Product Owner Certification

Who is a ProductOwner?

The product owner is a key role in an agile software development project. They are responsible for defining the project vision and bringing that to the scrum team. The product owner creates the product backlog and sets the priority of the backlog items. They focus on bringing maximum product value to the organization and the customers. The right understanding of the product and its advantages, taking the right design decisions, effective communication and collaboration, and focusing on the customer experience are some notable features of a product owner.

According to Scrum.org, “Product ownership is about more than mechanics: taking accountability and focusing on value in everything you do. The role of a product owner is to identify, measure, and maximize value throughout your entire product lifecycle.”

What are Product Owner Certifications?

Any certification is a learning experience that helps people enhance their skills and knowledge about the subject. CSPO® (Certified Scrum Product Owner) and PSPO™ (Professional Scrum Product Owner) are two widely accepted product owner certifications in the software industry that help product owners succeed in their jobs by providing them the essential training within the Scrum framework. The training given during these two certifications provides the tools, techniques, principles, and guidelines for product owners to become successful product owners.

Although the main purpose of the two product owner certifications is the same, there are some differences between the two.

CSPO

The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is a certification the Scrum Alliance offers. It provides product managers the opportunity to learn the framework, principles, and values of a scrum along with the skills and tools required to become effective product owners. People who wish to take it to need to attend a 2-day training conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). The certification is valid for two years.

PSPO

The Professional Scrum Product Owner is a certification offered by Scrum.org. This well-recognized certification allows anyone to validate their knowledge and expertise of the Scrum framework. Therefore, you must properly understand the product owner's roles and responsibilities. Unlike in CSPO, there is no need to attend training to take this certification. It only requires you to face an online exam. Therefore, taking an online course is a good way to master the content of this certification. Once you obtain this certificate, there is no expiration date.

How to get the CSPO certification?

  • Prepare yourself for the training through the Agile Manifesto and the Scrum Guide.
  • Find a suitable education partner for the Scrum Alliance
  • Attend the CSPO course conducted by a CST.
    • The CST will then include your details in the Scrum Alliance
    • The Scrum Alliance provides the Scrum Alliance account
    • Accept the Scrum Alliance license
  • After that, you can download the CSPO certificate

Why is there no exam for a CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner)?

You must have noticed that, unlike in PSPO, CSPO certification does not require you to take an exam. Namely, because there are too many ways to accomplish the role's accountabilities, and there is no prescribed way in Scrum to do it.

Effective product owner skills include:

  • Product backlog creation by converting customer requirements into product backlog items
  • Facilitating the smooth communication between external and internal stakeholders and the scrum teams
  • Supporting the cross-functional teams throughout the product lifecycle and providing feedback on time
  • Ensuring that the frequent releases are always aligned with the product vision.
  • Mentors and guides the entire project team to the right path to achieve the business goals within the defined timeframe and within the budget

These skills are hard to earn just by doing a course or taking an online exam that evaluates the accomplishment of these skills. A work-shop type training is an effective way aspiring product owners can get hands-on experience in the above skills. If we simply tested the knowledge on Scrum, you can work towards the Certified Scrum Master certification. But here, certification does not aim to evaluate only how much you know about this role but also to provide the people with how to be an effective product owner by practically providing the learning experience. Therefore, consecutive training is the basis of the CSPO, allowing you to include your name in the Scrum Alliance and increase your demand.

The CSPO 2-day training provides aspiring product owners with many learning experiences. It covers several topics, including foundations of Agile and Scrum Framework, Product Owner and Other Roles, Product vision and backlog creation, stakeholder management, Customer requirement identification, user story refinements, tips and tricks for effective product ownership, etc. The training enables you to sharpen several product owner skills such as :

  • The concepts of Scrum, different roles of a scrum project, including the Scrum master, etc.
  • Understand the role of the Product Owner in an effective scrum team
  • How to motivate the team members to achieve their best
  • Improving the scrum flows such as the sprint planning, backlog grooming, sprint execution, etc., and scrum functionality implementations
  • How to facilitate effective communication between the scrum team and other partners like the project managers, external stakeholders, third-party teams, etc
  • Better risk management and planning techniques
  • How to improve the Return On Investment (ROI) for products
  • Techniques for faster delivery

This is a good way for product owners to demonstrate the in-demand product owner skills and scrum knowledge if they want to progress in their careers. The certification also allows one to engage with others in the Scrum Community who have the like-mindest and expand their network. Overall, the training-based certification provides the critical knowledge and skills to create better products that satisfy the customer and the organization's expectations.

Not only for the individuals but also the CSPO is a valuable and recognized certification that provides many organizational benefits. For example, the certified product owners help the organization cultivate an agile mindset, maximize the value of organizational products, help improve the communication and collaboration across the organization and ensure that teams keep the organizational goals in mind during software development and delivery.

Conclusion

The product owner is responsible for driving the project team to achieve the product vision, and it requires mastering several skills to succeed in this role. CSPO and PSPO are two product owner certifications that provide essential training about the product owner role within the Scrum framework. CSPO does not require you to face an online exam like in PSPO. The 2-day training in CSPO by a CST offers a great learning experience that adds several benefits to the product owners and the entire organization.


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