I recently hired 10 freelance Dynamics 365 consultants to help me kick-off a new project here in Brisbane, Queensland. I interviewed about 20 people on the phone or in-person and reviewed over 50 CVs before I hired 10 people.
I was impressed by how many of the candidates had experience implementing Dynamics 365 using agile approaches such as Scrum. It's great to see so many Microsoft partners and customers transitioning to Scrum. I think it improves their chances of meeting their desired business outcomes, and at the same time, it's lower cost, less risk and more rewarding for everyone involved. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed working on a Scrum project and were keen to take their Scrum experience further working on my client's project.
Dynamics 365 consultants working for Microsoft partners are encouraged to keep their Dynamics 365 certifications up-to-date. When you pass a Dynamics 365 exam, it's easy to post your achievement on LinkedIn. I see people posting their Acclaim badges on LinkedIn every day. Well done everyone.
What I don't see very often are Dynamics 365 consultants with Scrum certification. Lots of us have applied the Scrum framework to our projects, but not enough Dynamics 365 implementers have taken the extra step to become Scrum certified.
Dynamics 365 consultants who have get their Scrum certification stand out. Scrum-certified Dynamics 365 consultants use the right terms on their CVs (they don't refer to 'sprint cycles', 'showcases', 'sprint plans' or other terms that reveal a lack of real Scrum training). Certification isn't necessarily evidence of experience, but it is evidence of your pursuit of professionalism.
With an increasing number of Microsoft customers asking their partner for an agile, incremental and incremental methodology, Dynamics 365 implementers with knowledge of and certification in Scrum are increasingly in demand.
Scrum certification options
There are two primary training and certification bodies: the Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. The Scrum Alliance was founded in 2001 by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, co-authors of the Scrum Guide. Today its mission is to "Transform the World of Work" through Scrum. To achieve a Scrum Alliance certification, you have to attend an in-person training course before you can sit the exam.
In 2010, Ken Schwaber, established Scrum.org to focus on applying Scrum to software development. To achieve a Scrum.org certification, you don't need to attend in-person training courses before you sit the exam, but training courses are offered and recommended.
I recommend Scrum.org certifications
I'm in software development and I'm passionate about the future of online learning, so I recommend Scrum.org certifications, starting with Professional Scrum Master I for Dynamics 365 implementers and Professional Scrum Product Owner for Dynamics 365 product owners and business analysts.
If you want to learn more about Scrum before taking your first exam, there are lots of great Scrum books available, public classroom training, or my Introduction to Scrum for Dynamics 365 video course that's designed to help you learn all the Scrum basics in the context of Dynamics 365 projects and pass the PSM I exam. The classroom courses are two days, but online students are usually ready for the exam in less than half that.
The PSM I exam is an online multiple choice test with 80 questions in 60 minutes. It costs $150 for each attempt. It's an open book exam, so with the Scrum Guide and my course handouts in front of you, you'll pass first time, right?
Starting there, you can build on your knowledge and gain advanced certifications. Scrum.org even has a .NET version of its Professional Scrum Developer course developed in partnership with Microsoft and focusing on the use of Visual Studio in your software engineering practices.
Scrum certification helps Dynamics 365 candidates stand out and is a sign of your investment in your own skills and professionalism. As more Microsoft customers demand an agile approach, you're going to be best placed to help those customers.
Have you got your Scrum certification yet? If not, what's holding you back?