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DASSM Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master basics |

DASSM basics - Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: DASSM Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master basics January 2024 by team

DASSM Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master

Exam Specification:

- exam Name: Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM)
- exam Code: DASSM
- exam Duration: 2 hours
- exam Format: Multiple-choice and multiple-select questions

Course Outline:

1. Introduction to Disciplined Agile (DA) and Senior Scrum Master Role
- Understanding the principles and values of Disciplined Agile
- Exploring the responsibilities and expectations of a Senior Scrum Master
- Overview of the Senior Scrum Master's role in guiding and facilitating Agile teams

2. Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) and Agile Product Delivery
- Understanding the DAD lifecycle and its phases
- Applying Agile principles and practices to product delivery
- Managing and prioritizing the product backlog

3. Facilitating Agile Team Collaboration
- Facilitating Agile ceremonies and events
- Promoting effective communication and collaboration within the team
- Supporting the team in resolving conflicts and making decisions

4. Scaling Agile Practices
- Applying Agile scaling frameworks and methodologies
- Managing dependencies and coordinating with other teams
- Ensuring alignment and consistency across Agile teams

5. Agile Coaching and Leadership
- Coaching teams and individuals on Agile practices and mindset
- Leading the adoption and implementation of Disciplined Agile practices
- Guiding and mentoring Agile team members

6. Agile Metrics and Reporting
- Implementing effective Agile metrics for measuring team performance
- Tracking and reporting progress of Agile projects
- Using data-driven insights to drive continuous improvement

7. Continuous Improvement and Learning
- Establishing a culture of continuous improvement within Agile teams
- Encouraging experimentation and learning from failures
- Identifying and implementing opportunities for process improvement

Exam Objectives:

1. Understand the principles and values of Disciplined Agile.
2. Apply Agile practices and methodologies in product delivery.
3. Facilitate Agile team collaboration and communication.
4. Scale Agile practices across teams and manage dependencies.
5. Coach teams and individuals on Agile practices and mindset.
6. Use Agile metrics and reporting to track progress and drive improvement.
7. Foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning within Agile teams.

Exam Syllabus:

The exam syllabus covers the following courses (but is not limited to):

- Introduction to Disciplined Agile and Senior Scrum Master role
- Disciplined Agile Delivery and Agile Product Delivery
- Facilitating Agile team collaboration and communication
- Scaling Agile practices and managing dependencies
- Agile coaching and leadership in the context of Disciplined Agile
- Agile metrics and reporting for tracking progress and improvement
- Continuous improvement and learning in Agile teams
Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master
Scrum Disciplined basics

Other Scrum exams

PSM-I Professional Scrum Master I - 2023
Scrum-PSM-II Professional Scrum Master II
Scrum-Master-Certified Scrum Master Certified
DASM Disciplined Agile Scrum Master
PAL-I Professional Agile Leadership (PAL-I)
PSK-I Professional Scrum with Kanban level I
PSPO-I Professional Scrum Product Owner I
PSPO-II Professional Scrum Product Owner II
SAFe-DevOps SAFe 5 DevOps Practitioner (SDP)
SAFe-Practitioner SAFe 5 Practitioner (SP)
SSM SAFe 5 Scrum Master (SSM)
SAFe-RTE Certified SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE)
DASSM Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master
PAL-EBM Professional Agile Leadership - Evidence Based Management (PAL-EBM)
Scrum-PSD Professional Scrum Developer (PSD)
Scrum-PSD-I Professional Scrum Developer (PSD-I)
Scrum-SPS Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS)
SAFe-Agilist SAFe-Agilist
SAFe-LPM SAFe 5.1 Lean Portfolio Manager
ASSM SAFe 5 Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)

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Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master
Question: 59
What is the role of the product owner?
A. Build the right product
B. Organize the product team
C. Inspect the product
D. Coordinate the product
Answer: D
Question: 60
Which of the following is one of the process goals in the transition stage?
A. Produce a potentially consumable solution
B. Develop common vision
C. Ensure production readiness
D. Address risk
Answer: C
Question: 61
True or False: The FLOW view for Disciplined Agile means that there are no starts and stops in any DA project
A. True
B. False
Answer: B
Question: 62
What is the role of management in Lean?
A. Ensure documentation is completed
B. Provide minimum viable products to the team.
C. Create awesome team environments.
D. Ensure decisions are not made regionally
Answer: B
Question: 63
Push is when work is:
A. Delayed until later.
B. Given to people.
C. Expedited to meet a deadline.
D. Outsourced to a vendor.
Answer: B
Question: 64
The architecture of a product is usually proven in which phase of a project?
A. Elaboration
B. Construction
C. Inception
D. Transition
Answer: B
Question: 65
Which of the following is an advantage of a project team as opposed to long standing product teams?
A. Greater motivation to learn and evolve the WoW
B. Greater focus on delivery and short term goals
C. Creates a long term focus
D. Brings work to the team rather than team to the work
Answer: B
Question: 66
Why is the coordination meeting important for a project team?
A. It provides a demo of the product to keep everyone up to date.
B. It allows the stakeholders to see how well the team is working together.
C. It allows the team to reassess the backlog to meet their needs.
D. It provides an opportunity for the team to help itself stay in sync.
Answer: D
Question: 67
Which of the following is false about the Business Operations process blade?
A. It requires close collaboration with the Sales and Marketing process blades
B. It involves strategies for providing services to the business
C. The implementation of this blade will be standard across domains
D. It should focus on delighting the customers
Answer: C
Question: 68
All of the following are key principles to keep in mind as the team chooses and evolves it’s
Way of Working (WoW) except:
A. Pragmatism
B. Delight customers
C. Choice is good
D. Context counts
Answer: B
Question: 69
What is the role of the product owner?
A. Coordinate the product
B. Organize the product team
C. Inspect the product
D. Build the right product
Answer: D
Question: 70
A team working on a product grew from 8 to 12 team members. The Scrum master felt that they need to split into two
scrum teams. After discussion, they decided to stick to one team as it was better for team cohesiveness and delivery.
This is an example of:
A. Enterprise awareness
B. Being pragmatic
C. Optimize for flow
D. Being Awesome
E. Choice is good
Answer: B
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Scrum Disciplined basics - BingNews Search results Scrum Disciplined basics - BingNews Agile Scrum Basics for Professionals Course Details

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Agile Scrum Basics for Professionals Course Details

Classroom with students

Agile Scrum Basics for Professionals is a seven-hour non-credit course designed for leaders and practitioners across a variety of industries to learn how the Agile Scrum methodology and framework can streamline your projects. Scrum is a highly collaborative method that can improve the development, management and delivery of complex projects. This course is the perfect place to start for agile project management beginners and those looking to start a path toward certification.

Cost: $199

In this Agile & Scrum course you learn:

  • The differences between an Agile approach and traditional methodology, and discover why Agile is more effective
  • How adopting Agile approaches can increase business value
  • The core practices and philosophies behind this way of working

This course is designed for:

  • Agile organizations
  • Project managers in a diverse range of industries
  • Senior leadership
  • IT and software professionals
  • Product managers

Contact Kena Sears-Brown, Director for more information: 215.571.3936 and

Fri, 19 Aug 2022 10:45:00 -0500 en text/html
Agile Scrum Online Training

Agile Scrum Online Training

Are you a professional working in a project management role and curious about Agile Scrum? Or maybe you are already using Agile project management with Scrum training but want to get a refresher or expand your knowledge. Whether you are new to Agile or have been running sprints, Drexel’s Goodwin College of Professional Studies offers paths and courses to get up to speed about Agile Scrum:

  • Professional Skill Tracks  – Be prepared for the hybrid job economy that demands professionals to have a blend of technical and essential “soft” skills. PSTs provide you the flexibility to choose a foundational or advanced tracks to advance your career in project management. Visit The Skills Hub for more information>
  • Agile Scrum Courses (below) – These two-day workshops are designed for novice to experienced project management professionals who have limited to advanced knowledge and/or experience levels in Agile Scrum

Experience Levels

  1. No prior knowledge, some knowledge and/or experience with Agile
    Recommended courses: Agile Team and User Stories
  2. Moderate to advanced knowledge and/or experience with Agile 
    Recommended courses: Agile Team and User Stories
  3. Moderate to advanced knowledge and/or experience with Agile
    Recommended courses: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Business Analyst and Agile Tester

Drexel's Agile courses are aligned with the goals of the Project Management Institute's Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential. By enrolling in these courses, you can prepare for the certification exam and earn the PDUs needed to maintain your status as an Agile pro. Along with the courses listed below, we also offer training in related areas like Lean Six Sigma, information technology and business analysis.

What is Agile? What is Scrum?

According to the State of Agile Survey, approximately 60 percent of projects are Agile—a project management approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the life cycle. Scrum is an Agile methodology that includes a simple set of principles and practices that help teams deliver products in short cycles, enabling fast feedback, continual improvement and rapid adaptation to change.

Scrum has the power to transform project management across every industry and every business. By using Scrum, you become more Agile, discovering how to react more quickly and respond more accurately to the inevitable change that is associated with projects.

When companies become Agile, they have a greater chance of project success. If your company is using waterfall and exploring adopting Agile, consider about Agile project management with Scrum training for your employees. Talk to us about getting a complimentary training skills gap analysis and our multiple employee discount.

Agile Scrum Course Offerings

For further details upcoming course dates and information, please contact: or call 215.895.2154

Agile Scrum Team Workshop

Duration: 2 days

Dates: To be determined

Cost: $1,100

CEUs: 1.6

PDUs: 16

This two-day Agile Scrum training utilizes an immersive learning approach which allows you to practice the Agile Scrum techniques as you learn them. You will create Agile teams and simulate an actual sprint using a chosen project. You will also conduct five scrum ceremonies while creating user stories, product backlogs, scrum boards, burn down charts, and participate in a daily meeting, demo and retrospective—all while using your chosen project as a case study for the exercises.

Register Now

User Story Workshop

Duration: 2 days

Dates: To be determined

Cost: $1,100

CEUs: 1.6

PDUs: 16

Learn how to define and manage high-level requirements effectively and demonstrate alternative ways of documenting requirements and managing changes using the Agile Scrum methodology. courses will also cover product backlog management including epic decomposition, acceptance criteria (Gherkin & Bullet technique), story point estimation, and prioritization.

Register Now

Product Owner Workshop

Duration: 2 days

Dates: To be determined

Cost: $1,100

CEUs: 1.6

PDUs: 16

As you move through the disciplines promoted by Scrum, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of the Product Owner. Specifically, you will focus on the behaviors expected of this important Agile team member. Though many are familiar with the practice of establishing value and priority across projects, the Product Owner needs to consider value and priority across the features of a single project. This two-day course will explain the Product Owner’s role, responsibilities, prioritization consideration, commitment to the team, velocity and story points, and many other tips and tricks for helping the Agile team to succeed.

For further details upcoming course dates and information, please contact: or call 215.895.2154

Scrum Master Workshop

Duration: 2 days

Dates: To be determined

Cost: $1,100

CEUs: 1.6

PDUs: 16

This two-day course will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the Scrum methodology while specifically reviewing the behaviors expected of a Scrum Master. This course is suitable for those practicing or looking to practice the art of the Scrum Master, but is highly valuable for others as well. The course specifically address, setting & adjusting the team’s velocity, facilitating the daily meetings, motivating the team, handling impediments, etc.

For further details upcoming course dates and information, please contact: or call 215.895.2154

Agile for Business Analysts

Duration: 2 days

Dates: To be determined

Cost: $1,100

CEUs: 1.6

PDUs: 16

In this two-day course, you gain an understanding about Agile business analysis. You will learn the similarities and differences of business analysis on an Agile project versus business analysis performed on Waterfall projects. Furthermore, you will understand how the business analysis role changes on an Agile team. A number of business analysis techniques suited for supporting Agile teams will be introduced as will the various standards available to the community to help make the transition from Waterfall to Agile. Since few organizations are purely Agile, you will also learn about delivery approaches that use a combination of practices from Waterfall and Agile. Throughout your learning, you will be introduced to the important concept of business analysis tailoring—the key skill used to adapt business analysis skills to all environments—regardless of the delivery life cycle selected.

For further details upcoming course dates and information, please contact: or call 215.895.2154

Agile for Testers

Duration: 2 days

Dates: To be determined

Cost: $1,100

CEUs: 1.6

PDUs: 16

This two-day Agile for Testers course looks at the Agile team issues that drive the need for a fully functional testing process and describes the components of such a process. It is designed to help Agile teams with an understanding of their role, the process and the deliverables associated with lighter-weight testing.

For further details upcoming course dates and information, please contact: or call 215.895.2154

Agile Scrum Basics For Professionals

Duration: 1 day

Agile Scrum Basics for Professionals is a seven-hour non-credit course designed for leaders and practitioners across a variety of industries to learn how the Agile Scrum methodology and framework can streamline your projects.

Learn More

Agile Scrum career pathways:

There are many job opportunities for professionals with experience and certification in Agile Scrum. When you start as a Certified Product Owner, Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Developer, you can then move on to Certified Scrum Professional. Once you are that level, you then have teaching and coaching capabilities as a Certified Scrum Trainer, Certified Enterprise Coach or a Certified Team Coach.

Agile Scrum career pathway flowchart

Project Management Institute Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

Tue, 16 Aug 2022 20:21:00 -0500 en text/html
The 8 best scrum master certifications

Scrum is a widely used Agile project management framework. As one of the most popular Agile methodologies, Scrum is commonly used by software development teams; however, it can be applied to any industry. Organizations that use the Scrum framework benefit from higher productivity, improved product quality, reduced risk and happier team members.

The Scrum framework requires three key team roles, including the Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the development team. The certified Product Owner and Scrum Master roles are often sought after by aspiring Scrum leaders who wish to lead teams to project success. And if you’re one of them, you must consider obtaining a Scrum certification.

There are many Scrum certifications out there to choose from, depending on your goals. Here, we break down some of the best certifications available to you.

Why earn a Scrum certification?

There are many benefits to earning a Scrum certification. First, certification provides the knowledge you need to lead teams through successful initiatives. In addition, many organizations looking to take advantage of Scrum are searching for certified Scrum Masters and Product Owners to fill open roles. Obtaining a certification can help you remain competitive in your job search or solidify your place in your current organization. You will also learn how to apply the Scrum techniques to project management tools such as Kanban boards.

Agile Scrum Certification by Master of Project Academy: Best for easy-paced training

Agile Scrum Certification by Master of Project Academy logo.
Image: Master of Project Academy

The Agile Scrum Certification by Master of Project Academy is designed to teach Agile and Scrum project management foundation. The course is designed to be easy-paced, so you can complete the training even if you are working full-time.


There are no specific qualifications needed; however, it is recommended that the candidates have some knowledge of and experience with Scrum and Agile methodologies.

Key skills taught

  • Theoretical Agile and Scrum concepts explained in real-world examples.
  • Scrum events, frameworks and artifacts.
  • Agile manifesto and Scrum theory.
  • Common misconceptions about Agile and Scrum.

Key differentiators

  • 100% online course.
  • Easy-paced training.

Duration of training and exam

The training is 10 hours long and consists of 150+ practice questions to help prepare for certification exams. There is no exam in this course, though there is a demo Agile Scrum certification exam.

Cost of training

You can choose from different types of subscriptions ranging from $67 for a monthly subscription to $527 for lifetime access.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) by Scrum Alliance: Best for professionals leading Scrum teams

The CSM logo.
Image: CSM

The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification is considered to be the gold standard. This certification was developed for those new to Agile as well as the more seasoned, including software engineers and project managers.

During the certification course, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the Scrum framework, including Scrum theory and how to plan sprints. Once you complete the CSM certification, additional courses are available such as the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster certification course.


CSM is an introductory course for aspiring Scrum Masters and individuals that are already leading Scrum teams. Therefore, there are no eligibility criteria or experience required for CSM certification.

Key skills taught

  • Application of Scrum framework and roles for various use cases.
  • Lessons on Agile principles, estimations and metrics.
  • Importance of continuous improvement.
  • Skills on how to facilitate discussions, events and meetings.
  • Improvement of leadership and influence of organizational change.

Key differentiators

  • The program is focused on the Scrum framework.
  • This certification can be a prerequisite for certain Scrum Master jobs.

Duration of training and exam

The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) by Scrum Alliance training which runs for two days is estimated to be around 16 hours. The duration of the certification exam is two hours. The format of the exam is 50 multiple-choice questions.

Cost of training and exam

The cost of Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) by Scrum Alliance certification is between $405 and $695, depending on date, time, and instructor. There is also a $25 charge for each additional attempt at the exam.

Professional Scrum Master (PSM) by Best for a deep understanding of Scrum principles

The PSM logo.
Image: offers three levels of Professional Scrum Master: PSM I, PSM II and PSM III. The Professional Scrum Master certification solidifies your knowledge of the Scrum framework and how it’s used. While the Professional Scrum Master I certification is perfect for Scrum beginners, PSM II and PSM III are best for those with more advanced skills. offers the Professional Scrum Master certification exams to professionals with or without previous Scrum training. However, they also offer training courses for those just getting started with Scrum. PSM I is required to obtain the PSM II and III certifications.


There are no formal eligibility criteria or required skills to obtain the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) by However, you must have completed the previous level of PSM to progress to the next. For example, to get the PSM III certification, you must have completed PSM I and PSM II.

Key skills taught

The skills taught in this certification depend on the level of the program:

  • PSM 1: Basic understanding of Scrum framework, development teams and management of products.
  • PSM II: Managing technical risk and developing an understanding of organizational design and culture.
  • PSM III: Deep understanding and application of Scrum practices.

Key differentiators

  • Three distinct levels of Scrum training and certification.
  • Deep understanding of Scrum framework.

Duration of training and exam

The training lasts for two days and goes for eight hours each day for a total of 16 hours of training. The format and duration of the exam depend on the level of the program. The duration varies from 60 to 150 minutes, and the number of questions varies from 30 to 150.

Cost of training and exam

The cost of training depends on the level of the program. It varies from $150 to $500.

SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) by Scaled Agile: Best for individuals looking to coach or lead Agile teams

The SSM logo.
Image: SSM

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a leading framework for scaling Agile according to Gartner. SAFe is provided through Scaled Agile, which also provides the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification for SAFe-specific organizations.

During the training course, you’ll learn how to lead Agile teams in a SAFe environment, how to conduct iteration planning and more. Once you complete the training program, you’ll be prepared to take the SAFe Scrum Master certification exam, which is best for those with intermediate-level skills.


There is no formal requirement for the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) by Scaled Agile; however, it is recommended that the candidate has basic Scrum and Agile experience.

Key skills taught

  • Empower and lead an Agile team.
  • Help teams plan and execute their work.
  • Coach Agile teams.
  • Implement DevOps for continuous flow
  • Facilitate Agile events, discussions and meetings.

Key differentiators

  • Emphasis on Lean-Agile mindset.
  • Focus on Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).
  • Testing of candidates on their ability to apply Scrum principles to real-world situations.

Duration of training and exam

The training takes place over the course of two days, lasting eight hours each day for a total of 16 hours of training. The exam for SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) by Scaled Agile consists of 45 multiple-choice questions, and the duration is 90 minutes.

Cost of training

The cost of training depends on several factors, including location and mode of delivery. You can expect the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) by Scaled Agile training and certification to cost between $500 to $2000.

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) by Scrum Alliance: Best for Agile Product Owners

The CSPO logo.
Image: CSPO

The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification is for those wanting to learn how to bring new products to life. During this course, Product Owners, project managers and other Agile team members can dive deeper into the Scrum framework as well as the principles required for success.

The CSPO certification is one of the most popular options for Product Owners simply due to its benefits. For example, according to a survey completed by Indeed, 39% of the CSPO-certified Product Owners stated that the certification helped them achieve a higher salary.


The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) by Scrum Alliance does not have specific required skills.

Key skills taught

  • Hands-on training for creating product vision.
  • Innovative methods to generate product value.
  • Product backlog management.
  • Agile planning and estimation.
  • Release management.

Key differentiators

  • Ideally suited for existing Product Owners.
  • Does not have an exam.
  • Practical and hands-on learning.

Duration of training and exam

There is no exam required to earn a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification.

Cost of training

Expect to spend around $399-$780 for training and certification for the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) by Scrum Alliance. There is also a $100 certification fee paid upon the successful completion of the program.

Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) by Best for introduction to Product Owner role in Scrum environment

The PSPO logo.

The Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) certification is similar to the PSM certification as there are three distinct certifications depending on your skill level: PSPO I, PSPO II and PSPO III.

This certification is built on the professional Scrum competencies, including understanding the Scrum framework, developing teams and managing products from plan to launch. PSPO I is required to be able to obtain the PSPO II and III certifications.


There is no specific eligibility criteria or required skills for the Professional Scrum Product Owner certification. However, each level of the PSPO builds on the previous level, so you will need to pass each level to proceed.

Key skills taught

  • Deployment of Scrum framework.
  • Value-driven deployment.
  • Creation and management of product backlog.
  • Collaboration with stakeholders.

Key differentiators

  • Focus on the Product Owner role with emphasis on real-world application.
  • Continuous learning and improvement and a clear progressive path with three levels of certification.

Duration of training and exam

The entry-level PSPO I has two days or 16 hours of live training. The duration and format of the exam depend on the level of certification. The exam for the PSPO ranges from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the certification level.

Cost of training

The Professional Scrum Product Owner certifications are typically priced between $1000 to $1500. You also have a test attempt fee in the range of $200 to $500, though the training course includes a free attempt at the exam.

SAFe Product Owner/Manager (POPM) by Scaled Agile: Best for a combination of Product Manager and Product Owner training

The POPM logo.
Image: Scaled Agile

The SAFe Product Owner/Manager (POPM) certification is specifically for Product Owners who wish to learn how to build products using the Scaled Agile Framework. Inside the course, you’ll learn how to thrive in your role as a Product Owner, how to test projects and how to collaborate with others on your Scrum team.


Candidates for the SAFe Product Owner/Manager must have attended a SAFe PO/PM or LEADIng SAFe course. If they don’t fulfill this requirement, then they must have a minimum of one year of experience in a PO/PM role in a SAFe environment.

Key skills taught

  • Comprehensive understanding of product development process.
  • Preparation for the roles of POs and PMs.
  • Training on how to design, build, test and deliver products with high quality and maximum productivity.
  • Lessons on how to prepare for and lead PI Planning.
  • Collaboration and communication with cross-functional teams.

Key differentiators

  • Combination of two key roles: Product Manager and Product Owner.
  • Focus on a Lean-Agile mindset.

Duration of training and exam

The training duration for this certification is two days. The duration of the SAFe Product Owner/Manager (POPM) exam is 90 minutes. It consists of 45 multiple-choice questions.

Cost of training

The cost of the SAFe Product Owner/Manager (POPM) ranges from $1000 to $1500 depending on the instructor, location, study materials and other factors.

Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM): Best for advanced training for Scrum professionals

A-CSM logo.
Image: Scrum Alliance

The Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) is an advanced and immersive course for the Scrum Master role. The program is designed to use real-world examples and encourage a collaborative learning experience. The course teaches attendees practical tools and techniques that can be applied to their work.


The candidate must meet all the following requirements for the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster:

  • Active CSM certification.
  • At least one year of experience as a Scrum Master.
  • Completion of all pre-course work as deemed necessary by the instructor.

Key skills taught

  • Learn how to explain Agile and Lean methods to your team.
  • Help your organization adopt Scrum and Lean frameworks.
  • Facilitate dialogue between Product Owner, customers, executives and other stakeholders.

Key differentiators

  • Focus on advanced skills for Scrum Masters.
  • Practical application with real-world examples.
  • Customized learning with a variety of Scrum topics.

Duration of training and exam

The training takes place over the course of two days, lasting eight hours each day for a total of 16 hours of training. There is no exam for the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM).

Cost of training

The cost of training for the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) varies from $1000 to $2000 depending on availability, location, instructor and other factors.

Scrum Master by Scrum Inc. (RSM) Certification: Best for learning practical Scrum skills

The RSM logo.
Image: Scrum Inc.

The Scrum Master by Scrum Inc. (RSM) is developed by the co-creator of Dr. Jeff Sutherland. The course is designed to be highly interactive and includes a variety of exercises and games. Attendees will get to experience the Scrum Master role first-hand. This includes how to create a product backlog and manage a burndown chart.

Required skills

There are no prerequisites or specific eligibility criteria for the Scrum Master by Scrum Inc (RSM).

Key skills taught

  • How to lead teams in any industry and environment as a Scrum Master.
  • Experience with Serum frame and Agile principles.
  • How to facilitate, coach and build a Scrum team.
  • Training on organizational design.
  • Preparation for Lean thinking.

Key differentiators

  • Focus on practical skills.
  • Customized learning experience.
  • Real-world experience.

Duration of training and exam

The Scrum Master by Scrum Inc. (RSM) is a two-day course including training and certification. There is no separate exam for this certification. However, the attendees must demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of Scrum and their ability to apply their learning to their work.

Cost of training

The Scrum Master by Scrum Inc. (RSM) certification costs range from $1200 to $2000.

Key benefits of scrum certifications in project management

Scrum certifications provide attendees with the knowledge, hands-on experience and confidence to apply Scrum techniques and frameworks to their work. Here are some of the key benefits of scrum certifications in project management:

Solid knowledge base

With Scrum certification, you get a solid knowledge base of core Scrum principles and best practices. This helps you to guide teams and remove impediments in various situations. This can help you boost your team’s effectiveness.

Improved risk-assessment skills

One of the major goals in project management is to anticipate problems and events before they occur. With Scrum certification, you will strengthen your risk-assessment skills. This will help you eliminate any impediments or bottlenecks that threaten to stall your project.

Career advancement

Whether you are a project manager, IT professional or business executive, you can prepare yourself for more career opportunities with Scrum certifications. It can also increase your earning potential and make your résumé stand out.

Better project outcomes

Scrum certifications teach you skills and tools that enable you to Improve project outcomes by applying Scrum learning. This is achieved through better management of processes, enhanced collaboration and communication, and increased productivity.

How do I choose the best scrum certification?

As mentioned above, getting Scrum certifications in project management offers several benefits. However, you need to choose the right program to fully benefit from Scrum certification. Fortunately, there is a variety of certifications to choose from. To pick the best Scrum certification for project management, you need to evaluate your current needs, experience level and future goals.

If you are new to the Scrum methodology and want an introduction to the framework, you will be better suited to choose a basic certification program. On the other hand, if you already have experience with Scrum, you can choose a more advanced certification program. There are some certifications that offer multiple levels of training, providing a clear progressive path from basic to advanced level.

Review methodology

This list of best Scrum certifications was compiled through extensive research and analysis of several certifications. We looked at the different parameters, including the usefulness of the certification and skills taught in the program.

Sun, 11 Jun 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
How Much Does Scrum Master Certification Cost?

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

If you’ve been looking at scrum master certification programs, you may have noticed a wealth of information online—but not that many details about cost. Earning Scrum Master certification often entails course fees, exam fees and renewal fees, though not every certification involves all of these.

In this article, we provide you a breakdown of scrum master certification costs.

What Are Scrum Master Certifications?

A scrum master certification shows that you understand the principles of the scrum framework and are qualified to lead scrum teams within that framework. Below are several options for earning scrum master certification. Some of these credentials are entry-level, and others are geared toward experienced scrum professionals.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®)

The CSM designation is an entry-level certification administered by Scrum Alliance. This credential covers the foundational elements of the scrum framework and signifies that you have a solid understanding of scrum and agile methodologies and can lead scrum teams to achieve their goals effectively.

Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM®)

Also administered by the Scrum Alliance, the A-CSM certification serves those who have already completed their CSM and want to continue advancing their careers. This course provides in-depth training on increasing team accountability and scaling scrum and agile to multiple teams.

Certified Scrum Professional – ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM)

This course is administered by Scrum Alliance as well. It’s designed for experienced practitioners who want to build on their previous training and learn more about motivating their teams to Improve on scrum and agile methodologies. You must have A-CSM certification to be eligible for CSP-SM.

The Disciplined Agile® Scrum Master (DASM)

The DASM certification is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This designation focuses on reaching organizational goals by combining fundamental principles of the agile methodology with the strategies of frameworks like scrum and kanban.

Disciplined Agile® Senior Scrum Master (DASSM) Certification

PMI also administers the DASSM certification. This certification serves those who are experienced in agile methodology by developing their skills so they can manage multiple agile teams and initiatives.

Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM)

There are multiple levels of this certification, all administered by

  • PSM I. There are no course requirements for this certification, so it best serves those who already know the scrum framework. suggests that candidates study the Scrum Guide or take an optional course before sitting for the exam.
  • PSM II. This course picks up where’s PSM I course left off. There are no course requirements. An in-depth exam involves real-world scenarios, so candidates should have a strong knowledge of scrum principles before they take the exam.
  • PSM III. offers this certification to seasoned scrum professionals who want to continue to build their careers. This is a good option for those who want to mentor and coach individuals or teams working within the scrum framework. There are no course requirements.

Registered Scrum Master™ (RSM)

Scrum Inc. administers this entry-level certification, which covers the basics of scrum. Candidates learn to create a product backlog, prioritize tasks and manage a burndown chart.

How Long Do Scrum Master Certifications Take?

For each certification, you can expect to spend around two days on coursework and one day on the exam. This timeline doesn’t include preparation time, so your time commitment may vary depending on how much you need to study. All up, you could spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks working toward your certification.

How Much Does Scrum Master Certification Training Cost?

Costs vary depending on which training partner you choose for your certification. Some certification providers require candidates to complete their courses through specific training partners, so make sure to check before signing up for scrum master certification training.

Below, we provide a general idea of what training costs for each Scrum Master certification.

  • CSM. Course fees are typically between $350 and $1,300.
  • A-CSM. Course fees are typically between $700 and $1,500 but may be lower or higher depending on who is teaching the course.
  • CSP-SM. Course fees are typically between $850 and $1,800.
  • DASM. PMI’s online, two-day course costs $399 for PMI members or $499 for nonmembers. Alternatively, a two-day course through one of PMI’s authorized training partners may cost between $700 and $1,700.
  • DASSM. PMI’s online, two-day course costs $399 for PMI members and $499 for nonmembers. You may also take a two-day course through one of PMI’s authorized training partners, which typically costs between $695 and $1,700.
  • RSM. The training for this certification is a two-day course that costs $1,995 and includes the cost of the exam.

How Much Do the Scrum Master Certification Exams Cost?

  • CSM. Up to two exam attempts are included with the cost of the course. Additional retakes cost $25.
  • A-CSM. Up to two exam attempts are included with the cost of the course. Additional retakes cost $25.
  • CSP-SM. Up to two exam attempts are included with the cost of the course. Additional retakes cost $25.
  • DASM. One exam attempt is included with the cost of the course. You must take the exam within 60 days after completing the course. You may have two additional retakes for $150 per attempt within that same period.
  • DASSM. One attempt is included with the cost of the course. You must take the exam within 60 days after completing the course. You may have two additional retakes for $150 per attempt within that same period.
  • PSM I. The exam is $200 per attempt. Unlimited retakes are available for $200 per attempt.
  • PSM II. The exam costs $250 per attempt. Unlimited retakes are available for $250 per attempt.
  • PSM III. The exam cost is $500 per attempt. Unlimited retakes are available for $500 per attempt.
  • RSM. Up to two attempts are included with the cost of the course. Additional retakes cost $25. All exams must be taken within 30 days of completing the course.

How Much Are Scrum Master Renewal Fees?

  • CSM: $100 every two years
  • A-CSM: $175 every two years
  • CSP-SM: $250 every two years
  • DASM: $20 for PMI members, $50 for nonmembers, annually
  • DASSM: $50 annually
  • PSM I: No renewal fee
  • PSM II: No renewal fee
  • PSM III: No renewal fee
  • RSM: $50 annually

The Bottom Line

When all is said and done, expect to pay between $200 and $1,995 for your certification course and exam combined. You might then pay $25 to $500 for each retake, depending on the certification.

While a few certifications (namely the PSM credentials) are valid for a lifetime, most require a renewal fee annually or every two years. Renewal fees can range from $20 to $250.

Sun, 31 Dec 2023 23:38:00 -0600 Sheryl Grey en-US text/html
What Is Agile Scrum Methodology?

Agile scrum methodology is used by companies of all sizes for its ability to provide high-end collaboration and efficiency for project-based work. Agile and scrum are two different methods and can be used separately; however, their combined benefits make the agile scrum methodology the most popular use of agile. Here’s the complete guide to agile scrum methodology.

Agile and scrum can be used separately, but their combined benefits make the methodology popular.

How does agile scrum work?

Agile scrum methodology is the combination of the agile philosophy and the scrum framework. Agile means “incremental, allowing teams to develop projects in small increments. Scrum is one of the many types of agile methodology, known for breaking projects down into sizable chunks called “sprints.” Agile scrum methodology is good for businesses that need to finish specific projects quickly.

Agile scrum methodology is a project management system that relies on incremental development. Each iteration consists of two- to four-week sprints, where the goal of each sprint is to build the most important features first and come out with a potentially deliverable product. More features are built into the product in subsequent sprints and are adjusted based on stakeholder and customer feedback between sprints.

Whereas other project management methods emphasize building an entire product in one operation from start to finish, agile scrum methodology focuses on delivering several iterations of a product to provide stakeholders with the highest business value in the least amount of time.

Agile scrum methodology has several benefits. First, it encourages products to be built faster, since each set of goals must be completed within each sprint’s time frame. It also requires frequent planning and goal setting, which helps the scrum team focus on the current sprint’s objectives and increase productivity.

What is agile?

Agile is a process that allows a team to more efficiently manage a project by breaking it down into several stages, each of which allows for consistent collaboration with stakeholders to promote steady improvements at every stage.

Agile lets a team manage a project more efficiently by breaking it down into several stages.

What are the values of agile?

Agile was first described in the Agile Manifesto in 2000 by a group of developers who sought out a new method of writing software. The manifesto cites four values:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

What are the 12 principles of agile?

The Agile Manifesto also enacted 12 principles in reference to software development and was later reconfigured to fit a wider perspective of users:

  1. Customer satisfaction
  2. Early and continuous delivery
  3. Embrace change
  4. Frequent delivery
  5. Collaboration of businesses and developers
  6. Motivated individuals
  7. Face-to-face conversation
  8. Functional products
  9. Technical excellence
  10. Simplicity
  11. Self-organized teams
  12. Regulation, reflection and adjustment

What is scrum?

In short, scrum is a framework for effective collaborations among teams working on complex products. Scrum is a type of agile technology that consists of meetings, roles, and tools to help teams working on complex projects collaborate and better structure and manage their workload. Although it is most often used by software development teams, scrum can be beneficial to any team working toward a common goal.

Who can benefit from scrum?

While scrum can be useful for a wide variety of businesses and projects, these are the most likely beneficiaries:

  • Complicated projects: Scrum methodology is ideal for projects that require teams to complete a backlog. Scrum breaks down each process into bite-sized chunks that can make a complex project easier.
  • Companies that value results: Scrum is also beneficial to companies that value results over the documented progress of the process. This is because scrum is focused on efficiency and innovation to drive results, rather than a detailed, rigid process.
  • Companies that cater to customers: Scrum can help companies that develop products in accordance with customer preferences and specifications. Scrum is adaptable to change, making it key when responding to customer requests.

What are the benefits of agile scrum methodology?

These are some of the collective benefits of agile scrum methodology:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Lower costs
  • Quality improvement
  • Organizational synergy
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Customer satisfaction

The greatest benefit of agile scrum methodology is its flexibility. With the sprint-based model, the scrum team typically receives feedback from stakeholders after each sprint. If there are any problems or changes, the scrum team can easily and quickly adjust product goals during future sprints to provide more valuable iterations. This way, stakeholders are happier because they get exactly what they want after being involved every step of the way.

Compare this with traditional project management systems, in which stakeholders do not provide frequent feedback and time is wasted making changes to the product halfway through development – or worse, such as the teams needing to start from scratch after the product has already been built.

To implement agile scrum methodology, there must be either a scrum expert in the company or an outside consultant to ensure scrum principles are being applied correctly. Agile scrum methodology involves precise execution and could result in serious problems if not done properly.

To implement agile scrum, you’ll need an expert in your company or an outside consultant.

What are the different roles in agile scrum methodology?

Agile scrum methodology consists of two sets of roles: core roles, known as “pigs,” and ancillary roles, known as “chickens.”

There are three core roles: scrum master, product owner and scrum team. All of these people are committed to the scrum project.

  1. Scrum master: The scrum master is the facilitator of the scrum development process. In addition to holding daily meetings with the scrum team, the scrum master makes certain that scrum rules are being enforced and applied as intended. The scrum master’s responsibilities also include coaching and motivating the team, removing impediments to sprints, and ensuring that the team has the best possible conditions to meet its goals and produce deliverable products.
  1. Product owner: The product owner represents stakeholders, who are typically customers. To ensure the scrum team is always delivering value to stakeholders and the business, the product owner determines product expectations, records changes to the product and administers a scrum backlog, a detailed and constantly updated to-do list for the scrum project. The product owner is also responsible for prioritizing goals for each sprint, based on their value to stakeholders, such that the most important and deliverable features are built in each iteration.
  1. Scrum team: The scrum team is a self-organized group of three to nine individuals who have the business, design, analytical and development skills to carry out the actual work, solve problems and produce deliverable products. Members of the scrum team self-administer tasks and are jointly responsible for meeting each sprint’s goals.

Ancillary roles, on the other hand, are other stakeholders who are involved in, but not committed to, the scrum project. Typically, ancillary roles consist of customers, management and members of the executive team who are involved for the purpose of consulting, reporting progress and gathering feedback to better work toward delivering the highest value possible.

What is the training for scrum and agile?

Managers and employees can enroll in training for both agile and scrum through various online and in-person courses. Many educational training courses result in certification in agile or scrum methodologies. Agile training provides the trainee with the basic knowledge of agile and how to implement it to the rest of their team. Scrum provides similar training, including the basic agile overview; however, the training caters to the scrum framework.

To become a certified scrum master (CSM) or certified scrum product owner (CSPO), you must first prepare and learn the basic details of scrum through videos or a simple internet search. Next, find a suitable CSM or CSPO course, either through your workplace or another internet search. Once you’ve completed the course, you usually have to pass an exam to become certified. After certification, you’re able to lead your team through the scrum process or provide scrum product details.

What are the differences between scrum and agile?

Although scrum and agile are similar, they have some key differences:

  • Scrum values rigidity, whereas agile is more flexible.
  • Agile leaders play a vital role, while scrum promotes a cross-functional team that is self-functioning.
  • Agile involves face-to-face interactions between cross-functional team members, while scrum involves daily stand-up meetings.
  • Agile is meant to be kept simple, while scrum can be innovative and experimental.
  • Scrum delivers shorter, separate projects, while agile delivers everything at the end of the process.

Sara Angeles contributed to the writing and research in this article.

Tue, 19 Dec 2023 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html
Basic rules on discipline No result found, try new keyword!In fact, discipline simply means a process of training and guidance which helps children come to terms with the world outside their family. Here are some basic rules that can be used by parents as ... Thu, 27 Oct 2022 12:07:00 -0500 en text/html tiny BASIC

Ever since the SMART Response XE was brought to our attention back in 2018, we’ve been keeping a close lookout for projects that make use of the Arduino-compatible educational gadget. Admittedly it’s taken a bit longer than we’d expected for the community to really start digging into the capabilities of the QWERTY handheld, but occasionally we see an effort like this port of BASIC to the SMART Response XE by [Dan Geiger] that reminds us of why we were so excited by this device to begin with.

This project combines the SMART Response XE support library by [Larry Bank] with Tiny BASIC Plus, which itself is an update of the Arduino BASIC port by [Michael Field]. The end result is a fun little BASIC handheld that has all the features and capabilities you’d expect, plus several device-specific commands that [Dan] has added such as BATT to check the battery voltage and MSAVE/MLOAD which will save and load BASIC programs to EEPROM.

To install the BASIC interpreter to your own SMART Response XE, [Dan] goes over the process of flashing it to the hardware using an AVR ISP MkII and a few pogo pins soldered to a bit of perboard. There are holes under the battery door of the device that exposes the programming pads on the PCB, so you don’t even need to crack open the case. Although if you are willing to crack open the case, you might as well add in a CC1101 transceiver so the handy little device can double as a spectrum analyzer.

Continue studying “SMART Response XE Turned Pocket BASIC Playground” →

Mon, 28 Jun 2021 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Scrum Master vs. Product Owner: What’s The Difference?

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Scrum is a framework that uses agile methodology to accomplish product development through a series of iterations. Scrum teams work within this framework to address complicated issues as they create products to meet customers’ needs.

Scrum masters and scrum product owners both work in the product development process. While the two roles are related, if you compare scrum master vs. product owner positions, you’ll notice several differences as well. This article discusses scrum master vs. product owners and the responsibilities these workers have in developing products using the scrum framework.

What Is a Scrum Master?

A scrum master is responsible for leading scrum teams as they work to effectively develop a product. Scrum masters guide scrum teams as they operate within the scrum framework, helping to make sure each increment of product development is completed smoothly.

Scrum Master Role and Responsibilities

Scrum masters are responsible for managing scrum processes in agile methodology. Some of their typical responsibilities are laid out below.

  • Scrum masters guide and coach scrum teams by leading daily scrum meetings, planning and managing sprints and handling other scrum events.
  • Scrum masters ensure that scrum team members follow scrum principles as they work in sprints to reach their goals.
  • They help product owners prepare product backlogs for sprints.
  • They maintain communication with development team members to address any challenges or obstacles that may interfere with completing the project. They then work with scrum teams to meet these challenges and remove obstacles.

Requirements to Become a Scrum Master

If you want to become a scrum master, you must first enroll in a scrum master certification course. Completing scrum master training demonstrates that you have learned to guide scrum teams as they work toward specific goals. It also prepares you to pass a certification exam.

Scrum master certification requirements and costs vary depending on which provider you choose. Most programs cost between $200 and $1,995 for training courses. Many programs include the exam fees in their total scrum master certification cost.

A few organizations offer different types of scrum master training. As you look into various options, make sure to choose one that prepares you for a scrum master certification rather than one that just gives you a quick overview of scrum.

If you’re not sure if being a scrum master should be part of your career path, there are plenty of free scrum master certification training options available. These are typically abbreviated or trial versions of longer training programs, designed to teach you some foundational scrum principles. A free option may provide you with the information you need to decide whether completing a full scrum master certification program is for you.

Benefits of Working as a Scrum Master

If you enjoy collaborating with teams within the scrum framework, working as a scrum master can be a great way to further your career. Earning a scrum master certification qualifies you to work as a certified scrum master, which comes with many benefits.

Higher Earning Power

According to a salary survey by the Scrum Alliance, scrum masters typically earn about $7,000 more than scrum team members.

Becoming a certified scrum master can boost workers’ earnings even more; scrum managers earn about $113,000 per year, while certified workers earn an average of $122,000.

Career Advancement

Earning your scrum master certification opens new doors by building your advanced knowledge of the scrum framework and agile principles. As a scrum master, you’re qualified to move into a leadership role as you guide scrum teams toward common goals and ensure that each step of the process is executed properly.

Comprehensive Scrum Knowledge

Scrum masters must have a deep understanding of scrum artifacts, such as sprint backlogs and burndown charts. Scrum masters use this knowledge to Improve team efficiency, reduce misunderstandings and help scrum teams meet their goals successfully.

What Is a Product Owner?

A product owner creates the vision for a product and communicates with development teams and customers to make sure that product development occurs according to plan. Within the scrum framework, a product owner manages a product backlog to ensure that tasks are prioritized properly for the scrum team.

Product Owner Role and Responsibilities

Product owners fill a visionary role for a product. They are also frontline contacts with their organizations’ customers. Product owner responsibilities include the following:

  • Maintain the product backlog and ensure that the Scrum team works on each iteration that the backlog contains according to plan. A product backlog is the collection of tasks that make up a product.
  • Develop a vision for a product and ensure that the development team follows a set plan to create a product that aligns with that vision.
  • Serve as the main point of contact with customers, and maintain customer satisfaction.
  • Communicate with various teams, including scrum teams and development teams, to make sure they are working toward and achieving the product goals.
  • Stay updated on market trends to help development teams design and develop products.
  • Establish deadlines and completion dates, create product backlogs for scrum teams and set priorities for product development.

Requirements to Become a Product Owner

If you want to become a scrum product owner, you must learn everything you can about the agile framework. As a product owner, you should have a thorough understanding of the scrum framework, including its artifacts and events. You can learn these aspects by participating in training programs.

To become a certified product owner, you must complete a certification program. These programs typically involve a course lasting at least two days. They may or may not have exam requirements, depending on the option you choose. Some options require exams but not specific training.

Benefits of Working as a Product Owner

If you want to play an essential role in providing the vision and leadership that enables companies to increase the value of their products, then becoming a product owner may be a fulfilling career option for you. There are many benefits to earning a product owner certification, including increased earning power.

Excellent Earning Potential

Scrum product owners earn an average of $129,000 per year, while those with certifications earn about $144,000 annually. Experience plays a large role in salary for product owners as well. With four to six years of scrum-related work experience, workers’ average annual salary increased by about $15,000.

Growth in Leadership Skills

Becoming a product owner requires a great deal of responsibility and leadership. As a product owner, you are the face of a product, and you are ultimately responsible for its successful completion. This includes working with clients to communicate their needs to development teams. The product owner role requires you to use your leadership skills and insights to help bring a product from the drawing board to fruition.

Potential for Career Advancement

Earning a product owner certification can make you eligible to move forward with additional certifications. More advanced agile certifications often require candidates to become certified product owners first.

What Are the Similarities Between Scrum Master and Product Owner?

Agile methodology frameworks like scrum are used among many types of companies in industries including construction, software manufacturing, production and aerospace.

You can find both scrum masters and product owners working within the scrum framework. Both scrum masters and product owners must fully understand scrum principles, and both roles are essential to effective product development within scrum teams.

What Are the Differences Between Scrum Master and Product Owner?

While scrum masters and product owners are both involved in product development within the scrum framework, differences exist between the two roles. Scrum masters are responsible for guiding scrum teams through each step of the product development process. They work hands-on within scrum teams to reach the goals needed for a successful product.

Product owners take on more of a visionary role. Rather than working directly with scrum teams on specific goals, these professionals communicate directly with scrum masters, customers and other stakeholders to make sure each product aligns with its original vision and meets the customer’s needs.

Which One is Right for You?

If you’re not sure whether to pursue certification as a Scrum Master or a Product Owner, you should carefully consider the many aspects of each role.

If you enjoy working with others to create a vision for a product and set deadlines and plans for product creation, you might thrive as a Product Owner. If you prefer to guide teams as they work with iterative tasks, evaluate each step and refine processes to create a product, Scrum Master may suit you better.

Thu, 21 Sep 2023 06:38:00 -0500 Sheryl Grey en-US text/html
Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Companies today cannot afford to ideate, research, and develop a new product over a long period. The risk is that by the time the product is ready for launch, someone nimbler, faster, more agile, who is able to identify an opportunity and quickly bring a solution to life, has already taken the top spot in the market.

Mon, 28 Mar 2022 16:01:00 -0500 en text/html
The Basics of Covered Calls

A covered call involves a seller offering buyers a call option at a set price and expiration date on a security that the seller owns. Professional market players write covered calls to boost investment income. Individual investors can also benefit from the conservative but effective covered call option strategy by taking the time to learn how it works and when to use it.

Read on for more about a covered call and the ways that it can enhance income, lower portfolio risk, and Improve investment returns.

Key Takeaways

  • A covered call is a popular options strategy used to generate income for investors who think stock prices are unlikely to rise much further in the near term.
  • A covered call is constructed by holding a long position in a stock and then selling (writing) call options on that same asset, representing the same size as the underlying long position.
  • A covered call will limit the investor's potential upside profit and may not offer much protection if the stock price drops.

What Is a Covered Call?

You are entitled to several rights as a stock or futures contract owner, including the right to sell the security at any time for the market price. Covered call writing sells this right to someone else in exchange for cash, meaning the buyer of the option gets the right to purchase your security on or before the expiration date at a predetermined price called the strike price.

A call option is a contract that gives the buyer the legal right (but not the obligation) to buy shares of the underlying stock or one futures contract at the strike price at any time on or before expiration. If the seller of the call option also owns the underlying security, the option is considered "covered" because they can deliver the instrument without purchasing it on the open market at possibly unfavorable pricing.

If the contract is not a covered call, it is called a naked call, used to generate a premium without owning the underlying asset.

Covered Call Visualization

In the diagram below, the horizontal line is the security's price, and the vertical line is the profit or loss potential. The dots on the profit or loss potential line indicate the amount of profit or loss the covered call seller might experience as the price moves.

On the horizontal price line, the seller would break even when the price intersects a profit or loss potential of zero. The contract seller will likely set the strike price at the point they think the price will intersect the profit potential limit, indicated by the blue dot on the price line.

Image by Julie Bang © Investopedia 2019

Profiting from Covered Calls

The buyer pays the seller of the call option a premium to obtain the right to buy shares or contracts at a predetermined future price (the strike price). The premium is a cash fee paid on the day the option is sold and is the seller's money to keep, regardless of whether the option is exercised.

A covered call is therefore most profitable if the stock moves up to the strike price, generating profit from the long stock position. Covered calls can expire worthless (unless the buyer expects the price to continue rising and exercises), allowing the call writer to collect the entire premium from its sale.

If the covered call buyer exercises their right, the call seller will sell the shares at the strike price and keep the premium, profiting from the difference in the price they paid for the share and the selling price plus the premium. However, by selling the share at the strike price, the seller gives up the opportunity to profit from further share price increases.

When to Sell a Covered Call

When you sell a covered call, you get paid in exchange for giving up a portion of future upside. For example, assume you buy XYZ stock for $50 per share, believing it will rise to $60 within one year. You're also willing to sell at $55 within six months, giving up further upside while taking a short-term profit. In this scenario, selling a covered call on the position might be an attractive strategy.

The stock's option chain indicates that selling a $55 six-month call option will cost the buyer a $4 per share premium. You could sell that option against your shares, which you purchased at $50, and hope to sell at $60 within a year. Writing this covered call creates an obligation to sell the shares at $55 within six months if the underlying price reaches that level. You get to keep the $4 in premium plus the $55 from the share sale, for a total of $59, or an 18% return over six months.

On the other hand, you'll incur a $10 loss on the original position if the stock falls to $40—the buyer will not exercise the option because they can buy the stock cheaper than the contract price. However, you get to keep the $4 premium from the sale of the call option, lowering the total loss from $10 to $6 per share.

Bullish Scenario: Shares Rise to $60 and the Option Is Exercised
January 1 Buy XYZ shares at $50
January 1 Sell XYZ call option for $4—expires on June 30, exercisable at $55
June 30 Stock closes at $60—option is exercised because it is above $55 and you receive $55 for your shares.
July 1 PROFIT: $5 capital gain + $4 premium collected from sale of the option = $9 per share or 18%
Bearish Scenario: Shares Drop to $40 and the Option Is Not Exercised
January 1 Buy XYZ shares at $50
January 1 Sell XYZ call option for $4—expires on June 30, exercisable at $55
June 30 Stock closes at $40—option is not exercised, and it expires worthless because the stock is below the strike price (the option buyer has no incentive to pay $55/share when they can purchase the stock at $40).
July 1 LOSS: $10 share loss—$4 premium collected from the sale of the option = $6 or -12%. 

Advantages of Covered Calls

Selling covered call options can help offset downside risk or add to upside return, taking the cash premium in exchange for future upside beyond the strike price plus premium during the contract period. In other words, if XYZ stock in the example closes above $59, the seller earns less return than if they held the stock. However, if the stock ends the six-month period below $59 per share, the seller makes more money or loses less money than if the options sale hadn't taken place.

Risks of Covered Calls

Call sellers have to hold onto underlying shares or contracts or they'll be holding naked calls, which have theoretically unlimited loss potential if the underlying security rises. Therefore, sellers need to buy back options positions before expiration if they want to sell shares or contracts, increasing transaction costs while lowering net gains or increasing net losses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Main Benefits of a Covered Call?

The main benefits of a covered call strategy are that it can generate premium income, boost investment returns, and help investors target a selling price above the current market price.

What Are the Main Drawbacks of a Covered Call?

The main drawbacks of a covered call strategy are the risk of losing money if the stock plummets (in which case the investor would have been better off selling the stock outright rather than using a covered call strategy) and the opportunity cost of having the stock "called" away and forgoing any significant future gains in it.

Is There a Risk If I Sell the Underlying Stock Before the Covered Call Expires?

Yes, this can be a huge risk, since selling the underlying stock before the covered call expires would result in the call now being "naked" as the stock is no longer owned. This is akin to a short sale and can generate unlimited losses in theory.

Should I Write a Covered Call on a Core Stock Position with Large Unrealized Gains That I Wish to Hold for the Long Term?

It might not be advisable to do so since selling the stock may trigger a significant tax liability. In addition, if the stock is a core position you wish to hold for the long term, you might not be too happy if it is called away.

The Bottom Line

You can use covered calls to decrease the cost basis or to gain income from shares or futures contracts. When you use one, you're adding a profit generator to stock or contract ownership. 

Like any strategy, covered call writing has advantages and disadvantages. If used with the right stock, covered calls can be a great way to reduce your average cost or generate income.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html

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