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Don’t Resist Change, Embrace It: Agile Principles Revisited

“….a puzzling limitation of our mind is the confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent ability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in.  We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events.”  Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux In the first installment of our “Agile Principles Revisited” series, we discussed delivering value early and often to our customers.  To ensure we meet the value definition, it is often we find ourselves having to adjust mid-stream once a customer has the opportunity to see the concept come to life. It is within that moment that determines if you are becoming an agile organization or you simply want to stop change and adhere dogmatically to a plan that was crafted months and months ago. Principle #2: Welcome changing requirements, even late in development.  Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. Change is not avoidable nor is it final.  Without change we would not have the tools and products we have today, although I am pretty sure the world would have been better off without Harley Davidson Perfume, HP Touchpad, New Coke and Clairol Touch of Yogurt Shampoo. On the surface it certainly seems agile right?  Be nimble, adapt and pivot and use other buzzwords you heard on Huffington post. Well, like any effort worth doing, it takes discipline to apply the practices to this principle so that it does not get diluted to the point that it causes damage to the team and has negative impacts on the outcomes we are seeking. This also does not mean you get to change your mind every day. Let’s take a deeper dive to better understand this principle. Welcome changing requirements: Dwight Eisenhower said “Planning is everything, the plan is nothing.” I am not saying don’t plan, you should have a roadmap that you are marching towards. What I am saying is that change is inevitable and your plans and process needs to leave space for this to happen with minimal impact to outcomes.  Attempting to “get all requirements right up front” thinking that it will reduce change is preposterous, and results in padding happening at every planning gate (analysis, design, development, testing, etc.) until you end up with a bloated and unrealistic plan that has everything to do with protecting someone from being blamed and nothing to do with focusing on what the customer needs.  If anything, by taking a big upfront planning approach, you are guaranteeing change will happen due to the uncertainty that is inherent in software and customer demands change once they actually see something. However, this also means you need to use collaboration, compromise and a whole lot of common sense to assess the change and determine the impact to cost and risk of your deliverables.  Practices that help support this principle are keeping stories small and independent and releasing frequently into an environment that would allow a level of usability testing to take place. Doing so will reduce risk to overall code health and communicating to your customers that you can meet their needs quickly.  Another practice is a daily collaboration event with teams to identify risks sooner and allow action to take place to correct as soon as an issue is raised.   Even Late In Development: Given that most agile teams operate in 2-3 week sprints, late in this context should not cause anyone great alarm.  In the old days of 12-18 month project deliveries, this would cause a spike in alcohol sales and severe liver damage for the teams that were affected.  If you are following the practices of allowing a buffer for unknowns and spikes to research and prove out a theory then changing a story late should not be a major undertaking. Obviously, the tighter the coupling, number of handoffs and number of dependencies will determine the risk and it should always be a discussion with the overall team and product owner on whether they can undertake the change now or later.   Holding costs play a role here as well.  The longer you wait to release, the more risk you have when a change does happen later in the sprints.  The more you hold on to, the more that has to be tested and the more that has to be released, the more potential for something to go wrong and the more cost you sink into the project.  Attempting to freeze change creates a risk averse environment which inhibits innovation. Harness Change for Customers Competitive Advantage:  Taking an economic view, we have to be able to respond according to one of the market needs by meeting the customer wherever they are in their journey and making it easy to purchase and use the products we create.  As the demands of the customer change, we must change and utilizing practices of frequent delivery and feedback moments to harness that change to our benefit by shifting priorities and functionality that serve an outcome rather than ones that are serving a “plan”. So where do we start ? Decrease the time from Identify to Satisfy: When a customer identifies a problem to the time we can satisfy that request is the critical path in the digital world—the shorter the lead time the better the outcome (at least we hope so and should have analytics to determine that).  We can do this by leveraging or building services and processes that help us deliver quicker and frequently to satisfy a customer’s needs and meeting them where they are in their customer journey.  Your customers don’t’ care about your solution or your bureaucracy, they care about their problems and how quickly they can be solved. Build Small, Deploy Fast, Learn Quickly:  If it takes us an extended and inordinate amount of time to deploy a change a customer asked for, that generates frustration and creates a secondary need for that customer to seek fulfillment elsewhere.  A practice that can help this is when teams slice their stories as responsibly small as possible.  The larger you make a story/feature the longer it takes to get out the door due to dependencies and coupling issues.  Most scaling practices also have a 10-12 week cycle for larger integrated releases, which still allows predictability but also allows responsible planning in a short time boundary which aids when having to say no to things that could disrupt the current cadence. Even for this to work well, your portfolio budgeting process must take a leaner approach as well, but that is for another day. Starting your feedback cycles as soon as you have something to show will also reduce the risk of change due to delivering something your customers never wanted.  You should be setting goals, hard goals, of being able to deploy on a frequent basis. This does not mean you have to deploy to customers daily, just that you are building the habit of feeling confident that if you needed to, you could as frequently as you needed to base on market or customer demands.  Enemies of the (to be) State: Over Processing:  Bureaucracy in any environment is a form of waste if it adds an extensive amount of wait time to the request – fulfillment pipeline.  Over processing can also translate to how much “non- value added” administrative overhead is the team having to endure to meet the customers’ needs or react to the change.  Measuring this wait time and delays in your throughput will help identify areas that the environment needs to optimize in order for the teams to decrease lead time and react quicker to change. “Gold Plating” also plays a factor here. Attempting to put more into a system than the user is asking for or needs wastes time and effort and adds incremental delay costs due to having to write and execute tests for these less used features and integrating into rest of the product. Lack of Quality First Approach: Reacting quickly to change requires discipline in your testing approach and if the majority of your testing is being done manually, then that is slowing down the opportunity to meet a commitment to a customer.  Quality first means; Ensuring adequate and understood acceptance criteria is applied to features Including estimates for writing unit tests built off acceptance criteria Including estimates for writing automation for each delivered story Including buffer for defects to occur and be corrected within your timebox (this should be included in the sizing of your story) Doing enough to meet the immediate need and take time to build on more later (if customer needs dictate) Everyone is responsible for quality.  Quality is not a “phase” or a single person/title, it is a collective and shared activity that any person on the team can undertake to meet  the predictability commitments. Change will happen and no matter how much planning you do, you cannot avoid it, you can only prepare for, and adapt to it.  Make sure your practices allow for change in the most productive and responsible manner possible that allow a problem to be solved for your customer and keep the teams safe.

Don’t Resist Change, Embrace It: Agile Principles Revisited

1K
  • by Bruce Nix
  • 26th Feb, 2018
  • Last updated on 27th Aug, 2019
Don’t Resist Change, Embrace It: Agile Principles Revisited

“….a puzzling limitation of our mind is the confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent ability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in.  We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events.”  Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In the first installment of our “Agile Principles Revisited” series, we discussed delivering value early and often to our customers.  To ensure we meet the value definition, it is often we find ourselves having to adjust mid-stream once a customer has the opportunity to see the concept come to life. It is within that moment that determines if you are becoming an agile organization or you simply want to stop change and adhere dogmatically to a plan that was crafted months and months ago.

Principle #2: Welcome changing requirements, even late in development.  Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
Change is not avoidable nor is it final.  Without change we would not have the tools and products we have today, although I am pretty sure the world would have been better off without Harley Davidson Perfume, HP Touchpad, New Coke and Clairol Touch of Yogurt Shampoo.

On the surface it certainly seems agile right?  Be nimble, adapt and pivot and use other buzzwords you heard on Huffington post. Well, like any effort worth doing, it takes discipline to apply the practices to this principle so that it does not get diluted to the point that it causes damage to the team and has negative impacts on the outcomes we are seeking. This also does not mean you get to change your mind every day. Let’s take a deeper dive to better understand this principle.

Welcome changing requirements: Dwight Eisenhower said “Planning is everything, the plan is nothing.” I am not saying don’t plan, you should have a roadmap that you are marching towards. What I am saying is that change is inevitable and your plans and process needs to leave space for this to happen with minimal impact to outcomes.  Attempting to “get all requirements right up front” thinking that it will reduce change is preposterous, and results in padding happening at every planning gate (analysis, design, development, testing, etc.) until you end up with a bloated and unrealistic plan that has everything to do with protecting someone from being blamed and nothing to do with focusing on what the customer needs.  If anything, by taking a big upfront planning approach, you are guaranteeing change will happen due to the uncertainty that is inherent in software and customer demands change once they actually see something. However, this also means you need to use collaboration, compromise and a whole lot of common sense to assess the change and determine the impact to cost and risk of your deliverables.  Practices that help support this principle are keeping stories small and independent and releasing frequently into an environment that would allow a level of usability testing to take place. Doing so will reduce risk to overall code health and communicating to your customers that you can meet their needs quickly.  Another practice is a daily collaboration event with teams to identify risks sooner and allow action to take place to correct as soon as an issue is raised.
 



Even Late In Development: Given that most agile teams operate in 2-3 week sprints, late in this context should not cause anyone great alarm.  In the old days of 12-18 month project deliveries, this would cause a spike in alcohol sales and severe liver damage for the teams that were affected.  If you are following the practices of allowing a buffer for unknowns and spikes to research and prove out a theory then changing a story late should not be a major undertaking. Obviously, the tighter the coupling, number of handoffs and number of dependencies will determine the risk and it should always be a discussion with the overall team and product owner on whether they can undertake the change now or later.  

Holding costs play a role here as well.  The longer you wait to release, the more risk you have when a change does happen later in the sprints.  The more you hold on to, the more that has to be tested and the more that has to be released, the more potential for something to go wrong and the more cost you sink into the project.  Attempting to freeze change creates a risk averse environment which inhibits innovation.

Harness Change for Customers Competitive Advantage:  Taking an economic view, we have to be able to respond according to one of the market needs by meeting the customer wherever they are in their journey and making it easy to purchase and use the products we create.  As the demands of the customer change, we must change and utilizing practices of frequent delivery and feedback moments to harness that change to our benefit by shifting priorities and functionality that serve an outcome rather than ones that are serving a “plan”.

So where do we start ?



Decrease the time from Identify to Satisfy: When a customer identifies a problem to the time we can satisfy that request is the critical path in the digital world—the shorter the lead time the better the outcome (at least we hope so and should have analytics to determine that).  We can do this by leveraging or building services and processes that help us deliver quicker and frequently to satisfy a customer’s needs and meeting them where they are in their customer journey.  Your customers don’t’ care about your solution or your bureaucracy, they care about their problems and how quickly they can be solved.



Build Small, Deploy Fast, Learn Quickly:  If it takes us an extended and inordinate amount of time to deploy a change a customer asked for, that generates frustration and creates a secondary need for that customer to seek fulfillment elsewhere.  A practice that can help this is when teams slice their stories as responsibly small as possible.  The larger you make a story/feature the longer it takes to get out the door due to dependencies and coupling issues.  Most scaling practices also have a 10-12 week cycle for larger integrated releases, which still allows predictability but also allows responsible planning in a short time boundary which aids when having to say no to things that could disrupt the current cadence. Even for this to work well, your portfolio budgeting process must take a leaner approach as well, but that is for another day.



Starting your feedback cycles as soon as you have something to show will also reduce the risk of change due to delivering something your customers never wanted.  You should be setting goals, hard goals, of being able to deploy on a frequent basis. This does not mean you have to deploy to customers daily, just that you are building the habit of feeling confident that if you needed to, you could as frequently as you needed to base on market or customer demands. 

Enemies of the (to be) State:

Over Processing:  Bureaucracy in any environment is a form of waste if it adds an extensive amount of wait time to the request – fulfillment pipeline.  Over processing can also translate to how much “non- value added” administrative overhead is the team having to endure to meet the customers’ needs or react to the change.  Measuring this wait time and delays in your throughput will help identify areas that the environment needs to optimize in order for the teams to decrease lead time and react quicker to change. “Gold Plating” also plays a factor here. Attempting to put more into a system than the user is asking for or needs wastes time and effort and adds incremental delay costs due to having to write and execute tests for these less used features and integrating into rest of the product.



Lack of Quality First Approach: Reacting quickly to change requires discipline in your testing approach and if the majority of your testing is being done manually, then that is slowing down the opportunity to meet a commitment to a customer.  Quality first means;

  • Ensuring adequate and understood acceptance criteria is applied to features
  • Including estimates for writing unit tests built off acceptance criteria
  • Including estimates for writing automation for each delivered story
  • Including buffer for defects to occur and be corrected within your timebox (this should be included in the sizing of your story)
  • Doing enough to meet the immediate need and take time to build on more later (if customer needs dictate)
  • Everyone is responsible for quality.  Quality is not a “phase” or a single person/title, it is a collective and shared activity that any person on the team can undertake to meet  the predictability commitments.

Change will happen and no matter how much planning you do, you cannot avoid it, you can only prepare for, and adapt to it.  Make sure your practices allow for change in the most productive and responsible manner possible that allow a problem to be solved for your customer and keep the teams safe.

Bruce

Bruce Nix

Blog Author

Bruce Nix, one of the highly experienced Agile coaches at Lokion, applies two decades of experience in information technology and innovation management to his projects. He trains and leads cross-functional teams in innovation practices, ensuring the best possible outcomes for teams. An avid researcher of leadership and innovation principles, he continually strives to make processes leaner and more efficient.
As a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.0 Program Consultant, Certified Scrum Professional, and Scrum Master, Bruce provides improvements in processes and project delivery for clients. He has years of daily experience in Agile project management methodologies and helped found the Memphis Agile Practitioners Group.His deep experience in technical operations management and business analysis has allowed him to manage multiple projects involving enterprise scale ecommerce  initiatives, user experience, web and mobile design, and process improvement.

 

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Best Product Owner Certifications in 2021

The one person responsible for maximising the product value, representing the stakeholders, prioritizing the backlog, empowering the team, maintaining Agile and Scrum processes and defining the product vision—who is that one superstar on an Agile team who does all this? The Product Owner!Product Owner roles have seen a sharp rise in recent years. If you see yourself as a Product Owner, managing business and stakeholders, then it is prudent that you validate your skills with a Product Owner certification and set yourself up for career success.Product Owners with industry recognised credentials earn upwards of $105,845, significantly more than their peers who are not certified.Irrespective of whether you are a seasoned Product Owner or are just sinking your teeth into the world of Agile and Scrum, a credential in your toolkit will greatly enhance your career prospects. So, here’s a roundup of the most valued Product Owner certifications you can choose from and get ready for 2021.1. CSPO®2. A-CSPO®3. PSPO™4. PMI-ACP®5. SAFe® Product Owner Product Manager1. CSPOThe Certified Scrum Product Owner certification is an offering from Scrum Alliance. Among the most popular Product Owner certifications, this credential is a validation of your knowledge of Scrum, the scope of the Product Owner’s role and skill in maximizing value and the Scrum team’s work.CSPOs are in great demand across industries as they have the credibility to lead product development initiatives.Other benefits of the CSPO certification include:Training led by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)Get a 2-year membership with Scrum AllianceGain access to a number of local groups of Scrum users and social networksQualify for higher certifications such as the A-CSPO®Widen the scope of your career with the knowledge of popular Agile practices.Enhance your repertoire with in-demand Scrum skills and demonstrate your Scrum knowledge.Actively engage with the community of Agile practitioners dedicated to continuous Scrum practice and improvement.Create a better product by leading and implementing Scrum in the team.Define the product vision and direct team members to yield high value at the end.Ensure smooth communication between the stakeholders and team members.Earn higher salaries than your non-certified counterparts (USA: $105,845)Top companies hiring CSPO professionalsFidelity InvestmentsCapital One Financial CorpAmazon.comT-Mobile, IncAmerican ExpressSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for certificationThe training must be taken from a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or Registered Education Provider (REP) or a Certified Agile Coach of Scrum Alliance.Who should take the training for CSPO certification?This course can be taken by:Project Managers Developers Product Owners Managers-Software development Architects-Software development Product Managers Software developers Software testers Team leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumWho is eligible for the CSPO certification?There are no eligibility requirements for the CSPO certification.Duration to get CSPO certifiedAll participants need to attend the 2-day in-person or 14 hours live online CSPO training from a CST, at the end of which they will receive their credential. Course/Training fee for CSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 24999  U.S: USD 1295Canada: CAD 1495Exam fee for CSPO certification: No exam needs to be taken in order to earn the CSPO credential. Attending a 2-day/14-hour course is mandated to earn the credential.Renewal fee for CSPO certification: $100, every 2 years2. A-CSPO℠The Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner℠ (A-CSPO℠) credential is also offered by the Scrum Alliance, and as the name suggests is an advanced course to be pursued after gaining the CSPO. The A-CSPO validates your ability to manage multiple projects and stakeholders and deliver business value. A-CSPO being an advanced level certification is much sought after by organizations who want to hire professionals with advanced Product Owner abilities.Other benefits of the A-CSPO certification include:Training by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)2-year membership with Scrum AllianceAccess to a number of local groups of Scrum users and social networksGain enhanced Agile Scrum implementation skillsSet yourself apart from others in the marketplaceAs a highly trained Agile professional, show advanced value to your employerEarn high salaries - 111033 USD (average)Top industries hiring A-CSPO professionalsSAP LabsSalesforceAdobeWikispeedOracleVisteonGEBBCMicrosoftBarclaysRobert BoschWhere to take training for A-CSPO certification?The training must be led by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and delivered by a Registered Education Provider (REP) or a Certified Agile Coach of Scrum Alliance.Who should take the training for A-CSPO certification?Professionals in the following job roles can take this course:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumWho is eligible for the A-CSPO certification?The A-CSPO requires the following eligibility:At least 12 months of work experience specific to the role of Product Owner (within the past five years) and an active CSPO credentialDuration to get A-CSPO certified: All participants need to attend the 2-day in-person or 14 hours live online A-CSPO training from a CST, at the end of which they will receive their credential.Course fee for A-CSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 41999U.S.: Will be updated shortlyCanada: Will be updated shortlyExam fee for A-CSPO certification: No exam needs to be taken in order to earn the A-CSPO credential. Attending a 2-day/14-hour course along with the required experience is mandated to earn the credential.Renewal fee for A-CSPO certification: $175, every 2 years3. PSPO™Professional Scrum Product Owner™ Level I (PSPO™) is a credential offered by the Scrum.org. While the certification does not require you to take a training, an assessment needs to be cleared in order to get certified. The PSPO is a reflection of your ability to maximise skills, enhance product value and use Agile perspectives to deliver successful products.The PSPO is highly regarded in the industry as it is a rigorous exam and is based on the objectives outlined in the Scrum Guide.   Other benefits of the PSPO certification include:Own the product visionMaximize your team’s ROIImprove business value and ROIMotivate and lead Agile teams and team membersValidate your commitment to continued excellence and qualityDemonstrate your proficiency in ScrumGrow your career in Scrum with confidence Ace your interviews and get noticed for promotions at your current jobCommand higher salaries than your non-certified peersBe part of a network of industry leaders and Agile professionalsGain a stepping stone for the advanced level Professional Scrum Product Owner™ II Certification (PSPO™ II)Get the PSPO I logo that you can use to identify your achievementGet your name listed on Scrum.orgEarn salaries in the range of $98,612Top industries hiring PSPO professionalsJ.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC)Cisco Systems IncImproving EnterprisesUnitedHealth GroupBank of America Corp. (BOFA)Source: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PSPO certification: Take the training from Scrum.org’s Professional Training Network under the guidance of certified Professional Scrum Trainers (PSTs).Who should take the training for PSPO certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumLeadership Team Who is eligible for the PSPO certification?There are no eligibility requirements for the PSPO certification.Duration to get certified: If you opt for training, you will have to attend two days or 16 hours of PSPO™ I training under a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST). You will then receive a key to the PSPO™ I Assessment. Once you pass the Assessment, you are declared PSPO™ I certified and can download your certificate.Course fee for PSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 25999  U.S.: USD 1299Canada: CAD 1499Exam fee for PSPO: $200 USD per attemptPSPO Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book,Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/FalseDifficulty: IntermediateLanguage: English onlyTime limit: 60 minutesNumber of Questions: 80Passing score: 85%Retake fee for PSPO Exam: $200 USD for each re-take attempt. Participants of Scrum.org classes get free retakes if they take and fail the assessment within a certain time frame. Renewal for PSPO certification: Your PSPO certification has a lifetime validity and does not require renewal4. PMI-ACP®The Project Management Institute (PMI)® a world-renowned body known for its flagship project management credentials, now offers professionals a chance to hone their agile skills with the PMI- Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential. Its mandatory requirement of real-world Agile expertise and a thorough knowledge of Agile practices, tools and techniques means that holders of the PMI-ACP are Agile experts in every sense of the word.The PMI-ACP has huge demand in Agile organizations as it gives holders a 360-degree view of Agile and adds huge value to the skill set of a product owner.Other benefits of the PMI-ACP certification include:Helps you qualify for Agile jobs with expertise in Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, etc. which are in demand in the industryEquips you with knowledge of various Agile methodsMakes you marketable as it opens doors to many project development methodologiesGain soft skills to manage your role eloquently  Earn more than your non-certified peers ($109,556)Top industries hiring PMI-ACP professionalsBooz, Allen, and HamiltonAccentureInternational Business Machines (IBM) Corp.Usaa InsuranceAmazon.com IncSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PMI-ACP certification: The training must be taken from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMIWho should take the training for PMI-ACP certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersProject PlannersQuality Assurance StaffDevelopers/ProgrammersDesigners, TestersProject ControllersProduct OwnersScrum MastersScrum Team MembersWho is eligible for the PMI-ACP certification?The PMI-ACP requires the following eligibility:Secondary degree21 contact hours of training in agile practices12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years. 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This credential, an offering from the Scaled Agile, Inc., validates your product owner skills in delivering value by applying the principles of Lean to ensure Agile success at the enterprise scale, improving the Agile Release Train and ensuring customer satisfaction while improving bottom line margins.Considering that the Scaled Agile Framework is widely used in Agile organizations, there is a huge demand for SAFe POPM certified professionals, who can deliver continuous value at the enterprise level.Other benefits of the SAFe POPM certification include:Master key SAFe® product ownership/product management concepts like Lean Agile principles and valuesCollaborate with Agile teams to deliver valueMaster Program Increment PlanningOne-year membership to the SAFe Community PlatformOpen yourself upto new opportunitiesSAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (SPOPM) salary ranges from $83,865 to $124,613Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other Certified SAFe ProfessionalsTop industries hiring SAFe POPM professionalsBoschLockheed MartinPepsiCoAnthemCiscoStandard CharteredCapitalOneThalesFitBit  AstraZenecaSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the SAFe POPM certification: The training must be taken from an authorized training partner of Scaled Agile, Inc. Who should take the training for SAFe POPM certification?This course can be taken by:Program or Project ManagersScrum MastersRelease Train EngineersBusiness AnalystsAgile CoachesSAFe Program ConsultantsDevelopment ManagersCTOsConsultantsArchitectsEngineersDirectorsProduct ManagersProduct OwnersDelivery ManagersSolution Train EngineersSoftware DevelopersWho is eligible for the SAFe POPM certification?The SAFe POPM requires the following eligibility:Two-day training from an authorized training provider of Scaled Agile Inc. Experience in Lean and AgileDuration to get certified: Once you complete the mandatory 2-day training you can set a date to take the 1.5 hrs SAFe POPM exam. On passing the exam, you become a Certified SAFe® 5 Product Owner / Product Manager. You will receive your SAFe®️ 5 Product Owner / Product Manager PDF Certificate and Digital Badge within 5-7 working days.Course fee for SAFe POPM certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 55999  U.S.: USD 1099Canada: CAD 1395Exam fee for SAFe POPM: First exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion.SAFe POPM Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book Format: Multiple choice, multiple response Difficulty: Intermediate Time limit: 1.5 hours Number of Questions: 45 Passing score: POPM4 = 35 out of 45 (77%); POPM5 = 33 out of 45 (73%)Retake fee for SAFe POPM Exam: Each retake costs $50Renewal for SAFe POPM certification: SAFe POPM needs to be renewed each year by paying a $100 fee and earning a minimum of 10 continuing education/outreach hours (PDUs).SummaryProduct Owners are the rock stars of an Agile team—confident, articulate, sharp, great communicators and problem solvers! A solid Product Owner certification along with these qualities can give your career a total makeover and make you a team favourite. 
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SAFe® Agilist Certification Vs PMI-ACP®: Which Certification Should You Choose?

The competition for jobs is getting tough in today’s world. Whether you are a job seeker, corporate employee, or a consultant, you should keep your skills up to date in a fast-paced, online world. Agile has become the standard of project management very fast in today’s world, specifically in the IT and service field. Most of the project management professionals have adopted Agile techniques, tools, and concepts to deliver the projects successfully that has never been seen before.If you want to make a career in Agile or want to make a career shift then Agile certification can be an added advantage. You might be in confusion as to which certification you should do, as there are different types of Agile certifications available. SAFe® Agilist and PMI-ACP® are the two most in-demand IT certifications today that will increase your career growth and salary.  In this post, we will discuss both the certifications and help to choose a career that best suits you.SAFe® AgilistLarger organizations are struggling with Agile, especially the well-established enterprises who are trying to adopt Agile and shift their way of doing things. SAFe® is one such example that provides best practices for adopting Agile at an organizational level and SAFe® certification covers every aspect of Agile from architecture, governance, funding, integration, and roles. Holding a SAFe® certification proves your proficiency and hands-on experience and shows your knowledge and skills in real-time implementations.SAFe® Agilist could be a perfect choice for you if you want to be part of different teams in the adoption of SAFe® and willing to be part of enterprise Agile. Scaled Agile is something different to standard Agile knowledge which is required for Agile change agents, managers, and executives for leading a lean-agile change initiative in large-scale enterprises. This is also essential for those executives who have already implemented Agile principles and practices at small-scale enterprises and now want to take it to the next level.Leaders of Lean-Agile change initiative can learn how to build a Lean-Agile Mindset and implement the SAFe® principles and practices to support Agile Teams, Program Portfolio Management, and Teams from this SAFe® 4 Agilist (SA) course. SAFe® Agilist certification demonstrates your efficiency of leading the Scaled Agile Framework adoption in an enterprise context.PMI-ACPPMI-ACP® certification could be an ideal choice for those who have been applying Agile values and principles in their day-to-day project work and who want to shift to a leadership role. To apply for  the PMI-ACP® certification, applicants must have at least 2,000 hours of working experience on project teams and 1,500 hours of working experience with Agile methodologies or on Agile project teams. Applicants should also complete 21 hours of Agile training and need to pass the exam.The PMI-ACP® is close to the mid-level CSP that is offered by the Scrum Alliance. Enterprises that are shifting to an Agile context and applying different Agile techniques are more interested in recruiting individuals with PMI-ACP® certification.PMI-ACP® could be a right choice if your enterprise is looking forward to adopting Agile framework in order to achieve high-end project goals. It not only covers Scrum framework but also includes XP, Kanban, Lean, and other frameworks. The PMI-ACP® certification exam is more difficult when compared to the basic Scrum Master certifications and individuals must take online or classroom training before going to attempt the exam.Let’s see the key differences between SAFe® Agilist and PMI-ACP®:It is important to look at the career opportunities before selecting the particular course. Think of various factors such as job security, responsibility, stress, income, and other benefits while choosing a profession.Just choosing a certification that is best for you doesn’t lead to the success you deserve. Choosing the best training provider will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of a course. Compare course outlines of different institutes and find the best training provider that will guide you in the right direction of the particular course chosen. You can also visit the institutes and attend some of the demo sessions to understand their approach to training. KnowledgeHut is a Registered Education Provider and offers both SAFe® Agilist and PMI-ACP® training classes across the country by experts who have years of industry experience.
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SAFe® Agilist Certification Vs PMI-ACP®: W...

The competition for jobs is getting tough in today... Read More

Top Learning Outcomes of Leading SAFe 5 Certification

In any organization, the business decisions made by leaders play an integral role in determining its future. Their mindset, actions and strategies influence the functioning of the organization and workforce. True leaders continuously learn and upskill themselves to be on par with the changing times and stay ahead of the competition. This is where adoption of a Lean-Agile Mindset becomes crucial. It serves as an intellectual and leadership foundation for applying SAFe® principles and practices. A Lean Agile Mindset is undoubtedly the need of the hour for everyone and especially for professionals who oversee a company’s destiny.  This article briefly looks at SAFe® 5.0’s main offering – “Business Agility”, dwells on the foundational competency – “Lean Agile Leadership” and finally talks about how Scaled Agile Inc’s “Leading SAFe®“ course  is one of the front runners in providing knowledge and guidance for building SAFe’s foundational competency in an Enterprise.  What is SAFe®?  Enterprises span across multiple geographical locations, cultures and time zones. External stakeholders like Suppliers and Partners further add on to the organizational milieu. In spite of the scale, the enterprise has to be nimble and agile to keep up with ever changing customer needs and tough competition.Practicing Agile in an Enterprise has its very own challenges because of the scale at which it operates and the high stakes involved.SAFe® is an Agile Framework that recommends ways and methods for enterprises to implement, sustain and improve Lean and Agile Practices. SAFe®1.0 was introduced in 2011 and has evolved into the SAFe®5.0 version which was released in Jan 2020.What is new in SAFe®5SAFe®5.0 introduces quite a few things, of which we look at two important ones- Business Agility and the Dual Operating System.   John Kotter , thought leader of Change Management, famously describes the need for a Dual Operating System that combines the entrepreneurial capability of a network with the organisational efficiency of traditional hierarchy. SAFe® 5 recommends organizing a network around value streams, in addition to the traditional hierarchy, to create a dual operating system to achieve Business Agility.  Image source: Kotter’s Dual Operating SystemImage source: SAFe as a second organizational operating systemBringing agility within Engineering teams may not be enough to create products and solutions that are viable and saleable. Everyone who is involved in building solutions and products – Executives, Senior Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Engineering, Support, IT, Legal, Compliance, HR- has to be brought into the ambit of Lean and Agile Practices to achieve true Business Agility.The responsibility of making “Business Agility” a reality lies largely with the Leaders of the Organizations.Lean Agile Leadership CompetencySAFe® recommends seven core competencies to become a Lean Enterprise and achieve Business Agility.  “Lean Agile Leadership” is one of the foundational competencies of great significance.Without the buy-in, support and complete conviction from leaders in the organization, the SAFe® implementation cannot happen effectively.  Lean Agile Leaders play a key role in introducing, nurturing and sustaining the SAFe® transformation within the organization.What is required of a Lean Agile Leader?Growth Mindset: Leaders should have a realistic bent of mind to acknowledge a need for change within themselves as well as the organization. The leaders with the right outlook believe in the SAFe Core Values, the Lean-Agile Mindset, and SAFe Principles. Leading By Example: As the famous saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words”. So by walking the talk, leaders can influence scores of people to start adopting the Lean Agile practices, Values and Principles exhibited by themselves. Leading Change: Organizational transformation and change is a very difficult and rocky road to take. There are many thought leaders and researchers producing dedicated models, theories and books for bringing about change and sustaining it. A leader who sets himself on this path is aware of the challenges and is ready to lead the change successfully.   Image Source: Lean Agile Leadership CompetencyOne of the tools for leaders at the helm of bringing about change is having deep rooted knowledge, understanding and purpose about the practices they have to exhibit, and thereby influence the other employees in their organizations.Obtaining the Scaled Agile Framework’s “Leading SAFe®” Certification is the perfect way to start for Lean Agile Leaders. By getting themselves trained, leaders can begin the transformation journey armed with the necessary information.Leading SAFe® Course and CertificationLearning OutcomesThe 2 day long Leading SAFe® course results in the following learning outcomes:The knowledge and principles of Lean, Agile, DevOps, Lean Product Development Insights into achieving Business Agility through organizing around value Understanding of Lean Portfolio Management which emphasizes the need for Lean principles and Lean Budgeting The importance of PI Planning events, co-ordinating Multiple Agile Release Trains, establishing team and technical agility Customer-centric mindset and design thinking approach to Agile product delivery The importance of sustaining SAFe® transformation by creating Communities of Practice and fully empowered employees and teams. In short, the SAFe® Implementation Roadmap helps the leaders to chalk out their organization’s transformation journey. Who should take the Leading SAFe® Course? This course is just right for leaders who are in a position to influence employees, organizational structure and the future of products / solutions.  Executives of the organization that decide on the future course of business Business Unit Heads who are responsible for a Portfolio Heads of functions like Marketing/Sales/Product/IT/Engineering etc Agile Program Managers and Project Managers who steer programs and projects, Managers of teams Technology leaders like Enterprise and Solution Architects/ Distinguished Engineers/ Fellows who command a large sphere of influence on teams Leading SAFe® CertificationAttending the 2 day Leading SAFe® course is a requirement to write the exam, and participants will get access to all the study materials and the exam. Once the exam is   successfully completed, the candidate gets the below privileges as per Scaled Agile, Inc. Certified SAFe® Agilist PDF certificate Certified SAFe® Agilist digital badge to promote your accomplishment online One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform, which includes access to the SA Community of Practice Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other SAFe certified professionals A variety of learning resources to support you during your SAFe journey Benefits of taking Leading SAFe®5 trainingEvery change starts with – what is in it for me? The Leading SAFe® course outlines a generic framework that is applicable to any enterprise. For an individual employee it is a learning for life and can be applied to any organization he/she is associated with.  The SAFe® Agilist Course and Certification is one of the prestigious achievements in the individual’s professional life earning him/her respect and recognition within the Agile Community.           A SAFe®5 certified professional is eligible for better prospects within their own organization or in other organizations, if and when there is a need for job change.  According to Forrester’s Q2 2015 Global Agile Software Application Development Online Survey-“The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) is the most widely adopted enterprise Agile approach according to most survey data, with 33% using it”. With more than 70% of US Fortune 100 companies actively employing SAFe®, it is clear that the demand for Leading SAFe® is on a constant rise. Benefits of Leading SAFe®5 Training for the organization:Leadership is the foundation on which the “House of Lean” is built. A strong foundation of Lean Agile leaders, Managers and Executives help to create a learning culture for the organization by exhibiting the Lean Agile Mindset. This, in turn, paves the way for enterprise-wide transformation. Having a strong army of Agilists that are trained and certified helps the organization to sustain the principles of Lean and Agile.Agile ManifestoCorporate training for the leaders of the organization from a reputed Training provider like Knowledge Hut will ensure that all leaders are on the same page, hearing the same message at the same time. The training will become an opportunity for collaboration and the discussions during the training facilitated by the trainer can be tailored to suit organizational needs.   Why KnowledgeHut for Leading SAFe®5 Course?KnowledgeHut is a leading training provider offering a variety of accredited training programs for Corporates and Individuals. KnowledgeHut is a preferred training partner for various corporates.  KnowledgeHut offers training across 70 countries in over 250 industry-recognized courses. This includes a wide range of Courses in Agile and SAFe®.  Scaled Agile, Inc is the only certifying authority for SAFe® and KnowledgeHut is a Silver Partner of Scaled Agile, having trained more than 4000 professionals in various SAFe® certifications.  The Trainers for Leading SAFe® courses are an elite panel of accredited SPCs who also have years of experience as active SAFe® practitioners.  Learning happens through experiential workshops by accredited industry experts who bring in vast real-world experience imparting knowledge through in-class activities and simulations. Please refer here for all the details and the value-added services offered by KnowledgeHut for the Leading SAFe® 5 course. In conclusion, Scaled Agile Inc’s Leading SAFe®5 from KnowledgeHut will be a unique learning experience that will set the stage for success in one’s professional life. This credential benefits equally the individual, the organization and the larger cause of increasing the number of Agilists and improving the Agile Community at large.
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Top Learning Outcomes of Leading SAFe 5 Certificat...

In any organization, the business decisions made b... Read More

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