Scrum has become incredibly popular over the last couple of decades as a framework for product development and project management. Although you can adopt scrum without having official qualifications or certifications, having the right credentials is evidence and proof that you are proficient in using this framework and understand the practices and principles involved. There are several different credentials out there now, though, so how do you go about choosing the right one?
First things first, let’s look briefly at the main roles that are common within a Scrum team.
Scrum Product Owner
The product owner is the individual who has been assigned the responsibility of ensuring the result is what is required from a development project. They are accountable for the ins and outs, the priorities, and specifics as detailed in the user requirements that make up each Sprint and Product Backlog. Even if other team members are involved in the actual work, it is the Product Owner that is accountable for everything.
The Product Owner understands the market vision and business of what the Scrum Team has been tasked with building and ensures that the final product delivers what’s needed. Product Owners work along with stakeholders and the Scrum team to develop, manage, and fully communicate the Product Backlog so that the development team always incorporates the important features into every sprint.
According to the people behind Scrum, the Scrum Master should be its Servant Leader. A Scrum Master must have expertise in the methodology involved in Scrum.
In the role of leader, they are responsible for making sure the team involved in product development fully understand and can follow along with the scrum process. In their role as a servant, they are involved in the organization of events and assisting the Product Owner with the management of the product backlog, while coaching their development team.
The Scrum Team or Scrum Development Team is a small and flexible group of professionals with expertise in software development. Unlike more conventional teams, the members of Scrum Teams do not necessarily have designated roles like testers, programmers, or designers. They rather have cross-functional roles and work together so they can complete the tasks involved in each sprint.
The team is expected to organize itself, with members each deciding among themselves who can take on what work and how they can handle the tasks involved in delivering what is required in each sprint. They work alongside the Product Owner so they can fully understand the items detailed in the product backlog at the appropriate level and so that they can design and build what is required.
Looking to work as part of a Scrum Team?
If you are looking to launch your career with a Scrum certification under your belt, you will find that there are many options out there. Which one should you choose? This really depends on the type of role you are looking to take on within the Scrum development process. If it is your product or you are chiefly responsible for securing the deal with the end-user, you may wish to have full control over the development, and as such, the Scrum Product Owner certification will be ideal. Whereas, if you are more interested in being in charge but not accountable as the Product Owner would be, it may be worth aiming for your Scrum Master certification.
In the end, the choice of which certification to opt for, if any, is down to your personal preference and what you are looking to gain in your career.