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INFOGRAPHIC : The Power of Planning and Estimating in Agile

Estimating and planning is an important aspect of the Agile methodology. Every plan will help in building a platform to develop a project and estimation will help in filling the gap and remove the hindrances in the software development process. The Agile Methodology roughly provides an idea of how a project manager can plan and estimate to make project success. Estimating and planning are the two factors which influence the outcome of any project.Agile planning is all about measuring the speed at which a team can turn user stories into functional production-ready software. Estimating and planning are critical for the success of a software development project. It may involve various challenges due to estimation done by the wrong person which leads to mismatch in the process. It is a waste, if a team works without any specific requirement, and moreover if the tasks are not assigned properly, it may result in excess time and efforts.Agile planning bears a great significance when compared to Non-Agile planning.The step-by-step actions are taken through the user stories, whereas in case of Non-Agile planning, the focus is more on the problem. Often a question arises as to how one should implement Scrum for a large-scaled software development. It can be through 5 levels of Agile planning because they render flexibility on how you and the organization want to implement planning, based on teams, environment, and culture. The planning levels start with product vision which includes product owner taking care of the entire product right from the beginning with respect to the product structure as well. Product roadmap planning, which focuses on implementing the product involves product manager and the product owner. The next step is release planning where the project manager and his team involves and delivers the releasable product.Coming to Iteration Planning, it is basically an event where all team members determine how much of the team backlog they can commit to deliver during an upcoming Iteration and the entire work slots are determined. The team summarizes the work as a set of committed iteration goals. The end stage is the daily commitment planning where the team discusses the progress of the project and updates are given.Agile planning life cycle includes involvement of stakeholders, updating the status of the project and checking through what has to be improved for the further action and later improvements through Build-Measure-Learn cycle.The last phase deals with the Estimation step wherein the project expert’s opinions are taken into consideration for the development of the project growth, and breaking the bigger tasks into smaller units which helps in understanding the requirements better. Later, estimation is done through Retrospectives. This involves looking back at events that took place, or works that were produced, and at the end delivers a high quality software.Planning and Estimation is hard, estimates can be made as accurate as possible through a proper collaboration with the Product Owner.In summary, Agile estimation is a team sport where the team members-Estimate smarter not harderLearn from past experience.Only a right planning and estimation delivers the best product.
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INFOGRAPHIC : The Power of Planning and Estimating in Agile

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Estimating and planning is an important aspect of the Agile methodology. Every plan will help in building a platform to develop a project and estimation will help in filling the gap and remove the hindrances in the software development process. The Agile Methodology roughly provides an idea of how a project manager can plan and estimate to make project success. Estimating and planning are the two factors which influence the outcome of any project.

Agile planning is all about measuring the speed at which a team can turn user stories into functional production-ready software. Estimating and planning are critical for the success of a software development project. It may involve various challenges due to estimation done by the wrong person which leads to mismatch in the process. It is a waste, if a team works without any specific requirement, and moreover if the tasks are not assigned properly, it may result in excess time and efforts.

Agile planning bears a great significance when compared to Non-Agile planning.The step-by-step actions are taken through the user stories, whereas in case of Non-Agile planning, the focus is more on the problem. Often a question arises as to how one should implement Scrum for a large-scaled software development. It can be through 5 levels of Agile planning because they render flexibility on how you and the organization want to implement planning, based on teams, environment, and culture. The planning levels start with product vision which includes product owner taking care of the entire product right from the beginning with respect to the product structure as well. Product roadmap planning, which focuses on implementing the product involves product manager and the product owner. The next step is release planning where the project manager and his team involves and delivers the releasable product.

Coming to Iteration Planning, it is basically an event where all team members determine how much of the team backlog they can commit to deliver during an upcoming Iteration and the entire work slots are determined. The team summarizes the work as a set of committed iteration goals. The end stage is the daily commitment planning where the team discusses the progress of the project and updates are given.

Agile planning life cycle includes involvement of stakeholders, updating the status of the project and checking through what has to be improved for the further action and later improvements through Build-Measure-Learn cycle.

The last phase deals with the Estimation step wherein the project expert’s opinions are taken into consideration for the development of the project growth, and breaking the bigger tasks into smaller units which helps in understanding the requirements better. Later, estimation is done through Retrospectives. This involves looking back at events that took place, or works that were produced, and at the end delivers a high quality software.

Planning and Estimation is hard, estimates can be made as accurate as possible through a proper collaboration with the Product Owner.

In summary, Agile estimation is a team sport where the team members-

  • Estimate smarter not harder
  • Learn from past experience.

Only a right planning and estimation delivers the best product.

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Agile and DevOps Or Agile vs DevOps: Differences

Agile is the standard in today’s application development world. Development teams are adopting it over the last 10 years, as it has been proved to be more efficient methodology of getting quality software. Agile has improved user experience by frequently rewarding with focussed goals and quick delivery. In addition to this, the broad use of DevOps in Agile methodology has made it a more compelling approach for IT commercials. In this context, it is important to know that Agile is not DevOps, and DevOps is not Agile. It is difficult to achieve success in DevOps, if Agile practices are not followed. While Agile can make sense independent of DevOps, it can be more complete when accompanied by DevOps practices.Here are the emerging Agile and DevOps Trends. Many people have set their minds about Agile, that Agile means Scrum and DevOps means continuous delivery. This simplification creates unnecessary confusion between Agile and DevOps, making people think that they are perfectly compatible. So, let us have a look at the practical connections between Agile and DevOps. Planning for Unplanned work: In the DevOps circle, those using Agile acknowledges that Scrum is used to track the planned work. Tasks like releasing updated system, performing system upgrades etc, can be planned. On the other hand, the operations like performance spikes, system expiry, and standard security, can be unplanned. These types of tasks need immediate response. You cannot wait for the next sprint planning session. For this reason, many organizations embrace DevOps (more than Scrum and Kanban), which helps to track both kinds of work. Before, there were priorities from multiple masters, but now a single set of priorities are in use. Similarly, for a long list of assigned work, the time period is planned to accomplish the work. These lightweight management practices by Scrum make a huge difference for a team. Speed vs Risk: Teams using Agile with or without DevOps have to remember that, to support the rapid change, a sound application structure and a solid foundation are mandatory. Applications must have good underlying framework that must be used constantly by the team members. In the DevOps context, the teams must make sure that the changes which are made to the architecture should not introduce any risk. Also, there should not be any hidden side-effects associated with the changes, because the iterative process consists of regular changes in the architecture. So you should be concerned about the risks associated with each and every change made. Only with this type of work will you get rapid delivery without any risk. Agile and Quality: Both Agile and DevOps help develop an application fast, keeping sound structure and risk-free application.  But neither of them concentrates on the quality of the product. Mostly, IT organizations rely on the ‘fail fast’ principle- “ Early failures cost less to fix”. But with this, only fast deployments can be maintained, not quality. Agile produces applications that fit better with the desired requirements and can adapt quickly to respond to the requirement changes made on time, during the project life. DevOps, along with the automation and early bug removal, contributes to creating better quality. Developers must follow Coding and Architectural best practices to  embed quality in the applications. Agile and DevOps should try reach the next level to become highly effective within the organizations. They must conform to the industry standards using Agile and DevOps practices, to allow the development team to improve quality, make delivery faster and avoid software risks.
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Agile and DevOps Or Agile vs DevOps: Differences

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Question 1 The Scrum approach to documentation is Choice-A: Do no documentation because it is a waste of timeChoice-B: Do the necessary documentation to support the development and use of the productChoice-C: Do sufficient documentation to prove you have done a good jobChoice-D: Do more documentation than usual, because Agile is riskyCorrect Answer: Choice-B / Do the necessary documentation to support the development and use of the productQuestion 2 In Scrum projects, we plan to "learn as we go" becauseÊu  Choice-A: It creates a better relationship between the developers and customer representativesChoice-B: Many projects are evolutionary, and a better solution emerges this wayChoice-C: It is time-consuming to analyze everything at the beginning of a projectChoice-D: It prevents late delivery of the projectCorrect Answer: Choice-B / Many projects are evolutionary, and a better solution emerges this wayQuestion 3Which of these best describes the Scrum approach to team-working?  Choice-A: The team should plan to work a small amount of overtime regularly throughout the project Choice-B: The team should expect to work longer hours towards the end of the sprint, in order to deliver all that was committed to Choice-C: The team should strive for a sustainable pace and a normal working week Choice-D: The team will "burn out" if they have to work overtime for more than two sprints in a row Correct Answer: Choice-C / The team should strive for a sustainable pace and a normal working weekQuestion 4One of the development stages you would expect to see a team go through is  Choice-A: Storming Choice-B: Warming Choice-C: Cloning Choice-D: Yawning Correct Answer: Choice-A / StormingQuestion 5What is meant by Kan Ban?  Choice-A: A list of activities banned by the team, in relation to Team Norms Choice-B: The set of Can Have stories for a project Choice-C: A visible chart of work to do, work in progress and work done Choice-D: A graph of tasks partially-completed by the team  Correct Answer: Choice-C / A visible chart of work to do, work in progress and work done Question 6Which of the following choices is a key reason to adopt an agile process like Scrum? Choice-A: To be up to date on the latest process Choice-B: To shake things up in the organization Choice-C: To hold programmers and tests accountable for their work Choice-D: To be better able to respond to change   Correct Answer: Choice-D / To be better able to respond to change Question 7During a sprint the developers should beChoice-A: In twice-daily contact with the product owner Choice-B: Completely be uninterrupted by the product owner Choice-C: Able to contact the product owner to clarify aspects of the work Choice-D: Able to work without needing to disturb the product owner Correct Answer: Choice-C / Able to contact the product owner to clarify aspects of the work Question 8A Scrum Team ..... Choice-A: Is self-organizing, with each member having the same technical skills Choice-B: Collaborates and supports its team members Choice-C: Ensures that weak members of the team are allocated the simpler tasks Choice-D: Ensures blame is allocated fairly Correct Answer: Choice-B / Collaborates and supports its team members Question 9The primary purpose of the daily scrum (daily stand-up) is Choice-A: To give a status report to the ScrumMaster Choice-B: To give a status report to the product owner Choice-C: To share as a team what each member is working on and uncover obstacles standing in the way of completing the work Choice-D: To give team members a chance to take a break from their tasks Correct Answer: Choice-C / To share as a team what each member is working on and uncover obstacles standing in the way of completing the work Question 10What is the Scrum approach to doing design early in a project? Choice-A: A big design up front is always a good idea Choice-B: Just enough design up front gives a good foundation to start from and helps to mitigate risk, without wasting unnecessarily time Choice-C: No design up front is the best approach as most of the fun of a project is in discovery of the unexpected Choice-D: Design has no place in an Agile project Correct Answer: Choice-B / Just enough design up front gives a good foundation to start from and helps to mitigate risk, without wasting unnecessarily time Question 11Which of the following best describes the approach for determining the Sprint length? Choice-A: Sprint should always be 30 days Choice-B: The team determines Sprint length by dividing the total number of story points by the average velocity of the team Choice-C: Sprint should always be two weeks Choice-D: The team should agree on the length of the Sprint, taking the size and complexity of the project into consideration Correct Answer: Choice-D / The team should agree on the length of the Sprint, taking the size and complexity of the project into consideration Question 12Which of the following is a characteristic of a ScrumMaster? Choice-A: Task focused Choice-B: Process oriented Choice-C: Supportive Choice-D: Disengaged Correct Answer: Choice-C / SupportiveQuestion 13Which one of the following is NOT traditionally an activity of the Scrum framework? Choice-A: Sprint planning Choice-B: Sprint review Choice-C: Sprint retrospective Choice-D: Weekly inspection Correct Answer: Choice-D / Weekly inspection Question 14Which of the following are roles in the Scrum framework? Choice-A: Product Owner Choice-B: Project Manager Choice-C: Lead Developer Choice-D: Business Analyst Correct Answer: Choice-A / Product Owner Question 15What is most important in all Scrum projects?A) Self-organization, B) Clear hierarchies in the company, C) Communication,D) Continuous improvement Choice-A:  A, B, C, D Choice-B: A, C, D Choice-C:  A, D Choice-D: A, B Correct Answer: Choice-B / A, C, DQuestion 16When handling team dynamics, what should the Scrum Master do? Choice-A: Empower the team members, within appropriate limits Choice-B: Encourage an environment of competition and personal advantage Choice-C: Give clear directives to the team about what they should do and how Choice-D: Expect team members to be proactive and each work to their own priorities and objectives Correct Answer: Choice-A / Empower the team members, within appropriate limits Question 17What kind of software development projects can be executed by Scrum Framework? Choice-A: Complete software packages Choice-B: Customer projects Choice-C: All kinds of software development projects Choice-D: Sub-systems, components or parts of bigger systems Correct Answer: Choice-C / All kinds of software development projects.Question 18What should the developers do if the product owner is repeatedly too busy to be available? Choice-A: Continue the work, record the assumptions and ask the customer later for input Choice-B: Send the customer a written warning that the end product will be completed on time, but may not meet their needs Choice-C: Allow the Business Analyst to take on the role of Proxy Customer Representative Choice-D: Draw the problem to the attention of the ScrumMaster Correct Answer: Choice-D / Draw the problem to the attention of the ScrumMaster .Question 19
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SAFe®️ 4.6 - The Latest Entrant In SAFe®️ Series With 5 Core Competencies

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Also, this new way of SAFe®️ working can make a big difference to the organizations that are struggling with their transformations.Here are the names of the five competencies introduced newly to build a better Lean organization in a Lean way. Lean-Agile Leadership Team and Technical Agility  DevOps and Release on demand  Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering  Lean Portfolio ManagementBenefits of SAFe®️ 4.6 competenciesHaving these five competencies allows organizations to-Navigate digital disruptionsRespond to the volatile market conditionsMeeting the varying customer requirements and latest technologiesLet’s explore each competency in details below.1) Lean-Agile Leadership:The Lean-Agile Leadership competency focuses on describing how the Lean-Agile leaders steer organizational change by encouraging the individuals and teams to reach their highest potential. The Lean-Agile leaders do this by learning, exhibiting, and coaching the Lean-Agile mindset, core values, principles, practices & features of SAFe®️.Changes made in Lean-Agile Leadership in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe SAFe®️ principles have been updated with a redraft of Principle #3 — Assume variability and preserve optionsA new advanced topic article, Evolving Role of Managers describes the changes and ongoing responsibilities of line management in the new way of working.2) Team and Technical AgilityThe Team and Technical Agility competency describe the critical skills and Lean-Agile principles and practices that are required to produce the high-performing teams. These high-performing teams focus on creating high-quality, well-designed technical solutions in accordance with the current and future business needs.Team agility – enables high-performing organized Agile teams to operate with the fundamental and effective Agile principles and practices.Technical agility – provides Lean-Agile technical practices to generate high-quality, well-formulated technical solutions that contribute to the current and future business needs.Changes made in Team and Technical Agility in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe new built-in quality practices that ensure that each Solution element meets the appropriate quality standards at every increment. These new built-in quality practices define 5 dimensions that permit quality- flow, architecture and design quality, code quality, system quality, and release quality.The roles in the Agile teams- Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development team are updated to reflect the new guidelines and thinking from the Team and Technical Agility competency and their responsibilities in Behavior-Driven development (BDD).Behavior-Driven Development is a test-first, Agile software development approach that has evolved from the Test-Driven Development. BDD provides a built-in quality by defining system behavior.Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a practice for developing and executing the tests before implementing a code or system’s component.3) DevOps and Release on demandThe DevOps and Release on Demand competency confer how the DevOps principles and practices allow the organizations to release value (in full or in part), at any time to meet the customers’ needs. This new competency enhances the in-depth level of guidelines on implementing a full continuous delivery pipeline.Changes made in DevOps and Release on demand in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe advanced Continuous Delivery Pipeline includes mapping the current Delivery Pipeline and improving the flow with the DevOps and Release on-demand health radar.The DevOps health radar is a tool to assess the progress and improve a flow of the program value with the help of Continuous Delivery Pipeline. This tool consists of 16 sub-dimensions (as shown in the figure below) programs that are used to assess the program’s maturity. It helps to identify our health-related dimensions (e.g. sitting, crawling, walking, running, and identifying the places where we can improve).4) Business Solutions and Lean Systems EngineeringThe Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering competency show how organizations can develop large and complex solutions and cyber-physical systems using a Lean, Agile, and flow-based, value delivery-model. This model makes the best of the activities necessary to specify, design, construct, test, deploy, operate, evolve and ultimately decommission solutions.Changes made in Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionIn this competency, they have changed the eight practices for developing large and complex solutions. Following image shows the practices included in the Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering.They made changes in the Economic Framework with the following four primary elements:Operating within Lean budgets and guardrailsUnderstanding solution economic trade-offsLeveraging SuppliersSequencing jobs for the maximum benefit (using WSJF)The advanced Roadmap section introduces the multiple planning horizons and the Solution Roadmap that provides a longer-term- multiyear view, showing the key milestones and deliverable s required to reach the solution Vision over time. 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The release of the SAFe®️ 4.6 version is an update to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️) which addresses the challenge of transitioning from the traditional model to the Lean-Agile Mindset. Moreover, the version provides the guidelines on XP, TDD, and BDD, and building a better Lean enterprise in the Lean way!You heard it right! Knowing the Lean fruits of SAFe®️ 4.6 to the organizations, KnowledgeHut is launching the course in the middle of November. Stay tuned to know more. Course arriving soon!
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SAFe®️ 4.6 - The Latest Entrant In SAFe®️ Se...

Scaled Agile Inc. (SAI) recently announced the lat... Read More