If you’re learning about Scrum, you’ve probably come across some of the Scrum organizations out there. There are many of them, and Scrum Alliance and Scrumstudy are two of the more famous ones. This article will explain the differences between them, what they do, and which one I recommend you follow. And which one to not! (Trust me, you do not want to get this wrong). Let’s see who is the winner out of Scrum Alliance vs Scrumstudy.
Scrum Alliance is the oldest Scrum organization in the world. Ken Schwaber founded it in 2002 with Mike Cohn and Esther Derby. Their mission is “to transform the world of work by guiding organizations to become prosperous and sustainable, to inspire people, and to create value for society.”
Although Ken Scwhaber left in 2009 to form Scrum.org, most people still see Scrum Alliance (or Scrum.org) as the main worldwide organisation for Scrum. It has certified almost 1.1 million (!) people, and there are 70 user groups worldwide.
Their CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certification is probably the most widely recognised Scrum certification in the world. They run global conferences, regional gatherings, and training workshops.
Scrumstudy was founded mysteriously by a person named Tridibesh Satpathy, at some point in time. Their website gives no information about the origin of the group, which is never a good sign. They claim to be one of the main Scrum organizations in the world. This is simply wrong.
If you talk to just about anyone in the Scrum world, they will tell you that Scrum Alliance (founded by Ken Schwaber) and Scrum.org (currently chaired by Ken Schwaber) are the two main Scrum organizations. The only other one that even comes close is ScrumInc, simply because it is currently headed by Jeff Sutherland. He co-created Scrum (along with Ken Schwaber).
Scrumstudy are a company that is focused heavily on training and certification. Unfortunately, they have developed their own methodology. This is codified in a book called the SBOK (Scrum Body of Knowledge, presumably named after the PMBOK, Project Management Body of Knowledge).
The problem is, Scrum is a framework, not a methodology! This defeats the entire purpose of Scrum. Which is to provide a lightweight framework within which teams can find their own best methods. Giving people a methodology gets it all backwards.
Scrumstudy offers training and certifications but this is based entirely on their own made up methodology. It is therefore not a real Scrum certification. So if you are wondering “Is Scrumstudy fake?”. Well technically, it is not fake. It is a real group. But their certifications are not the main industry recognized ones.
There are many other organizations that create their own made up certifications. If a Scrum certification is not issued by Scrum.org or Scrum Alliance, it is simply not real. At least as far as I (and many others) are concerned.
The main differences are quite simple. Scrum Alliance is a real Scrum organization that teaches the real Scrum framework, as created and taught by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Scrumstudy are a certification company that created their own methodology. Which is supposedly inspired by Scrum.
I would not put any stock or worth in a Scrumstudy certification. I would not recommend getting a Scrumstudy certification, or taking their training.
And don’t just take my word for it. Here is what Ken Schwaber, the co-founder of Scrum, had to say about Scrumstudy:
A group called ScrumStudy has published a book, Scrum Body of Knowledge, also calling it a Scrum Guide. It is posted on Amazon… I bought a copy to see what was so great. First, it had extended the Scrum Guide where Jeff and I define Scrum from 17 pages to the 340 in the book. Second, it simply threw together every known practice about agile around Scrum and created a methodology which (their words) is appropriate for any project of any size in any industry. Whew. Worse, the book was written by thirty or so people, none of whom are active in the Scrum or agile community… This is an absolute corruption of Scrum principles and values, and is an abuse of Amazon.
Well Ken makes it very clear what he thinks of these people. And he invented Scrum, so he should know if a Scrum group is real or not.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, I am not at all a fan of Scrumstudy. I do not recommend you go near them.
I actually think Scrum.org are possibly better than Scrum Alliance certification, based on your current level. If you want to read more about that, you can check out my article here on how to be Scrum Master certified. It explains the different paths to Scrum Master Certification.
Scrum Alliance offers several types of Scrum certifications, such as the Scrum Alliance CSPO. And that article explains them all and how to get them. And explains my view on Scrum.org vs Scrum Alliance for certification.
But a Scrum Alliance certification is fine and is respected in the industry. You may have read some Scrum Alliance reviews. They will probably say the same thing.
I don’t recommend any of the other minor Scrum groups either. They all have their own made-up certifications. And none of them are worth it. So if you are wondering about for example Scrum Institute vs Scrum Alliance, just stick with Scrum Alliance. Or Scrum.org, who are good too.
In summary, I think Scrum Alliance and Scrumstudy are about as opposite you can get. Scrum Alliance is a reputable organization that is one of the main trainers and supporters of Scrum in the world. Scrumstudy are a group that have created their own bespoke methodology, which the creator of Scrum has called “an absolute corruption of Scrum principles and values”.
So I would recommend you check out Scrum Alliance (or Scrum.org), and you stay far, far away from Scrumstudy.
Do you have any more thoughts or questions about this? Please drop them below in the comments, I will reply to every single one.