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What is PI Planning and its importance in SAFe®?

PI Planning or Program Increment Planning can be said to be the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train(ART). Even more precisely, it sets the tracks for the train to ensure that all rail cars(scrum teams that are a part of ART) travel in the same direction. It is similar to Iteration planning in crum. It is an extension of Iteration planning under a bigger umbrella i.e ART.  PI Planning sessions are regularly scheduled activities held during the year where various teams within the same Agile Release Train (ART) collaborate to agree with a common vision, discuss functionality, prepare the roadmap and define cross-team dependencies. It's a fixed timebox for planning , designing, and validating a complete system, showing value, and having quick feedback.  When you first follow SAFe, chances are, it will start with PI Planning. This is because it forms the basis for the Scaled Agile FrameworkTM. The PI Planning ceremony is the foundation of your transformation and the driver for SAFe. We will take a deep dive into PI planning in detail in this article and understand its importance in SAFe.What is SAFe®?Before understanding SAFe ,let’s first understand what Scrum is. Scrum is an iterative product creation approach focusing on a regular production cadence. It relies on cross-functional teams, a set of ceremonies, and certain specific supporting roles to help drive these deliveries.SAFe is an extension of Scrum at the larger organizational level. SAFe or the Scaled Agile FrameworkTM is a set of principles and strategies designed to help deliver resilience to all departments and levels of the organization. The system is designed to enhance visibility, coordination and cooperation which will result in improved efficiency , better outcomes and faster delivery.Image SourceIntroduction to Program Increment :PI Planning is particularly useful for agile companies of large scale. Let 's look at some figures, to understand the effect. Some bigger companies , for example, may have 300-400 teams and 5,000 developers. These teams may never have spoken to each other before, in the old way of working until a crucial issue forced them to collaborate.Previously, coordination would have been at the level of the leadership team, and they would have had several levels of managers in between who would trickle down details, but the people on the teams would never speak to each other. There would always be a constant struggle to work on the biggest projects for money, budget, and opportunities.Projects had a habit of overlapping - one team would release something which would then break something in the project of another team. PI Preparation is the first time that many of these very large businesses have joined their teams in a space or on the same call to speak to each other. They are given the opportunity to nut out those crucial talks about who is working on what. When you enter a code or a code repository, you need to know how it can affect another team. You may also need to do some work to allow another team to work first (and vice versa) on their feature.An ART (agile release train) is a shared objective accomplished by the soul of the different teams that work together. In very large companies, there can be three trains working together, and that is the reason why the teams need to step back every eight to 12 weeks and make sure that they continue to work towards the overall vision and company goals.Here’s what PI Planning enforces:CommunicationVisibilityCollaborationAs a result, teams can more easily get work done, deliver more updates in less time, and remain on budget.Executing the PI /Agenda- It is very important to understand the steps involved in executing PI. Let's try to understand the same:1) Preparation: It will cover the prerequisites for successful PI.Organization preparation : PI meetings are supposed to be arranged well in advance, and it is important to call into account all the stakeholders and leaders involved in the program. Usually, large organizations arrange this as a quarterly meeting, which helps to talk about the end of the preceding quarter and to set all in order for the start of the next quarter.Content preparation: For the launch the preparation on the aim and the vision has to be made well in advance. This should be drilled into the team from day one, which is done by the Company owners and the leaders of the projects who are in the best position to do so.  Facility preparation: A spacious room that is twice the size of the amount of people should be prepared, where the employees are able to walk around and ask other employees questions.2) Agenda:Setting the agenda is very important and should be mapped out at the outset. Motivational speakers should be called in, who can take time to remember the successes of the last PI. Always provide some time for introductions through ice breaking games. It is important that the teams get to know each other, so that they can work well together. All these can be helpful in work teambuilding and bringing a social aspect to the case.Here is an example of an agenda from ScaledAgileFramework.com. It outlines the critical steps for a successful case.Day OneBusiness Background – The background of the business is  provided by a senior management member or a company owner who offers insights on business performance and on how they are able to keep up with market demands and customer needs.Product / Solutions Strategy- The Project management will outline the company vision for the next PI. The salient features that will help achieve these targets will be defined by the company management.Architecture Vision & Development Practices – Next, the Systems Architect or IT department will talk about the systems and architectural vision for infrastructure upgrades that will help increase market time and will affect growth during the upcoming PI. Process changes associated with Agile that would improve speed and communication will be discussed.Preparation Background & Lunch – After this, it is the turn of the Release Train Engineer (RTE) to explain the planning process for PI and what the teams and the general meeting are required to do. The planned results for the meeting will be discussed, and any questions from the Team will be addressed.Team breakouts- Teams will meet around the boards (analogue or digital) to measure their pace for each iteration and look at their backlogs and what needs to be progressed to help the functionality outlined in the vision. They will apply their draft plans to review and provide input to all the teams. They'll need to recognize and mitigate possible threats and addictions.Draft Plan Review- During this time-boxed meeting, teams will deliver their draft plans and receive input from product owners, company owners,  stakeholders and other teams. They may use the feedback to fine-tune their drafts before consulting the management. They will also discuss possible issues to be addressed by the management.Review by Management and Problem Solving- Draft plans would also raise problems with design, scale, and people and resource constraints. Only the management renegotiation and future features may often solve these problems. The RTE (Release Train Engineer) organizes this meeting and stakeholders and business owners must come out of the meeting with a new set of goals or features for the teamsDay 2 AgendaProgram Adjustments- At the start of the day,  changes or decisions taken at the problem-solving meeting by management and stakeholders will be considered. Teams are apprised of these changes and decisions and priorities may be revisited. These adjustments will be put on the board of the company so that all departments can take a look and reorganize themselves.Breakouts- During breakouts, teams take the changes back to their discussion meeting and come back to the program board with their PI targets. Company owners may assign values to each of the goals and rate them for execution. At this stage, teams will get a clearer sense of their targets in the context of the iterations ahead.Final Plan Review and Lunch- Finally, each team will carry their plans to the front and present them. Threats and dependencies will be listed out at the finish of the presentation. While this is not the time to try and fix those problems, the various plans are posted to allow the teams to review and get inputs from others.Program Risks-All teams listed their risks and dependencies in the preceding phase. Now that all the goals are written, the teams will tackle each risk in turn and decide whether they can be resolved. The risks fall into one of below categories:Resolved- The teams conclude after discussion that the topic is no longer a problem.  Owned – Someone on the train takes ownership of the item to work on a later resolution of the issue.  Accepted – Certain threats are simply facts or future issues that need to be acknowledged and embraced.  Mitigated- Teams will strategize together to mitigate a risk item's effects. The solution or fix is implemented.Trust Vote – Once all the challenges and targets are discussed and addressed, the teams can vote on their conviction that the target can be achieved in the coming PI. The Trust vote is a quintessential vote, when team members can hold up one to five fingers in a show of hands. Anything that is less than a three-finger ballot should be re-looked at. The team member who has an issue with that particular goal would need to give more clarity, so that the teams can fix it. Once the issue has been resolved, the target of achieving a vote of confidence for the coming PI is again put to vote.Retrospective – The RTE will have a brief retrospective on the PI Planning case at the very end of the meeting to collect input about what was going well for the case, and what needs to be modified or enhanced for the next event.Day 18:00am - 9:00amBusiness context9:00am - 10:30amProduct/solution vision10:30am - 11:30amArchitecture vision & development practice11:30am - 1:00pmPlanning context & lunch1:00pm - 4:00pm Team breakouts4:00pm - 5:00pmDraft plan review5:00pm - 6:00pmManagement review & problem solvingDay 28:00am - 9:00amPlanning adjustment9:00am - 11:00amTeam breakouts11:00am - 1:00pmFinal plan review & lunch1:00pm - 2:00pmProgram risks2:00pm -2:15pmConfidence vote2:15pm - X:XXPMPlan rework (if needed)When readyPlanning retrospective & moving forwordThis plan may be ideal for you or you can change it according to the needs of your team. Distributed teams, very large ARTs, and other factors can require the schedule to be modified in a creative way. You will find some sessions require more time, while others may need to be shortened. If it's your first PI Planning experience, try the regular agenda, get input from your team and play with different formats.PI Output- The output which comes out from PI planning is as follows :Smart goals are set by each participating team.The program manager updates the program board based on PI output. The feature list is accepted by each participating team.The new release date for features is aligned between teams.Dependencies of roles (between teams and other ARTs) are set.Milestones are noted down.Planning for PI offers many business advantages including:  Setting up face-to - face contact with the stakeholders and all team members – It is critical to keep everybody focused on the event.  Establishing the social network depends on the ART – The purpose of icebreakers and team-building games is to help instill trust and collaboration even for remote team members.Matching progress on business goals with the business background, vision, and priorities of the Team and Program PI – Everyone comes together so that they feel like a part of the process and are able to grasp the vision of the organization.Finding similarities and promoting cross-team and cross-ART communication – Many people who have been virtually in touch are now able to put a face to a name. When resolving concerns, dependencies and threats, it's important for everyone to feel comfortable reaching out for support and finding out how the teams can work together.Quick decision making –No need to worry if they have received your text or wait for someone to get back to you when everyone is together. Rather than days or weeks, discussions and decisions take place in minutes or hours.When is PI Planning held?Many businesses think that the correct period of time for an increment is 8-12 weeks (which adds up to 4-6 x 2-week iterations).  Some firms keep PI Planning quarterly, for example:  Q1 PI: December  Q2 PI: March  Q3 PI: June  Q4 PI: September  But timing and duration depend on how long each phase of the program is planned to last. The positive thing about PI Organizing activities is that they happen regularly on a set timetable, so you can plan well in advance for them. That means there is plenty of notice from teams and business owners to ensure they can turn up for the case.What is a pre-PI Planning event and when is it needed?Since the two-day PI Preparation case obviously is just not enough, pre-planning events may be required. These exist for a very good purpose  -to make sure the ART is synchronized before PI Preparation is carried out within the wider Solution Train. It's all about synchronizing with the other ARTs to ensure that the answer moves in the right direction, along with the organization. What normally happens is that key people from the Solution Train, along with members from the ARTs and related suppliers get together. Here are some of the people you'll find at such an organizing event :  Solution Train EngineerSolution ManagementSolution Architect/EngineeringSolution System TeamRelease Train EngineersProduct ManagementSystem Architects/EngineersCustomersThey'll look at the top Project Backlog, Project Goal, Vision, and Solution Roadmap capabilities. It's a lot like PI Preparation, but at a higher level, through the solution as a whole and not just the individual work. The event begins with each ART summing up its previous increment and achievements in order to set the context. A senior executive would then brief the attendees on the current situation before Project Management addresses the new vision of the project and any improvements from what had previously been discussed.Remote Teams must be engaged and accountableThe Agile Manifesto says, "A face-to - face interaction is the most effective and efficient method of conveying information to and within a development team."  Keeping the members of the remote team involved and focused on the planning tasks can be challenging indeed. A range of video conference services are available on the market that allow teams not only to carry out video conferencing with individual members, but also to interact with local teams with cameras. Everyone can see and communicate with one another in the same way as if they were all seated in a conference room together.  Applications like Zoom / Web ex / Google Meet /Microsoft Team offer video conferencing facilities for teams and can be used for group sessions for PI preparation. Remote participants can be asked to keep their cameras on so they can be seen.ConclusionWithin the grand scale of today's development environment, teams are often divided across geographies. Team members who are going to be on-the-spot can attend the PI meeting in person, but entire groups might not be ready to participate from the same location. Remote teams should be able to collaborate and give their feedback, in order for SAFe to develop.In such cases, RTEs and company owners need to think outside the box as online technologies evolve. They must prepare to organize and train teams to use these technology resources for effective collaboration.  The more frequently the teams use the tools, the simpler it'll be to use them for major events like PI Preparation and alternative iteration conferences and ceremonies. For answers to questions, often teams operating within the same building will profit from providing a remote source of knowledge and a common source of truth within the organization. It can also help to encourage team members to know their stakeholders and product managers, so that at the right time the right people can answer the right questions.Teams who are able to meet this challenge will benefit from the largest pool of skills and expertise, and can get set to reap the highest chance of success in this fast-paced industry.

What is PI Planning and its importance in SAFe®?

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  • by Ashish Kumar
  • 19th Feb, 2021
  • Last updated on 17th Mar, 2021
  • 13 mins read
What is PI Planning and its importance in SAFe®?

PI Planning or Program Increment Planning can be said to be the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train(ART). Even more precisely, it sets the tracks for the train to ensure that all rail cars(scrum teams that are a part of ART) travel in the same direction. It is similar to Iteration planning in crum. It is an extension of Iteration planning under a bigger umbrella i.e ART.  

PI Planning sessions are regularly scheduled activities held during the year where various teams within the same Agile Release Train (ART) collaborate to agree with a common vision, discuss functionality, prepare the roadmap and define cross-team dependencies. It's a fixed timebox for planning , designing, and validating a complete system, showing value, and having quick feedback.  

When you first follow SAFe, chances are, it will start with PI Planning. This is because it forms the basis for the Scaled Agile FrameworkTM. The PI Planning ceremony is the foundation of your transformation and the driver for SAFe. We will take a deep dive into PI planning in detail in this article and understand its importance in SAFe.

Program Increment Planning and its importance in SAFe®?

What is SAFe®?

Before understanding SAFe ,let’s first understand what Scrum is. Scrum is an iterative product creation approach focusing on a regular production cadence. It relies on cross-functional teams, a set of ceremonies, and certain specific supporting roles to help drive these deliveries.

SAFe is an extension of Scrum at the larger organizational level. SAFe or the Scaled Agile FrameworkTM is a set of principles and strategies designed to help deliver resilience to all departments and levels of the organization. The system is designed to enhance visibility, coordination and cooperation which will result in improved efficiency , better outcomes and faster delivery.

Scaled Agile Framework

Image Source

Introduction to Program Increment :

PI Planning is particularly useful for agile companies of large scale. Let 's look at some figures, to understand the effect. Some bigger companies , for example, may have 300-400 teams and 5,000 developers. These teams may never have spoken to each other before, in the old way of working until a crucial issue forced them to collaborate.

Previously, coordination would have been at the level of the leadership team, and they would have had several levels of managers in between who would trickle down details, but the people on the teams would never speak to each other. There would always be a constant struggle to work on the biggest projects for money, budget, and opportunities.

Projects had a habit of overlapping - one team would release something which would then break something in the project of another team. PI Preparation is the first time that many of these very large businesses have joined their teams in a space or on the same call to speak to each other. They are given the opportunity to nut out those crucial talks about who is working on what. When you enter a code or a code repository, you need to know how it can affect another team. You may also need to do some work to allow another team to work first (and vice versa) on their feature.

An ART (agile release train) is a shared objective accomplished by the soul of the different teams that work together. In very large companies, there can be three trains working together, and that is the reason why the teams need to step back every eight to 12 weeks and make sure that they continue to work towards the overall vision and company goals.

Here’s what PI Planning enforces:

  • Communication
  • Visibility
  • Collaboration

As a result, teams can more easily get work done, deliver more updates in less time, and remain on budget.

  • Executing the PI /Agenda- It is very important to understand the steps involved in executing PI. Let's try to understand the same:

1) Preparation: It will cover the prerequisites for successful PI.

  • Organization preparation : PI meetings are supposed to be arranged well in advance, and it is important to call into account all the stakeholders and leaders involved in the program. Usually, large organizations arrange this as a quarterly meeting, which helps to talk about the end of the preceding quarter and to set all in order for the start of the next quarter.
  • Content preparation: For the launch the preparation on the aim and the vision has to be made well in advance. This should be drilled into the team from day one, which is done by the Company owners and the leaders of the projects who are in the best position to do so.  
  • Facility preparation: A spacious room that is twice the size of the amount of people should be prepared, where the employees are able to walk around and ask other employees questions.

2) Agenda:

Setting the agenda is very important and should be mapped out at the outset. Motivational speakers should be called in, who can take time to remember the successes of the last PI. Always provide some time for introductions through ice breaking games. It is important that the teams get to know each other, so that they can work well together. All these can be helpful in work teambuilding and bringing a social aspect to the case.

Here is an example of an agenda from ScaledAgileFramework.com. It outlines the critical steps for a successful case.

Day One

  • Business Background – The background of the business is  provided by a senior management member or a company owner who offers insights on business performance and on how they are able to keep up with market demands and customer needs.
  • Product / Solutions Strategy- The Project management will outline the company vision for the next PI. The salient features that will help achieve these targets will be defined by the company management.
  • Architecture Vision & Development Practices – Next, the Systems Architect or IT department will talk about the systems and architectural vision for infrastructure upgrades that will help increase market time and will affect growth during the upcoming PI. Process changes associated with Agile that would improve speed and communication will be discussed.
  • Preparation Background & Lunch – After this, it is the turn of the Release Train Engineer (RTE) to explain the planning process for PI and what the teams and the general meeting are required to do. The planned results for the meeting will be discussed, and any questions from the Team will be addressed.
  • Team breakouts- Teams will meet around the boards (analogue or digital) to measure their pace for each iteration and look at their backlogs and what needs to be progressed to help the functionality outlined in the vision. They will apply their draft plans to review and provide input to all the teams. They'll need to recognize and mitigate possible threats and addictions.
  • Draft Plan Review- During this time-boxed meeting, teams will deliver their draft plans and receive input from product owners, company owners,  stakeholders and other teams. They may use the feedback to fine-tune their drafts before consulting the management. They will also discuss possible issues to be addressed by the management.
  • Review by Management and Problem Solving- Draft plans would also raise problems with design, scale, and people and resource constraints. Only the management renegotiation and future features may often solve these problems. The RTE (Release Train Engineer) organizes this meeting and stakeholders and business owners must come out of the meeting with a new set of goals or features for the teams

Day 2 Agenda

  • Program Adjustments- At the start of the day,  changes or decisions taken at the problem-solving meeting by management and stakeholders will be considered. Teams are apprised of these changes and decisions and priorities may be revisited. These adjustments will be put on the board of the company so that all departments can take a look and reorganize themselves.
  • Breakouts- During breakouts, teams take the changes back to their discussion meeting and come back to the program board with their PI targets. Company owners may assign values to each of the goals and rate them for execution. At this stage, teams will get a clearer sense of their targets in the context of the iterations ahead.
  • Final Plan Review and Lunch- Finally, each team will carry their plans to the front and present them. Threats and dependencies will be listed out at the finish of the presentation. While this is not the time to try and fix those problems, the various plans are posted to allow the teams to review and get inputs from others.

Program Risks-All teams listed their risks and dependencies in the preceding phase. Now that all the goals are written, the teams will tackle each risk in turn and decide whether they can be resolved. The risks fall into one of below categories:

  1. Resolved- The teams conclude after discussion that the topic is no longer a problem.  
  2. Owned – Someone on the train takes ownership of the item to work on a later resolution of the issue.  
  3. Accepted – Certain threats are simply facts or future issues that need to be acknowledged and embraced.  
  4. Mitigated- Teams will strategize together to mitigate a risk item's effects. The solution or fix is implemented.
  • Trust Vote – Once all the challenges and targets are discussed and addressed, the teams can vote on their conviction that the target can be achieved in the coming PI. The Trust vote is a quintessential vote, when team members can hold up one to five fingers in a show of hands. Anything that is less than a three-finger ballot should be re-looked at. The team member who has an issue with that particular goal would need to give more clarity, so that the teams can fix it. Once the issue has been resolved, the target of achieving a vote of confidence for the coming PI is again put to vote.
  • Retrospective – The RTE will have a brief retrospective on the PI Planning case at the very end of the meeting to collect input about what was going well for the case, and what needs to be modified or enhanced for the next event.
Day 1
8:00am - 9:00amBusiness context
9:00am - 10:30amProduct/solution vision
10:30am - 11:30amArchitecture vision & development practice
11:30am - 1:00pmPlanning context & lunch
1:00pm - 4:00pm Team breakouts
4:00pm - 5:00pmDraft plan review
5:00pm - 6:00pmManagement review & problem solving
Day 2
8:00am - 9:00amPlanning adjustment
9:00am - 11:00amTeam breakouts
11:00am - 1:00pmFinal plan review & lunch
1:00pm - 2:00pmProgram risks
2:00pm -2:15pmConfidence vote
2:15pm - X:XXPMPlan rework (if needed)
When readyPlanning retrospective & moving forword

This plan may be ideal for you or you can change it according to the needs of your team. Distributed teams, very large ARTs, and other factors can require the schedule to be modified in a creative way. You will find some sessions require more time, while others may need to be shortened. If it's your first PI Planning experience, try the regular agenda, get input from your team and play with different formats.

PI Output- The output which comes out from PI planning is as follows :

  • Smart goals are set by each participating team.
  • The program manager updates the program board based on PI output.
  •  The feature list is accepted by each participating team.
  • The new release date for features is aligned between teams.
  • Dependencies of roles (between teams and other ARTs) are set.
  • Milestones are noted down.

Planning for PI offers many business advantages including:  

  • Setting up face-to - face contact with the stakeholders and all team members – It is critical to keep everybody focused on the event.  
  • Establishing the social network depends on the ART – The purpose of icebreakers and team-building games is to help instill trust and collaboration even for remote team members.
  • Matching progress on business goals with the business background, vision, and priorities of the Team and Program PI – Everyone comes together so that they feel like a part of the process and are able to grasp the vision of the organization.
  • Finding similarities and promoting cross-team and cross-ART communication – Many people who have been virtually in touch are now able to put a face to a name. When resolving concerns, dependencies and threats, it's important for everyone to feel comfortable reaching out for support and finding out how the teams can work together.
  • Quick decision making –No need to worry if they have received your text or wait for someone to get back to you when everyone is together. Rather than days or weeks, discussions and decisions take place in minutes or hours.

When is PI Planning held?

Many businesses think that the correct period of time for an increment is 8-12 weeks (which adds up to 4-6 x 2-week iterations).  

Some firms keep PI Planning quarterly, for example:  

  • Q1 PI: December  
  • Q2 PI: March  
  • Q3 PI: June  
  • Q4 PI: September  

But timing and duration depend on how long each phase of the program is planned to last. The positive thing about PI Organizing activities is that they happen regularly on a set timetable, so you can plan well in advance for them. That means there is plenty of notice from teams and business owners to ensure they can turn up for the case.

What is a pre-PI Planning event and when is it needed?

Since the two-day PI Preparation case obviously is just not enough, pre-planning events may be required. These exist for a very good purpose  -to make sure the ART is synchronized before PI Preparation is carried out within the wider Solution Train. It's all about synchronizing with the other ARTs to ensure that the answer moves in the right direction, along with the organization. What normally happens is that key people from the Solution Train, along with members from the ARTs and related suppliers get together. Here are some of the people you'll find at such an organizing event :  

  • Solution Train Engineer
  • Solution Management
  • Solution Architect/Engineering
  • Solution System Team
  • Release Train Engineers
  • Product Management
  • System Architects/Engineers
  • Customers

They'll look at the top Project Backlog, Project Goal, Vision, and Solution Roadmap capabilities. It's a lot like PI Preparation, but at a higher level, through the solution as a whole and not just the individual work. The event begins with each ART summing up its previous increment and achievements in order to set the context. A senior executive would then brief the attendees on the current situation before Project Management addresses the new vision of the project and any improvements from what had previously been discussed.

Remote Teams must be engaged and accountable

The Agile Manifesto says, "A face-to - face interaction is the most effective and efficient method of conveying information to and within a development team."  

Keeping the members of the remote team involved and focused on the planning tasks can be challenging indeed. A range of video conference services are available on the market that allow teams not only to carry out video conferencing with individual members, but also to interact with local teams with cameras. Everyone can see and communicate with one another in the same way as if they were all seated in a conference room together.  

Applications like Zoom / Web ex / Google Meet /Microsoft Team offer video conferencing facilities for teams and can be used for group sessions for PI preparation. Remote participants can be asked to keep their cameras on so they can be seen.

Conclusion

Within the grand scale of today's development environment, teams are often divided across geographies. Team members who are going to be on-the-spot can attend the PI meeting in person, but entire groups might not be ready to participate from the same location. Remote teams should be able to collaborate and give their feedback, in order for SAFe to develop.

In such cases, RTEs and company owners need to think outside the box as online technologies evolve. They must prepare to organize and train teams to use these technology resources for effective collaboration.  

The more frequently the teams use the tools, the simpler it'll be to use them for major events like PI Preparation and alternative iteration conferences and ceremonies. For answers to questions, often teams operating within the same building will profit from providing a remote source of knowledge and a common source of truth within the organization. It can also help to encourage team members to know their stakeholders and product managers, so that at the right time the right people can answer the right questions.

Teams who are able to meet this challenge will benefit from the largest pool of skills and expertise, and can get set to reap the highest chance of success in this fast-paced industry.

Ashish

Ashish Kumar

Senior Technology Specialist

Ashish is working as a Senior Technology Specialist in leading financial bank has more than 13 years of experience in developing enterprise applications

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So, here’s a roundup of the most valued Product Owner certifications you can choose from and get ready for 2021.CSPO Certification Training Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner℠ Training Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO™) Training PMI-ACP® Certification TrainingSAFe® Product Owner Product Manager1. CSPO Certification TrainingThe Certified Scrum Product Owner certification is an offering from Scrum Alliance. Among the most popular Product Owner certifications, this credential is a validation of your knowledge of Scrum, the scope of the Product Owner’s role and skill in maximizing value and the Scrum team’s work.CSPOs are in great demand across industries as they have the credibility to lead product development initiatives.Other benefits of the CSPO certification include:Training led by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)Get a 2-year membership with Scrum AllianceGain access to a number of local groups of Scrum users and social networksQualify for higher certifications such as the A-CSPO®Widen the scope of your career with the knowledge of popular Agile practices.Enhance your repertoire with in-demand Scrum skills and demonstrate your Scrum knowledge.Actively engage with the community of Agile practitioners dedicated to continuous Scrum practice and improvement.Create a better product by leading and implementing Scrum in the team.Define the product vision and direct team members to yield high value at the end.Ensure smooth communication between the stakeholders and team members.Earn higher salaries than your non-certified counterparts (USA: $105,845)Top companies hiring CSPO professionalsFidelity InvestmentsCapital One Financial CorpAmazon.comT-Mobile, IncAmerican ExpressSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for certificationThe training must be taken from a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or Registered Education Provider (REP) or a Certified Agile Coach of Scrum Alliance.Who should take the training for CSPO certification?This course can be taken by:Project Managers Developers Product Owners Managers-Software development Architects-Software development Product Managers Software developers Software testers Team leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumWho is eligible for the CSPO certification?There are no eligibility requirements for the CSPO certification.Duration to get CSPO certifiedAll participants need to attend the 2-day in-person or 14 hours live online CSPO training from a CST, at the end of which they will receive their credential. Course/Training fee for CSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 24999  U.S: USD 1295Canada: CAD 1495Exam fee for CSPO certification: No exam needs to be taken in order to earn the CSPO credential. Attending a 2-day/14-hour course is mandated to earn the credential.Renewal fee for CSPO certification: $100, every 2 years2. Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner℠ TrainingThe Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner℠ (A-CSPO℠) credential is also offered by the Scrum Alliance, and as the name suggests is an advanced course to be pursued after gaining the CSPO. The A-CSPO validates your ability to manage multiple projects and stakeholders and deliver business value. A-CSPO being an advanced level certification is much sought after by organizations who want to hire professionals with advanced Product Owner abilities.Other benefits of the A-CSPO certification include:Training by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)2-year membership with Scrum AllianceAccess to a number of local groups of Scrum users and social networksGain enhanced Agile Scrum implementation skillsSet yourself apart from others in the marketplaceAs a highly trained Agile professional, show advanced value to your employerEarn high salaries - 111033 USD (average)Top companies hiring A-CSPO professionalsSAP LabsSalesforceAdobeWikispeedOracleVisteonGEBBCMicrosoftBarclaysRobert BoschWhere to take training for A-CSPO certification?The training must be led by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and delivered by a Registered Education Provider (REP) or a Certified Agile Coach of Scrum Alliance.Who should take the training for A-CSPO certification?Professionals in the following job roles can take this course:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumWho is eligible for the A-CSPO certification?The A-CSPO requires the following eligibility:At least 12 months of work experience specific to the role of Product Owner (within the past five years) and an active CSPO credentialDuration to get A-CSPO certified: All participants need to attend the 2-day in-person or 14 hours live online A-CSPO training from a CST, at the end of which they will receive their credential.Course fee for A-CSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 41999U.S.: Will be updated shortlyCanada: Will be updated shortlyExam fee for A-CSPO certification: No exam needs to be taken in order to earn the A-CSPO credential. Attending a 2-day/14-hour course along with the required experience is mandated to earn the credential.Renewal fee for A-CSPO certification: $175, every 2 years3. Professional Scrum Product Owner™ (PSPO™) TrainingProfessional Scrum Product Owner™ Level I (PSPO™) is a credential offered by the Scrum.org. While the certification does not require you to take a training, an assessment needs to be cleared in order to get certified. The PSPO is a reflection of your ability to maximise skills, enhance product value and use Agile perspectives to deliver successful products.The PSPO is highly regarded in the industry as it is a rigorous exam and is based on the objectives outlined in the Scrum Guide.   Other benefits of the PSPO certification include:Own the product visionMaximize your team’s ROIImprove business value and ROIMotivate and lead Agile teams and team membersValidate your commitment to continued excellence and qualityDemonstrate your proficiency in ScrumGrow your career in Scrum with confidence Ace your interviews and get noticed for promotions at your current jobCommand higher salaries than your non-certified peersBe part of a network of industry leaders and Agile professionalsGain a stepping stone for the advanced level Professional Scrum Product Owner™ II Certification (PSPO™ II)Get the PSPO I logo that you can use to identify your achievementGet your name listed on Scrum.orgEarn salaries in the range of $98,612Top companies hiring PSPO professionalsJ.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC)Cisco Systems IncImproving EnterprisesUnitedHealth GroupBank of America Corp. (BOFA)Source: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PSPO certification: Take the training from Scrum.org’s Professional Training Network under the guidance of certified Professional Scrum Trainers (PSTs).Who should take the training for PSPO certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumLeadership Team Who is eligible for the PSPO certification?There are no eligibility requirements for the PSPO certification.Duration to get certified: If you opt for training, you will have to attend two days or 16 hours of PSPO™ I training under a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST). You will then receive a key to the PSPO™ I Assessment. Once you pass the Assessment, you are declared PSPO™ I certified and can download your certificate.Course fee for PSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 25999  U.S.: USD 1299Canada: CAD 1499Exam fee for PSPO: $200 USD per attemptPSPO Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book,Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/FalseDifficulty: IntermediateLanguage: English onlyTime limit: 60 minutesNumber of Questions: 80Passing score: 85%Retake fee for PSPO Exam: $200 USD for each re-take attempt. Participants of Scrum.org classes get free retakes if they take and fail the assessment within a certain time frame. Renewal for PSPO certification: Your PSPO certification has a lifetime validity and does not require renewal4. PMI-ACP® Certification TrainingThe Project Management Institute (PMI)® a world-renowned body known for its flagship project management credentials, now offers professionals a chance to hone their agile skills with the PMI- Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential. Its mandatory requirement of real-world Agile expertise and a thorough knowledge of Agile practices, tools and techniques means that holders of the PMI-ACP are Agile experts in every sense of the word.The PMI-ACP has huge demand in Agile organizations as it gives holders a 360-degree view of Agile and adds huge value to the skill set of a product owner.Other benefits of the PMI-ACP certification include:Helps you qualify for Agile jobs with expertise in Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, etc. which are in demand in the industryEquips you with knowledge of various Agile methodsMakes you marketable as it opens doors to many project development methodologiesGain soft skills to manage your role eloquently  Earn more than your non-certified peers ($109,556)Top companies hiring PMI-ACP professionalsBooz, Allen, and HamiltonAccentureInternational Business Machines (IBM) Corp.Usaa InsuranceAmazon.com IncSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PMI-ACP certification: The training must be taken from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMIWho should take the training for PMI-ACP certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersProject PlannersQuality Assurance StaffDevelopers/ProgrammersDesigners, TestersProject ControllersProduct OwnersScrum MastersScrum Team MembersWho is eligible for the PMI-ACP certification?The PMI-ACP requires the following eligibility:Secondary degree21 contact hours of training in agile practices12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years. A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP.8 months of agile project experience within the last 3 yearsDuration to get certified: Once you complete the required training you must take time out to vigorously prepare for the exam. You then need to set the date and give the 3-hour exam. Once you pass the exam you may refer to yourself as a certification holder although your certificate package can take six to eight weeks to arrive in the mail.Course fee for PMI-ACP certification:The course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 25999  U.S.: USD 1299Canada: CAD 1499Exam fee for PMI-ACP: $435 (for members), $495 (for non-members)PMI-ACP Exam Details:Exam Type: Closed book Format: Multiple Choice Difficulty: Intermediate Time limit: 3 hours Number of Questions: 120 of which 20 are considered pre-test questions and do not affect the score. Passing score: 85%Renewal for PMI-ACP certification: To maintain your PMI-ACP, you must earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) in agile topics every three years.5. Certified SAFe® Product Owner / Product Manager (SAFe® POPM)If scaling Scrum is your forte, then this is the right credential for you. This credential, an offering from the Scaled Agile, Inc., validates your product owner skills in delivering value by applying the principles of Lean to ensure Agile success at the enterprise scale, improving the Agile Release Train and ensuring customer satisfaction while improving bottom line margins.Considering that the Scaled Agile Framework is widely used in Agile organizations, there is a huge demand for SAFe POPM certified professionals, who can deliver continuous value at the enterprise level.Other benefits of the SAFe POPM certification include:Master key SAFe® product ownership/product management concepts like Lean Agile principles and valuesCollaborate with Agile teams to deliver valueMaster Program Increment PlanningOne-year membership to the SAFe Community PlatformOpen yourself upto new opportunitiesSAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (SPOPM) salary ranges from $83,865 to $124,613Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other Certified SAFe ProfessionalsTop companies hiring SAFe POPM professionalsBoschLockheed MartinPepsiCoAnthemCiscoStandard CharteredCapitalOneThalesFitBit  AstraZenecaSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the SAFe POPM certification: The training must be taken from an authorized training partner of Scaled Agile, Inc. Who should take the training for SAFe POPM certification?This course can be taken by:Program or Project ManagersScrum MastersRelease Train EngineersBusiness AnalystsAgile CoachesSAFe Program ConsultantsDevelopment ManagersCTOsConsultantsArchitectsEngineersDirectorsProduct ManagersProduct OwnersDelivery ManagersSolution Train EngineersSoftware DevelopersWho is eligible for the SAFe POPM certification?The SAFe POPM requires the following eligibility:Two-day training from an authorized training provider of Scaled Agile Inc. Experience in Lean and AgileDuration to get certified: Once you complete the mandatory 2-day training you can set a date to take the 1.5 hrs SAFe POPM exam. On passing the exam, you become a Certified SAFe® 5 Product Owner / Product Manager. You will receive your SAFe®️ 5 Product Owner / Product Manager PDF Certificate and Digital Badge within 5-7 working days.Course fee for SAFe POPM certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 55999  U.S.: USD 1099Canada: CAD 1395Exam fee for SAFe POPM: First exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion.SAFe POPM Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book Format: Multiple choice, multiple response Difficulty: Intermediate Time limit: 1.5 hours Number of Questions: 45 Passing score: POPM4 = 35 out of 45 (77%); POPM5 = 33 out of 45 (73%)Retake fee for SAFe POPM Exam: Each retake costs $50Renewal for SAFe POPM certification: SAFe POPM needs to be renewed each year by paying a $100 fee and earning a minimum of 10 continuing education/outreach hours (PDUs).SummaryProduct Owners are the rock stars of an Agile team—confident, articulate, sharp, great communicators and problem solvers! A solid Product Owner certification along with these qualities can give your career a total makeover and make you a team favourite. 
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Best Product Owner Certifications in 2021

The one person responsible for maximising the prod... Read More

Top Scrum Certifications of 2021

A question that plagues most entry-level or even mid-career Scrum professionals is: “is a Scrum credential really worth it?” The answer—it most definitely is! According to the Salary Survey of Scrum Professionals 2017-18 , even entry level professionals, with just one scrum certification, earn much more than their non-certified counterparts. Scrum certifications were also the most requested certifications in 2020 with the Certified ScrumMaster being most in demand, according to employment website Indeed.com. Employers are more than ever before, looking at hiring certified Scrum professionals, a fact validated by  Indeed.com’s survey, which places the CSM above the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential in its list. So, you know how to future proof your career. Get a Scrum certification!  SourceHere’s a list of the top paying Scrum certifications that will help you in career progression, leverage this hiring demand in 2021-2022 and earn high salaries.CSMCSPOPSMA-CSMPSPOSAFe Scrum Master CertificationPMI-ACPScrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification1. Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®)  This entry-level Scrum credential from Scrum Alliance, is a great starting point for professionals who want to gain an understanding of Scrum team roles and responsibilities, Scrum events and Scrum artifacts.CSM Demand: CSM, was the 9th most-requested certification this year in the Indeed.com survey. With an average salary of approximately $120K per annum and 24% expected job growth rate in the next 3 years, CSM is indeed the gold standard for Scrum certifications.   Source: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Schools & Reviews | Indeed.com Benefits Of CSM Gain a high degree of proficiency in executing Scrum. Become an Agile change agent Be a servant leader. Create a highly motivated and high performing team. Open yourself to new opportunities. Earn high salaries. Average salary USD 118,353 Gets you a 2-year membership with Scrum AllianceTop companies hiring CSM professionals Retail E-commerce Energy & Utilities Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos Advertising Marketing Government Institutions. Some of the top companies hiring CSMs includeIBM Tata Consultancy Services CapGemini Honeywell BOSCH Accenture DeloitteWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a course taught by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance or by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®). KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Eligibility for CSM exam: Attending an in-person two day (16 hours) or live online (14 hours) Certified ScrumMaster® course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®) is required, to be eligible for the exam. Who should take the CSM training for certificationSoftware Engineers Product Managers Project Managers Team Leaders Business Analysts Product Managers Software Developers Product Owners Software Development Managers Software Architects Software Testers Team Leads QA Managers Development team members Testers Anyone who would like to build a career as a Scrum Master Duration to get certified: Attending a 14-hour live online or 16 hour in-person course is mandatory for appearing for the exam. Once you complete the course, you should reserve some time for ensuring a thorough preparation before attempting the exam. If you successfully pass the exam, you will get your results immediately and you are a qualified CSM. The total duration in order to get CSM certified, including course, study time and exam should take you around a couple of weeks. Course fee for certification: Rs. 23,999/- in India, $ 1295 in the US Application fee for certification: NA Exam fee for certification: Included in course fee Exam Format: Online test comprising of 50 multiple choice questions. Duration: 1-hour Pass mark: 74%  Retake fee for certification: The second attempt is free if you attempt the exam within 60 days of course completion. The retake costs $25 after first two attempts.2. Certified Scrum Product Owner®(CSPO®) Another offering from Scrum Alliance, this credential is for professionals who want to cement their career as Product Owners and want to validate their expertise on Scrum terminology, practices, and principles. CSPO Demand: Product Owners have been recognised for their innumerable contribution to Scrum teams and their role as a bridge between business and development. With 90% modern teams using Scrum for product development, the Product Owner’s role as an intermediary who maximises value and motivates teams, is not lost on recruiters. Which is why the demand for product owner keeps rising and each day hundreds of open positions for product owner roles are added.  Benefits Of CSPO Enhance your knowledge of Agile practices Maximise value and enhance stakeholder satisfaction Grow your network and speak a global product owner language Get a 2-year membership with Scrum Alliance Earn lucrative salaries CSPO salary: $105,845.Top companies hiring CSPO professionals IT Telecom Healthcare Financial Manufacturing Education Some of the top companies hiring CSPOs includeGartner Intel Dell Bosch PayPal Mastercard Axis Bank SAP IBM Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a course taught by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance or by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST®). KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Eligibility for CSPO exam: There is no exam. Aspirants need to successfully complete a 14 hour live online or 16 hours of in-person training with a CST, or 25 hours of face-to-face interaction with a Certified Agile Coach to be certified as CSPO.  Who should take the training for CSPO certification Project Managers Developers Product Owners Managers-Software development Architects-Software development Product Managers Software developers Software testers Team leads/Team members interested in learning Scrum Duration to get certified: 14 hours or 16 hours or 25 hours, depending on the mode of training you choose.Course fee for certification: Training cost: INR 24999 in India, USD 1295 in US and CAD 1495 in Canada 3. Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM™)The Professional Scrum Master™ I is an offering from Scrum.org, a global organization founded by Scrum co-creator, Ken Schwaber. This credential with its high standards of training and exhaustive assessment, ensures that holders have mastery over the Scrum framework.  PSM Demand: According to the 2019 Scrum Master trends by Scrum.org, PSM I was among the top three certifications among survey participants. Scrum is by far the most commonly used agile framework and its popularity is not going to diminish any time soon.  PSM I is lucrative and career defining. Benefits Of PSM Lead a team of Scrum specialists who bring the benefits of Scrum to projects. Perform the responsibilities of a servant leader Resolve conflicts and tackle challenges to deliver the best at the end of every Sprint. Address organizational challenges in using Scrum effectively Display a high level of Scrum expertise Earn high salaries; upto USD 93,570 on average annuallyTop companies hiring PSM professionals Retail E-commerce Energy & Utilities Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos Advertising Marketing Government Institutions. Some of the top companies that hire PSMs J.P. Morgan Chas & Co Capgemini IBM Sogeti USA LLC Northrop Grumman CorporationWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train under PSTs or from a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.org. You can attend a face-to-face course taught by Professional Scrum Trainer (PSTs), a private coaching or complete 16 hours of live online training with a PST. KnowledgeHut is a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.org. Eligibility for PSM exam: There is no eligibility criteria for appearing for the exam. But aspirants must possess a high level of Scrum knowledge.  Who should take the training for PSM certification Project Managers Scrum Masters Scrum team members Developers Product Owners Software development managers Software Architects Product Managers Software Developers Software Coders Software Testers Team Leads/Team Members Duration to get certified: Passing the assessment is mandatory to gain the certificate. Considering that the assessment is difficult, Scrum.org suggests a thorough preparation that includes attending a course, reading the Scrum Guide and other resources. In all, it may take you 20 hrs including course and study time to get PSM certified. Course fee for certification: USD 1299 Exam format:  80 multiple choice questions and True/False questions Duration: 1 hour Pass mark: 85%   Application fee for certification : NA Exam fee for certification: $150 USD per attempt Retake fee for certification:  Two attempts are permitted within 14 days after you receive your key, at no additional cost.4. Advanced Certified ScrumMaster℠ (A-CSM℠) This is the advanced level credential after the CSM and is offered by the Scrum Alliance. If you want to continue on your agile journey and show your commitment to continued excellence, then this is the right credential for you.   A-CSM Demand: The A-CSM helps you showcase your advanced Scrum implementation skills, and ability to facilitate better dialogue between the Scrum team and stakeholders. These advanced Scrum Master skills are in high demand across Fortune 500 companies, who are ready to pay high salaries for such skills.  Benefits Of A-CSM Enable high performance teams Lead and facilitate change Resolve impediments Manage multiple teams Earn high salaries upto $115K per year Top companies hiring A-CSM professionals Retail E-commerce Energy & Utilities Financial Services such as Insurance and Investments Cos Advertising Marketing Government Institutions Telecom Infrastructure Entertainment Some of the top companies hiring A-CSMs Google Walt Disney LinkedIn Roche BBC GE Adobe Microsoft Spotify eBay Twitter IBM Capgemini Accenture Deloitte Hewlett Packard BAE Systems Lockheed Martin ExxonMobil Verizon Walmart Dow Jones  Tesla  Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a training offered by a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Eligibility for A-CSM exam  Hold a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification with the Scrum Alliance.  Attend a certified A-CSM educational offering to gain techniques and skills that go beyond the basics and mechanics of Scrum, expanding into interaction, facilitation, coaching, and team dynamics. Successfully complete all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering. This may include pre- or post-course work as deemed necessary by your approved educator to complete the learning objectives. Accept the A-CSM License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile. Validate at least 12 months of work experience specific to the role of Scrum Master (within the past five years).  Who should take the training for certification Scrum Masters Team Leads Development Managers Delivery Managers Project Managers Agile Coaches Duration to get certified: Once you have satisfied all the eligibility requirements mandated by Scrum Alliance including a minimum of 12 months of Scrum Master experience (within the past five years), you need to attend the 2-day A-CSM℠ course from a Global Registered Education Provider of Scrum Alliance post which you will get your A-CSM credential. KnowledgeHut is a Global Registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance. Course fee for certification: USD  775  Application fee for certification: NA Exam fee for certification: There is no exam for A-CSM Retake fee for certification: NA5. Professional Scrum Product Owner™(PSPO) PSPO stands for Professional Scrum Product Owner, a course and certification offered by Scrum.org. This credential helps you develop a solid understanding of the Product Owner responsibilities and maximize value of software products and systems. PSPO Demand:  Product Owner roles are the jobs of the future. Listed by LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum (Jobs of Tomorrow Report 2020) as being among the top emerging job trends, product owner roles are here to stay.  Benefits Of PSPO Own the product vision and maximize your team’s ROI Improve business value Motivate and lead Agile teams Demonstrate your proficiency in Scrum Grow your career in Scrum with confidence  Open yourself up to new opportunities Earn handsome salaries. Certified Product Owners earn $105,399, average salary, much higher compared to non-certified Product Owners Top companies hiring PSPO professionals Telecom Oil & gas Finance Government Healthcare Entertainment and more Some of the top companies hiring PSPOs includeSpotify Twitter Tesla Lockheed Martin Walmart Dow Jones ExxonMobil Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must take their training from a Professional Training Network (PTN) member of Scrum.org. KnowledgeHut is a Scrum.org™ Professional Training Network (PTN) member. Eligibility for PSPO exam: No eligibility requirements. Participants must possess high knowledge of Scrum.  Who should take the training for certification Project Managers Developers Product Owners Managers-Software development Architects-Software development Product Managers Software developers Software testers Team leads/Team members interested in learning Scrum Leadership Team  Duration to get certified: 2 days training plus additional study hours before attempting the exam.  Course fee for certification: USD 999 Application fee for certification: NA  Exam fee for certification: $200 USD Exam Format: 80 multiple choice questions and True/False questions Duration: 1 hour Pass mark: 85% Difficulty Level: Intermediate  Retake fee for certification: You are allowed two attempts within 14 days after you receive your assessment key from Scrum.org at no additional cost.6. SAFe® Scrum Master Certification The SAFe Scrum Master certification certifies an individual as being capable of performing scrum master responsibilities in a scaled agile environment. SSM certified individuals can lead Agile Scrum transformations, create high performing teams and ensure implementation of Scrum practices in the organization.  SSM Demand:  According to the 13th State of Agile Survey Report (2019), the Scaled Agile Framework is the most popular scaling method. With more and more organizations discovering the benefits of scaling agile and harnessing its potential on an enterprise-wide scale, the demand for hiring SAFe certified professionals has increased tremendously.   Benefits Of SSM Perform the responsibilities of a servant leader Successfully carry out Program Increment planning Facilitate Iteration execution Manage the Program Increment Coach a successful Agile team that is highly motivated and high performing Get the Certified SAFe Scrum Master Certificate (PDF format)  Get the Certified SAFe Scrum Master Digital Badge  One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform Access to SAFe events and MeetUp Groups   Get access to various SAFe learning resources Open yourself to lucrative opportunities and high salaries—as high as $80,000 to $1,10,000 annually Top companies hiring SSM professionals Finance IT Service Industry FMCG Retail Insurance Banks  Some of the top companies hiring SSMs Cisco LEGO digital solutions Barclays Panera Bread Ericsson FitBit Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must attend a training facilitated by an authorized training partner of Scaled Agile.  KnowledgeHut is a Silver Training Partner of Scaled Agile.  Eligibility for SSM exam:  Experience working in a Lean-Agile environment and attending a two-day training delivered by a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC).  Who should take the training for certification Program or Project Manager Scrum Master Team Lead Release Train Engineer Business Analyst Agile Coach Portfolio Manager Consultant Architect Engineer Developer Director Quality Manager Product Manager Product Owner Delivery Manager Program Manager  Duration to get certified:  2-day training followed by study time. On passing the 90 minute SSM exam you will be a Certified SAFe 5 Scrum Master. You will receive your SAFe 5 Scrum Master PDF Certificate and Digital Badge within 5-7 working days.  Course fee for certification: Rs 55999, Cost in the U.S.: USD 1099  Exam format:  Exam type – Multiple choice; Multiple select Exam delivery – Web-based (single-browser), closed book Exam duration – 1.5 hours Number of questions – 45 Passing score – SSM 4 = 33 out of 45 (73%); SSM 5.0 =33 out of 45 (73%) Exam score for SSM 5.0 has been updated effective Feb 28 8pm MST. SSM 5.0 passing score prior to February 28 was 34 out of 45 (75%). Language – English Application fee for certification: NA Exam fee for certification: First exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion. Retake fee for certification: $50 for each retake attempt 7. PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®The PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner, as the name suggests, is an offering of the world-renowned Project Management Institute.  This certification places rigorous standards on participants which is why it is highly acknowledged world over. Holders get a holistic view of carrying out project management practices in Agile environments.  PMI-ACP Demand:  According to a survey in SwarmOS, Agile adoption has helped 98% of organizations in reducing costs, enhancing bottom line margins and deliver successful products. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption rate of Agile and what these Agile organizations need are project managers who understand Agile in a variety of situations and are able to effectively steer projects by applying project management best practices. PMI-ACP professionals are therefore highly sought after by recruiters and organizations.  Benefits Of PMI-ACP Leverage the demand for Agile project managers by getting PMI-ACP certified Show your expertise in a variety of Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, and more Make yourself more marketable  Earn lucrative salaries :  $108,000 on an average  Top companies hiring PMI-ACP professionals Aerospace Engineering Manufacturing Construction Pharma Banking Some top companies hiring PMI-ACPs Boeing Booz Allen Hamilton Visa American Express AT&T Wipro Where to take training for certification:  Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI. KnowledgeHut is a Premier Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI.  Eligibility for PMI-ACP exam: General Project Experience 2000 hours of working on project teams within the last 5 years or having an active PMP®/PgMP® credential Agile Project Experience 1500 hours of working on Agile Project Teams or with Agile Methodologies, in addition to “General Project Experience” above; Training in Agile Practices 21 contact hours earned in Agile Practices Who should take the training for PMI-ACP certification Project Managers Project Planners Quality Assurance Staff Developers/Programmers Designers, Testers Project Controllers Product Owners Scrum Masters Scrum Team MembersDuration to get certified: Attending a training workshop of 3 days followed by intense exam preparation that can be from 100-150 hrs in duration is a conservative time to prepare for the PMI-ACP credential. Once you successfully pass the exam, you will be PM-ACP certified.  Course fee for certification: INR 10999, USD 1099 Exam Format:  120 MCQs, each question will have four choices Duration: 3 hours Application fee for certification : For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee. Exam fee for certification: $435 for PMI members, $495 for non-members Retake fee for certification: $335 for PMI members and $395 for non-members. 8. Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ CertificationThis highly regarded and recognised credential is offered by Scrum.Inc. This is the Scrum training developed and promoted by Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, and helps participants implement Scrum practices to bring about innovation, value and project success. Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ Certification Demand: Considering that this certification has an agenda backed by the co-founder of Scrum, its demand in the industry is significant. The ability of certified professionals to create self-organized, high value and motivated teams is much appreciated by organizations. This has created a huge surplus of demand for Scrum professionals and this credential will put you in the market for these top roles.  Benefits of Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ CertificationDeliver high quality products and reduce costs Scale Scrum and enjoy enterprise-wide advantages Lead high performing teams Deliver products fast Earn high salaries: USD $97319  Scrum Master Certification – Getting Started & Comparison Guide 2021 (knowledgehut.com) Top companies hiring Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ professionals Financial Services Construction Engineering Pharma Data Analytics Education Tourism Government Agencies Some top companies hiring Scrum Master by Scrum Inc. Certified professionals Lockheed Martin PepsiCo Anthem Cisco Standard Chartered CapitalOne Thales FitBit Where to take training for certification: Aspirants must take the course from an authorized training provider of Scrum Inc.™. Eligibility for Scrum Master by Scrum Inc.™ exam: Attending a 16-hour Scrum Master course from an ATP of Scrum Inc™ is mandatory for taking the exam. Who should take the training (roles) for certificationProject Managers Scrum Masters Scrum Team Developers Product Owners Software Managers Software Architects Product Managers Testers Team Leads SAFe® practitioners interested in Scrum@Scale PMPs, PMI-ACP Team Leaders Professionals interested in Agile and Scrum methodologies Professionals who wish to explore how Scrum delivers twice the value at half the cost Duration to get certified: You need to attend a 16-hour course and spend some time for exam preparation. Once you take the exam and clear it, you will be Scrum Master certified.  Course fee for certification: $1995  Exam fee for certification: Included in training cost SummaryLinkedIn’s “Most promising jobs of 2017,” states that job openings for Scrum Masters grew 104 percent year-over-year from 2016, with a career advancement score of 8 out of 10; while Scrum Master was listed in the top 10 emerging Product Development jobs list by the World Economic Forum. Not just the number of jobs, but there is also steady increase in the base salary earned by Scrum certified professionals, and this increase based on the number of certifications that one holds.  So, more the number of certifications you add to your resume, the higher your salary goes. At the outset of 2021, there are still thousands of job openings for Scrum professionals. Equip yourself with one or more of these highest paying Scrum certifications and bring value to yourself and your organization.
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Top Scrum Certifications of 2021

A question that plagues most entry-level or even m... Read More

Writing Effective User Stories in JIRA

User stories are one of the main methods of communicating requirements to developers/development team in an Agile project. It is important for the individual tasked with documenting the requirements to be able to write effective and detailed enough user stories. The user stories are required to be comprehensive enough to enable the developer/development team to start analyzing, designing and developing the required functionality, feature or requirement stated in the user story.     This article while intending to guide individuals on how to write effective user stories is also intended to advise on the best practices of creating user stories using JIRA as a requirements management tool for creating stories and tasks. What is a User Story?   User stories are short, simple descriptions of a feature in the system under development told from the perspective of the person who desires this new capability. This person is normally a user of the system or even a customer who pays for the solution.  User stories typically follow a simple template as below. As a , I must be able to so that I can .  User stories are often written on index cards or sticky notes and pasted on an information radiator or in other words a scrum board. This article is however on maintaining user stories using JIRA and on how the tool can be used to ensure regular conversation.  Writing user stories on an index card is actually the ‘Card’ part of the 3 C’s in user stories. It is said that a user story should be long enough to fit into an index card and be detailed enough to arouse discussion. Writing user stories in JIRA A new user story in JIRA can be created by selecting the option to create a new issue of type ‘Story’ as shown below.  The user story in the format listed above can be written in the summary field of the new issue creation screen.  User story definition should satisfy the INVEST criteria which implies that the user stories should be: Independent (of all other user stories and be able to exist on its own) Negotiable (not a specific contract for features but be able to be used to facilitate discussion among relevant stakeholders) Valuable (create some business value) Estimable (to a good approximation) Small (so as to fit within an iteration) Testable (in principle, even if there isn’t a test for it yet)   Trace your Customer Requirements to user stories in Agile through the integration with JIRA. https://t.co/esXyAJykZy pic.twitter.com/DZoa1tJrjL — Visure Solutions (@VisureSolutions) 21 November 2017   JIRA also provides the option to set priority of user stories which might have been done based on the MoSCoW criteria, due dates, assign the story to a team member of the project, allocate a story point/hour based effort estimation for the story, tag the user story to a component level feature or in other words ‘Epic’ and be able to assign the story to a sprint during which the story is required to be implemented. Adding description to user stories The 2nd C of the 3 C’s in user stories that is ‘Confirmation’ is used to specify the acceptance criteria of the user story. An acceptance criterion is used to ascertain when a particular user story can be marked as done and is normally used by the product owner to validate the same. The acceptance criteria also help the development team implement the business rules, functionality and will be the single point of reference for the Quality Assurance Team. The description field in JIRA issue creation provides space for the user to specify the acceptance criteria.   Gearset’s Jira Self-hosted (on-prem) and Jira Cloud integration lets you automatically post deployment updates to your tickets & keep up-to-date with the progress of your user stories. https://t.co/qvDlNK5LLr pic.twitter.com/yh8RmUL1Gm — Gearset (@GearsetHQ) 29 January 2018 Enabling discussion Another main aspect of writing requirements as user stories is to enable conversation about the feature among relevant stakeholders. This is known as the ‘Conversation’ component of user stories which is the 3rd C in the 3C’s.  Often user stories are accompanied with a process diagram, UI wireframe or a mockup, data dictionary etc. which can be added as attachments in JIRA or even be associated with the story as comments, wiki page links maintained in confluence. Conclusion Writing user stories is an easy method of maintaining requirements in a dynamic environment of an Agile project. JIRA, as explained above, provides a powerful and rich set of features which helps manage requirements in an efficient and convenient manner.    
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Writing Effective User Stories in JIRA

User stories are one of the main methods of commun... Read More