How to become a certified Agile Product Owner

IC Agile Product Owner (ICP-APO):

Offered by ICAgile (International Consortium for Agile), a globally recognised certification and training body, the ICP-APO focuses on value management and product ownership in an Agile context. It emphasises a broader approach to product ownership beyond just the Scrum framework, including understanding customer needs, product vision, and roadmap, along with the skills to work effectively in an Agile team. You might choose this if you're seeking a holistic approach to product ownership across various Agile methodologies.


Professional SCRUM Product Owner (PSPO):

Provided by, the PSPO certification concentrates specifically on the Scrum framework. It delves deeply into the role of the Product Owner within Scrum, covering areas such as managing the product backlog, maximising value, and working with stakeholders and the Scrum Team. This certification is ideal if you are working in an environment that strictly adheres to Scrum and you want an in-depth understanding of the Product Owner's role within this specific framework.


SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (POPM):

This certification is part of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), a framework for scaling Agile across large organisations. The POPM certification combines the roles of product owner and product manager, focusing on how these roles operate within a SAFe environment. It covers topics like SAFe principles, Lean-Agile mindset, creating a product vision and roadmap, and working with Lean Portfolio Management. This certification is suitable if you are working in or transitioning to a large organisation where Agile practices are scaled across multiple teams and departments.


SCRUM Alliance Certified Product Owner (CSPO):

Offered by the Scrum Alliance, the CSPO certification also focuses on the role of the Product Owner within the Scrum framework. Like PSPO, it covers the fundamentals of being a Product Owner, but it also emphasises interactive, experiential learning. The Scrum Alliance often requires in-person training and focuses on a more holistic understanding of Scrum values and principles. This certification is suitable if you prefer a more immersive learning experience and are looking to deeply understand Scrum in both theory and practice.

In summary:

  • Choose IC Agile Product Owner if you want a broader Agile perspective beyond Scrum.
  • Choose Professional SCRUM Product Owner if you desire a thorough understanding of the Product Owner's role specifically in Scrum.
  • Choose SAFE Product Owner/Product Manager if you're working in a large organisation implementing Agile at scale.
  • Choose SCRUM Alliance Certified Product Owner for an immersive, experiential learning experience focused on Scrum.

What is an Agile Product Owner?

The product owner is accountable for maximising the value of the product, resulting from the work of the Scrum team. They are also accountable for effective product backlog management, which includes:

  • Developing and explicitly communicating the product goal
  • Creating and clearly communicating product backlog items
  • Ordering product backlog items
  • Ensuring that the backlog is transparent, visible and understood.

The product owner may do the above work or may delegate. They represent the needs of many stakeholders, those wanting to change the backlog do so by convincing the product owner.

See QA's product owner courses below.

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