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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 ElementsSAFe® 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

4792
  • by Leigh Espy
  • 31st Oct, 2018
  • Last updated on 24th May, 2019
  • 12 mins read
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 Configurability
  • Innovation with Lean Startup and Lean UX
  • Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery
  • Implementation roadmap




Benefits of SAFe® 4.5 to companies
:
 Benefits of SAFe® 4.5

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:


 SAFe® 4.5 - Key areas of improvements
A. Essential SAFe® and Configurability


Four 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 UX

Rather 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 Delivery

The 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 Roadmap


SAFe® 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.

SAFe 4.5 Implementation Roadmap
Critical Role of the SAFe® Program Consultant

SAFe® 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.

 SAFe® 4.5 vs SAFe 4.0
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 workbook
  • Trainer Guide
  • New look and feel
  • Updated LPM content
  • Smoother lesson flow
  • NEW 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

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® 4.5

With 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® 4.6

Because 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.

 Recent Changes in SAFe® series - SAFe® 4.6


  • 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 succeed

  1. SAFe® 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.
  2. SAFe® Certification Exam: KnowledgeHut provides Leading SAFe® training in multiple locations. Check the site for locations and dates.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Training

KnowledgeHut 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.

  1. SAFe® 4.5 Scrum Master with SSM Certification Training

    Learn 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5.  DevOps Foundation Certification training

    This 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.
Leigh

Leigh Espy

Author

Leigh Espy is the author of Bad Meetings Happen to Good People: How to Run Meetings That Are Effective, Focused, and Produce Results. She has over 15 years of IT project management and portfolio experience. Additionally, she teaches Scaled Agile classes in the corporate world. She holds certifications as a project management professional (PMP), certified scrum master (CSM), SAFe Agilist (SA) and SAFe Program Consultant (SPC).

Leigh also coaches and mentors project managers and those making the move to a project management career. She writes about project management and leadership.You can also find out more at  ProjectBliss.net.

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1 comments

Deepika 13 Nov 2018

Very informative blog

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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

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a r... Read More

All you need to know about Certified Scrum Product Owner

Scrum as a framework describes roles and rules that help and facilitate people in their own way. As each team consists of people of different skill sets, each project is different. Every company has its own policies, so there are no stringent rules for any type of team or project. It is a simple framework which gives us the boundary to manage complex and unpredictable projects.The best part of Scrum is that during the process, the customer can change the requirement which he wants to see in the final product and Scrum team should be flexible enough to embrace it.“A good team needs both Scrum Master and Product Owner to succeed.”Who is a Product Owner?Product Owner can be any person from the team who has a very strong knowledge of Program Management, Business skills, knows Agile, and Scrum Methodologies as well as has good communication skills to deal with the stakeholders. He/She is a person who makes sure that the team is aimed at the right goal, sets the correct target, and provides a vision for the product. Product Owner is clearly responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog which expresses the goal.Responsibilities of a Product OwnerLet's take a look at the responsibilities of the Product Owner:Product Backlog prioritization: Product Owner is clearly responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog which expresses the goal.Maximizing ROI: Responsible for ensuring that a project earns a good return on the investment (ROI) made in it.Providing a vision: Responsible for establishing and communicating the vision of the product. Questions could be, what is unique about our product? To whom are we selling? What about other competitors?Sharing a vision is important for motivating a team and creating a long-term connection between those who are developing the product and those using it. Not only Business Analysts, but the Product Owner writes the product backlog as well. Irrespective of who is writing the Product backlog, it is only the Product Owner who is responsible for the product backlog, backlog prioritization, and making sure that the PO delivers the quality products satisfying the customers’ needs.Addressing questions: Product Owner is responsible for answering the questions if the team has any queries related to a user story.For example- Why is this task on high priority? Why are we doing this user story? The Product Owner (PO) can also delegate the questions to someone else but he/she should make sure all the team queries are addressed.Providing boundaries: Vision and boundaries are competing aspects of the project. The vision shows what a product can be. The boundaries describe realities within which the vision must be realized. Boundaries are provided by the Product Owner and often comes in the form of constraints as:It needs to be completed by JulyIt can use only half the memory of the current versionReduce the per unit cost but with the same functionalityRuns at twice the speedThe role is all about giving enough scope to the team so that they feel motivated to solve difficult problems while working on a project. But one should refrain from providing the team with so many boundaries that it becomes impossible to solve the project problems.If this role appeals to you and you like to work as a Product Owner, then you can go for CSPO certification. Here is everything about the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) that you need to know:What is a Certified Scrum Product Owner® ?CSPO®- Certified Scrum Product Owner®The Certified Scrum Product Owner® Certification from Scrum Alliance is a validation of your commitment to ongoing excellence in your Agile journey and makes you eligible to take on Product Owner responsibilities and lead successful projects. The Product Owner is a key member of the Scrum Team and holds the responsibility of leading the project strategically, collaborating with the customers and team on a daily basis, and managing the business value.Accreditation Body for CSPO®-Scrum AllianceTwo-day Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) training classes are delivered by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers® (CSTs®), which combines classroom study, group discussions, and hands-on practice exercises. The program will provide you with a deep understanding of Scrum from the perspective of a Product Owner, enabling you to be an effective customer to the Scrum team and at the same time maximizing ROI.Key Takeaways of the courseEnhance your skills as a Product OwnerLead Agile teams and motivate your team membersFacilitate smooth communication channel between the Stakeholders and the Scrum teamIncrease Scrum functionalityCreate practical and efficient plans and schedulesReduce risk by pre-planningImprove ROIEnsure maximum delivery.“Defining the boundaries is a debatable topic but it is important to be done by a Product Owner for the success of the product.”Is CSPO® = Future?As the popularity of SCRUM is increasing, there is a high demand in the market for professionals with the Scrum Experience. According to Glassdoor salary website, the salary of the Certified Product Owner ranges from $2,110 - $20,090 per year making an average of $114,130 annually.   CSPO® certification is advisable for individuals who are already in project or product management and now wish to adapt to the new methodology under Scrum. This is for the aspirants who want career growth in project management area with Scrum experience. CSPO® certification is very helpful in gaining the following:You can globally increase your career opportunities across all industry sectorsIt eases you to prove your achievement of core Scrum knowledgeYou will learn the basics of Scrum and the scope of the Product Owner roleEngage with Agile practitioners committed to continuous improvementAccess to local groups, networks, and resources available only to Scrum Alliance members.Who can be CSPO®?Following is the target audience who can take up CSPO® Certification:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware codersSoftware testersTeam Leads or Team Members who are interested in learning more about Scrum and leading Agile projects.Prerequisites to become a CSPO®The first step needed to become a CSPO®  is to get familiar with the Scrum framework. Then,  attend an in-person two-day (16 hour) CSPO® training course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) to become eligible for the CSPO® certification.Step-by-Step Process to becoming a CSPO®Step 1: Attend an in-person 2-day CSPO® training taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®).Step 2: After successfully completing the course, you will be asked to accept the CSPO® License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance® membership profile.Step 3: Login to your Scrum Alliance® account and fill the details.Step 4: Congratulations! You are now CSPO® certified and your certificate is valid for two years.Step 5: Download your CSPO® certificate from Scrum Alliance®.Step 6: Certification renewal process: You can maintain your CSPO® certification by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and renewing your certification every two years. For more details on CSPO certification renewal process, check the Scrum Alliance® website.Benefits of CSPO® CertificationThe benefits of CSPO certification are so many. Mentioned below are the benefits explained with the statistics of different countries.Most Popular Job for Employees with a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO®) CertificationThough many certifications of SCRUM are getting popular nowadays. CSM® and CSPO® are one of them. The popular designation with Scrum certifications for India, US, and UK are mentioned below.CountryDesignationIndiaProduct Owner, Product Manager, Business Analyst, Senior Product Manager, Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst, Lead Business Analyst.USProduct Owner, Product Manager, CSM, Senior Product Manager, Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst, Software Development Manager, Agile CoachUKProduct Owner, Senior Product Manager, Senior Business Analyst, CSM, Product Manager, Software Development Manager, Senior Product ManagerCSPO® salary by countryThe survey conducted by the Payscale regarding the salary range of Product Owner in different countries is as given in the table below.CountryAverage PayRangeIndia (Rs)1,424,014708,139-2,670,022US ($)83K58K-117KUK (€)40K28K-64KCSPO® salary by experienceYearsIndia RsUS $UK €Less than 1 year-61K36K1-4 years887,23378K38K5-9 years1,195,642100K51K10-19 years2,014,207116K61K>20 years3,000,000127K75KMost popular Employers Name who prefer CSPO® certification.IndiaUSUKOracleAmazonTescoGE General ElectricFidelityPearsonHoneywellIBMCEBDellCapital One financial corpExperianAccentureNikeRegisters of ScotlandEY Ernst & YoungGECambridge University PressWhat next after CSPO® certification?The career path of a Scrum Product Owner® can vary according to the interests of an individual. It could be higher in a Product Management role.So, Are you ready to become a CSPO®?On a Scrum team, individuals are asked to look beyond their explicit role to find ways to help the team accomplish its goals.Product Owner is a very special role in SCRUM and can stand out as the CEO of the product. Certification CSPO® will be an added advantage if somebody is planning to seek this role. The Scrum Product Owner plays a key role in the Scrum team and leads the project strategically, collaborating with the users and team regularly to manage the business value.
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All you need to know about Certified Scrum Product...

Scrum as a framework describes roles and rules tha... Read More

Differences Between Agile Coach and Scrum Master

There is an exponential increase in the demand for Agile Coaches in the market. But at the same time, there is a lot of confusion regarding the differences and commonalities between an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. When the teams are already being coached by Scrum Masters, what is the need for an Agile Coach?It is really important to understand that there are many similarities between the two roles. Both Agile Coach and Scrum Masters are responsible to help develop an Agile mindset in their organisations. Even the techniques that they use to support and facilitate their teams are very similar. The difference lies in their scope.In this article, we are going to discuss the key differences between and see how a Scrum Master and Agile Coach complement each other and play important roles.Agile Coach vs. Scrum MasterScrum MasterAgile CoachFocus AreasWorks with one Scrum teamApply the basic Scrum practicesWorks with multiple Agile teamsDefines what has to be done, how, who does it, etc.KnowledgebaseScrum practicesScrum and other frameworks like Kanban, Scaling Methods, etc.ExperienceLess than 5 years in ScrumGreater than 5 years in multiple frameworksSalary$115,766$149,867Now, let us take a deeper and clearer look at the differences between the two roles.The Scrum MasterAs a facilitator of an agile development team, a Scrum Master is responsible for managing the process of how information flows. The Scrum Master is like a leader for his Scrum team and focuses on a single team or at the most, a couple of teams. He is up-to-date with everything that is taking place inside the workplace, and knows the whole team inside out.The Roles and Responsibilities of a Scrum MasterMake sure the team is well trained and is working in accordance with the Scrum framework and Agile practices.Impediment solving, that is, anticipate, identify, track, and remove any impediments that the Scrum team faces or might face.Manage and drive the Agile process, that is, scope and timeline of the entire project.The Agile CoachThe Agile Coach is expected to have a deep understanding of multiple Agile methodologies which are beyond the Scrum Framework.The main focus of an Agile Coach is not to support individual team members but rather implement an Agile working method in an organisation. Unlike Scrum Master, an Agile Coach is not a part of a specific Scrum team. The role of being an Agile Coach is independent and has the responsibility to coach various teams or management.An Agile Coach works directly with teams or works via a team’s management. Moreover, they work with Scrum Masters and managers to help increase a team’s agility.The Roles and Responsibilities of an Agile CoachOffer new tools and techniques to promote a healthy group dynamic.Make sure that teams work together effectively. For example, implementation of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) that requires active coordination at a team and enterprise level.Make the individual employees as well as the various teams aware of their strengths and weaknesses in order to develop a collective Agile mindset.In summaryThe roles of an Agile Coach and Scrum Master are used interchangeably, which is counted as a risky move. Though the roles of Agile Coach and Scrum Master have a lot in common, there are a lot of differences as well. Agile Coaches deal with the process and not the content, and are most in-demand when an organization is transitioning to Agile.You can gain distinct benefits out of both roles, all you need to know is how to leverage their skillsets and make the most out of the same to reap the benefits of Agile adoption.
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Differences Between Agile Coach and Scrum Master

There is an exponential increase in the demand for... Read More