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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team. (*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users)(*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)1.2 What’s the job profile of a Product Owner?The Product Owner role is Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategical and operational aspect. The Product Owner role is critical as the role is kept by 1 person (and 1 person only) for a specific product. Having 1 person holding the role simplifies the accountability in terms of having 1 spokesperson for product ownership and accountability of maximising value. This doesn’t mean that all activities are to be done by the Product Owner; otherwise the Product Owner could become a bottleneck. The Product Owner does remain accountable at all times. To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job, and it involves to understand, empathise, quickly inspect & adapt, each time with the accountability to make the right choices in terms of what to built next, in order to continuously (incrementally) deliver value to end-users. In order to better understand what kind of profile is needed to fulfil the product owner role, it’s valuable to list skills required and activities performed.When looking for a Product Owner, you’re looking for a profile with generic product management skills and product-specific skills.  The generic skills are needed to be able make decisions on a strategic and tactical level.People skills a Product Owner must have:A Product Owner also needs people skills:To empathise with users of the productTo build connections with stakeholders and to create a healthy working relationship with the team building the product. These people skills include- to be able to listen (to stakeholders, end users, team members), to translate information (between people with a different background), to be able to make  informed decisions without undermining longer-term objectives, etc.The product-specific skills are defined by the product or service that’s being built. This includes all the activities to understand the market, the needs, the job the product or service will fulfil, user-journeys, also more technical product-specific knowledge, legislation (if applicable), financial implications and any other constraintIn his book Product Mastery “From Good to Great Product Ownership”, Geoff Watts describes the skills of Product Owners with the acronym “1.3 Product Owner role and responsibilitiesThe role of Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding. When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity.  The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson of the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved.Go through other roles and responsibilities of Product Owner here.1.4 How does a Product Owner manage various stakeholders desires for the product?The Product Owner has the challenging task to manage requirements and desires of stakeholders. Each stakeholders will certainly advocate his/her demands are the most important. Here are some recommendations on how a Product Owner can deal with this:Treat requirements & desires as “desirements”, meaning, until by learning or by end-user feedback has been proven that the “desirement” is valuable, treat it as a hypothesisKeep the product backlog and its ordening as transparent as possible to all stakeholdersDon’t be seduced to prioritising in categories such as high, medium, low priority. A product backlog is ordered, no two items can have the same priority.Use techniques to prioritise impacts (impact mapping), simulations to learn stakeholders to prioritise (e.g. buy a feature), techniques to slice for value (user story mapping) 1.5 CSPO vs PSPO CSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role. PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. There’s a difference in the way of obtaining certifications and how to maintain this. Certifications issued by Scrum Alliance are obtained by taking an online exam after mandatory attending a 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending a training. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in a training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended.1.6 Product owner in agile software development The manifesto of agile software development does not specify anything about the Product Owner role. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to have an agile team without a Product Owner.The manifesto for agile software development does state a few principles which illustrate how we want to work regarding product and value delivery, for example:“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software;”“Welcome changing requirements, even late in development;”“Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale;”“Business people and developers must work together daily; ““Working software is the primary measure of progress;”You can interpret these principles as following, in what you should NOT be doing…Waste time & effort creating long-term plans, long cycle times, etc without actually delivery usable product increments to the end-users, …Waste time & effort on unnecessary specifications; unfinished product (“inventory”); or unvalidated requirements (which are assumptions in disguise), …Waste time & effort on unnecessary handovers between business people and development teams, …Waste time & effort on assuming what’s valuable for the end-users, and not verifying this by letting end-users try out working software and based upon their feedback, inspect & adapt, improve the product together, …Wasting time & effort in demanding upfront detailed estimates for unreasonable long periods (e.g. all estimates for the next year…)Wasting time & effort on detailed long-term planning, fixing agreements, treating change as evil, …1.7 Product owner in Scaling AgileLets first make the statement that you need to consider it twice before blindly scaling up any development efforts. In general, we are trying to deliver value by keeping things simple, simplify working processes, and collaborate to maximise effectiveness and customer satisfaction. In case you need to align several development teams to work together on the same product, take the following into account:A product has 1 product owner, this means in case of several teams developing on the same product, there’s 1 product ownerA product is defined as something meaningful and valuable for a customer or end-user, not a technical componentA product has 1 product backlog, as long the product lives, the product backlog existsA product owner can delegate areas of the product to other product owners, but take care to not have “proxy” product owners, with a mandate to decide. The ‘chief’ product owner remains accountable for overall prioritisation. Some scaling frameworks make a distinction between “product management” and “product ownership”, in any case ensure there’s alignment regarding product management, no conflict in priorities, and no unnecessary handovers of information.1.8 Who is accountable for the business value delivered by a Scrum team?The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value. A Scrum Team collaborates to deliver value together. The Product Owner remains  accountable.1.9 What exactly is the role of the Product Owner during the Daily Scrum?The Product Owner is not required to attend the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is an inspect & adapt time-boxed event for the development and performed by the development. This is defined in this way because otherwise the Daily Scrum will quickly be run as a status meeting (and not a daily planning event). Of course, the Product Owner can be present during the Daily Scrum, as it’s a great moment to check-in with a team, listen how a team is synchronising, ask and answer questions - after the Daily Scrum. The Product Owner, nor the Scrum Master should be leading the Daily Scrum. They can be present, but the Daily Scrum is an activity (‘Scrum’ metaphor of Rugby), for and by the development team. The Product Owner defines a sprint goal (a sprint is a time-boxed iteration to deliver a potentially shippable product increment); the Development Team inspects its progress on a daily basis towards that sprint goal, using the sprint backlog.1.10 What are certain anti-patterns regarding Product Owner?Some example anti-patterns regarding Product Owners; this can be used in an exercise to coach Product Owners. Ask what should be done to be the WORSE Product OwnerIdentify what’s actually being done of that listIdentify what should be STOPPED doing, in order to improveSome anti-patterns of Product Ownership Becoming a bottleneck in communication, so that’s there’s a delay in the flow of value between the development team, end-users, and stakeholders, …Taking decisions in isolation, so that the reason why decisions are taken are not known, nor understood, …Specifying technical solutions, and not articulating the business value, … (technical solutions are the responsibility of a development team)Pressuring the speed of delivery, resulting in less quality and inability to validate if value is being delivered, …Not listening to the product development team’s recommendations, not engaging in any healthy dialogue, …Not articulating the product’s vision, and/or strategy, resulting in development teams functioning as “feature factory”, without investigating what’s valuable and what’s not, …Inadequate product backlog management, resulting in unready items to plan, long inventory, unclear prioritisation, …Not accepting or rejecting work according to the definition of done, resulting in unclear standards of what’s a done product increment, …Not thinking how to delivery slices of value, forcing development teams to deliver components, instead of ready-to-use product increments, …Not facilitating a sprint reviewNot participating in any retrospectiveNot updating any forecast after finishing a sprintNot engaging with end-users / customers to get feedback etc2 What is the process to get a CSPO certificate?You can also follow the below steps to understand clearly.Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance websiteRead and understand the Scrum GuideRead and understand the manifesto for agile software developmentRead and understand the learning objectives of a CSPO courseAttend the 2-day CSPO courseComplete the online CSPO exam, the fee is included in the course price. After completing the course, your Scrum Trainer will upload your user information into the system of Scrum Alliance, next you’ll receive an invite to do the online exam. Recommended books and material to read and further prepare:Articles by Roman Pichler,Book Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts,  Path forward after CSPO at Scrum AllianceCertification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. As a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO™), you can continue your educational development to become an:Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO™)Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner (CSP-PO™)Certified Team Coach (CTC™)Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC™) Certified Scrum Trainer (CST™)Remember, if you’re starting as Product Owner, the CSPO certification is only the start of your journey!ConclusionBeing a product owner is a satisfying job! You are the main spokesperson for the product. You act as a catalyst between the Development Team and the outside world. You take decisions to maximise product value while taking into account various constraints.
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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?

A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team. 

(*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users)

(*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)

1.2 What’s the job profile of a Product Owner?

The Product Owner role is Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategical and operational aspect. The Product Owner role is critical as the role is kept by 1 person (and 1 person only) for a specific product. Having 1 person holding the role simplifies the accountability in terms of having 1 spokesperson for product ownership and accountability of maximising value. This doesn’t mean that all activities are to be done by the Product Owner; otherwise the Product Owner could become a bottleneck. The Product Owner does remain accountable at all times. 

To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job, and it involves to understand, empathise, quickly inspect & adapt, each time with the accountability to make the right choices in terms of what to built next, in order to continuously (incrementally) deliver value to end-users. 

In order to better understand what kind of profile is needed to fulfil the product owner role, it’s valuable to list skills required and activities performed.

When looking for a Product Owner, you’re looking for a profile with generic product management skills and product-specific skills. 

 The generic skills are needed to be able make decisions on a strategic and tactical level.
Job profile of a Product owner

People skills a Product Owner must have:

A Product Owner also needs people skills:

  • To empathise with users of the product
  • To build connections with stakeholders and to create a healthy working relationship with the team building the product. 

These people skills include- to be able to listen (to stakeholders, end users, team members), to translate information (between people with a different background), to be able to make  informed decisions without undermining longer-term objectives, etc.

The product-specific skills are defined by the product or service that’s being built. This includes all the activities to understand the market, the needs, the job the product or service will fulfil, user-journeys, also more technical product-specific knowledge, legislation (if applicable), financial implications and any other constraint

In his book Product Mastery “From Good to Great Product Ownership”, Geoff Watts describes the skills of Product Owners with the acronym “

Product Owner skills
1.3 Product Owner role and responsibilities
Product Owner role and responsibilities

The role of Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding.

 When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity. 

 The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson of the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved.

Go through other roles and responsibilities of Product Owner here.

1.4 How does a Product Owner manage various stakeholders desires for the product?

The Product Owner has the challenging task to manage requirements and desires of stakeholders. Each stakeholders will certainly advocate his/her demands are the most important. 

Here are some recommendations on how a Product Owner can deal with this:

  • Treat requirements & desires as “desirements”, meaning, until by learning or by end-user feedback has been proven that the “desirement” is valuable, treat it as a hypothesis
  • Keep the product backlog and its ordening as transparent as possible to all stakeholders
  • Don’t be seduced to prioritising in categories such as high, medium, low priority. A product backlog is ordered, no two items can have the same priority.
  • Use techniques to prioritise impacts (impact mapping), simulations to learn stakeholders to prioritise (e.g. buy a feature), techniques to slice for value (user story mapping) 

1.5 CSPO vs PSPO 

CSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role. 

PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.

In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. There’s a difference in the way of obtaining certifications and how to maintain this. 

Certifications issued by Scrum Alliance are obtained by taking an online exam after mandatory attending a 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.

Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending a training. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in a training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended.

1.6 Product owner in agile software development 

The manifesto of agile software development does not specify anything about the Product Owner role. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to have an agile team without a Product Owner.

The manifesto for agile software development does state a few principles which illustrate how we want to work regarding product and value delivery, for example:

  • “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software;”
  • “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development;”
  • “Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale;”
  • “Business people and developers must work together daily; “
  • “Working software is the primary measure of progress;”

You can interpret these principles as following, in what you should NOT be doing…

  • Waste time & effort creating long-term plans, long cycle times, etc without actually delivery usable product increments to the end-users, …
  • Waste time & effort on unnecessary specifications; unfinished product (“inventory”); or unvalidated requirements (which are assumptions in disguise), …
  • Waste time & effort on unnecessary handovers between business people and development teams, …
  • Waste time & effort on assuming what’s valuable for the end-users, and not verifying this by letting end-users try out working software and based upon their feedback, inspect & adapt, improve the product together, …
  • Wasting time & effort in demanding upfront detailed estimates for unreasonable long periods (e.g. all estimates for the next year…)
  • Wasting time & effort on detailed long-term planning, fixing agreements, treating change as evil, …

1.7 Product owner in Scaling Agile

Lets first make the statement that you need to consider it twice before blindly scaling up any development efforts. In general, we are trying to deliver value by keeping things simple, simplify working processes, and collaborate to maximise effectiveness and customer satisfaction. 

In case you need to align several development teams to work together on the same product, take the following into account:

  • A product has 1 product owner, this means in case of several teams developing on the same product, there’s 1 product owner
  • A product is defined as something meaningful and valuable for a customer or end-user, not a technical component
  • A product has 1 product backlog, as long the product lives, the product backlog exists
  • A product owner can delegate areas of the product to other product owners, but take care to not have “proxy” product owners, with a mandate to decide. The ‘chief’ product owner remains accountable for overall prioritisation. 
  • Some scaling frameworks make a distinction between “product management” and “product ownership”, in any case ensure there’s alignment regarding product management, no conflict in priorities, and no unnecessary handovers of information.

1.8 Who is accountable for the business value delivered by a Scrum team?

The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value. 

A Scrum Team collaborates to deliver value together. The Product Owner remains  accountable.

1.9 What exactly is the role of the Product Owner during the Daily Scrum?

The Product Owner is not required to attend the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is an inspect & adapt time-boxed event for the development and performed by the development. This is defined in this way because otherwise the Daily Scrum will quickly be run as a status meeting (and not a daily planning event). 

Of course, the Product Owner can be present during the Daily Scrum, as it’s a great moment to check-in with a team, listen how a team is synchronising, ask and answer questions - after the Daily Scrum. The Product Owner, nor the Scrum Master should be leading the Daily Scrum. They can be present, but the Daily Scrum is an activity (‘Scrum’ metaphor of Rugby), for and by the development team. The Product Owner defines a sprint goal (a sprint is a time-boxed iteration to deliver a potentially shippable product increment); the Development Team inspects its progress on a daily basis towards that sprint goal, using the sprint backlog.

1.10 What are certain anti-patterns regarding Product Owner?

Some example anti-patterns regarding Product Owners; this can be used in an exercise to coach Product Owners. 

  • Ask what should be done to be the WORSE Product Owner
  • Identify what’s actually being done of that list
  • Identify what should be STOPPED doing, in order to improve

Some anti-patterns of Product Ownership 

Product Owner Anti Patterns

  • Becoming a bottleneck in communication, so that’s there’s a delay in the flow of value between the development team, end-users, and stakeholders, …
  • Taking decisions in isolation, so that the reason why decisions are taken are not known, nor understood, …
  • Specifying technical solutions, and not articulating the business value, … (technical solutions are the responsibility of a development team)
  • Pressuring the speed of delivery, resulting in less quality and inability to validate if value is being delivered, …
  • Not listening to the product development team’s recommendations, not engaging in any healthy dialogue, …
  • Not articulating the product’s vision, and/or strategy, resulting in development teams functioning as “feature factory”, without investigating what’s valuable and what’s not, …
  • Inadequate product backlog management, resulting in unready items to plan, long inventory, unclear prioritisation, …
  • Not accepting or rejecting work according to the definition of done, resulting in unclear standards of what’s a done product increment, …
  • Not thinking how to delivery slices of value, forcing development teams to deliver components, instead of ready-to-use product increments, …
  • Not facilitating a sprint review
  • Not participating in any retrospective
  • Not updating any forecast after finishing a sprint
  • Not engaging with end-users / customers to get feedback etc

2 What is the process to get a CSPO certificate?

 process to get a CSPO certificate

You can also follow the below steps to understand clearly.

Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance website

Read and understand the Scrum Guide

Read and understand the manifesto for agile software development

Read and understand the learning objectives of a CSPO course

Attend the 2-day CSPO course

Complete the online CSPO exam, the fee is included in the course price. After completing the course, your Scrum Trainer will upload your user information into the system of Scrum Alliance, next you’ll receive an invite to do the online exam. 

Recommended books and material to read and further prepare:

Articles by Roman Pichler,

Book Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts,  

Path forward after CSPO at Scrum Alliance

Certification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. As a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO™), you can continue your educational development to become an:

  1. Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO™)
  2. Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner (CSP-PO™)
  3. Certified Team Coach (CTC™)
  4. Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC™) 
  5. Certified Scrum Trainer (CST™)

Path forward after CSPO at Scrum Alliance

Remember, if you’re starting as Product Owner, the CSPO certification is only the start of your journey!


Conclusion

Being a product owner is a satisfying job! You are the main spokesperson for the product. You act as a catalyst between the Development Team and the outside world. You take decisions to maximise product value while taking into account various constraints.

Frederik

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Blog Author

Frederik is an experienced consultant, professional facilitator, coach and trainer. Frederik is constantly looking to help organisation to gain more agility and to create happy workplaces

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This in turn retains the quality of the product and also allows the product owner to make necessary adjustments whenever a quality issue arises. • Visibility Agile methodology is a collaborative approach that encourages active user participation throughout the product development. This gives an exceptional and clear visibility of the project’s progress and product development to the stakeholders. • Cost Control Agile development process has fixed timescale where the requirements emerge and evolve as the project progresses and the product is developed. This enables a fixed budget. • Risk Management In Agile methodology, small incremental releases are made visible to the product owner throughout the development cycle, which helps identify issues at an early stage, and it makes easier to respond to change, if any. Agile development ensures clear visibility, which allows necessary decisions to be taken at the earliest possible opportunity. Scrum Scrum, on the other hand, is a subset of Agile. A Scrum is a simple and flexible Agile methodology for software development. The Scrum is not a technique or a process but a lightweight and simple framework to address complex problems of a project and deliver a high-value product creatively. The major distinguishing attributes of Scrum are as follows: • Simplicity The development in Scrum is done in sprints, which are 1, 2, and 3 weeks in length. The Scrum team consists of: 1. Product Owner: The major responsibility of the product owner is to maximize the value of the product and work of the development team. Additional duties include managing the product catalogue. 2. Scrum Master: The development team consists of self-organising professionals who turn the product catalogue into product increment at the end of each sprint. 3. Development Team: The Scrum Masters make sure that the Scrum team is abiding by the Scrum theory and its rules. • Flexibility In the traditional waterfall model, when the business and technical requirements are documented and detailed, it results in endless documentation. The Scrum makes use of user stories to describe the functions needed to be developed. A tool called Pivotal Tracker is used to store these user stories in a backlog. If a change needs to be made or a need arises to add to the user stories, in that case the team can adjust as early as the next sprint. This allows the business to change their minds and the development team to be flexible enough to adjust to those changes. The ability to accommodate change is a powerful attribute of the Scrum methodology. • Communication and Collaboration In Scrum methodology, the communication between business users takes place on a daily/weekly basis according to the sprint schedule. This close communication and collaboration is a crucial factor, promoting the success of the Scrum methodology. The Scrum team achieves collaboration in following ways: 1. The Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the development team work closely on a daily basis. 2. Sprint-planning meetings are conducted, which allows the development team to organise its work based on the knowledge gathered from the business priorities. 3. Conducting daily scrum meetings where the development team can account for the work completed, its future prospects, and deal with issues if any. 4. Conducting sprint reviews allows the team members to evaluate their former work by recommending better practices with every sprint. There are more details on Agile & scum differences
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Difference Between Agile and Scrum

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Top 24 Reasons Why You Should Be a Certified Scrum Master

Today, the Agile methodology is taking the world by storm, and Agile practitioners are a dime a dozen. What is it that can set you apart in the Agile space, and make you more noticeable than your peers? The Certified Scrum Master credential from Scrum Alliance may be the answer. As a CSM, you will be recognised as part of an elite group of Scrum specialists who are proven to guide their project teams to agile success. The CSM credential sets you apart as a leader who is able to provide knowledge and expertise far beyond what a typical project manager could contribute, using powerful agile practices. Agile software environments have created a flow in demand for professionals with expertise in agile methodologies and who can properly manage and perform agile projects. By getting a Scrum Master Certification, one can get trained in these techniques and at the same time this certificate acts as a tangible proof for employers who are looking for employees with these skills. Scrum Master certification concentrates on the importance of ‘self-organization’, which can result in the following: you can easily participate in the team activities and also, members can feel a sense of self-ownership; employees can be self-motivated, which can help escalate team performance; can let you create a work environment which is useful for the company's growth; the knowledge and skills garnered can make the team immune to internal and external distractions. A Scrum Master Certification will show that you possess the required dedication that companies are looking for in Scrum Masters. There is a great demand for Scrum Masters because every team needs a dedicated person who can manage and perform different Agile projects. When you have this certification under your belt, it shows that you have mastered the best practices of helping various project teams that are working within a scrum environment. It allows you to learn and easily identify what needs to be kept and what needs to be adjusted based on the needs of the project. Along with a CSM certificate, you will have your own profile page on the Scrum Alliance website with a specially designed logo, and can have your achievements ratified. Top Job Designations For Scrum Masters 1. Entry Level Scrum Master With an experience of less than a year, you can make it as an entry level Scrum Master. This would give you smaller responsibilities to deal with while still following all the Agile practices. 2. Scrum Master After over a year experience in this level, you can be promoted to a Scrum Master, and will be required to implement the servant-leader style of operation. You’ll have to play the roles of a facilitator, a coach, motivator, and remove any obstacles that your team is likely to face during the process of production. With added responsibilities and experience, you can easily expect a higher salary from your organisation. You also get the benefit of continuing your Scrum Master education for 2 days each year on your Scrum Score Card. 3. Senior Scrum Master Along with the qualities of a Scrum Master, you will be appended with the responsibility of handling many teams and maintaining harmony among all the members as well as the teams. You get to demonstrate your increased experience and in-depth knowledge on the practices and frameworks. 4. Coach Scrum Master As a coach Scrum Master, you’ll be required full-time and will be booked on a regular basis to train teams, sites, and groups about Scrum practices. It is your responsibility to keep teams informed about new updations in the Scrum Guide, and about the latest techniques and technologies that can be implemented for faster results. 5. Product Owner/ Manager With all the knowledge and experience in handling teams and pressures of the organisation and deadlines, you will be qualified to be a product manager or an owner. Why should you become a Scrum Master? In reality, we know that certifications provide an additional value once we acquire some experience. The CSM certifications act as an add-on to your career. Listed below are the reasons to get your Scrum Master Certification and the advantages of pursuing the CSM training: 1. Certified Scrum Masters earn more CSM certified individuals earn more on average than their non-certified peers. Salary in different cities in the US: Popular Cities Salary New York, New York $70,685 – $1,37,957 Seattle, Washington $71,907 – $1,31,710 San Francisco, California $81,894 – $1,46,277 Washington, District of Columbia $68,885 – $1,36,149 Atlanta, Georgia $57,929 – $1,22,558 Comparing Salaries among different companies: Popular Companies Salary Amazon.com Inc $96,958 – $1,38,725 Capital One Financial Corp $73,830 – $1,20,355 Booz, Allen, Hamilton $67,117 – $119,230 Cognizant Technology Solution Corp $69,531 – $1,04,559 General Electric Co (GE) $83,763 – $1,26,111 Entry Level Salary for Scrum Master: Job Profile Salary Software Engineer $70,398 Software Developer $59,701 Mechanical Engineer $60,001 Electrical Engineer $62,209 Financial Analyst $50,950 Senior Level Salary for Scrum Master: Job Profile Salary Operation Manager $75,310 Office Manager $49,941 Executive Assistant $58,975 Director of Operations $106,933 General/ Operation Manager $75,639 Administrative Assistant $42,095 Chief Financial Officer $146,171 2. Have a strong knowledge of Scrum If you are not familiar with Scrum, knowing about the certification will educate you with the required skills to utilize it effectively. If you are in the initial stages of using Agile methodology for your project, the CSM certification will provide you with the basic knowledge. Even if you don’t know much about Scrum, the CSM certification will definitely help you build a solid base of Scrum knowledge and understand the concepts of Scrum framework. 3. Update your mindset To work with the Agile methodology with Scrum effectively, we need to develop an Agile mindset. The Agile mindset is a key factor for the teams to achieve successful Agile and self-sustaining approach. Industry-oriented certification and training will benefit this kind of mindset. As a member of the Scrum team, you will think in an Agile way, that will lead to a decrease in disagreements, more successful projects and better team collaboration. 4. Knowledge of Scrum Artifacts This certification includes concepts like the product backlog, sprint backlog, burndown charts etc. which are the pillars of a Scrum project. These Scrum concepts will be an advantage for the organizations to deliver the project in iterations. 5. Be admissible and catch your market The certifications will provide youwith an in-depth practical knowledge to improve your career. It makes you relevant and marketable in your field. CSM certifications will improve your career growth across any organization or industry that engages with Agile values. This certification proves that you have an Agile mindset and knowledge of Agile concepts. 6. Certified Scrum Masters are added advantage for organizations It is difficult for any organization to adopt a new methodology as it affects the entire structure of the organization including: Processes Management People Clients In this regard, it is quintessential for all the customers to achieve some tangible and real benefits in the early stage with self-managing teams and incremental iterations. If you are not a certified member, you might miss the opportunity to establish yourself as a Scrum master in your organization. 7. Strengthening teamwork We have a few organizations that consider Scrum master certification for different departments over different people. This certification generally has a positive result when it comes to working with your peers. As a certified Scrum Master, you will have the potential to build and strengthen the core understanding of Scrum while working together with your peers. With multiple Scrum experts along with all departments, the organization gets benefited with Scrum experts in all departments with an instance of knowledge that can lead to the successful execution of Agile and Scrum methodologies. 8. Establish your basic Scrum knowledge to peers The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification shows your efforts and knowledge of Scrum that makes you capable of working within the organization. You don’t need to waste your time to show your credibility in your workplace, your certification speaks about that. 9. Qualified employees get success in projects If your Agile project is successfully done then a team member of certified Scrum Master will benefit from a huge reward. And also, the clients would recognize the potential value of a Scrum team that work together to apply Scrum in a productive way. 10. One more feather to your career cap Certification indicates a sign of honor. If you are being a part of the management, allowing employees to get certified proves your acumen and commitment to enhancing their skills. 11. Succeed as a servant leader As a Certified ScrumMaster, you have the ability to motivate and lead your teammates. You will guide them and help the team work together smoothly. 12. A badge of honour Along with the improvement in your marketability towards potential clients, a Scrum Master Certification also comes with the added benefit of being something that can be flaunted with pride- a badge of honour. Your employees never doubt your suitability towards being a mentor, and are becoming more open towards your ideas. Scrum is not a static methodology in any sense- it is a living, changing and continuously evolving framework which has to be understood in depth, before implementation. A Scrum Master Certification helps you do just that, all the while improving your position in the organisation. 13. Be apart from the crowd The CSM credential demonstrates to your employees that you have the experience and skills to lead an agile team to success. It serves as a differentiator showing potential employers that you have an edge over your non-certified counterparts. It shows that you know your goal—The ScrumMaster knows the goals to be achieved and has a clear vision of what it will take to succeed. You know the quality that is needed to be delivered, and ensure that the team works towards it, ensuring project success and client satisfaction. 14. Iron out glitches in your project In case there are any impediments in the way of project progress, the CSM will negotiate, address any such challenges and build a positive work culture. 15. Ability to judge risks Scrum teams are known to release better products at lower risks, and as the CSM you can be the first to spot any red flags that could lead to potential disaster. 16. Ability to prioritize Prioritizing is the first step towards Scrum success; a CSM will be able to prioritize tasks efficiently. 17. Be a team player A CSM is, above all, a good team player. You will listen to your teammates, accept their suggestions and address any challenges they may be facing. 18. You will communicate well By keeping channels of communication and collaboration open, you will share all relevant reports, calendars and deadlines with the team so that you can work together towards project success. 19. Adopt Agile mindset Scrum being an Agile methodology, training and certifications will help people in your team embrace the Agile practices. And having a consistent Agile mindset in a team will lead to lesser disagreements, better team collaboration and ultimately delivering successful projects. 20. Stay marketable All industries adopting Agile practices will have excellent career opportunities for candidates with Scrum certification. This certification will prove that you have an Agile mindset and core knowledge of Agile practices. 21. A plus for your organisation If there are skilled and proven Agile professionals in an organisation, the management might benefit from it by adopting Agile methodology as it will effectively influence all the aspects of business like people and processes. 22. Learn a range of Skills The Scrum Master Certification helps you to focus on your actual experience and skill set because you have shown that you completely comprehend the principles important for managing a scrum team. Many companies are constantly looking for ways to become more Agile and there are not enough people out there with the required experience to compete with the high demand for scrum masters. If you have a Scrum Master certification, than you not only stand a greater chance of getting a job, but you also have an opportunity to earn higher salary and excel in your career. 23. Support system Another big benefit of getting a Scrum Master Certification is the support system — you join a select community of recognised Scrum experts. These experts have been working to improve all the areas of Scrum implementation, including its methodology, and you can avail their advice when you find yourself in a tight spot. Once you are a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) you will earn the stature to mingle with a society of authorized Scrum experts committed to ensuring continuous improvements with an Agile approach. Scrum Alliance is an official site that has Scrum Masters features across the global. This community will actively provide knowledge in a way to discover events and provide instructions. Being a certified Scrum Master, you can join a community of recognised Scrum experts, practitioners and trainers. This global network will give you exposure to deepen your Scrum knowledge, acquire guidance whenever necessary and also enable you to provide solutions to other problems. An example is Scrum.org, which actually features a global network of Scrum trainers as well as practitioners. There are few things in the Agile this community cannot help you with, and a Certification helps you gain the privilege of their guidance. 24. Influence your organization to adopt Agile If your organization has well-trained Agile professionals, the management would be more comfortable to invest in adopting the Scrum methodology. The CSM certification shows the management that you have the knowledge to work with Scrum and implement its approach. A professional study of Scrum means that you have to study its methods from all angles: this can help you gain a fresh perspective, along with a strong working knowledge of the implementation of Agile methods. You will be able to implant the Agile mindset you gain among your teammates; this increases the cohesion and cooperation of the team by leaps and bounds. The team’s unity, as we all know, is in direct proportion to the success of any project. Getting a Scrum Master certification can help you present yourself in a more attractive fashion, to any prospective employers. A Scrum professional knows how an organisation works, and since the framework is used in almost all industries, your career options expand considerably. If you’re already employed, you have a great shot at improving your organisation- with the requisite knowledge you receive, you can turn yourself into a company asset. Summary: If you have any certified Agile workers among your colleagues, a certification helps you improve your working relationship with them. Even if your peers have studied or adopted a different Agile methodology, the underlying ideas do not change. You will be able to converse and exchange ideas with them, and in the process strengthen the organisation within your company. The work environment is improved, since you can understand how your colleagues work, or even think, to some extent. Passing a Scrum Master examination is no mean feat — it requires you to study and have expertise in various aspects involved in implementing a Scrum methodology. All the things we discussed above are very compelling reasons to explore this certification further. Advance your career with the Scrum Master certification from Scrum Alliance, and sign up for a CSM training workshop led by the best minds in the business.
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Top 24 Reasons Why You Should Be a Certified Scrum...

Today, the Agile methodology is taking the world b... Read More

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