In this article, I’d like to show you the certification options you have to get the Product Owner certification. I introduce you to the contents of the courses, inform you about possibilities to prepare and compare the two certification organizations Scrum Dot Org and the Scrum Alliance.
Basically, there are two institutions that issue a Product Owner certificate. The Scrum Alliance with the Certified Scrum Product Owner and scrum.org with the Professional Scrum Product Owner I and II.
Product Owner Certification with Scrum Dot Org
The Product Owner certification at scrum.org can be obtained by taking an online test. A course is not mandatory, but recommended if you haven’t had any or few touch points with the Scrum Framework so far. There are two levels of certification – Professional Scrum Product Owner I & Professional Scrum Product Owner II.
With the first certificate you lay the foundation. Scrum Dot Org describes this as follows on their website – “Achieving PSPO I is the minimum demonstration of any professional knowledge Scrum Product Owner should be able to make.” You understand your role and how you can use the Scrum Framework for the benefit of you and your team.
The second stage intensifies your knowledge. By obtaining a Scrum Product Owner II certificate, you have demonstrated how Scrum can help improve your development processes and the way you deliver customer value.
Product Owner Certification with Scrum Alliance Dot Org
The Product Owner certification at scrumalliance.org, on the other hand, requires that you attend a course. After the 2-day course you then have the opportunity to accept the certificate online and create a member profile. The certificate is valid for 2 years and must be renewed thereafter.
Both institutions are dedicated to different goals and skills a product owner should have in an agile organization in order to successfully develop products.
Scrum Dot Org
✅Agile Product Management
✅ Value-Driven Development
✅Scrum Principles & Empiricism
✅ The Scrum Framework
✅ Product Backlog Management
✅ Release Management
✅ Product Owner Core Competencies
✅ Product Strategy, Planning and Forecasting
✅ Understanding customers and users
✅ Validation of product assumptions
✅ Working with the Product Backlog
Basically, the training courses of both institutions for the Product Owner certification cover the same topics. The Scrum Framework is presented with roles, events, artifacts, etc. The handling and development of a Product Backlog is explained and how customer feedback and customer-centered product development can be realized. The focus is on the Product Owner and their core competencies, as well as the relevant cooperation with the Scrum Master, developers and the organization.
5 Tips – Preparing for the Product Owner Certification of Scrum Dot Org
To get a Product Owner certification from Scrum Dot Org one has to undergo a test. This can be done conveniently and easily from home. There are various resources and tools that can be used to prepare well before the assessment.
1. Read the Scrum Guide thoroughly.
Learn about the Scrum Values, Scrum Roles, Scrum Events and Scrum Artifacts. It is best to look through the Scrum Guide several times and identify the sections that need more focus and attention from you.
2. Look at the Scrum Glossary
The Scrum Glossary on Scrum Dot Org has lots of helpful explanations about all the important terms that are relevant and important in the context of the Scrum Framework.
3. Product Owner Online Test
A practical test under realistic conditions always helps you to better prepare for an exam. If you would like to do a practical test in advance or just want to test your Scrum knowledge, then you can subscribe to my newsletter and I will send you access to an 80-question practical test. This lasts, as in the real test, 60 minutes and requires 85% correct answers to pass the test.
4. Deepen knowledge and use online resources.
Only reading the Scrum Guide is not enough. Strengthen your knowledge by reading articles that examine the Scrum framework in a practice-oriented way and provide insights into applying it. I can recommend you my following articles:
5. Preparation course for the Product Owner certification
It’s not a must, but of course you have the opportunity to do a preparation course before you do the assessment of Scrum Dot Org. In regards to Scrum Alliance, the course is a must to obtain the Product Owner certification.
Product Owner Training Online
Physical trainings often cost $1,500 to 2,500 €. In 2 days you will get to know the Scrum Framework and especially the role of the Product Owner. In addition to the training, there are now a variety of online courses that prepare one for the Product Owner certification or help product owners to build knowledge or sharpening. You never stop learning.
The platform Udemy already offers a variety of courses on Agile and Scrum. Here you can get to know the basics of Agile and Scrum well.
Comparison scrum.org vs. Scrum Alliance
The Scrum Alliance has 3 certification levels (Certified Scrum Product Owner, Advanced Product Owner, Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner), all of which can only be achieved through a course. That can quickly add up. Scrum Dot Org has 2 certification levels. Both levels can be reached through an assessment. A course is recommended, but not a requirement for certification.
Scrum Dot Org
✅Certification without a course is possible
✅Obtain the certificate from just 200 € (for PSPO 1)
✅Very good preparation documentation available (including Scrum Glossary)
❌If you do not pass the exam, another fee is required to repeat
✅Member Benefits for Scrum Gatherings and various other events
❌Obtaining the certificate is expensive (about $1500 – 2500 € per course, depending on the experience of the trainer)
❌The certificate must be renewed every 2 years
Personally, I have a certificate from the Scrum Alliance, but I am thinking of doing my PSPO at the Scrum Dot Org through an assesment to save the Scrum Alliance’s long-term renewal costs. Many employers are also willing to pay the cost of certification or renewal if it helps the employee further develop their skills and do a better job. It is worth asking.