Scrum & Agile
SMstudy is a global certification body for Sales and Marketing. It has authored “A Guide to the Sales and Marketing Body of Knowledge” or SMBOK®Guide that provide guidelines for the Sales and Marketing of products and services in any organization.
SMstudy provides a global community for all sales and marketing professionals and also an ecosystem for sales and marketing experts to sell or promote their unique content to a wider audience. SMstudy offers subscription services for various sales and marketing related courses based on the SMBOK® Guide and also other sales and marketing courses offered by marketing professors, experts, companies, and universities which are hosted in SMstudy platform. SMstudy also offers various certification exams based on the SMBOK® Guide.
About SMBOK® Guide (also known as SMstudy® Guide)
SMBOK® Guide is a series of books that provide guidelines for the Sales and Marketing of products and services. It offers a comprehensive framework that can be used to effectively manage Sales and Marketing efforts in any organization. The objective of the SMstudy® Guide is to provide a practical and process-oriented approach to Sales and Marketing that emphasizes how various elements of Sales and Marketing can be integrated to develop a comprehensive and effective organizational Sales and Marketing Plan.
SMBOK® Guide consists of the following set of books —
- Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Research
- Digital Marketing
- Corporate Sales
- Branding and Advertising
- Retail Marketing
SMstudy Certification Hierarchy
Associate Level Certifications— The introduction modules (first two chapters) of each book are available at no charge to interested individuals. All Aspects of Sales and Marketing have an applicable Associate-level certification (e.g., “SMstudy® Certified Marketing Strategy Associate”). The certification exams are free and not proctored; and candidates have one hour to complete each exam. There is no work experience requirement and no mandatory educational hours in addition to the recommended study.
Professional Level Certifications— All Aspects of Sales and Marketing have an applicable Professional-level certification (e.g., “SMstudy® Certified Marketing Strategy Professional”).The certification exams are proctored and candidates have two hours to complete each exam. The prerequisite is a study of the relevant SMstudy® Guide book with more emphasis on the highly recommended inputs, tools, and outputs for each process relevant to the particular Marketing Aspect. There is no work experience requirement and no mandatory educational hours in addition to the recommended study. Individuals who pass the certification exams for three or more Professional modules are awarded an additional certification called “SMstudy®Certified Sales and Marketing Professional.”
Specialist Level Certifications— All Aspects of Sales and Marketing have an associated Specialist-level certification (e.g., “SMstudy® Certified Marketing Strategy Specialist”). The certification exams are proctored and candidates have three hours to complete each exam. The prerequisites are attaining the Professional level certification for that specific Aspect, a study of all of the relevant inputs, tools, and outputs for each process, three years of related work experience, and twenty mandatory educational hours. Individuals who pass the certification exams for three or more Specialist modules are awarded an additional certification called “SMstudy® Certified Sales and Marketing Specialist.”
Expert Level Certifications— All Aspects of Sales and Marketing have an associated Expert-level certification (e.g., “SMstudy® Certified Marketing Strategy Expert”). The certification exams are proctored and candidates have four hours to complete each exam. The prerequisites are attaining the Specialist level certification for that specific Aspect, a study of all of the relevant inputs, tools, and outputs for each process, seven years of related work experience, forty mandatory educational hours, and recommendations from two peers and a manager. Individuals who pass the certification exams for three or more Expert modules are awarded an additional certification called “SMstudy® Certified Sales and Marketing Expert.”
Introduction to SMstudy Subscription Model:
There are 2 subscription models in SMstudy —
- Silver Subscription: This is a lifetime free subscription and a subscriber will have access to all the free resources and benefits provided by SMstudy and other free content hosted in SMstudy ecosystem by various content partners. As part of this subscription, students will also have access to the Free Associate Level certification exams provided by SMstudy.
- Gold Subscription: This is a duration based paid subscription and a subscriber will have access to all the resources (free or paid) available in SMstudy ecosystem till his/her subscription is active. The subscriber will have unrestricted access to the SMstudy owned content (based on SMBOK Guide) and can choose any 5 courses each month from the community content. A subscriber may choose more than 5 courses by paying a small fee per course.
SMstudy paid certification exams are not part of this subscription package. Certification exams need to be bought separately. On purchase of any paid certification exam, the gold subscription is automatically renewed for 3 additional months.
Upon expiry, Gold Subscription is replaced by free Silver Subscription.
Course Builder and benefits of A.T.P. content
Course Builder is an easy to use module which enables an A.T.P. (content provider) to create its own sales and marketing course which can be made available to the entire sales and marketing community (paid subscribers) in SMstudy or to a select group of people. 20% of all public courses must be made free so that subscribers can view the sample content before enrolling in the paid course. For public courses, A.T.P.s will earn $1/month whenever a subscriber opts for its course (paid component). For example, if an A.T.P. owns a course in “Search Engine Optimization” or “How to use LinkedIn for marketing”, it may upload the content in SMstudy ecosystem and whenever someone enrolls in the paid component of the course, the A.T.P. will receive $1 per month as long as the person is enrolled in the course.
SMstudy provides unique opportunity to A.T.P.s to showcase their classroom course/program portfolio in SMstudy website. Whenever, a student browses through a course in SMstudy website, various sales and marketing classroom courses available in his/her local area are displayed to him/her. When a student enquires for an A.T.P. course from this page, certain number of advertising credits is deducted from the A.T.P. account. Till an A.T.P. has enough advertising credits in its account, its name will be displayed to local students. Apart from the daily free advertising credits, more credits can be purchased.
SCRUMstudy Vs. Other Certification Bodies
There are 3 organizations that issue Scrum certifications, and each certifies / qualifies instructors to prepare candidates for their particular certification exams. They are Scrum.org, Scrum Alliance, and ScrumStudy. Each has its own designation for approved instructors / trainers. For example, CST is the designation from Scrum Alliance. All 3 organizations base their exams on the same basic Scrum principles and concepts, and thus are all comparable, and show that those holding the certifications (Scrum Master, Product Owner, etc.) have met basically the same requirements for knowledge and competency relative to Scrum. So, certifications from all three organizations are valid – and they are all generally accepted as validating the knowledge and understanding of Scrum principles at a certain level.
Unfortunately, as with any competitors (which these three organizations are), some of them tend to sling mud the others sometimes. SCRUMstudy refrains from the mudslinging, because the certifications from any of them are valid and are quality certifications. However, after researching each of the organizations, training organizations are choosing to become accredited as a Registered Education Provider (REP) with ScrumStudy. Interestingly enough, several of the other ScrumStudy REPs are / were CST certified, and ‘jumped ship’ to ScrumStudy.
The differentiating factor with Scrumstudy is that it goes a little further than the others in providing students with information and reference materials that guide in the actual implementation of Scrum – which is something missing in the other 2 Scrum certification programs. Scrum practitioners tend to have a lot of difficulty finding any real standardized information / reference materials on HOW to implement Scrum in organizations. Sure, knowing the terms, concepts, etc. and understanding the key Scrum Principles is great, but people need to know HOW to make this work in projects, where to start, what areas one should focus on, etc. In asking those aligned with either Scrum.org or Scrum Alliance for more reference materials, you would be directed to a very small book (about 20 pages or so), which they seem to believe tells you everything you need to know to be able to fully implement Scrum which based on our experience most people don’t find it all that useful.
ScrumStudy provides everything else the other organizations do (basic principles, concepts, etc.), but fills the ‘implementation gap’ as well. They also tend to not participate so much in the mud-slinging match that others tend to indulge in. They have the attitude that they will focus on providing solid, quality certifications, rather than focusing on putting down the other organizations that provide Scrum certifications.
Another thing that separates ScrumStudy from other organization is that they provide significant information on three key subjects that the others don’t to any real degree.
1) Scrum can be used in areas / projects other than just technology (historically the focus has been in the technology arena)
2) Scrum can be implemented in very large scale projects and initiatives – and they provide some formalized guidance and frameworks on how to accomplish this
3) SCRUMstudy provides a free online course with every exam voucher that includes high quality videos, an illustrative case study, phone apps and a free online copy of A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™ Guide) with each certification voucher which complements the students’ learning in a class.
In addition to all of this, the process for qualification as a REP for ScrumStudy is more objective, and based on an instructor’s knowledge of Scrum, and their experience than the others. The process for other organization is very much based on the ‘good ole boy’ system. If you are part of their network, you get approved… if not, you don’t and SCRUMstudy doesn’t really think that’s the best way to determine who is qualified to prepare folks to become Scrum certified.