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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team. (*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users)(*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)1.2 What’s the job profile of a Product Owner?The Product Owner role is Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategical and operational aspect. The Product Owner role is critical as the role is kept by 1 person (and 1 person only) for a specific product. Having 1 person holding the role simplifies the accountability in terms of having 1 spokesperson for product ownership and accountability of maximising value. This doesn’t mean that all activities are to be done by the Product Owner; otherwise the Product Owner could become a bottleneck. The Product Owner does remain accountable at all times. To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job, and it involves to understand, empathise, quickly inspect & adapt, each time with the accountability to make the right choices in terms of what to built next, in order to continuously (incrementally) deliver value to end-users. In order to better understand what kind of profile is needed to fulfil the product owner role, it’s valuable to list skills required and activities performed.When looking for a Product Owner, you’re looking for a profile with generic product management skills and product-specific skills.  The generic skills are needed to be able make decisions on a strategic and tactical level.People skills a Product Owner must have:A Product Owner also needs people skills:To empathise with users of the productTo build connections with stakeholders and to create a healthy working relationship with the team building the product. These people skills include- to be able to listen (to stakeholders, end users, team members), to translate information (between people with a different background), to be able to make  informed decisions without undermining longer-term objectives, etc.The product-specific skills are defined by the product or service that’s being built. This includes all the activities to understand the market, the needs, the job the product or service will fulfil, user-journeys, also more technical product-specific knowledge, legislation (if applicable), financial implications and any other constraintIn his book Product Mastery “From Good to Great Product Ownership”, Geoff Watts describes the skills of Product Owners with the acronym “1.3 Product Owner role and responsibilitiesThe role of Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding. When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity.  The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson of the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved.Go through other roles and responsibilities of Product Owner here.1.4 How does a Product Owner manage various stakeholders desires for the product?The Product Owner has the challenging task to manage requirements and desires of stakeholders. Each stakeholders will certainly advocate his/her demands are the most important. Here are some recommendations on how a Product Owner can deal with this:Treat requirements & desires as “desirements”, meaning, until by learning or by end-user feedback has been proven that the “desirement” is valuable, treat it as a hypothesisKeep the product backlog and its ordening as transparent as possible to all stakeholdersDon’t be seduced to prioritising in categories such as high, medium, low priority. A product backlog is ordered, no two items can have the same priority.Use techniques to prioritise impacts (impact mapping), simulations to learn stakeholders to prioritise (e.g. buy a feature), techniques to slice for value (user story mapping) 1.5 CSPO vs PSPO CSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role. PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. There’s a difference in the way of obtaining certifications and how to maintain this. Certifications issued by Scrum Alliance are obtained by taking an online exam after mandatory attending a 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending a training. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in a training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended.1.6 Product owner in agile software development The manifesto of agile software development does not specify anything about the Product Owner role. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to have an agile team without a Product Owner.The manifesto for agile software development does state a few principles which illustrate how we want to work regarding product and value delivery, for example:“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software;”“Welcome changing requirements, even late in development;”“Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale;”“Business people and developers must work together daily; ““Working software is the primary measure of progress;”You can interpret these principles as following, in what you should NOT be doing…Waste time & effort creating long-term plans, long cycle times, etc without actually delivery usable product increments to the end-users, …Waste time & effort on unnecessary specifications; unfinished product (“inventory”); or unvalidated requirements (which are assumptions in disguise), …Waste time & effort on unnecessary handovers between business people and development teams, …Waste time & effort on assuming what’s valuable for the end-users, and not verifying this by letting end-users try out working software and based upon their feedback, inspect & adapt, improve the product together, …Wasting time & effort in demanding upfront detailed estimates for unreasonable long periods (e.g. all estimates for the next year…)Wasting time & effort on detailed long-term planning, fixing agreements, treating change as evil, …1.7 Product owner in Scaling AgileLets first make the statement that you need to consider it twice before blindly scaling up any development efforts. In general, we are trying to deliver value by keeping things simple, simplify working processes, and collaborate to maximise effectiveness and customer satisfaction. In case you need to align several development teams to work together on the same product, take the following into account:A product has 1 product owner, this means in case of several teams developing on the same product, there’s 1 product ownerA product is defined as something meaningful and valuable for a customer or end-user, not a technical componentA product has 1 product backlog, as long the product lives, the product backlog existsA product owner can delegate areas of the product to other product owners, but take care to not have “proxy” product owners, with a mandate to decide. The ‘chief’ product owner remains accountable for overall prioritisation. Some scaling frameworks make a distinction between “product management” and “product ownership”, in any case ensure there’s alignment regarding product management, no conflict in priorities, and no unnecessary handovers of information.1.8 Who is accountable for the business value delivered by a Scrum team?The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value. A Scrum Team collaborates to deliver value together. The Product Owner remains  accountable.1.9 What exactly is the role of the Product Owner during the Daily Scrum?The Product Owner is not required to attend the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is an inspect & adapt time-boxed event for the development and performed by the development. This is defined in this way because otherwise the Daily Scrum will quickly be run as a status meeting (and not a daily planning event). Of course, the Product Owner can be present during the Daily Scrum, as it’s a great moment to check-in with a team, listen how a team is synchronising, ask and answer questions - after the Daily Scrum. The Product Owner, nor the Scrum Master should be leading the Daily Scrum. They can be present, but the Daily Scrum is an activity (‘Scrum’ metaphor of Rugby), for and by the development team. The Product Owner defines a sprint goal (a sprint is a time-boxed iteration to deliver a potentially shippable product increment); the Development Team inspects its progress on a daily basis towards that sprint goal, using the sprint backlog.1.10 What are certain anti-patterns regarding Product Owner?Some example anti-patterns regarding Product Owners; this can be used in an exercise to coach Product Owners. Ask what should be done to be the WORSE Product OwnerIdentify what’s actually being done of that listIdentify what should be STOPPED doing, in order to improveSome anti-patterns of Product Ownership Becoming a bottleneck in communication, so that’s there’s a delay in the flow of value between the development team, end-users, and stakeholders, …Taking decisions in isolation, so that the reason why decisions are taken are not known, nor understood, …Specifying technical solutions, and not articulating the business value, … (technical solutions are the responsibility of a development team)Pressuring the speed of delivery, resulting in less quality and inability to validate if value is being delivered, …Not listening to the product development team’s recommendations, not engaging in any healthy dialogue, …Not articulating the product’s vision, and/or strategy, resulting in development teams functioning as “feature factory”, without investigating what’s valuable and what’s not, …Inadequate product backlog management, resulting in unready items to plan, long inventory, unclear prioritisation, …Not accepting or rejecting work according to the definition of done, resulting in unclear standards of what’s a done product increment, …Not thinking how to delivery slices of value, forcing development teams to deliver components, instead of ready-to-use product increments, …Not facilitating a sprint reviewNot participating in any retrospectiveNot updating any forecast after finishing a sprintNot engaging with end-users / customers to get feedback etc2 What is the process to get a CSPO certificate?You can also follow the below steps to understand clearly.Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance websiteRead and understand the Scrum GuideRead and understand the manifesto for agile software developmentRead and understand the learning objectives of a CSPO courseAttend the 2-day CSPO courseComplete the online CSPO exam, the fee is included in the course price. After completing the course, your Scrum Trainer will upload your user information into the system of Scrum Alliance, next you’ll receive an invite to do the online exam. Recommended books and material to read and further prepare:Articles by Roman Pichler,Book Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts,  Path forward after CSPO at Scrum AllianceCertification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. As a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO™), you can continue your educational development to become an:Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO™)Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner (CSP-PO™)Certified Team Coach (CTC™)Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC™) Certified Scrum Trainer (CST™)Remember, if you’re starting as Product Owner, the CSPO certification is only the start of your journey!ConclusionBeing a product owner is a satisfying job! You are the main spokesperson for the product. You act as a catalyst between the Development Team and the outside world. You take decisions to maximise product value while taking into account various constraints.
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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

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Who Is a CSPO? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?

A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team. 

(*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users)

(*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)

1.2 What’s the job profile of a Product Owner?

The Product Owner role is Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategical and operational aspect. The Product Owner role is critical as the role is kept by 1 person (and 1 person only) for a specific product. Having 1 person holding the role simplifies the accountability in terms of having 1 spokesperson for product ownership and accountability of maximising value. This doesn’t mean that all activities are to be done by the Product Owner; otherwise the Product Owner could become a bottleneck. The Product Owner does remain accountable at all times. 

To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job, and it involves to understand, empathise, quickly inspect & adapt, each time with the accountability to make the right choices in terms of what to built next, in order to continuously (incrementally) deliver value to end-users. 

In order to better understand what kind of profile is needed to fulfil the product owner role, it’s valuable to list skills required and activities performed.

When looking for a Product Owner, you’re looking for a profile with generic product management skills and product-specific skills. 

 The generic skills are needed to be able make decisions on a strategic and tactical level.
Job profile of a Product owner

People skills a Product Owner must have:

A Product Owner also needs people skills:

  • To empathise with users of the product
  • To build connections with stakeholders and to create a healthy working relationship with the team building the product. 

These people skills include- to be able to listen (to stakeholders, end users, team members), to translate information (between people with a different background), to be able to make  informed decisions without undermining longer-term objectives, etc.

The product-specific skills are defined by the product or service that’s being built. This includes all the activities to understand the market, the needs, the job the product or service will fulfil, user-journeys, also more technical product-specific knowledge, legislation (if applicable), financial implications and any other constraint

In his book Product Mastery “From Good to Great Product Ownership”, Geoff Watts describes the skills of Product Owners with the acronym “

Product Owner skills
1.3 Product Owner role and responsibilities
Product Owner role and responsibilities

The role of Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding.

 When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity. 

 The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson of the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved.

Go through other roles and responsibilities of Product Owner here.



1.4 How does a Product Owner manage various stakeholders desires for the product?

The Product Owner has the challenging task to manage requirements and desires of stakeholders. Each stakeholders will certainly advocate his/her demands are the most important. 

Here are some recommendations on how a Product Owner can deal with this:

  • Treat requirements & desires as “desirements”, meaning, until by learning or by end-user feedback has been proven that the “desirement” is valuable, treat it as a hypothesis
  • Keep the product backlog and its ordening as transparent as possible to all stakeholders
  • Don’t be seduced to prioritising in categories such as high, medium, low priority. A product backlog is ordered, no two items can have the same priority.
  • Use techniques to prioritise impacts (impact mapping), simulations to learn stakeholders to prioritise (e.g. buy a feature), techniques to slice for value (user story mapping) 

1.5 CSPO vs PSPO 

CSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role. 

PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.

In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. There’s a difference in the way of obtaining certifications and how to maintain this. 

Certifications issued by Scrum Alliance are obtained by taking an online exam after mandatory attending a 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.

Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending a training. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in a training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended.

1.6 Product owner in agile software development 

The manifesto of agile software development does not specify anything about the Product Owner role. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to have an agile team without a Product Owner.

The manifesto for agile software development does state a few principles which illustrate how we want to work regarding product and value delivery, for example:

  • “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software;”
  • “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development;”
  • “Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale;”
  • “Business people and developers must work together daily; “
  • “Working software is the primary measure of progress;”

You can interpret these principles as following, in what you should NOT be doing…

  • Waste time & effort creating long-term plans, long cycle times, etc without actually delivery usable product increments to the end-users, …
  • Waste time & effort on unnecessary specifications; unfinished product (“inventory”); or unvalidated requirements (which are assumptions in disguise), …
  • Waste time & effort on unnecessary handovers between business people and development teams, …
  • Waste time & effort on assuming what’s valuable for the end-users, and not verifying this by letting end-users try out working software and based upon their feedback, inspect & adapt, improve the product together, …
  • Wasting time & effort in demanding upfront detailed estimates for unreasonable long periods (e.g. all estimates for the next year…)
  • Wasting time & effort on detailed long-term planning, fixing agreements, treating change as evil, …

1.7 Product owner in Scaling Agile

Lets first make the statement that you need to consider it twice before blindly scaling up any development efforts. In general, we are trying to deliver value by keeping things simple, simplify working processes, and collaborate to maximise effectiveness and customer satisfaction. 

In case you need to align several development teams to work together on the same product, take the following into account:

  • A product has 1 product owner, this means in case of several teams developing on the same product, there’s 1 product owner
  • A product is defined as something meaningful and valuable for a customer or end-user, not a technical component
  • A product has 1 product backlog, as long the product lives, the product backlog exists
  • A product owner can delegate areas of the product to other product owners, but take care to not have “proxy” product owners, with a mandate to decide. The ‘chief’ product owner remains accountable for overall prioritisation. 
  • Some scaling frameworks make a distinction between “product management” and “product ownership”, in any case ensure there’s alignment regarding product management, no conflict in priorities, and no unnecessary handovers of information.

1.8 Who is accountable for the business value delivered by a Scrum team?

The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value. 

A Scrum Team collaborates to deliver value together. The Product Owner remains  accountable.

1.9 What exactly is the role of the Product Owner during the Daily Scrum?

The Product Owner is not required to attend the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is an inspect & adapt time-boxed event for the development and performed by the development. This is defined in this way because otherwise the Daily Scrum will quickly be run as a status meeting (and not a daily planning event). 

Of course, the Product Owner can be present during the Daily Scrum, as it’s a great moment to check-in with a team, listen how a team is synchronising, ask and answer questions - after the Daily Scrum. The Product Owner, nor the Scrum Master should be leading the Daily Scrum. They can be present, but the Daily Scrum is an activity (‘Scrum’ metaphor of Rugby), for and by the development team. The Product Owner defines a sprint goal (a sprint is a time-boxed iteration to deliver a potentially shippable product increment); the Development Team inspects its progress on a daily basis towards that sprint goal, using the sprint backlog.

1.10 What are certain anti-patterns regarding Product Owner?

Some example anti-patterns regarding Product Owners; this can be used in an exercise to coach Product Owners. 

  • Ask what should be done to be the WORSE Product Owner
  • Identify what’s actually being done of that list
  • Identify what should be STOPPED doing, in order to improve

Some anti-patterns of Product Ownership 

Product Owner Anti Patterns

  • Becoming a bottleneck in communication, so that’s there’s a delay in the flow of value between the development team, end-users, and stakeholders, …
  • Taking decisions in isolation, so that the reason why decisions are taken are not known, nor understood, …
  • Specifying technical solutions, and not articulating the business value, … (technical solutions are the responsibility of a development team)
  • Pressuring the speed of delivery, resulting in less quality and inability to validate if value is being delivered, …
  • Not listening to the product development team’s recommendations, not engaging in any healthy dialogue, …
  • Not articulating the product’s vision, and/or strategy, resulting in development teams functioning as “feature factory”, without investigating what’s valuable and what’s not, …
  • Inadequate product backlog management, resulting in unready items to plan, long inventory, unclear prioritisation, …
  • Not accepting or rejecting work according to the definition of done, resulting in unclear standards of what’s a done product increment, …
  • Not thinking how to delivery slices of value, forcing development teams to deliver components, instead of ready-to-use product increments, …
  • Not facilitating a sprint review
  • Not participating in any retrospective
  • Not updating any forecast after finishing a sprint
  • Not engaging with end-users / customers to get feedback etc

2 What is the process to get a CSPO certificate?

 process to get a CSPO certificate

You can also follow the below steps to understand clearly.

Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance website

Read and understand the Scrum Guide

Read and understand the manifesto for agile software development

Read and understand the learning objectives of a CSPO course

Attend the 2-day CSPO course

Complete the online CSPO exam, the fee is included in the course price. After completing the course, your Scrum Trainer will upload your user information into the system of Scrum Alliance, next you’ll receive an invite to do the online exam. 

Recommended books and material to read and further prepare:

Articles by Roman Pichler,

Book Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts,  

Path forward after CSPO at Scrum Alliance

Certification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. As a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO™), you can continue your educational development to become an:

  1. Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO™)
  2. Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner (CSP-PO™)
  3. Certified Team Coach (CTC™)
  4. Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC™) 
  5. Certified Scrum Trainer (CST™)

Path forward after CSPO at Scrum Alliance

Remember, if you’re starting as Product Owner, the CSPO certification is only the start of your journey!


Conclusion

Being a product owner is a satisfying job! You are the main spokesperson for the product. You act as a catalyst between the Development Team and the outside world. You take decisions to maximise product value while taking into account various constraints.

Frederik

Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse

Blog Author

Frederik is an experienced consultant, professional facilitator, coach and trainer. Frederik is constantly looking to help organisation to gain more agility and to create happy workplaces

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2 comments

Sowmya 20 Aug 2019

very good understanding of product owner roles & responsibilities, thanks for the informational blog

Dayananda 20 Aug 2019

Well written useful and easy understanding about rules & responsibilities of product owner article thanks.

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Stewardship as a leadership behavior leads to successful organizational performance.  Whatever you are, be a good one. -Abraham Lincoln Go through the following ways that will help you to develop Stewardship qualities- Leader’s success always depends on the team’s success Committing to the organizational goals that will help you achieve success Help organizations to become a center of learning and collaboration; Being responsible and accountable for results;  Utilizing and managing all resources.   9.Commitment to the growth of the people: Servant leaders trust that individuals have an inherent value beyond their unmistakable commitments as workers. Therefore, the servant leader is profoundly dedicated to the development of every individual inside the organization.  Stay committed to your decision, but stay flexible in your approach. -Tom Robbins  Following are the ways to develop commitment to team- Appreciate the ideas and suggestions given by the employees Encourage team involvement in decision making Identify growth opportunities for the team members Encourage and motivate people in achieving organizational goals Be committed to helping the team members grow Connect to the others’ developmental needs and actively find ways to meet those needs.   10.Building Community: Servant leaders believe that organizations need to function as a community. A servant leader instills a sense of community spirit in the workplace.  Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. -Stephen R. Covey By following ways you can build the community- Develop the culture of knowledge sharing Develop a learning community Treat everyone equally Build the team to support each other Socially connect with each other Care for each other Appreciate each other’s success Always be there for each other   Summing it up: At last, Leadership is a choice. Before trying to become a servant leader, you should remember that an effective Servant leader always understands every aspect of the business deeply without distracting in attaining long-term goals.  
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Is Servant Leadership Part And Parcel Of A Scrum M...

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A Glimpse Of The Major Leading SAFe® Versions

A Quick view of SAFe® Agile has gained popularity in recent years, and with good reason. Teams love this approach that allows them to get a value to the customer faster while learning and adjusting to change as needed. But teams often don’t work in isolation. Many teams work in the context of larger organizations.  Often Agile doesn’t fit their needs. Some teams need an Agile approach that scales to larger projects that involve multiple teams.   It’s possible to do this. That’s where the Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe®, can help.Why SAFe® is the best scalable framework?The Scaled Agile Framework is a structured Agile approach for large enterprises. It’s prescriptive and provides a path for interdependent teams to gain the benefits of using an Agile approach.Scaled Agile provides guidance not only at the team level but also at the Program and Portfolio levels. It also has built-in coordinated planning across related teams who are working in Release Trains.These planning increments allow teams to plan together to work with customers and release value frequently in a way that’s sustainable to teams.And it supports continuous improvement.It’s a great way for large companies to maintain structure and roll out Agile at a large scale.  What is SAFe® 4.5? Scaled Agile, otherwise known as SAFe®, was initially released in 2011 by Dean Leffingwell as a knowledge base for enterprises to adopt Agile. Over the years it has grown and evolved. SAFe® 4.5 was released on June 22, 2017, to accommodate improvements to the framework. Following are some of the key improvements in SAFe® 4.5:Essential SAFe® and ConfigurabilityInnovation with Lean Startup and Lean UXScalable DevOps and Continuous DeliveryImplementation roadmapBenefits of SAFe® 4.5 to companies:Organizations who adopt SAFe® 4.5 will be able to gain the following benefits:1) Test ideas more quickly. SAFe® 4.5 has a build-in iterative development and testing. This lets teams get faster feedback to learn and adjust more quickly.2) Deliver much faster. The changes to SAFe® 4.5 allow teams to move complex work through the pipeline and deliver value to the customer faster.3) Simplify governance and improve portfolio performance. Guidance and support have been added at the Portfolio level to guide organizations in addressing Portfolio-level concerns in a scaled agile context. SAFe® 4.5 - Key areas of improvements:A. Essential SAFe® and ConfigurabilityFour configurations of SAFe® that provide a more configurable and scalable approach:Essential SAFe®: The most basic level that teams can use. It contains just the essentials that a team needs to get the benefits of SAFe®.Portfolio SAFe®: For enterprises that implement multiple solutions that have portfolio responsibilities such as governance, strategy, and portfolio funding.Large Solution: Complex solutions that involve multiple Agile Release Trains. These initiatives don’t require Portfolio concerns, but only include the Large Solution and Essential SAFe® elements.  SAFe® Full SAFe®: The most comprehensive level that can be applied to huge enterprise initiatives requiring hundreds of people to complete.Because SAFe® is a framework, that provides the flexibility to choose the level of SAFe® that best fits your organization’s needs.B. Innovation with Lean Startup and Lean UXRather than creating an entire project plan up-front, SAFe® teams focus on features. They create a hypothesis about what a new feature will deliver and then use an iterative approach to develop and test their hypothesis along the way. As teams move forward through development, they perform this development and test approach repeatedly and adjust as needed, based on feedback. Teams also work closely with end users to identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to focus on first. They identify what will be most valuable to the customer most immediately. Then they rely on feedback and learning as they develop the solution incrementally. They adjust as needed to incorporate what they’ve learned into the features. This collaboration and fast feedback and adjustment cycle result in a more successful product.  C. Scalable DevOps & Continuous DeliveryThe addition of a greater focus on DevOps allows teams to innovate faster. Like Agile, DevOps is a mindset. And like Agile, it allows teams to learn, adjust, and deliver value to users incrementally. The continuous delivery pipeline allows teams to move value through the pipeline faster through continuous exploration, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and released on demand. DevOps breaks down silos and supports Agile teams to work together more seamlessly. This results in more efficient delivery of value to the end users faster. It’s a perfect complement to Scaled Agile.D. Implementation RoadmapSAFe® now offers a suggested roadmap to SAFe® adoption. While change can be challenging, the implementation roadmap provides guidance that can help with that organizational change.Critical Role of the SAFe® Program ConsultantSAFe® Program Consultants, or SPCs, are critical change agents in the transition to Scaled Agile.Because of the depth of knowledge required to gain SPC certification, they’re perfectly positioned to help the organization move through challenges of change.They can train and coach all levels of SAFe® participants, from team members to executive leaders. They can also train the Scrum Master, Product Owners, and Agile Release Train Engineers, which are critical roles in SAFe®.The SPC can also train teams and help them launch their Agile Release Trains (ARTs).And they can support teams on the path to continued improvement as they continue to learn and grow.The SPC can also help identify value streams in the organization that may be ready to launch Agile Release Trains.The can also help develop rollout plans for SAFe® in the enterprise.Along with this, they can provide important communications that help the enterprise understand the drivers and value behind the SAFe® transition.       How SAFe® 4.5 is backward compatible with SAFe® 4.0?Even if your organization has already adopted SAFe® 4.0, SAFe® 4.5 has been developed in a way that can be easily adopted without disruption. Your organization can adopt the changes at the pace that works best.Few Updates in the new courseware The courseware for SAFe® 4.5 has incorporated changes to support the changes in SAFe® 4.5.They include Implementing SAFe®, Leading SAFe®, and SAFe® for Teams.Some of the changes you’ll see are as follows:Two new lessons for Leading SAFe®Student workbookTrainer GuideNew look and feelUpdated LPM contentSmoother lesson flowNEW Course Delivery Enablement (CDE) Changes were made to improve alignment between SAFe® and Scrum:Iteration Review: Increments previously known as Sprints now have reviews added. This allows more opportunities for teams to incorporate improvements. Additionally, a Team Demo has been added in each iteration review. This provides more opportunity for transparency, sharing, and feedback.Development Team: The Development team was specifically identified at the team level in SAFe® 4.5. The development team is made up of three to nine people who can move an element of work from development through the test. This development team contains software developers, testers, and engineers, and does not include the Product Owner and Scrum Master. Each of those roles is shown separately at the team level in SAFe® 4.5.Scrum events: The list of scrum events are shown next to the ScrumXP icon and include Plan, Execute, Review, and Retro (for a retrospective.)Combined SAFe® Foundation Elements SAFe® 4.0 had the foundational elements of Core Values, Lean-Agile Mindset, SAFe® Principles, and Implementing SAFe® at a basic level.SAFe® 4.5 adds to the foundation elements by also including Lean-Agile Leaders, the Implementation Roadmap, and the support of the SPC in the successful implementation of SAFe®.Additional changes include: Communities of Practice: This was moved to the spanning palette to show support at all levels: team, program, large solution, and portfolio.Lean-Agile Leaders: This role is now included in the foundational level. Supportive leadership is critical to a successful SAFe® adoption.SAFe® Program Consultant: This role was added to the Foundational Layer. The SPC can play a key leadership role in a successful transition to Scaled Agile.Implementation Roadmap: The implementation roadmap replaces the basic implementation information in SAFe® 4.0. It provides more in-depth information on the elements to a successful enterprise transition to SAFe®.Benefits of upgrading to SAFe® 4.5With the addition of Lean Startup approaches, along with a deeper focus on DevOps and Continuous Delivery, teams will be situated to deliver quality and value to users more quickly.With improvements at the Portfolio level, teams get more guidance on Portfolio governance and other portfolio levels concerns, such as budgeting and compliance.  Reasons to Upgrade to SAFe® 4.5 Enterprises who’ve been using SAFe® 4.0 will find greater flexibility with the added levels in SAFe® 4.5. Smaller groups in the enterprise can use the team level, while groups working on more complex initiatives can create Agile Release Trains with many teams.Your teams can innovate faster by using the Lean Startup Approach. Work with end users to identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), then iterate as you get fast feedback and adjust. This also makes your customer more of a partner in development, resulting in better collaboration and a better end product.Get features and value to your user community faster with DevOps and the Continuous Delivery pipeline. Your teams can continuously hypothesize, build, measure, and learn to continuously release value. This also allows large organizations to innovate more quickly.Most Recent Changes in SAFe® series - SAFe® 4.6Because Scaled Agile continues to improve, new changes have been incorporated with SAFe® 4.6. with the addition of five core competencies that enable enterprises to respond to technology and market changes.Lean Portfolio Management: The information needed for how to use a Lean-Agile approach to portfolio strategy, funding, and governance.Business Solutions and Lean Systems: Optimizing activities to Implement large, complex initiatives using a Scaled Agile approach while still addressing the necessary activities such as designing, testing, deployment, and even retiring old solutions.DevOps and Release on Demand: The skills needed to release value as needed through a continuous delivery pipeline.Team and Technical Agility: The skills needed to establish successful teams who consistently deliver value and quality to meet customer needs.Lean-Agile Leadership: How leadership enables a successful agile transformation by supporting empowered teams in implementing agile practices. Leaders carry out the Agile principles and practices and ensure teams have the support they need to succeedSAFe® Agilist (SA) Certification exam: The SAFe® Agilist certification is for the change leaders in an organization to learn about the SAFe® practices to support change at all levels: team, program, and portfolio levels. These change agents can play a positive role in an enterprise transition to SAFe®.In order to become certified as a SAFe® Agilist (SA), you must first take the Leading SAFe® class and pass the SAFe® certification exam. To learn more about this, see this article on How To Pass Leading SAFe® 4.5 Exam.SAFe® Certification Exam: KnowledgeHut provides Leading SAFe® training in multiple locations. Check the site for locations and dates.SAFe® Agile Certification Cost: Check KnowledgeHut’s scheduled training offerings to see the course cost. Each course includes the opportunity to sit for the exam included in the cost.Scaled Agile Framework Certification Cost: There are multiple levels of SAFe® certification, including Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer, and Product Owner. Courses range in cost, but each includes the chance to sit for the corresponding SAFe® certification.SAFe® Classes: SAFe® classes are offered by various organizations. To see if KnowledgeHut is offering SAFe® Training near you, check the SAFe® training schedule on our website.TrainingKnowledgeHut provides multiple Scaled Agile courses to give both leaders and team members in your organization the information they need to for a successful transition to Scaled Agile. Check the site for the list of classes to find those that are right for your organization as you make the journey.All course fees cover examination costs for certification.SAFe® 4.5 Scrum Master with SSM Certification TrainingLearn the core competencies of implementing Agile across the enterprise, along with how to lead high-performing teams to deliver successful solutions. You’ll also learn how to implement DevOps practices. Completion of this course will prepare you for obtaining your SAFe® 4 Scrum Master certificate.SAFe® 4 Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)This two-day course teaches you to how to apply Scrum at the enterprise level and prepares you to lead high-performing teams in a Scaled Agile environment. At course completion, you’ll be prepared to manage interactions not only on your team but also across teams and with stakeholders. You’ll also be prepared to take the SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master exam.Leading SAFe®4.5 Training Course (SA)This two-day Leading SAFe® class prepares you to become a Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist, ready to lead the agile transformation in your enterprise.  By the end of this course, you’ll be able to take the SAFe® Agilist (SA) certification exam.SAFe® 4.5 for Teams (SP) This two-day course teaches Scrum fundamentals, principles tools, and processes. You’ll learn about software engineering practices needed to scale agile and deliver quality solutions in a Scaled Agile environment. Teams new to Scaled Agile will find value in going through this course. Attending the class prepares you for the certification exam to become a certified SAFe® 4 Practitioner (SP). DevOps Foundation Certification trainingThis course teaches you the DevOps framework, along with the practices to prepare you to apply the principles in your work environment. Completion of this course will prepare you also to take the DevOps Foundation exam for certification.
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A Glimpse Of The Major Leading SAFe® Versions

A Quick view of SAFe® Agile has gained popularit... Read More

Does The Lack Of Knowledge Sharing Affect Your Scrum Productivity?

Knowledge sharing is the biggest advantage of working in a group or as a team. The proper utilization of knowledge of every team member contributes to successful project delivery. However, a number of organizations have experienced major setbacks just because of not detecting and resolving the issue of ‘lack of knowledge sharing’ on time. In a Scrum – Agile organization, knowledge sharing becomes more important because Scrum, an Agile framework, is designed to complete the software development project through the collective efforts of the team.   Knowledge Sharing Barriers –You May Not Know:  To deal with the issue effectively, we can divide the commonly identified knowledge barriers into three categories:  1. Individual Knowledge Sharing Barriers: Low awareness about the benefits of knowledge sharing with others. Insufficient evaluation, feedback & communication. Lack of interaction between the team members 2. Organisational Knowledge Sharing Barriers: Lack of managerial direction for clear communication  Inadequate spaces, resources and time to share and gain new knowledge Lack of transparency in recognition of performance  3. Technological Knowledge Sharing Barriers Improper integration of IT systems & processes Frequent obstructions to communication flows lack of compatibility between working process, project planning, execution and management    Reluctance to use the latest technology due to lack of training  Scrum helps teams deliver products with constant adaptation & improvement. A social entertainment and gaming company also reported a 73% gain in productivity.#agile #scrum #game #gaming #entertainment #tech #technology #software #adapt #adaptation #productivity #improvement pic.twitter.com/OjKsMutKR1 — Exceptional_LLC (@Exceptional_LLC) May 6, 2018 Negative Impacts of Knowledge Sharing Barriers on Scrum Productivity: A number of times the well-maintained velocity of Scrum projects takes a big hit when a star performer resigns all of sudden. The best you can do is to extract the maximum knowledge out of him during his stay period and to share the gathered information to another team member; it slows down the project besides developing uncertainties in the minds of your Scrum team members.   The numbers of Scrum team members are questioned when an employee quits.Many a time, this questioning negatively affect their productivity and commitment both.  The very common silo in Scrum Project Management you experience is when a newcomer joins your team and the team members are asked to pull that new member up to the required velocity.   Many times, Scrum team responds to changes to deliver the best but few members still don’t believe in comprehensive documentation; it creates the dependency on each other.  In the absence of proper training and commonly accepted Agile – Scrum culture, primarily focused on knowledge sharing, most of the projects run at a low velocity.  Lack of knowledge sharing is the major cause of reworking that increases the delivery period and the cost as well.  Effective knowledge sharing, essentially is the key to building self-organizing Agile teams. This is best described in the following video-   5 ways to Improve Knowledge Sharing for Better Scrum Productivity:  The proper flow of knowledge sharing within Scrum team dramatically improves the productivity with quality. Scrum Master indeed is a manager as he/she manages the process of exchanging information. There is a lot of knowledge in the Scrum team members; and, getting it out on time for the people who need it is a challenge for Scrum leaders. The following 5 hacks will surely help you improve knowledge sharing:  Store the Documents for Anytime Usage:  Document all the knowledge and put it safely in an easy-to-access repository. The scope of this tactic covers the project relevant data of all the laptops and tablets also.           2. Conduct Demo meetings Within Team Or With Client: While preparing yourself for the demo meeting, you will need the documents to show the development; as a result, all the shared information will be available to you and for all.           ​3. Pair Programming:  The idea behind ‘Pair Programming’ is to assign a particular code work to two  programmers at the same time to prevent knowledge silos and to encourage transparency as well. It also helps both the developers to improve the quality by going through the ideas of each other. In addition, it takes care of ‘surprise resigning’.         4. Motivate Scrum Team Members:  Most of the people don’t want to share their knowledge unless they expect something in return; therefore, Scrum members need motivational support by extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.          5. Go for Extreme Programming (XP)     Extreme Programming (XP) is an Agile framework powered by the practical values of courage, communication, feedback, simplicity, respect. Make it a part of your Scrum strategy.   Conclusion:  The zero-gap knowledge sharing through the fastest route is the key to success in Scrum projects. It is also true that one roadmap doesn’t take everyone to the desired destination but the strategy with clear vision and goal matters; and, same is the case with knowledge sharing in Scrum. The ‘Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO)’ and ‘ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification Trainings’ help you deliver the best quality product at the earliest through strategic knowledge sharing system.
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Does The Lack Of Knowledge Sharing Affect Your Scr...

Knowledge sharing is the biggest advantage of work... Read More

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