A product owner is a leader responsible for maximizing the value of the products created by a scrum development team.
Both CSPO and PSPO relate to the expertise of a product owner in Scrum framework.
As Mike Cohn puts it:
“The Scrum product owner is typically a project's key stakeholder. Part of the product owner responsibilities is to have a vision of what he or she wishes to build and convey that vision to the scrum team. This is key to successfully starting any agile software development project. The agile product owner does this in part through the product backlog, which is a prioritized features list for the product.”
The expertise of product owner is centered around the following:
It’s about the product
It’s about understanding product benefits
It’s about customer experience
It’s about design thinking
It’s about collaboration
CSPO and PSPO both relate to product ownership which in turn requires business acumen and competency on product vision and roadmap aspects.
Both CSPO and PSPO courses offer a learning of wide array of principles, rules, practices, techniques and practical tools that help product owners become effective and successful.
As Scrum.org puts it:
“Product ownership is about more than mechanics: it’s about 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.”
If you’re someone who is comfortable with the "business side" of projects, you are probably the right person to aim for a Certified Scrum Product Owner® certification.
As defined by the Scrum Alliance, a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is someone who has been taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer about the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable them to fulfill the role of Scrum Product Owner.
PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, a course and certification offered by Scrum.org. The Scrum.org mission is “To Improve the profession of Software Development”.
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.
While it is quite easy for the people who are very involved in the Agile community to identify the most recognized certifications, but it is not a simple task for those who just arrived at the Agile world.
Through this blog, I will provide you a short overview of the differences between CSPO and PSPO credentials to help you in making an informed decision.
Note: Please note that these reflect my personal views only.
The CSPO workshop is usually informative about Scrum and Agile although the quality may be variable and depends very much on the specific instructor and the materials they provide.
The accreditation body of the CSPO and PSPO certifications are as follows:
Once you pass the PSPO exam, you will get industry-recognized "PSPO I" certification, along with a PSPO I logo that you can use to identify your achievement. Similarly, on clearing the CSPO certification exam, you will get a certificate from Scrum Alliance
PSPO has subsequent complexity levels in the form of PSPO I, II, III
CSPO has subsequent complexity level in the form of A-CSPO.
The main aim of the CSPO certification is to understand the working of Scrum and the role of the Product Owner playing in a Scrum team. While the objective of the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) certification is to develop a solid understanding of the Product Owner to maximize the value of the software products and systems.
PSPO has a level of difficulty associated with it. The things which I like about PSPO certification is that the certification does not mandatorily requires you to attend an in-person workshop. You can prepare all on your own and directly proceed to the examination. Also, PSPO has a lifetime validity once acquired, no need to renew the certificate.
To evaluate the value of any certification we need to consider:
How knowledge or competency in a subject is evaluated and how rigorous is the assessment process. The cost involved with attaining the certification and the validity also play an important role.
Before reaching any conclusion on which Scrum certification is better-CSPO or PSPO to choose, you must have heard somewhere that simply earning a skill is not enough, you need to prove your potentiality to the employers. Certification is just a way to reach to the recruiters. To get noticed by the potential employer, start looking for the various certifications options available to steer your success.
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