Scrum Master vs Product Owner: Key Differences

Manoj ChogulecalenderLast updated on April 15, 2024book18 minseyes3183

Tabel of the content

 

“If Agile is a ‘mindset’ then Scrum is its ‘Mind’.”

Scrum is an Agile framework that is commonly used for software development projects. Within this framework, there are two key roles - the Scrum Master and the Product Owner. While both play important roles in the success of a Scrum project, they have distinct responsibilities and require different skills and qualities.

What is Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the Scrum process is being followed correctly. This includes facilitating Scrum ceremonies such as Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. The Scrum Master is also responsible for removing any obstacles that may be preventing the team from working efficiently and effectively, The role of a Scrum Master brings a lot of benefits in the career of an individual let it be recognition or  the Salary, networking and much more. In addition, the Scrum Master is the guardian of the Scrum process and ensures that everyone on the team understands and follows the principles of Scrum.

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What is a Product Owner?

The Product Owner defines and prioritises the product backlog. The product backlog is a list of all the work that needs to be done for a product, and the Product Owner is responsible for making sure that the most important work is done first. The Product Owner also communicates with stakeholders to gather requirements and makes decisions about what should be included in the product backlog. The Product Owner is the voice of the customer and is responsible for ensuring that the team is building the right product.

Difference between a Scrum master and a Product Owner

The Scrum Master and Product Owner both play important roles in a Scrum project, they are not the same thing. We will look at all the differences they possess based on certain parameters. 

Criteria

SCRUM MASTERPRODUCT OWNER
Certification Procedure (How to become)

To become a Scrum Master a candidate must first complete the scrum master training course and then clear the respective examination to get the Scrum Master Certification.  

 

To get a Product Owner a candidate has to register for a Product Owner Certification training program and after that, the candidate gets the certification. But for some specific product owner certifications the candidates even have to clear the exam in order to get the certification. 

 

Roles The Scrum Master helps the team in following the Scrum process and ensures that the team is following the Agile principles.The Product Owner is accountable for ensuring that the product backlog is visible, transparent, and understandable to all stakeholders.
Temperament of WorkThe Scrum Master is a facilitator, coach, and servant leader who helps the team follow the Scrum process and removes obstacles.The Product Owner is the voice of the customer and is responsible for defining the product vision and ensuring that the team is working on the right things.
ResponsibilityThe Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating Scrum ceremonies, removing obstacles, and ensuring that the team is following the Scrum process.The Product Owner is responsible for defining the product backlog, prioritizing items, and making decisions about what should be included in each sprint
Skills Required The Scrum Master should have strong communication and leadership skills, a deep understanding of the Scrum framework, and experience working with Agile teams.The Product Owner should have strong business acumen, communication skills, and an understanding of the customer's needs. They should also be able to prioritize and make decisions based on the business value of each item in the product backlog.
SalaryThe salary for a Scrum Master according to various online platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn etcetera can range from $80,000 to $120,000, depending on the location and experience.

The salary for a Product Owner can range from $90,000 to $140,000, depending on the geographical location, employer and experience.

 

 

Different types of Scrum master and Product Owner Certifications

Here are some of the most widely accepted Scrum Master and Product Owner certifications around the globe.

Scrum Master

Also, Read: https://staragile.com/info/agile-and-scrum/best-scrum-master-certification

Product Owner

There are several organisations that provide scrum master and product owner certifications, the recognition and popularity of the certifications may highly depending on various factors like

Location, employer global acceptance and many others.

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Product Owner Course

2 Days of live virtual training

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Also Read: Digital Product Owner 

Conclusion

Whether you are a Scrum Master or a Product Owner, it's important to continue learning and growing your skills and knowledge to be effective in your role. Both  Certified Scrum Master Certification and the CSPO Certification provide a solid foundation for Scrum practitioners and are valuable investments in your professional development. Both Scrum Master and Product Owner play important roles in a Scrum project, but they have distinct responsibilities, skills required, and salaries. 

Also Read: How Does the Scrum Master Serve the Product Owner

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better Scrum Master or Product Owner?

It is not a matter of one being "better" than the other. Scrum Master and Product Owner are two distinct roles within the Scrum framework of Agile project management, and each role serves a unique purpose.

Are Scrum Master and Product Owner the same person?

No, Scrum Master and Product Owner are two distinct roles within the Scrum framework of Agile project management and are typically performed by two different individuals. While it is possible for one person to fulfil both roles, it is generally not recommended, as each role requires a unique set of skills and responsibilities. 

Can a Scrum Master Become a Product Owner?

Yes, a Scrum Master can become a Product Owner. The roles of Scrum Master and Product Owner are not mutually exclusive and individuals can switch between them.

Does the Scrum Master report to the Product Owner?

In the Scrum framework, the Scrum Master does not report to the Product Owner. Both the Scrum Master and Product Owner are part of the Scrum Team and work together to deliver the product. The Product Owner has the final say on the priorities and content of the product backlog, the Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the team follows the Scrum process and has the support they need to deliver the product.

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