How to Become a Product Owner?

The Product Owner role is a new concept for most organizations that are switching to Agile Project Methodology. Nonetheless, the demand for a Product Owner continues to grow daily. Organizations are looking for product owners with great customer experience, business acumen, market orientation, technical skills, and soft skills. If you are looking to change your career and become a scrum professional, this guide on ‘How to Become a Product Owner?’ will help you land a meaningful position.

Who is a Product Owner?

In the mid-1990s, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber designed a modern methodology known as Scrum. Scrum is a lightweight agile project management framework. It works by breaking down large products and services into small pieces that can be completed by a cross-functional team in a short timeframe. Scrum framework provided three roles: Scrum Master, Development Team, and the Product Owner. Thus, the concept of product owner came into existence.

So, who exactly is a product owner?

A Product Owner is an individual responsible for maximizing the product’s value created by the development team. They are at the core of every product development lifecycle The most important tasks of a Product Owner include:

  • Formulating project goals and effectively plan work activities
  • Developing and managing the product backlog
  • Overseeing the product development at various stages
  • Acting as a liaison between the client and the product development team
  • Balancing the scope, time, and budget constraints
  • Ensure transparency into the upcoming work of the product development team
  • Communicating with stakeholders (both internal and external) to ensure the business is building the best product

You’ll be most likely to find Product Owners at companies that implement the agile approach to develop digital products.

Why Should You Become A Product Owner?

Driven by changes in how software is developed, the growing importance of data, the evolution of product development practices, the scope of product owners is expanding. Organizations are looking for product owners with great customer experience, business acumen, market orientation, technical skills, and soft skills.

According to the report created by the World Economic Forum, the product owner is one of the most emerging jobs in the product development domain. The market for Product Owners is quite competitive in terms of salary as well. Actually, the demand is higher than the availability of qualified professionals. Did you know that a Scrum Product Owner makes an average of $55.4 an hour? That's $115,355 a year!

With relevant skills, certifications, and job experience, organizations are willing to pay generously for professionals who can prove their knowledge and skills involving product ownership and Scrum practices. Sounds appealing right? So, how do you become a product owner?

How to Become a Product Owner?

Here’s an overview of how to become a product owner in few simple steps:

1.Learn the Basics of Scrum Framework

The growth of the product owner role is deeply connected to the Scrum framework, which exists in an Agile environment. So, it is important to keep your foundation strong. It is always important to keep your foundation strong. Familiarize yourself with the fundamental concepts of the Scrum framework and develop a thorough understanding of what the thinking behind the agile framework is. There are a multitude of resources that you can refer to such as Agile Manifesto, and the eLearning series by ScrumAlliance to get your basics straight. You can also refer to the resources from the Invensis Learning blog site.

2.Consider the Education Requirements

One of the first things to consider when trying for a product owner role is how much education you need. To become a PO, a bachelor's degree is generally required. However, some companies express a preference to individuals holding a master degree in a relevant major such as business administration.

3.Get Certified

Your journey to become a product owner is even more useful when you get a relevant certification. Obtaining your certification as a product owner demonstrates your understanding of the job and commitment to your career. Earning a certification has significant benefits such as professional growth, job security, new opportunities, and higher pay compared to untrained, non-certified counterparts. Though having a certification doesn’t reflect your real-world expertise, it shows your effort in gaining knowledge that makes you more effective.

There are several organizations that offer Scrum Product Owner Training and Certification programs, most of which are widely accepted and globally recognized. Here are some governing bodies that offer scrum product owner certifications:

To get certified from these governing bodies, there are a certain set of steps that you need to follow such as:

  • Attend a product owner certification training course from accredited training providers such as Invensis Learning
  • Register for certification exam
  • Study for your exam
  • Attempt and pass the test
  • Renew your certification to remain a product owner

Please note that while these set of steps are similar for most of the scrum master certifications, they might vary for others. For example, at present, there is no exam for CSPO certification.

4.Get Work Experience and Build On It

Most employers ask for a minimum of two years of experience as a product owner or related job roles (such as business analyst, product manager, product manager, etc.). So, if you are a fresher, apply for such roles and get started. If you are already a working professional and are considering becoming a product owner, it is always better to first get promoted internally (i.e within the company you are working for). Parallelly, sharpen your leadership skills, ability to make wise decisions in a short span of time, effective communication skills.

Apart from these, listed below are some tips that might increase the chances of you securing your dream product owner role:

  • Try to implement agile practices in your current organization
  • Get creative and look for volunteering opportunities
  • Make sure you are mentally read for the handling PO responsibilities
  • Make sure to add all relevant variations of words and phrases in your resume (often resumes are computer screened first)
  • Interact with others who are interested in scrum, participate in local agile groups
  • Increase your networking as much as you can in local interest or user groups.
  • Lastly, dedicate time to learning more about Scrum framework and stay up to date with any important changes

Finally, ask yourself, what are important factors in being a great product owner? Clearly, the demand for this role is increasing. Therefore, if you are a suitable candidate, there are plenty of options for you out there. If all this talk has piqued your interest to become a Scrum Product Owner, Invensis Learning can help!

Product Owner Certification Training at Invensis Learning

At Invensis Learning, we offer certification training for different Product Owner certification courses such as CSPO, PSPO, and ASPO. Through these programs, you will learn to think in terms of Scrum values and principles and learn how to help your Scrum team perform at the optimum level by making timely decisions. Besides that, the certification training will help you learn and understand the intricacies of the job role, and accelerates your journey in pursuing a career in the product management domain.

FAQs on Certified Scrum Product Owner

What is Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification?

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is one most significant and globally recognized Agile and Scrum certifications offered by Scrum Alliance. It is ideal for professionals who want to play the role of a Product Owner in the Scrum Team in an organization. The Product Owner job role is basically a business-oriented role with responsibilities such as developing a high-level project vision, designing a product strategy, working with the product backlog, collaborating with different stakeholders, and delivering a high quality product. CSPO credential validates the candidate for a Product Owner role. It demonstrates his/her core knowledge in the domain and willingness to learn and invest in oneself.

In today’s highly projectized business environment where anything and everything is a project, Agile has clearly picked up the ante from traditional waterfall methods to address enterprise transformation to meet market demands and stay ahead of the competition. With projects, key stakeholders will have their own vested interests that are in line with critical business objectives, and the Scrum Product Owner is one such key stakeholder whose responsibilities lie in creating a vision and conveying the same to the Scrum team.

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is a globally-recognized certification for professionals who are comfortable with the business side of projects by creating a vision, product backlog, and monitoring the work of the development team. CSPOs are responsible for the product and ensure it satisfies the needs of all the stakeholders. In fact, Certified Product Owners are the most highly sought-after professionals globally, where Agile implementation is a key strategic objective for businesses worldwide.

Currently, there is no test for CSPO certification. You can just follow the steps listed below to get Certified Scrum Product Owner certified:

  • Register and attend the live CSPO certification exam training delivered by Invensis Learning (Accredited by Scrum Alliance)
  • Utilize the live training hours properly, solve practice questions & learn form case studies
  • Submit all the assignments in time and give feedback on the course
  • Complete your certification course successfully and get your official CSPO Certificate from Scrum Alliance

In this Certified Scrum Product Owner training, you will:

  • Acquire knowledge of Scrum terminologies, team roles, events, and artifacts
  • Master how to effectively perform the role of a Product Owner and understand the responsibilities it entails
  • Learn the role of Product Owner’s in setting up a high-level product vision and a product strategy
  • Learn about various tools and techniques to effectively develop, prioritize, manage, and refine the product backlog
  • Get to know how to test and validate the product assumptions
  • Learn various ways and techniques to improve the business value and Return of Investment (ROI)
  • Acquire knowledge to come up with the various methods to prevent risks through predictive pre-planning
  • Learn how to effectively collaborate with various stakeholders to understand their requirements, feedback, and develop positive relationships with them

There are no prerequisites to attend the Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification training. However, it is beneficial to have some basic understanding of Scrum values, principles, and working knowledge of the overall Scrum process.

This 2-day Certified Scrum Product Owner workshop is intended for candidates who are aiming to become a Product Owner. It is also highly valuable for other job roles involved with Scrum including:

  • Project Team Members
  • Project Managers
  • Product Managers
  • Product Owners
  • Software Developers
  • Scrum Master
  • Business Analyst
  • Product Management Leads
  • Portfolio Managers
  • Scrum Enthusiast

To maintain your CSPO credential you can renew it every two years by obtaining 20 SEUs. The renewal fee is $100.

Currently, there is no test for CSPO certification. You just need to complete your Certified Scrum Product Owner certification course successfully and get your official CSPO Certificate from Scrum Alliance.

If you are interested in the business side of the project, interested to enhance your skills and credibility to lead product development initiatives, and would like to be a part of Agile transformation, then the Product Owner certification is for you.

Yes. At Invensis Learning, you can opt to take up this CSPO course in live-online delivery mode.

According to PayScale, in the United States, the average salary of a Certified Scrum Product Owner is around $105,122.

Firstly there are two different roles. Which is best for you depends on what you are interested in and the skill you possess. As a Scrum Master, Scrum values and principles and learn how to help your Scrum team perform at the optimum level. You will protect your team from external and internal impediments and guide them to successfully adopt the Scrum Framework. Whereas, as a Product Owner, you will develop a product vision, strategy, product backlog, and help the development team to successfully deliver a high-quality product at the right time.

Yes. After completing CSPO training, you will be eligible for the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification from the Scrum Alliance. Firstly, you will get a certification, which is recognized globally, thus expanding the scope of job opportunities. Secondly, it is highly beneficial if you are aiming to apply in an organization that is practicing agile. It gives you an edge over other non-certified counterparts. Also, according to PayScale, the average salary of a certified product owner in the United States is $105,122.

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