Which Is Better PMP or Scrum Master? (Detailed Info)


The most marketable certifications in a project manager’s career are the PMP and the Scrum Master. We went deeper into the world of project management to uncover what the two certifications entail to help guide you in deciding which path is the better option.

So, which is better, PMP or Scrum Master? Different principles run both certifications. The scrum is guided by the agile environment, while the PMP follows the conventional project management guidelines. Deciding which certification is better relies entirely on factors such as the industry you are working in, the methods they use, your geography, and budget.

Both certifications are unique in their own right. If you are looking for the best certification to advance your career or considering a change from PMP to scrum master or vice versa, we give you the information you need.

What Is a Project Management Professional (PMP)?

PMP is a globally-recognized certification for any project manager that wants to advance his/ her career. It is a sure way to identify that you are indeed a skilled and certified project manager.

Not only do PMPs earn more than other project managers, but it is also easier for them to advance in their careers. Once you meet the necessary qualifications, you can take the exam, and if you pass, you get the certification.

Roles and Responsibilities of a PMP

Various projects take place daily in an organization. It takes a dedicated team to ensure that the projects are complete. We take a look at how the project manager is a vital element in any organization.

  • The PMP plans and develops the project. They plan on how the project will run and sees it to completion. The role is to guide and direct other team members on the way forward until the project is a success.
  • He/she recruits the project staff according to the ones that are most qualified for the task. It is a necessary process that ensures that only the best are sifted for the project.
  • The manager leads the team throughout the process, from planning to implementation.

They come up with the schedule of the project and plan the execution of each phase.

  • The PMP delegates and adequately assigns all the tasks involved in the project according to the team members’ capabilities. Those with the required skills are included in the project.
  • A project manager updates the senior management on the project’s progress and results, acting as a link between the team and the top management. The PMP is in charge of adequate and timely feedback on the project’s progress to the relevant stakeholders.
  • They are liable for the entire project and is answerable if any issues may arise. They ensure that the project meets the required standards.
  • He/she may prepare the project’s budget then get it approved to start the project. The PMP plans the resources diligently and ensures that he/she can account for the fund allocation.
  • The PMP calculates the risks involved and comes up with methods to minimize the risk so that the project can run smoothly. They also remove the bottlenecks of the project for successful and timely completion.

Generally, the PMP is the backbone of the company’s project, without whom it may be an uphill task. They plan and execute the project with the help of the company’s available resources.

What Is a Scrum Master?

A scrum master is a role that’s part of the framework deployed in Agile that solves issues to achieve quality results. It is useful in undertaking complex projects by implementing the agility framework. Initially, it was designed to handle software tasks but is now used to solve complex projects. To become familiar with the framework, you need to get certification (CSM).

Since scrum is under Agile, it functions using the methods and procedures of the agile process. The team leader is the scrum master/ the scrum manager who imparts their knowledge of the framework to the team members.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Scrum Master

Scrum masters are servant leaders who renders services to the product owner and the team to ensure completion of the project. The following are some of the roles of the scrum master.

  • They liaise with the product owner to communicate the needs of the project to the team. Doing so ensures that the team fully understands what is expected of them by the company.
  • The master plans, schedules, and oversees the scrum events, ensuring that it runs smoothly and successfully and that every team member is involved.
  • They guide the team members in the entire process by coaching them in the scrum rules.
  • In case there are any detriments to the team’s success, the master steps in to mitigate the issue.
  • If the team is not familiar with the scrum framework, the master coaches them on the framework, ensuring that all the members adapt to the process.
  • They oversee the execution of the company’s framework, ensuring that all the members act as the framework suggests.

The scrum master guides the scrum team towards the adoption of the scrum framework. He/she then motivate the team to achieve the company’s goals.

PMP Vs. Scrum- Which Way To Go

Although many experts see the two as overlapping, one can notice a slight difference between them. First, scrum is a step-wise framework for Agile projects, while the PMP focuses on the whole picture of project management. You can also notice the different principles behind the two certifications; the scrum is guided by Agile, unlike the PMP, which is directed by project management principles.

The way to go entirely depends on your personal preferences. To guide you, we have a few pointers that you may want to consider before you decide.

1. Your Industry

Your industry will guide you in the direction to take in terms of your certification. If you are working in IT or engineering, you may find Scrum certification a better option, especially if you know what Agile entails. The scrum focuses on team dynamics, making it useful for project managers working in such industries. If you are in construction or manufacturing, the PMP may be a favorable choice.

2. Company’s Methods

Your company’s methodology will always guide you in choosing your certification. If your company uses Agile, your go-to would be the scrum. It is common for companies in the software industry to employ the Agile process in their operations to achieve better results.

3. Time Available and Budget

You can only invest in something lucrative, the same as acquiring a certification. You need to get a certification that you are sure will be an excellent investment for you in your career. Invest your time and money in the most marketable certification according to your industry/ company.

4. The Region You Are Working In

Different regions have different preferences for certification. You can find out which one is more marketable in your state/country so you can fit easily into the market. The certification that most people go for means that it is the one that most companies prefer.

PMP or Scrum Master?

Both certifications are useful in your career as a project manager. Having both the PMP and CSM certifications will significantly impact your career to be on the safe side. You can start with the CSM since it does not require any prior experience, then go for the PMP.

Scrum is attractive due to its team-driven objectives; however, some companies do not necessarily base their team dynamics operations. It is only beneficial for a company that embraces the Agile environment.

On the other hand, the PMP is proof that you can lead in a larger capacity as a project manager; however, with team-driven organizations, you will still need some knowledge on the Agile framework.

Consider the factors we have touched on to help you decide the best way to go. Either way, you get to advance your career and leadership skills.

Jas Singh

I specialize in writing about technology subjects from Citrix, gaming to products from Apple, Microsoft, Oculus. My goal is to ensure the information I write, is to the point, has the relevance required and is easily understood by all.

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