Certified Scrum Product Owner Course Agenda

These are the topics cover in class. As with life in general, there is more to do than time to do it, so we have to prioritize to suit the participants’ interest. We also cover many other topics as they come up, some in real time and some in the parking lot section at the end. For any special-interest topics we do not get to, we follow up the class with our list of Agile/Scrum articles.

The class will choose a subset of the following topics to cover. Some are required for certification, some are optional. Participants will make a joint prioritiy decision on which they agree on as most important, just like real-life Product Owners do every day.

Scrum Framework

  • Scrum has 4 meetings and 3 artifacts
  • Scrum has 3 roles that share the responsibility of creating value in small increments
  • The roles complement each other to create a balanced team

Product Ownership

  • Agile provides benefits for business
  • The Product Owner job has three main dimensions that make it a very large job for one person

Agile Principles

  • Agile software development implements Lean principles and dynamics
  • The primary driver of Agile work is Value
  • Scrum is one form of Agile, designed initially for software development but applicable to other kinds of work

Scrum Planning

  • Scrum planning is continuous
  • Scrum planning happens at 5 levels, each with a different time horizon
  • The Product Backlog is the primary source of work to be completed and value to be delivered

Product Vision

  • The Vision describes the purpose of the product to be created or enhanced
  • There are several ways to present the vision as a common goal for the Scrum Team
  • The Vision is the inspiration for the Product Backlog

Product Roadmap

  • Roadmapping is a tool for creating a longer term release strategy
  • Roadmaps describe the product in very high level terms

User Stories

  • User Stories are simple descriptions of desired functionality
  • Stories are elaborated just-in-time for implementation
  • Stories are used for planning
  • The INVEST Criteria help us write good stories


  • Priorities help the Scrum Team decide what to do next
  • Priorities help with long term planning
  • Prioritization can be done in many ways, based on many criteria


  • Agile estimation is done at both the high level and the low level
  • Estimates are used for planning and for tracking progress
  • Estimates are done quickly, by the Delivery Team
  • Estimates are not commitments

Story Splitting

  • Smaller stories are easier to work with and enhance flow
  • Smaller stories gives us more options to reduce scope

Story Mapping

  • Story Maps are a 2-Dimensional representation of the Product Backlog
  • Story Maps are an easy way to visualize what is in and what is out of the next release
Product Backlog Management

  • A well-managed Product Backlog keeps the Delivery Team running smoothly
  • A 1-sprint look-ahead on stories will help the flow
  • The Team needs details Just In Time
  • Defining Ready and Done will dramatically reduce time waste

Just-in-Time Elaboration

  • Story elaboration is done just in time to reduce wasted time defining details that may never get used
  • Details are provided to the Delivery Team as conversations, acceptance criteria and speclets
  • Details may also lead to story splits

Release Management

  • There are two basic product release strategies based on time and scope
  • Risk is reduced by including slack in the plan
  • Release tracking and forecasting are based on real data about actual product completed

Working with the Delivery Team

  • The Dev Team may propose stories for the Product Backlog
  • Teams take time to mature
  • The Dev Team is self-organizing
  • Awareness of effective motivators can help build a high performance team

Working with the ScrumMaster

  • The ScrumMaster is your partner in achieving a smooth flow and continuous improvement
  • The ScrumMaster is a productivity multiplier for the Team

Working with Stakeholders

  • Customers are not your only Stakeholders
  • You can’t please everyone all the time

Scrum Meetings

  • Scrum organizes work into 1-4 week time boxes called Sprints
  • Each Sprint has 4 primary meetings
  • The bulk of the time is spent creating value in the form of a product


  • Parking Lot
  • More information for Product Owners
  • Wrapping up


  • Where do Stories Come From?
  • Budget and Finance
  • Scaling Up and Out
  • Portfolio Management
  • Focus and Flow
  • Other Prioritization Tools
  • Action Plan