What Is a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

What Is a Certified Scrum Product Owner?
“I work for a manufacturing company, and every product owner in our organization has gone through a C Sigma or SCRUM process…is it time to pay someone to do a SCRUM certification test?” This is a valid question, one that has been on many minds of CSPO professionals for quite some time. In fact, many are even considering the feasibility of outsourcing their certification requirements to some sort of third-party C Sigma Certification Test provider. Here’s why this may be a bad idea:

By definition, SCRUM stands for “specifically specify, verify, and measure”. It is a very specific methodology for measuring a particular aspect of a product (or process) in a defined environment. When product owners are asked to pay someone to perform a SCRUM process, what they are really doing is “paying” someone to perform a task that they themselves have not “done” – in other words, they are paying someone else to do what they have not done.

So why might someone want to outsource their own SCRUM process? Primarily, outsourcing your own SCRUM process helps you stay in control of your own job. As mentioned above, you are the Product Owner. Yet, if you outsource your own certification to someone else, you become the employee who is responsible for implementing the process within your organization.

For instance, let’s say that you have some products to test. To do so, you have two options. You can either do the entire job ourselves, using your own certified SCRUM process, or…you can pay someone else to do the job, thereby ensuring that you have full oversight of the entire process. If you outsource your own SCRUM certification tests, then you will never be in full control of your own testing process.

When you pay someone else to do your testing, you become the tester! That’s right! Instead of being in charge of doing your own testing, you now become the “quality check” for your team. This means that when a product goes through the hands of your team, you will receive the results as well as an explanation of why the product passed or failed the specific set of tests. When you do your own testing, you typically don’t receive explanations and reasons for why the test failed, and often times you do not receive any type of benefit from your testing.

This may sound like a very positive thing, but in reality it can be quite the opposite. In order to be truly effective at the role of quality assurance for the Scrum Method, you must be involved in every phase of the testing process. You must have a constant stream of feedback on the progress of the testing process so that you can determine whether your team is making the correct choices and how to make changes so that your products are more aligned with your business goals. With a Certified Scrum Product Owner on your team, this is much easier to achieve because you already know that you can count on the outcome of each testing phase.

The Certified Scrum Product Owner also brings another set of skills to the table. While the CSPO may not be responsible for implementing every change that is made, they are responsible for defining each one, which is not always a simple task. For example, it may be necessary for a CSPO to decide what change to make depending on whether or not a customer wants to be integrated into the existing architecture or if the product should be completely rewritten from scratch. A Certified Scrum Product Owner also handles the testing of customer cases and will often work directly with a client or organization to test their acceptance of a new product. This is also a key aspect in the Scrum Method since a product that passes a strict test of acceptance is considered to be complete and it is the goal of the Scrum method to provide this level of security for customers and clients.

While the Certified Scrum Product Owner is ultimately responsible for the products that he or she develops, he or she is also very helpful to the team as well. Each team member knows that if a product does not pass the certification test, it will not be included in the official Scrum process. As a result, the owner must be open to suggestions from the other team members and have the ability to re-evaluate the tests as well as the proposed solution if they prove to be unfeasible. With this level of openness, you can see why getting a CSPO certification is vital for Scrum teams. So what are you waiting for?