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Agile Transformation In Large Organizations

As agile readers, I am sure we all agree that LARGE is a relative term and may not be defined just by number. What does LARGE imply? Is it something that has employees above 5000 but completely structured  Or an organization that has <1000 employees but complex due to the silos, style, and technical limp.  My personal definition - Large organization can be defined as an organization that has fostered distance between employees with process, silos, hierarchy and complexities. Numbers don’t reflect the magnitude during the transformation, but the complexities and the mindset to change. Over the years I have realized, transformations of companies with 10K+ employees and slightly structured, will take same amount of effort as an organization with 1000 employees but unstructured !!! Similar to the two piles of books below. Where does one take more time to find a book? And the answer defines the magnitude of LARGENESS.  Let us assume, for the above pictures, if the problem statement is given as:  Find a book called “Why Agile?” Scenario 1: Considering the books are thrown and piled all around the room, one would take almost days together to get the above problem statement resolved, despite the fact that it is such a small collection of books.  Cause of Delay: Not structured  Chaos and redundancy Impact: Cost of delay Scenario 2: Books are arranged in an orderly fashion, could be alphabetical, year based, genre etc. !!!  Also, this is digitally transferred to make the search easy via computer seen in the picture. In this scenario, one may not take more than 30 mins to find the book stated in the problem statement Impact: Efficiency   In a software world, efficiency should be the measure of Largeness. Lower the efficiency higher the complexity and the magnitude of measure. As, despite the number, journey of transformation is the same. It has to go through the same cycle of form, storm, and norm and perform in order to successfully adopt agile transformation. Irrespective of the approach or magnitude it is always important to understand the organization prior to committing to transformation or adoption.  An analogy to Agile transformation is, similar to any long journey, it gets as pleasant as the people surrounding you; you get a grumpy passenger your trip gets grumpier. There are many articles and blogs that describe impacts of people and surroundings on health and mindset. Hence it is very critical to building safer and pleasant roadmap , that emphasizes and enables empowerment and self-organized organizations.    Few steps that can enable a pleasant travel are: Simple steps to a pleasant journey by Sushma   Leadership Buy in: This is very critical and I write about this all my blogs, as they could be the major inhibitors of change if not in sync. They need to be made aware of what this change could bring and how it would impact their organization. It is usually a myth among leaders that, Agile implies delivery in 2 weeks and a fast track tool to production, as suppose to the reality which includes complete mindset and organizational change. Hence it is important that they understand the impact during ideation than in the middle when their struggling direct report squeal up to them!! Coach management on enablement than heroism. As many Agile leaders define, it’s an attitude change to build enablement and empowerment within teams than building a dynasty of managers. Motivation is intrinsic and not something that can be driven by bonus or money. Recognize and Build optimal teams:  Team structures could vary between organizations; some work the best in a matrix wherein others may build Agile teams with single reporting structure. Organizations with open culture and fearless platforms are optimal for Agile teams. During initial transition, it is always advocated to have diverse reporting within the teams to enable health conflicts and feedbacks. Define Agile techniques and cadence: Build techniques that optimize the efficiency of transformation. During inception phase of transformation, it is always encouraged to have all ceremonies planned in accordance to the Agile framework. Many organizations prefer to have sprint planning of a 2-week sprint to be 1-2 hours and end up creating half-baked stories that do not sync with the definition of readiness. I have noticed teams that conduct 3-4 hours of sprint planning build stronger and optimal backlog for the team to build appropriate product that syncs with the vision. Coach your teams: And Practice what you coach, be an example. Be a leader to harvest leadership among employees. Build Fearless platform of speech. Retrospective: Identify key areas that need further iteration of change, build a plan and implement.    Agile Mindset: Enable teams to identify the Agile way!! Encourage an environment that seeds openness, transparency, and fearless speech. Build a collaborative mindset, a place where someone swims right in front of a shark to save their peer. Integrate Technology: It is always important to facilitate the behavioral change with technology that facilitates this change. Build stronger CI/CD, modularization, and automated testing. It is critical that the system and architecture promote the agility of the teams. The simplicity of tools also plays a vital role in encouraging agility among teams. Tools and Reports used to assess Agile maturity need to be transparent and manageable.   Going to @mcottmeyer 's On Leading Large Scale Agile Transformation. Not really sure if it will scale for our org at scale in the engerprise — mheusser (@mheusser) May 5, 2017 Complex tools can lead to frustrations and resistance towards the change  
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Agile Transformation In Large Organizations

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Agile Transformation In Large Organizations

As agile readers, I am sure we all agree that LARGE is a relative term and may not be defined just by number. What does LARGE imply?

  • Is it something that has employees above 5000 but completely structured 
  • Or an organization that has <1000 employees but complex due to the silos, style, and technical limp.

 My personal definition - Large organization can be defined as an organization that has fostered distance between employees with process, silos, hierarchy and complexities. Numbers don’t reflect the magnitude during the transformation, but the complexities and the mindset to change.

Over the years I have realized, transformations of companies with 10K+ employees and slightly structured, will take same amount of effort as an organization with 1000 employees but unstructured !!!
Similar to the two piles of books below. Where does one take more time to find a book? And the answer defines the magnitude of LARGENESS. 

Let us assume, for the above pictures, if the problem statement is given as: 

Find a book called “Why Agile?”
Scenario 1: Considering the books are thrown and piled all around the room, one would take almost days together to get the above problem statement resolved, despite the fact that it is such a small collection of books. 
Cause of Delay:

  • Not structured 
  • Chaos and redundancy

Impact: Cost of delay

Scenario 2: Books are arranged in an orderly fashion, could be alphabetical, year based, genre etc. !!!  Also, this is digitally transferred to make the search easy via computer seen in the picture. In this scenario, one may not take more than 30 mins to find the book stated in the problem statement

Impact: Efficiency  

In a software world, efficiency should be the measure of Largeness. Lower the efficiency higher the complexity and the magnitude of measure. As, despite the number, journey of transformation is the same. It has to go through the same cycle of form, storm, and norm and perform in order to successfully adopt agile transformation.


Irrespective of the approach or magnitude it is always important to understand the organization prior to committing to transformation or adoption. 

An analogy to Agile transformation is, similar to any long journey, it gets as pleasant as the people surrounding you; you get a grumpy passenger your trip gets grumpier. There are many articles and blogs that describe impacts of people and surroundings on health and mindset. Hence it is very critical to building safer and pleasant roadmap , that emphasizes and enables empowerment and self-organized organizations. 
 
Few steps that can enable a pleasant travel are:

Simple steps to a pleasant journey by Sushma
 

  • Leadership Buy in: This is very critical and I write about this all my blogs, as they could be the major inhibitors of change if not in sync. They need to be made aware of what this change could bring and how it would impact their organization. It is usually a myth among leaders that, Agile implies delivery in 2 weeks and a fast track tool to production, as suppose to the reality which includes complete mindset and organizational change. Hence it is important that they understand the impact during ideation than in the middle when their struggling direct report squeal up to them!! Coach management on enablement than heroism. As many Agile leaders define, it’s an attitude change to build enablement and empowerment within teams than building a dynasty of managers. Motivation is intrinsic and not something that can be driven by bonus or money.
  • Recognize and Build optimal teams:  Team structures could vary between organizations; some work the best in a matrix wherein others may build Agile teams with single reporting structure. Organizations with open culture and fearless platforms are optimal for Agile teams. During initial transition, it is always advocated to have diverse reporting within the teams to enable health conflicts and feedbacks.

  • Define Agile techniques and cadence: Build techniques that optimize the efficiency of transformation. During inception phase of transformation, it is always encouraged to have all ceremonies planned in accordance to the Agile framework. Many organizations prefer to have sprint planning of a 2-week sprint to be 1-2 hours and end up creating half-baked stories that do not sync with the definition of readiness. I have noticed teams that conduct 3-4 hours of sprint planning build stronger and optimal backlog for the team to build appropriate product that syncs with the vision.
  • Coach your teams: And Practice what you coach, be an example. Be a leader to harvest leadership among employees. Build Fearless platform of speech.
  • Retrospective: Identify key areas that need further iteration of change, build a plan and implement.

  

  • Agile Mindset: Enable teams to identify the Agile way!! Encourage an environment that seeds openness, transparency, and fearless speech. Build a collaborative mindset, a place where someone swims right in front of a shark to save their peer.
  • Integrate Technology: It is always important to facilitate the behavioral change with technology that facilitates this change. Build stronger CI/CD, modularization, and automated testing. It is critical that the system and architecture promote the agility of the teams. The simplicity of tools also plays a vital role in encouraging agility among teams. Tools and Reports used to assess Agile maturity need to be transparent and manageable.

 

Complex tools can lead to frustrations and resistance towards the change
 

Sushma

Sushma Arvind

Blog Author

Sushma has a history of turning break even projects into profitable projects through delivery of cost saving solutions via effective process &amp; tool management. With over 15 years of experience in delivery , she has been fortunate to work with multiple organizations that adapted different delivery framework. She has experience in leading large organization transformations and re - engineering delivery that mapped to success and cost . Her belief is "Agile is an attitude to get done with quality, adaptability and retrospective" and there is no single prescriptive process that can fit every problem.
 

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Also, you will be required to have an experience of 12 months as a working Scrum Master in the last five years.The certification has to be renewed every two years by paying a fee of $175 without any additional examination or training.Job opportunities after Advanced Scrum Master Certification: Work towards becoming a more professional practitioner of Scrum Master, learn how to untap the underlying potential of your team. Work as a Scrum Master, coach, mentor or a Product Owner.Cost: Depending on different factors like location and trainer, the cost of Scrum Master Certification ranges approximately between $1295 to $1495.Average Salary: The average salary of an Advance Certified Scrum Master ranges between $100,00 to $130,000 across the United States.CertificationAdvanced Scrum Master CertificationAccreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.Twelve months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years.Career PathScrum Master, Mentor, Coach, Manager, Product Owner.Average Salary$100,00 to $130,000Cost of Certification$1295 to $1495Renewal Cost$1753. Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)This course focuses on topics like lean concepts, system thinking, coaching, emotional intelligence, facilitation, deeper understanding of the Scrum Framework and scaling Scrum to big organizations.Accreditation Body: Scrum AlliancePrerequisites:An active A-CSM certification24 months of experience as a Scrum Master in the last five yearsAttend a CSP-SM workshop which is conducted by the Scrum Alliance approved ‘Path to CSP Educator’.Who can take up this certification?The following individuals can take this course:Scrum team members such as developersTeams transitioning to ScrumManagers of Scrum teamsJob opportunities after Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM) Certification: Work towards becoming a more professional practitioner of Scrum Master for big organisations, learn how to un-tap the underlying potential of different teams. Work as a Scrum Master, coach, mentor or a Product Owner. Get various opportunities to attend exclusive CSP events along with many other leaders in Scrum and AgileCost: Depending on various factors, the cost of the certification costs around $1295.Average Salary: The average salary of a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)is calculated to be approximately $115,000 across the United States.CertificationCertified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM)Accreditation BodyScrum AlliancePrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.An active ACSM certification24 months of working experience as a Scrum Master in the last five years.Career PathScrum Master, Mentor, Coach, Manager, Product Owner for big organisations.Average Salary$115,000Cost of Certification$1295Renewal Cost$2504. Professional Scrum Master (PSM)Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM), is a two-day course which covers the theory and principles of the Scrum Framework and the roles of a Scrum Master. This course combines team-based exercises with instructions in order to teach the heart of the Scrum and Agile movement.Accreditation Body: Scrum.orgPrerequisites: The PSM course can be taken by any professional who wants to deepen their Scrum understanding. It is recommended to familiarize with the basics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in a shorter course of time.Who can take up this certification?This course is apt for professionals who are involved in product delivery using the Scrum Framework. It is particularly most beneficial for Scrum Master, Team members and managers, that is, those people who are accountable for getting the most out of Scrum.Job opportunities after Professional Scrum Master Training (PSM): After being a certified Professional Scrum Master, the candidate can apply for various fields, to name a few:Scrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterProduct OwnerCoachMentorCost: Starts from  $150.Average Salary: $100,500CertificationProfessional Scrum Master Training (PSM)Accreditation BodyScrum.orgPrerequisitesBasics of Scrum to understand the overall framework perfectly in less time.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 80 questions within an hour.Passing score: 80 per cent.Career PathScrum Master, Mentor, Coach, Manager, Product Owner for big organisations.Average Salary$100,500Cost of Certification$1505. SAFe 4.0 Scrum Master (SSM)It is a two-day course, during which the attendees gain a proper understanding of the roles of a Scrum Master in the context of SAFe enterprise while at the same time, prepare them to plan and execute the Program Increment(PI) successfully. PI is an enabler of alignment for all the levels of a SAFe organisation, which includes the facilitation of Scrum in the enterprise and executing the Iteration Planning.This course will validate that you can now perform the role of a Scrum Master in a SAFe environment, which will help you increase your value to organisations and teams which are implementing SAFe.Accreditation Body: Scaled Agile.Prerequisites:Regardless of experience, this course can be attended by anyone. But it is recommended to have the following prerequisites for the ones who intend to take the SAFe® Scrum Master (SSM) certification exam:They should be familiar with Agile concepts and practices.Basic knowledge and awareness of Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP) and Kanban.Proper working knowledge of hardware as well as software development processes.Who can take up this certification?This course can be taken up by Scrum Master who are new to this and need to perform the role. While this course can also be taken up by the existing Scrum Masters who wish to know about their role as a Scrum Master in a SAFe environment.Other than them, Team leads who wish to understand the roles of Scrum Master can also take up this course.Job opportunities after SAFe 4.0 Scrum Master (SSM): Based on the candidates' experience, the candidate can apply for various roles. To name a few:Scrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterAgile Scrum MasterAgile Project ManagerAgile Project DirectorAgile CoachProduct OwnerCost: The first attempt of the exam is included in the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days after completing the course. After that, each retake costs $50.Average Salary: $114,546CertificationSAFe 4.0 Scrum Master (SSM)Accreditation BodyScaled AgilePrerequisitesFamiliarity with Agile concepts and practices.Basic knowledge and awareness of Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP) and Kanban.Proper working knowledge of hardware as well as software development processes.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 45 questions within a duration of 90 minutes; out of which 33 should be answered correctly.Career PathScrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterAgile Scrum MasterAgile Project ManagerAgile Project DirectorAgile CoachProduct OwnerAverage Salary$114,546Cost of CertificationThe first attempt of the exam is included in the course registration fee, provided the exam is taken within 30 days after completing the course. After that, each retake costs $50.Renewal Cost$100; Every one year from the date of certification earned.6. Scrum Master Certified (SMC)The professionals who are certified as Scrum Master Certified (SMC) ensure that the Scrum team is working in an environment which helps them in completing their project successfully. The Scrum Master has the responsibility to ensure that the Scrum process is being followed. He guides the Scrum practices to everyone who is involved in the project.Accreditation Body: SCRUMstudyPrerequisites:There are no particular prerequisites for this certification, but a SDC™certified professional is more preferred.Who can take up this certification?This course is apt for professionals who are involved in product delivery using the Scrum Framework. It is particularly most beneficial for Scrum Master, Team members and managers, that is, those people who are accountable for getting the most out of Scrum.Job opportunities after Scrum Master Certified (SMC): After completion of the course, you can opt for the following job opportunities:Scrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterCoach Scrum MasterProduct Owner/ManagerCost: $450 USDAverage Salary: The average salary for a Scrum Master Certified professional ranges between $100,00 to $130,00 USD.CertificationScrum Master Certified (SMC)Accreditation BodySCRUMstudyPrerequisitesThere are no particular prerequisites for this certification, but a SDC™certified professional is more preferred.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 100 questions within a duration of two hours.Career PathScrum MasterAssociate Scrum MasterSenior Scrum MasterCoach Scrum MasterProduct Owner/ManagerAverage Salary$100,00 to $130,00 USDCost of Certification$450 USDRenewal CostEarn 40 recertification credits every three years.7. Agile Scrum Master (ASM)The Agile Scrum Master certification combines scrum practices and agile methodologies with practical assignments. It tests the ability of the professional that is required to facilitate, enable and coach a cross-functional Scrum Team as a Scrum Master.Accreditation Body: Exin.Prerequisites: You are required to have successfully completed an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training, which is mandatory.Who can take up this certification?This certification aims the managerial professionals who are in the fields of IT project management, business management, software development, and IT service management.Job opportunities after Agile Scrum Master (ASM): The professional can look forward to the following job opportunities after completing the Agile Scrum Master course:Scrum MasterAgile CoachAssociate Scrum MasterProgram ManagerCost: $260 USDAverage Salary: The average salary of an Agile Scrum Master ranges between $100,00 to $130,000 across the United States.CertificationAgile Scrum Master (ASM)Accreditation BodyEXINPrerequisitesThe candidate is required to have successfully completed an EXIN Accredited Agile Scrum Master Training, which is mandatory.Exam InformationAnswer a set of 40 questions within a duration of 90 minutes; Pass mark being 65%.Career PathScrum MasterAgile CoachAssociate Scrum MasterProgram ManagerAverage Salary$100,00 to $130,00 USDCost of Certification$260 USDWhat is Scrum?Scrum is a lightweight framework with the help of which people can address complex problems to deliver projects of the highest possible value. It is primarily used for software development processes by using iterative and incremental practices to work towards a well-defined goal.It is a subset of Agile as it follows the Agile Manifesto, which expresses a set of values and principles to help make decisions on how to develop higher-quality software in a quicker and better manner. Organisations have benefitted by Agile Scrum process as:It increases the productivity of the team.It increases the quality of deliverable products.Helps in getting a better grip of the project schedule.It provides a better estimate while less time is spent on creating themIt keeps the stakeholders and customers satisfied.How are Scrum and Agile related Scrum and Agile are related, but distinctly. Agile is a methodology that describes a set of guiding principles to build software through iterative development, which is described in the Agile Manifesto.Scrum follows a set of rules while practising agile software development. Even though these two models look similar and function in a similar manner, there are differences as well. Scrum aims for a product team with firm rules and guidelines. It is an incremental and iterative development methodology of Agile, that is, it can be said that it is an agile framework for developing software. Scrum does not state any detailed description or template of the process of software development, unlike many other software development methodologies. It states the desired outcome that is required, leaving it on the agile scrum team to determine the solutions to the problems that they are facing or will come across. It may be used for software maintenance projects or software development. Scrum increases the flexibility and speed of the process of product development. Organisations which have switched to agile processes like Scrum have experienced many benefits like higher stakeholder satisfaction, higher productivity, etc. The benefits experienced are further discussed in detail.Scrum Certifying Accreditation BodiesThe following is a list of a few Scrum Certifying Bodies.Scrum AllianceScrum.orgScaled AgileAPM Group InternationalSCRUMstudy1. Scrum Alliance: Scrum Alliance was founded in the year 2011. Being a globally renowned organisation, it supports Scrum adoption, research and networking, focusing on organisational transformations. It is the largest, most established organisation for Agile membership and certification that has trained more than 750,000 professionals worldwide.2. Scrum.org:Scrum.org provides training, assessments and certifications based on the principles of Scrum and Agile manifesto in order to improve software delivery. They empower people and organisations all around the world to achieve agility through Scrum. The global organisation was found in the year 2009 by Ken Schwaber.3. Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI): Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI) is the leading provider of SAFe® courses. Being a knowledge base for enterprises to adopt Agile, it uplifts the career growth of an individual as it offers various role-based courses and certifications.4. SCRUMstudy: SCRUMstudy is a globally acknowledged accreditation body for Agile and Scrum certifications. It has a large global partner network of ATPs, Authorized Training Providers, delivering training and certifications. The SBOK™ Guide has been authored by the SCRUMstudy, which is a comprehensive guide to deliver projects successfully using Scrum.5. EXIN: EXIN offers professionals certifications in a wide range of exams in the field of IT qualifications. It innovates in a continuous manner by developing exams in-house. They developed exams are both independent and with partners, which is done in order to enhance its portfolio as well as broaden the scope of the exams that are offered.Summary:Various accreditation bodies provide various Scrum Certifications around the globe. The main objective behind all the Scrum Certifications being making of a Scrum Master which will help his/her organisation achieve the goals following the Scrum framework. Choose the best certification course according to your requirements and make the best out of it!
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