Tips for Starting Product Ownership Journey

I was recently approached by a friend whose wife is looking to make the leap from Project Management to Product Ownership. He wanted some advice how she can get her ‘foot in the door’ with some local companies. This isn’t the first time I get this inquiry. In fact, Richard Khor and I will be releasing a short video answering the same question for Scrum Masters in a few weeks. Because this is another common question I get, I want to share my recommendations. Feel free to add further recommendations in the comments section:

 

Thank you for reaching out! I have some recommendations to better position her experience and knowledge for when these PO positions arise. First, she has to keep in mind that Project Management doesn’t translate 1:1 with Product Ownership. Project Management is more focused on process, governance, resourcing, etc. Product Ownership is very focused on creating the right product for the right customer. She should definitely read:

These are highly recommended. If she knows these well, it will give her some recognition on her resume and interview:
Aside from reading, getting involved with local Meetups helps build her network. She’ll hear about specific openings before they hit the market, and she’ll get to meet other practitioners in the community. Community involvement is a big factor when hiring Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches. Here is a link to the local Agile Leadership Network (ALN). There is a sub group run by our very own Andrew Blue- The Product Owner Focus Group.
If she wants to get certified, she could go the route of getting her Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) through Scrum Alliance. Its pricey, so I wouldn’t do this right away. Instead, she can look at Scrum.org and their Profession Scrum Product Owner certification materials. Honestly, Scrum.org has a more comprehensive test she can use to measure her progression. IC-Agile is another organization that I’ve seen lots of folks checking out for certifications and learning material. Here’s their Product Ownership page.
~Charles~