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Reasons to Get Updated to Leading SAFe® 4.6 Certification in 2019

SAFe®️ is an agile framework for software development which encourages alignment, collaboration, and delivery across large numbers of agile teams. It was developed by Dean Leffingwell, leveraging three major bodies of knowledge: agile software development, lean product development, and systems thinking. It offers a simple, lightweight experience for the development team. The entire framework is distributed into four sections Team, Program Level, Large Solution, and Portfolio. The scalability and configurability provided by SAFe®️ framework support organizations to deliver new products, services, and solutions in the shortest sustainable lead time, along with the best potential quality. It orchestrates alignment, collaboration, and delivery for various Agile teams ensuring every team is focused on the same goal.With the increase in success rate for the organizations turning towards scaling, the need for them to equip themselves with the right tools, techniques, and people became their top priority. As we all know, from our experience, ‘people’ parameter is crucial for the success of any project or any organization. There has been a sharp upswing in the demand of certified professionals with the needed skills. The organizations are now turning to people who can demonstrate skills and qualities that can help them adopt the change smoothly. They are now looking into specific areas such as SAFe®️ Agilist who can understand the whole system, who can work with the teams and help out at the different levels in delivering a quality product that can add value to the customer. Most of us have already seen how SAFe®️ 4.5 works and its benefits, a good part is, now we have SAFe®️ 4.6 which highlights the introduction of the Five Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise. Before looking at the advantages of Leading SAFe®️  4.6, we will see the new features in Leading SAFe®️  4.6.In addition to the core competencies, this updated version in Leading SAFe®️ includes new government guidance, which describes a set of success patterns that help public sector organizations implement Lean-Agile practices. Mastering the core competencies enables enterprises to successfully respond to volatile market conditions, changing customer needs, and emerging technologies. Let’s look at the advanced topics in SAFe®️ 4.6:SourceLean-Agile LeadershipLean-Agile Leadership lies at the very foundation of the framework defining how the Lean-Agile leaders will go about and endure the organizational transformation, to achieve this, they might need to create an environment of learning, exhibiting, teaching, and coaching SAFe®️’s Lean-Agile Mindset, values, principles, and practices. Among the five competencies being introduced, Lean-Agile Leadership forms the root of the framework. The lean-agile leadership comprises of managers, leaders, and executives who can drive the change and also to continuously work around the improvement needed. These leaders will base their working model on the core values as stated by the scaled agile framework which is alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution. The leaders embrace the SAFe®️ Lean-Agile mindset which is the combination of beliefs, assumptions, and actions of leaders and practitioners who embrace the concepts in the Agile Manifesto and the SAFe®️ House of Lean. These leaders are the torch-bearers for the organizations in the transformation journey, making it clear where they are and where they need to go.Team and Technical Agility“Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.”—Agile ManifestoWhen we talk of making a team the high-performing, we need to understand what all is required in their transition, maybe some critical skills, principles, and practices to support current and future business needs. Let’s first understand what is team agility - cross-functional, responsible, and dedicated to collective goals, they have all the skills necessary to define, build, test, and deploy value in short iterations. Now, talking about it in terms of scaling, these teams become part of Agile Release Train (ART), these trains have necessary people to drive towards the solution. They plan, integrate, demo, deploy, release, and learn together.This was about the team functioning, now let’s move to technical agility, which is, “defines the Agile software engineering principles and practices teams use to deliver solutions quickly and reliably. This includes the Lean-Agile values and principles, eXtreme Programming (XP) practices, Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Agile modeling, built-in quality, proven approaches and patterns for object-oriented software design, and more” – Scaled Agile.DevOps and Release on Demand“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” —Charles DarwinDevOps is the recipe of traditional values, practices, and tools that upsurges an organization’s capability to provide product and services at high velocity: progressing and refining products at a quicker speed as compared to organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This swiftness permits organizations to better help their clients and compete more successfully in the market. The benefits of DevOps include speed, rapid delivery, reliability, scaling, improved collaboration, and security. SAFe®️ talk about the ‘CALMR’ approach and is grounded in five concepts - Culture, Automation, Lean flow, Measurement, and Recovery. Each concept serve as the foundation pillar for DevOps and in turn, helps with the continuous delivery pipeline. Release on demand is the method through which new functionality is deployed into production and released immediately or incrementally to Customers based on demand. ARTs and Solution Trains can continuously explore user value, integrate and demo value, deploy to production, and release value whenever the business needs it.“Showing a strong success and visible benefits is key to getting others to agree to try your way of doing things.”—Frederic RivainBusiness Solutions and Lean Software EngineeringDefinition as per Scaledagile – “The Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering competency describes how to apply Lean-Agile principles and practices to the specification, development, deployment, and evolution of large, complex software applications and cyber-physical systems.”Earlier when the organizations followed the traditional approach, the cycle time from the birth of an idea to its delivery took enormous time, most of the times the originator of the idea or the teams working on it went for a complete change, it even sometimes took a lifetime(Phew). Now, we can understand why there were late deployments, budget going over the bounds and issues with quality. This typically consequences in higher than expected maintenance and operations expense, poorer returns, and other business complications.To deal with it, Scaled Agile Framework gives the direction of building up large-scale solutions in a flow-based, value delivery-focused model, driven by Lean and Agile principles. The principles provided by Scaled Agile Framework relate directly to the development of all kinds of large and complex systems. They have embedded Lean-Agile values and principles to make sure the customer gets the right value at the right time with the best quality.Lean Portfolio Management“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren BuffettLean Portfolio Management (LPM) is one of the Five Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise and it rests at the Portfolio level. This area focuses on how an organization can embrace Lean approaches at the strategic, financial level, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance. The Lean Portfolio Management function carves out its way through a series of three collaborations—strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance— this enables the organization’s ability to accomplish current obligations consistently and enable innovation by building on the foundation of the four other core competencies. LPM is the process of running a program and product portfolios by applying the concept of lean thinking. This result-oriented method delivers high-quality work by prioritizing and managing the work in the Lean portfolio. It increases the speed of planning and reporting processes and eliminates the time-consuming governance.Features of LPM include:Prioritization of the most valuable and critical activitiesTimely inspections and validation of workQuick delivery of high-value work without interruptionsTask alignment with the company's objectivesIn my point of view, this is one of the finest framework developed so far which takes care of the components that other frameworks missed incorporating. It truly focuses on people and product, bringing both of them to rise in terms of skills or qualifications. With this new addition, the agile teams can enhance the way they work and also THEMSELVES. It takes care of all the levels in the framework, enriching every stage with the refined thought process and Lean-Agile way of working. Starting at the team level and working up towards the Portfolio is truly amazing, along with an emphasis on a value being delivered, it also works on creating a healthy environment for the agile teams to deliver the best of quality. It has the best practices embedded with the framework to support both the stakeholders and the teams by building a Continuous Delivery Pipeline and DevOps culture. Scaled Agile Framework is a large knowledge base of demonstrated principles, competencies and practices, that are assimilated together to help bring about cultural change in organizations, which means the teams will deliver faster, more frequently, on time and on budget. Whether you believe it or not, SAFe®️ has some truly convincing case studies which prove its claims!!I have experienced how SAFe®️ helps organizations scale tremendously, I have witnessed the culture shift and the mindset change and with this new version, I can say, go for it, it will really benefit the way you think and the way you work. With the refined version, you will get to see a new way of delivering the best quality.This upgrade is the need of time! I would like to end this with a lovely quote,“Quality debt focuses on the impact of implementation and quality decisions on the end user and business; how those decisions affect their ability to do their day-to day-job.”— Jordan Setters
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Reasons to Get Updated to Leading SAFe® 4.6 Certification in 2019

12K
  • by Deepti Sinha
  • 11th Feb, 2019
  • Last updated on 30th Sep, 2019
  • 10 mins read
Reasons to Get Updated to Leading SAFe® 4.6 Certification in 2019

SAFe®️ is an agile framework for software development which encourages alignment, collaboration, and delivery across large numbers of agile teams. It was developed by Dean Leffingwell, leveraging three major bodies of knowledge: agile software development, lean product development, and systems thinking. It offers a simple, lightweight experience for the development team. 

The entire framework is distributed into four sections Team, Program Level, Large Solution, and Portfolio. 

Levels in SAFe

The scalability and configurability provided by SAFe®️ framework support organizations to deliver new products, services, and solutions in the shortest sustainable lead time, along with the best potential quality. It orchestrates alignment, collaboration, and delivery for various Agile teams ensuring every team is focused on the same goal.

With the increase in success rate for the organizations turning towards scaling, the need for them to equip themselves with the right tools, techniques, and people became their top priority. As we all know, from our experience, ‘people’ parameter is crucial for the success of any project or any organization. 

There has been a sharp upswing in the demand of certified professionals with the needed skills. The organizations are now turning to people who can demonstrate skills and qualities that can help them adopt the change smoothly. They are now looking into specific areas such as SAFe®️ Agilist who can understand the whole system, who can work with the teams and help out at the different levels in delivering a quality product that can add value to the customer. 

Most of us have already seen how SAFe®️ 4.5 works and its benefits, a good part is, now we have SAFe®️ 4.6 which highlights the introduction of the Five Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise. Before looking at the advantages of Leading SAFe®️  4.6, we will see the new features in Leading SAFe®️  4.6.


















In addition to the core competencies, this updated version in Leading SAFe®️ includes new government guidance, which describes a set of success patterns that help public sector organizations implement Lean-Agile practices. Mastering the core competencies enables enterprises to successfully respond to volatile market conditions, changing customer needs, and emerging technologies. 

Let’s look at the advanced topics in SAFe®️ 4.6:

Advanced Topics in SAFe®️ 4.6

Source

Lean-Agile Leadership

Lean-Agile Leadership lies at the very foundation of the framework defining how the Lean-Agile leaders will go about and endure the organizational transformation, to achieve this, they might need to create an environment of learning, exhibiting, teaching, and coaching SAFe®️’s Lean-Agile Mindset, values, principles, and practices. Among the five competencies being introduced, Lean-Agile Leadership forms the root of the framework. 

The lean-agile leadership comprises of managers, leaders, and executives who can drive the change and also to continuously work around the improvement needed. These leaders will base their working model on the core values as stated by the scaled agile framework which is alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution. 

The leaders embrace the SAFe®️ Lean-Agile mindset which is the combination of beliefs, assumptions, and actions of leaders and practitioners who embrace the concepts in the Agile Manifesto and the SAFe®️ House of Lean. These leaders are the torch-bearers for the organizations in the transformation journey, making it clear where they are and where they need to go.

Team and Technical Agility

“Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.”—Agile Manifesto

When we talk of making a team the high-performing, we need to understand what all is required in their transition, maybe some critical skills, principles, and practices to support current and future business needs. 

Let’s first understand what is team agility - cross-functional, responsible, and dedicated to collective goals, they have all the skills necessary to define, build, test, and deploy value in short iterations. 

Now, talking about it in terms of scaling, these teams become part of Agile Release Train (ART), these trains have necessary people to drive towards the solution. They plan, integrate, demo, deploy, release, and learn together.

This was about the team functioning, now let’s move to technical agility, which is, “defines the Agile software engineering principles and practices teams use to deliver solutions quickly and reliably. This includes the Lean-Agile values and principles, eXtreme Programming (XP) practices, Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Agile modeling, built-in quality, proven approaches and patterns for object-oriented software design, and more” – Scaled Agile.

DevOps and Release on Demand

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” —Charles Darwin

DevOps is the recipe of traditional values, practices, and tools that upsurges an organization’s capability to provide product and services at high velocity: progressing and refining products at a quicker speed as compared to organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This swiftness permits organizations to better help their clients and compete more successfully in the market. 

The benefits of DevOps include speed, rapid delivery, reliability, scaling, improved collaboration, and security. SAFe®️ talk about the ‘CALMR’ approach and is grounded in five concepts - Culture, Automation, Lean flow, Measurement, and Recovery. 

Each concept serve as the foundation pillar for DevOps and in turn, helps with the continuous delivery pipeline. Release on demand is the method through which new functionality is deployed into production and released immediately or incrementally to Customers based on demand. 

ARTs and Solution Trains can continuously explore user value, integrate and demo value, deploy to production, and release value whenever the business needs it.

“Showing a strong success and visible benefits is key to getting others to agree to try your way of doing things.”—Frederic Rivain

Business Solutions and Lean Software Engineering

Definition as per Scaledagile – “The Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering competency describes how to apply Lean-Agile principles and practices to the specification, development, deployment, and evolution of large, complex software applications and cyber-physical systems.”

Earlier when the organizations followed the traditional approach, the cycle time from the birth of an idea to its delivery took enormous time, most of the times the originator of the idea or the teams working on it went for a complete change, it even sometimes took a lifetime(Phew). 

Now, we can understand why there were late deployments, budget going over the bounds and issues with quality. This typically consequences in higher than expected maintenance and operations expense, poorer returns, and other business complications.

To deal with it, Scaled Agile Framework gives the direction of building up large-scale solutions in a flow-based, value delivery-focused model, driven by Lean and Agile principles. 

The principles provided by Scaled Agile Framework relate directly to the development of all kinds of large and complex systems. They have embedded Lean-Agile values and principles to make sure the customer gets the right value at the right time with the best quality.Features of Leading SAFe

Lean Portfolio Management

“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren Buffett

Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) is one of the Five Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise and it rests at the Portfolio level. This area focuses on how an organization can embrace Lean approaches at the strategic, financial level, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance. 

The Lean Portfolio Management function carves out its way through a series of three collaborations—strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance— this enables the organization’s ability to accomplish current obligations consistently and enable innovation by building on the foundation of the four other core competencies. 

LPM is the process of running a program and product portfolios by applying the concept of lean thinking. This result-oriented method delivers high-quality work by prioritizing and managing the work in the Lean portfolio. It increases the speed of planning and reporting processes and eliminates the time-consuming governance.

Features of LPM include:

  • Prioritization of the most valuable and critical activities
  • Timely inspections and validation of work
  • Quick delivery of high-value work without interruptions
  • Task alignment with the company's objectives

In my point of view, this is one of the finest framework developed so far which takes care of the components that other frameworks missed incorporating. It truly focuses on people and product, bringing both of them to rise in terms of skills or qualifications. 

With this new addition, the agile teams can enhance the way they work and also THEMSELVES. It takes care of all the levels in the framework, enriching every stage with the refined thought process and Lean-Agile way of working. Starting at the team level and working up towards the Portfolio is truly amazing, along with an emphasis on a value being delivered, it also works on creating a healthy environment for the agile teams to deliver the best of quality. It has the best practices embedded with the framework to support both the stakeholders and the teams by building a Continuous Delivery Pipeline and DevOps culture. Scaled Agile Framework is a large knowledge base of demonstrated principles, competencies and practices, that are assimilated together to help bring about cultural change in organizations, which means the teams will deliver faster, more frequently, on time and on budget. 

Whether you believe it or not, SAFe®️ has some truly convincing case studies which prove its claims!!

I have experienced how SAFe®️ helps organizations scale tremendously, I have witnessed the culture shift and the mindset change and with this new version, I can say, go for it, it will really benefit the way you think and the way you work. With the refined version, you will get to see a new way of delivering the best quality.

This upgrade is the need of time! I would like to end this with a lovely quote,

“Quality debt focuses on the impact of implementation and quality decisions on the end user and business; how those decisions affect their ability to do their day-to day-job.”— Jordan Setters

Deepti

Deepti Sinha

Blog Author

Deepti is an Agile Coach by profession and Freelance Trainer with over 11 years of industry experience working primarily with healthcare & finance clients in delivering business. She has played a wide variety of roles in the graph of her career, whether it be, management, operations or quality. She likes reading fiction, management and loves to write her experiences. Her colleagues mostly describe her as very detail oriented person with a knack of creativity and imagination. And yes, she loves feedback more than her coffee!!

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Failures in Agile Transformation

With the increase in Agile adoption across the organization, the stories are piling up too. Now the question is, are these success stories or the failure stances. Usually, in the conferences or meetups, you get to meet people from various establishments, this is just another way of getting to hear what worked or what not. Even in your own organization, you can feel the pulse of the transformation. There are many reasons why we end up with messy transformation, I have tried elaborating few in the discussion today but there’s more to it. As you read, you might connect with some of the points, let’s start the digging:1. AIMING ON PROCESSES AND NOT PEOPLEThe inclination of Agile is more towards people or individuals, we talk about empowering team, making them self-organized. We even talk about creating high performing teams which can deliver maximum value by the end of every increment. With the adoption of Scrum, where the core values involve Focus, Openness, Respect, Commitment and Courage at the root level, the ‘people’ factor becomes important. Ultimately, it the ‘people’ who work at the ground level for client satisfaction, to achieve this, they adopt processes for smoother workflow. That’s it! Organizations, during their transformation, tend to overlook this critical piece. Their approach becomes more inclined towards processes and they start considering Agile as a process but in fact, Agile is more of a mindset change. Process starts getting priority over people or individuals, always remember, process is just for supporting or helping the individuals with their work. People are not for the processes, even one of the four principles in the agile manifesto says: “Individuals and Interactions over Processes and tools”. I was surprised to hear in one of the trainings’ that people in the same team are using mail to communicate around the stories/deliverables. Can we not give preference to face to face interactions?2. MICROMANAGING THROUGH CEREMONIESSelf-organization is one of entities in Agile, the core says, trust your teams. Micromanagement not only hinders creativity, but it also impacts the morale of agile teams. Management or the scrum master should refrain from getting into the minute details during the scrum ceremonies. Most of the times, it is observed that the daily scrum gets converted into a status meeting either for the scrum master or for the technical lead. As a Scrum Master, you should help the team getting self-organized rather than being directive. One of the principles from Agile talks about giving the space and trust: “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” This enables the team to find their own solutions, helps them with innovation and most of all, teaches them the value of being a team. Every ceremony has its own schema and none of the ceremony is to track individual chores. You must trust your teams, remember, trust can do wonders, believe me, if you trust your people, they will never let you down. Here comes another principles’ focusing on the same. “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done.”3. Hastening the TransformationAny change, whether it is for the system or for an individual, takes time. When was the last time you promised yourself to change one of your habits, was that easy? Almost every individual at the start of the year takes so many resolutions, how many do you think gets accomplished! Same goes with the transformation, it takes time and you will have to give because it is not just about the individual, it is about the organization. When the transformation journey starts, the delivery teams take the maximum heat. They are the ones who are expected to be Agile BUT the management usually lags, they are still in need of mindset to support the change. Just by doing the agile ceremonies is not being Agile, it comes with a wide variety of shift, be it - culture, technical, management or team. You have to accept that it is going to be a challenging journey which will have its own milestones and you cannot skip those. Also, it is long journey with hiccups, be ready to accept the challenges, learn from the mistakes and come up with the action items to improve.4. Scrum Roles Getting a Back SeatWhen teams in agile are formed, some of the roles are asked to play dual. In such scenarios, scrum master roles can be played either by the team lead or by someone who is ready for that extra piece. Though the role gets played, but the essence of this position goes for a toss. The focus just stays on delivery without instilling the purpose.  The organisation needs to acknowledge that scrum master'sis a fulltime job that helps teams in staying on track, motivated and helps them see their own progress through information radiators. Anyone else playing a dual role might not do justice and end up walking on two different tracks - not able to reach the goal in both the positions. The team needs someone who can teach, mentor, train and be with them. Just forming the team is not enough if the organization doesn't follow the best practices, such cases tend to get trapped.5. Lack of support from Middle managementIn my past experiences with the organizations in transformation mode, usually the middle layer is where the problem brews. Transformations get a go ahead from the top layer, but it gets difficult for the middle management to adopt. It is important to ensure alignment among the leaders of the organization on the aspiration and value of the transformation is done before moving ahead with the approach. In another example we can see a project manager being insecure as most of the juggling is being handled by the scrum master. In such cases, to prove their existence, the middle layer starts getting into the little details, this impacts the team as half the time they are functioning as per the project manager. Due to this, we hear a lot about the role of scrum master being questioned on their responsibilities. They are assumed to be just sitting and watching, in other words, doing nothing! According to the research led by AgileTurkey.org in Turkey in 2018, the two major hindrances to agile transformation were found out to be the resistance to transformation and culture transformation. Existing managers have a lot to do in order to manage with these two major challenges, they should be part of the transformation beginning from themselves, their day-to-day actions, and should guide the whole company by being supportive of the process.6. Tools over mindsetWith the transformation comes the need to use fancy tools and abide by ‘laws of the tools. Some feel proud in using the costliest tool, some make it a point to introduce the tool being used by the competitor. But is it worth it? Transformation can be done using ‘MS Excel’, there is no set protocol for focusing on the tool. Though the tools play an important part, but teams should focus on Agility and Scrum framework first and then on tools. You certainly need to track metrics like velocity, burn-down, estimates. But with the right mindset, the goal can be achieved with no trouble. This doesn't mean tools are bad, but it means mindset should be given priority over the extensive use of tools.7. Transformation as a Destination (Thinking Your Transformation Is Done)Many a time, we hear ‘We are now agile, we transformed in so and so year’ and what not. But is agile a destination, NO, it a journey, a never-ending journey. Some teams think just by implementing a bunch of backlogs, doing the ceremonies and tracking metrics, they are Agile. No, they are not!Whatever way out we have today are based on our experience, knowledge and the situation we are in. If any of the factors change, our solutioning will be different. Both the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto point to the continuity of the process. Responding to change over following a plan relates appropriately as much to the processes as to our sprint outputs. We have to understand that process is never whole. You just have to continue reflecting what worked and how to fine tune the process whenever required.8. Misunderstood cross-functional teamEvery time I speak about the delivery teams, at least one of the participants from the audience ask this question “We say it's a cross functional team, but my tester is not ready to code!” Have we understood it correct? None of the processes are bad, it is about how we adopt them that makes a difference. “Cross Functional Doesn’t Mean Everyone Can Do Everything, a cross-functional team has members with a variety of skills, but that does not mean each member has all of the skills.”  – Mike Cohn. This interpretation of cross-functional imposes a pressure on the delivery team which breaks the team apart and is sometimes the cause of conflicts among the members. As per scrum guide – “Cross functional teams are groups consisting of people from different functional areas of the company. – it should be formed not only with technical specialists (Back-end, Front-end developers, QA engineers, etc.), but also consists of member like Business Analysts, Marketing and UX specialists or anyone else taking an active part in the project.”9. Scrum for AllJust because everyone is going that way doesn’t mean that way is for you too! It is necessary to understand the current and what exactly you want it to be once the journey starts.  Scrum is one of the frameworks to help with complex adaptive projects, but it is not for all the products or projects. If you are transforming your IT helpdesk department, scrum might come out as a failure, the support team cannot say that they will be delivering 10 high priority tickets after the end of sprint, where sprint duration ranges from two week to a month. Second scenario can be the team handling production defects. But this does not mean that Scrum is bad, no it is not. It is just that these scenarios are not meant for Scrum.Every story is different and so are the reasons, as said earlier as well, this is not just a complete list, there can numerous other details depending on the situation. I will be happy to hear your viewpoints on the misalignment and disorientation. Lastly, it is significant to focus more on the people, the mindset and the collaboration to get better results.
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Failures in Agile Transformation

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Scrum Master Salary

How much does a Scrum Master earn? How prolific being a Scrum Master is? These are quite relatively simple and common questions but answering them is not that simple. Scrum Master was created around 1992 by Jeff Sutherland and his teams and is quite a new term. Nevertheless, it has not taken long to establish its importance to companies across the world. Scrum Master is currently one of the most promising jobs in the world.In this article, we will cover various aspects of a Scrum Master salary, such as how much a Scrum Master earns, what affects it and how, what the future prospects of a Scrum Master are in terms of salary structure and growth, and why Scrum Masters earn so much.How much does a Scrum Master Earn?According to Payscale, on an entry-level, Scrum Masters in India earn an average of Rs 723,565 per year, going up as high as Rs 1,486,991. In the USA, the average entry-level scrum master salary is $79,309 per year, the highest reaching a six-figure mark of $107,957. However, with more experience, the figures become interestingly better and here is how. Once again, Payscale search results indicate that an experienced Scrum Master in India earns an average of Rs 1,441,276 per annum with the maximum earnings going as high as Rs 2,078,905. Similar reports show that an experienced Scrum Master in the USA earns $103,566 per year on an average, earning as high as $134,203.Below mentioned are statistics from Payscale:Scrum Master Experience/CountryIndiaUSAEntry-Level Scrum MasterRs 723,565 p.a.(Rs 1,486,991 highest)$79,309 p.a.($107,957 highest)Experienced Scrum MasterRs 1,441,276 p.a.(Rs 2,078,905 highest)$103,566 p.a.($134,203 highest)The 2018 research by Glassdoor state that the Scrum Masters are one of the highest paid professionals in the USA, with the average salary being $98,239 and vacancies as high as 1,876. Cities such as New York, Atlanta, Charlotte, Columbus, and Richmond are considered to be the best and most prolific places for the Scrum Masters to work in.Evidently, the figures above are quite staggering and impressive, showing us how fruitful and career aspiring being a Scrum Master is.Here is a table of content for Average Scrum Master salary based on regions:Scrum Master Salary/RegionUSAINDIACANADAGBRAUSTRALIAAverage Scrum Master Salary/yearUS$93,2851,411,000CA$87,000£51,124A$110,000And here is the average salary based on various Scrum certifications:Scrum Master CertificationsSalary in US$/YearCertified Scrum Master (CSM)89,150Professional Scrum Master (PSM )91,000Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)108,000Agile Scrum Master (ASM)115,000Scrum Master Certified (SMC)115,000SAFe Scrum Master114,546Salaries that Top Companies pay the Scrum MastersScrum has become so popular down the years that an incredible number of the major software companies adopt its methodology and ways of solving issues.According to the Scrum Guide, Scrum has been adopted by a vast number of software development companies around the world.Apart from being religiously used in manufacturing, operations, education, marketing and other fields, Scrum has been an important problem-solving tool for all the major software companies.Provided that you have the skills to deal with conflicts and are a proven facilitator, you have a great chance to join any of the top companies who are hiring skilled Scrum Masters like you.Glassdoor job search results in India reveal that the major companies hiring Scrum Masters are:Companies Hiring Scrum MastersAverage Salary in INR/yearCisco Systems2,200,000Capgemini1,487,461Amdocs1,279,001Tata Consultancy Services1,243,340Cognizant Technology Solutions1,242,530Wipro1,019,654Accenture1,000,975And in the USA, Scrum Masters are highly sought after by these major brands:Companies Hiring Scrum MastersAverage Salary in US$/yearTransUnion104,728Thomson Reuters104,130UnitedHealth Group97,904Ciber97,156IBM93,403J.P. Morgan91,786Capital One87,732AT&T85,977In the past few years, the pay structure for Scrum Masters has increased at a relatively quick pace. Although Scrum’s popularity status continues to get better, being a Scrum Master is undoubtedly a tough task because what a Scrum Master needs is more like servant leadership skills, and that is the primary asset a Scrum Master needs to possess. After all, it is all about following the Agile-Scrum tactics to finish projects on time along with keeping the quality of the end product intact.Factors affecting a Scrum Master’s salaryThere are many factors that determine how much a Scrum Master earns. Some of the key ones are:1. ExperienceThis is one of the most important criteria, if not the most important one. Like discussed in the previous section of this article, not only the salary of a Scrum Master increases with experience, the job role and position in an organisation gets better as well. Here are a few of the required skills/experience:In terms of landing a better Scrum master job with high pay package, it is recommended for a professional to have worked as a Scrum Master for a minimum of one year with a software development team, one that was diligently applying Scrum principles, practices, and theoryAdequate skills in and understanding of servant leadership, facilitation, situational awareness, conflict resolution, continual improvement, empowerment, and increasing transparency.2. The skills required by the job roleAnother important one. A Scrum Master’s role is not restricted to particular job designation. The more you know about the other Agile approaches in problem-solving, the better your job role and salary will be. By Agile approaches, we are talking about XP, Kanban, Crystal, FDD, etc3. Awareness of multiple Agile techniquesTo get better job opportunities, it is preferred to have knowledge of widely successful Agile techniques such as:User StoriesATDDTDDContinuous IntegrationContinuous testingPairingAutomated TestingAgile Games4. Applicable knowledge of the technologiesA particular organisation will pay you a better package for a Scrum Master if you have a sound grip over the type of technology they use to run their business. Why? It is simple. If you are aware of the system they work in, then they do not have to work on much in getting you in sync with the way they work in their organisation5. Knowledge of appropriate patterns and techniquesA progressive Scrum Master always thinks of using a variety of relevant well-documented patterns and techniques for filling in the intentional gaps left in the Scrum approach, such as Burndown technologies, various Retrospective formats, handling bugs and many more6. Location of the jobThe salary of a Scrum Master depends massively on where the job posting is. If the living standard of a particular city is high, so are the chances of getting a higher pay package. On the other hand, a city having a comparatively lower standard of living renders the Scrum Masters with a lesser salary range.Reason for Scrum Masters being so valuedWhy are the Scrum Masters paid so much? What do the Scrum Masters have to offer that makes them so vital to organisations? After all, in the past few years, Scrum methods have swiftly brought in a revolutionary change in project handling and problem-solving matters.We are living in times when software needs to be delivered on time after much feedback, changes, supervision. Collaboration with frequent updates and patches. To meet the delivery deadline, it is essential to keep the team members connected and in sync, preferably face-to-face. This is critical as the team working on the project should be well informed, collaborated and kept up to date throughout the project. Failure to execute any one of these steps would lead to a breakdown in software, the end result being loss of business, not to forget the reputation of the relevant organisation being tarnished.Nowadays, companies prefer the Agile workflow and are aware of the importance of a Scrum Master in an organisation. Converting a team into a productive one and self-organised by following the Agile practices without any fail, that’s what Scrum Masters do and that is what makes them special.
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Scrum Master Salary

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Differences Between Agile Coach and Scrum Master

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

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