A Scrum Master is one of the primary roles on an Agile project using the Scrum framework. This person is the key facilitator, responsible for arranging the daily meetings, improving team interactions, and maximizing productivity by removing roadblocks. Here is an overview of how to become a Scrum master in seven simple steps.
Step 1: Learn the basics of Scrum
Before you can become a Scrum master, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with both the values and principles of Agile and the general Scrum framework. Along with our resources, you can check out the Agile Manifesto and this eLearning Series by Scrum Alliance to become more familiar with Scrum’s basic concepts, practices, and beliefs.
Step 2: Choose your Scrum certification
The best way to become a Scrum master is through a recognized certification program, which will familiarize you with Agile, Scrum, and the roles and requirements of a Scrum master. Obtaining your certification will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of the field and help open up new opportunities.
There are several different Scrum master certifications, including:
- Professional Scrum Master™ I (PSM I) through Scrum.org
- Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) through Scrum Alliance
- Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™
Step 3: Attend a Scrum course
Once you have chosen your certification path, it is time to enroll in an officially recognized Scrum course. Each certification option has unique specifications –— for example, Scrum.org requires you to take its Professional Scrum Master course to sit for the PSM I exam.
Step 4: Register for your exam
Once you have completed the required hours of study, you are ready to take your exam and prove that you are knowledgeable enough to become a Scrum master. With Scrum.org, if you attempt the exam within 14 days of finishing the course, you will be granted a second try for free.
Step 5: Study for your exam
It is important to continue studying in the days leading up to your exam. Reading through additional Scrum resources or watching Scrum webinars can help you ensure you are fully prepared to pass the test.
The exam typically focuses on the main Scrum principles and practices, including project management, team building, sprints, release planning, progress reporting, and scalability. However, some exams may also contain questions about the philosophy, history, and evolution of the Scrum framework.
Step 6: Take and pass the exam
The actual exam will vary slightly, depending on your certification program. In general, it will be a multiple-choice test with a pass mark between 60–85%. The exam is usually about an hour long, and you should know whether you passed it within minutes of completing it. Once you pass, you will receive a PDF copy of your Scrum master certification by email and officially become a Scrum master.
Step 7: Renew certifications every two years
Scrum master certifications typically expire every two years, so to remain a recognized Scrum master, you will need to pay a fee to renew your certificate.
Depending on the organization, this process may require proof of “continuing education hours.” The program host wants to see that you have been dedicating time to learning more about Scrum and staying up to date with any significant changes.