Getting Scrum Product Owner Certified

Answering Important Questions

I recently became a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO). It’s a very exciting milestone on my certification objectives because it paves the path to other areas of the product and business with the goal of doing the best possible job to delight the customer. Throughout this post, I’m going to address multiples aspects of getting Scrum certified with additional resources at the end.

ScrumAlliance (R) CSPO Certificate
What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework. Being Scrum certified is meant to unify the language and understanding of any scrum team (product owner, development team, and Scrum master). It’s easy to explain further, but I will leave it up to you to read the Scrum guide, which at its core, is really all you need to get certified.

Why get certified?

My goal is to certify my knowledge + experience in the most recognized way for enhancing my career chances. The core of what I am currently doing at my job is supporting customers in their Digital Transformation journey by providing them with solutions that enable that. I believe that agile development of products and software is usually found at the heart of such journeys. With Scrum being one of the frameworks for Agile, it does make it a cornerstone of the adaptive and forward-thinking approaches for Digital Transformation.

Which certification to choose?

Let’s put it out there: there are many organizations that can certify you for Scrum. I chose the Scrum Alliance’s CSPO path. If you do a job search on any professional network engine and look for the multiple certifications related to Scrum Product Ownership, you will find that the CSPO is the most prevalent. This is how it was working out for my, but please note that many other variables and search filters, like job location and job market, can affect that. I use this logic for many other areas of a job search, be it a skill, certification, or any other job requirement.

You can pursue an agile path beyond the CSPO by working your way through the Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner and all the way up to the Certified Scrum Professional®-Product Owner.

How do you get certified?

You must prove your experience and knowledge of the Scrum framework and activities. I have mentioned above that this is all covered by the Scrum Guide. But is it enough? No. That’s why the Scrum Alliance requires some form of interaction for you to “be worthy” of the certificate. There is no exam, but you have to get 14-16 hours of facetime/interaction with a Certified Agile Coach or in a classroom environment lead by a Certified Scrum Trainer. Other organization like Scrum.org would have you sit for an exam in order to get certified.

Additional thoughts?

A Product Owner is expected to have a basic skillset. That, at the core, could be a collection of product management, business analysis, and technical/business expertise in specific matters. Product Owners may hold different roles and lead on different styles. Their knowledge areas, skills and expertise may extend beyond those mentioned above. Being good project managers, skilled at product discovery & market feedback, visionaries, experimenters, influencers, collaborators, customer representatives, and decision makers are a few to mention. Here are some references to tackle any Scrum product owner track. Other references below pertain to the different skills and knowledge areas of a Product Owner.

Scrum Guide: https://www.scrumguides.org/

Scrum Videos: https://youtu.be/XQQkLbitvmY

Knowledge Area references: (will update over 1 week)

Product ManagementBusiness AnalysisBusiness SpecialityTechnical Speciality
Pragmatic Marketing (C)CBAP (C)LinkedIn Learning (W)
Udemy (W)
Percipio (W)
Project ManagementProduct DiscoveryVisionaryExperimenter
PMI-PMP (C)
PMI-ACP (C)
The Lean Startup (B)
InfluencerCollaboratorCustomer RepresentativeDecision Maker
Never Split the Difference (B)
How to Win Friends and Influence People (B)
B – Book, C – Certification, P-Podcast, V – Video, W – Website

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