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How Systems Thinking Can Be Applied To Agile Transformations

Systems thinking is a popular buzzword today. We hear about it a lot and in different contexts: Healthcare, business, coaching, transformation initiatives etc.In this article, we will try to understand the conceptual basics of system thinking and how it can be applied to the Agile transformation initiatives to get extraordinary results and the influence of system thinking on the agile practices. We will see the common problems that plague Agile transformation initiatives, and what could be an effective solution from systems thinking lens.Systems thinking has already been established as a key management competency of the 21st century. Therefore, it is very rewarding to become ‘System-aware’ and ‘System-wise’.Barry Richmond coined the term ’Systems Thinking’ in 1987. However, this became hugely popular through Peter Senge’s book: ‘The Fifth Discipline’.This discipline helps us to see how to change systems more effectively. Systems Thinking is the art and science of making reliable inferences about behavior by developing an increasingly deep understanding of underlying structure.System thinking examples includes ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants and animals work together to survive, whereas in organizations systems consists of people, structures and processes that work together to make an organization “healthy” or “unhealthy”.Whether we want it or not, we are a part of many systems and interact with them on a continuous basis. A family, a team, an organization, an automobile, a tax system etc are examples of some system we are part of and interact with.What is a system?But what exactly is a system and how do we know when we see it? How can we use this to manage our organizations and initiatives better by using this knowledge?A system can be defined as:A group of interacting, interrelated or interdependent parts that forms a unified whole and has a specific purpose.Let’s examine this definition closely and identify the characteristics of a system. These characteristics help in identifying the system:All systems have purposeAll parts of a system must be present for a system to carry out its purpose optimallyThe order in which the parts are arranged, affects the performance of a systemSystems attempt to maintain stability through feedbackWhole is more than the sum of its parts“Whole” and “Part” are relative abstractionsA system is always subject to redefinition by changing the perspectiveCollection or systemSometimes, we may tend to get confused between a system and a collection. When in doubt, always look for the interrelatedness, interdependence and purpose. If any of this is missing, you are more likely dealing with a collection, rather than a system. This may also change based on the assumptions we are making and the perspective of observation. The assumptions define the boundary of the system under consideration.Let’s take an example: multiple types of fruits kept together in a basket is obviously a collection, as there is no interrelation or interdependence between the fruits, neither is there a goal of the fruit basket. However, let us change the perspective  and look at the fruit basket at a microscopic level. In this case, it becomes a system, as certain fruits interact with each other at a molecular level. This intermolecular interaction either aggravates or slow down the decay of certain fruits kept together. This is an example of how a system is always subject to redefinition by changing the perspective.System diversity:To simplify our understanding of the system, the system can be classified based on two factors: Structure (capability to understand) and Behavior (Capability to predict). In terms of structure, a system can be either simple or complicated, and in terms of behavior, a system can be either ordered, complex or chaotic.We generally refer to the system as a combination of two factors, like Simple-Ordered, Simple-Complex, Complicated-ordered etc.An organization can typically be classified as a ‘Simple-Complex’ system. This means that while the structure of the organization can be easily understood (simple), yet its behavior is moderately difficult to predict, primarily because of the presence of human interaction (complex).System ThinkingThis picture summarizes what could go wrong if we are not system aware. When we focus on local optimization and ignore the global impact, we create more problems for the future.It is said that ‘today’s problems are yesterday’s solutions’. This is mainly the result of quick fixes, we create without considering the overall system.Reality can be seen through the following levels of perspectives: Events, patterns and systemic structures. This can be represented as an Iceberg to put the system in context.Events are occurrences we encounter on a day-to-day basis.Patterns are the accumulated memories of the event. When viewed together as a series over time, they reveal recurring trends.Systemic structures are the ways in which the part of the system are organized. The events and patterns are usually generated by these structures.We live in an event-oriented world and our language and actions are heavily rooted at the event level. Our decisions are majorly guided by events. In reality events are the results of deeper patterns and systemic structures. But these are not easily visible. Understanding where to act leads to a higher leverage action. A leverage point is a point where small change can yield large improvements in the system. As we go from events to patterns to systemic structures, the leverage increases.Why is systems thinking importantBetter decisions on the addition or modification of services, or the applications based on how they affect the overall system and business.Understand what is important to the business based on the system.Tools to constitute the interactionsSystem thinking uses some tools like feedback loops and behavior over time graphs to represent the interactions in the system. These can be thought of as the rules of grammar for the language.Application of systems thinking in Agile transformation can help us map the organization as a system using the reinforcing and balancing loops and identify the right leverage points to act. The following points should be considered:Take a systemic view→ draw the system diagramIdentify the central subject that needs attention. As a group, ideate on the different variables affecting the central theme or getting affected by it. Draw the causal loop diagram to identify whether it is a reinforcing loop or a balancing loop.Look out for leverage points→ an area where a small change can yield large improvement in the systemTypically a leverage point at a pattern level will be high in impact than at event level and the one at the systemic structure level will have greater impact, than at the pattern levelLook at the organization as a system and identify the system archetypeDrawing the systemic structure helps in identifying the system archetype. Since structure influences behavior therefore, this knowledge is key to understanding the system behavior and thus the right leverage points.Look for (and address) causes not the symptoms.Although we live in a event driven world, yet as system thinkers, our focus should be on identifying the patterns and systemic structures and act thereon. Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions hence localized solutions merely shift the problem from one part of the system to the otherThe following table gives a mapping between the level of perspective, and the action modes. The leverage decreases as we move from top to bottom in the table.Levels of perspectiveAction modeSystemic structuresCreativePatternsAdaptiveEventsReactivePrinciples of system thinking:A system is:Created by the nature or human beingsPhysical, abstract, or humanA whole separated from its environment by a borderAlways remember:The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.Be sensitive towards the compensating feedback: When well-intentioned interventions result in responses from the system that offsets the benefits of the interventions.
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How Systems Thinking Can Be Applied To Agile Transformations

658
How Systems Thinking Can Be Applied To Agile Transformations

Systems thinking is a popular buzzword today. We hear about it a lot and in different contexts: Healthcare, business, coaching, transformation initiatives etc.

In this article, we will try to understand the conceptual basics of system thinking and how it can be applied to the Agile transformation initiatives to get extraordinary results and the influence of system thinking on the agile practices. We will see the common problems that plague Agile transformation initiatives, and what could be an effective solution from systems thinking lens.

Systems thinking has already been established as a key management competency of the 21st century. Therefore, it is very rewarding to become ‘System-aware’ and ‘System-wise’.

Barry Richmond coined the term ’Systems Thinking’ in 1987. However, this became hugely popular through Peter Senge’s book: ‘The Fifth Discipline’.
Agile TransformationsThis discipline helps us to see how to change systems more effectively. Systems Thinking is the art and science of making reliable inferences about behavior by developing an increasingly deep understanding of underlying structure.

System thinking examples includes ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants and animals work together to survive, whereas in organizations systems consists of people, structures and processes that work together to make an organization “healthy” or “unhealthy”.

Whether we want it or not, we are a part of many systems and interact with them on a continuous basis. A family, a team, an organization, an automobile, a tax system etc are examples of some system we are part of and interact with.

What is a system?

But what exactly is a system and how do we know when we see it? How can we use this to manage our organizations and initiatives better by using this knowledge?

A system can be defined as:

A group of interacting, interrelated or interdependent parts that forms a unified whole and has a specific purpose.

Let’s examine this definition closely and identify the characteristics of a system. These characteristics help in identifying the system:

  • All systems have purpose
  • All parts of a system must be present for a system to carry out its purpose optimally
  • The order in which the parts are arranged, affects the performance of a system
  • Systems attempt to maintain stability through feedback
  • Whole is more than the sum of its parts
  • “Whole” and “Part” are relative abstractions
  • A system is always subject to redefinition by changing the perspective

Collection or system

Sometimes, we may tend to get confused between a system and a collection. When in doubt, always look for the interrelatedness, interdependence and purpose. If any of this is missing, you are more likely dealing with a collection, rather than a system. This may also change based on the assumptions we are making and the perspective of observation. The assumptions define the boundary of the system under consideration.

Let’s take an example: multiple types of fruits kept together in a basket is obviously a collection, as there is no interrelation or interdependence between the fruits, neither is there a goal of the fruit basket. However, let us change the perspective  and look at the fruit basket at a microscopic level. In this case, it becomes a system, as certain fruits interact with each other at a molecular level. This intermolecular interaction either aggravates or slow down the decay of certain fruits kept together. This is an example of how a system is always subject to redefinition by changing the perspective.

System diversity:

To simplify our understanding of the system, the system can be classified based on two factors: Structure (capability to understand) and Behavior (Capability to predict). In terms of structure, a system can be either simple or complicated, and in terms of behavior, a system can be either ordered, complex or chaotic.

We generally refer to the system as a combination of two factors, like Simple-Ordered, Simple-Complex, Complicated-ordered etc.

An organization can typically be classified as a ‘Simple-Complex’ system. This means that while the structure of the organization can be easily understood (simple), yet its behavior is moderately difficult to predict, primarily because of the presence of human interaction (complex).

System Thinking
system thinkingThis picture summarizes what could go wrong if we are not system aware. When we focus on local optimization and ignore the global impact, we create more problems for the future.

It is said that ‘today’s problems are yesterday’s solutions’. This is mainly the result of quick fixes, we create without considering the overall system.

Reality can be seen through the following levels of perspectives: Events, patterns and systemic structures. This can be represented as an Iceberg to put the system in context.
Levels of perspective

  • Events are occurrences we encounter on a day-to-day basis.
  • Patterns are the accumulated memories of the event. When viewed together as a series over time, they reveal recurring trends.
  • Systemic structures are the ways in which the part of the system are organized. The events and patterns are usually generated by these structures.

Leverage of perspectiveWe live in an event-oriented world and our language and actions are heavily rooted at the event level. Our decisions are majorly guided by events. In reality events are the results of deeper patterns and systemic structures. But these are not easily visible. Understanding where to act leads to a higher leverage action. A leverage point is a point where small change can yield large improvements in the system. As we go from events to patterns to systemic structures, the leverage increases.

Why is systems thinking important

  • Better decisions on the addition or modification of services, or the applications based on how they affect the overall system and business.
  • Understand what is important to the business based on the system.

Tools to constitute the interactions

System thinking uses some tools like feedback loops and behavior over time graphs to represent the interactions in the system. These can be thought of as the rules of grammar for the language.
ToolsApplication of systems thinking in Agile transformation can help us map the organization as a system using the reinforcing and balancing loops and identify the right leverage points to act. The following points should be considered:

  • Take a systemic view→ draw the system diagram
  • Identify the central subject that needs attention. As a group, ideate on the different variables affecting the central theme or getting affected by it. Draw the causal loop diagram to identify whether it is a reinforcing loop or a balancing loop.
  • Look out for leverage points→ an area where a small change can yield large improvement in the system
  • Typically a leverage point at a pattern level will be high in impact than at event level and the one at the systemic structure level will have greater impact, than at the pattern level
  • Look at the organization as a system and identify the system archetype
  • Drawing the systemic structure helps in identifying the system archetype. Since structure influences behavior therefore, this knowledge is key to understanding the system behavior and thus the right leverage points.
  • Look for (and address) causes not the symptoms.
  • Although we live in a event driven world, yet as system thinkers, our focus should be on identifying the patterns and systemic structures and act thereon. Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions hence localized solutions merely shift the problem from one part of the system to the other

The following table gives a mapping between the level of perspective, and the action modes. The leverage decreases as we move from top to bottom in the table.

Levels of perspectiveAction mode
Systemic structuresCreative
PatternsAdaptive
EventsReactive


Principles of system thinking:

A system is:

  • Created by the nature or human beings
  • Physical, abstract, or human
  • A whole separated from its environment by a border

Always remember:
The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.

Be sensitive towards the compensating feedback: When well-intentioned interventions result in responses from the system that offsets the benefits of the interventions.

Prince

Prince Mishra

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Agile, Scrum and Kanban training and coaching , SAFe, CMMI, Process improvement, Metrics, ISO 9001:2008; ISO 27001, Open Source software process

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Top-paying Agile Certifications To Consider In 2018

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Agile and Scrum Training:Salary: The average salary of an individual with Agile and Scrum skills is $111,000 per year.Agile methodology offers incredibly enhanced productivity and quality. Agile practices include risk mitigation, new requirements, meeting customer demands and continuous improvement with pre-planned Sprint. Today, the rising demand for such practices in the organizations have made Agile and Scrum very popular.According to the State of Scrum report 2017,“Agile and Scrum methodology is increasing beyond IT and taking hold in diverse industries.”Benefits of Agile and Scrum trainingAn individual will know the difference between the Agile and traditional project development methodologies.Understand how Agile method can be well fitted into the software development projects.Learn the cycle: Concept-Initiate-Deliver-DeployAdopting Agile will help you attain enhanced business value.An individual will earn 8 PDUs and 8 SEUs and course completion certificate.Prerequisites for Agile and Scrum training:There are no specific requirements to obtain Agile and Scrum training. The workshop is for the interested candidates, those want to learn more about the Agile Manifesto, its framework and techniques.Note: Interested individuals should make sure that the chosen institute is a Registered Education Provider (REP) of  “Scrum.org”, the globally renowned certifying body for Agile methodology.2. Certified Scrum Master® (CSM) TrainingSalary: The average salary of CSM is $106,938 per year.The Scrum Master is the facilitator of an Agile project who removes obstacles, manage processes and ensures that the team adheres to the Scrum values and practices that are religiously followed in the top organizations. The CSM® training will help you achieve proficiency in the processes of Scrum methodology.Note: Interested individuals make sure that the chosen institute is a Registered Education Provider (REP) of  “Scrum Alliance”, the globally renowned certifying body for Agile community.Prerequisites for CSM® Certification Training-You don’t need any prerequisites for attending the course. After completing this course, the candidates will receive an email which includes a link to generate your login credentials. You can use that data to take the test online. The CSM test fee is included in course fee, however, retake of the exam will cost $25.3. Professional Scrum Master (PSM)® Training:Salary: The average salary of a PSM is $100,500 a year.The Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM) training entails a deep understanding of the basics of Scrum and makes clear the other practical approaches and mechanisms in Scrum. The key learnings of this course consist of team dynamics, team motivation, conflict resolution and improved planning and estimation.Prerequisites for PSM® Training-Any interested individual can attend the training and certification exam as well. Once you complete the course, you will receive a password to attend the PSM I assessment conducted by Scrum.org. Then an individual can subsequently proceed to undertake level II and III assessments.CSMPSMBenefitsScale the Scrum frameworkfrom small sized to large sizeprojectsUnderstand the fundamentalaspects, roles, attributes,serva nt—leadershi p feature,and overall foundation ofScrumCandidates can earn 1446PDUs and SEUsThey will learn how to handlethe robust situations and howto apply Scrum framework toreal projectsCourse completion certificate(ifthe institute is certified byfamous accreditation body)16 PDUs and 16 SE Us andcou rse completion certificateby 5crum.org (if the preferredinstitute is registered withScrum.org)4. Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD) TrainingSalary: The average salary of CSD is $71,750 per year.The Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD) training is especially designed for the programmers who are building software in the Scrum environment. The CSD training is dedicated to exposing the individuals to the Scrum tools and techniques required to build a software.Benefits of Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD) TrainingThis course will help individuals to-Note: It is better to get certified by the institute which is a Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance.Prerequisites for CSD® TrainingIn order to get CSD® certified, you need to attend at least 5 days of formal training by a Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance and the SA certified instructor. 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The candidates should have programming experience and  have undergone Scrum foundation training or atleast have working experience in Scrum team.CSDPSDBenefitsLearn the Scrum foundationand understand the role andscope of a CSD.After the certification,candidates will be able toimplement the projectsuccessfully using Scrum.Grow their career for thebetter Opportunities ínadoptingAgí|e practices in ITcompanies.Also, the car|dídate's namewill get lísted in the Scrumorgwebsite.Demonstrate Scrumknowledge to the employersand the team members.Create cross-functional andself-organised teams.Connect with the Scrum com-munity that is committed tocontinuous improvement.Earn 24 PDUS and 24 SEUSupon completion of 3-dayTraining.Earn 40 PDUs and 40 SEUsupon cumpletíon of a 5-dayTraining / 24 PDUS and 24SEUs upon completion of3-day.Trair1TngCourse completion certificateand logo by Scrum.orgCourse completíon certificateby Scrum Alliance (if theinstitute ís certífied by ScrumAlliance]Increase understanding inAgile engineering practicesand learning supportive ALMtools for creating more6. 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How to become a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

Who is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO® )?A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team.  (*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users) (*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)A Certified Scrum Product Owner is a certification issued by the Scrum Alliance for the Product Owner role.Roles and Responsibilities of the Certified Scrum Product Owner :A Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product (or service, …) being built. The Product Owner is responsible for WHAT will be built by the development teamThe role of the Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding.When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity. The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson for the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved.  The strategic significance of the CSPO® The Product Owner role in Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategic and operational aspect. The Product Owner is the personification of the end-users, customers, business stakeholders. He or she represents the different views, perspectives and he or she is finally accountable for maximizing value.To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job.Sometimes, a Product Owner is a role given to a person, as an additional role to his/her existing function. To my experience, a Product Owner requires at least half the time of a normal day job. I have seen Product Owners who were not involved in the necessary activities. Given below are the duties crucial to any Product Owner.Do’sTreat requirements as a hypothesis, focus on learningEnsuring Product Backlog items are clearly expressedKeep slicing for value (use techniques as user story mapping)Create a shared understanding by visualizationChallenge the team by asking open questionsChallenge your stakeholders by repeatedly asking “Why?”Engaging with end-users to get feedback, treat the sprint review at the last responsible moment to get feedbackFacilitating Product Backlog Refinement (necessary to ensure items are ready to be planned in an upcoming sprint)Treat estimates as estimates, not commitments, trust the teamFeed the team with problems not only solutionsFocus on goals (long-term and short-term)Communicate uncertainty to stakeholders, as uncertaintyUnderstanding Lean Product DevelopmentDo engage in retrospectivesBe fair about what’s done and not doneSet an example, act and speak according to Scrum Values and Agile PrinciplesTips to consider for becoming CSPO® What is CSPO®  certification?CSPO®  stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. It’s the initial (entry-level) certification of a Product Owner. Scrum Alliance is the accredited body of the CSPO® . Now, let’s see the steps for becoming CSPO® . Prerequisites to become a CSPO® There are no specific prerequisites to attend a course. To take the CSPO®  certification exam, Scrum Alliance makes it a prerequisite to attend a 2-day class given by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). After completing the 2-day class you are invited to take the online test.Who can take up this CSPO®  course?Anyone interested in the Product Owner can take up this course.Why you should become a CSPO®  certified?A CSPO®  certification is accreditation and a proof of a body of knowledge at a specific point in time. The industry is asking for certifications, so if you want to take up the Product Owner role, a certification can give you this extra accreditation.Difference between CSPO®  and 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. The pass acceptance score is 24/35 questions (65%). Obviously, this is not particularly difficult to pass, but it’s not meant to be.Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending training. 1 attempt for the PSPO I online exam costs 200 USD. Passing score: 85%Time limit: 60 minutesNumber of Questions: 80Certifications 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 training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended. You can study the PSPO Subject Areas.Importance of the CSPO®  certification for an individual to boost his/her career as a successful Product OwnerYou need to decide for yourself if you think certifications are an added value. Eventually, it’s about a hands-on experience in the role. I do think that classroom course offers an added valueIn case you want to take up the role of a Product Owner, and you have not much knowledge yet, a classroom course is recommendedIn case you already are working as Product Owner, and you want to refresh your knowledge, take an updated perspective, a classroom course is recommendedPlease bear in mind that the certification is proof of classroom attendance and passing an online test. It’s the start of one’s career as a Product Owner. Next, you can advance your career and take part in advanced training.CSPO®  certification validityCertification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. The certification is 2 years valid. You can read here how it works to renew your certification.Step-by-step process to become a CSPO®  1. Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance website2. Prepare for the trainingRead and understand the Scrum GuideRead and understand the manifesto for agile software development3. Attend the 2-day course. Enjoy! 4. Complete the online CSPO®  exam, the fee is included in the course price.After completing the course, your Scrum Trainer will upload your user information into the system of Scrum Alliance, next you’ll receive an invite to do the online exam. Salary and career growth of Certified Scrum Product Owner vs Non-certified Scrum Product OwnerHere, you can see an overview of the certifications path offered by the Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. According to the 12th state of the Agile report by VersionOne, the chapter is about “Agile Methods and Practices”, having a dedicated customer or product owner is a technique indicated by 63% of the respondents. In the 2017 State of Scrum report (by Scrum Alliance), 40% of certifications are Certified Scrum Product Owner. 81% agree that certification improves practice.ConclusionBeing a product owner is a satisfying job! If you get a certification it will add an extra line on your curriculum which will catch the eye of recruiters. Besides that, it’s a learning journey and you’ll only understand the traits of the job by experience. Get your CSPO® certification today.Have a successful career ahead!
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How to become a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

Who is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO® )?A... Read More

How Does a CSPO Certification Act As a Significant Add-on to Your Career?

As soon as the organizations started relocating to an Agile way of software development, new roles have emerged. One of them is the Product Owner who plays a pivotal role in effectively connecting the needs of the customer and business directly to the development teams in a highly dynamic and responsive manner.Who is a Product Owner?According to the Scrum Guide,“The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team. The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog”.From a business standpoint, one of the most vital roles on any Scrum team is the Product Owner (PO). The product owner is in charge of getting the product to life which customers want. To achieve this, the Product Owner does various activities that include creating the product vision, refining the product backlog, release planning, working with the customers, users, and other Stakeholders, managing the budget, launching the product, attending the Scrum meetings, and collaborating with the team.  Since the Product Owner must get input from other business Stakeholders, they need skills such as facilitation, conflict management, creative thinking, and the ability to influence the team and other stakeholders. In the waterfall model of development, we have business representatives and business analyst providing the requirements. The Product Owner combines the authority and responsibility which is distributed across different roles, including the customer or sponsor, the product manager, and the project manager.Responsibilities of a Product OwnerThe Product Owner represents the product, has a broad understanding of the product and “lives and breathes” it. The Product owner is responsible for creating and prioritizing the product backlog, a dynamic list of features for the product. The Product Owner is responsible for prioritizing and deciding what needs to be in the product backlog.The important qualities of a Product Owner include:Visionary and DoerThe Product Owner is a visionary who can envision the final product and communicate the vision. The product owner is also a doer who sees the vision through to completion.  Leader and Team PlayerAs the individual is responsible for the product’s success, the product owner provides guidance and direction for everyone involved in the development effort and ensures that tough decisions are made.At the same time, the Product Owner must be a team player who relies on close collaboration with the other Scrum team members, yet has no formal authority over them.Communicator and NegotiatorThe Product Owner must be an effective communicator and negotiator. The individual communicates with aligns different parties, including customers, users, development and engineering, marketing, sales, service, operation and management.Empowered and CommittedThe product owner must have enough authority and the right level of management sponsorship to lead the development effort and to align stakeholders.The product owner must be committed to the development effort.Available and QualifiedThe Product Owner must be available and qualified to do a great job. Being a Product Owner is usually a full-time job. It is important to give products owners enough time to sustainably carry out their responsibilities.The roles and responsibilities of the Product Owner are as follows:The economic success of the project (controls the budget)Gives direction and creates alignmentDefines visionAligns work of a team by prioritization and focusProblem validation of product needsInterface for customer and stakeholdersVoice of customer and stakeholdersOrganizes customer feedbackProvides feedback to the teamsPushes back if necessary to protect the product release planningDefines and updates the product roadmapPlans product releasesManages Requirements/User storiesDefines product attributes & featuresWrites User storiesManages and prioritizes the product backlogDefines constraints to increase focusRisk management on a product levelAccepts or rejects work resultsWhat is CSPO Certification?The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification from Scrum Alliance is a certification for the role of the Product Owner. This certification enables the participant to not only learn the basics but also take on the real-world problems that a typical product owner faces—emerging requirements, stakeholder conflicts and release planning.The Product Owner certification training will help you to learn how to improve a product value by increasing the speed of delivery of product features, leading the Scrum teams and coordinating with the Stakeholders to know their excitement about the product. Also, the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification training leverages an effective communication between the Stakeholders and the development team about the final product to raise the product ROI to a maximum level.Why CSPO?CSPO Certification BenefitsCSPO certification offers the following benefits: Increases the scope of your career opportunities across all industry sectors adopting Agile practicesDemonstrate and apply core Scrum knowledgeUnderstand the foundation of Scrum and learn about the scope of the roleCollaborate with Scrum practitioners committed to continuous improvementIn addition to fulfilling the role of the Product Owner on a Scrum Team, your CSPO certification gives you a two-year membership with Scrum Alliance®. For people pursuing a higher level of certification in Scrum, such as the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) designation, the CSPO provides attendees 16 Scrum Education Units to contribute to the total 70 SEUs they need to become a CSP. Certified Scrum Product Owner SalariesThe salary of a certified Scrum Product Owner varies from country to country. Collated below are the average salaries for three important countries:The average Scrum Product Owner salary in India is 18 Lakhs per year.The average salary of the Scrum Product Owner in the US is $ 100,831 per year.The average salaries vary from city to city in different countries. Provided below are the salaries for a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO):London: Pound 49,042San Francisco: $ 139,115Note: This data is based on the salary report by Glassdoor and Payscale.Top companies hiring Certified Scrum Product OwnersCertified Scrum Product Owners are sought after by top companies around the world. Some of the top companies which are hiring Certified Scrum Product Owners are Intel, Siemens, Target, EY, GE Healthcare, Honeywell.What are the requirements to become a CSPO?Before becoming a Certified Scrum Product Owner, you must first familiarize yourself with Scrum. The best way to do this is by reading the Agile Manifesto and Scrum Guide and watching the Scrum Foundations eLearning Series. Once you have completed these prerequisites, you must attend an in-person CSPO course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). The CSPO course is an in-person course that consists of two 8-hour days. In the course, you will learn the fundamentals of Scrum and the responsibilities of the Product Owner through exercises, discussions, and case studies. The main topics of a CSPO course include:Techniques for developing a Product VisionHow to create, maintain, and order a Product BacklogHow to identify user needsAn overview of sizing in ScrumHow to manage stakeholdersConclusion Certified Scrum Product Owner(CSPO) is a must-have certification for aspiring product owners or anyone who wants to work with the “business side” of projects. This certification ensures that you have a solid foundation to jump-start your career as a Product Owner. 
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How Does a CSPO Certification Act As a Significant...

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