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The Best Product Development Process

What Is Product Development? Product development relates to the creation of a new product that has some benefit; up-gradation of the existing product; or improvement of the production process, method, or system. In other words, it is all about bringing a change for the better in the present goods or services or the mode of production.  Product development includes the following elements:Creation and Innovation pave the process for new discoveries and the creation of a new product that offers benefits to the consumers. Amendment of the existing products is essential to enhance the past products and to attain perfection. Improvement of the existing production process, methods, and practices helps give customers an improved experience. It is cost-efficient for the organization too. For Example; Apple CEO Steve Jobs envisioned an idea of using a touch screen to interact with a computer, which would allow him to directly type onto the display, instead of using a stylus. This idea of a touch screen was first implemented for the first iPhone that was launched in 2007 in the US. Apple, with its new product development, revolutionized the way we use mobile gadgets.Why Is It So Important to have a Product Development Process? Product development is the procedure for the successful development of new products or adding new features to the current product. In business terms, the product development policy provides a skeleton that aids enhancement of the performance and quality of products.  The approaches outlined below can bring up scores of advantages to help and expand the business in today’s contentious market. Control over productThe development of a product without a decent approach is quite a precarious challenge. To manage and to be sure of success, it is necessary to plan the development of your products or services and this is what the business or organization requires. The planning would help in fulfilling business goals. Enhanced performanceSeveral times, even after spending thousands of dollars on promotion or marketing the product, a business owner faces setbacks because of poor quality of the product. Hence, it is important to monitor the production and other processes to preserve a record of wrongdoings and improve the same. Reduce costCreating and implementing new products leads to additional cost to the company. The owner has to bear a huge cost in the primary stages of product development, but after the execution process, it is noticed that there is a decrease in product development cost.The History of Product Development Processes Product improvement is closely tied to creativity, invention, and insight—and follows the vision of an idea. For example: the present-day Gas stove is the consequence of some ancient human's insight that a fire is created by rubbing two stones together: the rest was product development. According to Michael McGrath (in Next Generation Product Development), keen focus on the development process began late in the 19th century. McGrath divides the time since into "generations" of product development importance. First ending in 1950s, the focus was on commercialization of discoveries; in the second, formalization of product development as a process began, and this lasted until the 1980s. In the third "generation" of product development, corporate management concentrated on getting products to market faster. In the 21st century, according to McGrath, stress had shifted to R&D-based development. All types of strategies to product development proceed to exist side-by-side. As in gambling, no "method" ensures success.Product Development Process Models There are different software development life cycle models defined which are helpful in designing the software development process.  Some important and popular SDLC models supported in the industry are as follows: Waterfall Process Model Iterative Process Model Spiral Process Model V Process Model Big Bang Process Model Agile Process Model RAD Process Model Prototyping Process Models Waterfall ModelThe Waterfall Model is the traditional Process Model. It is considered as a linear-sequential life cycle model. Waterfall model at each stage must accomplish the next phase before and there should be no overlapping phases.Iterative Process Model  Iterative process starts with an easy implementation of a subset of the software requirements and iteratively improves the evolving versions until the full system is implemented.  With every  new iteration, new design modifications are produced and new functional capabilities are added.  Spiral Process Model The spiral model has four phases. A software project repeatedly passes through these phases in iterations called Spirals i.e. Identification, Design, Construct or Build and Evaluation and Risk Analysis. V Process Model The V-model is an SDLC model where execution of processes occurs in a sequential manner in a V-shape. It is also acknowledged as Verification and Validation model. The V-Model is an extension of the waterfall model. Big Bang Process Model The Big Bang model is an SDLC model where we do not follow any definite process. The development begins with the required money and efforts as the input, and the output is the software developed which may or may not be as per customer demand. Agile Process Model Agile product development life cycle promotes frequent inspection and adaptation. The methodologies rely on the experience of small teams and teamwork to address any changes and promote trusted customer collaboration. Agile product development methods begin things in small increments. Iterations are small; typically of one to four weeks duration. RAD Process Model The RAD (Rapid Application Development) model is based on prototyping and iterative development with no special planning involved. The method of drafting the software itself involves the planning required for producing the product. Software Prototype Process Model The Software Prototyping refers to building software application prototypes which illustrate the functionality of the product under development, but may not truly hold the precise logic of the original software.What Is the Product Development Lifecycle? The product life cycle is an influential concept in marketing. It defines the stages a product goes through right from its inception to when it is removed from the market. Not all products relinquish the final stage. Some advance and grow while others rise and fail. The main stages of the product life cycle are: Research & development - Researching and developing the product before it is made available for sale in the market Introduction – Driving the product into the market Growth – When sales are expanding at their fastest rate Maturity – Sales are near their highest, but the percentage of growth is slowing down, e.g. new rivals in market or saturation Decline – Final step of the cycle, when sales begin to fallThis can be illustrated by looking at the sales during the time span of the product.What is a New Product Development Process? The product development method is a well-defined series of steps or stages a company uses to achieve its accomplishment of new offerings. Every company develops new product or services, but product development processes vary considerably from one company to another depending on the industry, the product type, whether the product is an incremental improvement or a breakthrough innovation, and the extent to which you focus on product portfolio management. What are the six steps of a traditional new product development process? A typical product development process of this kind has six steps with five gates. Step 1: Product Discovery  Step 2: Definition of Product Step 3: Product Business Case Development  Step 4: Detailed Product Design  Step 5 Validation/Testing of product developed Step 6: Product Launch Step 1: Product Discovery This initial step or stage of the new product development process is where new product ideas originate. A company forms a small team to study the idea and initial draft of the product, perform market analysis, and explore technical and market risk. The concept is the most important step for new products as this is where the most product ideas come from - and this determines the necessity for the development. If the study or product concept is wrong at the early stage, then not only is time wasted but it also increases opportunity cost.    Step 2: Definition of Product This stage encompasses polishing the definition of the product. The team creates the first comprehensive evaluation of the technology, and the market and business features of the new product concept. Developers and managers review and illustrate the important points of differentiation for the new product. If this process is carried out incorrectly, then it can increase time to market or cause the product to misinterpret the needs of the market. Step 3: Product Business Case Development Action supports the organization’s investment in the development of a product by having the team create a comprehensive business plan. This plan comprises exhaustive market research. The team explores the new product and where the intended product fits within it, and also creates a monetary model for the innovative offering that makes presumptions about market share. Step 4: Detailed Product Design The team outlines and assembles a working prototype of the product. In most cases they alpha-test the archetype, working with customers in an iterative manner; receiving feedback, and incorporating it into the prototype. This step in the new product development process is sometimes called Development, and charters the next step, “Validation/Testing.” Step 5: Validation/Testing of product developed Validation and testing mean ensuring the prototype operates as predicted. It also means verifying the product in the opinions of the customers and markets and testing the viability of the financial model of the product. Step 6: Product launch During the product development process, the team realizes everything required to bring the product to market, including marketing and sales plans.   Gate Reviews Each of these six phases finishes within a gate review where the team gives the management specific, pre-defined deliverables, and displays the outcomes required to move on to the next phase of the product development process.The world is moving away from this waterfall product development approach.  It is extremely process heavy and encourages additional interference from Senior Management.Image sourceMinimum Viable Process: A Modern Approach What value does the planning of a new product development bring to customers? Irrespective of its form-i.e. physical or digital, it should be able to solve the customer’s problem. It doesn't matter how complex the problem would be, but it should deliver a high-quality product that brings value to your customers.  In a nutshell, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a variant of a software product that has enough functionalities to satisfy the primary needs of the first users and persuade investors to invest money into it. It is not a fully-grown product, but it can nonetheless bring business privileges and has the potential for additional development.  In other words, an MVP is a working prototype that should: Be fast to build Contemplate all resources (money, developers, etc.) on providing customers with real value Create those features that are important for a product to generate value The theory of an MVP was developed by Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup. The author believes that the most important factor is to focus on business goals and not on the technology which has only secondary importance. Focus on investigating the market and understand the obstacles your potential customers want to solve.  Any product before it is released to the public is a mere theory. Testing in a real-life scenario is important to collect market feedback and then iterate. Each idea, even the most profound one, brings no business value until it is put into practice. An MVP allows you to verify, without making an ample investment of time and money, if the product attracts new customers when launched.  If your product is successful, continue to develop it so it becomes a foundation for a fully-grown product. When MVP needs improvements to be transformed into a product it should be completely reworked. MVP strategy allows you to considerably shorten your time-to-market.  A Modern, Lean Product Development Process Toyota began its journey with lean product development at Toyota Loom Works. Toyota started manufacturing cars. There were differences in manufacturing conditions between Japan and the USA. Toyota had few skilled engineers and had limited prior experience. Car companies in US employed a well-educated work team and benefited from the research and skill-sets of their engineering teams. To tackle this shortfall in knowledge and experience, Toyota escorted an incremental approach to development that built on their current knowledge and this became the basis of the lean systems. Lean Product Development (LPD) is based on lean thinking and lean principles that originally were developed in lean manufacturing. Lean thinking relates to way of thinking and specific practices that maintain less of everything – less resources, less work-in-process, less time, and less cost – to manufacture a physical product, knowledge product or service product.  The five Lean Thinking Principles are: Define and maximize customer value Identify the value stream and reduce waste Make the value-creating steps flow Empower the team Learn and improve Approach: Creating products that delight customers and meet business objectives. Agile methodology versus Waterfall methodology The waterfall project methodology is a traditional pattern for developing engineering systems that were used in manufacturing and construction projects. When executed in software development, specific tasks completed in one phase need to be assessed and validated before moving to the next phase. It is called a linear and sequential approach, where phases flow downward to the next.  The agile project methodology is an example of an incremental model for software development based on principles that focus more on people, decisions, and manageable responses to change. Planning of the whole project is broken down in small increments or short time spans. Each iteration involves the whole SDLC cycle so that a working product is delivered at the end. Some of the distinct differences are: Agile is an incremental and iterative approach; Waterfall is a linear and sequential approach. Agile distributes a project into sprints; Waterfall distributes project into phases. Agile helps to finish many small projects; Waterfall helps to complete one single project. Agile incorporates a product mindset with a focus on customer satisfaction; Waterfall introduces a project mindset with a focus on successful project delivery. Requirements are planned everyday in Agile, while in Waterfall, requirements are adjusted once at the start. Agile enables requirement changes at any time; Waterfall shuns scope changes once the project starts. Testing is done concurrently with development in Agile; testing stage comes only after the build phase in Waterfall. Testing teams in Agile can take part in specifications change; testing teams in Waterfall do not get involved in specification changes. Agile empowers the entire team to manage the project without a project manager; Waterfall requires a project manager who performs an essential role in every phase. Cross-functional teams Cross-functional collaboration involves people from diverse spheres, bringing together their knowledge, expertise, and experience. The major point is “work-interdependency”. Teams have to work together to accomplish results. Cross-team collaboration has become the demand of continually emerging new technologies, with new competitors scrumming, and companies aspiring to stay on top of the game. The success of a cross-functional team depends on several factors, without which a team would be struggling. Highly motivated team members Teams hold responsibility to achieve the mission Open-minded team members Management to support the team No opposing personal goals Clear priorities or direction Adequate communication Cross-functional collaboration can be a great team building measure and can build a more creative atmosphere. The 8 Benefits of Cross-Functional Team Collaboration are: To bring a gulp of creative ideas Engaged employees Spurring innovative ideas Exercising communication skills Developing management skills Chance to get in leadership roles Break stereotype and benefit from diversity Build better team spiritExample: Product development—Agile methodology (Case Study) Below is the case study of a team that faced issues but managed to implement solutions to resolve the issues and delivered output with high standards Issues Products or Services were not delivered on-time. Rework and burden caused employee stress and customer disappointment Lack of clear and well-defined product development methods Excessive projects in the pipeline; team was small, and resources were spread too thin Projects were continuously reprioritized leading to incompetent resource utilization Lack of clarity to project status The absence and missing of key resources led to inefficient product development Lack of strategic management Poor communication and hand-offs between departments Solution implemented Designed a portfolio management system that managed an appropriate and optimal number of projects based on available resources Acquired a scalable and robust lean product development process with integrated lean/agile techniques Implemented cross-functional teams with designated roles and responsibilities Standardized project management processes and enhanced project clarity across the organization Coached the product management team on maturing product strategies and roadmaps Trained and mentored senior management and project team members What made the solution successful? Active and strong senior management buy-in and support played an important role in implementing the solutions at high standards Built organizational knowledge that can be used in other active projects Projects were kept on hold until resources were available Efficient project planning facilitated proper collaboration within cross-functional teams Product development strategies and roadmaps helped the development team Daily stand-up meetings organized helped cross-functional teams to monitor project work, front and center Accommodated implementation timing based on the organization’s capability Effect or Consequence Within a couple of months, important and high priority projects were completed on-time (some early); the client was hence satisfied The client acquired a major contract from the customer due to improved on-time delivery and this, in turn, ensured more business Enhanced communication and coordination across all departments Senior management was competent to evaluate and prioritize the most important projects  Weekly Reports granted visibility to project status Product development and lean/agile processes are now efficiently embedded into the organization The internal conflicts between team members and departments have declined ConclusionNew product development is about transforming new and uninitiated ideas into workable products. This product will be your brainchild, which will provide a contentious advantage and help monopolize the market.The eight stages of product development may seem like a lengthy process, but they are outlined to save time and resources. New product improvement plans and prototypes are experimented with to assure that the new product will meet target market demands and desires. Implement a test launch during the test or marketing stage as a full market launch would be expensive. Finally, the commercialization stage is meticulously planned to maximize product success. A poor launch will affect product sales and could even affect the reputation and vision of the new product.Hence, A Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) is one such certification that helps holders become successful product owners by training them on aspects of on-time delivery of high-value releases and maximizing the ROI.

The Best Product Development Process

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The Best Product Development Process

What Is Product Development? 

Product development relates to the creation of a new product that has some benefit; up-gradation of the existing product; or improvement of the production process, method, or system. In other words, it is all about bringing a change for the better in the present goods or services or the mode of production.  

Product development includes the following elements:Product Development

Creation and Innovation pave the process for new discoveries and the creation of a new product that offers benefits to the consumers. Amendment of the existing products is essential to enhance the past products and to attain perfection. Improvement of the existing production process, methods, and practices helps give customers an improved experience. It is cost-efficient for the organization too. 

For Example; Apple CEO Steve Jobs envisioned an idea of using a touch screen to interact with a computerwhich would allow him to directly type onto the display, instead of using a stylus. This idea of a touch screen was first implemented for the first iPhone that was launched in 2007 in the US. Apple, with its new product development, revolutionized the way we use mobile gadgets.

Why Is It So Important to have a Product Development Process? 

Product development is the procedure for the successful development of new products or adding new features to the current product. In business terms, the product development policy provides a skeleton that aids enhancement of the performance and quality of products.  

The approaches outlined below can bring up scores of advantages to help and expand the business in today’s contentious market. 

  • Control over product

The development of a product without a decent approach is quite a precarious challenge. To manage and to be sure of success, it is necessary to plan the development of your products or services and this is what the business or organization requires. The planning would help in fulfilling business goals. 

  • Enhanced performance

Several times, even after spending thousands of dollars on promotion or marketing the product, a business owner faces setbacks because of poor quality of the product. Hence, it is important to monitor the production and other processes to preserve a record of wrongdoings and improve the same. 

  • Reduce cost

Creating and implementing new products leads to additional cost to the company. The owner has to bear a huge cost in the primary stages of product development, but after the execution process, it is noticed that there is a decrease in product development cost.Reduce cost

The History of Product Development Processes 

Product improvement is closely tied to creativity, invention, and insight—and follows the vision of an idea. For example: the present-day Gas stove is the consequence of some ancient human's insight that a fire is created by rubbing two stones together: the rest was product development. 

According to Michael McGrath (in Next Generation Product Development), keen focus on the development process began late in the 19th century. McGrath divides the time since into "generations" of product development importance. First ending in 1950s, the focus was on commercialization of discoveries; in the second, formalization of product development as a process began, and this lasted until the 1980s. In the third "generation" of product development, corporate management concentrated on getting products to market faster. In the 21st century, according to McGrath, stress had shifted to R&D-based development. All types of strategies to product development proceed to exist side-by-side. As in gambling, no "method" ensures success.

Product Development Process Models 

There are different software development life cycle models defined which are helpful in designing the software development process.  

Some important and popular SDLC models supported in the industry are as follows: 

  1. Waterfall Process Model 
  2. Iterative Process Model 
  3. Spiral Process Model 
  4. V Process Model 
  5. Big Bang Process Model 
  6. Agile Process Model 
  7. RAD Process Model 
  8. Prototyping Process Models 

Waterfall Model

The Waterfall Model is the traditional Process Model. It is considered as a linear-sequential life cycle model. Waterfall model at each stage must accomplish the next phase before and there should be no overlapping phases.

Iterative Process Model  

Iterative process starts with an easy implementation of a subset of the software requirements and iteratively improves the evolving versions until the full system is implemented.  With every  new iteration, new design modifications are produced and new functional capabilities are added.  

Spiral Process Model 

The spiral model has four phases. A software project repeatedly passes through these phases in iterations called Spirals i.e. Identification, Design, Construct or Build and Evaluation and Risk Analysis. 

V Process Model 

The V-model is an SDLC model where execution of processes occurs in a sequential manner in a V-shape. It is also acknowledged as Verification and Validation model. The V-Model is an extension of the waterfall model. 

Big Bang Process Model 

The Big Bang model is an SDLC model where we do not follow any definite process. The development begins with the required money and efforts as the input, and the output is the software developed which may or may not be as per customer demand. 

Agile Process Model 

Agile product development life cycle promotes frequent inspection and adaptation. The methodologies rely on the experience of small teams and teamwork to address any changes and promote trusted customer collaboration. Agile product development methodbegin things in small increments. Iterations are small; typically of one to four weeks duration. 

RAD Process Model 

The RAD (Rapid Application Development) model is based on prototyping and iterative development with no special planning involved. The method of drafting the software itself involves the planning required for producing the product. 

Software Prototype Process Model 

The Software Prototyping refers to building software application prototypes which illustrate the functionality of the product under development, but may not truly hold the precise logic of the original software.

What Is the Product Development Lifecycle? 

The product life cycle is an influential concept in marketing. It defines the stages a product goes through right from its inception to when it is removed from the market. Not all products relinquish the final stage. Some advance and grow while others rise and fail. 

The main stages of the product life cycle are: 

  1. Research & development - Researching and developing the product before it is made available for sale in the market 
  2. Introduction – Driving the product into the market 
  3. Growth – When sales are expanding at their fastest rate 
  4. Maturity – Sales are near their highest, but the percentage of growth is slowing down, e.g. new rivals in market or saturation 
  5. Decline – Final step of the cycle, when sales begin to fall

Product life cycle-Overview

This can be illustrated by looking at the sales during the time span of the product.

What is a New Product Development Process? 

The product development method is a well-defined series of steps or stages a company uses to achieve its accomplishment of new offerings. Every company develops new product or services, but product development processes vary considerably from one company to another depending on the industry, the product type, whether the product is an incremental improvement or a breakthrough innovation, and the extent to which you focus on product portfolio management. 

What are the six steps of a traditional new product development process? 

A typical product development process of this kind has six steps with five gates. 

  • Step 1: Product Discovery  
  • Step 2: Definition of Product 
  • Step 3: Product Business Case Development  
  • Step 4: Detailed Product Design  
  • Step 5 Validation/Testing of product developed 
  • Step 6: Product Launch 

Step 1: Product Discovery 

This initial step or stage of the new product development process is where new product ideas originate. A company forms a small team to study the idea and initial draft of the product, perform market analysis, and explore technical and market risk. The concept is the most important step for new products as this is where the most product ideas come from - and this determines the necessity for the development. If the study or product concept is wrong at the early stage, then not only is time wasted but it also increases opportunity cost.    

Step 2: Definition of Product 

This stage encompasses polishing the definition of the product. The team creates the first comprehensive evaluation of the technology, and the market and business features of the new product concept. Developers and managers review and illustrate the important points of differentiation for the new product. If this process is carried out incorrectlythen it can increase time to market or cause the product to misinterpret the needs of the market. 

Step 3: Product Business Case Development 

Action supports the organization’s investment in the development of a product by having the team create a comprehensive business plan. This plan comprises exhaustive market research. The team explores the new product and where the intended product fits within it, and also creates a monetary model for the innovative offering that makes presumptions about market share. 

Step 4: Detailed Product Design 

The team outlines and assembles a working prototype of the product. In most cases they alpha-test the archetype, working with customers in an iterative manner; receiving feedback, and incorporating it into the prototype. This step in the new product development process is sometimes called Development, and charters the next step, “Validation/Testing.” 

Step 5: Validation/Testing of product developed 

Validation and testing mean ensuring the prototype operates as predicted. It also means verifying the product in the opinions of the customers and markets and testing the viability of the financial model of the product. 

Step 6: Product launch 

During the product development process, the team realizes everything required to bring the product to market, including marketing and sales plans.   

Gate Reviews 

Each of these six phases finishes within a gate review where the team gives the management specific, pre-defined deliverables, and displays the outcomes required to move on to the next phase of the product development process.

The world is moving away from this waterfall product development approach.  It is extremely process heavy and encourages additional interference from Senior Management.Product Development process steps

Image source

Minimum Viable Process: A Modern Approach 

What value does the planning of a new product development bring to customers? Irrespective of its form-i.e. physical or digital, it should be able to solve the customer’s problem. It doesn't matter how complex the problem would be, but it should deliver a high-quality product that brings value to your customers.  

In a nutshell, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a variant of a software product that has enough functionalities to satisfy the primary needs of the first users and persuade investors to invest money into it. It is not a fully-grown product, but it can nonetheless bring business privileges and has the potential for additional development.  

In other words, an MVP is a working prototype that should: 

  1. Be fast to build 
  2. Contemplate all resources (money, developers, etc.) on providing customers with real value 
  3. Create those features that are important for a product to generate value 

The theory of an MVP was developed by Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup. The author believes that the most important factor is to focus on business goals and not on the technology which has only secondary importance. Focus on investigating the market and understand the obstacles your potential customers want to solve.  

Any product before it is released to the public is a mere theory. Testing in a real-life scenario is important to collect market feedback and then iterate. Each idea, even the most profound one, brings no business value until it is put into practice. An MVP allows you to verify, without making an ample investment of time and money, if the product attracts new customers when launched.  

If your product is successful, continue to develop it so it becomes a foundation for a fully-grown product. When MVP needs improvements to be transformed into a product it should be completely reworked. MVP strategy allows you to considerably shorten your time-to-market. 

Minimum Viable Process: A Modern Approach

 A Modern, Lean Product Development Process 

Toyota began its journey with lean product development at Toyota Loom Works. Toyota started manufacturing cars. There were differences in manufacturing conditions between Japan and the USA. Toyota had few skilled engineers and had limited prior experience. Car companies in US employed well-educated work team and benefited from the research and skill-sets of their engineering teams. To tackle this shortfall in knowledge and experience, Toyota escorted an incremental approach to development that built on their current knowledge and this became the basis of the lean systems. 

Lean Product Development (LPD) is based on lean thinking and lean principles that originally were developed in lean manufacturing. Lean thinking relates to way of thinking and specific practices that maintain less of everything – less resources, less work-in-process, less time, and less cost – to manufacture a physical product, knowledge product or service product.  

The five Lean Thinking Principles are: 

  1. Define and maximize customer value 
  2. Identify the value stream and reduce waste 
  3. Make the value-creating steps flow 
  4. Empower the team 
  5. Learn and improve 

Approach: Creating products that delight customers and meet business objectives. 

Agile methodology versus Waterfall methodology 

The waterfall project methodology is a traditional pattern for developing engineering systems that were used in manufacturing and construction projects. When executed in software development, specific tasks completed in one phase need to be assessed and validated before moving to the next phase. It is called a linear and sequential approach, where phases flow downward to the next.  

The agile project methodology is an example of an incremental model for software development based on principles that focus more on people, decisions, and manageable responses to change. Planning of the whole project is broken down in small increments or short time spans. Each iteration involves the whole SDLC cycle so that a working product is delivered at the end. 

Some of the distinct differences are: 

  1. Agile is an incremental and iterative approach; Waterfall is a linear and sequential approach. 
  2. Agile distributes a project into sprints; Waterfall distributes project into phases. 
  3. Agile helps to finish many small projects; Waterfall helps to complete one single project. 
  4. Agile incorporates a product mindset with a focus on customer satisfaction; Waterfall introduces a project mindset with a focus on successful project delivery. 
  5. Requirements are planned everyday in Agile, while in Waterfall, requirements are adjusted once at the start. 
  6. Agile enables requirement changes at any time; Waterfall shuns scope changes once the project starts. 
  7. Testing is done concurrently with development in Agile; testing stage comes only after the build phase in Waterfall. 
  8. Testing teams in Agile can take part in specifications change; testing teams in Waterfall do not get involved in specification changes. 
  9. Agile empowers the entire team to manage the project without a project manager; Waterfall requires a project manager who performs an essential role in every phase. 

Waterfall V/S Agile

Cross-functional teams 

Cross-functional collaboration involves people from diverse spheres, bringing together their knowledge, expertise, and experience. The major point is “work-interdependency”. Teams have to work together to accomplish results. 

Cross-team collaboration has become the demand of continually emerging new technologies, with new competitors scrumming, and companies aspiring to stay on top of the game. The success of a cross-functional team depends on several factors, without which a team would be struggling. 

  1. Highly motivated team members 
  2. Teams hold responsibility to achieve the mission 
  3. Open-minded team members 
  4. Management to support the team 
  5. No opposing personal goals 
  6. Clear priorities or direction 
  7. Adequate communication 

Cross-functional collaboration can be a great team building measure and can build a more creative atmosphere. The 8 Benefits of Cross-Functional Team Collaboration are: 

  1. To bring a gulp of creative ideas 
  2. Engaged employees 
  3. Spurring innovative ideas 
  4. Exercising communication skills 
  5. Developing management skills 
  6. Chance to get in leadership roles 
  7. Break stereotype and benefit from diversity 
  8. Build better team spirit

Example: Product development—Agile methodology (Case Study) 

Below is the case study of a team that faced issues but managed to implement solutions to resolve the issues and delivered output with high standards 

Issues 

  1. Products or Services were not delivered on-time. Rework and burden caused employee stress and customer disappointment 
  2. Lack of clear and well-defined product development methods 
  3. Excessive projects in the pipeline; team was small, and resources were spread too thin 
  4. Projects were continuously reprioritized leading to incompetent resource utilization 
  5. Lack of clarity to project status 
  6. The absence and missing of key resources led to inefficient product development 
  7. Lack of strategic management 
  8. Poor communication and hand-offs between departments 

Solution implemented 

  1. Designed a portfolio management system that managed an appropriate and optimal number of projects based on available resources 
  2. Acquired a scalable and robust lean product development process with integrated lean/agile techniques 
  3. Implemented cross-functional teams with designated roles and responsibilities 
  4. Standardized project management processes and enhanced project clarity across the organization 
  5. Coached the product management team on maturing product strategies and roadmaps 
  6. Trained and mentored senior management and project team members 

What made the solution successful? 

  1. Active and strong senior management buy-in and support played an important role in implementing the solutions at high standards 
  2. Built organizational knowledge that can be used in other active projects 
  3. Projects were kept on hold until resources were available 
  4. Efficient project planning facilitated proper collaboration within cross-functional teams 
  5. Product development strategies and roadmaps helped the development team 
  6. Daily stand-up meetings organized helped cross-functional teams to monitor project work, front and center 
  7. Accommodated implementation timing based on the organization’s capability 

Effect or Consequence 

  1. Within a couple of months, important and high priority projects were completed on-time (some early); the client was hence satisfied 
  2. The client acquired a major contract from the customer due to improved on-time delivery and this, in turn, ensured more business 
  3. Enhanced communication and coordination across all departments 
  4. Senior management was competent to evaluate and prioritize the most important projects  
  5. Weekly Reports granted visibility to project status 
  6. Product development and lean/agile processes are now efficiently embedded into the organization 
  7. The internal conflicts between team members and departments have declined 

Conclusion

New product development is about transforming new and uninitiated ideas into workable products. This product will be your brainchild, which will provide a contentious advantage and help monopolize the market.

The eight stages of product development may seem like a lengthy process, but they are outlined to save time and resources. New product improvement plans and prototypes are experimented with to assure that the new product will meet target market demands and desires. Implement a test launch during the test or marketing stage as a full market launch would be expensive. Finally, the commercialization stage is meticulously planned to maximize product success. A poor launch will affect product sales and could even affect the reputation and vision of the new product.

Hence, A Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) is one such certification that helps holders become successful product owners by training them on aspects of on-time delivery of high-value releases and maximizing the ROI.

Rajesh

Rajesh Bhagia

Blog Author

Rajesh Bhagia is experienced campaigner in Lamp technologies and has 10 years of experience in Project Management. He has worked in Multinational companies and has handled small to very complex projects single-handedly. He started his career as Junior Programmer and has evolved in different positions including Project Manager of Projects in E-commerce Portals. Currently, he is handling one of the largest project in E-commerce Domain in MNC company which deals in nearly 9.5 million SKU's.

In his role as Project Manager at MNC company, Rajesh fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining morale. His strong communication and client service skills enhance his process-driven management philosophy.

Rajesh is a certified Zend Professional and has developed a flair for implementing PMP Knowledge Areas in daily work schedules. He has well understood the importance of these process and considers that using the knowledge Areas efficiently and correctly can turn projects to success. He also writes articles/blogs on Technology and Management

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Why Scrum Is Lightweight; Simple To Understand; Difficult To Master?

85 percent of respondents say Scrum continues to improve quality of work life—State of Scrum 2017-2018 We have all heard companies who have adopted Scrum wax eloquent about its advantages and the benefits it brings in to business. Scrum has been adopted because it is supposed to be simple and promotes collaboration and communication. Yet, more organizations attempting the Agile/Scrum transformation often fail and end up abandoning their transformation or get stuck in a limbo. So, is the golden statement that ‘Scrum is lightweight, simple to understand, difficult to master’ true? In this blog we attempt to decipher this statement and understand how Scrum Masters can help make Scrum projects or implementations successful.Where to start?So, what makes Scrum so popular? That it is better suited to the changing market conditions of the present times is well known, but how is it able to do it?  Scrum is an adaptable, iterative framework that helps Scrum teams break down large projects into small chunks called epics and sprints. Goals are defined and timeboxed. Teams are small, self-organized and with a high degree of cross-function. A goal or functionality has to be delivered at the end of each sprint. This helps for quick feedback and gives teams the ability to adapt to changing requirements—a must in times when products have to adapt quickly to please changing user preferences.  The advantages of Scrum include:  More satisfied customers Better managed processes and happier teams Better visibility into projects Better quality products  Projects completed withing time and budget constraints Better adaptability  Motivated teams Lightweight Management ProcessScrum is a lightweight framework because it provides adaptable solutions to complex problems and helps teams and organizations generate value.Why Scrum is considered to be lightweight, easy to understand but difficult to master?Lightweight: Scrum, based on Agile values, has few elements and maximizes responsiveness to customer needs. This makes it lightweight and apt for software development in the modern world.  Easy to Understand: With just three roles, three artifacts, four ceremonies and 12 Agile values, Scrum is pretty easy to understand. Scrum is a collection of practices and concepts that teams use to build processes around. The Scrum Guide which is the Scrum bible is also easy to read and understand. The three scrum roles are: Team, Scrum Master, Product Owner The ceremonies are:  Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Retrospective and Sprint Review The three artifacts are: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burndown chart  Difficult to Master: So, if Scrum is so easy to learn about and understand then why is that it’s difficult to actually implement and master? Let us look at this from the perspective of a Scrum Master. A Scrum Master is a critical part of the Scrum team and is in effect a microcosm of Scrum upholding the Agile values and focusing on creating a self-organizing, highly motivated and collaborative team. Scrum is a not a one-size-fits- all framework. Perhaps that is what makes it difficult to master. It has to be tailored to suit the needs of each project, team and organization. There are several factors that need to be considered before adopting Scrum. The Scrum Master’s role, similarly, needs to be learnt and there are several skills a professional must have or needs to cultivate in order to be a successful Scrum Master. The Scrum Master’s Role in a Successful Scrum Adoption:There are many Scrum teams that have started out in the right way, but soon fall by the wayside as they do not follow Scrum in principle. This is where the Scrum Master plays a very critical role in the success of the team. Despite Scrum being ‘simple to understand and difficult to master’ the Scrum Master is considered to be the expert on all things Scrum.As a coach, guide and mentor, the Scrum Master should facilitate the successful adoption of Scrum, and help others to gain mastery over Scrum principles and values.A Scrum Master must mandatorily follow certain core values and inspire the team to follow them as well. These core values that include openness, commitment, focus, courage and respect bring the team together and promote better work ethics and practices.Besides inculcating Scrum principles and values and guiding a successful adoption, a Scrum Master should also have these attributes:  An Unbiased and Open Mind:  An unbiased and open mind is key to being a good Scrum Master. As part of their portfolio, Scrum Masters have to work with different teams and team members having different personalities. Having an open mind will help the Scrum Master to not look at every team with the same lens and treat each team differently. Solutions that work for one team may not work for other teams or situations. Having an open mind will help you realise this and tweak your decisions based on teams and situations.   Transparency:  Transparency and open communication are the pillars of Scrum. As a Scrum Master your intentions should be open and transparent to everyone including your team and the product owner. The team must at all times know your reasons for doing certain things or taking certain decisions. Being upfront with the team members will help in trust building and lead to better work ethics.   Metrics to Map Progress:There are several tools available to track a team’s progress and the Scrum Master must ensure that these metrics showing the team’s progress be made available to the entire team. This will help the team better plan sprints, work collaboratively and improve working practices in order to ensure better output and value.   Motivation for Team Members: Keeping your team members happy and motivated is a Scrum Master’s main job. This includes removing obstacles that may impede the team from performing and helping them work according to Scrum values and techniques. The development team develops the product, and a happy team means a well-built product and satisfied customers. Assistance to the Product Owner:  As a Scrum Master, aiding the Product Owner is a major part of your responsibility. The Product Owner is a major stakeholder in the Scrum team and the Scrum Master aids the product owner in backlog management and by facilitating Scrum events, product planning and by helping the team to identify backlog items. Aiding the Product Owner in issues that they may face with regards to the project, stakeholders or the team will create a positive environment and will make things between the team and the product owner smoother.   Focus on the Challenges: Every Scrum project comes with its set of issues. But an effective Scrum Master will be aware of every challenge or impediment that comes in the way of the development team and takes these problems head on. Focusing on these challenges early on and resolving them is paramount to the success and progress of the team and the project. Appreciation for Achievements:  The focus of daily sprints and retrospectives is often to celebrate achievements and give the development team proper appreciation. A Scrum Master encourages and motivates and this they also do by respective current achievements. While giving advise on how things should be done is necessary, appreciating the team on its achievements is equally important.   Respect for Others: Your team members all have different personalities and each brings their own uniqueness and expertise to the team. No one team member is less or more important than the other. An effective and efficient Scrum Master will recognise this early on and treat every team member with the same amount of respect.  Understanding of Situations in the Right Context:  Not all things are as what they appear. The sooner a scrum master understands this, the better. Situations in context to teams, individuals and even the organization are not always black and white and the Scrum Master must consider the baggage of organizational culture, current systems, internal politics, etc before coming to a conclusion about a team or a team members. Instead, one must attempt to form close relationships with the team and understand the workings of the team and the organizations before passing judgement. Ability to Have Tough Conversations :  You as a Scrum Master are often seen as a problem solver, friend and mentor. But don’t let this image of yours come in the way of making tough decisions or having tough conversations. As a Scrum Master you must have the courage to do the right thing and if this means having difficult but necessary conversations with either the team members, the product owner or the stakeholders, then you must do it.    Courage to Protect the Team:  More often than not, there are unreasonable demands made on the development team. The Scrum Master should have the courage to protect the team and say an emphatic ‘no’ to the Product Owner or the stakeholders.  Accountability: You are accountable for your team’s success as you are for its failures. If as a Scrum Master you want your team to be accountable then the best way to get them to do that is to be accountable yourself. You can do this by being more invested in the day-to-day activities of the team and considering yourself to be a part of the team as well.  Support for Team Members: As a Scrum Master you are not just invested in the project but also in the growth of individual team members. You should motivate, encourage and support your team members to grow and reach heights in their careers.   Deep Commitment: If the team feels that the Scrum Master is committed to the project, committed to the team and committed to the team members, then they are more likely to be open and transparent with the Scrum Master. This trust with the team has to be built so that team members can be open about the challenges they face. The Scrum Master is the voice of the team and must support them at all stages.   Focus on Improvement:  Scrum is all about continuous improvement and the success of the Scrum Master is also tied to the continuous improvement of the Scrum team. If your team is getting better with time then you are doing well as a Scrum Master. From daily sprints to retrospectives, the Scrum Master provides avenues for the team to improve itself, identify problems and suggest solutions to work better.  Conclusion Scrum is the most used Agile framework, yet there are several lessons that organizations need to learn about Scrum before they embark on a transformation journey. This lightweight and easy to use framework can turn around the fortunes of companies if implemented in the right way. It’s important for an organization’s culture to be ready to accept and implement Scrum for project and organizational success.  
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Scrum Master – The Scrum Team’s Servant-Leader!

The term servant leader is synonymous with a Scrum Master. But what does it mean? The Scrum Master is a servant leader in Agile projects, but servant leadership goes far beyond Agile, and Scrum Masters serve more than just the team.In this blog we attempt to look at the Scrum Master’s role as a servant leader, what the role entails and the responsibilities of the Scrum Master beyond the team, in context to the organization. What is servant-leadership?The term servant leadership was first coined by Robert Greenleaf in his article “The Servant as Leader”, in which he defined a servant leader as: The Servant-Leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That leader significantly differs from one who is leader first, may be due to the need to acquire power, material belonging, control and authority within the organization. Servant leadership is something very different from traditional leadership, which places the leader at the top of the hierarchy and the employees in the lower rung. Servant leadership, in a sense, is the opposite of traditional leadership, as it places the leader at the bottom of the hierarchy while employees are on the higher rungs. The leaders, in this case, are serving the people above them. Servant leadership refers to leaders who believe in serving people and the community that they are a part of, rather than accumulating power for themselves. This style of leadership emphasizes on helping subordinates better themselves, empowering employees and helping others perform to the best of their abilities.Servant leadership does not prescribe telling employees what to do, instead it helps the workforce find their sense of ownership and unlock their potential to reach their goals. Servant leadership is all about empowering others, which when consistently done can raise morale, enhance productivity and reduce employee attrition.Servant Leadership and ScrumScrum, in a way, is the very essence of servant leadership. Unlike traditional project management methodologies, it does not follow a top-down, hierarchical approach. Instead, decisions are lateral and happen with the involvement of the whole team. Scrum is the perfect approach in which to practice the concept of servant leadership. The 5 Scrum values of Openness, Respect, Commitment, Courage, and Focus, adhere to the philosophy of Servant Leadership. The Scrum Master plays a key role in the development of the product, the team and the organization. The Scrum Guide defines the servant leadership a Scrum Master’s role has to perform in context to the roles mentioned above. The Scrum Values that a Scrum Master practices have a ripple effect throughout the organization. The Scrum Master is seen as an evangelist for practicing and promoting Scrum in the enterprise.The Agile Manifesto and servant-leadershipThe Agile Manifesto states that one must value: Individuals and interactions over Process and tools Working software over Comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation Responding to change over Following a plan These again align with the values of servant leadership, which is all about putting people or employees first. The Agile Manifesto describes focusing on building projects around motivated individuals and giving them an environment of support, trust and collaboration—all characteristics of servant leadership.Who Are These Servant Leaders?The Scrum Guide defines the service provided by the Scrum Master as servant leadership. The Scrum Master selflessly provides servant leadership to the development team, product owner and the whole organization. By serving these entities, the Scrum Master can create a high performing team, a valuable product and an efficient organization that is able to meet business objectives and keep customers happy.  Though the term Scrum Master may be deceptive, the Scrum Master is not a master of the team but in fact serves the team in order to ensure smooth functioning and productivity.Servant Leadership and Scrum Master Roles of Servant LeadershipServant leadership:The day-to-day activity of a Scrum Master involves servant leadership. Servant leadership in a scrum team involves performance planning, coaching, helping the team self- organize, resolving conflicts through conflict management, removing obstacles that hinder progress and serving the team. The Scrum Master, while practicing servant leadership, helps the team grow and mature and become independent enough to make their own decisions. Servant leadership in Scrum is all about making the team self-reliant, so they can cope with the pressures of the role. As a servant leader the Scrum Master creates a high performing team, helps them become collaborative and high performing in order to achieve goals and meet the requirements of the customer.  Service to the Scrum Team: As a servant leader, the primary responsibility of the Scrum Master is to help the development team perform. They help the team perform to the best of their abilities by giving them an environment that is conducive to work in, encouraging them, guiding them and removing obstacles that may hinder progress. As a coach, the Scrum Master will guide the team on scrum processes and help them adhere to Agile values during the development of the product. The Scrum Master is responsible for the scrum team’s effectiveness, and they work tirelessly to ensure that the team is motivated, encouraged, creative and innovative. The Scrum Master through servant leadership helps the team improve Scrum practices which helps them become more productive and generate value. The Scrum Team’s role in motivating and helping the team comes through in the daily stand-up meetings that are arranged as part of the sprint. The Scrum Master encourages team members to share their grievances and progress made through the sprint. Team members can talk about obstacles that may be hindering their work and due cognizance will be taken up by the Scrum master to ensure that these obstacles are removed.  According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master helps the Development Team by: Coaching the team in becoming self-organized and cross-functional Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value increments by removing impediments Helping the team deliver within the timeframe of the sprint Service to the Product Owner: The Scrum Master is a servant leader not just for the development team but also the Product Owner. While the Product Owner is primarily responsible for the product backlog, they cannot do this alone. The Scrum Master aids the development team and the Product Owner with effective product backlog management.The Scrum Master is involved at every stage of the product backlog grooming, helping the product owner with Scrum events, product planning and to identify backlog items along with the development team. The Scrum Master helps the Product Owner define the product vision to the team.   According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master helps the Product Owner by: Helping in Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management Helping the Scrum Team understand manage the Product Backlog items Setting up empirical product planning in complex environments and, Managing and facilitating stakeholder collaboration.Service to the Organization: The Scrum Master is a coach and motivator not just for the development team but goes beyond the team to spread the awareness of Scrum in the entire organization. Scrum Masters coach and help teams and departments understand Scrum and develop an Agile mind-set. Besides servant leadership to the team a Scrum Master is also involved in promoting the ideas and values of Scrum. An organization can get an agile mind-set only if the entire organization adopts Scrum and not just a few teams. This is where the Scrum Master comes in, helping other teams not involved with Scum to gain the Agile mind-set, through training and coaching. The Scrum Master is an Agile evangelist and promotes Scrum enterprise-wide.According to Scrum.org the Scrum Master serves the organization by: Leading, training, and coaching the organization in adopting Scrum Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization Coaching employees and stakeholders in the way Scrum works Helping stakeholders work with Scrum TeamsSome Servant-Leader Behaviours for every Scrum MasterBeing empathetic: This is the foremost personality trait required for anyone wanting to become a Scrum Master. Your empathy will shine through in your interactions with the team members and your dealings with the stakeholders. You should be able to see problems from the point of view of each party and work towards solving these problems. Caring: As a caring and empathetic Scrum Master, your team will feel free to approach you and share their concerns. Providing a listening ear will make you more approachable. You will be able to more clearly understand the impediments that are stopping project progress and work towards providing a solution.  Managing Conflicts: Not all team members will get along with each other and this can cause disruptions and problems within the team, lowering their productivity. As a Scrum Master you need to be great at conflict management, help others solve their problems, work with each other and create a high performing and harmonious team. Building relationships: You need to build a rapport with your team, the product owner and the stakeholders. This will help you communicate freely and help others approach you with their problems and issues. You need to build that relationship of trust and take everyone along on the journey of success.  Being ethical: Ethics play an important role in software development, especially since software now controls every aspect of our lives. The product created should be free of malice and fraud. The Scrum Master should guide the team in delivering the product at a value and standard that is expected and agreed upon with the stakeholder. There should not be any shortcuts or concessions made on the quality of the product delivered as this will affect not just the Scrum Master and the team’s reputation but will cause a dent in the reputation of the organization.   Conclusion  Servant leadership and the Scrum Master’s role is the backbone of Scrum. The Scrum Master as a servant leader re-emphasizes the values of Scrum and helps to enhance teamwork, collaboration, motivation and value. Under the able servant leadership of the Scrum Master, individual members and the team will grow, become more confident and help in delivering value.  
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A Guide to Scaling Scrum

Scrum has been proven to work well for small teams. But the true benefits of Agile can only be reaped if Agile and Scrum are scaled at the enterprise level. However, this is easier said than done. According to statistics, 47% of Agile transformations are not successful. While this is a worrying trend, there are still hundreds of organizations who have got it right and are able to survive the competition by innovating faster, delivering value and adapting to changing markets. How are they doing it? By using scaled Scrum.There are several tools and frameworks available for scaling Scrum at the enterprise level. In this blog, we attempt to look at a few of these.  Scaling Scrum with NexusNexus is among the most popular frameworks for scaling Scrum. According to the Nexus Guide, “Nexus is a framework for developing and sustaining scaled product delivery initiatives. It builds upon Scrum, extending it only where absolutely necessary to minimize and manage dependencies between multiple Scrum Teams while promoting empiricism and the Scrum Values.” How is Nexus different from Scrum? Scrum defines three primary roles: The Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the development team. These three roles work together in one team.The Nexus framework consists of several Scrum teams that work together toward a common product goal and defines the Nexus Integration Team as an additional accountability.  Nexus helps to build on the values of Scrum and also solves the collaboration and dependency challenges that tend to occur between teams in Scrum.Benefits of using Nexus Nexus extends Scrum in the following ways:  Accountabilities: Nexus introduces the Nexus Integration Team, which consists of the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and members. This team is accountable for delivering a workable product at the end of each sprint.  Events: Nexus events aim to add to or supplement Scrum events and serve not just individual teams but also the Nexus Integration Team. The objective of a sprint is to achieve the Nexus sprint goal. Artifacts: Although the teams are different, within the Nexus framework they all work towards a single goal and follow a single product backlog. There’s a high amount of transparency and work is allocated to each team. The Nexus Integration TeamAccording to the Nexus Guide, “the Nexus Integration Team exists to coordinate, coach, and supervise the application of Nexus and the operation of Scrum so the best outcomes are derived.” The Nexus Integration Team or NIT comprises of the Scrum Master, the Product Owner and Nexus integration team members. There are generally three to nine Scrum teams working together in Nexus. All of them follow a single product backlog and work towards delivering a single product. The Nexus Integration Team forms an essential role within Nexus and is tasked with providing transparent accountability among the teams in Nexus.Product OwnerThe Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the product value and the work carried out in Nexus. Their primary task is to order and refine the product backlog. Being a member of the Nexus Integration Team, the product owner will work with all the Scrum teams in the Nexus Integration team. The product owner and the teams work towards better defining and refining the product backlog.Scrum MasterJust like in regular Scrum, the Scrum Master in the Nexus Integration Team is also responsible for ensuring that the Nexus framework is understood by everyone on the team as prescribed by the Nexus Guide.   MembersThe members of the Nexus Integration Team are the Scrum team members who aid the Scrum teams in adoption of tools and practices that will help the team and members deliver value at the end of each sprint that meets the definition of done. Nexus Integration Team membership should be considered more important than the individual Scrum Team membership and members should work towards first fulfilling their Nexus team responsibilities.What are the Events in Nexus?Nexus adds or augments the events as defined by Scrum. The Nexus event durations are like Scrum event durations and are guided by the Scrum Guide.  Nexus events consist of: Sprint- A Nexus sprint is the same as in Scrum, at the end of which a single increment is delivered.  Cross team refinement- The aim of Nexus is to enhance collaboration and reduce cross team dependencies. Cross team refinement helps to make dependencies and responsibilities more transparent. This makes it easier for Scrum teams within the Nexus to clearly identify and deliver their allocated tasks.  Nexus Sprint Planning- Nexus sprint planning will involve the participation of the Product Owner and concerned teams' members from each team. The purpose of the Nexus Sprint Planning is to assign and co-ordinate activities for a single sprint.  Nexus Daily Scrum- This is like the daily stand up in Scrum. Nexus daily scrum is used to identify any issues and track progress. Any issues are immediately prioritized and solved so that they do not hinder the work of the developers.  Nexus Sprint Review- This event is held at the end of sprints to provide feedback on the increment that has been built and on any future updates that have to be made. Nexus Sprint Retrospective- Like in Scrum, Nexus retrospectives are an important part of the project and are used to reflect on how quality and consistency can be improved.  Some Nexus ArtifactsNexus artifacts are the same as Scrum artifacts and when implemented correctly ensure transparency and value maximization. Every artifact is designed to give a commitment. For example, the product backlog is the artifact and its commitment is the product goal. Other artifacts and their commitments include: Nexus Sprint Backlog-Nexus Sprint Goal Integrated Increment-Definition of Done Along with Nexus, LeSS is another popular framework for scaling agile.  Scaling Scrum with LeSS The Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) framework is an offering from Atlassian and is a framework for scaling Scrum to multiple teams that are working on the same product. The idea behind LeSS is to start with a single Scrum team as defined in the Scrum Guide and then replicate it to multiple teams who are working on a single product. LeSS has earned the label of being “barely sufficient” as it is a simple framework to apply and uses the basic concepts of Scrum to scale.  How do Sprint Planning meetings in LeSS work?  LeSS generally carries out sprint planning in two stages. Sprint Planning One focuses on selecting items that are of topmost priority, solving unanswered issues and defining the sprint goal. The Sprint Planning Two is like the sprint plan of regular Scrum and focuses on creating a plan of action for getting things done.  Daily meeting  The daily Scrum meeting in LeSS is similar to how it is done in normal single Scrum teams and involves team members discussing the work accomplished and the work to be done during the day. It is a time-boxed meeting and helps teams address any issues that may be hindering work.   Sprint Delivery Meeting (Review) The sprint review meeting is an essential part of LeSS and helps teams and stakeholders review the product built during the sprint and suggest changes and new ideas.   Retrospective The retrospective for LeSS is similar to one team Scrum. These retrospectives held at the end of the sprint will help teams to reflect on the progress of tasks, and identify the obstacles that may hinder or impede the overall project.  Let’s take a look at some of the other frameworks that are used for scaling agile. Scaling Scrum with SAFe®The Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe in short, follows the principles of lean and agile and helps in scaling Scrum to the enterprise. It helps to manage alignment, collaboration, and delivery from multiple agile teams to ensure enterprise success. It systematically focuses on applying Scrum at each level of the enterprise, to maximize value and ensure a successful agile transformation.A successful SAFe adoption ensures end-to-end business agility with significant improvements in strategy, delivery, execution and business competencies. It helps organizations overcome competition and ensure innovative business solutions to gain customer trust and partnership. The SAFe framework is continuously improvised in order to help organizations cope with the digital age and ensure that business outcomes are delivered.Scaling Scrum with the Scrum@Scale frameworkAnother framework that allows organizations to implement Scrum at scale is the Scrum@Scale framework. This framework expands on the core principles of Scrum and helps to scale Scrum over a wide range of industries and sectors, ensuring customer satisfaction and creation of successful products. It promotes communication across all teams and departments, and optimizes resources, removes roadblocks and ensures creation of innovative products.A Final Word By driving Agile at the organizational level, companies can gain all the benefits of team-level Scrum at scale. More often than not the principles of team level Scrum are not sustainable at the enterprise level and the transformation fails. Tested and proven Agile scaling frameworks are now able to turn this around, and help organizations scale up the principles and practices of Scrum to become more adaptable, flexible and responsive. Professionals can master these frameworks and help their organization adopt the culture, mind-set and principles of Scrum and agile.  
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A Guide to Scaling Scrum

Scrum has been proven to work well for small tea... Read More