Why Scrum Masters and Product Owners Should Cross-Train

It’s time to merge your two Agile journeys together and talk about the benefits of cross-training within Scrum. Yes, we are talking about Scrum Masters taking a Certified Product Owner® (CSPO®) class, and Product Owners taking a Certified Scrum Master® (CSM®) class!

Remember that Scrum Guide 2020 says “Scrum Teams are cross-functional, meaning the members have all the skills necessary to create value each Sprint.” And what’s more cross-functional than a Scrum Team that has cross-trained?

Benefits of Scrum Cross-Training

It’s a level-set for your Team—You may have some new Team Members who aren’t as familiar with the details of Scrum Teams. Taking an entry-level class acts as a level-set so the Team can properly self-manage and work together most efficiently. 

It acts as a refresher course—The Scrum Guide had significant changes last year, including the introduction of Accountabilities within Scrum roles. Taking a CSM® or CSPO® class will both remind you of the nuances of the different role, plus you will get up-to-date training.

It’s a deep dive into the Accountabilities of the other role—The phrase “walk a mile in their shoes” comes to mind here. The more 

It makes you more well-rounded within your own role—A strong Scrum Team is made up of well-rounded Team Members who can problem solve effectively. 

It fosters empathy—It’s easy to get so caught up in your own work that you forget what obstacles your Team Members may face. Taking a different class will let you experience the other role first-hand and give you a better understanding of their daily struggles. 

It strengthens your Organization—A Scrum Team that understands each other to the core and can work together cohesively will deliver a better Product to their customers.

It gives you another certification—There is no such thing as too much education, or too many certifications! Who knows, you may find that you enjoy the other role more than you current one!