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Roles And Responsibilities Of A Product Owner You Should Be Aware Of

A question I’m asked in many of my training sessions is about the difference between a Product Owner and a Business Analyst. Are they different names for the same role in different project management styles? Is a Business Analyst the person accountable for the project requirements when the software is developed using waterfall methodology; and is a Product Owner the person accountable for project requirements when the project is carried out using the Agile methodology?  This article attempts to help you understand about the warrior in Agile projects called the Product Owner. Is he / she the person in charge of software requirements? Or is he / she from the business side who will coordinate with the Business Analyst who in fact is a member of the development team? There is also an added confusion if this role belongs to the Product Management area.Who is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is an integral part of a product development or Scrum team. They are responsible for supervising the product backlog by making sure that it is up to date in terms of priorities and aligned with the vision of the product. The Product Owner represents the business or user, and is accountable for collaborating with the consumer to define what features will be present in the product release  Scrum Framework was developed in the early 2000s and since then there have been many different definitions floating around in the industry on who is a Product Owner. So, one day I decided to do some good old internet surfing on the topic “who is a Product Owner”.  I got the following answers from the Internet.Definition 1: A product owner is similar to a Business Analyst. He / she gathers software requirements from the various stakeholders and gives it to the development team. The development team goes to the Product Owner in case of any queries.Definition 2: The Product Owner is a part of the product management or development team. He / she creates the product backlog and prioritizes it. He / she will ensure that the development team is doing their job properly and are working on items that the Product Owner has prioritized.Now which of the above definitions is correct? What I have realized over the last few years as a Scrum trainer is that there is no globally accepted standard definition of a Product Owner role. The Scrum Guide does chalk out a few responsibilities of the Product Owner role, but different companies have different interpretations of this.  In some companies this role is a strategic role that involves collaborating with various stakeholders on the project and coming up with the software vision. The Product Owner then makes sure that the product vision is percolated down to the development team. And the development team develops the product exactly as per the Product Owner’s vision of the Product.In some companies this role is a very tactical or a hands-on role. The Product Owner is a very task-oriented person. He / she will write down software requirements, test the product developed by the development team, participate in the sprint review and make sure user stories are completed one after the other.What do Product Owners do?Ever since I embraced agile, I got to work with several Product Owners and mind you, this role is really critical as it collaborates with both the development team and the stakeholders. On the one hand, the Product Owner works with the stakeholders to get the right requirements or devise the requirements which they might not see or comprehend at that point. This not only improves the relationship with our customers but also helps to build trust. And on the other hand, the Product Owner helps the delivery team/development team understand the vision and the requirements. Hence, this role is similar to a bridge between the two ends that effectively paves the way for smooth communication.Deep dive into the Product Owner’s role:According to Roman Pichler, a leading Agile expert and the author of “How to Lead in Product Management”, the ultimate responsibility of a product owner is to ensure that the product creates value for its customers and users, as well as for the company. Think of the product owner as the person who champions the product, who facilitates the product decisions, and who has the final say about the product.” Pichler also says. “This includes if and how feedback is actioned, and which features are released.”The roles and responsibilities of a Product Owner include making sure that they understand the core of the product as well as how to facilitate collaboration at a 360-degree level, being both a liaison and the face of the user.At the most rudimentary level, as defined by the Scrum Guide, the Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of work done by the development team. Let’s chalk out a few of the Product Owner’s responsibilities.1. Defining the vision: The purpose of the product is defined in the product vision. It is the Product Owner who creates this vision, manages it for the entire life of the product and owns the same. The Product Owner has the responsibility of creating a vision so that the development team clearly visualizes the expected outcome by the user. It is the Product Owner who interacts and collaborates with the users to understand their requirements, so that it can be effectively communicated with the team. Also, it is equally significant to communicate to the stakeholders the vision and goals so that they have a clear-cut understanding of the outcome.  The Product Owner has to be very passionate about this product vision. The product vision is not developed at one go but rather over many iterations, and improves over a period of time. The Product Owner makes sure that this product vision is in line with the vision of the company. He / she also creates a product roadmap for this product vision. Roadmap is a visual summary of the vision spread across a period of time. The vision will define the future state of the product and the motivations that the product tries to fulfil.2.  Managing the product backlogThe primary responsibility of the role of a Product Owner is managing the product backlog. Today’s market is really dynamic and every customer wants to stay on the top of the latest trends in the industry. This product backlog is derived from the roadmap created by the Product Owner. Even the items in the product backlog might require some movement due to changing priorities. It is the Product Owner’s responsibility to build up a stack of items in the backlog and prioritize them as per the business goals and the global approach. The product backlog is a dynamic list of items and as we call it in agile, it is a ‘live document’ that should be frequently updated, based on changing project requirements, all the way through to development. The Product Backlog exists as long as there is a Scrum team that works on the product.3. Prioritizing and Ordering Items in the Product Backlog: Another area where the product owner focusses on is to prioritize the needs of the stakeholders. A product owner should be able to determine the priority of product backlog items in order to deliver the maximum outcome. The Product Owners are constantly in touch with the stakeholders and understand the environment in which the product operates. When the needs and market conditions for the product change, the Product Owner will change the priorities in the Product backlog. He / she may add new items in the Product Backlog and remove the ones which are now obsolete due to new stakeholder needs. This means that the Product Owner must order the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions. There are many tools to help Product Owners do this. The Product Owner is required to have the Backlog sequenced prior to the Sprint Planning Meeting. This means that each user story must be ordered by relative importance. The Product Owner will determine what needs to be developed in each iteration and how the product element will be developed over the life of the product.4. Overseeing development stagesOnce we have the basic entities in place – vision, product backlog, and the prioritization, the product owner has to make sure that he/she is participating in the overall development stages of the product. The team might need their Product Owner to get the clarity on a few queries or they might need to demo the committed item. The Product Owner will participate in the ceremonies with the team. In some ceremonies, this role can be active such as planning or backlog grooming but can also be passive or inactive such as in the daily Scrum.5. Anticipating client needs  In today's competitive environment, it is really important for someone in the role of a Product Owner, to understand the client/customer’s needs. The product owner should understand the market, the competition, and the users’ pain points. With those valuable pieces of information, the product owner can determine what features should be implemented, and in what order, with respect to time and importance. Sometimes the Product Owner can help the customers in configuring and penning down the items which they want but are not able to comprehend. And here communication plays a big role.6. Acting as primary liaison  As we have talked about at the start of our discussion, a product owner role involves acting as a primary liaison between the teams and the customers. The person in this role has to make sure the information flow is quick and clear so that there is no misinterpretation. The Product Owner has to make sure that the goal and the vision are correctly aligned with the work items on the product backlog. The Product Owner also acts as a liaison for business stakeholders and end-users, determining whether each story meets their shared expectations. When we say stakeholders, we mean the end users, or their representatives; they could be sponsors (who are paying for the product) or stakeholders who are also a part of the company's management. A stakeholder could be anyone with an interest in or an influence on the product. A Product Owner understands these stakeholders' needs and builds a vision that will drive the development team to develop the vision. Good product owners ensure that development teams can communicate directly with stakeholders, as long as they work on the priorities as chosen by the product owner.7. Evaluating product progress at each iteration   In every iteration, a product increment is created by the development team. The product owner inspects this product increment and decides if this is developed as per the vision created for the product. If it not as per the vision he / she may direct the development team to revise it in later sprints. Work that is either not complete or un-done needs to be re-prioritized or sequenced. The Product Owner makes sure that the development delivers the expected outcomes from the stories they worked upon and accepts it.  Thus, a Product Owner wears multiple hats throughout the product development effort.8. Participating in daily Scrum, Sprint Planning Meetings, and Sprint Reviews and RetrospectivesScrum ceremonies give a chance for the Product Owner to inspect and adapt. And as a result, being present at these ceremonies is identical to success. It is important for the product owner to join the Scrum meetings as it not only keeps the development team up to date with the priorities, but also helps the product owner understand the perspective of the team if there are any impediments.9. Terminating a Sprint if it is determined that a drastic change in direction is requiredIf the Sprint goal has no meaning (will not deliver business value) because of the extreme change, the product owner can terminate the sprint. The termination is most frequently the outcome of an intense change in business priorities; something previously considered important is no longer needed, or something even more significant is learned.How to become a Product Owner?Becoming a product owner requires a thorough understanding of the product as well as analytical and strategic skills. The person who wants to deep dive and become a good product owner needs to understand the market and the stakeholders. He/she should be able to create a vision and know when to juggle with the items in the product backlog so that the bucket is always prioritized.You can opt for some good certification programs provided by different authorities and gain a confidence in this area. As per my experience, I would recommend you to select a domain and master it!How to be a Good Product Owner | Product Owner Best PracticesWhat is A Certified Product Owner?As defined by the Scrum Alliance, a Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) is someone who has been trained by a Certified Scrum Trainer in Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable them to fulfill the role of Scrum Product Owner.Is the Product Owner the Project Manager?Both a project manager and a product owner watch over teams who work to carry developments across the finish line together. But the path to that finish line deviates entirely from the start. The Product Owners are product driven and customer focused. They need to be actively engaged with the team because they are the ones responsible for deciding what features will go into the final product.Also, there is a confusion between a Product Owner and Product Manager. Let us understand the difference between the two.A Product Manager is a high-level role that has responsibilities for the entire product lifecycle. The role starts by focusing on customer discovery to product delivery. The product manager will drive the overall product strategy. This is a multidisciplinary role and is very strategic in nature.  The product owner works primarily with the production team to ensure that the development team develops a product that is aligned with the product roadmap.To summarize, the product manager decides on what products to build next, and the product owner coordinates with the development team to build these products.What are the challenges a Product Owner comes across?Below are the major challenges a Product Owner is more likely to come across:1. Missing product road map2. High-level acceptance criteria3. Spending too much time dealing with product support instead of grooming the backlog4. Changing priority while sprint is in progressProduct Owners can escape these usual snares by working around the product road map, centering on high-value backlog items, defining crisp acceptance criteria, concentrating on grooming quality backlog item, and avoiding disturbing sprints.What is the learning path for a Product Owner role?Are you a business analyst who is now unable to figure out his / her new duties as Product Owner? Are you looking to venture into a Product Owner role? Or are you looking to clear your understanding of Scrum Framework and understand the Product Owner role? Then embark on this journey with us in becoming a great Product Owner.Why should you go for a CSPO certification?  Every high-functioning Agile team has a well-trained Product Owner making critical product decisions. A Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) is one such certification that helps holders become successful product owners by training them on aspects of on-time delivery of high-value releases and maximizing the ROI. The globally recognized CSPO certification, therefore, is a career-defining credential for anybody willing to take up the challenging role of a Product Owner on a Scrum team in an organization.Increasing Demand for CSPO® Certified Professionals The industry today is ripe with endless opportunities for Product Owners. With 90% of modern teams using Scrum, the demand for Certified Scrum Product Owners has seen a steep rise. Their presence on an Agile team is guaranteed to ensure early ROI while maximizing business value.Scrum Alliance  underlines the importance of Product Owners as follows:38% of the Product Owners act as an intermediary and are responsible for maintaining relationships with the Stakeholders.24% of the Product Owners set project business priorities and work directly with the customers.15% of the Product Owner work directly with the Scrum team.The Future of a Product OwnerA Product Owner is indispensable for the Scrum teams. This role can be compared to that of a deeply rooted tree which has a firm foundation on the product side and provides vision, approach, and planned execution on the outer side. The product owners carry the ownership of the product in terms of quality and delivery as per the expectations set with the stakeholder.A Product Owner needs to have an all-inclusive view of the product along with all the other factors like business understanding, go to Market, organizational readiness, and product capabilities. All of these should be collectively managed, coordinated and aligned to drive product success.Product Owner Training:  Be an efficient Product Owner to raise product value & manage product backlog effectively!  Get trained by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)  Get certified from the globally acclaimed accreditation body, Scrum Alliance  Earn 16 PDUs and SEUs in just 2 days  Excel in addressing challenges through Scrum as an effective Product Owner  Advance your knowledge with an experiential learning format  Get Free E-learning Access to 100+ courses  The Scrum Product Owner Certification from the globally renowned Scrum Alliance endorses and validates your Scrum expertise while enabling you to take on the Product Owner role and responsibilities with dexterity, as you lead successful projects and ensure high-velocity releases of marketable products. 

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Product Owner You Should Be Aware Of

11006
  • by Deepti Sinha
  • 12th Dec, 2018
  • Last updated on 07th Apr, 2021
  • 14 mins read
Roles And Responsibilities Of A Product Owner You Should Be Aware Of

A question I’m asked in many of my training sessions is about the difference between a Product Owner and a Business Analyst. Are they different names for the same role in different project management styles? Is a Business Analyst the person accountable for the project requirements when the software is developed using waterfall methodology; and is a Product Owner the person accountable for project requirements when the project is carried out using the Agile methodology?  This article attempts to help you understand about the warrior in Agile projects called the Product Owner. Is he / she the person in charge of software requirements? Or is he / she from the business side who will coordinate with the Business Analyst who in fact is a member of the development team? There is also an added confusion if this role belongs to the Product Management area.

Who is a Product Owner?

A Product Owner is an integral part of a product development or Scrum team. They are responsible for supervising the product backlog by making sure that it is up to date in terms of priorities and aligned with the vision of the product. The Product Owner represents the business or user, and is accountable for collaborating with the consumer to define what features will be present in the product release  

Scrum Framework was developed in the early 2000s and since then there have been many different definitions floating around in the industry on who is a Product Owner. So, one day I decided to do some good old internet surfing on the topic “who is a Product Owner”.  I got the following answers from the Internet.

  • Definition 1: A product owner is similar to a Business Analyst. He / she gathers software requirements from the various stakeholders and gives it to the development team. The development team goes to the Product Owner in case of any queries.
  • Definition 2: The Product Owner is a part of the product management or development team. He / she creates the product backlog and prioritizes it. He / she will ensure that the development team is doing their job properly and are working on items that the Product Owner has prioritized.

Now which of the above definitions is correct? What I have realized over the last few years as a Scrum trainer is that there is no globally accepted standard definition of a Product Owner role. The Scrum Guide does chalk out a few responsibilities of the Product Owner role, but different companies have different interpretations of this.  

In some companies this role is a strategic role that involves collaborating with various stakeholders on the project and coming up with the software vision. The Product Owner then makes sure that the product vision is percolated down to the development team. And the development team develops the product exactly as per the Product Owner’s vision of the Product.

In some companies this role is a very tactical or a hands-on role. The Product Owner is a very task-oriented person. He / she will write down software requirements, test the product developed by the development team, participate in the sprint review and make sure user stories are completed one after the other.

What do Product Owners do?

Ever since I embraced agile, I got to work with several Product Owners and mind you, this role is really critical as it collaborates with both the development team and the stakeholders. On the one hand, the Product Owner works with the stakeholders to get the right requirements or devise the requirements which they might not see or comprehend at that point. This not only improves the relationship with our customers but also helps to build trust. And on the other hand, the Product Owner helps the delivery team/development team understand the vision and the requirements. Hence, this role is similar to a bridge between the two ends that effectively paves the way for smooth communication.

Deep dive into the Product Owner’s role:

According to Roman Pichler, a leading Agile expert and the author of “How to Lead in Product Management”, the ultimate responsibility of a product owner is to ensure that the product creates value for its customers and users, as well as for the company. Think of the product owner as the person who champions the product, who facilitates the product decisions, and who has the final say about the product.” Pichler also says. “This includes if and how feedback is actioned, and which features are released.”

The roles and responsibilities of a Product Owner include making sure that they understand the core of the product as well as how to facilitate collaboration at a 360-degree level, being both a liaison and the face of the user.

At the most rudimentary level, as defined by the Scrum Guide, the Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of work done by the development team. Let’s chalk out a few of the Product Owner’s responsibilities.

Deep dive into the Product Owner’s role

1. Defining the vision: 

The purpose of the product is defined in the product vision. It is the Product Owner who creates this vision, manages it for the entire life of the product and owns the same. The Product Owner has the responsibility of creating a vision so that the development team clearly visualizes the expected outcome by the user. It is the Product Owner who interacts and collaborates with the users to understand their requirements, so that it can be effectively communicated with the team. Also, it is equally significant to communicate to the stakeholders the vision and goals so that they have a clear-cut understanding of the outcome.  

The Product Owner has to be very passionate about this product vision. The product vision is not developed at one go but rather over many iterations, and improves over a period of time. The Product Owner makes sure that this product vision is in line with the vision of the company. He / she also creates a product roadmap for this product vision. Roadmap is a visual summary of the vision spread across a period of time. The vision will define the future state of the product and the motivations that the product tries to fulfil.

2.  Managing the product backlog

The primary responsibility of the role of a Product Owner is managing the product backlog. Today’s market is really dynamic and every customer wants to stay on the top of the latest trends in the industry. This product backlog is derived from the roadmap created by the Product Owner. Even the items in the product backlog might require some movement due to changing priorities. It is the Product Owner’s responsibility to build up a stack of items in the backlog and prioritize them as per the business goals and the global approach. The product backlog is a dynamic list of items and as we call it in agile, it is a ‘live document’ that should be frequently updated, based on changing project requirements, all the way through to development. The Product Backlog exists as long as there is a Scrum team that works on the product.

Product Backlog

3. Prioritizing and Ordering Items in the Product Backlog: 

Another area where the product owner focusses on is to prioritize the needs of the stakeholders. A product owner should be able to determine the priority of product backlog items in order to deliver the maximum outcome. The Product Owners are constantly in touch with the stakeholders and understand the environment in which the product operates. When the needs and market conditions for the product change, the Product Owner will change the priorities in the Product backlog. He / she may add new items in the Product Backlog and remove the ones which are now obsolete due to new stakeholder needs. This means that the Product Owner must order the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions. There are many tools to help Product Owners do this. The Product Owner is required to have the Backlog sequenced prior to the Sprint Planning Meeting. This means that each user story must be ordered by relative importance. The Product Owner will determine what needs to be developed in each iteration and how the product element will be developed over the life of the product.

4. Overseeing development stages

Once we have the basic entities in place – vision, product backlog, and the prioritization, the product owner has to make sure that he/she is participating in the overall development stages of the product. The team might need their Product Owner to get the clarity on a few queries or they might need to demo the committed item. The Product Owner will participate in the ceremonies with the team. In some ceremonies, this role can be active such as planning or backlog grooming but can also be passive or inactive such as in the daily Scrum.

5. Anticipating client needs  

In today's competitive environment, it is really important for someone in the role of a Product Owner, to understand the client/customer’s needs. The product owner should understand the market, the competition, and the users’ pain points. With those valuable pieces of information, the product owner can determine what features should be implemented, and in what order, with respect to time and importance. Sometimes the Product Owner can help the customers in configuring and penning down the items which they want but are not able to comprehend. And here communication plays a big role.

6. Acting as primary liaison  

As we have talked about at the start of our discussion, a product owner role involves acting as a primary liaison between the teams and the customers. The person in this role has to make sure the information flow is quick and clear so that there is no misinterpretation. The Product Owner has to make sure that the goal and the vision are correctly aligned with the work items on the product backlog. The Product Owner also acts as a liaison for business stakeholders and end-users, determining whether each story meets their shared expectations. When we say stakeholders, we mean the end users, or their representatives; they could be sponsors (who are paying for the product) or stakeholders who are also a part of the company's management. A stakeholder could be anyone with an interest in or an influence on the product. A Product Owner understands these stakeholders' needs and builds a vision that will drive the development team to develop the vision. Good product owners ensure that development teams can communicate directly with stakeholders, as long as they work on the priorities as chosen by the product owner.

7. Evaluating product progress at each iteration   

In every iteration, a product increment is created by the development team. The product owner inspects this product increment and decides if this is developed as per the vision created for the product. If it not as per the vision he / she may direct the development team to revise it in later sprints. Work that is either not complete or un-done needs to be re-prioritized or sequenced. The Product Owner makes sure that the development delivers the expected outcomes from the stories they worked upon and accepts it.  

Thus, a Product Owner wears multiple hats throughout the product development effort.

8. Participating in daily Scrum, Sprint Planning Meetings, and Sprint Reviews and Retrospectives

Scrum ceremonies give a chance for the Product Owner to inspect and adapt. And as a result, being present at these ceremonies is identical to success. It is important for the product owner to join the Scrum meetings as it not only keeps the development team up to date with the priorities, but also helps the product owner understand the perspective of the team if there are any impediments.

9. Terminating a Sprint if it is determined that a drastic change in direction is required

If the Sprint goal has no meaning (will not deliver business value) because of the extreme change, the product owner can terminate the sprint. The termination is most frequently the outcome of an intense change in business priorities; something previously considered important is no longer needed, or something even more significant is learned.

How to become a Product Owner?

Becoming a product owner requires a thorough understanding of the product as well as analytical and strategic skills. The person who wants to deep dive and become a good product owner needs to understand the market and the stakeholders. He/she should be able to create a vision and know when to juggle with the items in the product backlog so that the bucket is always prioritized.

You can opt for some good certification programs provided by different authorities and gain a confidence in this area. As per my experience, I would recommend you to select a domain and master it!

How to be a Good Product Owner | Product Owner Best Practices


What is A Certified Product Owner?

As defined by the Scrum Alliance, a Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) is someone who has been trained by a Certified Scrum Trainer in Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable them to fulfill the role of Scrum Product Owner.

Is the Product Owner the Project Manager?

Both a project manager and a product owner watch over teams who work to carry developments across the finish line together. But the path to that finish line deviates entirely from the start. The Product Owners are product driven and customer focused. They need to be actively engaged with the team because they are the ones responsible for deciding what features will go into the final product.

Also, there is a confusion between a Product Owner and Product Manager. Let us understand the difference between the two.

A Product Manager is a high-level role that has responsibilities for the entire product lifecycle. The role starts by focusing on customer discovery to product delivery. The product manager will drive the overall product strategy. This is a multidisciplinary role and is very strategic in nature.  

The product owner works primarily with the production team to ensure that the development team develops a product that is aligned with the product roadmap.

To summarize, the product manager decides on what products to build next, and the product owner coordinates with the development team to build these products.

What are the challenges a Product Owner comes across?

Below are the major challenges a Product Owner is more likely to come across:

What are the challenges a Product Owner comes across1. Missing product road map
2. High-level acceptance criteria
3. Spending too much time dealing with product support instead of grooming the backlog
4. Changing priority while sprint is in progress

Product Owners can escape these usual snares by working around the product road map, centering on high-value backlog items, defining crisp acceptance criteria, concentrating on grooming quality backlog item, and avoiding disturbing sprints.

What is the learning path for a Product Owner role?

Are you a business analyst who is now unable to figure out his / her new duties as Product Owner? Are you looking to venture into a Product Owner role? Or are you looking to clear your understanding of Scrum Framework and understand the Product Owner role? Then embark on this journey with us in becoming a great Product Owner.

Why should you go for a CSPO certification?  

Every high-functioning Agile team has a well-trained Product Owner making critical product decisions. A Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) is one such certification that helps holders become successful product owners by training them on aspects of on-time delivery of high-value releases and maximizing the ROI. The globally recognized CSPO certification, therefore, is a career-defining credential for anybody willing to take up the challenging role of a Product Owner on a Scrum team in an organization.

Increasing Demand for CSPO® Certified Professionals 

The industry today is ripe with endless opportunities for Product Owners. With 90% of modern teams using Scrum, the demand for Certified Scrum Product Owners has seen a steep rise. Their presence on an Agile team is guaranteed to ensure early ROI while maximizing business value.
Scrum Alliance  underlines the importance of Product Owners as follows:

  • 38% of the Product Owners act as an intermediary and are responsible for maintaining relationships with the Stakeholders.
  • 24% of the Product Owners set project business priorities and work directly with the customers.
  • 15% of the Product Owner work directly with the Scrum team.

The Future of a Product Owner

A Product Owner is indispensable for the Scrum teams. This role can be compared to that of a deeply rooted tree which has a firm foundation on the product side and provides vision, approach, and planned execution on the outer side. The product owners carry the ownership of the product in terms of quality and delivery as per the expectations set with the stakeholder.

A Product Owner needs to have an all-inclusive view of the product along with all the other factors like business understanding, go to Market, organizational readiness, and product capabilities. All of these should be collectively managed, coordinated and aligned to drive product success.

CSPO certification

Product Owner Training:  

Be an efficient Product Owner to raise product value & manage product backlog effectively!  

  • Get trained by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)  
  • Get certified from the globally acclaimed accreditation body, Scrum Alliance  
  • Earn 16 PDUs and SEUs in just 2 days  
  • Excel in addressing challenges through Scrum as an effective Product Owner  
  • Advance your knowledge with an experiential learning format  
  • Get Free E-learning Access to 100+ courses  

The ScrumProduct Owner Certification from the globally renowned Scrum Alliance endorses and validates your Scrum expertise while enabling you to take on the Product Owner role and responsibilities with dexterity, as you lead successful projects and ensure high-velocity releases of marketable products. 

Deepti

Deepti Sinha

Blog Author

Deepti is an Agile Coach by profession and Freelance Trainer with over 11 years of industry experience working primarily with healthcare & finance clients in delivering business. She has played a wide variety of roles in the graph of her career, whether it be, management, operations or quality. She likes reading fiction, management and loves to write her experiences. Her colleagues mostly describe her as very detail oriented person with a knack of creativity and imagination. And yes, she loves feedback more than her coffee!!

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In the world of Agile, SEUs® stands for Scrum Education Units® (SEUs®), issued by the Scrum Alliance. It marks your participation, educational experience and continued proficiency in the underlying principles and practices of Scrum, while at the same time to maintain your certification. You can earn Scrum Education Units® (SEUs®) via completing various learning opportunities or educational training.  The process to earn SEUs® is easy and it will help you stay relevant as well as competitive in the market.Why do I need to earn SEUs®?SEUs® are required to renew foundational, advanced and professional-level certifications, which include CSM®, A-CSM®, CSP-SM®, CSPO®, A-CSPO®, CSP-PO®,  CSD®, and CSP®.SEUs® follow a ratio of 1:1, which means that for every hour spent in preparation or participation, you earn one SEU®.In order to maintain your certification for two more years, you need to submit an established number of Scrum Education Units® (SEUs®) along with a renewal fee.There are six categories from which you can choose from when selecting SEUs®, which has been discussed later in the blog.The following SEU® requirements have been in effect since February 4, 2019, with no change in the renewal fee.Certification TypeCertification (2-year term)SEUs RequiredRenewal Fee Per TermFoundationalCSM®, CSPO®, CSD®20$100AdvancedA-CSM®, A-CSPO®30$175ProfessionalCSP-SM®, CSP-PO®, CSP®40$250What are the different ways to earn SEUs®?There are six categories that you can choose from while selecting SEUs®:Category I: Scrum Alliance Scrum GatheringsParticipate in Scrum Alliance Global Gatherings, Scrum Alliance Regional Gatherings, Scrum Coaching Retreats, and Scrum Alliance-Sponsored Events, and Scrum Alliance-Endorsed User Group activities and events and earn SEUs®.Per day, a maximum of 8 SEUs® can be earned.The following are a few options for Scrum Alliance Scrum Gatherings:Attending Global Scrum GatheringAttending Regional Scrum GatheringAttending Scrum Alliance user group activityAttending Scrum Coaching RetreatAttending Scrum Alliance pre-event or post-event workshopAttending Scrum Alliance-sponsored eventAttending Scrum Alliance CSP Retreat  Category II: Scrum Alliance Courses or CoachingWork with Scrum Alliance CSTs, CTCs, CECs, and REPs to earn SEUs®. You can earn a maximum of 8 SEUs® after attending a full day training.Additional SEUs® can be earned by:Acquiring continuing education in advanced Scrum topics.Attending training courses conducted by CST®, like webinars, e-learning, recorded training, face-to-face courses.Attending training courses which are provided by Scrum Alliance® Registered Education Provider (REP).Participating in small or one-on-one group coachings provided by a CEC or CTC.Note: The CSTs, CECs, CTCs, or REPs should be verified as per the Member Directory on the Scrum Alliance website.The following are a few options for Scrum Alliance Courses or Coaching:Receiving CSM trainingReceiving CSPO trainingReceiving CSD trainingReceiving training from a CST (can be video training or eLearning)Receiving training from a Scrum Alliance REPReceiving coaching conducted by a CEC or CTCCategory III: Outside EventsYou can earn SEUs® by participating in other relevant events as well, other than the ones that are sponsored by Scrum Alliance. It includes Agile conferences, training from someone who is not a CST, regional meetings, or a REP course that does not fit according to the Category II.  Unlike Category II, activities in Category III include activities and services that you are receiving rather than providing.The following are a few options for Outside Events:Receiving face-to-face training outside of Scrum AllianceReceiving coaching or mentoring outside of Scrum Alliance vAttending user group events outside of Scrum AllianceAttending Scrum/Agile events outside of Scrum AllianceCategory IV: Volunteer ServiceScrum Alliance encourages you to give back to the community.  Therefore, you can earn SEUs® by providing non-compensated professional Scrum services, that is, you will be asked if you are not compensating for your volunteer work for your employer or another party.Category V: Independent LearningYou can earn SEUs® via independent learning activities such as preparing presentations, authoring relevant books, blogs or articles; watching a training video; reading books in-depth and then describing their benefits as a Scrum practitioner.The following are a few options for Independent Learning:Preparing a Scrum presentation (not delivering)Author a book, blog or articleWatch a Scrum/Agile video by an instructor other than a Scrum Alliance CSTRead a book on Scrum/AgileOther independent learningCategory VI: Other Collaborative LearningYou can earn SEUs® via various other collaborative learning activities with other Scrum practitioners. This category might not include submissions which belong to Category B or C.The following are a few options for Collaborative Learning:Co-training with the objective of learningReceiving training via live webinar which is delivered by any trainer other than a CSTOther collaborative learningWhat is the process for submitting SEUs®  for renewal? The following is the step-by-step process for SEUs® renewal:Log into your account on the Scrum Alliance page, https://www.scrumalliance.org/login.Click on the ‘My Settings’, which can be found on the upper right-hand area of your screen.Select ‘Certification Dashboard’.Under the ‘My Credentials’, go to the grey ‘Manage SEUs®’ button.Choose your SEU® category from the ‘Enter a Scrum Education Unit’  drop-down menu.Fill in all the details of all the required fields. Note: You cannot reuse an SEU® if it has been used to submit a prior renewal of certification or CSP® application.  Also, all of the SEUs® that is being used for renewal should be earned within the past two years. 
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How to Earn a Scrum Education Unit® (SEU®)...

In the world of Agile, SEUs® stands for Scrum Edu... Read More

Scrum master- The Legend of Daily Scrum

Scrum is a crucial part of software development. It is designed for the teams having at least 10 individuals. The development cycle consists of two-weeks of Sprint cycle. Also, it can be called Daily Scrum. This approach can be used to scale Scrum to the larger organizations involving Large-Scale Scrums and “Scrum of Scrums”. Scrum is an incremental, step-wise agile software development. The Scrum framework provides a flexible way to the team members to work collaboratively to reach a common goal. In Daily Scrum, meetings are arranged at the same place and time each day. Ideally, this meeting is held in the morning, as it is suitable to decide the work for the day. These Daily Scrums last up to 15 minutes. Though, this discussion is brisk, it unfolds more relevant information about work.  We all know that Scrum teams are incomplete and loosely defined without the Scrum Masters. The role of the Scrum Master is fairly diversified. A good Scrum Master facilitates relays all critical aspects to the teams and has the ability to apply them depending on the situation. So you can consider Scrum Master as a facilitator between the team members. The different roles of the Scrum Master can be well identified from the following diagram.        Scrum Master as a Facilitator:  You can call Scrum Master as a facilitator. Let us see what exactly the Facilitator means! The Facilitator can be defined as- “someone who helps the individuals to understand the work, choosing implementation strategy to achieve the goals”. It can be well understood by the key elements: ●    Assisting team members in achieving their objectives, ●    Like ‘neutral’, not at particular side, ●    Supports everyone to achieve the best’ ●    Allows collaboration and interaction over the work, Participants of the Daily Scrum- ●    Product Owner ●    Team Members ●    Scrum Master It is not an obligation for the Scrum master to personally attend all the Scrum events. But Scrum Master should ensure that some of the following tasks are done: ●    The use of the Sprint should be well, to create a ‘done’, useful, releasable built. ●    There be a proper use of the Daily Scrum, to inspect the team’s progress. ●    Sprint Planning is in use to discuss, plan and agree on the deliverables which can be done on the same day. ●    Sprint Review is in use, to inspect the developed build. ●    Finally, Retrospective can be used properly to ensure continuous delivery and discuss the existing constraints. How does the Scrum Master facilitate within the Scrum Framework? Lyssa Adkins offers a good description in her book ‘Coaching Agile Teams’: “A Scrum Master should facilitate by creating a “container” for the team to fill up with their ideas and innovations. The container, often a set of agenda questions or some other lightweight (and flexible) structure, gives the team just enough of a frame to stay on their purpose and promotes and environment for richer interaction, a place where fantastic ideas can be heard. The coach creates the container; the team creates the content.” A great facilitator should be able to: ●    Facilitate the Scrum process to the team members and look for continuous improvement in the process ●    Facilitate the team in achieving their objectives towards the project ●    Listen to understand the scenario ●    Plan and govern a meeting with responsibility ●    Facilitate friendly relationship between the teams  ●    Integrate the Scrum teams ●    Help things to happen confidently In case, Scrum Master fails to remove barriers like technical issues directly himself/herself, he/she can forward this responsibility to one of the trusted team members. The majority of teams conduct Daily Scrums by playing ‘poker activity’. In this, each individual has to pick one poker card to decide the priority of work. Accordingly, the task is assigned to the teams. Facilitating for the teams require mastering the Scrum Master skills. Grabbing the skills require time, continuous analysis, practice and continuous improvement. To enable best Scrum practices in organizations, you can get certified from a reputed training institute.
Scrum master- The Legend of Daily Scrum

Scrum is a crucial part of software development. I... Read More

The Career Path of a Certified Scrum Master: Foundational & Advanced Certifications

“When business goals are constantly varying, stepping on the right career path can be a tricky and on-going target.”So, you completed your 2-days of CSM certification training and serving as a Scrum Master in the organization! What is your next career move then? Is your part done once you receive CSM certification? Or you will think about adding more boosters to level-up your Scrum career? Go through this article to know more about numerous career options available for you today! Being a Scrum Master, you need to strengthen your Scrum knowledge on a regular basis. Typically, the very first move in the career of the Scrum Master includes serving one team, so that all the issues are faced by the team members can be resolved to deliver the end result very quickly.    A great Scrum Master always look for additional challenging roles. Often, the next logical step of the Scrum Masters is to work with multiple teams and at the scaled level concurrently. A Scrum Master, who manages to work under complex conditions can make an easy transition from good to great and this gives rise to the reality that- Success is often rewarded on accepting more challenges.  Level-up your Scrum Master skills to play various challenging roles in the organizations implementing a Scrum framework. Let’s take a look at the various certifications and requirements needed to earn those certifications after CSM certification. Given below is the list of various Scrum certifications that Certified ScrumMaster can take to upskill his/her career.Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM®)Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP-SM)Certified Team CoachSM (CTC)Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST)Certified Enterprise Coach℠ (CEC)Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®)Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD®)ICP-ACC CertificationFoundational LevelPrerequisiteNext Career MoveCSPONoneA-CSPOCSDNoneCSPAdvanced LevelPrerequisiteNext Career MoveA-CSMActive CSMCSP-SMElevatedPrerequisiteNext Career MoveCSP-SMActive A-CSMCTC, CEC, CSTExpert/ProfessionalPrerequisiteNext Career MoveCTCActive CSP-SM, CSP-PO, or CSPCoaches the team members on ScrumCECActive CSP-SM, CSP-PO, or CSPHelp organizations to become an Agile organizationCSTActive CSP-SM, CSP-PO, or CSPTrains individuals on ScrumICP-ACCActive CSMMentors the team in Agile adoption1. Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM®)A-CSM certification is an immediate Scrum Master certification that can be earned just after the CSM certification. This certification will help an individual to facilitate smooth communication between the customers and the Stakeholders increasing engagement. Further, as an A-CSM certified individual, you can not only increase your Scrum implementation skills but showcase your value as a highly-skilled Agile professional to the potential employer.  Prerequisites to grab A-CSM certificationYou just need to hold an active CSM certification from Scrum Alliance and you have at least 12 months of experience working as a Scrum Master.What next after Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) certification?Once you have upgraded your skills with the Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) certification, you are ready to master in Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM®).  2. Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP-SM):Certified Scrum Professionals always aims to improve the ways of applying Agile and Scrum principles. They exhibit their experience, knowledge earned during the Scrum training. If you are looking to elevate your Scrum career to the next level, get ready to earn Certified Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaster (CSP®-SM) certification. After attaining  CSP certification, an individual will get the following benefits:A candidate will be able to attend CSP events with other leadersAn individual will get chances to earn more and recruited by the top-giant companiesPrerequisites to grab CSP-SM certificationAn individual should hold an active Advanced Certified ScrumMasterSM (A-CSMSM ) certification from any of the Scrum Alliance approved training center. Also, he/she should have at least 24 months of work experience as a Scrum Master. What next after CSP-SM certification?CSP-SM certification is a gateway towards achieving the Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®), Certified Enterprise Coach℠ (CEC), or Certified Team Coach℠ (CTC) certifications.3. Certified Team CoachSM (CTC):The Certified Team Coach (CTC) is a guide level certification, usually works with the management, Scrum teams, and Stakeholders. As the name says, the CTC works at the team level. Organizations hire Certified Team Coach (CTC) to train, coach, mentor, remove obstacles, and lead the team to leverage value delivery, team collaboration, and continuous development across multiple teams. Prerequisites to grab CTC certificationAn active Certified Scrum Professional certification 1,000 hours of Agile coaching experience in the last 2 years without considering your role as Scrum MasterCoaching experience in at least 2 organizations Must be actively participated in a minimum of 5 Agile eventsPractical experience of Scrum implementation and coaching experience in Agile and Scrum framework.What next after CTC certification?Certified Team Coaches (CTCs) can initiate coaching, mentoring, and training the professionals on Agile and Scrum processes once they earn CTC certification. Also, they can recommend up to 50 individuals yearly for whom they have given 25-hours of in-person training or small group training to achieve Certified ScrumMaster® and Certified Scrum Product Owner® certifications. In this way, a CTC certified can contribute to creating a healthy environment of the organizations by coaching the team members on Scrum.      4. Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST)Scrum Alliance offer only one trainer-centric certification in the form of Certified Scrum Trainer®  (CST) certification. This is the most sought-after certification and those who wish to transform the working way of the teams can be a part of this training. Prerequisites to grab CST certificationTo become a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), you need to have:Detailed knowledge of the Scrum concepts, practices, and principlesAn active Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster™ (CSP-SM™) certification from Scrum AllianceHands-on experience in implementing the Scrum framework as a ScrumMaster, Product Owner, or Development team memberTeaching experience in partnership with any Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or independently-Taught to at least 100 candidatesHosted at least 10 or more days ScrumMaster training sessions Respective certifications in order to train professionals on the courses (e.g. if want to train on CSPO, an individual should hold an active CSPO certification.  What next after CST certification?As a CST, you can teach Scrum to the students who want to work in a Scrum environment. Scrum Alliance considers CST as an active member in the Scrum community who actively takes part in the events and user groups, blogging, and in online discussions.    5. Certified Enterprise Coach℠ (CEC):The Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) exhibits their years of experience in Scrum transformations at an enterprise level. They also show their in-depth understanding of implementing Scrum practices and principles. The CECs are skilled at Scrum (both theoretically and practically) and guide organizations during their Agile transformation journey.Prerequisites to grab CEC certificationThe individuals aspiring Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) credential must possess:Knowledge of Scrum practices, proven leadership, and coaching skills An active CSP-SM™ or CSP-PO™ or CSP® certification Working experience in Scrum team rolesCoaching experience in at least three organizations2,000 hours over the past 3 years of work experience as a Coach.What next after CEC certification?Being a CEC certified, an individual can help organizations to become an Agile organization using the Scrum framework to transform the world of work. Also, they can recommend up to 50 individuals yearly for whom they have given 25-hours of in-person training or small group training to achieve Certified ScrumMaster® and Certified Scrum Product Owner® certifications. In this way, a CTC certified can contribute to creating a healthy environment of the organizations by coaching the team members on Scrum.   6. Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®)The Product Owner (PO) creates the product vision, prioritize the product backlog, and help the team in delivering what customers intuitively looking for. The CSPO®  is the certification for the Product Owners that will help an individual in handling the business side of the project. Prerequisites to grab CSPO® certificationThere is no prerequisite to attend  CSPO® training. However, in order to earn this certification, an individual need to attend 2-days of CSPO® course taught by Certified Scrum Trainer®  (CST). What next after CSPO® certification?After taking CSPO certification, you can go for advanced-level certification of CSPO which is an Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner® (A-CSPO®) course from Scrum Alliance. 7. Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD®)The  CSD® certification proves that an individual has skills of building the software using Scrum as a part of the Scrum team. With CSD® , you can strengthen your technical skills in Agile software development. Prerequisites to grab CSD® certificationAny programmer (having coding knowledge) can attend CSD® course. To achieve this, an individual needs to undergo at least 5-days of the formal CSD training course by a Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider (REP) and a Scrum Alliance Authorized Instructor. In addition to this, the CSD® certification offers the privilege to the CSM certified candidates. They can skip the first 2 days and directly join from the 3rd day of the technical training.What next after CSD® certification?After CSD® certification, an individual can level-up his/her skills with Certified Scrum Professional® for Developers (CSP- D) certification. The CSP certification help teams to constantly improve the ways of implementing Agile and Scrum practices and principles.   8. ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC) CertificationICP-ACC certification in Agile Coaching certification aims to achieve an Agile mindset. After this certification, an individual can easily be able to differentiate between the facilitation, mentoring, professional coaching and teaching and will get to learn the skills like team collaboration and conflict resolution to form a healthy organizational environment.Prerequisites to grab ICP-ACC certificationAn individual with CSM certification and 2-3 years of working experience as a Scrum Master, is eligible to achieve ICP-ACC certification training. What next after ICP ACC certification?Being a certified Agile Coach, you can play the role of the mentor to the Agile team by facilitating Agile practices and empowering teams to reach their goals. More specifically, an Agile Coach can is a guide to the team members who help the team in Agile adoption. Career Roles of a Scrum MasterThe Scrum Master is the heart of the Scrum process who plays a diverse set of roles in the team. Let's have a glimpse of the various roles that Scrum Master can play after the CSM certification:Agile CoachProduct OwnerManager SAFe Scrum MasterConcluding ThoughtsThe Scrum Master role should not be an end itself. There is always a scope of consistent improvement. So, for all the Scrum Masters, ‘What’s your next career path?’ Being a Scrum Master, try not to keep yourself restricted to limited skills. Try to advance your Scrum skills always by taking more advanced Scrum certifications.    So, are you ready to take the plunge with other advanced Scrum certifications after earning CSM certification?  
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The Career Path of a Certified Scrum Master: Found...

“When business goals are constantly varying, ste... Read More

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