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Review of The Professional Scrum Product Owner Course (PSPO)

February 4, 2019

Professional Product OwnerIn January 2019 I was at Prowareness in Delft, Holland, and attended the 2 day Professional Product Owner course delivered by Ralph Jocham, co-author of The Professional Product Owner book. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the course with you.

First, a confession, I am a Professional Scrum Trainer with and intend to offer the Professional Product Owner course as part of my training portfolio.

Who Should Attend the Course?

The course is suitable for anyone who is involved in product management through the use of Scrum. This could be someone new to Product Ownership, someone who has been doing it for sometime but has never had the the formal training with regard to the responsibilities of a Product Owner. All attendees, regardless of their experience, will learn useful insights into the role and how to fulfil the responsibilities.


First Impressions of the Course

Everyone was very friendly, and with between 15-20 people on the course, we had all with different levels of experience in Product Ownership.

We kicked off with some ice breakers, identifying who has travelled the furthest to attend the course (the winner was from Brazil!!), we then organised ourselves into a line sorted by the level of our Scrum experience, and then the agile maturity of the organization we work for.

Once in our groups, Ralph set us off with a discussion on what makes a good product and what makes a good project. This was a great way to start the conversations flowing at the table and to discuss the key differences between the two.

What Did we Cover?

The course covers all the necessary topics needed by a Product Owner to be successful in their role.

  • Agile Product Management
  • Value-Driven Development
  • Scrum Theory & Empiricism
  • The Scrum Framework
  • Product Backlog Management
  • Release Management

Heavily based on exercises and conversations the class went into great detail, allowing the attendees to explore and understand the importance of the topics to Product Ownership.

Within our group we randomly selected a product to build. Using this product we explored the topics mentioned above, initially creating a product vision, completing a business model canvas, leading onto story mapping and finally ending up with an ordered product backlog. All the while discussing the importance of the items to the Product Owner and their accountability.

What was the Interactions & Content Like?

Ralph delivered the training using flip charts, and followed an approach called "Training from the Back of the Room". This approach moved the attention away a trainer standing in front of a presentation, to one in which the trainer guided us through the content, by making a connection, clarify the concepts, concreting the practices and then delivering a conclusion. The approach allows conversations to flow and the attendees to gain a greater understanding of the content.

What was the Value at the End of the Course?

You leave the course with a wealth of knowledge and practical skills. Skills that can be taken back your workplace in order to practice and build on them further.

Should You Attend?

If you a Product Owner, a Business Analyst or a Scrum Master I would say that this is a must do course. By attending you really do gain a greater understanding of what it truly means to be a Professional Product Owner.

Everyone completing the Professional Scrum Product Owner course receives a password to take the PSPO I assessment and are entitled to a discount on the PSPO II assessment.


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