passing score: 85%.
  • PSM II: Multiple formats, including multiple-choice, essay, and scenario-based questions. No time limit. Passing score: 85%.
  • PSM III: Case study and essay format. No time limit. Passing score: 85%.


  • CSM: Requires renewal every two years with a continuing education fee.
  • PSM: No renewals necessary, certification is valid for life.

Additional Differences:

  • Pre-requisites: CSM requires attending a certified training course, while PSM does not.
  • Focus: CSM emphasizes the practical application of Scrum, while PSM delves deeper into theory and principles.
  • Recognition: Both certifications are widely recognized, but CSM might be more familiar in some regions.

Choosing the Right Option:

  • CSM: Great for beginners, good value for money, easier to obtain.
  • PSM: Suitable for experienced professionals or those seeking deeper knowledge, higher passing scores, and no renewals.

The final point is what makes all the difference. If you browse through all the available Scrum Master positions on any job search platform, let’s take Linkedin, most of the companies will ask you for the CSM certification as a requirement/qualification. CSM, is therefore more popular amongst the candidates, the employers, and the industry, in general. Whereas, not many people know about PSM, which is a big reason why a lot of people go for CSM instead of PSM, even though there is this hassle of renewing your credential every two years.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual needs and goals. Do your research, consider your experience level, and choose the certification that aligns best with your career aspirations.

Is Certified Scrum Master Certification better than the Professional Scrum Master Certification? And what should I go for?

There’s no definitive answer to whether Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is “better” than Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification, as they are different certifications catering to different audiences and offering distinct values. The best choice for you depends on your specific situation and goals.

Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:



  • Entry-level and affordable: Ideal for beginners or those on a budget.
  • Widely recognized: Offers global recognition and value.
  • Straightforward: Requires attending a certified course and passing an exam.


  • Less rigorous: Exam and content might be easier compared to PSM.
  • Renewal required: Needs renewal every two years with additional fees.



  • Deeper knowledge: Focused on a deeper understanding of Scrum theory and principles.
  • Multiple levels: Offers three levels for increasing expertise and specialization.
  • Lifetime validity: No renewals are required, once certified, it’s yours.


  • More challenging: Exams are tougher, especially higher levels.
  • Not all levels require courses: May require self-study or additional resources.
  • Potentially higher cost: Some levels might involve additional fees beyond the exam.

Choosing the Right Option:

  • Beginners: CSM is a good starting point with its ease of access and affordability.
  • Experienced Professionals: PSM offers deeper knowledge and advanced levels for specialization.
  • Time and Budget: Consider the time commitment for studying and the costs involved for each certification.
  • Career Goals: Align your choice with your long-term career aspirations in Agile project management.

Additional Tips:

  • Consider your industry: Some industries or organizations might favor specific certifications.
  • Research both organizations: Visit the Scrum Alliance and websites for details and course options.
  • Read reviews and compare formats: Compare exam formats, study materials, and overall learning experience.

Ultimately, here’s my recommendation:

CSM is a solid choice for:

  • Newcomers to Agile or Scrum.
  • Individuals on a budget or short on time.
  • Professionals seeking basic Scrum competency for their role.

PSM is a strong option for:

  • Experienced Agile practitioners wanting advanced knowledge.
  • Individuals aiming for specialized Scrum roles or leadership positions.
  • Those who value in-depth understanding and lifetime certification.

Both CSM and PSM are valuable certifications and choosing the “better” option depends on your individual circumstances. Choose the one that best aligns with your current state and propels you toward your desired future in Agile project management. So, evaluate your needs, carefully compare both certifications and choose the one that best aligns with your current and future professional goals.

Having said that, I’d like to stress again, that the choice is yours because my job here is not to influence you. Instead, this article aims to lay out all the facts for you, to equip you with all the necessary information, you need to make an informed decision. So, I really hope this article helps you make smarter career choices.

Is the Certified Scrum Master Certification Right for You?

Who can get the CSM certification, rather, who should get the CSM certification? The answer is simple: Irrespective of the field or domain you’re working in(IT, manufacturing, automotive, etc.), if you are working in an Agile environment, chances are your team is implementing Scrum, the most popular Agile framework, well then, your organization will need a Scrum Master.

Whether the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification is right for you depends on a few key factors:

Your Experience:

  • New to Agile: If you’re new to Agile and Scrum, CSM is a great starting point. It provides a solid foundation in Scrum principles, roles, and practices.
  • Some experience: Even with some Agile experience, CSM can be valuable for formalizing your knowledge and enhancing your credibility.

Your Career Goals:

  • Scrum Master role: If you aspire to become a Scrum Master, CSM demonstrates your commitment and understanding of the role.
  • Agile project team: Working in an Agile team, even in a non-Scrum Master role, benefits from understanding Scrum through CSM.
  • Career advancement: The certification adds value to your resume, especially in Agile-focused organizations.

Your Time and Budget:

  • Time commitment: Attending a 2-day CSM course requires time investment. Consider your availability and learning style (in-person vs online).
  • Cost: Compare the cost of CSM training and exam fees with your budget.

Alternatives to CSM:

  • PSM I: Offers similar content to CSM but emphasizes self-study and may be more time-intensive.
  • Free online resources: While not a formal certification, free resources can provide basic Scrum knowledge.

Here are some questions to help you decide:

  • Do you plan to become a Scrum Master?
  • Do you work in an Agile environment?
  • Do you need a formal certification for your career goals?
  • Are you comfortable with the time and budget commitment?

Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you’re unsure, consider starting with free resources and then decide if pursuing the CSM certification aligns with your career aspirations.

In addition to the above, remember:

  • The CSM certification is widely recognized and respected in the industry.
  • The knowledge gained can be applied beyond Scrum to other Agile frameworks.
  • It’s an investment in your professional development and can open doors to new opportunities.

I hope this information helps you make an informed decision about whether the CSM certification is right for you!

10 Tips To Become A Better Scrum Master

Here are 10 tips to become a better Scrum Master:

Master the Scrum framework:

  1. Deepen your understanding: Continuously learn about Scrum, its values, principles, and practices. Read books, and articles, and participate in online communities.
  2. Stay updated: Be familiar with the latest developments in Scrum and Agile methodologies.
  3. Get certified (optional): Consider pursuing certifications like CSM or PSM to validate your knowledge and gain wider recognition.

Become an effective facilitator:

4. Guide, don’t control: Empower your team to self-organize and lead discussions actively.

5. Facilitate effectively: Manage time efficiently, keep discussions focused, and encourage participation.

6. Resolve conflicts constructively: Mediate differences, find solutions, and foster a healthy team environment.

Focus on coaching and mentoring:

7. Provide meaningful feedback: Offer constructive criticism, encouragement, and guidance to help team members grow.

8. Identify individual needs: Tailor your coaching approach to each team member’s strengths and weaknesses.

9. Promote continuous learning: Encourage your team to learn new skills and improve their Agile practices.

Be a servant leader:

10. Focus on your team’s success: Prioritize creating an environment where your team can thrive and deliver value.

11. Remove roadblocks: Proactively identify and address obstacles that hinder the team’s progress.

12. Be transparent and approachable: Build trust and open communication with your team and stakeholders.

Bonus tips:

  • Emphasize the importance of retrospectives: Use them to continuously improve team performance and processes.
  • Stay passionate about Agile: Your enthusiasm will motivate and inspire your team.
  • Network with other Scrum Masters: Share experiences, learn from each other and stay connected to the community.
  • Be adaptable and flexible: The Agile landscape is constantly evolving, so be prepared to adjust your approach as needed.

By implementing these tips and continuously learning, you can become a valuable asset to your team and a highly effective Scrum Master. Remember, your journey is ongoing, so embrace the learning process and enjoy the challenge of helping your team achieve its goals!

References about Scrum Masters

If you’re interested in learning more about Scrum Masters, here are some resources:

Here are a few podcast recommendations focused on Scrum Masters and Agile project management:

For general Scrum Master guidance and insights:

  • Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast: Hosted by Certified Scrum Master Vasco Duarte, this daily podcast delivers bite-sized episodes packed with actionable advice, interview insights, and practical tips for Scrum Masters.
  • The Exceptional Scrum Master podcast: Led by Adeyinka Okunlade, this podcast explores practical topics, career advice, and interviews with experienced Scrum Masters and Agile professionals.
  • Agile for Humans: Hosted by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller, this podcast covers various Agile topics, including Scrum, with a focus on human aspects and practical application.
  • Agile Coaches’ Corner: Dan Neumann, an Agile Coach at AgileThought, dives deep into Agile philosophy, coaching practices, and leadership strategies relevant to Scrum Masters.
  • Community Podcast: Featuring Scrum Alliance CEO Dave West interviewing Scrum trainers and experts, this podcast offers insights on Scrum theory, practices, and the evolving Agile landscape.

For specific topics or deeper dives:

  • Scrum Master Roundtable: Join Mike Cohn, David Starr, and Esther Derby, leading Agile figures, for in-depth discussions on current Scrum and Agile trends and challenges.
  • Product Thinking: Melissa Perri explores the world of product management with practical insights and interviews relevant to Scrum Masters responsible for product ownership aspects.
  • Think Fast, Talk Smart: Stanford GSB professors offer communication techniques and negotiation strategies beneficial for Scrum Masters leading teams and collaborating with stakeholders.

Additional resources:

  • Scrum Alliance Podcast Network: Browse a variety of podcasts offered by the Scrum Alliance on various Agile topics and Scrum Master experiences.
  • Spotify Agile Podcasts Playlist: Discover a curated list of top Agile podcasts on Spotify, including several options for Scrum Masters.

Bonus: The Scrum Fundamentals Certified is FREE!

Remember, choosing the right podcast depends on your specific interests and learning goals. Consider exploring different options and find the ones that resonate with you and provide valuable takeaways for your journey as a Scrum Master.

Interested in CSM or CSPO Training?

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification, both paths can be valuable depending on your specific goals and aspirations.

Choosing the Right Path:

  • Do you aspire to be a Scrum Master or Product Owner?
  • What is your current understanding of Scrum and Agile?
  • What are your career goals and desired skills to develop?
  • Consider your time and budget constraints for training and certification.

Additional Tips:

  • Explore free resources: Start with free online courses, articles, and tutorials to gain a basic understanding of Scrum and both roles.
  • Network with professionals: Connect with Scrum Masters and Product Owners to learn about their experiences and career paths.
  • Research training providers: Compare different CSM and CSPO training options based on content, delivery format, and cost.
  • Consider combined paths: Some individuals pursue both CSM and CSPO for a holistic view of Scrum and enhance their value in Agile teams.

Ultimately, the choice between CSM and CSPO depends on your individual needs and aspirations. By carefully considering these factors and exploring your options, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your career journey and helps you thrive in the Agile world.

You can find all the details at


In conclusion, the Scrum Master role plays a critical and evolving part in the ever-growing Agile landscape. Here are some key takeaways:

Current Value:

  • Enables Scrum implementation: Guides teams through Scrum ceremonies, facilitates processes, and ensures adherence to Agile principles.
  • Unblocks progress: Acts as a problem-solver, removing roadblocks that hinder team velocity and delivery.
  • Fosters growth: Provides coaching and mentorship, helping team members improve skills and embrace Agile practices.
  • Improves collaboration: Builds strong relationships within the team and with stakeholders, promoting transparency and communication.

Future Outlook:

  • Shifting towards leadership: Evolving from facilitator to servant leader, empowering teams for self-organization and continuous improvement.
  • Embracing technology: Utilizing AI and automation to enhance project management and provide personalized coaching.
  • Specialization and adaptation: Expanding skillsets in specific domains or combining Scrum Master duties with other roles.
  • Lifelong learning: Adapting to new Agile frameworks, tools, and practices to stay relevant in the changing landscape.

Overall, the Scrum Master role offers:

  • Meaningful impact: Directly contributing to team success and delivering valuable products.
  • Continuous learning: Opportunities to refine skills and stay updated on advancements in Agile methodologies.
  • Career growth: Diverse future prospects within Agile project management, coaching, and leadership positions.

Overall, the Scrum Master plays a vital role in enabling team success within the Agile framework. Their unique blend of skills and responsibilities makes them valuable assets in modern project management, and their future holds exciting possibilities for growth and adaptation.

Whether you’re considering becoming a Scrum Master or working with one, understanding their evolving role and potential is crucial for navigating the Agile journey successfully.

That’s all for today.

Please engage with my article by highlighting something you found interesting and commenting. Come back soon.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article! Appreciate the continued support!

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Thanks and Regards,

Neha Sahay

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