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How to Become a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

Who is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO® )?A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing 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)A Certified Scrum Product Owner is a certification issued by the Scrum Alliance for the Product Owner role.Roles and Responsibilities of the Certified Scrum Product Owner :A Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product (or service, …) being built. The Product Owner is responsible for WHAT will be built by the development teamThe role of the 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 for 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. The strategic significance of the CSPO® The Product Owner role in Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategic and operational aspect. The Product Owner is the personification of the end-users, customers, business stakeholders. He or she represents the different views, perspectives and he or she is finally accountable for maximizing value.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.Sometimes, a Product Owner is a role given to a person, as an additional role to his/her existing function. To my experience, a Product Owner requires at least half the time of a normal day job. I have seen Product Owners who were not involved in the necessary activities. Given below are the duties crucial to any Product Owner.Do’sTreat requirements as a hypothesis, focus on learningEnsuring Product Backlog items are clearly expressedKeep slicing for value (use techniques as user story mapping)Create a shared understanding by visualizationChallenge the team by asking open questionsChallenge your stakeholders by repeatedly asking “Why?”Engaging with end-users to get feedback, treat the sprint review at the last responsible moment to get feedbackFacilitating Product Backlog Refinement (necessary to ensure items are ready to be planned in an upcoming sprint)Treat estimates as estimates, not commitments, trust the teamFeed the team with problems not only solutionsFocus on goals (long-term and short-term)Communicate uncertainty to stakeholders, as uncertaintyUnderstanding Lean Product DevelopmentDo engage in retrospectivesBe fair about what’s done and not doneSet an example, act and speak according to Scrum Values and Agile PrinciplesTips to consider for becoming CSPO® What is CSPO®  certification?CSPO®  stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. It’s the initial (entry-level) certification of a Product Owner. Scrum Alliance is the accredited body of the CSPO® . Now, let’s see the steps for becoming CSPO® . Prerequisites to become a CSPO® There are no specific prerequisites to attend a course. To take the CSPO®  certification exam, Scrum Alliance makes it a prerequisite to attend a 2-day class given by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). After completing the 2-day class you are invited to take the online test.Who can take up this CSPO®  course?Anyone interested in the Product Owner can take up this course.Why you should become a CSPO®  certified?A CSPO®  certification is accreditation and a proof of a body of knowledge at a specific point in time. The industry is asking for certifications, so if you want to take up the Product Owner role, a certification can give you this extra accreditation.Difference between CSPO®  and 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. The pass acceptance score is 24/35 questions (65%). Obviously, this is not particularly difficult to pass, but it’s not meant to be.Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending training. 1 attempt for the PSPO I online exam costs 200 USD. Passing score: 85%Time limit: 60 minutesNumber of Questions: 80Certifications 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 training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended. You can study the PSPO Subject Areas.Importance of the CSPO®  certification for an individual to boost his/her career as a successful Product OwnerYou need to decide for yourself if you think certifications are an added value. Eventually, it’s about a hands-on experience in the role. I do think that classroom course offers an added valueIn case you want to take up the role of a Product Owner, and you have not much knowledge yet, a classroom course is recommendedIn case you already are working as Product Owner, and you want to refresh your knowledge, take an updated perspective, a classroom course is recommendedPlease bear in mind that the certification is proof of classroom attendance and passing an online test. It’s the start of one’s career as a Product Owner. Next, you can advance your career and take part in advanced training.CSPO®  certification validityCertification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. The certification is 2 years valid. You can read here how it works to renew your certification.Step-by-step process to become a CSPO®  1. Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance website2. Prepare for the trainingRead and understand the Scrum GuideRead and understand the manifesto for agile software development3. Attend the 2-day course. Enjoy! 4. 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. Salary and career growth of Certified Scrum Product Owner vs Non-certified Scrum Product OwnerHere, you can see an overview of the certifications path offered by the Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. According to the 12th state of the Agile report by VersionOne, the chapter is about “Agile Methods and Practices”, having a dedicated customer or product owner is a technique indicated by 63% of the respondents. In the 2017 State of Scrum report (by Scrum Alliance), 40% of certifications are Certified Scrum Product Owner. 81% agree that certification improves practice.ConclusionBeing a product owner is a satisfying job! If you get a certification it will add an extra line on your curriculum which will catch the eye of recruiters. Besides that, it’s a learning journey and you’ll only understand the traits of the job by experience. Get your CSPO® certification today.Have a successful career ahead!
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How to Become a Certified Scrum Product Owner? 6580
How to Become a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

Who is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO® )?

A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing 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)

A Certified Scrum Product Owner is a certification issued by the Scrum Alliance for the Product Owner role.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Certified Scrum Product Owner :

A Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product (or service, …) being built. The Product Owner is responsible for WHAT will be built by the development team

The role of the 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 for 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. 

The strategic significance of the CSPO®

 The Product Owner role in Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategic and operational aspect. 

The Product Owner is the personification of the end-users, customers, business stakeholders. He or she represents the different views, perspectives and he or she is finally accountable for maximizing value.

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.

Sometimes, a Product Owner is a role given to a person, as an additional role to his/her existing function. To my experience, a Product Owner requires at least half the time of a normal day job. 

I have seen Product Owners who were not involved in the necessary activities. Given below are the duties crucial to any Product Owner.

Do’s

  • Treat requirements as a hypothesis, focus on learning
  • Ensuring Product Backlog items are clearly expressed
  • Keep slicing for value (use techniques as user story mapping)
  • Create a shared understanding by visualization
  • Challenge the team by asking open questions
  • Challenge your stakeholders by repeatedly asking “Why?”
  • Engaging with end-users to get feedback, treat the sprint review at the last responsible moment to get feedback
  • Facilitating Product Backlog Refinement (necessary to ensure items are ready to be planned in an upcoming sprint)
  • Treat estimates as estimates, not commitments, trust the team
  • Feed the team with problems not only solutions
  • Focus on goals (long-term and short-term)
  • Communicate uncertainty to stakeholders, as uncertainty
  • Understanding Lean Product Development
  • Do engage in retrospectives
  • Be fair about what’s done and not done
  • Set an example, act and speak according to Scrum Values and Agile Principles

Step-by-step process to become CSPO

Tips to consider for becoming CSPO® 

  • What is CSPO®  certification?

CSPO®  stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. It’s the initial (entry-level) certification of a Product Owner. Scrum Alliance is the accredited body of the CSPO® . Now, let’s see the steps for becoming CSPO® 

  • Prerequisites to become a CSPO® 

There are no specific prerequisites to attend a course. To take the CSPO®  certification exam, Scrum Alliance makes it a prerequisite to attend a 2-day class given by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). After completing the 2-day class you are invited to take the online test.

  • Who can take up this CSPO®  course?

Anyone interested in the Product Owner can take up this course.

  • Why you should become a CSPO®  certified?

A CSPO®  certification is accreditation and a proof of a body of knowledge at a specific point in time. The industry is asking for certifications, so if you want to take up the Product Owner role, a certification can give you this extra accreditation.

  • Difference between CSPO®  and 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. The pass acceptance score is 24/35 questions (65%). Obviously, this is not particularly difficult to pass, but it’s not meant to be.

Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending training. 

  • 1 attempt for the PSPO I online exam costs 200 USD. 
  • Passing score: 85%
  • Time limit: 60 minutes
  • Number of Questions: 80

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 training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended. You can study the PSPO Subject Areas.

  • Importance of the CSPO®  certification for an individual to boost his/her career as a successful Product Owner

You need to decide for yourself if you think certifications are an added value. Eventually, it’s about a hands-on experience in the role. I do think that classroom course offers an added value

  • In case you want to take up the role of a Product Owner, and you have not much knowledge yet, a classroom course is recommended
  • In case you already are working as Product Owner, and you want to refresh your knowledge, take an updated perspective, a classroom course is recommended

Please bear in mind that the certification is proof of classroom attendance and passing an online test. It’s the start of one’s career as a Product Owner. Next, you can advance your career and take part in advanced training.

  • CSPO®  certification validity

Certification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. The certification is 2 years valid. You can read here how it works to renew your certification.
Stakeholder Management

Step-by-step process to become a CSPO®  

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

2. Prepare for the training

Read and understand the Scrum Guide

Read and understand the manifesto for agile software development

3. Attend the 2-day course. Enjoy! 

4. 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. 

Salary and career growth of Certified Scrum Product Owner vs Non-certified Scrum Product Owner

Here, you can see an overview of the certifications path offered by the Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. According to the 12th state of the Agile report by VersionOne, the chapter is about “Agile Methods and Practices”, having a dedicated customer or product owner is a technique indicated by 63% of the respondents. 

In the 2017 State of Scrum report (by Scrum Alliance), 40% of certifications are Certified Scrum Product Owner. 81% agree that certification improves practice.

Conclusion

Being a product owner is a satisfying job! If you get a certification it will add an extra line on your curriculum which will catch the eye of recruiters. Besides that, it’s a learning journey and you’ll only understand the traits of the job by experience. Get your CSPO® certification today.

Have a successful career ahead!

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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1 comments

Maricruz 07 Jan 2019

I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before. Greetings! I've been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent work! It’s the best time to

KnowledgeHut Editor 23 Jan 2019

Thank you so much Maricruz.

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On completion of the course you will be able to: Apply SAFe to scale Lean and Agile development in your organization Identify and apply a Lean-Agile Mindset and principles Empower with a Lean Portfolio Improve your Lean-Agile leadership skills Continuously explore, integrate, deploy, and release value Coordinate the development of large value streams Support a Lean-Agile transformation in your organization How can I apply? Follow the below steps to apply for Leading SAFe® 4.5 certification exam- Step  1: Take the 2-day Leading SAFe®4.5 course Step 2: Your trainer will send all your details to Scaled Agile after successful completion of course. Now, the Scaled Agile Academy will send you two emails: a Welcome Letter and a Learning Plan Assignment. The Learning Plan Assignment e-mail includes information about the exam. Step  3: Take the online SAFe® 4 Agilist certification exam. Step 4: Once the test is completed with the minimum passing score, Scaled Academy will update your profile to disclose the certification. Step 5: You will receive an email including official notification from Scaled Academy which allows you to the member area and helps you to make your profile public within the Scaled Agile Community. 1-year membership with Scaled Agile will be provided as well. Why KnowledgeHut for Leading SAFe® 4.5? KnowledgeHut is a silver training partner of Scaled Agile Inc (SAI) and offers world-class learning to its students with excellence and provides in-depth knowledge required to become a successful world-class professional. KnowledgeHut also offers: Free materials from Scaled Agile Framework. Tricks and tips from our professional Certified Leading SAFe experts who have years of experience in implementing it in a variety of environments. 1-year membership with Scaled Agile included in the course fee. We hope this article cleared all your queries related to SAFe® 4 Agilist certification. Connect with us to know more about the Leading SAFe® 4.5 course.t                               Training Cost                               India        USA               LVC                5500                                                499                                  E-Learning                665                   5165 Exam cost                151                   612
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All You Need to Know About Leading Safe 4.5® Cert...

Agile is a project management process which encour... Read More

CSPO Vs PSPO: Deciding Between the Two Scrum Certifications

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 productIt’s about understanding product benefitsIt’s about customer experienceIt’s about design thinkingIt’s about collaborationCSPO 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.-Scrum AllianceWhat is CSPO?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.What is PSPO?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”.Differences between CSPO and PSPOCSPO 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 basic Comparison of CSPO and PSPOCSPOPSPOCSPO is offered through Scrum AlliancePSPO is offered through scrum.org CSPO has continuing education credit requirements every three years and is renewable. PSPO never has to be renewed Accreditation BodyThe accreditation body of the CSPO and PSPO certifications are as follows:PSPO - Scrum.orgCSPO - Scrum AllianceRenewal of CSPO and PSPO CertificationsPSPO - once earned, credential does not expire and does not require renewal.CSPO - once earned, credential valid for two years. Starting Feb 2019, renewal would require 20 Scrum educational units(earned in last 2 years only) and a renewal fee of USD 100 PricePSPO - 200 USD for certification license only. Attending the workshop could cost around 500 USD.CSPO - 500 USD. The cost varies based on the location from which you attend the workshop.Need of Course PSPO - No need to take up the course.CSPO - To earn CSPO certificate, you must attend 2 days CSPO classroom training from  a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) from Scrum Alliance.After Exam CertificationOnce 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 AlliancePassing ScorePSPO - 85%CSPO - None. Activities to be completed to achieve the credential is at trainer discretion. Time limit: PSPO - 60 minutesCSPO - NoneNumber of Questions: PSPO - 80CSPO - NoneFormat: PSPO - Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers and True/FalseCSPO - NoneLanguage: PSPO - EnglishCSPO - NoneDifficulty levelPSPO - IntermediateCSPO - NonePSPO has subsequent complexity levels in the form of PSPO I, II, IIICSPO has subsequent complexity level in the form of A-CSPO. Password Expiration DatePSPO - When you purchase a password, it is set up in Scrum.org system and emailed to you within one business day. All Students completing a PSPO course are emailed a password upon completion of the course (typically within 3-5 business days). No expiration date for passwordsCSPO - Depends on the online workflow set up by the Certified Scrum TrainerMembershipPSPO - Membership of Scrum.org and the membership does not expireCSPO - 2 Year Membership with Scrum Alliance. You are eligible to join local user groups and social networks, enjoy discounts on global events, search for careers on our online job board, and more.Other benefitsPSPO:  Once you get certified, your name will be listed on Scrum.org.CSPO: Once you receive the credential, your name is listed on Scrum Alliance portal.The verdict: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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CSPO Vs PSPO: Deciding Between the Two Scrum Certi...

A product owner is a leader responsible for maximi... Read More