Product Owner 101


June 15, 2023

In essence, the product owner plays a crucial role in ensuring that the products produced by a Scrum development team deliver the utmost value to the intended users or customers. By effectively prioritizing features, refining requirements, and collaborating closely with stakeholders, they strive to optimize the overall product value throughout the development process.


The role of the Scrum product owner is usually held by a pivotal stakeholder in a project. A crucial aspect of their responsibilities involves envisioning and effectively communicating their desired outcome to the Scrum team. This plays a vital role in initiating any agile software development endeavor. The agile product owner achieves this, in part, by maintaining a prioritized list of features called the product backlog.

Product Owner Expertise

The expertise of a product owner revolves around several key aspects. Firstly, it involves a deep focus on the product itself, understanding its intricacies and purpose. Secondly, it entails comprehending the benefits that the product brings to its intended users or customers. Additionally, it encompasses prioritizing and enhancing the customer experience throughout the development process. Moreover, it entails applying design thinking principles to ensure that the product meets user needs effectively. Lastly, collaboration plays a crucial role, as the product owner works closely with various stakeholders, including the development team, to drive successful outcomes.

CSPO® and PSPO™ are two renowned certifications that serve as valuable validations of an individual’s expertise and skills as a product owner within the Scrum framework. Both certifications focus on the critical aspects of product ownership, including business acumen, competency in product vision, and roadmap development.

The training programs leading to each certification offer comprehensive knowledge encompassing a wide range of principles, rules, practices, techniques, and practical tools. These resources are designed to equip product owners with the necessary skills to excel and achieve success in their roles.

However, there are notable differences between CSPO and PSPO. To understand these distinctions, let’s delve deeper into the contrasting features of the two certifications.

What Is CSPO

A Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) refers to an individual who has received training from a Certified Scrum Trainer. This training equips them with a comprehensive understanding of Scrum terminology, practices, and principles necessary to effectively fulfill the responsibilities of a Scrum Product Owner.

What Is PSPO

PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, which is both a course and certification. Under Braintrust, this is called a Certified Scrum Professional-Product Owner.

Differences Between CSPO and PSPO

As mentioned earlier, CSPO refers to Certified Scrum Product Owner, a certification offered by Braintrust. It is specifically designed for the Product Owner role. On the other hand, PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, a certification provided by Braintrust under Certified Scrum Professional-Product Owner. It also caters to the Product Owner role.

Both certifications hold equivalent value and maintain high standards of quality. The differences lie in the process of acquiring and maintaining/renewing the certifications.

To obtain a certification from Braintrust, individuals must complete a 2-day training conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer, followed by an online exam. 

While a solid understanding of the product owner role is essential to succeed in these certifications, participating in training and gaining practical knowledge of Scrum is highly recommended.

For those new to the Agile world, identifying the most reputable certifications can be challenging. 

A Detailed Comparison

Cost Starting at $695 plus tax Starting at $1,295 plus tax
Training Length 2 days, 9am-5pm 2 days, 9am-5pm
Prerequisites None Current Advanced Certified Product Owner (A-CSPO®) certification with Scrum Alliance. At least two years of work experience as a Product Owner in the last five years. Homework must be completed for certification.
Who Should Attend Anyone interested in learning the benefits of Scrum, Product Managers/Business, Analysts, Functional/Operational Managers, Project Sponsors, IT Leadership (Managers/Directors/VPs/CIOs/CTOs) This program is designed for practicing Product Owners who have completed CSPO®– and A-CSPO®. Certified Scrum Professionals challenge their teams to improve the way Scrum and Agile principles are applied. They have demonstrated experience, documented training, and proven knowledge in Scrum.
Objectives Agile and Scrum overview, Core competencies, Purpose and strategy, Understanding customers and users, Validating assumptions, Product backlogging Product Owner Core Competencies, Implementing Goal Setting and Planning, Advanced Interactions with Customers and Users, Complex Product Assumption Validation, Advanced Product Backlog Management
Benefits Earn your CSPO Certification from the convenience of your desk or laptop Certified Scrum Professional®-Product Owner (CSP®-PO) picks up where Advanced Certified Product Owner®(A-CSPO®) left off and takes your Product Owner skills to the next level. 
Takeaways Easy-to-use reminders of Scrum: Downloadable class manual and Digital copy of the Braintrust book Scrum for the Rest of Us, 16 SEUs/16 PDUs, Two-year membership to the Scrum Alliance, Fulfill one of the requirements for the Certified Scrum, Developer® (CSD®) certification Downloadable class manual, Certification as a Certified Scrum Professional®-Product Owner (CSP®-PO) for participants who satisfy all coursework requirements to the satisfaction of the trainer (homework must be completed for certification), Certificate of course completion that may be submitted to your employer and/or a professional body (PMI, IIBA, or similar) for PDUs (available on request), Digital copy of the Braintrust’s book Scrum for the Rest of Us, 16 SEUs/16 PDUs



Braintrust Group

Braintrust Group is a worldwide leader in Agile transformations. Through practical, hands-on training and enterprise and team coaching, we help our clients learn, plan, and implement Agile processes, such as Scrum and Kanban. Our goal is to teach our clients how to increase the predictability of delivery, decrease time-to-market, and improve overall client satisfaction.

More By This Presenter