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Scrum is a framework that uses the Agile methodology to carry out product development through a series of iterations. Scrum teams work within this framework to solve complex problems when creating products to meet customer needs.
Scrum Masters and Scrum Product Owners both work in the product development process. Although the two roles are related, if you compare the positions of Scrum Master and Product Owner, you will also notice several differences. This article discusses Scrum Masters versus Product Owners and the responsibilities of these workers in product development using the Scrum framework.
What is a Scrum Master?
A Scrum Master is responsible for leading Scrum teams as they work towards effective product development. Scrum Masters guide Scrum teams as they operate within the Scrum framework, helping to ensure that each increment of product development runs smoothly.
Role and responsibilities of the Scrum Master
Scrum Masters are responsible for managing Scrum processes in Agile methodology. Their responsibilities include:
- Scrum Masters guide and coach Scrum teams by leading daily Scrum meetings, planning and managing sprints, and managing other Scrum events.
- Scrum Masters ensure that Scrum Team members follow Scrum principles as they work in sprints to achieve their goals.
- They help Product Owners prepare product backlogs for sprints.
- They maintain communication with members of the development team to address any challenges or obstacles that may interfere with the completion of the project. They then work with Scrum teams to address those challenges and remove roadblocks.
Requirements to become a Scrum Master
If you want to become a Scrum Master, you must first enroll in a Scrum Master certification course. Scrum Master training demonstrates that you have learned how to guide Scrum teams as they work toward specific goals. It also prepares you to take a certification exam.
Scrum Master certification requirements and costs vary depending on the provider you choose. Most programs cost between $150 and $1,995 for training courses. Many programs include exam fees in their total Scrum Master certification cost.
A few organizations offer different types of Scrum Master training. When looking at different options, be sure to choose one that prepares you for a Scrum Master certification rather than one that just gives you a quick overview of Scrum.
If you’re unsure whether being a Scrum Master should be part of your career path, there are plenty of free training options for Scrum Master certification. These are usually abbreviated or trial versions of longer training programs, designed to teach you some fundamentals of Scrum. A free option can give you the information you need to decide if taking a full Scrum Master certification program is right for you.
Benefits of working as a Scrum Master
If you enjoy collaborating with teams within the Scrum framework, working as a Scrum Master can be a great way to advance your career. Earning a Scrum Master certification allows you to work as a Certified Scrum Master, which has many benefits.
Higher earning power
According to a salary survey by the Scrum Alliance, a Scrum team member typically earns around $88,000 per year. A Scrum Master, on the other hand, earns an average annual base salary of around $95,000.
Obtaining your Scrum Master certification opens new doors by developing your advanced knowledge of the Scrum framework and Agile principles. As a Scrum Master, you are qualified to step into a leadership role by guiding Scrum teams towards common goals and ensuring that every step of the process is executed correctly.
Complete knowledge of Scrum
Scrum Masters should have a thorough understanding of Scrum artifacts, such as sprint backlogs and burndown charts. Scrum Masters use this knowledge to improve team effectiveness, reduce misunderstandings, and help Scrum teams achieve their goals successfully.
What is a Product Owner?
A product owner creates the vision for a product and communicates with development teams and customers to ensure product development is proceeding according to plan. In the Scrum framework, a Product Owner maintains a product backlog to ensure that tasks are properly prioritized for the Scrum team.
Role and responsibilities of the product owner
Product Owners fulfill a visionary role for a product. They are also front-line contacts with their organizations’ customers. Product Owner responsibilities include the following.
- Maintain the product backlog and ensure that the Scrum team is working on each iteration contained in the backlog according to plan. A product backlog is the set of tasks that make up a product.
- Develop a vision for a product and ensure the development team follows an established plan to create a product that aligns with that vision.
- Serve as the main point of contact with customers and maintain customer satisfaction.
- Communicate with various teams, including Scrum teams and development teams, to ensure they are working and meeting product goals.
- Stay up to date on market trends to help development teams design and develop products.
- Set timelines and completion dates, create product backlogs for Scrum teams, and set priorities for product development.
Requirements to become a product owner
If you want to become a Scrum Product Owner, you need to learn everything you can about the Agile framework. As Product Owner, you should have a thorough understanding of the Scrum framework, including its artifacts and events. You can learn these aspects by participating in training programs.
To become a certified Product Owner, you must complete a certification program. These programs usually involve a course lasting at least two days. They may or may not have exam requirements, depending on the option you choose. Some options have exam requirements but no specific education requirements.
Benefits of working as a Product Owner
If you want to play a vital role in providing the vision and leadership that enables companies to increase the value of their products, becoming a Product Owner can be a fulfilling career option for you. Obtaining a Product Owner certification has many benefits, including increased earning power.
Excellent earning potential
According to the Scrum Alliance survey, Product Owners earn an average annual base salary of over $93,000. Experience also plays an important role in Product Owner salaries. With two certifications or five to seven years of Scrum-related work experience, the average annual base salary for a worker can be over $103,000.
Growth in leadership skills
Becoming a Product Owner requires a lot of responsibility and leadership. As a Product Owner, you are the face of a product and are ultimately responsible for its success. This includes working with customers to communicate their needs to development teams. The role of Product Owner requires you to use your leadership skills and knowledge to help bring a product to life from the drawing board.
Career advancement potential
Obtaining a Product Owner certification can allow you to move forward with additional certifications. More advanced Agile certifications often require candidates to become Certified Product Owners first.
What are the Similarities Between Scrum Master and Product Owner?
Agile methodological frameworks such as Scrum are used by many types of businesses in industries such as construction, software manufacturing, manufacturing, and aerospace.
You can find both Scrum Masters and Product Owners working within the Scrum framework. Both Scrum Masters and Product Owners must fully understand Scrum principles, and both roles are essential for effective product development within Scrum teams.
What are the differences between Scrum Master and Product Owner?
While Scrum Masters and Product Owners are both involved in product development within the Scrum framework, there are differences between the two roles. Scrum Masters are responsible for guiding Scrum teams through each step of the product development process. They work concretely within Scrum teams to achieve the objectives necessary for the success of a product.
Product Owners play a more visionary role. Rather than working directly with Scrum teams on specific goals, these professionals communicate directly with Scrum Masters, customers, and other stakeholders to ensure that each product matches its original vision and meets customer needs. .
Which is good for you?
If you’re unsure whether you want to certify as a Scrum Master or Product Owner, you need to carefully consider the many aspects of each role.
If you enjoy working with others to create a vision for a product and setting timelines and plans for product creation, you could thrive as a Product Owner. If you prefer guiding teams as they work with iterative tasks, evaluating each step, and refining processes to create a product, Scrum Master may be a better fit for you.