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INFOGRAPHIC: Agile And Management Learning Path For Your Next Career Move

Agile has become the most important methodology for companies searching for an incremental way to deal with project management and software development. And, this has enhanced the demand for IT professionals who have a sound knowledge of the methodology and its implementation. There are different certifications available to test the knowledge and competency of the IT professionals on Agile frameworks. Here, KnowledgeHut provides you the ‘Agile and Management certification roadmap’ that will help take your career to the next level.Be familiar with all the Agile and Project Management certifications offered by different accreditation bodies that are categorized based on the courses offered and make a wise career move.Scrum AllianceKnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance which offers certifications in Scrum, a leading Agile framework.Introductory- Foundation and Practitioner coursesCertified ScrumMaster®(CSM)This CSM course provides effective knowledge on Scrum basics and its implementation in the real world.Certified Scrum Product Owner®(CSPO)Agile professionals who are close to the business end of projects will benefit from this CSPO course.Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD)Developers and programmers who have work experience in an Agile environment will benefit from this CSD course. Training is provided through two different paths such as for:CSM Holders- 3-Day Agile Engineering Practices CourseNon-CSM Holders- 1-day CSD into course, 3-Day CSD Agile Engineering Practices Course and 1-day CSD technical elective course.Once you obtained the initial certification for your chosen track, you can start with the Advanced level certification which is the next stage of the pathway to CSP.Advanced- Individuals with foundation-level certification can enter this phaseAdvanced Certified ScrumMaster™ (A-CSM™)The A-CSM course targets individuals who already have experience with Scrum and the ScrumMaster role and existing CSMs.Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner™ (A-CSPO™)This A-CSPO course targets individuals who already have experience with Scrum and the Product Owner role and existing CSPOs.After successful completion of Advanced level learning, candidates will be eligible to take the CSP certification of their chosen pathway. On successful completion of your chosen path to CSP, you can continue with the certifications such as CST (Certified Scrum Trainer), CTC (Certified Team Coach), CEC (Certified Enterprise Coaches℠), along with Certified Agile Leadership.Scrum.OrgKnowledgeHut is a Professional Training Network member of Scrum.org which offers certifications in Scrum, a leading Agile framework. It is recommended for every individual to pass the specific introductory course first, before going to the next levelProfessional Scrum Developer™The PSD certification is available for everyone who wants to prove their knowledge in building the complex software products with the help of Scrum.Professional Scrum Foundations™ (PSF)This PSF course targets freshers and individuals who want to revise Scrum basics.Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM)This course is aimed at Scrum Masters, Managers, and Scrum Team members who are responsible for getting the most out of Scrum. Three levels of certifications are available in PSM training:PSM I- IntroductoryPSM I certification holders will have a strong knowledge of the fundamental aspects, roles, and attributes of Scrum.PSM II- BeginnerPSM II certification holders understand the principles and processes of the Scrum framework and can effectively implement it in the enterprise context.PSM III- AdvancedPSM III certification holders demonstrate a distinguished level of mastery over Scrum.Professional Scrum Product Owner™(PSPO)This course is aimed at experienced Product Owners and Product Managers who want to improve their business success with Agile practices. Two levels of certifications are available in PSM training:PSPO I- Introductory to Intermediate levelPSPO I reflects an intermediate understanding of ScrumPSPO II- AdvancedPSPO II reflects an advanced learning of ScrumAfter successful completion of Advanced level learning of your chosen path, you can continue with the professional certifications such as PST (Professional Scrum Trainer™), PSPO Certified Trainer and the independent certifications such as Professional Agile Leadership™ (PAL), and SPS (Scaled Professional Scrum™) can be taken without any other Scrum.org credential as a prerequisite.Project Management Institute(PMI)Earning PMI® certifications will help you gain visibility within your organization and may expand your earning potential, enhance your job stability, and provide a competitive stand in the job market. KnowledgeHut is a Global REP for Project Management Institute, Inc. Here, we shall look at different PMI certifications available.Introductory- Beginning stage of an individual's journeyProject Management Professional (PMP®)This PMP course covers overall Project Management concepts and is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers.PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®)The PMI-ACP® certification is designed for those willing to implement Agile practices in their projects.Advanced- Individuals with beginner level certification can enter this phaseProgram Management Professional (PgMP®)This PgMP® course is designed for those who handle complex and multiple related projects to achieve strategic and organizational results.Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®)This PfMP course is designed for experienced project and program managers who want to enhance their ability to support and manage their enterprise project portfolio.Individuals can opt for Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM)® and PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® certification courses without any other PMI credential as a prerequisite.Scaled Agile AcademyKnowledgeHut offers different SAFe certifications from Scaled Agile Academy that are designed to help larger organizations struggling with Agile implementation for larger development efforts. Here we categorized the Scaled Agile Framework certifications based on different roles that can help you choose your career path.Agile Change Agents ConsultantsSAFe® 4 Program Consultant (SPC)SPC certification demonstrates your ability to deploy SAFe framework in the context of an enterprise-wide Agile transformation.Executives, Managers, StakeholdersSAFe® 4 Agilist (SA)The Leading SAFe® SA certification training will train the attendees on the skills required to lead an enterprise Agile transformation by leveraging the SAFe®, and its underlying principles derived from Agile development, Lean, systems thinking, product development flow, and DevOps.Release Train Engineers/Value Stream EngineersSAFe® 4.5 Release Train Engineer (SAFe® RTE)From this course, individuals will explore the skills required to drive end-to-end delivery of value through ARTs (Agile Release Trains) and also learn to build a high-performing ART through coaching and servant leadership by becoming a SAFe® RTE.Product Managers/Product OwnersSAFe® Product Owner/Product Manager (SAFe® PO/PM)Attendees will gain the skills required to guide the delivery of value in a Lean enterprise and learn about the tools, mechanics, and activities used to manage programs and backlogs.Scrum MastersSAFe® Scrum Master (SSM)- IntroductoryAttendees (Scrum Masters) will gain an understanding of the Scrum Master role as a part of the entire organization.SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)- AdvancedCurrent Scrum Masters will gain the skills needed to implement Scaled Agile Framework and lead high-performing Agile teams.Agile TeamsSAFe® for TeamsIndividuals will gain an in-depth understanding of the Agile Release Train, how it delivers value, and what they can do to perform their role effectively using Scrum, XP, and Kanban.ICAgileICAgile-accredited courses help organizations and professionals in developing an Agile mindset and enabling sustainable organizational agility. Here we shall look at the learning roadmap of different ICAgile courses.Roadmap to ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Testing (ICE-AT)Agile Testing- IntroductoryThis certification aims at Agile testers or aspiring Agile testers who wish to learn and practice Agile testing techniques. Even Test Managers, Testers, Developers, and Analysts with a passion for testing will benefit from this course.Agile Test Automation- AdvancedThis certification aims at Test engineers, Agile testers, or aspiring Agile testers with a desire to learn and practice Agile test automation. Test Managers and developers with a passion for learning automation skills will also benefit from this course.ICAgile Certified Expert Agile Testing- Expert/ProfessionalTo acquire the ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Testing (ICE-AT), an applicant must show competency in the discipline of test automation and Agile testing to a review committee of three industry-recognized experts. The applicant will be assessed through an interactive virtual session with the review committee.Roadmap to ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC)Agile Team Facilitation- IntroductoryThis certification is designed for Agile team leaders or aspiring team leaders who are passionate about servant leadership and have a desire to learn and practice the art of facilitation as part of coaching and team facilitation.Agile Coaching- AdvancedThis certification is designed for Agile coaches or aspiring coaches who are passionate about servant leadership and have a desire to learn and practice coaching, teaching, facilitation and mentoring in service of Agile teams.ICAgile Certified Expert In Agile Coaching- Expert/ProfessionalTo acquire the ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC), an applicant must show competency in the discipline of Agile coaching to a review committee of three industry-recognized experts. The applicant will be assessed through an interactive virtual session with the review committee.Roadmap to ICAgile Certified Expert In DevOps (ICE-DO)Foundation of DevOpsDevelopers, Operations leads and team members, Agile Coaches, Managers, or anyone with a passion for DevOps will benefit from this certification.Implementing DevOpsDevelopers, Operations leads/team members, testers, security leads/team members, technical coaches, and technical leads, or anyone interested in the hands-on implementation of DevOps will benefit from this certification.ICAgile Certified Expert In DevOpsThe ICE-DO certification is still in development. So, it is recommended to obtain the above two certifications first before preparing for this certification.Winding UpDeciding to start a career in an Agile environment in the IT industry is an exceptionally good choice. Getting an Agile certification can help you get started and get ahead in your career. Remember, certifications show your ability to your managers, co-workers and future employers. Getting certified is a great way to differentiate yourself from your peers.Choose wisely! And all the best on your certification learning path!!
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INFOGRAPHIC: Agile And Management Learning Path For Your Next Career Move

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Agile has become the most important methodology for companies searching for an incremental way to deal with project management and software development. And, this has enhanced the demand for IT professionals who have a sound knowledge of the methodology and its implementation. There are different certifications available to test the knowledge and competency of the IT professionals on Agile frameworks. Here, KnowledgeHut provides you the ‘Agile and Management certification roadmap’ that will help take your career to the next level.

Be familiar with all the Agile and Project Management certifications offered by different accreditation bodies that are categorized based on the courses offered and make a wise career move.

Scrum Alliance

KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance which offers certifications in Scrum, a leading Agile framework.

Introductory- Foundation and Practitioner courses

Certified ScrumMaster®(CSM)

This CSM course provides effective knowledge on Scrum basics and its implementation in the real world.

Certified Scrum Product Owner®(CSPO)

Agile professionals who are close to the business end of projects will benefit from this CSPO course.

Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD)

Developers and programmers who have work experience in an Agile environment will benefit from this CSD course. Training is provided through two different paths such as for:

  1. CSM Holders- 3-Day Agile Engineering Practices Course
  2. Non-CSM Holders- 1-day CSD into course, 3-Day CSD Agile Engineering Practices Course and 1-day CSD technical elective course.

Once you obtained the initial certification for your chosen track, you can start with the Advanced level certification which is the next stage of the pathway to CSP.

Advanced- Individuals with foundation-level certification can enter this phase

Advanced Certified ScrumMaster™ (A-CSM™)

The A-CSM course targets individuals who already have experience with Scrum and the ScrumMaster role and existing CSMs.

Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner™ (A-CSPO™)

This A-CSPO course targets individuals who already have experience with Scrum and the Product Owner role and existing CSPOs.
After successful completion of Advanced level learning, candidates will be eligible to take the CSP certification of their chosen pathway. On successful completion of your chosen path to CSP, you can continue with the certifications such as CST (Certified Scrum Trainer), CTC (Certified Team Coach), CEC (Certified Enterprise Coaches℠), along with Certified Agile Leadership.

Scrum.Org

KnowledgeHut is a Professional Training Network member of Scrum.org which offers certifications in Scrum, a leading Agile framework. It is recommended for every individual to pass the specific introductory course first, before going to the next level

Professional Scrum Developer™

The PSD certification is available for everyone who wants to prove their knowledge in building the complex software products with the help of Scrum.

Professional Scrum Foundations™ (PSF)

This PSF course targets freshers and individuals who want to revise Scrum basics.

Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM)

This course is aimed at Scrum Masters, Managers, and Scrum Team members who are responsible for getting the most out of Scrum. Three levels of certifications are available in PSM training:

  • PSM I- Introductory

PSM I certification holders will have a strong knowledge of the fundamental aspects, roles, and attributes of Scrum.

  • PSM II- Beginner

PSM II certification holders understand the principles and processes of the Scrum framework and can effectively implement it in the enterprise context.

  • PSM III- Advanced

PSM III certification holders demonstrate a distinguished level of mastery over Scrum.

Professional Scrum Product Owner™(PSPO)

This course is aimed at experienced Product Owners and Product Managers who want to improve their business success with Agile practices. Two levels of certifications are available in PSM training:

  • PSPO I- Introductory to Intermediate level

PSPO I reflects an intermediate understanding of Scrum

  • PSPO II- Advanced

PSPO II reflects an advanced learning of Scrum

After successful completion of Advanced level learning of your chosen path, you can continue with the professional certifications such as PST (Professional Scrum Trainer™), PSPO Certified Trainer and the independent certifications such as Professional Agile Leadership™ (PAL), and SPS (Scaled Professional Scrum™) can be taken without any other Scrum.org credential as a prerequisite.

Project Management Institute(PMI)

Earning PMI® certifications will help you gain visibility within your organization and may expand your earning potential, enhance your job stability, and provide a competitive stand in the job market. KnowledgeHut is a Global REP for Project Management Institute, Inc. Here, we shall look at different PMI certifications available.

Introductory- Beginning stage of an individual's journey

Project Management Professional (PMP®)

This PMP course covers overall Project Management concepts and is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers.

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®)

The PMI-ACP® certification is designed for those willing to implement Agile practices in their projects.

Advanced- Individuals with beginner level certification can enter this phase

Program Management Professional (PgMP®)

This PgMP® course is designed for those who handle complex and multiple related projects to achieve strategic and organizational results.

Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®)

This PfMP course is designed for experienced project and program managers who want to enhance their ability to support and manage their enterprise project portfolio.

Individuals can opt for Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM)® and PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® certification courses without any other PMI credential as a prerequisite.

Scaled Agile Academy

KnowledgeHut offers different SAFe certifications from Scaled Agile Academy that are designed to help larger organizations struggling with Agile implementation for larger development efforts. Here we categorized the Scaled Agile Framework certifications based on different roles that can help you choose your career path.

Agile Change Agents Consultants

SAFe® 4 Program Consultant (SPC)

SPC certification demonstrates your ability to deploy SAFe framework in the context of an enterprise-wide Agile transformation.

Executives, Managers, Stakeholders

SAFe® 4 Agilist (SA)

The Leading SAFe® SA certification training will train the attendees on the skills required to lead an enterprise Agile transformation by leveraging the SAFe®, and its underlying principles derived from Agile development, Lean, systems thinking, product development flow, and DevOps.

Release Train Engineers/Value Stream Engineers

SAFe® 4.5 Release Train Engineer (SAFe® RTE)

From this course, individuals will explore the skills required to drive end-to-end delivery of value through ARTs (Agile Release Trains) and also learn to build a high-performing ART through coaching and servant leadership by becoming a SAFe® RTE.

Product Managers/Product Owners

SAFe® Product Owner/Product Manager (SAFe® PO/PM)

Attendees will gain the skills required to guide the delivery of value in a Lean enterprise and learn about the tools, mechanics, and activities used to manage programs and backlogs.

Scrum Masters

SAFe® Scrum Master (SSM)- Introductory

Attendees (Scrum Masters) will gain an understanding of the Scrum Master role as a part of the entire organization.

SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)- Advanced

Current Scrum Masters will gain the skills needed to implement Scaled Agile Framework and lead high-performing Agile teams.

Agile Teams

SAFe® for Teams

Individuals will gain an in-depth understanding of the Agile Release Train, how it delivers value, and what they can do to perform their role effectively using Scrum, XP, and Kanban.

ICAgile

ICAgile-accredited courses help organizations and professionals in developing an Agile mindset and enabling sustainable organizational agility. Here we shall look at the learning roadmap of different ICAgile courses.

Roadmap to ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Testing (ICE-AT)

Agile Testing- Introductory

This certification aims at Agile testers or aspiring Agile testers who wish to learn and practice Agile testing techniques. Even Test Managers, Testers, Developers, and Analysts with a passion for testing will benefit from this course.

Agile Test Automation- Advanced

This certification aims at Test engineers, Agile testers, or aspiring Agile testers with a desire to learn and practice Agile test automation. Test Managers and developers with a passion for learning automation skills will also benefit from this course.

ICAgile Certified Expert Agile Testing- Expert/Professional

To acquire the ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Testing (ICE-AT), an applicant must show competency in the discipline of test automation and Agile testing to a review committee of three industry-recognized experts. The applicant will be assessed through an interactive virtual session with the review committee.

Roadmap to ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC)

Agile Team Facilitation- Introductory

This certification is designed for Agile team leaders or aspiring team leaders who are passionate about servant leadership and have a desire to learn and practice the art of facilitation as part of coaching and team facilitation.

Agile Coaching- Advanced

This certification is designed for Agile coaches or aspiring coaches who are passionate about servant leadership and have a desire to learn and practice coaching, teaching, facilitation and mentoring in service of Agile teams.

ICAgile Certified Expert In Agile Coaching- Expert/Professional

To acquire the ICAgile Certified Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC), an applicant must show competency in the discipline of Agile coaching to a review committee of three industry-recognized experts. The applicant will be assessed through an interactive virtual session with the review committee.

Roadmap to ICAgile Certified Expert In DevOps (ICE-DO)

Foundation of DevOps

Developers, Operations leads and team members, Agile Coaches, Managers, or anyone with a passion for DevOps will benefit from this certification.

Implementing DevOps

Developers, Operations leads/team members, testers, security leads/team members, technical coaches, and technical leads, or anyone interested in the hands-on implementation of DevOps will benefit from this certification.

ICAgile Certified Expert In DevOps

The ICE-DO certification is still in development. So, it is recommended to obtain the above two certifications first before preparing for this certification.

Winding Up

Deciding to start a career in an Agile environment in the IT industry is an exceptionally good choice. Getting an Agile certification can help you get started and get ahead in your career. Remember, certifications show your ability to your managers, co-workers and future employers. Getting certified is a great way to differentiate yourself from your peers.

Choose wisely! And all the best on your certification learning path!!

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut Editor

Author

KnowledgeHut is a fast growing Management Consulting and Training firm that is a source of Intelligent Information support for businesses and professionals across the globe.


Website : http://www.knowledgehut.com/

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The Importance of the Transparency Value in Agile

1. Introduction In this article I’ll be writing about Agile and the importance of transparency in Agile Software Development.  This article is focused mostly around Scrum teams, but many points would apply to Lean and Kanban environments as well. Transparency is one of the core values of Agile.  Transparency is critical to the success of organizations and groups adopting Agile.  In Scrum we use burndown and/or burnup charts to report the progress of the team throughout the Sprint.  In Scrum we also have “ceremonies” or meetings that help with transparency, which include the Daily Standup, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Retrospective meetings.  These all give the team and product owner a chance to raise issues and be honest about things like the team’s progress.  The meetings also give the team a chance to adapt and improve. 2. Why is transparency important to Agile Transparency in Agile Software Development cannot be overstated.  In some organizations it is not easy to be transparent and open.  There are lots of pressures to say what the business wants to hear.  But I believe in the long-run a lack of transparency hurts an Agile team, the project, the organization, and ultimately the company.  I've seen firsthand organizations that claim they want “openness” but then, I can say that true transparency is not easy.  Transparency is critical to the success of Software Development using Agile Methodology  and it is well worth the effort.  Without full transparency there are lots of bad things that happen, including: Lack of trust with the Product Owner Team has to get caught-up in politics instead of focusing on what needs to be delivered Team morale can suffer Measuring future work is more difficult The team’s true velocity is not known 3. How teams can be more transparent with a Product Owner There are several steps a team can take to prevent the issues raised in the previous section.  In this section, we will cover some of those steps.  Use burndown charts to be honest about how the team is performing in a given Sprint. A burndown chart tells the true story of how the team is performing. Some teams also use a burnup chart for this purpose. If you cliff-dive at the end of the Sprint, that's not the greatest, but at least you are being honest to the Product Owner in terms of what happened.  If you are not going to make the Sprint commitment, at least that will be more obvious during the Sprint (i.e. the burndown will show that the team is not closing enough points each day and is at risk of either cliff-diving or not meeting the commitment). The point is that the team is being completely transparent.  The velocity is what it is.  The product owner knows what the team is capable of delivering. Using the raw data and not hiding anything from the business frees an Agile team. I believe it is Kent Beck that has an excellent quote in one of his presentations about what he calls “schedule chicken.” He tells a story about people around the table during a typical project meeting and the project manager is going around asking each team how things are going. Everyone wants to put on a good face and says “umm, yeah we are on schedule” even when they are not. Now they have to sit there and know that they might be caught in a lie later. Better to just be honest and say “Well, we are about 2 Sprints behind.” Done.  Now there is nothing to hide and you can move on and deal with the reality of the situation you are faced with. There are a couple things that happen when the team is honest with the Product Owner.  The first, as mentioned previously, is the relationship between the Product Owner’s trust in a team and the team’s transparency.  Figure 1 below shows this relationship.   But there is another benefit we get from being transparent: the team’s velocity becomes more accurate.  This can be seen in Figure 2 below.   4. What Product Owners Should Ask If you are a Product Owner what are some of the signs that a Scrum team is not being 100% transparent?   This section will focus on some of the red flags or “smells” that may indicate a team is not being truthful and transparent.  If a team does not want to share their burndown and/or burnup charts, that is an obvious red flag and is simply not acceptable. If the velocity of a team is very static, that may also indicate issues.  This may indicate that the team has a fixed amount of points they will always commit to for a Sprint, regardless of their actual capacity.  More on this in the section below on case studies.  Another possible red flag is when most User Stories have the same point value.  It could indicate that the team is using a “one size fits all” for their estimates.  The Product Owner should not be afraid to press the team if they feel the team is not accurately estimating User Stories.  But you need to ask in a way that is not accusatory. 5. Case studies In one Scrum team I saw a real lack of transparency and it really was not a good experience. Soon after joining this Scrum team, I attended my first Sprint Planning meeting on this team. In the meeting I noticed something odd. Their true velocity was let's say, 40 points, but they would only commit to around 30 points. They would then find a few more stories and put them in the next Sprint. These additional stories were what they would call “a stretch goal”. But they knew their velocity was much higher than what they were committing to. This seemed very wrong to me. It was a total lack of transparency and honesty. Not surprisingly, the team would typically finish the stories in the current Sprint and then work on a few more stories from the next Sprint that they had put aside. For the most part, this was a management decision because they did not trust the team to meet their velocity in a consistent fashion. This led to a lack of transparency with the business, and normal tools like burndown charts could not be trusted. Also, it did not make the team feel very good because they knew they were not being honest with the business. Instead of using this "stretch goal" approach, use the velocity of the team to measure how much work can be done in a given Sprint. Then, based on capacity, commit to what you know your team can complete that Sprint. Be honest about the team’s velocity and don't give into political games about trying “to look good” on some presentation slide. This type of misrepresentation does not benefit anyone in the long run. 6. Conclusion The bottom line is to let the quality of the team’s work speak for itself. Have a consistent velocity, deliver software without defects, deliver business value, and adapt to what the business needs.  This will lead to more trust with the Product Owner and will make the team feel better since they are being 100% honest not having to play any games.  This lets the team focus on what truly matters:  delivering quality software that adds value.  
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The Importance of the Transparency Value in Agile

1. Introduction In this article I’ll be writing... Read More

Water-Scrum-Fall: Is it a Myth or Reality?

Usage of Agile Methods for software Development has caught on like wildfire. Every organization wants to follow Agile methods for software development projects to gain all or some of the following advantages. Faster Software Delivery Continuous Customer Feedback and Optimization Improved Software Quality Improved Communication with Users and Business Sponsors Accommodation for Continuous Changes Early Return on Investment  Continuous Visibility on Features Being Developed Optimized Risks Though usage of Agile Methodology has caught on, software development organizations have implemented Agile methods as per their own convenience and suitability by tweaking existing waterfall processes. Hence the term Water-Scrum-Fall.  Through this article, I will take a look at how Agile methodology is adopted in software development organizations and what modifications are made to the pure Agile processes to suit the adopting organizations to get optimum benefit. I will explore the topic through existing literature and my own experience of working in the IT industry. Software development organizations adopt Agile methodologies based on various factors. Some of the factors are listed below. Benefit from the method and maintain leadership position Pressure from competition Risk of losing out on the latest methods and trends Client Demand Internal cost pressures, Agile methods might be a win-win solution Some organizations embark on the journey to adopt Agile methods by following the classical and complete method of adoption. The stages of adoption followed by these organizations are shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 – Stages of Agile Methodology Adoption As can be seen from Figure 1, the standard process of adoption starts at pre-adoption phase with inception and goes all the way thru Execute-Deliver, gaining Insights along the way by learning about measures, data and feelings. Organizations learn through the process during initial iterations for pilot projects. The learnings are applied to future iterations of the process and process matures. Organizations continuously perform analysis of return on investment and perceived gains from Agile method adoption. This helps them to make any changes to adoption method to optimize the gains.  Agile transformation methods and experience gained through Agile methodology adoption is very well depicted through the following Youtube Videos-     So far, the discussion in this article focussed on the traditional way of Agile methodology adoption. Does every software development organization use the standard Agile methodology for the full lifecycle of software development? Do organizations invest in required training and infrastructure to implement Agile for the complete software development lifecycle?  A look at the industry trends reveals that some organizations use an approach with a combination of waterfall and Agile methodologies.  These organizations take baby steps in Agile methodologies adoption. The Agile methodology is tweaked as per the need of the adopting software development organization. Figure 2 shows the model of pure waterfall process adopted by a software development organization. Figure 2 – Steps of pure Waterfall Model Steps indicated in Figure 2 are executed in sequence to execute a software development project and achieve the desired business objective.  As per the adaptation practised by a software development organization, certain steps of the waterfall cycle are implemented using the Agile method. The adaptation is solely dependent on the organization and how it sees the process change fit for the project under execution.  Figure 3 shows the adaptation of standard Agile methodology as modified for an organization in the financial industry for a development project for a Large Retail Bank. The adoption was necessitated by this particular project where design and build activities were to be iterated based on changing requirements. The approach allowed necessary flexibility to implement varied design approaches and pass them quickly to build phase to avoid large-scale changes once the complete design was done. Some part of testing activities were also iterated, however, most of the testing followed waterfall methodology as unit testing was covered along with build activity. Unit testing done in an iterative manner helped generate stable delivery of code from build phase to the testing phase thereby allowing the project to maintain waterfall approach for testing and resulted in a very few testing defects. Figure 3 – Water-Scrum-Fall used for project in Large Bank   Another aspect of Agile is how it is perceived by persons performing various roles. Developers and Testers have most work during the middle phase of the project. Independent studies have proven that developers and testers are very quick to adopt new practices. Developers and Testers are also very keen to adopt Agile practices. Primary reason could be that Agile practices provide them with more opportunities to collaborate. This could be one of the primary reasons for the success of Water-Scrum-Fall. Analyst Watch: Water-Scrum-fall is the reality of agile https://t.co/tvdHhmVmus @darth_dread @simpod @8erbacherozzo — Angry Guider (@AndyRuggeri) November 17, 2017 In my work experience in Information Technology industry, I have also come across examples of the approach outlined above as Water-Scrum-Fall being used. It allows the flexibility of Agile with the right tweaks needed to make it effective for a particular software development organization and a specific project. I have seen this approach being extensively used in regulatory and legal compliance projects for software development for Banking and Telecom industry clients. These projects usually have Designed, Build and Test activities done with an Agile approach. Some projects even include Releases in the Agile approach and adopt phase-wise releases. This approach proves to be more beneficial as the final product is also developed iteratively and has more flexibility to adapt to changes in the life of the project.  Summary: I have covered all elements of standard Agile adoption process and steps followed by software development organizations to adopt Agile methodologies. Some organizations tweak Agile processes to adopt them for some part of software development life cycle, thereby giving rise to the term Water-Scrum-Fall. Organizations have found their own way of adopting Agile methodologies by the way of Water-Scrum-Fall. Experts, however, warn that Water-Scrum-Fall is fine as a starting point but it should not be the end goal of the Agile journey of an organization. The full potential of Agile can be realized with complete Agile adoption by truly embracing Agile manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/) and its guiding principles. However, Water-Scrum-Fall is a reality and is here to stay as organizations have found benefits from adopting the methodology.
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Water-Scrum-Fall: Is it a Myth or Reality?

Usage of Agile Methods for software Development ha... Read More

Understanding Essential Scrum Activities And Their Benefits In The Recruitment Business

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the various activities which are carried out during Scrum, an in-depth explanation of each activity and the benefits of the activity.Scrum Process with Real-Time Scenario in RecruitmentIntroduction to a recruitment companyLet me introduce you to Ralph. Ralph is the owner of a company called “Right Hire” which specializes in recruitment. His team offers professional and experienced recruitment services to emerging markets for the past 7+ years. The company has 16 recruiters.Client requirementOne of their clients, a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company has recently approached Ralph with a requirement of recruiting 15 professionals in the next 3 months, on their behalf. They are looking for 4 senior professionals (3-5 years experience) and 11 junior professionals (0-1 year experience).Introducing ScrumRalph considers each assignment as a project. Ralph has been in touch with a few of his friends in the IT industry and they have recently introduced him to Scrum. Ralph was intrigued with the concept of Scrum and has studied Scrum in detail by going through all the information of Scrum which he could gather online. He has decided to use Scrum to execute this particular project.What will be the Scrum roles in recruitment process?Ralph understands that there are three main roles in Scrum. They are “The Product Owner”, “The Scrum Master”, and the “Development Team”. Mapping the roles of the recruitment project to Scrum, Ralph feels that he is in a better position to play the role of the “Product Owner”. As a “Product Owner”, he has a clear understanding of the end product from the customer point of view i.e. recruiting 15 professionals in 90 days. Ralph has decided to allocate 5 team members of his recruiting team for this project. This team of recruiters can be mapped onto the role of a “Development team”.Ralph has a friend, Phil, who is a “Scrum Master”. Phil takes up projects on a freelancing basis and Ralph approaches him for the role of “Scrum Master” for this project. Phil readily agrees to be associated with this assignment on a part-time basis. Phil feels, that he will get a different kind of experience since Phil has been associated with IT projects for most of his career.Keep all team members aware of the Scrum values⚠️Since Ralph is using Scrum for the first time in his project, he feels that it is necessary for the team members to be aware of the three pillars on which Scrum is based and understand the Scrum values as well. He requests Phil, the “Scrum Master” to conduct a small training session on “Scrum” for his team of recruiters. Ralph feels that if he achieves considerable success in this assignment using Scrum, he might use it on a continuing basis on other assignments too. Therefore explaining “Scrum” to all his team members might help them to be prepared in the long run.Phil explains that “Scrum” is founded on empirical process control theory or empiricism. This asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is known. Scrum employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control risk. The three pillars which uphold the implementation of Scrum are transparency, inspection, and adaptation. Further, it was explained that the five values on which Scrum is based are commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.Phil also emphasises that the Scrum team members should respect each other to be capable, independent people.Phil further explains that he as a “Scrum Master” will do doing everything possible to help the team perform at the highest level. This involves removing any impediments to progress, facilitating meetings, and working with the product owner to make sure the product backlog is in good shape and ready for the next sprint.Executing Scrum Activities1. Defining a VisionA Scrum project starts with the initial activity of defining a vision of the project/product. Ralph and team check with Phil and he points out that in this case, the vision is quite clear and that is – recruitment of 15 professionals in 90 days.  The benefit of this activity is that the team has a clear understanding of the purpose of the project/product and what it achieves for the customer.2. Defining Product BacklogThe next activity is to define a “Product Backlog”. The “Product Backlog” is a list of functional and non-functional requirements, that when turned into functionality will deliver the vision. This is created by the “Product Owner”. Ralph, creates the “Product Backlog”, in consultation with Phil. The “Product Backlog” consists of the recruitment requirements as given below:1) Recruitment of 4 senior professionals with 3-5 years of experience2) Recruitment of 11 junior professionals with 0-2 years of experienceAn example of functional requirements is recruiting a person with the said number of years of experience and the required educational qualifications. The non-functional requirements would be to identify candidates who are stable and have no negative feedback on the social media, etc.3. Prioritize the Product BacklogThe next activity is to prioritize the “Product Backlog”. As it is more difficult to get experienced people, Ralph indicates that the recruitment of the more experienced candidates is at a higher priority compared to candidates who are less experienced.Defining “Definition of Done”Phil explains that a product backlog must have a definition of the term “Done”. For this project, the following definition of “Done” was agreed between Ralph and his team. “Done” meant that the candidate had been finalized by the team, approved by the client manager and he or she had accepted the offer letter. Phil was in agreement with this definition.4. Define Product ReleasesNormally in a typical Scrum project, the “Product Backlog” is divided into releases. “Defining Releases” is the next activity. But, as this is a recruitment project, it made more sense for the team to make releases as soon as a functionality was complete. i.e. we could say that a release is made as soon as a candidate is finalized.5. Conduct Sprint Planning MeetingAll work is normally done in “Sprints”. Phil explained the concept of “Sprints” to Ralph and his team. Each sprint is typically an iteration of consecutive 30 days. Each sprint is initiated with a “Sprint” planning meeting which is the next activity.In this meeting, Ralph met with his team and they collaborated about what could be done in the next sprint. A sprint planning meeting can typically take up to 8 hours. As the requirement is comparatively well defined, Ralph took approximately two hours to list down the detailed requirement and explained the basis on which he had arrived at the prioritized product backlog. The team questioned Ralph on the contents of the Product Backlog. In the end, the team members decided on the number of positions it would close in the first sprint. As the recruitment of senior professionals was at a higher priority, it was decided that 4 team members will focus on closing the 4 positions and one team member will try to finalize at least 3 junior professionals within the first sprint.6. Conduct Daily Scrum Phil explained that every day, the team needs to get together for a 15-minute meeting called the “daily Scrum”. The “daily Scrum” is the next activity and this is typically done at the same location and time every day. In this meeting, every team member has to answer 3 questions-What have you done on the projects?What do you plan to do next?What are the impediments which you are facing, if any?The purpose of this meeting is to synchronize the work of the team members daily and help each other move forward.7. Conduct Sprint ReviewAt the end of the sprint, Phil indicated that a “sprint review” meeting should be held. In this meeting, the team presented their achievements during the sprint. The team has met all the commitments as  promised. This meeting was also attended by the client who was very happy with the progress made on the project.8. Conduct Sprint Retrospective MeetingAfter the sprint review meeting and before the beginning of the next sprint, the “Scrum Master” held another activity called the sprint retrospective meeting, in which the “Scrum Master” encouraged the team to revise the timelines and processes to make them more effective.Finally, Scrum proved to be a game changer!Needless to say, managing the project using Scrum proved to be a game changer for Ralph and he now intends to manage all his projects using Scrum. The good thing about Scrum is that he can use this even if the requirements are not firm at the beginning and they begin to firm up as the project progresses.In summary, the following are the various activities which are followed in Scrum-1) Defining a vision2) Define a Product Backlog3) Prioritize the Product Backlog4) Define Product Releases5) Conduct Sprint Planning Meeting6) Conduct Daily Scrum7) Conduct Sprint Review8) Conduct Sprint Retrospective Meeting
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Understanding Essential Scrum Activities And Their...

The purpose of this article is to provide an overv... Read More