Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Scrumstudy vs. Scrum Alliance vs. Scrum.org

I wanted to get certified as a Scrum Master, and was trying to figure out the best Accreditation Body for the Scrum Training.

There seem to be three recognized providers in the market - Scrumstudy.com ; Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org
As I spent time on their websites, I realized that Scrumstudy.com seemed to be better and bigger than Scrum Alliance or Scrum.org for the following reasons:
a) Scrum Body of Knowledge  (SBOK - 340 pages) - the industry standard for Scrum : Scrumstudy.com owns the Scrum Body of Knowledge which is available for Free Download (in English and Spanish).  Neither Scrum Alliance, nor Scrum.org have a similar body of knowledge. Scrum.org has a short 17 page summary of Scrum and calls it a Scrum Guide - but it is nowhere close to being as comprehensive and well written as the Scrumstudy Scrum Body of Knowledge. The Scrumstudy Scrum Body of Knowledge claims that : "The SBOK™ Guide draws from the combined knowledge and insight gained from thousands of projects across a variety of organizations and industries. In addition, contributions have been made by experts who have taught Scrum and project delivery courses to professionals in 150 countries. " It is written by 46 experts and reviewers, unlike other Scrum books in the market which are written by 1 or 2 persons. I personally liked this book much more than the books written by Ken Schwaber, Kenneth Rubin and others - who actually charge a huge amount for their books, which are of inferior quality. Anyways, the book is completely free and can be downloaded here. Free Download - And students can decide which is the better Scrum Book available in the market.

b) Bigger Network of Training Providers : An appropriate measure of the relevance of an accreditation body is the number of Authorized Training Partners or Training Companies associating with it. Here, again, Scrumstudy is a clear winner with 135+ ATPs as compared with approx 66 ATPs for Scrum Alliance and a much smaller number for Scrum.org.  Clearly, the training community believes that Scrumstudy is the better company and more Authorized Training Companies would like to associate with Scrumstudy

c) Great Free Resources: As I spent time in the websites, I realized that Scrumstudy provides much better quality of free resources to help Scrum Aspirants know more about the subject. For example, they have a Free "Introduction to Scrum" course, provide 130+ Free High Quality Videos Phone Apps for Terms and concepts, Blogs and Articles and what I liked best was a Free Scrum Master Case Study which walks students through a real-life case study for Scrum Aspirants.  Neither Scrum Alliance, nor Scrum.org provide such high quality free resources on their websites.

d) Feedback from Students in reputed companies: It seems that students from Apple, IBM, HP, Amex, Lockheed Martin, Paypal and several Fortune 500 companies have benefited from Scrumstudy certifications - and rate the certification as really great quality. Here is the link for the feedback. 

e) Classroom Training Methodology: I have had some of my friends go through a class from Scrum Alliance - since they do not have any standard study materials, every faculty just gets a few pages of whatever material he or she has created - and my friends were disappointed with the quality of Scrum Alliance classes. However, Scrumstudy offers the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK) and standardized high quality course-ware based on the SBOK in all its classes. 

Scrumstudy does not list its faculty profile in its website, but instead lists its Authorized  Training Partners (similar to the way in which PMI, Comptia, Microsoft and several other bigger accreditation organizations do). It is clearly mentioned in the Scrumstudy website that the faculty are mandated to go through a strict training process and pass relevant certifications before they teach. And I believe that high quality standardized courseware and great faculty will result in better classes!

f) Contribution to the community (and not just making money): The Scrumstudy Scrum Body of Knowledge was a best seller in Amazon in its category, but they took this book down from Amazon to offer it for free in Scrumstudy.com (so that it is available for free to everyone in the Scrum and Agile community). [BTW, I dug up some history about the SBOK - and here it is: the SBOK was launched in Amazon in 2013, and very quickly started getting great reviews and became a best-seller in Amazon in its category. Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org were so threatened by the popularity, great reviews and high quality of SBOK, that their founder - Ken Schwaber - officially released a 'Call to Action' in their discussion groups asking all his employees and faculty to 'flood the book with negative reviews'; what followed was 50+ faculty and employees of Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org systematically spammed the SBOK in Amazon with 500+ posts in 3 days downvoting the SBOK and promoting their books in the SBOK Amazon forum - although none of they seem to have bought or read the SBOK. Scrumstudy was so frustrated with this systematic spamming by Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org that they decided to just take the book down from Amazon and make it freely available to the Scrum and Agile community - and now, this book is by far the most popular Scrum book - and is the industry standard for Scrum]

Interestingly, neither Scrum Alliance, nor Scrum .org have invested in creating a comprehensive body of knowledge, (Scrum. org has a 17 page Scrum overview - and that's it); and any books written by their authors have to be paid for by students. Moreover, if you visit the Scrumstudy.com website, it is very evident that they are investing a lot in updating and improving the Scrum body of knowledge; and providing free introductory scrum courses, great quality videos, case studies, phone apps, very high quality blogs and articles and more - which are all available for free to the Scrum and Agile community, and help grow the Scrum/Agile community. I do not see Scrum Alliance or  Scrum .org contributing along similar lines to the Scrum/Agile community - although they charge a lot for their books, and their classes are all very expensive. It is evident that most of the trainers of Scrum Alliance and Scrum . org make a lot of money - but not sure if these organizations want to give back to the community the way in which Scrumstudy is!

Through all this comparison, I believe that Scrumstudy is better than Scrum Alliance or Scrum.org. Any thoughts???

Also really liked the discussions happening in SCRUMstudy LinkedIn Group. You could consider joining this group to ask questions and to share your experience related to Scrum, Agile and project delivery. 

SCRUMstudy LinkedIn Group

SCRUMstudy LinkedIn Group