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What is an "Integrated Product Team" ?

Product and process technology is quickly evolving, and competition with opponents is becoming tougher across the globe. Customers are emphasizing enhanced features and authenticity, but reduced defense spending requires stress on excellence and affordability. These changing and challenging circumstances require the implementation of integrated product development concepts to lessen development cycle time and strengthen product quality when delivered to the customer.Integrated Product Development (IPD) focuses on the integrated design of products and production and support processes. The design of the product and the process must be combined to ensure the optimal approach to manufacture and support the product. What Is the Importance of the Product Team? The role of the Product team is to execute business strategy while also playing the purpose of market advocate. They confirm that ideas implemented are in association with the overall corporate strategy. Product team leads the company to deliver competitive products that are in line with market needs and help the company reach business goals.The following points characterize a good product team.The product team has a clear understanding of customers’ challenges and goals. As a team they share a strong purpose and vision and work tirelessly to solve the problem they are facing. The product team lists assumptions for each product or list feature idea and convert these to testable theories. They spend A LOT of time on researching and testing. The product team builds their roadmaps around hurdles that they would like to solve for the customers. The product team involves the whole team in resolving customer challenges. The entire team is employed in designing, prototyping and testing a solution. After the product teams delivers a new feature, they measure the success of it based on the insights of the initial customer discovery. Customer feedback and insights enable the team to learn tirelessly and they try out new approaches for solving their customers’ problems. They have an overall idea of the existing solutions that customers have. They assume what customers struggle with, and what the potentials for improvements could be. The product team is conscious that what is accomplished today might not be the best solution tomorrow. They continuously seek feedback from users, customers, and leads, and are conscious of where the market is moving. They update the customer pain points, personas, customer goals, and product expectations. The product team doesn’t work in isolation. They collude closely with sales, marketing, and support teams. They impart a lean approach for learning and responding to customer behavior all across an organization. The product team will understand the latest technology first and will adopt it only after experimenting with it and ensuring to achieve the solution that fits users' actual usage and expectations. They will contribute to building conceptual MVPs and testing product ideas, rather than wasting valuable time on perfecting technology before placing it in front of users. What Are Integrated Product Teams? An integrated product team (IPT) is a multidisciplinary combination of people who are collectively accountable for delivering a designated product or process. The emphasis of the IPT is on the relationship of all stakeholders in a collaborative forum. IPTs were introduced to the U.S. in 1995 as part of the major acquisition reforms to the way goods and services were acquired. IPTs are used in complex development programs/projects for inspection and decision making. The emphasis of the IPT is on the involvement of all stakeholders in a collaborative forum. There are three types of IPTs that every procurement program will implement: Overarching IPTs: Concentrate on imperative guidance, program evaluation, and issue resolution Working-level IPTs: Recognize and resolve program issues, discover program situation, and examine opportunities for procurement reform Program-level IPTs: Focus on program accomplishment and may include representatives from both government and industry after contract award. Integrated Product and Process Development is the management method that simultaneously integrates all necessary procurement activities through the use of IPT to optimize design, manufacturing, and supportability methods. The remarkable success of the integrated product and process development (IPPD) at companies such as Boeing, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard has prompted many manufacturers to focus renewed importance on this critical aspect of concurrent engineering. Below are the principles of integrated product development Good consumer relationships, frequent interactions, and feedback practices lead to more solid understanding of customer’s/user’s needs. Customer association enhances the possibility of the product meeting the needs and being successful in the market. Integrate product development, R&D with the business strategy and business plans. Defines the influence on time-to-market, product development and competitive advantage. Quick implementation of Marketing/ program management, manufacturing, material, test, quality, and product support employees in product improvements reduces design renewals, repetition, and production obstacles. Authorized, self-directed teams have more refined control and are dedicated to development goals.   The manufacturing and product support methods should be integrated with the design of products in order to optimize the performance and have a seamless product life cycle process implemented.   Development team members should be associated with the plans and proposals for new products or programs to obtain their input and engagement. Manage non-recurring development expenses by effective planning; incremental, low-risk development; and by maintaining project scope.   Utilize the expertise of the specialists/ experts during product development and optimize product designs. Control schedule balance and welcome improvements/ suggestions by suppliers/experts to generate more reliable products at lower costs.   Quality Design, engineering, architecture, and reliable procedures give an efficient way to recognize the role and interaction of products. Implement lessons learned to avoid repeating past mistakes and conduct surveys to ensure all design problems and risks have been properly addressed.   Integration of CAM mechanisms helps to have design/definition with fewer errors, higher accuracy, and a drop-in lead time to production. Software re-usability with object-oriented design brings a high level of productivity to the software.    Modeling, interpretation, and simulation tools help to develop and refine both product and process design inexpensively. They also help to develop the design and decrease the number of time-consuming iterations for mock-ups and developmental prototypes.   Re-engineering the product design process, decreasing the activities which don't provide value, continuous integration of technical tools, design activities, and recommended methodologies will improve the process design. When Are Integrated Product Teams Crucial? IPTs organize development group to enable Concurrent Engineering, Integrated Product Development, or Lean Product Development. They are used for the purpose of developing and delivering a product or service to their customer(s). While collaboration and transparency across developments are important for the success of every project, it’s certainly dangerous for complex projects with a significant downstream impact. A quick research of IPTs will reveal that they are crucial as they are associated with defense projects. How to Form an Integrated Product Team Creating an IPT takes more than the individuals involved - it requires a well-thought-out framework.Use the following framework to start organizing your integrated product team:Plan DevelopmentCustomer focus decides the needs of customers, products that meet needs, and current capabilities. Perform a gap analysis on these factors. The organization must cater to the product in IPD, not the other way around. Set up a team and determine required resources like hardware, software, space, and outside contractors. Communication and TrainingTrain the team when required. Appoint a team leader who can manage individual team members on the IPD philosophy. Don’t scrimp on investment in training, and use it as an opportunity to cross-pollinate teams who earlier rarely interacted, like business strategy members and software developers.  Improvement of Development ProcessSuccessful product development begins with a tested, clear, and well-executed process. The plan should then follow a logical and disciplined sequence of development phases. Product Development helps to perfect the end-to-end process and this enables a development team to turn great ideas into highly successful products. Team Relationships and ResponsibilitiesTeam relationships unite design and engineering teams to create a friendly work relationship that transposes to intuitive products. Designers and engineers collaborate to support each other’s phases. This helps teams to create innovative and intuitive products.  Create MetricsDefine success and present metrics to different teams for significant comparison. Engineers handling timely delivery, responsiveness, etc are good common measures. Processes, Activities, and DecisionsIPTs must continuously develop. Divide the task to departmental leaders and team members for recording activity and decisions implemented.Why Integrated Product Development Fails to Take Hold There are times when organizations fail to launch integrated product teams or they never do so, and there could be many reasons for this. Even with the most suitable management and employees, an integrated product team might be difficult, if not impossible, to be launched.  Here are some factors to be avoided:Overestimation The ideas or concepts may not too hard to understand, but embedding them in the right position requires knowledge of project management and coordination at all levels affiliated with IPD. If the management observes the IPD concept and rearranges the organizational chart without embracing the spirit of the methodology, it will never gain a foothold. A skilled approach and team of consultants might be essential to improve, set up, and mentor everyone in the team.  PrioritizationSetting up preferences is a talent expected from the experts working in the team and the results anticipated may not appear overnight. There may be too many cogs to get the engine active right away. If stakeholders notice a fad project management method and observe that results will not materialize easily, the integrated product team would fail. The required commitment of the team is the key to the success of any project.  Culture of OrganizationEvery organization’s culture is not set to seamlessly work with IPD principles. A developer workroom may follow Scrum, and a product design agency may acknowledge multi-org coordination. If an organization is resistant to changes, it might not be able to manage IPD.   Clarity of RolesIf there is no concrete direction as to who is accountable for what on a developer team, and who reports to whom, the project would be uncontrollable.  No Follow UpA vital part of the process is following-up and obtaining the progress reports from the team at regular intervals. If the management isn’t monitoring the process; the team might lose their motivation to work with full zeal.  Meager InvestmentA meager amount of money and no time to train the IPD practitioners results in negative improvement of the IPD team and they are bound to fail. A long-term investment would boost returns only when it is managed accurately. We attain proficiency not only in mitigating our errors at each iteration but also in enhancing working relationships among team members.  Team CoordinationThe team members must accept their responsibilities. IPD requires a higher-level of coordination on the part of employees. If team members neglect their roles, the project will collapse for e.g. interacting with vendors has been the purview of account managers, and planning out schedules was the precinct of project managers.DisincentivesIt is essential to analyze, review and realign policies and incentive structures properly, else team members would not cooperate with other team members and this may delay delivery.Key Factors to Make Ipd Adoption Successful  Below are the key factors which, when followed efficiently, would make IPD adoption successful. All stakeholders and management should be aligned to a single objective. The owner should marshal the resources required for the project, else it can negatively impact their project by not providing the needed leadership.  Adopting a scientific strategy and its implementation depends on building the plan, implementation of the plan, and constant review of the implemented plan. Sharing the risk of scope and budget between parties helps in establishing the fine line required for the best project economization. Implementation of modern methods and technology within the organization framework helps in achieving the end results at high standards. Skilled manpower is another essential key factor and organizations should make investments in human capital. The customer is the central focus point of IPD. Constant feedback from the customer is essential for IPD to be a success. IPD is a suitable design approach that, when successfully implemented, can address all the concerns of modern organizations in the globalized world. Project Management Tools and Integrated Product Development  A product development roadmap template can help to sketch out the high-level concept of your product. However, there is a different way to enhance the process: using the right software tools.  Below are the benefits accrued when using the right product management software: Manage your resources more effectively Set a more realistic product development schedule Find the charts that work for you Use real-time reports for deeper insights Centralize communication and your product visionAdvantages of Integrated Product Development What makes IPD so beneficial? Following are the advantages they yield for new product development.  Modernization and TechnologyProject innovations in development and manufacturing are needed to beat competitors in the market. Long-play investments in R&D for your current project may pay off in the future because the IPD formed will be working efficiently. Depreciates CostsIPD’s principle of continuous process improvement, MVP, and reducing redundancy and rework means that costs will decrease.  Overwhelms Risk of Product FailureReinforcing regular communication will result in mitigating design flaws or manufacturing errors. By including stakeholders early on and at all stages of the conversation, issues that could arise in the future can be predicted earlier.  If the team is working together well and sharing notes, product failure is unlikely to happen. Quality and InnovationProduct failure is reduced when the strongest minds of each discipline come together and collaborate, rather than non-practitioners delivering direction or partially-committed vendors just phoning in a one-time job.  Stakeholder ParticipationIPD’s true advantage is that it encourages participation from all stakeholder organizations. Customer perspectives are brought from research, and intellectual consent from all stakeholders is the only way forward. ConclusionIntegrated product development theories are not exceptional and new in product development organizations and many of these methods have been used in the past. But as the size and complexity of companies increased, the industry lost many of these practices. The concepts of IPD are simple, but the implementation of these practices and the process of changing a company’s culture is challenging. Success can be achieved with a well-planned and managed effort. Management must understand not only the concepts of IPD but the process of managing change within the organization.  The purpose of IPD is to decrease later stage design changes, decrease project risks, and keep costs low. A company can accomplish the benefits of full life cycle design alongside the efficiency of multi-disciplinary teams by efficiently executing integrated product development processes. 

What is an "Integrated Product Team" ?

6K
What is an

Product and process technology is quickly evolving, and competition with opponents is becoming tougher across the globe. Customers are emphasizing enhanced features and authenticity, but reduced defense spending requires stress on excellence and affordability. These changing and challenging circumstances require the implementation of integrated product development concepts to lessen development cycle time and strengthen product quality when delivered to the customer.

Integrated Product Development (IPD) focuses on the integrated design of products and production and support processes. The design of the product and the process must be combined to ensure the optimal approach to manufacture and support the product. 

What Is the Importance of the Product Team? 

The role of the Product team is to execute business strategy while also playing the purpose of market advocate. They confirm that ideas implemented are in association with the overall corporate strategy. Product team leads the company to deliver competitive products that are in line with market needs and help the company reach business goals.

The following points characterize a good product team.

  1. The product team has a clear understanding of customers’ challenges and goals. As a team they share a strong purpose and vision and work tirelessly to solve the problem they are facing. 
  2. The product team lists assumptions for each product or list feature idea and convert these to testable theories. They spend A LOT of time on researching and testing. 
  3. The product team builds their roadmaps around hurdles that they would like to solve for the customers. 
  4. The product team involves the whole team in resolving customer challenges. The entire team is employed in designing, prototyping and testing a solution. 
  5. After the product teams delivers a new feature, they measure the success of it based on the insights of the initial customer discovery. 
  6. Customer feedback and insights enable the team to learn tirelessly and they try out new approaches for solving their customers’ problems. 
  7. They have an overall idea of the existing solutions that customers have. They assume what customers struggle with, and what the potentials for improvements could be. 
  8. The product team is conscious that what is accomplished today might not be the best solution tomorrow. They continuously seek feedback from users, customers, and leads, and are conscious of where the market is moving. They update the customer pain points, personas, customer goals, and product expectations. 
  9. The product team doesn’t work in isolation. They collude closely with sales, marketing, and support teams. They impart a lean approach for learning and responding to customer behavior all across an organization. 
  10. The product team will understand the latest technology first and will adopt it only after experimenting with it and ensuring to achieve the solution that fits users' actual usage and expectations. They will contribute to building conceptual MVPs and testing product ideas, rather than wasting valuable time on perfecting technology before placing it in front of users. 

What Are Integrated Product Teams? 

INTEGRATED PRODUCT TEAMS

An integrated product team (IPT) is a multidisciplinary combination of people who are collectively accountable for delivering a designated product or process. 

The emphasis of the IPT is on the relationship of all stakeholders in a collaborative forum. IPTs were introduced to the U.S. in 1995 as part of the major acquisition reforms to the way goods and services were acquired. 

IPTs are used in complex development programs/projects for inspection and decision making. The emphasis of the IPT is on the involvement of all stakeholders in a collaborative forum. 

There are three types of IPTs that every procurement program will implement: 

  1. Overarching IPTs: Concentrate on imperative guidance, program evaluation, and issue resolution 
  2. Working-level IPTs: Recognize and resolve program issues, discover program situation, and examine opportunities for procurement reform 
  3. Program-level IPTs: Focus on program accomplishment and may include representatives from both government and industry after contract award. 

Integrated Product and Process Development is the management method that simultaneously integrates all necessary procurement activities through the use of IPT to optimize design, manufacturing, and supportability methods. 

IPTs that every procurement program

The remarkable success of the integrated product and process development (IPPD) at companies such as Boeing, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard has prompted many manufacturers to focus renewed importance on this critical aspect of concurrent engineering. 

Below are the principles of integrated product development 

  1. Good consumer relationships, frequent interactions, and feedback practices lead to more solid understanding of customer’s/user’s needs. Customer association enhances the possibility of the product meeting the needs and being successful in the market. 
  2. Integrate product development, R&D with the business strategy and business plans. Defines the influence on time-to-market, product development and competitive advantage. 
  3. Quick implementation of Marketing/ program management, manufacturing, material, test, quality, and product support employees in product improvements reduces design renewals, repetition, and production obstacles. Authorized, self-directed teams have more refined control and are dedicated to development goals.  
  4.  The manufacturing and product support methods should be integrated with the design of products in order to optimize the performance and have a seamless product life cycle process implemented.  
  5.  Development team members should be associated with the plans and proposals for new products or programs to obtain their input and engagement. Manage non-recurring development expenses by effective planning; incremental, low-risk development; and by maintaining project scope.  
  6.  Utilize the expertise of the specialists/ experts during product development and optimize product designs. Control schedule balance and welcome improvements/ suggestions by suppliers/experts to generate more reliable products at lower costs.  
  7.  Quality Design, engineering, architecture, and reliable procedures give an efficient way to recognize the role and interaction of products. Implement lessons learned to avoid repeating past mistakes and conduct surveys to ensure all design problems and risks have been properly addressed.  
  8.  Integration of CAM mechanisms helps to have design/definition with fewer errors, higher accuracy, and a drop-in lead time to production. Software re-usability with object-oriented design brings a high level of productivity to the software.   
  9.  Modeling, interpretation, and simulation tools help to develop and refine both product and process design inexpensively. They also help to develop the design and decrease the number of time-consuming iterations for mock-ups and developmental prototypes.  
  10.  Re-engineering the product design process, decreasing the activities which don't provide value, continuous integration of technical tools, design activities, and recommended methodologies will improve the process design. 

When Are Integrated Product Teams Crucial? 

IPTs organize development group to enable Concurrent Engineering, Integrated Product Development, or Lean Product Development. They are used for the purpose of developing and delivering a product or service to their customer(s). While collaboration and transparency across developments are important for the success of every project, it’s certainly dangerous for complex projects with a significant downstream impact. A quick research of IPTs will reveal that they are crucial as they are associated with defense projects. 

How to Form an Integrated Product Team 

Creating an IPT takes more than the individuals involved - it requires a well-thought-out framework.

Use the following framework to start organizing your integrated product team:

Plan Development

Customer focus decides the needs of customers, products that meet needs, and current capabilities. Perform a gap analysis on these factors. The organization must cater to the product in IPD, not the other way around. Set up a team and determine required resources like hardware, software, space, and outside contractors. 

Communication and Training

Train the team when required. Appoint team leader who can manage individual team members on the IPD philosophy. Don’t scrimp on investment in training, and use it as an opportunity to cross-pollinate teams who earlier rarely interacted, like business strategy members and software developers.  

Improvement of Development Process

Successful product development begins with a tested, clear, and well-executed process. The plan should then follow a logical and disciplined sequence of development phases. Product Development helps to perfect the end-to-end process and this enables a development team to turn great ideas into highly successful products. 

Team Relationships and Responsibilities

Team relationships unite design and engineering teams to create a friendly work relationship that transposes to intuitive products. Designers and engineers collaborate to support each other’s phases. This helps teams to create innovative and intuitive products.  

Create Metrics

Define success and present metrics to different teams for significant comparison. Engineers handling timely delivery, responsiveness, etc are good common measures. 

Processes, Activities, and Decisions

IPTs must continuously develop. Divide the task to departmental leaders and team members for recording activity and decisions implemented.

Why Integrated Product Development Fails to Take Hold 

There are times when organizations fail to launch integrated product teams or they never do so, and there could be many reasons for this. Even with the most suitable management and employeesan integrated product team might be difficult, if not impossible, to be launched 

Here are some factors to be avoided:

Overestimation 

The ideas or concepts may not too hard to understand, but embedding them in the right position requires knowledge of project management and coordination at all levels affiliated with IPD. If the management observes the IPD concept and rearranges the organizational chart without embracing the spirit of the methodology, it will never gain a foothold. A skilled approach and team of consultants might be essential to improve, set up, and mentor everyone in the team.  

Prioritization

Setting up preferences is a talent expected from the experts working in the team and the results anticipated may not appear overnight. There may be too many cogs to get the engine active right away. If stakeholders notice a fad project management method and observe that results will not materialize easily, the integrated product team would fail. The required commitment of the team is the key to the success of any project.  

Culture of Organization

Every organization’s culture is not set to seamlessly work with IPD principles. A developer workroom may follow Scrum, and a product design agency may acknowledge multi-org coordination. If an organization is resistant to changes, it might not be able to manage IPD.   

Clarity of Roles

If there is no concrete direction as to who is accountable for what on a developer team, and who reports to whom, the project would be uncontrollable.  

No Follow Up

A vital part of the process is following-up and obtaining the progress reports from the team at regular intervals. If the management isn’t monitoring the process; the team might lose their motivation to work with full zeal.  

Meager Investment

A meager amount of money and no time to train the IPD practitioners results in negative improvement of the IPD team and they are bound to fail. A long-term investment would boost returns only when it is managed accurately. We attain proficiency not only in mitigating our errors at each iteration but also in enhancing working relationships among team members.  

Team Coordination

The team members must accept their responsibilities. IPD requires a higher-level of coordination on the part of employees. If team members neglect their roles, the project will collapse for e.g. interacting with vendors has been the purview of account managers, and planning out schedules was the precinct of project managers.

Disincentives

It is essential to analyze, review and realign policies and incentive structures properly, else team members would not cooperate with other team members and this may delay delivery.

Key Factors to Make Ipd Adoption Successful  

Below are the key factors which, when followed efficiently, would make IPD adoption successful. 

  1. All stakeholders and management should be aligned to a single objective. 
  2. The owner should marshal the resources required for the project, else it can negatively impact their project by not providing the needed leadership.  
  3. Adopting a scientific strategy and its implementation depends on building the plan, implementation of the plan, and constant review of the implemented plan. 
  4. Sharing the risk of scope and budget between parties helps in establishing the fine line required for the best project economization. 
  5. Implementation of modern methods and technology within the organization framework helps in achieving the end results at high standards. 
  6. Skilled manpower is another essential key factor and organizations should make investments in human capital. 
  7. The customer is the central focus point of IPD. Constant feedback from the customer is essential for IPD to be a success. 

IPD is a suitable design approach that, when successfully implemented, can address all the concerns of modern organizations in the globalized world. 

Project Management Tools and Integrated Product Development  

A product development roadmap template can help to sketch out the high-level concept of your product. However, there is a different way to enhance the process: using the right software tools.  

Below are the benefits accrued when using the right product management software: 

  1. Manage your resources more effectively 
  2. Set a more realistic product development schedule 
  3. Find the charts that work for you 
  4. Use real-time reports for deeper insights 
  5. Centralize communication and your product vision

Advantages of Integrated Product Development 

What makes IPD so beneficial? Following are the advantages they yield for new product development.  

Modernization and Technology

Project innovations in development and manufacturing are needed to beat competitors in the market. Long-play investments in R&D for your current project may pay off in the future because the IPD formed will be working efficiently. 

Depreciates Costs

IPD’s principle of continuous process improvement, MVP, and reducing redundancy and rework means that costs will decrease.  

Overwhelms Risk of Product Failure

Reinforcing regular communication will result in mitigating design flaws or manufacturing errors. By including stakeholders early on and at all stages of the conversation, issues that could arise in the future can be predicted earlier If the team is working together well and sharing notes, product failure is unlikely to happen. 

Quality and Innovation

Product failure is reduced when the strongest minds of each discipline come together and collaborate, rather than non-practitioners delivering direction or partially-committed vendors just phoning in a one-time job.  

Stakeholder Participation

IPD’s true advantage is that it encourages participation from all stakeholder organizations. Customer perspectives are brought from research, and intellectual consent from all stakeholders is the only way forward. 

Conclusion

Integrated product development theories are not exceptional and new in product development organizations and many of these methods have been used in the past. But as the size and complexity of companies increased, the industry lost many of these practices. The concepts of IPD are simple, but the implementation of these practices and the process of changing a company’s culture is challenging. Success can be achieved with a well-planned and managed effort. Management must understand not only the concepts of IPD but the process of managing change within the organization.  

The purpose of IPD is to decrease later stage design changes, decrease project risks, and keep costs low. A company can accomplish the benefits of full life cycle design alongside the efficiency of multi-disciplinary teams by efficiently executing integrated product development processes. 

Rajesh

Rajesh Bhagia

Blog Author

Rajesh Bhagia is experienced campaigner in Lamp technologies and has 10 years of experience in Project Management. He has worked in Multinational companies and has handled small to very complex projects single-handedly. He started his career as Junior Programmer and has evolved in different positions including Project Manager of Projects in E-commerce Portals. Currently, he is handling one of the largest project in E-commerce Domain in MNC company which deals in nearly 9.5 million SKU's.

In his role as Project Manager at MNC company, Rajesh fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining morale. His strong communication and client service skills enhance his process-driven management philosophy.

Rajesh is a certified Zend Professional and has developed a flair for implementing PMP Knowledge Areas in daily work schedules. He has well understood the importance of these process and considers that using the knowledge Areas efficiently and correctly can turn projects to success. He also writes articles/blogs on Technology and Management

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Organizing development efforts around value, creating dual Operating system of “network and traditional” hierarchies within the organization to encourage innovative start up culture along with Enterprise Stability.Continuous Learning Culture – Promoting Continuous Learning, Improvement and Innovation.Lean Agile Leadership – Leaders exhibiting the desired Agile behaviours they wish to see in their teams.Team and Technical Agility – Cross functional Business and Technical teams that deliver with Quality.Agile Product Delivery – Customer centric solutions on a continuous delivery pipeline, developing on cadence and releasing on demand.Enterprise Solution Delivery – Lean product delivery integrating the complete solution ecosystem- Partners, Suppliers and Vendors.SAFe recommends different flavours of the framework depending on the practicing organization’s needs and where they stand in their Agile journey.The four flavours of SAFe 5 areEssential – Basic configuration of the framework that recommends the foundational elements - roles, practices and competencies to be successful with SAFe.Solution – Additional roles, practices and competencies required to build large scale applications, large Solutions and networks.Portfolio – Provides the framework for Portfolio Strategy, investment funding aligning portfolio strategy with execution. A simple Portfolio configuration includes the Essential configuration.Full – Comprehensive configuration of the framework covering Essential, Solution and Portfolio.Why is SAFe important for individual practitioners?  For an employee who is part of an organization that has chosen to adopt SAFe, it is important that he/she is aware of the framework at large, the current state of the organization and where they are headed in the future. The first step for an individual would be to acquire the knowledge about SAFe in general and then delve deep into the areas which are closest to his/her area of expertise.  Depending on the employee’s role and responsibilities, he/she could take up the most appropriate SAFe Course and choose to get Certified in the same. Some of the courses are listed below. Leading SAFe , Certified SAFe Agilist: For leaders and executives to acquire a Lean-Agile mindset and propagate and develop the same across the organization. Implementing SAFe, Certified SAFe Program Consultant:  For change agents and Agile coaches who are spearheading the implementation of SAFe in the organization. SAFe for Teams, Certified Agile Practitioner: For team members. It can also serve as a foundational course for all employees. SAFe Scrum Master, Certified SAFe Scrum Master  SAFe Advanced Scrum Master, Certified SAFe  Advanced Scrum Master SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager, Certified SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager SAFe Release Train Engineer, Certified SAFe RTE: For SAFe RTEs to enhance their skills as servant leader and coach of a Release Train. There are also other courses specific to Government, Architects, DevOps, Portfolio Management etc. Why should I choose SAFe Agilist? If an organization has decided to adopt SAFe and begin the transformation journey then the SAFe Agilist Course is the right place to begin with. Executives, thought Leaders like Enterprise Architects or Department Heads, Program Managers, Project Managers, and Employee Managers who are major stakeholders of large-scale transformations will find this course apt.  The SAFe Agilist course, in fact, is the number one step in the SAFe implementation roadmap. Before a SAFe Transformation, the Leaders, Executives and Managers of the organization should truly believe in the Lean-Agile principles and themselves start exhibiting the Lean Agile behaviours and mindset, which they wish to see in their teams. They should know the approach to be taken to go agile at the team, department and organizational level.   By becoming SAFe Agilists, the Leaders become one of the front-runners of Agile in the organization and are able to wield the necessary influence needed to transform their teams. Lean Agile leadership is the foundational competency that is part of every flavour of the SAFe framework, reiterating how important it is to have Lean Agile Leadership at the helm to implement SAFe  successfully. If in case, your organization has not yet started the SAFe journey and is on the threshold of a tipping point it would be wise to become a SAFe Agilist. A Certified SAFe Agilist and Leader becomes a valuable asset for the organization that is about to begin its Agile journey. You could become one of the core Visionary members driving and implementing the SAFe Agile transformation.If not intended for the scenarios mentioned above, the SAFe Agilist certification also proves to be career progression path for many servant leaders.What is the learning objective of SAFe Agilist?  Explore SAFe Principles derived from Lean and Agile philosophies of Product Development Becoming Lean Agile Leaders in order to exhibit and propagate the Lean Agile mindset throughout the Organization Establishing Team and Technical Agility Agile Product Delivery by adopting a customer-centric mindset, organizing around value, applying Design and Systems Thinking. Experiencing a PI Planning Event. The PI Planning is one of the trademark SAFe events with immense benefits. Experiencing a mock PI Planning event during the course helps the Business Leaders to understand the significance of such an event and the benefits it brings to the organization. Building a Continuous Delivery Pipeline and instilling a DevOps culture. Exploring Lean Portfolio Management and its Implementation in the organization. Establishing Business Agility by aligning the Applications and Solutions Implementation to the Portfolio Strategy. The Leading SAFe Certification Completion of the SAFe Agilist course gives access to the exam and all related study materials as part of a Learning Plan in the SAFe Community Platform. The Learning Plan helps the individual to prepare for the Certification exam through Mock test and Practice Questionnaires. Details of the Certification exam can be found here. On successful completion of the exam, apart from the SAFe Agilist PDF certificate and SAFe Agilist digital badge there is   One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform, which includes access to the SA Community of Practice Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other SAFe certified professionals A variety of learning resources to support you during your SAFe journey What is the target audience and the eligibility criteria for SAFe certification?  Typically, the target audience for the SAFe Agilist course are people in Executive, Managerial and Leadership roles in Enterprise Organizations. They might be part of a set of Visionary leaders initiating and spearheading a SAFe transformation or an important stakeholder in the Agile Release Train who needs to get onboarded into the SAFe way of working. As per Scaled Agile, Inc, prerequisites are highly recommended for those who intend to take the SAFe® 5 Agilist (SA) Certification exam.  5+ years’ experience in software development, testing, business analysis, product, or project management Experience in ScrumConclusionThe Scaled Agile Framework has become an important proven methodology of practicing Agile at scale. More and more enterprises are kicking off their SAFe transformation journeys, and for those who are already running SAFe , they are drawing out implementation plans to sustain and upgrade. At the foundation of these large transformations and upgrades are the Lean Agile Leaders who are responsible for driving the change through the length and breadth of the organization. Being a Certified SAFe Agilist is definitely a very credible achievement and opens doors for exciting opportunities in the Agile world. 
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Is a SAFe® Agilist Course Right for You?

Companies adopting SAFe® have found huge benefits... Read More

SAFe® Agilist Certification Vs PMI-ACP®: Which Certification Should You Choose?

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

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

Top Learning Outcomes of Leading SAFe 5 Certification

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

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