We’ve conducted four Product Owner courses at These are the new courses. They are aimed at teaching a customer, product manager, or any manager how to be Agile. Scrum is a tool that they use with the development organization and their Scrum teams, but their responsibilities go beyond that. They are responsible for markets, prospects, customers and the rest of the business organization.  I had a feeling that the old Product Owner course that I initiated in 2004 was too much from the developer’s point of view. It posited, what can the person in the Product Owner’s role do for the developers?

Two Product Owner assessments are available. The first, PSPO I, is multiple-choice. It tests if the person taking the assessment knows Scrum and the role of the Product Owner. The second, PSPO II, is essay and multiple-choice. It tests if the person thinks like a Product Owner and knows how to create business agility.

The results are starting to flow in. Most people do well on the PSPO I assessment. However, only one person has passed the PSPO II assessment. His origins were business consulting. Everyone else answered the questions from the point of view of the development organizations. These people are some of the best Scrum Masters that I know, but they are entrenched in development thinking.

We have to pull our Scrum Masters back so they help the developers on the Scrum team use Scrum, and to help the Product Owners on the Scrum Team bring agility to the organization.

I am commonly asked, “How do I sell Scrum to senior management.” A good way to do so is to show them how they will benefit from agility, and the ability to take advantage of opportunities. If we simply tell them what they have to do for the development organization, they have much more pressing issues.

7 thoughts on “PSPO II

    • Good mixed audiences, mixed between business analysts, Scrum masters, and some business people. The Scrum masters are more or less baffled.

  1. Unfortunately for those who took the assessment, this is good news – for a few reasons.

    1. It supports the fact that the role of the PO is different (very different) from that of the ScrumMaster.
    2. It demonstrates the complexity of real business life.
    3. It makes it more difficult for people to be certified-expert-at-everything.
    4. It shows that your certification program isn’t a walk-in-the-park (unlike other certifying programs).

    Good job!

  2. So you have aimed this course at POs “They are aimed at teaching a customer, product manager, or any manager how to be Agile.” And when some SMs have been taking them they are “baffled”? I dont know why they would be if they are working with business Product Owners who are truely interested in becoming a more agile company. Seems like those SMs were probably more team members and not seperate persons working with teams as a SM? We have seperate and defined roles (people) in our Scrum teams and have dedicated POs from the business who are Scrum trained and know what the expectation is from them. However a good course focused no their specific area of becoming more agile for the business as a whole is a welcome addition – and we will definitely be seeing that training happen – for business agility to foster further than the dev teams!

  3. Pingback: Professional Scrum Product Owner training :: Andrej Koelewijn

  4. Pingback: Professional Scrum Product Owner training

  5. Good morning Ken,

    which suggestions/advises would you give to somebody who is planning to sit for the PSPO II with only self-study?

    Do you think a combined education of IT + (master of) business administration can make a difference in the assessment outcome? Could this combined education make up for the training course? Which extra sources or references would you suggest to consult to acquire what could (likely) be missing?

    Many thanks!

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