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Top 24 Reasons Why You Should Be a Certified Scrum Master

Today, the Agile methodology is taking the world by storm, and Agile practitioners are a dime a dozen. What is it that can set you apart in the Agile space, and make you more noticeable than your peers? The Certified Scrum Master credential from Scrum Alliance may be the answer. As a CSM, you will be recognised as part of an elite group of Scrum specialists who are proven to guide their project teams to agile success. The CSM credential sets you apart as a leader who is able to provide knowledge and expertise far beyond what a typical project manager could contribute, using powerful agile practices. Agile software environments have created a spike in the demand for professionals with expertise in agile methodologies and who can properly manage and perform agile projects. By getting a Scrum Master Certification, one can get trained in these techniques. At the same time this certificate acts as a tangible proof for employers who are looking for employees with these skills. Scrum Master certification concentrates on the importance of ‘self-organization’, which can result in the following:   you can easily participate in the team activities and feel a sense of ownership;   employees can be self-motivated, which can help escalate the team’s performance;   can let you create a work environment which is useful for the company's growth;   and the knowledge and skills garnered can make the team immune to internal and external distractions. A Scrum Master Certification shows that you possess the required dedication that companies are looking for in Scrum Masters. There is a great demand for Scrum Masters because every team needs a dedicated person who can manage and perform different Agile projects. When you have this certification under your belt, it shows that you have mastered the best practices of helping various project teams within a scrum environment. It allows you to learn and easily identify what needs to be kept and what needs to be adjusted based on the needs of the project. Along with a CSM certificate, you will have your own profile page on the Scrum Alliance website with a specially designed logo where you can have your achievements ratified. Top Job Designations For Scrum Masters 1. Entry Level Scrum Master With an experience of less than a year, you can make it as an entry level Scrum Master. This would give you smaller responsibilities to deal with while still following all the Agile practices. 2. Scrum Master After over a year’s experience in this level, you could be promoted to a Scrum Master, and will be required to implement the servant-leader style of operation. You would have to play the roles of a facilitator, coach and motivator capable of removing any obstacles that your team is likely to face during the process of production. With added responsibilities and experience, you can easily expect a higher salary from your organisation. You also get the benefit of continuing your Scrum Master education for 2 days each year on your Scrum Score Card. 3. Senior Scrum Master Along with the qualities of a Scrum Master, you will be appended with the responsibility of handling many teams and maintaining harmony among all the members as well as the teams. You get to demonstrate your increased experience and in-depth knowledge on the practices and frameworks. 4. Coach Scrum Master As a coach Scrum Master, you’ll be required full-time on a regular basis to train teams, sites, and groups about Scrum practices. It is your responsibility to keep teams informed about new updates in the Scrum Guide, and about the latest techniques and technologies that can be implemented for faster results. 5. Product Owner/ Manager With all the knowledge and experience in handling teams and pressures of the organisation and deadlines, you will be qualified to be a product manager or an owner. Why should you become a Scrum Master? In reality, we know that certifications provide an additional value once we acquire some experience. The CSM certifications act as an add-on to your career. Listed below are the reasons to get your Scrum Master Certification and the advantages of pursuing the CSM training: 1. Certified Scrum Masters earn more CSM certified individuals earn more on average than their non-certified peers. Salary in different cities in the US: Popular Cities Salary New York, New York $70,685 – $1,37,957 Seattle, Washington $71,907 – $1,31,710 San Francisco, California $81,894 – $1,46,277 Washington, District of Columbia $68,885 – $1,36,149 Atlanta, Georgia $57,929 – $1,22,558 Comparing Salaries among different companies: Popular Companies Salary Amazon.com Inc $96,958 – $1,38,725 Capital One Financial Corp $73,830 – $1,20,355 Booz, Allen, Hamilton $67,117 – $119,230 Cognizant Technology Solution Corp $69,531 – $1,04,559 General Electric Co (GE) $83,763 – $1,26,111 Entry Level Salary for Scrum Master: Job Profile Salary Software Engineer $70,398 Software Developer $59,701 Mechanical Engineer $60,001 Electrical Engineer $62,209 Financial Analyst $50,950 Senior Level Salary for Scrum Master: Job Profile Salary Operation Manager $75,310 Office Manager $49,941 Executive Assistant $58,975 Director of Operations $106,933 General/ Operation Manager $75,639 Administrative Assistant $42,095 Chief Financial Officer $146,171 2. Have a strong knowledge of Scrum If you are not familiar with Scrum, knowing about the certification will educate you with the required skills to utilize it effectively. If you are in the initial stages of using Agile methodology for your project, the CSM certification will provide you with the basic knowledge you need to achieve Scrum success.  Even if you do not know much about Scrum, the CSM certification will definitely help you build a solid base of Scrum knowledge and understand the concepts of Scrum framework. 3. Update your mindset To work with Agile and Scrum methodologies effectively, we need to develop an Agile mindset. The Agile mindset is a key factor for the teams to achieve a successful and self-sustaining approach. Industry-oriented certification and training will benefit this kind of mindset. As a member of the Scrum team, thinking in an Agile way leads to lesser disagreements, more successful projects and better team collaboration. 4. Knowledge of Scrum Artifacts This certification includes concepts like the product backlog, sprint backlog, burndown charts etc. which are the pillars of a Scrum project. These Scrum concepts will be an advantage for the organizations to deliver the project in iterations. 5. Be admissible and catch your market The certifications will provide you with an in-depth practical knowledge to improve your career. It makes you relevant and marketable in your field. CSM certifications will improve your career growth across any organization or industry that engages with Agile values. This certification proves that you have an Agile mindset and knowledge of Agile concepts. 6. Certified Scrum Masters are assets to the workforce It is difficult for any organization to adopt a new methodology as it affects the entire structure of the organization including: Processes Management People Clients In this regard, it is quintessential for all the customers to achieve some tangible and real benefits in the early stage with self-managing teams and incremental iterations. If you are not a certified member, you might miss the opportunity to establish yourself as a Scrum master in your organization. 7. Strengthening teamwork We have a few organizations that consider Scrum master certification a must for different departments. This certification generally has a positive result when it comes to working with your peers. As a certified Scrum Master, you will have the potential to build and strengthen the core understanding of Scrum while working with your peers. With multiple Scrum experts along with all departments, the organization gets benefited with Scrum experts in all departments with an instance of knowledge that can lead to the successful execution of Agile and Scrum methodologies. 8. Establish your basic Scrum knowledge to peers The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification shows your efforts and knowledge of Scrum that makes you capable of working within the organization. You don’t need to waste your time to show your credibility in your workplace, your certification speaks volumes. 9. Qualified employees drive successful projects Scrum teams that have members trained in Agile & Scrum are more likely to drive a project towards success. Clients would be able to recognize the potential value of a Scrum team that works together to apply Scrum in a productive way. 10. One more feather to your career cap A certification is a proof of your mettle. For professional, it’s a validation of their passion and dedication to their respective fields. 11. Succeed as a servant leader As a Certified ScrumMaster, you have the ability to motivate and lead your teammates. You will guide them and help the team work together smoothly. 12. A badge of honour Along with the improvement in your marketability towards potential clients, a Scrum Master Certification is also a badge of honour. Your employees would never doubt your eligibility as a mentor and will become more open towards your ideas. Scrum is not a static methodology in any sense- it is a living, changing and continuously evolving framework which has to be understood in depth before implementation. A Scrum Master Certification helps you to do just that, all the while improving your position in the organisation. 13. Be apart from the crowd The CSM credential demonstrates to your employees that you have the experience and skills to lead an agile team to success. It serves as a differentiator showing potential employers that you have an edge over your non-certified counterparts. It shows that you know the goals to be achieved and has a clear vision of what it will take to succeed. You know the quality that is needed to be delivered, and ensure that the team works towards it, ensuring project success and client satisfaction. 14. Iron out glitches in your project In case there are any impediments in the way of project progress, the CSM will negotiate, address any such challenges and build a positive work culture. 15. Ability to judge risks Scrum teams are known to release better products at lower risks, and as the CSM you can be the first to spot any red flags that could lead to potential disaster. 16. Ability to prioritize Prioritizing is the first step towards Scrum success; a CSM will be able to prioritize tasks efficiently. 17. Be a team player A CSM is, above all, a good team player. You will listen to your teammates, accept their suggestions and address any challenges they may be facing. 18. Become a better communicator By keeping channels of communication and collaboration open, you will share all relevant reports, calendars and deadlines with the team so that you can work together towards project success. 19. Adopt an Agile mindset Scrum being an Agile methodology, training and certifications will help people in your team embrace the Agile practices. And having a consistent Agile mindset in a team will lead to lesser disagreements, better team collaboration and ultimately delivering successful projects. 20. Stay marketable All industries adopting Agile practices will have excellent career opportunities for candidates with Scrum certification. This certification will prove that you have an Agile mindset and core knowledge of Agile practices. 21. A plus for your organisation If there are skilled and proven Agile professionals in an organisation, the management might benefit from it by adopting Agile methodology as it will effectively influence all the aspects of the business processes. 22. Learn a range of Skills The Scrum Master Certification helps you to focus on your actual experience and skill set because you have shown that you completely comprehend the principles important for managing a scrum team. Many companies are constantly looking for ways to become more Agile and there are not enough people out there with the required experience to compete with the high demand for scrum masters. If you have a Scrum Master certification, you not only stand a greater chance of getting a job, but you also have an opportunity to earn higher salary and excel in your career. 23. Expand your professional network Another big benefit of getting a Scrum Master Certification is the support system — you get to be a part of a select community of recognised Scrum experts. These experts have been working to improve all the areas of Scrum implementation, including its methodology, and you can avail their advice when you find yourself in a tight spot. Once you are a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) you will earn the stature to mingle with authorized Scrum experts committed to ensuring continuous improvements with an Agile approach. Scrum Alliance is the official body that has Scrum Masters across the global. This community will actively provide knowledge in a way to discover events and provide instructions. Being a certified Scrum Master, you can join a community of recognised Scrum experts, practitioners and trainers. This global network will give you exposure to deepen your Scrum knowledge, acquire guidance whenever necessary and also enable you to provide solutions to other problems. An example is Scrum.org, which actually features a global network of Scrum trainers as well as practitioners. There are few things in the Agile world that this community cannot help you with, and a Certification helps you gain the privilege of their guidance. 24. Influence your organization to adopt Agile If your organization has well-trained Agile professionals, the management would be more comfortable to invest in adopting the Scrum methodology. The CSM certification shows the management that you have the knowledge to work with Scrum and implement its approach. A professional study of Scrum means that you have to study its methods from all angles: this can help you gain a fresh perspective, along with a strong working knowledge of the implementation of Agile methods. You will be able to implant the Agile mindset you gain among your teammates; this increases the cohesion and cooperation of the team by leaps and bounds. The team’s unity, as we all know, is in direct proportion to the success of any project. Getting a Scrum Master certification can help you present yourself in a more attractive fashion, to any prospective employers. A Scrum professional knows how an organisation works, and since the framework is used in almost all industries, your career options expand considerably. If you’re already employed, you have a great shot at improving your organisation- with the requisite knowledge you receive, you can turn yourself into a company asset. Summary: If you have any certified Agile workers among your colleagues, a certification helps you improve your working relationship with them. Even if your peers have studied or adopted a different Agile methodology, the underlying ideas do not change. You will be able to converse and exchange ideas with them, and in the process strengthen the organisation within your company. The work environment is improved, since you can understand how your colleagues work, or even think, to some extent. Passing a Scrum Master examination is no mean feat — it requires you to study and have expertise in various aspects involved in implementing a Scrum methodology. All the things we discussed above are very compelling reasons to explore this certification further. Advance your career with the Scrum Master certification from Scrum Alliance, and sign up for a CSM training workshop led by the best minds in the business.

Top 24 Reasons Why You Should Be a Certified Scrum Master

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Top 24 Reasons Why You Should Be a Certified Scrum Master

Today, the Agile methodology is taking the world by storm, and Agile practitioners are a dime a dozen. What is it that can set you apart in the Agile space, and make you more noticeable than your peers? The Certified Scrum Master credential from Scrum Alliance may be the answer.

As a CSM, you will be recognised as part of an elite group of Scrum specialists who are proven to guide their project teams to agile success. The CSM credential sets you apart as a leader who is able to provide knowledge and expertise far beyond what a typical project manager could contribute, using powerful agile practices.

Agile software environments have created a spike in the demand for professionals with expertise in agile methodologies and who can properly manage and perform agile projects. By getting a Scrum Master Certification, one can get trained in these techniques. At the same time this certificate acts as a tangible proof for employers who are looking for employees with these skills.

Scrum Master certification concentrates on the importance of ‘self-organization’, which can result in the following:  

  • you can easily participate in the team activities and feel a sense of ownership;  
  • employees can be self-motivated, which can help escalate the team’s performance;  
  • can let you create a work environment which is useful for the company's growth;  
  • and the knowledge and skills garnered can make the team immune to internal and external distractions.

A Scrum Master Certification shows that you possess the required dedication that companies are looking for in Scrum Masters. There is a great demand for Scrum Masters because every team needs a dedicated person who can manage and perform different Agile projects. When you have this certification under your belt, it shows that you have mastered the best practices of helping various project teams within a scrum environment. It allows you to learn and easily identify what needs to be kept and what needs to be adjusted based on the needs of the project.

Along with a CSM certificate, you will have your own profile page on the Scrum Alliance website with a specially designed logo where you can have your achievements ratified.

Top Job Designations For Scrum Masters

1. Entry Level Scrum Master

With an experience of less than a year, you can make it as an entry level Scrum Master. This would give you smaller responsibilities to deal with while still following all the Agile practices.

2. Scrum Master

After over a year’s experience in this level, you could be promoted to a Scrum Master, and will be required to implement the servant-leader style of operation. You would have to play the roles of a facilitator, coach and motivator capable of removing any obstacles that your team is likely to face during the process of production.

With added responsibilities and experience, you can easily expect a higher salary from your organisation. You also get the benefit of continuing your Scrum Master education for 2 days each year on your Scrum Score Card.

3. Senior Scrum Master

Along with the qualities of a Scrum Master, you will be appended with the responsibility of handling many teams and maintaining harmony among all the members as well as the teams. You get to demonstrate your increased experience and in-depth knowledge on the practices and frameworks.

4. Coach Scrum Master

As a coach Scrum Master, you’ll be required full-time on a regular basis to train teams, sites, and groups about Scrum practices. It is your responsibility to keep teams informed about new updates in the Scrum Guide, and about the latest techniques and technologies that can be implemented for faster results.

5. Product Owner/ Manager

With all the knowledge and experience in handling teams and pressures of the organisation and deadlines, you will be qualified to be a product manager or an owner.

Why should you become a Scrum Master?

In reality, we know that certifications provide an additional value once we acquire some experience. The CSM certifications act as an add-on to your career. Listed below are the reasons to get your Scrum Master Certification and the advantages of pursuing the CSM training:

1. Certified Scrum Masters earn more

CSM certified individuals earn more on average than their non-certified peers.

Salary in different cities in the US:

Popular Cities Salary
New York, New York $70,685 – $1,37,957
Seattle, Washington $71,907 – $1,31,710
San Francisco, California $81,894 – $1,46,277
Washington, District of Columbia $68,885 – $1,36,149
Atlanta, Georgia $57,929 – $1,22,558

Comparing Salaries among different companies:

Popular Companies Salary
Amazon.com Inc $96,958 – $1,38,725
Capital One Financial Corp $73,830 – $1,20,355
Booz, Allen, Hamilton $67,117 – $119,230
Cognizant Technology Solution Corp $69,531 – $1,04,559
General Electric Co (GE) $83,763 – $1,26,111

Entry Level Salary for Scrum Master:

Job Profile Salary
Software Engineer $70,398
Software Developer $59,701
Mechanical Engineer $60,001
Electrical Engineer $62,209
Financial Analyst $50,950

Senior Level Salary for Scrum Master:

Job Profile Salary
Operation Manager $75,310
Office Manager $49,941
Executive Assistant $58,975
Director of Operations $106,933
General/ Operation Manager $75,639
Administrative Assistant $42,095
Chief Financial Officer $146,171

Why should you become a Scrum Master

2. Have a strong knowledge of Scrum

If you are not familiar with Scrum, knowing about the certification will educate you with the required skills to utilize it effectively. If you are in the initial stages of using Agile methodology for your project, the CSM certification will provide you with the basic knowledge you need to achieve Scrum success. 

Even if you do not know much about Scrum, the CSM certification will definitely help you build a solid base of Scrum knowledge and understand the concepts of Scrum framework.

3. Update your mindset

To work with Agile and Scrum methodologies effectively, we need to develop an Agile mindset. The Agile mindset is a key factor for the teams to achieve a successful and self-sustaining approach. Industry-oriented certification and training will benefit this kind of mindset. As a member of the Scrum team, thinking in an Agile way leads to lesser disagreements, more successful projects and better team collaboration.

4. Knowledge of Scrum Artifacts

This certification includes concepts like the product backlog, sprint backlog, burndown charts etc. which are the pillars of a Scrum project. These Scrum concepts will be an advantage for the organizations to deliver the project in iterations.

5. Be admissible and catch your market

The certifications will provide you with an in-depth practical knowledge to improve your career. It makes you relevant and marketable in your field. CSM certifications will improve your career growth across any organization or industry that engages with Agile values. This certification proves that you have an Agile mindset and knowledge of Agile concepts.

6. Certified Scrum Masters are assets to the workforce

It is difficult for any organization to adopt a new methodology as it affects the entire structure of the organization including:

  • Processes
  • Management
  • People
  • Clients

In this regard, it is quintessential for all the customers to achieve some tangible and real benefits in the early stage with self-managing teams and incremental iterations. If you are not a certified member, you might miss the opportunity to establish yourself as a Scrum master in your organization.

7. Strengthening teamwork

We have a few organizations that consider Scrum master certification a must for different departments. This certification generally has a positive result when it comes to working with your peers. As a certified Scrum Master, you will have the potential to build and strengthen the core understanding of Scrum while working with your peers. With multiple Scrum experts along with all departments, the organization gets benefited with Scrum experts in all departments with an instance of knowledge that can lead to the successful execution of Agile and Scrum methodologies.

8. Establish your basic Scrum knowledge to peers

The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification shows your efforts and knowledge of Scrum that makes you capable of working within the organization. You don’t need to waste your time to show your credibility in your workplace, your certification speaks volumes.

9. Qualified employees drive successful projects

Scrum teams that have members trained in Agile & Scrum are more likely to drive a project towards success. Clients would be able to recognize the potential value of a Scrum team that works together to apply Scrum in a productive way.

10. One more feather to your career cap

A certification is a proof of your mettle. For professional, it’s a validation of their passion and dedication to their respective fields.

11. Succeed as a servant leader

As a Certified ScrumMaster, you have the ability to motivate and lead your teammates. You will guide them and help the team work together smoothly.

12. A badge of honour

Along with the improvement in your marketability towards potential clients, a Scrum Master Certification is also a badge of honour. Your employees would never doubt your eligibility as a mentor and will become more open towards your ideas. Scrum is not a static methodology in any sense- it is a living, changing and continuously evolving framework which has to be understood in depth before implementation. A Scrum Master Certification helps you to do just that, all the while improving your position in the organisation.

13. Be apart from the crowd

The CSM credential demonstrates to your employees that you have the experience and skills to lead an agile team to success. It serves as a differentiator showing potential employers that you have an edge over your non-certified counterparts.

It shows that you know the goals to be achieved and has a clear vision of what it will take to succeed. You know the quality that is needed to be delivered, and ensure that the team works towards it, ensuring project success and client satisfaction.

14. Iron out glitches in your project

In case there are any impediments in the way of project progress, the CSM will negotiate, address any such challenges and build a positive work culture.

15. Ability to judge risks

Scrum teams are known to release better products at lower risks, and as the CSM you can be the first to spot any red flags that could lead to potential disaster.

16. Ability to prioritize

Prioritizing is the first step towards Scrum success; a CSM will be able to prioritize tasks efficiently.

17. Be a team player

A CSM is, above all, a good team player. You will listen to your teammates, accept their suggestions and address any challenges they may be facing.

18. Become a better communicator

By keeping channels of communication and collaboration open, you will share all relevant reports, calendars and deadlines with the team so that you can work together towards project success.

19. Adopt an Agile mindset

Scrum being an Agile methodology, training and certifications will help people in your team embrace the Agile practices. And having a consistent Agile mindset in a team will lead to lesser disagreements, better team collaboration and ultimately delivering successful projects.

20. Stay marketable

All industries adopting Agile practices will have excellent career opportunities for candidates with Scrum certification. This certification will prove that you have an Agile mindset and core knowledge of Agile practices.

21. A plus for your organisation

If there are skilled and proven Agile professionals in an organisation, the management might benefit from it by adopting Agile methodology as it will effectively influence all the aspects of the business processes.

22. Learn a range of Skills

The Scrum Master Certification helps you to focus on your actual experience and skill set because you have shown that you completely comprehend the principles important for managing a scrum team.

Many companies are constantly looking for ways to become more Agile and there are not enough people out there with the required experience to compete with the high demand for scrum masters. If you have a Scrum Master certification, you not only stand a greater chance of getting a job, but you also have an opportunity to earn higher salary and excel in your career.

23. Expand your professional network

Another big benefit of getting a Scrum Master Certification is the support system — you get to be a part of a select community of recognised Scrum experts. These experts have been working to improve all the areas of Scrum implementation, including its methodology, and you can avail their advice when you find yourself in a tight spot.

Once you are a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) you will earn the stature to mingle with authorized Scrum experts committed to ensuring continuous improvements with an Agile approach. Scrum Alliance is the official body that has Scrum Masters across the global. This community will actively provide knowledge in a way to discover events and provide instructions.

Being a certified Scrum Master, you can join a community of recognised Scrum experts, practitioners and trainers. This global network will give you exposure to deepen your Scrum knowledge, acquire guidance whenever necessary and also enable you to provide solutions to other problems.

An example is Scrum.org, which actually features a global network of Scrum trainers as well as practitioners. There are few things in the Agile world that this community cannot help you with, and a Certification helps you gain the privilege of their guidance.

24. Influence your organization to adopt Agile

If your organization has well-trained Agile professionals, the management would be more comfortable to invest in adopting the Scrum methodology. The CSM certification shows the management that you have the knowledge to work with Scrum and implement its approach.

A professional study of Scrum means that you have to study its methods from all angles: this can help you gain a fresh perspective, along with a strong working knowledge of the implementation of Agile methods. You will be able to implant the Agile mindset you gain among your teammates; this increases the cohesion and cooperation of the team by leaps and bounds. The team’s unity, as we all know, is in direct proportion to the success of any project.

Getting a Scrum Master certification can help you present yourself in a more attractive fashion, to any prospective employers. A Scrum professional knows how an organisation works, and since the framework is used in almost all industries, your career options expand considerably. If you’re already employed, you have a great shot at improving your organisation- with the requisite knowledge you receive, you can turn yourself into a company asset.

Summary:

If you have any certified Agile workers among your colleagues, a certification helps you improve your working relationship with them. Even if your peers have studied or adopted a different Agile methodology, the underlying ideas do not change. You will be able to converse and exchange ideas with them, and in the process strengthen the organisation within your company. The work environment is improved, since you can understand how your colleagues work, or even think, to some extent.

Passing a Scrum Master examination is no mean feat — it requires you to study and have expertise in various aspects involved in implementing a Scrum methodology.

All the things we discussed above are very compelling reasons to explore this certification further. Advance your career with the Scrum Master certification from Scrum Alliance, and sign up for a CSM training workshop led by the best minds in the business.

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

Author

KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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A Brief Guide to the Agile Frameworks List

What does it mean to ‘be agile’? We all want to be agile and nimble. Or in other words a state where we can change quickly, and adapt to the conditions in our environment. The same applies to organizations, where the ability to be agile can spell the difference between success and failure. So, what exactly does “being agile” mean? According to the Agile Manifesto—the holy bible for agile software development, being agile implies a mindset, where we value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan Values manifest themselves through the way we think and act in various scenarios. We design and implement certain activities with the mindset and associated values as the guiding light. Let’s say someone wishes to be healthy. In this context, being health conscious and the desire to be healthy is the mindset. What do you need to be healthy? Maybe sleep on time, exercise, have a balanced diet, meditate and more such activities. These are “practices” which align with the mindset.What is a framework?Different people may choose a different set of practices with varying degrees of commitment e.g. It may be ok for me if I sleep on time 6 days a week while someone may be ok with good sleep for just 4 days of the week; with varying order Again, I may prefer to exercise at 5 AM followed by a healthy breakfast while someone may prefer to exercise in the evening. Different routines, different activities, different ways of performing these activities-each one has something different that works for an individual. Now, imagine that I have tried the following way of staying healthy – Eating  3 meals a day with no fats along with 3 portions of fruit, cardio exercises for 30 minutes everyday, ensuring a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per day and 30 minutes of meditation in the evening. Also, I completely avoid eating out except on festivals and I give up on taking the elevator completely.Let’s say this has worked wonders for me. Now I share this successful template with others. What have I done? I have effectively created a framework. It is a set of activities, done in a specific way and order which might be helpful for others.Agile FrameworksIt is not very different when it comes to agility. We saw the agile mindset and values a little earlier. There are different ways of implementing the values and principles associated with the agile mindset.  Each of these “ways” has its own set of practices, patterns and personas and are classified as agile frameworks. Some of the most popular agile frameworks are Scrum, Scaled Agile Framework®, Nexus, Large Scale Scrum(LeSS). Now the question is which framework is the best? This is similar to asking which is the best way of being healthy? If the focus is on the mindset and values, one would easily figure out that there is no one or “best” way. Each individual is different and a different “way” of staying healthy may work for each individual. The guiding principles may still be the same- they would be some combination of eating well, getting good sleep, work-life balance, exercise and a relaxed mind.So, what are your options? Let’s start with Scrum, which is the most popular agile framework. Scrum is a simple framework which is very well suited for small teams which are trying to develop a new product or improve an existing product. Scrum is based on the principle of building incrementally with fast feedback loops, typically every 2 weeks- a period generally referred to as a sprint.There are three roles-Product Owner, who represents the customer to the team and hence helps them prioritize “user stories” or slices of value that the team intends to create. The Scrum Master is the facilitator and coach for the team and guides them to get better every day and every sprint. The team creates a product increment every sprint and demonstrates (a thin slice of) the working system that it developed in the sprint to the stakeholders. Based on the feedback they improve the existing slice or start implementing the next most valuable thing.Extreme Programming, also known as XP is another framework which focusses on technical practices. Very rarely does scrum succeed without the focus on technical excellence that XP champions. Extreme programming promotes techniques like pair programming, behavior driven development, test driven development, etc. Scrum and XP are powerful together. In fact, XP started the concept of User Stories which were later adopted by Scrum.If your work is more flow based and your intention is, to improve the lead time for your work items, then Kanban is a great choice. Kanban is suitable for teams who do not need to reset their work every two weeks through the mechanism of sprints. Kanban helps bring in the discipline of limiting work in progress. This helps us  “stop starting” and “start finishing” work.One of the typical challenges that organizations face is that agile manifesto values and principles as implemented by scrum are hard to apply in the context of large organizations where no one team delivers value to a customer directly. In such a scenario, one needs to think about personas, practices and patterns which can be applied in a scaled organization. It is here that scaling frameworks come into the picture. Some of the most popular scaling frameworks are Scaled Agile Framework(SAFe), Large Scale Scrum(LeSS) and Nexus.What is SAFe? An important thing to note is that a framework would work only if its underlying principles and values are well understood. Let us take a deeper look into Scaled Agile Framework®(SAFe®) in this context. SAFe is the most widely used framework when it comes to the topic of scaling. SAFe is a rich body of knowledge with proven practices, patterns and workflows for Business Agility. SAFe is in fact more than just a scaling framework and provides guidance on how enterprises can achieve business agility through lean agile portfolio management practices and agile practices at team and program levels.Image SourceSAFe can be thought of as an “operating system” for enterprise agility that works in parallel to the hierarchical organization but with a different objective. While the hierarchical structure of organizations is optimized for stability, the second operating system i.e. SAFe is optimized for customer centricity and innovation. SAFe is built heavily on principles of Lean in addition to Agile. The origin of Lean Manufacturing was the Toyota Production System developed by Taichi Ohno in the middle of the 20th century. Lean thinking relies heavily on concepts like working in small batches and applying work in progress limits.SAFe has refined the principles of the agile manifesto and by bringing in Lean thinking into the mix, it has developed its own Lean Agile Principles. These principles are powerful and applicable to every part of the organization including portfolio and programs. The guiding philosophy of SAFe is to orchestrate the organization along value streams- which is a sequence of steps describing customer journey. What is more powerful than a cross functional team that plans, develops and demonstrates value creation in short cycles? The answer is a team of teams. SAFe introduces the construct of an Agile Release Train(ART) which is a team of teams organized along a value stream.The Reasons behind SAFe’s successWhat makes SAFe so powerful? It is the acknowledgement of the problem that having agile teams is not sufficient. An agile enterprise needs to be lean and nimble in the way it strategises, hypothesizes, builds and learns from it. SAFe promotes an organization-wide lean agile and systems thinking with lean economics and flow built in. If you are looking for a way to transform an enterprise’s way of collaborating and organizing with customer centricity in mind, SAFe is an excellent choice.SAFe’s overarching guidance at the enterprise level makes it a great de facto choice for all enterprises. If you have prior experience with a framework like Scrum, SAFe makes the transition to business agility smoother. If you do not have any past experience with any agile framework, it helps you understand that every part of the organization needs to come together and collaborate in a fashion that customer success and centricity become our central focus. It is for this very reason that SAFe is the market leader when it comes to agility at scale. If you have tried SAFe and it doesn’t work, it is quite likely that the foundation is weak and its principles and values have not been well understood. This is true for any other framework as well. Do not fall into the trap of adopting the roles and ceremonies of a framework like SAFe without getting the basics right. For example, the starting point of SAFe is getting all leaders through a “Leading SAFe” course so that leaders can unlearn some of the traditional ways of organizational design, responsibilities and measures of success.Generally, no framework is a silver bullet for any problem. The first step is to identify the real problem and take inspiration from a framework or multiple frameworks to solve them. In most cases, a framework cannot be applied directly and in its entirety to an organization. The first step should always be to start with the guidance provided there and gradually evolve parts of it depending on your context. Just as we weigh the options of “build vs buy” when developing a solution, we need to take a similar pragmatic approach when it comes to frameworks. Building one’s own framework from scratch is likely to be costly and time consuming, Instead, buy or reuse an existing framework and improve it through principles of empiricism. This is the secret to succeeding with frameworks. 
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A Brief Guide to the Agile Frameworks List

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Why you should consider a SAFe Agile certification

The comparative analysis published in the 14th state of Agile report in mid-2020 represents a very crystal-clear image of Scale Agile Framework® winning the race. With approximate 35% of the total share and the graph still rising, there are many concrete reasons to be a part of the Agile revolution. The Covid pandemic has catalyzed change across forward-thinking organizations, and enterprises have realized the importance of agile and scaling it up to all layers.Many organizations have already moved to scale their Agile processes and ways of working, and  SAFe® is proven to be the most trusted and promising framework that serves the need of the enterprise and the client. The concept of customer satisfaction has been replaced with customer delight; hence it is not just about satisfying the needs of the customer but also making sure of nurturing long-term engagements and healthy relationships.Courtesy: 14th State of Agile ReportWith the increasing popularity of the scaled agile framework and its adoption across various organizations, there's a growing need for people who understand the framework and can lead the transformation. This opens a lot of opportunities for professionals who were earlier working with scrum or with any agile team. Even if someone is new to agile, they can go through SAFe certification and enhance their skills. Before moving forward with the reasons to get certified, let me first quickly give you the gist of what scaled agile is all about.While working with scrum teams, you might have noticed that the development team, the product owner and the scrum master work in sprints and deliver at certain intervals. Individual teams work in a localized, small fashion. But when we talk about large organizations, getting each layer to focus and work towards a common goal becomes the priority. Scaling is about expanding the agile practices at the organization level. When multiple teams are involved across all the layers namely – Team, Portfolio, Program, etc., a scaled agile framework binds everyone together to serve the highest common purpose.As per Scaled Agile,Inc, “Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) empowers complex organizations to achieve the benefits of Lean-Agile software and systems development at scale.”. Coming back to our topic of the day, let's catch up on some reasons to get SAFe certified: Mastering the Challenges – SAFE certification helps to understand the challenges of large organizations. A SAFe training helps to understand the entire organization and its end-to-end flow. By understanding the various value streams, one can easily master the blockages and help the organizations move forward in the journey with the client. It helps in learning different aspects of an organization and gaining in-depth understanding of processes. Earlier, a person just knew the people he or she was interacting with, but with SAFe, they can now have insight at all layers both in terms of delivery and roles and responsibilities. Worldwide Recognized Accreditation - Scaled agile certification has a globally recognized value, and is something that each IT organization in every country understands and treats as a niche skill. With a SAFe certification in hand, you can look out for your dream job in your dream country/organization. This certification is accepted worldwide and is much in demand. Scaled Agile credentials are among the most sought-after certifications with more and more organizations adopting SAFe. To meet the market needs and stay on top of the market, Scaled Agile constantly upgrades their content, making it more robust and adaptable.  Big money pockets - As scaling Agile is considered a niche skill in the industry, Scaled Agilists are paid rewarding salaries. If you are SAFe certified, you can expect a good hike in your new job or a good hike in the next appraisal. The credential also enhances your profile and makes it market-ready, increasing your employability. The market statistics show that SAFe certified professionals are paid at least 25% above their non-certified peers.  You can begin your journey with SAFe with the ‘SAFe Agilist’ certification, which is a foundational certification.  Increase in SAFe Adoption at Organization Level - With an upward trend of organizations adopting agile,  job descriptions have started including SAFe as one of the parameters that employers are looking out for. This certification makes you ready for the opportunity and the organizations’ expectations. In the current scenario, the numbers of SAFe certified professionals are low, which gives you an extra edge over others. With this certification, you can not only grow in your area intellectually but also can increase your visibility across industries. All about Growth Mindset – Lean-Agile principles in scaled framework focus on the growth mindset, which is different from the traditional way of working. Every individual wants to work in an environment that helps them grow, and SAFe organizations help them to expand their horizons. Working in a SAFe setup helps you to get aligned with bigger goals and gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills. You can get to see a 360-degree change in the way organizations work and deliver, after implementing SAFe.  Better Time-To-Market - Planned release cycles with shorter timelines reduce time to market and enhance customer satisfaction.  There is cutting-edge competition in the market, and as a SAFe certified professional, you will be much in demand for your capabilities of supporting the business to realize their objectives. The training and certification prepare you for the challenging task upfront, providing you with tools and processes, concepts of agile release train and value streams, etc, that can help you get aligned with the organizational needs. Lean-Agile Leadership- Lean and agile principles are very finely embedded in the SAFe framework which incorporates beliefs, standards, and processes that form the foundation of any organization at scale. With this certification, you can learn in detail about each parameter, each pillar, or each basic principle of scaling Agile. You will learn that SAFe is not just about delivery, coding, or the pipelines but it is also about its people - the individuals, and the teams who work relentlessly to achieve on-time releases. This is one of the reasons why SAFe is so popular. Makes your profile shine - Adding a SAFe certification to your profile is like adding a feather in your cap which sets you apart from the crowd. It adds a lot of weight to your resume and is much in demand across the globe. SAFe certification empowers you with an in-depth understanding of terminology and processes, and you get to know various aspects of working in a scaled agile organization which will not be possible without a certification. This is one of the reasons why employers actively seek people who already have SAFe certifications, rather than getting someone in house or someone without a SAFe credential. With the certification, your profile automatically gets selected for discussions at the initial stage itself, as you will be fulfilling their primary needs. Sets the Growth Path – With an understanding of the complete end to end defined framework, you can very easily look for growth options. Be it moving into the program or the portfolio layer depending on your skills and your expertise. it gives you a break from working in a monotonous manner, and helps you to communicate with various layers and get to know the big picture. The certification authenticates your capability to work across varied project management tools and methods. Continuous Delivery Pipeline- SAFe training and certification empowers you with the knowledge required to create a continuous delivery pipeline. You can learn how to incorporate DevOps tools, and get an understanding of various other tools and practices required to handle continuous delivery. It will not just help you with SAFe, but you can get exposure to the new market trends in terms of tools and processes.These were just a few of the benefits you can accrue with this certification. With more organizations adopting the Scaled Agile Framework, the opportunities are only bound to increase. And trust me, this is the best time to opt for a SAFe certification.  Looking at the job descriptions we usually see nowadays, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that in the time to come, this certification will become one of the mandates for any organization looking to scale Agile. If you still have any queries, please drop in a comment! We wish you good luck in your SAFe career!  
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Why you should consider a SAFe Agile certification

The comparative analysis published in the 14th sta... Read More

Scaled Agile Framework: Understand Safe and Its Core Values

According to the Agile Alliance, Agile is the “ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment. Ultimately, Agile is a mindset informed by the Agile Manifesto’s values and principles.” We can think of it as a way of getting work done.However, Agile was initially developed for small teams. As Agile – or its most popular variant Scrum - grew to the enterprise, companies began to adopt Scrum of Scrums which is a technique to scale Scrum consisting of dividing the groups into Agile teams of 5-10 people.But over time, more formalized methods of scaling Agile began to develop. In 2011, Scaled Agile Framework, Inc. was co-founded by entrepreneur and software development methodologist Dean Leffingwell. Starting at its first release in 2011, five major versions have been released, the latest edition, version 5.0, being released in January 2020. According to SA Inc., no major releases are planned as of this writing.This article will attempt to explain what the Scaled Agile Framework is, why it is important and what its core values are.What Is the Scaled Agile Framework®?  SAFe® for Lean Enterprises is a knowledge base of proven, integrated principles, practices, and competencies for achieving business agility using Lean, Agile, and DevOps.We’ve discussed Agile above. According to the Lean Enterprise Institute, a lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide value to the customer through a value creation process that has zero waste.*And DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). It aims to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality. Image sourceSAFe® FoundationThe SAFe® Foundation refers to the supporting principles, values, mindset, implementation guidance, and leadership roles needed to deliver value successfully at scale.  What is the Importance of Scaled Agile Framework®?It allows organizations to scale Agile to the enterprise and enables Business Agility. Business Agility is the ability to compete and thrive in the digital age by quickly responding to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative, digitally enabled business solutions. Key terms in SAFe® The first is Value Stream. Value Streams represent the series of steps that an organization uses to implement Solutions that provide a continuous flow of value to a customer. They can be measured using Key Performance Indicators. The next term is the Agile Release Train (ART). The ART is a long-lived team of Agile teams, which, along with other stakeholders, incrementally develops, delivers, and where applicable operates, one or more solutions in a value stream. A Program Increment (PI) is a timebox during which an Agile Release Train (ART) delivers incremental value in the form of working, tested software and systems. PIs are typically 8 – 12 weeks long. The most common pattern for a PI is four development Iterations, followed by one Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration. Lastly is Program Increment Planning (PI). It is a cadence-based, face-to-face event that serves as the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train (ART), aligning all the teams on the ART to a shared mission and vision. Typically, this is a two-day event bringing together all the Agile teams. Note that that there are four possible SAFe® configurations depending on the increasing complexity of the environment.  SAFe® configurationsEssential SAFe®- contains the minimal set of roles, events, and artifacts required to continuously deliver business solutions via an Agile Release Train (ART) as a Team of Agile Teams. It is the simplest starting point for implementation. Large Solution SAFe® - for developing the largest and most complex solutions that typically require multiple Agile release trains and suppliers but not necessarily portfolio considerations. Portfolio SAFe® - helps align portfolio execution to enterprise strategy by organizing Agile development around the flow of value, through one or more value streams.  Full SAFe® - supports enterprises that build and maintain large integrated solutions which require hundreds of people or more. Multiple instances of various SAFe® configurations may be required.  The SAFe® Core ValuesThere are four core values of SAFe®. They are alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution. It is crucial to understand these.Alignment Scaled Agile uses the example of a car not functioning correctly if it is misaligned. Alignment occurs when everyone is working toward a common direction. It enables empowerment, autonomy, and decentralized decision-making, allowing those who implement value to make better local decisions. Alignment starts with the strategy and investment decisions at the Portfolio level which in turn inform the vision, roadmap, and backlogs. Built-in Quality  Ensures that every element and every increment of the solution reflects quality standards throughout the development lifecycle. Quality is not added later, it is built-in or planned in. (This is a tenet of modern quality thinking, not just SAFe®.) SAFe® Built-in Quality organizes quality thinking around five specific aspects—Flow, Architecture and Design Quality, Code Quality, System Quality and Release Quality. Transparency Transparency – along with inspection and adaptation – is one of the three pillars of Agile. It means that an organization provides open access to the unbiased information and adaptation.  It inspects its work and adjusts it based on empirical evidence. Stakeholders have visibility into the program backlogs, and they have a clear understanding of the PI Objectives for each Agile Release Train. ARTs also have visibility into the team’s backlogs, as well as other Program Backlogs.Program Execution SAFe® places an intense focus on working systems and business outcomes. With alignment, transparency, and built-in quality on the team’s side, the teams can focus on execution.Key areas of competencyAs of this writing, the current version of SAFe® is 5.0. It is comprised of seven areas of competency, all under the heading of Business AgilityEnterprise Solution Delivery Describes how to apply Lean-Agile principles and practices to the specification, development, deployment, operation, and evolution of the world’s largest and most sophisticated software applications, networks, and cyber-physical systems. Large enterprise-wide systems require the full understanding of the system from requirements analysis to deployment.Agile Product Delivery A customer-centric approach to defining, building, and releasing a continuous flow of valuable products and services to customers and users. The key here is customer-centricity. The organization must have the ability to understand the customer’s needs and release on demand.Team and Technical Agility The Team and Technical Agility competency describes the critical skills and Lean-Agile principles and practices that high-performing Agile teams and Teams of Agile teams use to create high-quality solutions for their customers. Lean-Agile Leadership The Lean-Agile Leadership competency describes how Lean-Agile Leaders drive and sustain organizational change and operational excellence by empowering individuals and teams to reach their highest potential. Leaders must lead by example, lead change, and embrace the Lean-Agile mindset. Continuous Learning Culture The Continuous Learning Culture competency describes a set of values and practices that encourage individuals—and the enterprise as a whole—to continually increase knowledge, competence, performance, and innovation. This is achieved by becoming a learning organization, committing to relentless improvement, and promoting a culture of innovation.Organizational Agility The Organizational Agility competency describes how Lean-thinking people and Agile teams optimize their business processes, evolve strategy with clear and decisive new commitments, and quickly adapt the organization as needed to capitalize on new opportunities. Key to this is the ‘dual operating system.’ This is not a computer model but a business model, leveraging the traditional management hierarchy with a Lean/Agile leadership approach.Image SourceLean Portfolio Management The Lean Portfolio Management competency aligns strategy and execution by applying Lean and systems thinking approaches to strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and governance.Achieving the Core Values of SAFe® Achieving Alignment   Alignment can be achieved by providing the relevant briefings and participating in PI planning, helping with backlog visibility and value stream organization and coordination. Also, by communicating the mission, vision, and strategy at every opportunity.  Achieving Transparency Transparency can be achieved by openness and visualizing all relevant work, taking ownership for errors, and supporting others who acknowledge and learn from their mistakes. Achieving Built-in Quality Built-in quality is achieved by refusing to accept or ship low-quality work, by supporting investments in capacity planning and by ensuring that architecture, operations, security, and compliance are part of the flow of work.  Achieving Program Execution Program execution is achieved by participating as an active business owner in PI execution, celebrating high quality and predictably delivered program increments and by aggressively removing impediments.ConclusionBusiness Agility is the ability to compete and thrive in the digital age by quickly responding to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative, digitally enabled business solutions In today’s world, organizations must be customer-centric and must adopt a Lean-Agile mindset to provide continuous integration and continuous delivery. The Scaled Agile Framework establishes a way not only of doing so, but also the flexibility of scaling up to whatever level of adoption (basic to full, complex solution) is required.Lean waste types are Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Unused Talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Extra Processing. 
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Scaled Agile Framework: Understand Safe and Its Co...

According to the Agile Alliance, Agile is the “a... Read More