Not all scrum master roles are the same. Yes, you learn about the role of the scrum master in the scrum guide; while the guide gives the details of what the role of the scrum master is, what exactly you need to do as a person in your organization is defined by your organization. In addition, the title Scrum Master often involves roles and responsibilities which are more than the typical scrum master role. So I would like to change the question to, do I need to improve my project management skills when my current role is scrum master?
Before we talk about PMP or project management skills, let’s explore do we have a Project way of working in Scrum. You may not find the world project in the scrum guide, so do you have a project in your organization? Scrum is mainly about product development, and you may observe two ways of developing products. One uses a series of projects leading in the product life cycle, and another has a dedicated product team taking care of the product’s complete lifecycle. Project management skills are needed when your role involves developing products using projects. Some of you may also be interested in a non-product type of project, like projects to implement existing products or processes; in that context, if you apply Scrum, you will need scrum and project management skills. When your work involves working on Projects and using Scrum as an execution framework, you better add project management skills and scrum skills. On the other hand, you may not need project management skills if you only work on products without using projects.
The PMP certification in its current format (since Jan 2021) involves extensive coverage of predictive, adaptive and hybrid ways of executing projects. In my experience, PMP preparation leads to significant improvement in one understanding of project management in a complex environment. When a scrum master works in a project context, they either need to support the Project Manager in project management activities or be accountable for doing project management activities; in such cases, they are also titled as Scrum Master / Project Manager. In both cases, I recommend person playing the scrum master role should learn project management skills, and PMP® certification is a good way.
You may wonder, Can I do PMP® with the Scrum Master experience? Your current Scrum Master role must involve leading and facilitating a team in value delivery. If you have played a leadership role for three years, you are eligible for PMP Certification.
How difficult is the PMP® exam for Scrum Master? Around 70% of PMP® Exam content is inclined towards agile and hybrid working methods. The PMP exam is divided into three domains People, Process and Business. The people domain is mostly around coaching and facilitative way of working. At the same time, 50% of the process domain is around the agile and hybrid way of working. You may need preparation for predictive ways of working, which will come around 25% in the exam. If you wish to get started with PMP® preparation, we have a complete solution for your PMP® exam preparation. Check our PMP® Program page.