Over the years, Agile has become prominent in various aspects of business and IT. Offering a flexible and effective management approach, Agile can now be seen in software, project, and program management, with very few organizations not utilizing it in some manner.
Many of the areas where Agile has been applied come together within the sphere of IT Service Management (ITSM). This topic requires the strategic use of digital and IT resources to deliver optimized value-generating services, all within an environment of continuous improvement. However, the competitiveness of the modern digital landscape also requires a greater level of speed and flexibility than many traditional businesses are used to. This is especially true for organizations following older ITSM frameworks such as ITIL v3.
This all led to the creation of ‘Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM)’, a framework designed around applying Agile practices to ITSM pipelines. CASM helps ITSM managers to benefit from a more flexible and iterative management style – one that begins generating value quickly and drives ongoing improvements through frequent testing and feedback.
Having verified knowledge and experience in Agile IT service management can help a candidate unlock impressive career opportunities, but does this apply to CASM certification? Let’s look at whether the cost of studying CASM is really worth the benefits.
What is CASM?
‘Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM)’ is a certification created by the DevOps Institute. It is also an operational counterpart to ‘Certified Scrum Manager (CSM)’. The certification validates a candidate’s ability to implement and oversee Agile service management practices and deliver Agile speed, adaptability, quality, and client satisfaction to service management. That is to say, a CASM practitioner is an expert at ‘being Agile’ rather than ‘doing Agile’ by simply following a methodology.
CASM integrates elements from several popular best practice approaches, including DevOps, ITIL, Scrum, and Lean. The syllabus also draws heavily from the core values and principles of the Agile Manifesto, though not in any way intended to be disruptive. Indeed, the framework is intended to support and integrate with existing practices within an organization rather than straight-up replacing them. It also highlights two important aspects of Agile Service Management (ASM): Agile Process Improvement (API) and Agile Process Engineering (APE).
Benefits of CASM
Investing in CASM training can offer numerous benefits for both businesses and individuals. Organizations will see their ITSM operations delivering results of higher quality at a much faster rate, reduced risks, and higher customer satisfaction rates. All of this helps to create IT service environments that regularly produce optimized ROIs.
Individual practitioners, meanwhile, find that CASM best practices greatly enhance their performance. They are able to respond to changing business requirements with greater agility and manage teams in a way that emphasizes autonomy, flexibility, and quality. With the right level of experience, all of this can help them unlock new responsibilities as well as significant career opportunities.
The CASM Certification Path
You will be happy to know that the CASM certification path is quite straightforward. Not only is there only one exam, there are also no major prerequisites (though candidates who are familiar with IT operations and software development will generally have an easier time).
The exam is structured as follows:
- It is an open book exam
- There are 40 multiple-choice questions
- Candidates have one hour (60 minutes)
- The exam is web-based
- Candidates must score at least 65% to pass
What is the Value of CASM Certification?
To determine the value of CASM certification, it is important to recognize that the framework is applicable to a variety of roles. In other words, it can benefit candidates in several career paths. These include practice owners, process designers, developers, ITSM managers, Agile delivery managers, DevOps managers, and anyone else with links to service management.
Here are the salary ranges for several such roles (according to Glassdoor and Zippia):
Process Development Engineer:
- £26,000 to upwards of £92,000
- $64,889 to upwards of $113,000
- £27,000 to upwards of £68,000
- $76,000 to upwards of $150,500
- £55,000 to upwards of £108,000
- $71,000 to upwards of $119,000
Agile Delivery Manager:
- £43,000 to upwards of £83,000
- $71,000 to upwards of $118,000
Of course, these ranges do not consider some of the most high-paying roles for particularly qualified candidates.
It is important to keep in mind that the best positions in Agile service management require experience as well as training and knowledge. Keeping up your studies and showing diverse expertise can also help you secure new responsibilities as you work to become more qualified.