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How To Pass Leading SAFe® 4.5 Exam ?

Scaled Agile Framework is a roadmap that leads the organizations in implementing the Lean and Agile Practices. SAFe® includes the three foundation... Read More

What is the Difference Between PSM1 and PSM2?

Many of our students want to take a recognized certification to show that they have the skills, knowledge, and experience to excel in the role of Scru... Read More

How to Write A Well-Formed User Story

Bill Wake has given us the mnemonic INVEST which help us in writing a well-formed User Story.   Working with User Stories may be easy, but w... Read More

Best Practices For Successful Implementation Of DevOps

What is DevOps?DevOps is nothing but the combination of process and philosophies which contains four basic component culture, collaboration, tools, an... Read More

Test Drive Your First Istio Deployment using Play with Kubernetes Platform- Cloud Computing

As a full stack Developer, if you have been spending a lot of time in developing apps recently, you already understand a whole new set of challenges r... Read More

Agile Scrum Roles And Responsibilities

Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, Kanban are different project management frameworks which are helping the companies to increase the productivity. These framew... Read More

Does Scrum Apply To All Types Of Projects?

Scrum, undoubtedly, is one of the potentially viable approaches to managing software development projects. Scrum is just a development methodology whi... Read More

Is SAFe® 4.5 Certification Worth The Price?

In this decade where traditional methods for Project Development are on the verge of being obsolete, organisations are in dire need of Agile. Call for... Read More

Top-paying Agile Certifications To Consider In 2018

The potential positives of Agile and Scrum training are many. Much explains why these training courses have exploded in popularity. The demand for Agi... Read More

Designing Shared-Services Teams in SAFe®️ with Service Trains

Shared services teams always pose peculiar challenges to successful Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️) implementations. The nature of their work wh... Read More


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How to Write A Well-Formed User Story

Bill Wake has given us the mnemonic INVEST which help us in writing a well-formed User Story.   Working with User Stories may be easy, but writing effective User Stories can be hard.Top challenges in Writing User Stories:Getting teams engaged.Adding too much or too little detailSplitting stories.            Reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Story writing workshop is important to understand the User Story in details and who are the users of that particular functionality and what the users do to use the product.Conduct a Story writing workshop Quarterly.Three tips for a successful story writing session are:Set the single objective for the meeting.      Objective should be MVP (Minimum Viable Product.) and engage the team in various discussions on top user Stories with the Product Owner.Have the right participants,       Scrum master, Product Owner and other stakeholders, Development team (Agile coach) (optional) may be User Roles.Ask the Product Owner about the top requirement/features to be delivered.In MVP, Brainstorm the requirements in detail which will help in a more innovative solution.Visualize the relationship between stories.User Story Mapping technique:Document each step in the process. Writing the sequence of steps needed to complete the user  story will make it clearer which may have been overlooked and easier to estimate. The chances of missing any functionality can be minimized.We can read the below functionality is Login and enter credentials, you may also click on “forgot password” and then submit.Another advantage of using mapping is that we can get the prioritized list of user stories as mentioned in the below diagram by lanes.SPIDR has come to our rescue. Beautiful concept given by Mike Cohn.How to Split a User Story: Biggest challenge…Spikes: -The user story is large and difficult to split when there is a spike activity involved in it. Spike doesn’t lead to any working functionality but it just for the knowledge enhancement for the team for example-Investigation of new technologies and investigating different tools etc.Paths: - The user story may be large because of the different paths associated with it. See the flowchart below to understand the example: In an e-commerce website, after selecting the items the payment method cart, the payment method can be visa card, mastercard or PayPal.So, it is recommended to split the user story based on the number of paths taken.It can be easily logically split into small stories as:As a I want to pay using credit card orAs a I want to pay using PayPalHere, there is no need to split using visa card or mastercard, as both come under the category of credit cards.Interfaces: - Split a story across multiple interfaces (mobile OS or browser) or data interfaces.Example: As a I want to display in Android device.As a I want to display in IOS device.As a I want to display in web browser.So, it can be split into 3 different logical user stories.Same is the case with the browser also. Split by different browsers example: Chrome, IE, Mozilla etc, because working in all browsers will take time and the efforts would be large.There are a few scenarios in which there are complex interfaces. A perfect example will be a sign-up form (with the details) but blank UI. It means the functionality is fully working with buttons and links but no color and proper UI/UX image. The UI can be built in subsequent sprints with a different user story. So, separating the UI work with functionality is also a good way to split the user story.There is a similar case when the user story says- As a import data from a file and note says (Must support: CSV, Excel and XML) Split each supported file format with different user story as-As a I want to import data from a CSV.As a I want to import data from an Excel.As a I want to import data from an XMLData: - Develop an initial story with a subset of data.Example: Suppose I need to buy a car.As a car buyer I want to know what is the best car in the market.To come up with this decision, we need to investigate many things example consider mileage, cost, big, small, comfort, features etc. as a separate user story.As a car buyer I want to buy a car with minimum cost.As a car buyer I want to buy a car with good mileage.So, a functionality is developed incrementally with different data inputs to buy a car.Rules: - Relax business rules or technology standards in an initial version of a story.Sometimes a user story is considered as large because of the different business rules or business standards.Example: I want to buy something online for my kid’s birthday party, at least 15 items.But website shows there is a limitation of 2 items per buyer.Relaxing a rule is sometimes followed by a user story which is a great way to split.For example, in a project, we develop some functionality (sort the employees with their skill set). This will be a database query and may take quite a few seconds depending on the load. So, there is a performance issue which is very important to consider. Better to split this as a separate user story.Add the right amount of detail to the user story. Not too much detail not very less…The right balance is required… But how to find out if the details are in correct proportion or not?The answer is “Retrospective”. Ask each team member if the detail that was given was enough to complete the user story in one iteration.JUST ENOUGH AND JUST IN TIMEThe reason is that if the information provided by the BA is not sufficient to complete the user story in one iteration, then there will a delay in the project delivery and customer will not be happy. Similarly, if the detail is too much then a lot of work in upfront needs to be done and the project delivery will be on time and with the exact functionality which was decided before the start of the sprint more like a waterfall modelA very important aspect while defining the user stories is about user roles. Avoid writing user stories from the perspective of a single user, identify different user roles who will interact with the software. Write stories for a single user.Create constraint cards or write tests to ensure the constraints are not violated.Keep the user interface out of the stories for as long as possible.Let us see some examples of user stories which look fine but can be written in a much effective way.1) As a Product Owner, I want to display my ratings on my webpage.Issue/Drawbacks- It is not only about “you”. Focus on End users and stakeholders.Correct: As a trainer, I want to display my ratings on my web page so that the visitor can choose wisely.2) Design Brochure LayoutDrawbacks: Not independent, No business value.Correct: As a restaurant owner, I want to design Brochure Layout so that the visitor gets order from it. “Identification of who what and Why are the key factors”So, the user story suggested format/template is:As a , I want so that .Few more examples:
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How to Write A Well-Formed User Story

Bill Wake has given us the mnemonic INVEST which h... Read More

SAFe®️ 4.6 - The Latest Entrant In SAFe®️ Series With 5 Core Competencies

Scaled Agile Inc. (SAI) recently announced the latest version of SAFe®️, SAFe®️ 4.6 with the help of the whole Scaled Agile team and SAFe®️ Contributors. The SAFe®️ 4.6 version has underlined the introduction of ‘Five Core Competencies’ of the Lean Enterprise. The purpose behind incorporating those competencies is mainly to make the SAFe®️ organizations build a truly Lean Enterprise in a Lean fashion.  According to the Gartner report, SAFe®️ 4.5 is delineated as the world’s most widely used Agile framework at the enterprise level.This new way of working with SAFe®️ will open new avenues after the introduction of these competencies. At the same time, these competencies will become the primary lens for understanding and executing SAFe®️ in the organizations. Also, this new way of SAFe®️ working can make a big difference to the organizations that are struggling with their transformations.Here are the names of the five competencies introduced newly to build a better Lean organization in a Lean way. Lean-Agile Leadership Team and Technical Agility  DevOps and Release on demand  Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering  Lean Portfolio ManagementBenefits of SAFe®️ 4.6 competenciesHaving these five competencies allows organizations to-Navigate digital disruptionsRespond to the volatile market conditionsMeeting the varying customer requirements and latest technologiesLet’s explore each competency in details below.1) Lean-Agile Leadership:The Lean-Agile Leadership competency focuses on describing how the Lean-Agile leaders steer organizational change by encouraging the individuals and teams to reach their highest potential. The Lean-Agile leaders do this by learning, exhibiting, and coaching the Lean-Agile mindset, core values, principles, practices & features of SAFe®️.Changes made in Lean-Agile Leadership in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe SAFe®️ principles have been updated with a redraft of Principle #3 — Assume variability and preserve optionsA new advanced topic article, Evolving Role of Managers describes the changes and ongoing responsibilities of line management in the new way of working.2) Team and Technical AgilityThe Team and Technical Agility competency describe the critical skills and Lean-Agile principles and practices that are required to produce the high-performing teams. These high-performing teams focus on creating high-quality, well-designed technical solutions in accordance with the current and future business needs.Team agility – enables high-performing organized Agile teams to operate with the fundamental and effective Agile principles and practices.Technical agility – provides Lean-Agile technical practices to generate high-quality, well-formulated technical solutions that contribute to the current and future business needs.Changes made in Team and Technical Agility in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe new built-in quality practices that ensure that each Solution element meets the appropriate quality standards at every increment. These new built-in quality practices define 5 dimensions that permit quality- flow, architecture and design quality, code quality, system quality, and release quality.The roles in the Agile teams- Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development team are updated to reflect the new guidelines and thinking from the Team and Technical Agility competency and their responsibilities in Behavior-Driven development (BDD).Behavior-Driven Development is a test-first, Agile software development approach that has evolved from the Test-Driven Development. BDD provides a built-in quality by defining system behavior.Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a practice for developing and executing the tests before implementing a code or system’s component.3) DevOps and Release on demandThe DevOps and Release on Demand competency confer how the DevOps principles and practices allow the organizations to release value (in full or in part), at any time to meet the customers’ needs. This new competency enhances the in-depth level of guidelines on implementing a full continuous delivery pipeline.Changes made in DevOps and Release on demand in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe advanced Continuous Delivery Pipeline includes mapping the current Delivery Pipeline and improving the flow with the DevOps and Release on-demand health radar.The DevOps health radar is a tool to assess the progress and improve a flow of the program value with the help of Continuous Delivery Pipeline. This tool consists of 16 sub-dimensions (as shown in the figure below) programs that are used to assess the program’s maturity. It helps to identify our health-related dimensions (e.g. sitting, crawling, walking, running, and identifying the places where we can improve).4) Business Solutions and Lean Systems EngineeringThe Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering competency show how organizations can develop large and complex solutions and cyber-physical systems using a Lean, Agile, and flow-based, value delivery-model. This model makes the best of the activities necessary to specify, design, construct, test, deploy, operate, evolve and ultimately decommission solutions.Changes made in Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionIn this competency, they have changed the eight practices for developing large and complex solutions. Following image shows the practices included in the Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering.They made changes in the Economic Framework with the following four primary elements:Operating within Lean budgets and guardrailsUnderstanding solution economic trade-offsLeveraging SuppliersSequencing jobs for the maximum benefit (using WSJF)The advanced Roadmap section introduces the multiple planning horizons and the Solution Roadmap that provides a longer-term- multiyear view, showing the key milestones and deliverable s required to reach the solution Vision over time. The roadmap also contains new guidance on understanding and applying market rhythms and events.5) Lean Portfolio ManagementThe Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) competency describes how an organization can implement Lean approaches to strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance for a SAFe®️ portfolio.Changes made in Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionIn SAFe®️ 4.6, the changes are made in the organizational strategy formulation, the definition of the portfolio, and strategic themes.New Portfolio Canvas describes how a portfolio of solutions creates, delivers and captures value for an enterprise. The portfolio canvas defines and aligns the value streams of the portfolio and the solutions to achieve the organizational goals and provides a process on meeting the vision of a future state.The updated Lean Budget Guardrails ensures the right investments within the portfolio’s budget.Also, the changes are made in the Lean Budgets that provides a guidance on moving from the traditional budgets to Lean budgets, guiding investments by the horizon and applying participatory budgeting.The updated Value Streams includes a section for defining the value streams and a revised Development Value Stream Canvas that aligns better with the new Portfolio Canvas.Top-Level Government in SAFe®️ 4.6Another updated thing in SAFe®️ 4.6 is the SAFe®️ for Government. The top-level Government in SAFe®️ 4.6 describes a set of success patterns that support the public sector organizations in implementing the Lean-Agile practices. The SAFe®️ for Government also serves as a landing page for applying SAFe®️ in the national, regional or local government context. This provides the specific guidelines to address the following things-Creating a basis of Lean-Agile values, principles, and practicesBuilding the high-performing teams of Government teams and contractorsAligning technology investments with agency strategyTransitioning from projects to a Lean flow of epicsAdopting Lean budgeting aligned to the value streamsApplying Lean estimating and forecasting in cadenceModifying acquisition practices to enable Lean-Agile development and operationsBuilding in quality and complianceAdapting governance practices to support agility and lean flow of valueThe passion of always improving the art of software development based on the Lean-Agile best practices makes Dean Leffingwell the world’s foremost authority. The release of the SAFe®️ 4.6 version is an update to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️) which addresses the challenge of transitioning from the traditional model to the Lean-Agile Mindset. Moreover, the version provides the guidelines on XP, TDD, and BDD, and building a better Lean enterprise in the Lean way!You heard it right! Knowing the Lean fruits of SAFe®️ 4.6 to the organizations, KnowledgeHut is launching the course in the middle of November. Stay tuned to know more. Course arriving soon!
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SAFe®️ 4.6 - The Latest Entrant In SAFe®️ Se...

Scaled Agile Inc. (SAI) recently announced the lat... Read More

Importance and Benefits of The Project Charter

What is the Project Charter:PMBOK® Defines Project Charter as a document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides a project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to the project.PMI® gives a lot of importance to project charter. Project Charter will state the high-level requirements to satisfy the stakeholders’ needs and it also defines the authority of the Project Manager.Business Case and Project statement of work are the documents that are necessary to create a project charter. The purpose of a business case is to understand the business need for the project and determine whether it is worth investing in. Business needs or demands include market demands, organizational need, customers’ requests, technological advance, legal requirements, ecological impacts, and social needs.“According to the PMBOK® Guide, the business case is an economic feasibility study. It is used to track progress and compare project results against the success factors identified in the business case”.A project isn’t a project until the project charter is approved, and the project charter cannot be started until the business case is approved.The Project Charter highlights high-level initiation draft defined as below:Let's look at why the project charter is so important!The main purpose of the project charter is the formal authorization of the project and the go-ahead to commit organizational resources to it; without a project charter, the project can be canceled anytime and for any reason and can be subject to an audit as an unauthorized project.Let us imagine a project without a project charter. If there is no project charter, projects will have no direction. The Project Managers will lack authority. There will be no expectations for the projects undertaken. The scope of the projects will not be clearly defined.Let's consider a project has started for 2-3 months. A Project Manager is already authorized, and the project is moving well. Due to certain circumstances, current Project Manager resigns from the company and the project is assigned to another Project Manager. The initial task of every Project Manager authorized should be to go through the Project Charter to understand its business need and objective. The Project Charter project describes goals, scope, stakeholders and a high-level deliverable at high levels. Imagine project having no project charter then Project Manager would have been like a “Fish Out of Water”.What is included in the Project Charter?A Charter is a document that elucidates the project in succinct wording without a lot of details. It’s written for high-level management needs. Charter doesn’t provide detailed end goals, schedule, and cost.A Project Charter template may include some or all the following:Components of the Project CharterDo We Really Require Project Charter?Project Charter is important for the success of a project. The Project charter builds a foundation for any projects undertaken. It is a great communication tool for the stakeholders and provides a direction to the project.Following are few of the benefits of a project charter:It gives an authority to the project manager to complete the projectExplains the business importance and existence of project.Demonstrates Management support for the project.Defines outcome for the project.Aligns project with the organization objectives.Provides a team with a clear concise reporting system.Protects team members from scope creep.Helps in avoiding disagreements between stakeholders.Authorizes the existence of the project or establishes the project.Defines the parameters within which the project manager is authorized to operate.Gives the project manager authority to spend money and procure resources.Provides the high-level requirements for the project.Links the project to the ongoing operations of the organization.Process of project charter:The project charter is an important document and a project should not be started without one. The success of the project cannot be measured without a project charter.A project charter is important in the Project Management, because-It ensures that the project manager understands the sponsor’s needs and requirements.It provides vital information needed to get the projects started.It acts as a reference document to make sure everyone (i.e. Project Manager, Stakeholder, Higher Management etc.) are on the same page.It authorizes and protects the project manager by describing what are the benefits of the Projects that need to be achieved.* Remember According to the PMBOK® Guide, a project benefit is the result of actions or behaviors, and/or the value of the product, service, or result from the project brings to the organization and the project stakeholders.
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Importance and Benefits of The Project Charter

What is the Project Charter:PMBOK® Defines Projec... Read More