During the 2020 pandemic, I tried my hands at a couple of product owner certifications. The intent was to learn and see whether these certifications add any value to your day job? The certification pattern is similar to the PSPO-1 (product owner basic certification), in order to pass you need a minimum of 85%. The difference is that in PSPO-A, you only get 40 questions to be completed in an hour. Of course, questions are tricky and hence more time-consuming. A lot of my co-workers, friends and followers were asking for a post on how to prepare and pass the exam with flying colours. With this post, I am summarising my preparation for the much-coveted PSPO-A certification which I cleared with a 95% score.
Total Preparation Time – Two months (2 hours daily)
Pre-Requisites – You have a good understanding of the Scrum framework and are part of one of the Scrum teams. Though the certification is not limited to the Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development team members. Anyone can appear in the exam.
Books & online resources (clickable links given)-
- Professional Product Owner – a book written by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham
- Scrum Guide – Read it multiple times (Available for free on Scrum.Org website)
- EBM Guide – 30% of exam questions belong to EBM (Evidence-based management). This guide is also free on the Scrum.Org website. You may browse a few videos on YouTube.com
- Agile Product Management With Scrum – a book by Roman Pichler
- Scrum – A Pocket Guide – 2nd edition – a book by Gunther Verheyen
- Blogs from Robin Schuurman and Chris Lukassen (PO stances, product vision, value, product road maps, stakeholder management, product pricing)
- Roman Pitchler has provided some good material under https://www.romanpichler.com/
- Scrum.Org’s Product Owner learning path
Mock tests –
Try to complete as many mock tests as possible. If you start consistently scoring more than 90% in each mock test, you are ready for the main certification exam.
- Scrum.Org’s open assessments – Product Owner, EBM
- Udemy PSPO-A tests
- Michail Lapshin PSPO-1 Quiz
- Simon Kneafsey PSPO-A assessment
Other Tips –
- If possible, join the two-day PSPO-A workshop conducted by affiliate trainers from Scrum.Org. These days classes are virtual over Zoom. You get a chance to meet like-minded people and discuss the nuances of product ownership.
- Go with an open mind, and read all questions very carefully. In case of any doubt, don’t waste too much time, mark the question and attempt it later on.
- Just in case you fail, don’t lose your heart, take time and prepare well before attempting the certification again.
- Passing the PSPO-A certification should not be your only goal, rather it should be just a milestone in your product journey.
- You may reach out to me for any help/guidance. Join my network on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/bishtpd/
All the best for your preparation and exam.