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Last post 11:19 am September 29, 2022 by Citranof Citranof
34 replies
10:34 am June 8, 2014

Hi everyone,

I'm about to take the PSM 1 assessment and soon after the PSPO 1. Passing the PSM 1 with a good score is enough to think that I can pass the PSPO 1 with success?

Which are the differences? Do they share only some questions or most of them?

My preparation is based on Scrum Open assessment,, Scrum Guide, Software in 30 Days, Agile Game Development with Scrum and most of all daily experience in a Scrum Team.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

10:31 am June 10, 2014

Hi Kahl,
I have made PSPO I and PSM I. In PSPO, there are many questions from the PSM pool, so if you succeed in PSM you are well prepared. I only did the open assessment before the PSPO which is actually designed for PSM.
In addition there are some questions about ROI, TCO etc but I remember them being quite simple.
Good luck!

10:55 am July 5, 2014

Today I took the PSPO I and I've failed with 78%. I would appreciate any feedback.

I had

94% of Scrum Framework


75% of cross functionality
49% Maximizing value

Any idea how to improve this stats?

P.s. I've passed PSM I with 87%.

04:17 am July 6, 2014

Hi Kahl,

You don't mention if you took a course, went self study or a combination of both.
At 500 dollars for an exam, I think taking a course would be the best way to go.
This would give you access to a study group a scrum tutor and the current thinking.
You would be in a group of people some of whom already be in your position.
Thats how i would approach it if passing that exam is the goal you have, remember its not
a guaranteed pass in any scrum,org exam, but the tutors are always top notch.
All depends on your personal goal, understanding and certification or just understanding the PO role.


04:48 am July 6, 2014


For now I am self studying for PSPO 1 that costs 100€ not 500€. I am in Italy and there aren't course scheduled for this region. I will take a course when I am ready for PSPO 2, because the nearest place is London and will cost me thousands of euros (course fee, accomodation, etc...). So for now any advice to pass the test with self study only or online resources would be appreciate.

05:16 am July 6, 2014

Hi Kahl,

Costs, i had the PSPO II cost.

Professional Scrum Product Owner II (PSPO II) Assessment Fee $500.00
Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I) Assessment Fee $200.00
As your going self study mode its going to be difficult, as your away from the resources you need.
Needing PSPO I as the pre requisite I can understand your frustration.
Especially if there are no courses running in your country.
As a SM if thats your impediment, then perhaps can help.
If anyone can give pointers, perhaps Charles can as a long standing scrum member


05:32 am July 6, 2014

Thanks for the advice :D

05:58 am July 6, 2014


Before I forget, also ask for the actual feedback in the area's.
They will look at the fail if you ask them to, and give you a breakdown into area.
You may be able to identify the topic from the fail that caused you problems.
It could be one area that your having problems with or several areas.
Once you have it you can work on the problematic part of your study.


07:22 am July 6, 2014

Oh cool. Do you have an e-mail where I should write at?

07:46 am July 6, 2014


Use the "contact us" at the top of the page and supply your user and reference for the assessment.
Explain you took the assessment for PSPO I and show your percentiles back from the exam.
You wont be given the answers to ones you got wrong, but areas you are weak in.
They will get back to you and you can use this as a base for your research, to build on.
It may take a few days but they will have a look at your assessment.
Hope this helps with the progress towards PSPO I.


11:54 am July 6, 2014

Thanks :)

06:32 am July 7, 2014

you really need to shift your mind-set in to the PO role.
I strongly recommend watching this great summary from Henrik Kniberg on youtube:

The PO role is to focus on the Value that the engine of the Development team delivers. To be really effective this needs to consider the Return on Investment (RoI) and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This means that the PO will care deeply about having a well refined ordered backlog and clear understanding of and commitment to Done. This will then enable them to get product to customer with few or no impediments.

The role specific assessments are intentionally much harder than the open assessments, and do require you to adopt the mindset of the role.


07:24 am July 7, 2014

Thanks for you feedback guys!

05:55 am July 13, 2014

I got the feedback from

1. How does the Sprint Backlog relate to the Product Backlog?

I can't understand what it does mean.

2. What tasks must the Product Owner be responsible for, and what can the Product Owner delegate to others?

The PO is responsible for maximizing the product value and creating PBI. He can delegate the writing of PBI, but he remain accountable for it.

3. How small should a ready Product Backlog item be? Why is it important for Product Backlog items to be clear?

Small enough to be completed in one sprint. PBI must be clear, otherwise DT can't estimate how much work is needed to complete them.

4. When determining the order a Product Backlog, what should the Product Owner consider? What don't they need to consider?

PO should consider customer feedback, stockholders feedback, market value, risk reduction. PO should not consider DT techniques and tool.

5. When are the Scrum Team and stakeholders required to meet? Can they meet outside this event?

ST and stackeholders can meet only during sprint review and never outside this event.

6. How does the Product Owner determine the value of a done increment?

No idea.

7. What can a Development Team do if they’re having trouble developing a piece of functionality?

Renegotiate the scope with PO

8. What are the feedback loops in Scrum?

Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective

9. What is the Sprint Backlog, and who owns it? When is it created and when is work added or removed?

It is the work DT committed to and it is own by DT. Work can be added and removed anytime and it is created in the sprint planning.

Here is the results for each area:

Scrum Framework - 94.4%

Scrum Theory and Principles - 88.2%

Cross-functional, self-organizing Teams - 75%

Maximizing Value - 59.1%

Product Backlog Management - 78.9%

09:53 am July 13, 2014

Hi Khal,

5 & 8 have been debated here many times

Thinking around 5, if the stakeholder is an impediment are we saying we cannot meet them till the review?
If this is the case we miss an opportunity to inspect and adapt.

Thinking around 8 (The source of much debate)
Feedback loops, to inspect and adapt we could feedback at any time

Each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt something.
These events are specifically designed to enable critical transparency and inspection.
Failure to include any of these events results in reduced transparency and is a
lost opportunity to inspect and adapt.

To inspect and adapt would require feedback in order to do so

Feedback definition
information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a task, etc.
which is used as a basis for improvement.


10:43 am July 13, 2014

Hi Kahl,

I pass PSM I & II & PSPO I with self study and working experience. My readings help me a lot. For the PSPO I, I liked "Agile Project Management with Scrum", by Ken Schwaber ; "Agile Product Management with Scrum" by Roman Pichler and "Agile Estimaning and Planing" by Mike Cohn.

God luck

11:09 am July 13, 2014

Hi Micheal. Sorry but I don't agree. As purist you should solve answers in this way:

ST can meet stakeholders only during Sprint review. If they are an impediment Scrum Master should inform PO and PO will manage them.

Scrum Guide mentions "Feedback" only when talking about Sprint Review. In this case I'm not so sure as the above answer and I can understand your reasons.

12:09 pm July 13, 2014


I guess that's what makes it interesting the interpretation of the questions, agree or disagree.
Many of these have been discussed with people with much greater knowledge than me.
Some questions remain answered at best guess only, even with a guide as its a guide only.
These questions also come from the exams.

Your question is can they meet a stakeholder outside of the review?
My thoughts come down to simply this in the guide when it comes to additional items.
Scrum Master Service to the Organization
Scrum Master Service to the Development Team
Scrum Master Service to the Product Owner

Based on the services of SM.
Could there be a situation where they may have to meet outside of the review?
Or is it 100% not allowed at any given time within the rules of the framework?


01:24 pm July 13, 2014


More on Feedback loops, just to show sometimes its not as simple as it seems or appears.
If you go off the guide it doesn't mention "feedback loop" once, but the exam does.
The guide does mention the three pillars, and all the events for inspecting and adapting.
You cant adapt anything without feedback is how i see it, that approach could be totally wrong.
following the guide will only get you so far, I don't confess to know all the answers either.


07:09 am August 14, 2014

Maybe this will help on

1. How does the Sprint Backlog relate to the Product Backlog?…

Backlog Ownership

The Product Owner owns the Product Backlog, and prioritizes it on behalf of the stakeholders. The Sprint Backlog is the property of the Team, and they are the sole arbiters of its contents.

Contents of the Sprint Backlog

The Sprint Backlog contains user stories popped off the top of the Product Backlog during Sprint Planning. However, the Sprint Backlog usually contains many things not on the Product Backlog, such as:

Tasks that have been decomposed from the user stories accepted by the Team for the current iteration.
Story points or time estimates for individual tasks.
Refinements of the "definition of done" as it relates to a specific story or task.
Refinements to stories that don't compromise the Sprint Goal or require the Product Owner to call for an early termination of the Sprint.
In-sprint stories or tasks added by the Team to support the current Sprint Goal.
The Sprint Goal and stories accepted for the current Sprint are set during Spring Planning, but tasks (and occasionally stories) on the Sprint Backlog are updated and modified by the Team in whatever way they see fit--it's the Team's artifact, and is theirs to manage in support of the Sprint Goal.

Agile Means Change

While the stories accepted into the Sprint Backlog during Sprint Planning are generally fixed, if the team finishes early, they are encouraged to pull additional work off the Product Backlog if they believe it can fit into the current Sprint without compromising the Sprint Goal. In addition, sometimes additional knowledge or information comes to light during the Sprint, and the Team and Product Owner can cooperatively remove stories from the Sprint if doing so helps the Team meet the current Sprint Goal.

In addition, user stories are starting points for conversations with stakeholders (or the Product Owner if done by proxy), so adding and deleting tasks from the Sprint Backlog as stories are worked is quite common. Part of the art of Scrum is in differentiating between refinements that come from reducing the cone of uncertainty during a Sprint from changes to stories that jeopardize the Sprint Goal.

No Invisible Work, Ever

Generally, Sprint Backlog items should be decompositions of Product Backlog items, or supporting tasks that glue together stories in the current Sprint. Again, the art is in differentiating between tasks that the Team needs to create on the Sprint Backlog to support the Sprint Goal versus stories that need to be placed on the Product Backlog.

As an example, if you have a story that requires you to seed a database, you may need to add a task to your Sprint Backlog to install a new database server. Usually, this task would be added during Sprint Planning, but the task may not become obvious until later in the Sprint. In such cases, it's perfectly acceptable to add the newly-discovered tasks to the Sprint Backlog as long as they don't compromise the Sprint Goal or invalidate the stories accepted into the Sprint.

Team stories beyond that properly belong on the Product Backlog. For example, setting up a full-blown database architecture is a story that should be prioritized by the Product Owner as a prerequisite for other stories in the Product Backlog. These types of stories are generally added during Backlog Grooming, and occasionally during Sprint Planning; after that, they are treated like any other story in the Product Backlog.

Don't Fear the Product Backlog

[W]ould it be possible to add things like items from our Retrospective into Sprint backlog and avoid messing up Product backlog?
It depends. If your Sprint Retrospective leads to process changes or in-sprint tasks for the Team, then of course those things should be added to one of the backlogs. Tasks and internal processes belong on the Sprint Backlog; sub-projects that consume time or resources outside of individual story estimates belong on the Product Backlog.

Don't be afraid of "messing up the Product Backlog." The Product Backlog is not some inviolate, unchangeable document. A healthy Scrum process should encourage ongoing conversations between the Product Owner and the Team, and encourage adding infrastructure and tool-chain stories to the Product Backlog so that their costs and benefits are visible to the project and the organization.

11:02 am August 24, 2014

Posted By Kahl on 13 Jul 2014 05:55 AM
I got the feedback from

4. When determining the order a Product Backlog, what should the Product Owner consider? What don't they need to consider?

PO should consider customer feedback, stockholders feedback, market value, risk reduction. PO should not consider DT techniques and tool.

I wonder if the size (roughly estimated time/costs made by the DT) is also something that the PO is advised to consider when ordering the Product Backlog?

09:26 am August 25, 2014

For sure. The PO is responsible for the TCO of the product, which includes the costs for implementing a PBI. Apart from that, the PO can consider whatever he thinks feasible.

09:26 am August 25, 2014

> I wonder if the size (roughly estimated time/
> costs made by the DT) is also something that
> the PO is advised to consider when ordering the Product Backlog?

Yes it is, although a relative size would be more appropriate than either time or cost.

Each item on the Product Backlog must have such an estimate, along with a description and a value. All of these attributes can inform the Product Owner as to the optimum Product Backlog order.

03:29 pm April 30, 2015

Seeing that the PSPO cources typically require missing work, travel, and accommodations, I'd like to see a better online guide to help a PSM I prepare for the PSPO I. Starting with the 16-page guide and then referencing a number of 100+ page books is an odd way to do it. There needs to be a middle ground for the introductory assesments.

Encouraging someone to spend time on a scrum team is kind of a non-starter, too. It's tough to get on one of those teams without the background to get hired, notably the certifications.

07:51 pm May 1, 2015


Attending a PSPO course is the very best way to get yourself educated and prepared for the PSPO I exam. The books someone mentioned above are great too. The only other thing I'll offer out to you is this link:

03:36 pm May 12, 2015


Using your link as my primary study tool, I was able to complete the PSPO I. Well, actually, I did a little better than just *complete* it (76 out of 80!).

I did make one significant change that made a huge difference for me. When taking the PSM I, I was so concerned about running out of time that I didn't take my time at the end as I reviewed the questions I had bookmarked. For the PSPO I, I was sure to really take my time and think about the questions that I was unsure of. Instead of seeing the clock as a scary thing that was ticking down, I saw the remaining time as an asset that I could use to get as many right as I could.

11:25 pm May 26, 2015

Nice work Dan! Congrats!

I'm not sure I totally understood your comment fully, so if you don't mind, could you re-word it as if you were giving advice to another person? (And if you do, mind if I post it on my page?)

12:24 pm July 2, 2015

Sure! Sorry for being to slow to respond...

When taking a Scrum assessment (or any timed test, really), try not to get over-concerned about running out of time. With your first pass, you hopefully answer a fair number of questions with confidence and still have some time remaining. But, you probably have some bookmarked where you are uncertain. Think of the remaining time as a resource that you can use to get as many right as possible. Be sure to really take the time the think about those questions. There's no added bonus for leaving 10 minutes on that clock. You might as well keep trying to come up with correct answers until you get much closer to the time limit.

05:09 am April 15, 2017


I completed my PSM I in first attempt today (73/80). I was hoping to get a higher score before the test started but while giving the test, there were at least 12-15 questions that were in grey area for me (that I bookmarked). Since I passed PSM I and reviewed the link provided by Charles, I am tempted to go for PSPO I tomorrow. Let's see... Just sharing here!


05:14 pm July 26, 2018


I passed the PSM I assessment a few years ago and I just passed the PSPO I assessment. The PSPO I assessment is more difficult than PSM I. It requires an even more thorough understanding of the Scrum framework and some basic knowledge from evidence based management and scaling. Many questions will also be revolving around the principles of Scum with more focus at the role of the Product Owner.

Best regards,


10:53 pm July 27, 2018

Maybe the majority will not agree with me but in general PSM 1 is equal to PSPO 1 if we mean difficulty, The only difference as was written above is that there are more questions regarding product value in PSPO 1. 

09:49 am June 12, 2019

Hi all,

since Iam currently going the same path as some other adepts of the community.

I did pass PSM I and now Iam preparing for the PSPO I.

Can anyone give an insight how these two tests differ and how you did the preparation?

Because of my job Iam not able to attend an course and will do self studies instead.

KR, Jan 

03:28 pm October 7, 2020

Hello everyone,

Passing the PSM 1 with a good score (97,5%) is enough to think that I can pass the PSPO 1 with success?

Which are the differences? Do they share only some questions or most of them?


Best regards,


09:21 am September 26, 2022

Hi, I have passed PSM - I yesterday with 75/80 (93.75%) score.

Can anyone guide me on what should I do additional for PSPO - I ?

10:59 am September 29, 2022

To prepare for the certification assessment, you should be thorough with the multiple focus areas as defined by the Professional Scrum Competencies.

you should know about:

1: Understanding and Applying the Scrum Framework.

2: Developing People and Teams.

3: Managing Products with Agility.

4: Developing & Delivering Products Professionally.

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