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The Evolution Of Kanban: A Study Of The Principles & Practices

As a part of the overall move towards Agile software development and related disciplines, many people are interested in Kanban. Some are applying it as a part of Agile, others are looking into it as an alternative to Scrum. There is a lot of confusion about this simple yet effective tool, so this article will clear up these misconceptions and provide a quick crash course into the essentials of Kanban. Where did Kanban come from? Kanban originated in Japan in the 1940s. People from the Toyota car manufacturer noticed that supermarkets used a simple but effective system based around small physical cards to indicate when something was out of supply or needed to be ordered. They applied this system in their own manufacturing process to help visualise work and control flow. Kanban became a part of Lean Thinking and the Toyota Production System. It was later popularised amongst software developers in 2010 by David Anderson with his book “Kanban: successful evolutionary change for your business”. What really is Kanban? Kanban is a simple but powerful system for visualising and managing work. It is not just related to software development, in fact, it is not specifically related to development of any kind. It can be used in a restaurant, a supermarket or a car factory. It has four principles and five practices. As opposed to Scrum, which involves revolutionary change, Kanban is about evolutionary change, starting from right where you are now (in fact, that is one of the fundamental principles: start off by changing nothing whatsoever! You won’t find any organisation on earth that will resist that change). It is fundamentally about visualising work and then finding ways to improve the flow of work through a system. The Four Principles of Kanban This section will discuss the four fundamental principles behind Kanban. They are all essential to understanding and implementing the practices. Fortunately, they are simple and can fit into any organisation or system. Start with what you do now As mentioned, Kanban is a method for gradually improving an existing workflow or system. So you start with whatever you are doing now - whether simple or complex, big or small. You can use Kanban alongside or on top of any existing framework or system you are using - Scrum, Waterfall (yes Waterfall!), or anything, really. Many people believe they have to choose between Scrum or Kanban - untrue! You can use them together. Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change As opposed to systems like Scrum or Extreme Programming, that start out by fundamentally changing the structure and behaviour of organisations, Kanban is about evolutionary change, one small increment at a time. This can make it well-suited to cumbersome organisations that resist large risky changes. Respect the current roles, responsibilities, and titles Kanban doesn’t start off by renaming people or inventing strange new roles. Everyone gets to keep not only their job but their job title too. This further helps resistance to change. Encourage acts of leadership at all levels This is a subtle but very important principle. Improvement is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation, from the CEO down to the receptionist. You might get to keep your current job title and responsibilities, but you also now have an additional responsibility: leadership, which is really about empowerment and improvement. The Five Practices of Kanban Unlike Agile, which only has values and principles, Kanban has actual practices that you can employ, starting from day one. Visualise the workflow This is the most important step in all of Kanban, and is at the core of the whole system: visualising work. This was trivially easy to do in Toyota car manufacturing plants: the work was cars lying around in various states of semi-construction. For knowledge work like software development, marketing or design, it is much harder to visualise. This can let work accumulate and create huge blockages without anyone being aware. So visualise the work! This will make it easy to see where work is piling up and where problems and bottlenecks are. The best way to do this is on a physical board, using tokens such as index cards or post-it notes. Putting the work in an electronic tool might seem convenient but when the computer is switched off or minimised, the visualisation of the work is gone. The bigger and more physical, the better! You want to aim for information radiators (that push information out to the organisation) rather than information refrigerators (that preserve information away from people’s eyes). The most common way to visualise the work is with a Kanban board that has vertical swimlanes to represent states of work. You can then place cards on the board to represent the actual work item. Here is an example of the simplest of Kanban boards, with lanes for To Do, Doing and Done: Here is another example of a board, this time with some extra lanes, numbers that indicate Work in Progress Limits, and cards marked as being Blocked. Limit WIP Limiting WIP (WIP stands for Work In Progress) is another key practice of Kanban. People often think that we want to maximise work in progress - that means everybody is busy and lots is getting done, right? Well, if you have lots of WIP, then everyone will probably be very busy, but that isn’t really valuable. We want work in a Done state, not in a “Doing” state. And the best way to ensure that is to actually REDUCE the amount of Work in Progress! It might sound counterintuitive, but it is true. Lots of WIP means lots of handoffs, queues, bottlenecks and task-switching. This all means not much getting actually Done. Minimising WIP means you can maximise flow, which maximises the amount of work Done. And that’s the true goal. Manage Flow Kanban focuses on reducing WIP in order to maximise flow. If you want lots of work to get to Done but don’t want lots of work in a Doing state, you have to reduce the amount of time it takes for work to go from Doing to Done. This is called Cycle Time. Kanban practitioners have many tools they can use to improve flow and reduce cycle time, and these will often become clear after you have visualised the work. They include eliminating approvals and handoffs, swarming on complex slow tasks, identifying bottlenecks, putting WIP limits on Kanban lanes, reducing wait time between tasks, and reducing queues. Make Process Policies Explicit As you implement new rules and policies to improve flow, ensure you make these explicit. If you have a Definition of Done, get people to agree to it and publish it. If you change the rules about approving a document, make sure this is understood and explicitly described. Improvements will fall away and get misused if they are not clearly articulated and understood. Improve Collaboratively, Evolve Experimentally Improving is a collaborative team effort, not something randomly forced on people by some arbitrary management edict. It should be implemented by teams in an iterative experimental effort. Teams need to feel they are in an environment where experimentation is encouraged and it is “safe to fail”, or nobody will try making genuine changes. I hope you have enjoyed this crash course in Kanban - many people are using this system to great effect. If you want to know more, I would recommend the books Kanban by David Anderson, or Kanban in Action by Joakim Sunden and Marcus Hammarberg.  

The Evolution Of Kanban: A Study Of The Principles & Practices

1K
The Evolution Of Kanban: A Study Of The Principles & Practices

As a part of the overall move towards Agile software development and related disciplines, many people are interested in Kanban. Some are applying it as a part of Agile, others are looking into it as an alternative to Scrum. There is a lot of confusion about this simple yet effective tool, so this article will clear up these misconceptions and provide a quick crash course into the essentials of Kanban.

Where did Kanban come from?
Kanban originated in Japan in the 1940s. People from the Toyota car manufacturer noticed that supermarkets used a simple but effective system based around small physical cards to indicate when something was out of supply or needed to be ordered. They applied this system in their own manufacturing process to help visualise work and control flow.

Kanban became a part of Lean Thinking and the Toyota Production System. It was later popularised amongst software developers in 2010 by David Anderson with his book “Kanban: successful evolutionary change for your business”.

What really is Kanban?
Kanban is a simple but powerful system for visualising and managing work. It is not just related to software development, in fact, it is not specifically related to development of any kind. It can be used in a restaurant, a supermarket or a car factory. It has four principles and five practices.

As opposed to Scrum, which involves revolutionary change, Kanban is about evolutionary change, starting from right where you are now (in fact, that is one of the fundamental principles: start off by changing nothing whatsoever! You won’t find any organisation on earth that will resist that change). It is fundamentally about visualising work and then finding ways to improve the flow of work through a system.

The Four Principles of Kanban
This section will discuss the four fundamental principles behind Kanban. They are all essential to understanding and implementing the practices. Fortunately, they are simple and can fit into any organisation or system.

kanban 4 principles

Start with what you do now

As mentioned, Kanban is a method for gradually improving an existing workflow or system. So you start with whatever you are doing now - whether simple or complex, big or small. You can use Kanban alongside or on top of any existing framework or system you are using - Scrum, Waterfall (yes Waterfall!), or anything, really. Many people believe they have to choose between Scrum or Kanban - untrue! You can use them together.

Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change

As opposed to systems like Scrum or Extreme Programming, that start out by fundamentally changing the structure and behaviour of organisations, Kanban is about evolutionary change, one small increment at a time. This can make it well-suited to cumbersome organisations that resist large risky changes.

Respect the current roles, responsibilities, and titles
Kanban doesn’t start off by renaming people or inventing strange new roles. Everyone gets to keep not only their job but their job title too. This further helps resistance to change.

Encourage acts of leadership at all levels
This is a subtle but very important principle. Improvement is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation, from the CEO down to the receptionist. You might get to keep your current job title and responsibilities, but you also now have an additional responsibility: leadership, which is really about empowerment and improvement.

The Five Practices of Kanban
Unlike Agile, which only has values and principles, Kanban has actual practices that you can employ, starting from day one.

Visualise the workflow
This is the most important step in all of Kanban, and is at the core of the whole system: visualising work. This was trivially easy to do in Toyota car manufacturing plants: the work was cars lying around in various states of semi-construction. For knowledge work like software development, marketing or design, it is much harder to visualise. This can let work accumulate and create huge blockages without anyone being aware.

So visualise the work! This will make it easy to see where work is piling up and where problems and bottlenecks are. The best way to do this is on a physical board, using tokens such as index cards or post-it notes. Putting the work in an electronic tool might seem convenient but when the computer is switched off or minimised, the visualisation of the work is gone. The bigger and more physical, the better! You want to aim for information radiators (that push information out to the organisation) rather than information refrigerators (that preserve information away from people’s eyes).

The most common way to visualise the work is with a Kanban board that has vertical swimlanes to represent states of work. You can then place cards on the board to represent the actual work item. Here is an example of the simplest of Kanban boards, with lanes for To Do, Doing and Done:

to do list

Here is another example of a board, this time with some extra lanes, numbers that indicate Work in Progress Limits, and cards marked as being Blocked.

to do list 2
Limit WIP
Limiting WIP (WIP stands for Work In Progress) is another key practice of Kanban. People often think that we want to maximise work in progress - that means everybody is busy and lots is getting done, right? Well, if you have lots of WIP, then everyone will probably be very busy, but that isn’t really valuable. We want work in a Done state, not in a “Doing” state. And the best way to ensure that is to actually REDUCE the amount of Work in Progress!

It might sound counterintuitive, but it is true. Lots of WIP means lots of handoffs, queues, bottlenecks and task-switching. This all means not much getting actually Done. Minimising WIP means you can maximise flow, which maximises the amount of work Done. And that’s the true goal.

Manage Flow
Kanban focuses on reducing WIP in order to maximise flow. If you want lots of work to get to Done but don’t want lots of work in a Doing state, you have to reduce the amount of time it takes for work to go from Doing to Done. This is called Cycle Time. Kanban practitioners have many tools they can use to improve flow and reduce cycle time, and these will often become clear after you have visualised the work. They include eliminating approvals and handoffs, swarming on complex slow tasks, identifying bottlenecks, putting WIP limits on Kanban lanes, reducing wait time between tasks, and reducing queues.

Make Process Policies Explicit
As you implement new rules and policies to improve flow, ensure you make these explicit. If you have a Definition of Done, get people to agree to it and publish it. If you change the rules about approving a document, make sure this is understood and explicitly described. Improvements will fall away and get misused if they are not clearly articulated and understood.

Improve Collaboratively, Evolve Experimentally
Improving is a collaborative team effort, not something randomly forced on people by some arbitrary management edict. It should be implemented by teams in an iterative experimental effort. Teams need to feel they are in an environment where experimentation is encouraged and it is “safe to fail”, or nobody will try making genuine changes.

I hope you have enjoyed this crash course in Kanban - many people are using this system to great effect. If you want to know more, I would recommend the books Kanban by David Anderson, or Kanban in Action by Joakim Sunden and Marcus Hammarberg.
 

Leon

Leon Tranter

Blog Author

Leon Tranter has 13 years' experience in Information Technology and is passionate about Agile, Scrum, Lean and Kanban. He is a Certified Scrum Master, LeSS Practitioner, and coach in the XSCALE Alliance.“He writes about Agile, Scrum and Lean at Extreme Uncertainty

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Best Product Owner Certifications in 2021

The one person responsible for maximising the product value, representing the stakeholders, prioritizing the backlog, empowering the team, maintaining Agile and Scrum processes and defining the product vision—who is that one superstar on an Agile team who does all this? The Product Owner!Product Owner roles have seen a sharp rise in recent years. If you see yourself as a Product Owner, managing business and stakeholders, then it is prudent that you validate your skills with a Product Owner certification and set yourself up for career success.Product Owners with industry recognised credentials earn upwards of $105,845, significantly more than their peers who are not certified.Irrespective of whether you are a seasoned Product Owner or are just sinking your teeth into the world of Agile and Scrum, a credential in your toolkit will greatly enhance your career prospects. So, here’s a roundup of the most valued Product Owner certifications you can choose from and get ready for 2021.1. CSPO®2. A-CSPO®3. PSPO™4. PMI-ACP®5. SAFe® Product Owner Product Manager1. CSPOThe Certified Scrum Product Owner certification is an offering from Scrum Alliance. Among the most popular Product Owner certifications, this credential is a validation of your knowledge of Scrum, the scope of the Product Owner’s role and skill in maximizing value and the Scrum team’s work.CSPOs are in great demand across industries as they have the credibility to lead product development initiatives.Other benefits of the CSPO certification include:Training led by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)Get a 2-year membership with Scrum AllianceGain access to a number of local groups of Scrum users and social networksQualify for higher certifications such as the A-CSPO®Widen the scope of your career with the knowledge of popular Agile practices.Enhance your repertoire with in-demand Scrum skills and demonstrate your Scrum knowledge.Actively engage with the community of Agile practitioners dedicated to continuous Scrum practice and improvement.Create a better product by leading and implementing Scrum in the team.Define the product vision and direct team members to yield high value at the end.Ensure smooth communication between the stakeholders and team members.Earn higher salaries than your non-certified counterparts (USA: $105,845)Top companies hiring CSPO professionalsFidelity InvestmentsCapital One Financial CorpAmazon.comT-Mobile, IncAmerican ExpressSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for certificationThe training must be taken from a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) or Registered Education Provider (REP) or a Certified Agile Coach of Scrum Alliance.Who should take the training for CSPO certification?This course can be taken by:Project Managers Developers Product Owners Managers-Software development Architects-Software development Product Managers Software developers Software testers Team leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumWho is eligible for the CSPO certification?There are no eligibility requirements for the CSPO certification.Duration to get CSPO certifiedAll participants need to attend the 2-day in-person or 14 hours live online CSPO training from a CST, at the end of which they will receive their credential. Course/Training fee for CSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 24999  U.S: USD 1295Canada: CAD 1495Exam fee for CSPO certification: No exam needs to be taken in order to earn the CSPO credential. Attending a 2-day/14-hour course is mandated to earn the credential.Renewal fee for CSPO certification: $100, every 2 years2. A-CSPO℠The Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner℠ (A-CSPO℠) credential is also offered by the Scrum Alliance, and as the name suggests is an advanced course to be pursued after gaining the CSPO. The A-CSPO validates your ability to manage multiple projects and stakeholders and deliver business value. A-CSPO being an advanced level certification is much sought after by organizations who want to hire professionals with advanced Product Owner abilities.Other benefits of the A-CSPO certification include:Training by Scrum Alliance approved Certified Scrum Trainers® (CSTs)2-year membership with Scrum AllianceAccess to a number of local groups of Scrum users and social networksGain enhanced Agile Scrum implementation skillsSet yourself apart from others in the marketplaceAs a highly trained Agile professional, show advanced value to your employerEarn high salaries - 111033 USD (average)Top industries hiring A-CSPO professionalsSAP LabsSalesforceAdobeWikispeedOracleVisteonGEBBCMicrosoftBarclaysRobert BoschWhere to take training for A-CSPO certification?The training must be led by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and delivered by a Registered Education Provider (REP) or a Certified Agile Coach of Scrum Alliance.Who should take the training for A-CSPO certification?Professionals in the following job roles can take this course:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumWho is eligible for the A-CSPO certification?The A-CSPO requires the following eligibility:At least 12 months of work experience specific to the role of Product Owner (within the past five years) and an active CSPO credentialDuration to get A-CSPO certified: All participants need to attend the 2-day in-person or 14 hours live online A-CSPO training from a CST, at the end of which they will receive their credential.Course fee for A-CSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 41999U.S.: Will be updated shortlyCanada: Will be updated shortlyExam fee for A-CSPO certification: No exam needs to be taken in order to earn the A-CSPO credential. Attending a 2-day/14-hour course along with the required experience is mandated to earn the credential.Renewal fee for A-CSPO certification: $175, every 2 years3. PSPO™Professional Scrum Product Owner™ Level I (PSPO™) is a credential offered by the Scrum.org. While the certification does not require you to take a training, an assessment needs to be cleared in order to get certified. The PSPO is a reflection of your ability to maximise skills, enhance product value and use Agile perspectives to deliver successful products.The PSPO is highly regarded in the industry as it is a rigorous exam and is based on the objectives outlined in the Scrum Guide.   Other benefits of the PSPO certification include:Own the product visionMaximize your team’s ROIImprove business value and ROIMotivate and lead Agile teams and team membersValidate your commitment to continued excellence and qualityDemonstrate your proficiency in ScrumGrow your career in Scrum with confidence Ace your interviews and get noticed for promotions at your current jobCommand higher salaries than your non-certified peersBe part of a network of industry leaders and Agile professionalsGain a stepping stone for the advanced level Professional Scrum Product Owner™ II Certification (PSPO™ II)Get the PSPO I logo that you can use to identify your achievementGet your name listed on Scrum.orgEarn salaries in the range of $98,612Top industries hiring PSPO professionalsJ.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC)Cisco Systems IncImproving EnterprisesUnitedHealth GroupBank of America Corp. (BOFA)Source: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PSPO certification: Take the training from Scrum.org’s Professional Training Network under the guidance of certified Professional Scrum Trainers (PSTs).Who should take the training for PSPO certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware testersTeam leads/Team members interested in learning ScrumLeadership Team Who is eligible for the PSPO certification?There are no eligibility requirements for the PSPO certification.Duration to get certified: If you opt for training, you will have to attend two days or 16 hours of PSPO™ I training under a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST). You will then receive a key to the PSPO™ I Assessment. Once you pass the Assessment, you are declared PSPO™ I certified and can download your certificate.Course fee for PSPO certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 25999  U.S.: USD 1299Canada: CAD 1499Exam fee for PSPO: $200 USD per attemptPSPO Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book,Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/FalseDifficulty: IntermediateLanguage: English onlyTime limit: 60 minutesNumber of Questions: 80Passing score: 85%Retake fee for PSPO Exam: $200 USD for each re-take attempt. Participants of Scrum.org classes get free retakes if they take and fail the assessment within a certain time frame. Renewal for PSPO certification: Your PSPO certification has a lifetime validity and does not require renewal4. PMI-ACP®The Project Management Institute (PMI)® a world-renowned body known for its flagship project management credentials, now offers professionals a chance to hone their agile skills with the PMI- Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential. Its mandatory requirement of real-world Agile expertise and a thorough knowledge of Agile practices, tools and techniques means that holders of the PMI-ACP are Agile experts in every sense of the word.The PMI-ACP has huge demand in Agile organizations as it gives holders a 360-degree view of Agile and adds huge value to the skill set of a product owner.Other benefits of the PMI-ACP certification include:Helps you qualify for Agile jobs with expertise in Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, etc. which are in demand in the industryEquips you with knowledge of various Agile methodsMakes you marketable as it opens doors to many project development methodologiesGain soft skills to manage your role eloquently  Earn more than your non-certified peers ($109,556)Top industries hiring PMI-ACP professionalsBooz, Allen, and HamiltonAccentureInternational Business Machines (IBM) Corp.Usaa InsuranceAmazon.com IncSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the PMI-ACP certification: The training must be taken from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMIWho should take the training for PMI-ACP certification?This course can be taken by:Project ManagersProject PlannersQuality Assurance StaffDevelopers/ProgrammersDesigners, TestersProject ControllersProduct OwnersScrum MastersScrum Team MembersWho is eligible for the PMI-ACP certification?The PMI-ACP requires the following eligibility:Secondary degree21 contact hours of training in agile practices12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years. A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP.8 months of agile project experience within the last 3 yearsDuration to get certified: Once you complete the required training you must take time out to vigorously prepare for the exam. You then need to set the date and give the 3-hour exam. Once you pass the exam you may refer to yourself as a certification holder although your certificate package can take six to eight weeks to arrive in the mail.Course fee for PMI-ACP certification:The course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 25999  U.S.: USD 1299Canada: CAD 1499Exam fee for PMI-ACP: $435 (for members), $495 (for non-members)PMI-ACP Exam Details:Exam Type: Closed book Format: Multiple Choice Difficulty: Intermediate Time limit: 3 hours Number of Questions: 120 of which 20 are considered pre-test questions and do not affect the score. Passing score: 85%Renewal for PMI-ACP certification: To maintain your PMI-ACP, you must earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) in agile topics every three years.5. Certified SAFe® Product Owner / Product Manager (SAFe® POPM)If scaling Scrum is your forte, then this is the right credential for you. This credential, an offering from the Scaled Agile, Inc., validates your product owner skills in delivering value by applying the principles of Lean to ensure Agile success at the enterprise scale, improving the Agile Release Train and ensuring customer satisfaction while improving bottom line margins.Considering that the Scaled Agile Framework is widely used in Agile organizations, there is a huge demand for SAFe POPM certified professionals, who can deliver continuous value at the enterprise level.Other benefits of the SAFe POPM certification include:Master key SAFe® product ownership/product management concepts like Lean Agile principles and valuesCollaborate with Agile teams to deliver valueMaster Program Increment PlanningOne-year membership to the SAFe Community PlatformOpen yourself upto new opportunitiesSAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (SPOPM) salary ranges from $83,865 to $124,613Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other Certified SAFe ProfessionalsTop industries hiring SAFe POPM professionalsBoschLockheed MartinPepsiCoAnthemCiscoStandard CharteredCapitalOneThalesFitBit  AstraZenecaSource: PayScaleWhere to take training for the SAFe POPM certification: The training must be taken from an authorized training partner of Scaled Agile, Inc. Who should take the training for SAFe POPM certification?This course can be taken by:Program or Project ManagersScrum MastersRelease Train EngineersBusiness AnalystsAgile CoachesSAFe Program ConsultantsDevelopment ManagersCTOsConsultantsArchitectsEngineersDirectorsProduct ManagersProduct OwnersDelivery ManagersSolution Train EngineersSoftware DevelopersWho is eligible for the SAFe POPM certification?The SAFe POPM requires the following eligibility:Two-day training from an authorized training provider of Scaled Agile Inc. Experience in Lean and AgileDuration to get certified: Once you complete the mandatory 2-day training you can set a date to take the 1.5 hrs SAFe POPM exam. On passing the exam, you become a Certified SAFe® 5 Product Owner / Product Manager. You will receive your SAFe®️ 5 Product Owner / Product Manager PDF Certificate and Digital Badge within 5-7 working days.Course fee for SAFe POPM certificationThe course fee depends on the training provider and differs from region to region.In India: INR 55999  U.S.: USD 1099Canada: CAD 1395Exam fee for SAFe POPM: First exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee if the exam is taken within 30 days of course completion.SAFe POPM Exam DetailsExam Type: Closed book Format: Multiple choice, multiple response Difficulty: Intermediate Time limit: 1.5 hours Number of Questions: 45 Passing score: POPM4 = 35 out of 45 (77%); POPM5 = 33 out of 45 (73%)Retake fee for SAFe POPM Exam: Each retake costs $50Renewal for SAFe POPM certification: SAFe POPM needs to be renewed each year by paying a $100 fee and earning a minimum of 10 continuing education/outreach hours (PDUs).SummaryProduct Owners are the rock stars of an Agile team—confident, articulate, sharp, great communicators and problem solvers! A solid Product Owner certification along with these qualities can give your career a total makeover and make you a team favourite. 
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SAFe® Agilist Certification Vs PMI-ACP®: Which Certification Should You Choose?

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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

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