There are three roles in a Scrum team: the ScrumMaster, the developer and the product owner. This last role might be the most important for a team that uses an Agile project management approach in software development. The product owner has the responsibility of building and prioritizing the backlog. If this is not done properly, you will just not build the right product. This article presents the certifications available for product owners in Scrum.
Author: Franco Martinig, Methods & Tools, http://www.methodsandtools.com/
May 26 2020: updated various links; removed “IEEE Computer Society Scrum Product Owner Certification”; added ScrumInc, SCRUMStudy, EXIN
June 20 2016: added IEEE & SAFe certifications
Certifications for product owners in Scrum are mainly provided by the two main Scrum organizations: the Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. There has been also the creation of certifications provided by other organization like the IEEE Computer Society or the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The training for these certifications is available from training organizations that are accredited by these certification bodies.
Certified Scrum Product Owner by the Scrum Alliance
The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is a certification provided by the Scrum Alliance. To be certified, you will need to attend a two-day CSPO training course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer. In this course you will learn how Scrum works and the role of the Product Owner in a Scrum team. The topics covered in this course include managing stakeholders, ROI, grooming the requirements backlog, writing effective user stories, defining acceptance criteria for user stories and the definition of “Done.”
Find more information on https://www.scrumalliance.org/get-certified/product-owner-track/certified-scrum-product-owner
Professional Scrum Product Owner by Scrum.org
Professional Scrum Product Owner is a certification provided by Scrum.org. There are two levels of certification. The Professional Scrum Product Owner level 1 (PSPO I) assessment is available to anyone who wants to validate their knowledge of the Scrum framework and its ability to support creation and delivery of value. Taking a course is not required. The Professional Scrum Product Owner level 2 (PSPO II) assessment is available to anyone who has passed the PSPO I assessment and wishes to demonstrate his or her ability to apply the Scrum framework to solving complex problems about Product Management in the real world. Anyone attempting the PSPO II needs to have in-depth Scrum and Product Management experience and have taken the Professional Scrum Product Owner course
The Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) training course is a 2-day course on how to maximize the value of software products and systems. The objective of the course is to develop and solidify the understanding of the Product Owner role through instruction and team-based exercises. You will understand thee role responsibilities in delivering a successful product from an Agile perspective on product management. Metrics are identified to track the creation of value and the successful delivery of it to the marketplace. This defines the perspective from which the role of the Product Owner in the Scrum framework is taught.
Find more information on https://www.scrum.org/Courses/Professional-Scrum-Product-Owner
SAFe Product Manager/Product Owner with PMPO Certification
This is a two-day course where you can learn how the roles of Product Manager, Product Owner, Solution Manager, and Epic Owner drive the delivery of value in the SAFe enterprise. This course provides an overview of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), the Lean-Agile mindset, and an understanding of how the Product Manager and Product Owner roles operate in the enterprise to drive the delivery of value. By the end of this course, product owner should be able to write Epics, Capabilities, Features, and User Stories within the context of SAFe, and have a solid foundation for managing backlogs and programs in a Lean-Agile enterprise.
Find more information on https://www.scaledagile.com/certification/courses/safe-product-owner-product-manager/
Licensed Scrum Product Owner by Scrum, Inc.
The Licensed Scrum Product Owner (LSMP) by Scrum, Inc. is offered as the only Scrum Product Owner training developed by the co-creator of Scrum, Dr. Jeff Sutherland. In a two-day course, you will learn how to assess business value, prioritize features, projects, and portfolios, as well as return real revenue with the product backlog.
Find more information on https://www.scruminc.com/scrum-product-owner-training/
EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner
EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner tests a candidate’s skills and knowledge of Agile principles and Scrum practices specifically with the role of Product Owner in mind. This certification focuses on adopting Agile or Scrum in the workplace and taking on the role of Product Owner. In this exam, you have to answer 40 (Multiple Choice) questions during 1 hour and 30 minutes. The exam is availalbe in English, Dutch, Latin American Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, German. The requirements are the successful completion of the EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner exam and the successful completion of an EXIN Accredited EXIN Agile Scrum Product Owner Training including Practical Assignments.
Find more information on https://www.exin.com/certifications/exin-agile-scrum-product-owner-exam
Scrum Product Owner Accredited Certification by the International Scrum Institute
The Scrum Product Owner Accredited Certification is a certification program provided by the International Scrum Institute. According to the website “Scrum Product Owner Accredited Certification Program is a multiple-choice online test examination in which you can participate from your own PC from anywhere around the world. The test contains 50 questions and you have 60 minutes in a single session to answer all the questions. Test and certification cost in total USD 29. No other hidden costs or fees involved. In order to pass the examination and to obtain your Scrum Product Owner Accredited Certification you need to correctly answer at least 60% of the questions. Examination success rate is 98%”. You might think that this is a joke, but the website seems to take it very seriously.
Find more information on http://www.scrum-institute.org/Scrum_Product_Owner_Accredited_Certification_Program.php
(Scaled) Scrum Product Owner Certified (SPOC) by SCRUMStudy
The Scrum Product Owner (SPOC) and Scaled Scrum Product Owner Certified (SSPOC) certifications are proposed by SCRUMStudy. There is no formal prerequisite for this certification. It is highly recommended attending a 2-day SPOC classroom training provided by a SCRUMstudy™approved Authorized Training Partner (A.T.P.). The certification is achieved with a multiple choice process with 140 questions. You must renew certification every 3 years. In the Scaled version, the certification invent the concept of Chief Product Owner.
Find more information on https://www.scrumstudy.com/certification/scrum-product-owner-certification
Further reading for Product Owners
* Agile Product Management with Scrum, Roman Pichler, Addison-Wesley
* User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development, Mike Cohn, Addison-Wesley
* Discover to Deliver – Agile Product Planning and Analysis, Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman, EBG Consulting
* Agile Software Requirements, Dean Leffingwell, Addison-Wesley
* Scrum Product Ownership: Balancing Value from the Inside Out, Robert Galen, RGCG, LLC
About the Author
Franco Martinig is the editor of Methods & Tools a free magazine providing expert knowledge about all software development topics, including Agile approaches, requirements management and software project management.