As Agile teams step up to address changing industry dynamics, strong involvement with the business is an imperative to ensure product success.
Many Agile teams feel that it is not easy to get collaboration and commitment from the business managers and stakeholders; especially in the face of rapidly evolving project requirements. This is where a Product Owner’s role comes into sharp focus.
In any Scrum team, the Product Owner’s role is critical to success. LinkedIn has identified this role as an emerging job in 2020 with a 24% annual growth in the US, and the demand is only expected to be on the rise through the next decade.
The Product Owner is the leader who is responsible for the value of the products created, overseeing every stage of the project’s development and acting as a bridge between the team and the stakeholders.
The PO takes into account evolving needs instead of following a prescriptive textbook approach to tasks.
The role of the PO is a powerful and versatile one that is easily accessible to those working on an Agile team, who find themselves interested in business analysis, project management or the marketing aspect of a product.
Many professionals find themselves drawn to the CSPO role, as the appeal of being able to make transformative decisions that could result in innovative products is very stimulating.
What is CSPO Certification?
The Certified Scrum Product Owner®(CSPO®) from Scrum Alliance® is a validation of the holder’s expertise in the business side of Scrum projects. A CSPO certification on your resume will show potential employers that you are committed to maximizing the value of your team’s work and to creating products that delight the customer.
With the CSPO, you can undertake the role of a Product Owner, and:
- Get an in-depth understanding of Scrum values, principles and roles
- Learn what the responsibilities of a Product Owner entail
- Engage with the global community of Scrum Alliance practitioners dedicated to continuous Scrum practice and improvement, and
- Create products that meet customer needs and industry requirements, by leading and implementing Scrum in the team.
- Get a higher CSPO salary associated with the credential.
Who can undertake the CSPO?
An aspiring CSPO could be someone who is interested in learning more about Scrum, or who has an interest in the business side of the organization and wishes to focus on the PO role.
A good CSPO candidate could be a project manager transitioning from traditional to Agile projects, or a developer, software development manager or architect, product manager, team member, and anyone interested in understanding Agile principles and the Scrum framework.
Prerequisites for CSPO Certification
At present, there is no certification exam associated with the CSPO. Undertaking the 2 day (16 hours) training led by a Certified Scrum Trainer® is sufficient to gain the credential from Scrum Alliance.
There are no prerequisites to attend the training, but reading the Scrum Guide and Agile Manifesto before the class will help you to quickly absorb the concepts.
Once you have attained the certification, you can add it to your resume so that potential employers are aware of your new knowledge.
Cost of CSPO Certification
The CSPO certification cost is included in the training offered by a Certified Scrum Trainer. On completing the course, the CST will update your details on the Scrum Alliance website, and you can login to download the CSPO certificate.
The PSPO certification from Scrum.org is also a sought after credential for Product Owners, but is considered to be far more challenging than the CSPO certification, as candidates have to pass a rigorous exam before getting certified as a PSPO.
Advantages of CSPO Certification
The CSPO certification on your resume is a powerful validation of your knowledge and competencies in the world of Scrum. You can demonstrate to potential employers that you have what it takes to create the product vision and ensure that the team does not stray from it. You will be able to put the Product Backlog in order, and make sure the product is all that the customer could ask for.
With the CSPO certification comes a two year membership with Scrum Alliance. This membership offers a sought-after platform where you can network with like-minded professionals from across the world, sharing experiences, learning new things and nurturing progress in your Scrum journey.
You can get a robust community experience, which includes membership of user groups, forums, discounts, and webinars that help you earn Scrum Education Units (SEUs). Members also discuss job openings with the group, and by furthering your active connections in the Scrum world, you can get ahead in your career.
How to get CSPO Certified?
To get the CSPO credential, you must mandatorily attend an in-person two day (16 hour) or live online (14 hour) Certified Scrum Product Owner® course that is delivered by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST). Having successfully completed the course, you can follow the steps outlined below:
- Visit the Scrum Alliance website.
- Your login credentials from the “Welcome CSPO” email can be used to create an account.
- Answer ’yes’ or ‘no’ to the question on Marketing opt-in
- Accept the CSPO License Agreement
- Download your certificate from Scrum Alliance:
- Go to Settings (top right-hand corner)
- Select ‘Certification Dashboard’
- Under ‘Actions,’ select ‘Print Certificate’
- Select ‘Size’
- Click ‘Generate ScrumMaster / Scrum Product Owner Certificate’
Finding a Good CSPO Trainer
It’s important to choose a reputed training provider who has the experience and expertise to help you understand the learning objectives. Do a background check on the training institute to ensure that they are an authorised REP of Scrum Alliance, and that the training is delivered by Certified Scrum Trainers (CSTs).
An experiential workshop will help you to gain a deep understanding of concepts, and if the training is interspersed with plenty of group activities, mock scenarios and games, you will learn faster and cement your understanding.
Renewing your CSPO Certification
The CSPO is by no means the end of the road. Scrum is a journey of continued learning, and getting the certification was just the first step!
To keep your certification alive, you need to log in 20 Scrum Educational Units (SEUs) and pay the renewal fee of $100 every two year cycle.
SEUs can be obtained in any of several ways: by participating in events, furthering your learning or volunteering in events to give back to the community.
This ensures that you hold your membership in good standing, and will have continued access to the exclusive, free tools that are available only to Scrum Alliance members.
The CSPO certification value is very significant, so do ensure that you keep your credential updated at all times.