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Topics: Agile
"Professional Scrum Master" or "Certified ScrumMaster" or "PMI-ACP" or "Agile Scrum master" are conceptually same or different?

There are many certification talking about Agile and scrum, but I wonder if they are fundamentally same or quite different form Each other?
Which is the best to start with, for learning the Agile and scrum concepts and skill enhancement?
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I have found that scrum is very useful if you are leading a development team and is essentially this is a way of delivering code development (useful if you are part of a development team and actually its better if your scrum master is not the project manager).
Agile PM gives you an understanding of agile development approach but in my opinion is weak on the project management framework. Again the Agile PM is very useful for delivering discrete projects and will help you put agile delivery into perspective.

Terminology: 'Agile' is a methodology, which employs incremental and iterative work cadences. While, 'Scrum' is a framework under agile approach and based on empirical process control theory.

Certifications: The PSM, CSM and PMI-ACP are certifications issued from different organizations namely,, & respectively.
Among these 3, I believe PMI-ACP requirements are much more exhaustive. The PSM requirements are simple, but test pass threshold is very high (min 85% score). The CSM used to be somewhat middle path, which required training by certified trainer and lower pass score of 70%.

Tarun -

I agree with Tony & Ashok. It's better to start with CSM.

PSM, CSM and ASM are all conceptually similar. They are Scrum certifications. the PMI-ACP is all about Agile, and includes most of the popular frameworks (including Scrum). It is an Agile certification.

Agile is not a methodology neither related to software only. Agile is a practice. Then, you can select PMI´s PMI-ACP certification that is generalistic (while still is focused on Agile based methods that comes from software some of the questions have been migrated to situational questions based on Agile based envioronment questions). On the other side, you have certifications related to specific Agile based methods. For example, I am DSDM AP&C (DSDM Agile Practitioner and Coach). In the domain of Scrum (which is a framework not a method) you have lot of certifications. That is jeopardizing the use of Scrum. Exept for market demands get a certification on Scrum is a wasted of time. If you read the Scrum Guide and you use Scrum you will understand.

There are overlaps; some focus on Scrum, while others are more general for Agile practice. You may be better equipped to decide your direction with some research and self-study ahead of time. Then decide which route fits your needs best.

The PMI-ACP encompasses more than just Scrum, You have to understand general Agile and you will get questions on more specific frameworks from Scrum to XP, DSDM (MoSCoW prioritization came up on my exam).

The others are Scrum certificates from different organizations. The PSM and CSM were created by the authors of the Scrum Guide.

I definitely agree with Sante. If I was to chose one of those, I would go for ACP as it is more generic and includes all frameworks.

Agree with Joshua

Hi Tarun,

You can refer to the earlier discussion on the same note, hope it helps:
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