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Career Benefits of Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) Certification

As soon as the organizations started relocating to an Agile way of software development, new roles have emerged. One of them is the Product Owner who plays a pivotal role in effectively connecting the needs of the customer and business directly to the development teams in a highly dynamic and responsive manner.Who is a Product Owner?According to the Scrum Guide,“The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team. The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog”.From a business standpoint, one of the most vital roles on any Scrum team is the Product Owner (PO). The product owner is in charge of getting the product to life which customers want. To achieve this, the Product Owner does various activities that include creating the product vision, refining the product backlog, release planning, working with the customers, users, and other Stakeholders, managing the budget, launching the product, attending the Scrum meetings, and collaborating with the team.  Since the Product Owner must get input from other business Stakeholders, they need skills such as facilitation, conflict management, creative thinking, and the ability to influence the team and other stakeholders. In the waterfall model of development, we have business representatives and business analyst providing the requirements. The Product Owner combines the authority and responsibility which is distributed across different roles, including the customer or sponsor, the product manager, and the project manager.Responsibilities of a Product OwnerThe Product Owner represents the product, has a broad understanding of the product and “lives and breathes” it. The Product owner is responsible for creating and prioritizing the product backlog, a dynamic list of features for the product. The Product Owner is responsible for prioritizing and deciding what needs to be in the product backlog.The important qualities of a Product Owner include:Visionary and DoerThe Product Owner is a visionary who can envision the final product and communicate the vision. The product owner is also a doer who sees the vision through to completion.  Leader and Team PlayerAs the individual is responsible for the product’s success, the product owner provides guidance and direction for everyone involved in the development effort and ensures that tough decisions are made.At the same time, the Product Owner must be a team player who relies on close collaboration with the other Scrum team members, yet has no formal authority over them.Communicator and NegotiatorThe Product Owner must be an effective communicator and negotiator. The individual communicates with aligns different parties, including customers, users, development and engineering, marketing, sales, service, operation and management.Empowered and CommittedThe product owner must have enough authority and the right level of management sponsorship to lead the development effort and to align stakeholders.The product owner must be committed to the development effort.Available and QualifiedThe Product Owner must be available and qualified to do a great job. Being a Product Owner is usually a full-time job. It is important to give products owners enough time to sustainably carry out their responsibilities.The roles and responsibilities of the Product Owner are as follows:The economic success of the project (controls the budget)Gives direction and creates alignmentDefines visionAligns work of a team by prioritization and focusProblem validation of product needsInterface for customer and stakeholdersVoice of customer and stakeholdersOrganizes customer feedbackProvides feedback to the teamsPushes back if necessary to protect the product release planningDefines and updates the product roadmapPlans product releasesManages Requirements/User storiesDefines product attributes & featuresWrites User storiesManages and prioritizes the product backlogDefines constraints to increase focusRisk management on a product levelAccepts or rejects work resultsWhat is CSPO Certification?The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification from Scrum Alliance is a certification for the role of the Product Owner. This certification enables the participant to not only learn the basics but also take on the real-world problems that a typical product owner faces—emerging requirements, stakeholder conflicts and release planning.The Product Owner certification training will help you to learn how to improve a product value by increasing the speed of delivery of product features, leading the Scrum teams and coordinating with the Stakeholders to know their excitement about the product. Also, the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification training leverages an effective communication between the Stakeholders and the development team about the final product to raise the product ROI to a maximum level.Why CSPO?CSPO Certification BenefitsCSPO certification offers the following benefits: Increases the scope of your career opportunities across all industry sectors adopting Agile practicesDemonstrate and apply core Scrum knowledgeUnderstand the foundation of Scrum and learn about the scope of the roleCollaborate with Scrum practitioners committed to continuous improvementIn addition to fulfilling the role of the Product Owner on a Scrum Team, your CSPO certification gives you a two-year membership with Scrum Alliance®. For people pursuing a higher level of certification in Scrum, such as the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) designation, the CSPO provides attendees 16 Scrum Education Units to contribute to the total 70 SEUs they need to become a CSP. Certified Scrum Product Owner SalariesThe salary of a certified Scrum Product Owner varies from country to country. Collated below are the average salaries for three important countries:The average Scrum Product Owner salary in India is 18 Lakhs per year.The average salary of the Scrum Product Owner in the US is $ 100,831 per year.The average salaries vary from city to city in different countries. Provided below are the salaries for a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO):London: Pound 49,042San Francisco: $ 139,115Note: This data is based on the salary report by Glassdoor and Payscale.Top companies hiring Certified Scrum Product OwnersCertified Scrum Product Owners are sought after by top companies around the world. Some of the top companies which are hiring Certified Scrum Product Owners are Intel, Siemens, Target, EY, GE Healthcare, Honeywell.What are the requirements to become a CSPO?Before becoming a Certified Scrum Product Owner, you must first familiarize yourself with Scrum. The best way to do this is by reading the Agile Manifesto and Scrum Guide and watching the Scrum Foundations eLearning Series. Once you have completed these prerequisites, you must attend an in-person CSPO course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). The CSPO course is an in-person course that consists of two 8-hour days. In the course, you will learn the fundamentals of Scrum and the responsibilities of the Product Owner through exercises, discussions, and case studies. The main topics of a CSPO course include:Techniques for developing a Product VisionHow to create, maintain, and order a Product BacklogHow to identify user needsAn overview of sizing in ScrumHow to manage stakeholdersConclusion Certified Scrum Product Owner(CSPO) is a must-have certification for aspiring product owners or anyone who wants to work with the “business side” of projects. This certification ensures that you have a solid foundation to jump-start your career as a Product Owner.
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Career Benefits of Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) Certification

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Career Benefits of Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) Certification

As soon as the organizations started relocating to an Agile way of software development, new roles have emerged. One of them is the Product Owner who plays a pivotal role in effectively connecting the needs of the customer and business directly to the development teams in a highly dynamic and responsive manner.

Who is a Product Owner?

According to the Scrum Guide,

“The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team. The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog”.

From a business standpoint, one of the most vital roles on any Scrum team is the Product Owner (PO). The product owner is in charge of getting the product to life which customers want. To achieve this, the Product Owner does various activities that include creating the product vision, refining the product backlog, release planning, working with the customers, users, and other Stakeholders, managing the budget, launching the product, attending the Scrum meetings, and collaborating with the team. 

 Since the Product Owner must get input from other business Stakeholders, they need skills such as facilitation, conflict management, creative thinking, and the ability to influence the team and other stakeholders. 

In the waterfall model of development, we have business representatives and business analyst providing the requirements. The Product Owner combines the authority and responsibility which is distributed across different roles, including the customer or sponsor, the product manager, and the project manager.

Responsibilities of a Product Owner

The Product Owner represents the product, has a broad understanding of the product and “lives and breathes” it. The Product owner is responsible for creating and prioritizing the product backlog, a dynamic list of features for the product. The Product Owner is responsible for prioritizing and deciding what needs to be in the product backlog.

The important qualities of a Product Owner include:

Imporatant qualities of a Product owner

  • Visionary and Doer

The Product Owner is a visionary who can envision the final product and communicate the vision. The product owner is also a doer who sees the vision through to completion.  

  • Leader and Team Player

As the individual is responsible for the product’s success, the product owner provides guidance and direction for everyone involved in the development effort and ensures that tough decisions are made.

At the same time, the Product Owner must be a team player who relies on close collaboration with the other Scrum team members, yet has no formal authority over them.

  • Communicator and Negotiator

The Product Owner must be an effective communicator and negotiator. The individual communicates with aligns different parties, including customers, users, development and engineering, marketing, sales, service, operation and management.

  • Empowered and Committed

The product owner must have enough authority and the right level of management sponsorship to lead the development effort and to align stakeholders.

The product owner must be committed to the development effort.

  • Available and Qualified

The Product Owner must be available and qualified to do a great job. Being a Product Owner is usually a full-time job. It is important to give products owners enough time to sustainably carry out their responsibilities.

Product owner responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the Product Owner are as follows:

  • The economic success of the project (controls the budget)
  • Gives direction and creates alignment
  • Defines vision
  • Aligns work of a team by prioritization and focus
  • Problem validation of product needs
  • Interface for customer and stakeholders
  • Voice of customer and stakeholders
  • Organizes customer feedback
  • Provides feedback to the teams
  • Pushes back if necessary to protect the product release planning
  • Defines and updates the product roadmap
  • Plans product releases
  • Manages Requirements/User stories
  • Defines product attributes & features
  • Writes User stories
  • Manages and prioritizes the product backlog
  • Defines constraints to increase focus
  • Risk management on a product level
  • Accepts or rejects work results

What is CSPO Certification?

The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification from Scrum Alliance is a certification for the role of the Product Owner. This certification enables the participant to not only learn the basics but also take on the real-world problems that a typical product owner faces—emerging requirements, stakeholder conflicts and release planning.

The Product Owner certification training will help you to learn how to improve a product value by increasing the speed of delivery of product features, leading the Scrum teams and coordinating with the Stakeholders to know their excitement about the product. Also, the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification training leverages an effective communication between the Stakeholders and the development team about the final product to raise the product ROI to a maximum level.

Why CSPO?

  • CSPO Certification Benefits

CSPO certification offers the following benefits: 

  • Increases the scope of your career opportunities across all industry sectors adopting Agile practices
  • Demonstrate and apply core Scrum knowledge
  • Understand the foundation of Scrum and learn about the scope of the role
  • Collaborate with Scrum practitioners committed to continuous improvement

In addition to fulfilling the role of the Product Owner on a Scrum Team, your CSPO certification gives you a two-year membership with Scrum Alliance®. For people pursuing a higher level of certification in Scrum, such as the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) designation, the CSPO provides attendees 16 Scrum Education Units to contribute to the total 70 SEUs they need to become a CSP. 

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner Salaries

The salary of a certified Scrum Product Owner varies from country to country. Collated below are the average salaries for three important countries:

The average Scrum Product Owner salary in India is 18 Lakhs per year.

The average salary of the Scrum Product Owner in the US is $ 100,831 per year.

The average salaries vary from city to city in different countries. Provided below are the salaries for a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO):

  • London: Pound 49,042
  • San Francisco: $ 139,115

Note: This data is based on the salary report by Glassdoor and Payscale.

  • Top companies hiring Certified Scrum Product Owners

Certified Scrum Product Owners are sought after by top companies around the world. Some of the top companies which are hiring Certified Scrum Product Owners are Intel, Siemens, Target, EY, GE Healthcare, Honeywell.

What are the requirements to become a CSPO?

Before becoming a Certified Scrum Product Owner, you must first familiarize yourself with Scrum. The best way to do this is by reading the Agile Manifesto and Scrum Guide and watching the Scrum Foundations eLearning Series.

Once you have completed these prerequisites, you must attend an in-person CSPO course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). The CSPO course is an in-person course that consists of two 8-hour days. In the course, you will learn the fundamentals of Scrum and the responsibilities of the Product Owner through exercises, discussions, and case studies. 

The main topics of a CSPO course include:

  • Techniques for developing a Product Vision
  • How to create, maintain, and order a Product Backlog
  • How to identify user needs
  • An overview of sizing in Scrum
  • How to manage stakeholders

Conclusion

Certified Scrum Product Owner(CSPO) is a must-have certification for aspiring product owners or anyone who wants to work with the “business side” of projects. This certification ensures that you have a solid foundation to jump-start your career as a Product Owner.

Mukundan

Mukundan Bashyam

Program/Project Manager

Mukundan Bashyam has more than 15 years of IT experience working in different roles such as Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master(CSM) and Certified Agile Coach from ICAgile. He is an accomplished Agile trainer for many organizations and a contributing author for KnowledgeHut. Mukundan has a Bachelor’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology (BHU)-Varanasi and a Master’s degree in Industrial Management from National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai. He has worked with startups and large companies like Hewlett Packard(HP), Target Corporation India, Diageo, and Robert Bosch.  

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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

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a r... Read More

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