Search

Series List Filter

How to Transition From Project Manager to a Scrum Master

Scrum Masters and Project Managers are not the same roles. I am going to talk about moving from a Project Manager role to a Scrum Master. Why do we need to talk about it? Because many people think they are the same thing with different artifacts or different language being used. They aren’t.You may be considering a change of roles from Project Manager to Scrum Master. You may be forced into such change as your organization is subjected to an Agile transformation. You may find yourself juggling both the roles and struggling with the competing agendas embedded in the two roles.  What I want you to get from this essay is an appreciation of the differences between the Project Manager and Scrum Master and some ideas about how the role of the Project Manager fits into Agile.The benefits of being a great Scrum MasterThe first and obvious answer is the huge drive to have an Agile delivery capability in almost every organization in the world. It’s a hot new job and having these skills and experiences to improve your employment prospects as you look for work.While there are still more Project Manager jobs than Scrum Master jobs on the jobs boards, the number of Scrum Master and similar jobs continues to grow, while the number of Project Manager jobs appears to be steady, and perhaps even shrinking in some markets.Additionally, more and more Project Manager roles require an understanding of and experience in Agile development and management methods, as project performance seems strongly correlated with the use of Agile methods.So, getting good in-depth experience in Agile working is an important step in your professional development, especially if you are a Project Manager involved in technology projects. Doing a job as a Scrum Master is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Agile world and learn the skills, knowledge, and behavior that will help you be a great manager and leader later in your career.But wait! There’s more.Many, many, many people who adopt the role of Scrum Master find their way into a new and fulfilling career. Scrum Masters and related coach type roles are inherently fulfilling for many people. Scrum Masters report a huge sense of satisfaction in being valuable team members and helping those around them grow in capability and deliver successful outcomes.  Becoming a Scrum Master may be the beginning of a whole new career track for you.Why to switch from Project Manager to a Scrum Master roleLet us have a look at the three key areas from where you can make out the decision on why the Scrum Master can be a great alternative for a typical project management environment:The potential to focus on the current taskDuring a project, the Project Manager has to discuss with the Client team and the Developer team to ensure the project goals. Being a Project Manager, it is very time-consuming and burdening as they have to ensure that the team is adhering to their own high standards.Whereas, Scrum Masters set priorities and target depending on sprint cycle. Scrum Master always keeps an eye on the active sprint. Scrum framework reduces distractions and the stress of achieving several different goals simultaneously. Being a Scrum Master, it is very easy to manage the projects as the Scrum framework allows to-Narrow the focusMeasure the results at each SprintGive the fastest deliveryDifferent ways to manage projectsMostly Project Managers spend much of their lives in:Collecting resourcesVerifying the resourcesEnsuring that everybody has what they wantFacilitating communicationScrum methodology allows to solve queries by communicating with the team members. The team can resolve issues without the help of the Scrum Master and the issues which can’t be solved by the team can be raised during ‘Daily Scrum’. Scrum meetings last for 15 minutes. In those 15 minutes, the Scrum Master will come to know the project status and the roadblocks hindering the project success.The Scrum method allows the teams to carry out communication by:Allowing the teams to communicate to solve issues internallyThe Scrum Master can get project status update in 15 minutes of Scrum meetingThe Scrum Master gets the things that can keep the project runningPrepare for what the client likesClients keep project goals like high ROI (return on investment), quality, reliability and higher lead conversion rates, before approaching any company. Along with the goals, clients want to know about the process and a collaborative relationship.Project manager manages the timeline, limitations, and achievements. They decide on the future aspects of the processes. This method is difficult to manage and works smoothly through changing priorities and resources.  On the flip side, in Scrum method goals, priorities, and resources can be set during Sprint planning. Since Sprint lasts for 2-3 weeks, they set target within a timeframe which allows them to accomplish the target in time and with less errors. The Scrum Master, developers, and teams, all are allowed in the Scrum planning process, so everyone can discuss the process for achieving the client’s requirement. This method allows the client to get the regular status of the project and allows us to create an awesome productTips for transitioning from Project Manager to a good Scrum MasterIf you are a Project Manager entering the Agile world, you probably have the reasons to switch from the Project Manager role to the Scrum Master. You already have a definition of a Project Manager’s role in your head.  It is probably based on the PMI definitions around planning, monitoring, controlling and closing a project. Maybe there is something about the accountability for the outcomes, and using the project management industry’s established methods and practices. That’s all good and a great set of knowledge to have.The best resources to learn what is a Scrum Master, what a Scrum Master does are from reading the Scrum guide and from talking to people who have experience in the role, most of whom are very generous with their time and enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and experiences.  The actual description of the Scrum Master role is very simple, clear and succinct.  The stories you get from the experienced people will help you see the complexity of those clear guidelines applied in complex situations.The most important contributions of the Scrum Master role are enabling the team by helping them unlock value from executing the Scrum framework well, being collectively disciplined and organized as a team, and in spending time and energy clearing impediments to the team’s progress.A Project Manager playing a Scrum Master role for the first time, would not be the first person to make the mistake of thinking the role is all about the process control. But it isn’t. It is an enabler role.As a Project Manager, you might hold accountability for creating a plan and for publishing progress reports against that plan to the Stakeholders.  As a Scrum Master, you are accountable for enabling the team to produce a plan and publish progress reports.You may end up being the person who grabs progress data and publishes it, but you are doing it in service to the team rather than to service your own delivery accountabilities. You may have very little to do with publishing progress reports. Anybody on the team or the team collectively can perform that task.Your job is to help the team understand the need for progress reports, to help them find useful methods to get the job done, and to find the discipline to consistently do the job well.The Scrum Master is advised to use the Scrum framework as a tool to inspect and adapt to both the product demands and the capabilities of the team. As your team learns new things, they will prioritize the opportunities and make changes according to the way they operate.  You can help them identify the opportunities and implement them. There are several easy ways to access methods and tools to solve a variety of problems out there, both inside and beyond the Agile toolkits, but the team should not settle for any obvious best practice. Good practices should be used, not to be settled. Always seek better.We have already looked at how your accountabilities change, but a Scrum Master won’t succeed unless they approach the work with the right attitude.  Each team is different, so you should always assess the expectations of the team and the role you play. Also, you will be able to bridge any gaps by using some fair core values based behaviors that people expect from a Scrum Master.Servant leadership — the watchwordThe Scrum Master role is a Servant Leader role. The Servant leaders seemingly face a conundrum that ‘how do I serve and lead at the same time’.  The answer is that you lead some things with authority based on the expertise and knowledge. You also step aside and let others manage their things based on authority, experience, and roles.For example the Product Owner in Scrum has positional authority on the backlog (that is supposed to be based on knowledge, but is also deeply positional.)You are expected to bring an authority, based on knowledge and experience around the  Scrum, team and system dynamics, and it should be valued by the team. To do this effectively you need to follow some tips for transitioning to the Agile Project Manager.Know your stuffKnowing only what to do leads to cargo cult practices and doesn’t engender a learning organization that continually evolves.  How and why Scrum worksWhy does each of the attributes of Scrum bring value?What problems do they solve and why does that part of Scrum work the way it does?You also need to know why Scrum parts work more effectively when it is executed integratively.New Scrum teams: Start with a Big Bang?If you are working with a team which is new to Scrum or Agile practices, as an effective Scrum Master you should also have some expertise in the way you roll in or implement the new Agile ways of working. Should you do a big bang implementation of Scrum, or roll in one practice at a time? Which one should you start with? Which next?The answer will depend on the circumstances of the team and the Scrum Master should have enough experience and wisdom to have an opinion that the team value because ideally, the teams should be deciding how to roll in the practices.Ask outcome-focused questionsAn important operating method for Scrum Masters is to highlight issues and ask questions.  When and if people express interest in the topic being raised, the Scrum Master may then offer advice and suggestion options. Collectively, the team should engage in the issue and decide what to do.  If the Scrum Master feel that the teams are going to make a mistake, you think about whether the mistake will be small enough to be safe and whether the team will take lessons from the failure. If you see risks, raise them and try to influence the down team with the different paths.As you interact with the team, your experience and advice should become more valued by the team over time.  You should build a consistent track record of helping them become a more successful team. You should not have to try to force change, although sometimes you will feel like you do, and some even rarer times you may feel you have to invoke authority from the management to force something.The importance of feedbackScrum and Agile methodology rely very heavily on fast and transparent feedback. As a Scrum Master, you have an initial feedback system laid out from you in the form of the Scrum ceremonies. These are just the beginning though. You and the team should continuously look to tune and improve your feedback systems so that the team can continually find better ways of delivering better business outcomes.Part of the Scrum Master’s role might be to look at the feedback system, to help the team assess whether they are the right ones and to find better ones.  Sometimes, a Scrum Master finds new ideas about feedback that a team might miss. The team members are all heads down building products and solutions and often prioritize ‘the work’ over ‘the system’.But a Scrum Master can bring an outsider’s perspective, or might be more able to observe the wider system the team operates in. Don’t be afraid of expressing your observations and ideas to the team where you have an insight that they don’t have. That perspective can be very valuable.  You will often be the first to see when a change needs to be made and can let the team know it’s time to start thinking differently.Getting feedback on your own performanceHave a plan for how you are going to grow and become great at the role.  Pursue continuous incremental improvement by setting up regular short cycle feedback systems on yourself.  Pause and reflect on how you are going and what you should do to improve. Do it regularly, and no less frequently than the sprint cycle.  Keep checking with the team whether they need help and what they would like you to help them with, and when you are done, check what they thought of your efforts.Get experience, get training, get a coach or mentor and find a community of practitioners that you can connect with and learn from. Leverage the experience from others, as the people who do this work love to help others and make themselves generously available.Traps in transitioning from Project Manager to a Scrum MasterHere are some of the traps in transition that can be avoided by a Project Manager who has recently assumed the role of a Scrum Master.Responsibility to organize meetingsAgile Manifesto principles believe in building projects collaboratively. Scrum Master arranges meetings for the teams whenever necessary. This is unlike a traditional Project Manager who used to be an administrative assistant to schedule meetings for everyone. Scrum and Agile give an importance to the individuals and interactions over processes and tools.Mistaking the ‘Daily Scrum’ as a ‘Status Update’ taskScrum Master arranges the ‘Stand-ups’ to communicate with the team members. The traditional Project Manager keeps track of everyone’s work to update the project plans and finding out the finishing dates. In Scrum, teams act as self-directing and accountable. So, after their transition to the Scrum Master’s role, the earlier Project Managers should be mindful about their perception of “daily scrum”. The point should be sledgehammered to the minds of these new Scrum Masters that daily scrum is only for the purpose of discussion and is not a status update task.Being a ‘Scrum Master’ is the only jobScrum Master’s role should be multifaceted as an SM has to play the ideal servant-leader role. Also, his role keeps changing in some Agile teams. If any task is incomplete and the Scrum Master is capable of doing it, they should pick up and implement the task. Scrum guide states that “helping the development team to create high-value products”, is one of the services of the Scrum Master. Therefore while transitioning from Project Manager to the Scrum Master, it is important to keep in mind that Scrum Master is not a unidimensional role. It entails multiple aspects.Improper Stakeholder Communication ManagementIn Scrum, the progress is measured as a ‘working software per Agile Manifesto’. The issues are raised, analysed and solved by the team with an external help if necessary. The Scrum Master may not be able to manage the objective the team uses to collaborate. The required deliverables may be set already if there is a governing body such as a portfolio management group or a project management office. In such cases, Scrum Masters should spot the reality that issues are flexible and alter depending on the work committed by the team. Detailing out risks can be ignored, as they will be outdated within a few days or even minutes.ConclusionTransitioning from Project Manager to Scrum Master can be a challenging yet fun. You just need to be very careful. It is important to help with reflection and coaching so that the new Scrum Masters leave some habits behind. When it comes to transitioning to the Scrum Master role, you definitely cannot achieve everything overnight. The first vital step is to get laser-focused. Certifications, as we discussed earlier can be the best if not the only way to do it. All the best for your transition.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 9 customer reviews

How to Transition From Project Manager to a Scrum Master

856
  • by Craig Brown
  • 09th Oct, 2018
  • Last updated on 11th Jul, 2019
  • 4 mins read
How to Transition From Project Manager to a Scrum Master

Scrum Masters and Project Managers are not the same roles. I am going to talk about moving from a Project Manager role to a Scrum Master. Why do we need to talk about it? Because many people think they are the same thing with different artifacts or different language being used. They aren’t.

You may be considering a change of roles from Project Manager to Scrum Master. You may be forced into such change as your organization is subjected to an Agile transformation. You may find yourself juggling both the roles and struggling with the competing agendas embedded in the two roles.  

What I want you to get from this essay is an appreciation of the differences between the Project Manager and Scrum Master and some ideas about how the role of the Project Manager fits into Agile.

The benefits of being a great Scrum Master

The first and obvious answer is the huge drive to have an Agile delivery capability in almost every organization in the world. It’s a hot new job and having these skills and experiences to improve your employment prospects as you look for work.

While there are still more Project Manager jobs than Scrum Master jobs on the jobs boards, the number of Scrum Master and similar jobs continues to grow, while the number of Project Manager jobs appears to be steady, and perhaps even shrinking in some markets.

Additionally, more and more Project Manager roles require an understanding of and experience in Agile development and management methods, as project performance seems strongly correlated with the use of Agile methods.

So, getting good in-depth experience in Agile working is an important step in your professional development, especially if you are a Project Manager involved in technology projects. Doing a job as a Scrum Master is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Agile world and learn the skills, knowledge, and behavior that will help you be a great manager and leader later in your career.

But wait! There’s more.

Many, many, many people who adopt the role of Scrum Master find their way into a new and fulfilling career. Scrum Masters and related coach type roles are inherently fulfilling for many people. Scrum Masters report a huge sense of satisfaction in being valuable team members and helping those around them grow in capability and deliver successful outcomes.  Becoming a Scrum Master may be the beginning of a whole new career track for you.

Why to switch from Project Manager to a Scrum Master role

Transition Project Manager to a Scrum Master


Let us have a look at the three key areas from where you can make out the decision on why the Scrum Master can be a great alternative for a typical project management environment:

The potential to focus on the current task

During a project, the Project Manager has to discuss with the Client team and the Developer team to ensure the project goals. Being a Project Manager, it is very time-consuming and burdening as they have to ensure that the team is adhering to their own high standards.

Whereas, Scrum Masters set priorities and target depending on sprint cycle. Scrum Master always keeps an eye on the active sprint. Scrum framework reduces distractions and the stress of achieving several different goals simultaneously. Being a Scrum Master, it is very easy to manage the projects as the Scrum framework allows to-

  • Narrow the focus
  • Measure the results at each Sprint
  • Give the fastest delivery

Different ways to manage projects

Mostly Project Managers spend much of their lives in:

  • Collecting resources
  • Verifying the resources
  • Ensuring that everybody has what they want
  • Facilitating communication

Scrum methodology allows to solve queries by communicating with the team members. The team can resolve issues without the help of the Scrum Master and the issues which can’t be solved by the team can be raised during ‘Daily Scrum’. Scrum meetings last for 15 minutes. In those 15 minutes, the Scrum Master will come to know the project status and the roadblocks hindering the project success.

The Scrum method allows the teams to carry out communication by:

  • Allowing the teams to communicate to solve issues internally
  • The Scrum Master can get project status update in 15 minutes of Scrum meeting
  • The Scrum Master gets the things that can keep the project running

Prepare for what the client likes

Clients keep project goals like high ROI (return on investment), quality, reliability and higher lead conversion rates, before approaching any company. Along with the goals, clients want to know about the process and a collaborative relationship.

Project manager manages the timeline, limitations, and achievements. They decide on the future aspects of the processes. This method is difficult to manage and works smoothly through changing priorities and resources.  

On the flip side, in Scrum method goals, priorities, and resources can be set during Sprint planning. Since Sprint lasts for 2-3 weeks, they set target within a timeframe which allows them to accomplish the target in time and with less errors. The Scrum Master, developers, and teams, all are allowed in the Scrum planning process, so everyone can discuss the process for achieving the client’s requirement. This method allows the client to get the regular status of the project and allows us to create an awesome product

method to get awesome product


Tips for transitioning from Project Manager to a good Scrum Master

If you are a Project Manager entering the Agile world, you probably have the reasons to switch from the Project Manager role to the Scrum Master. You already have a definition of a Project Manager’s role in your head.  It is probably based on the PMI definitions around planning, monitoring, controlling and closing a project. Maybe there is something about the accountability for the outcomes, and using the project management industry’s established methods and practices. That’s all good and a great set of knowledge to have.

The best resources to learn what is a Scrum Master, what a Scrum Master does are from reading the Scrum guide and from talking to people who have experience in the role, most of whom are very generous with their time and enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and experiences.  

The actual description of the Scrum Master role is very simple, clear and succinct.  The stories you get from the experienced people will help you see the complexity of those clear guidelines applied in complex situations.

The most important contributions of the Scrum Master role are enabling the team by helping them unlock value from executing the Scrum framework well, being collectively disciplined and organized as a team, and in spending time and energy clearing impediments to the team’s progress.

A Project Manager playing a Scrum Master role for the first time, would not be the first person to make the mistake of thinking the role is all about the process control. But it isn’t. It is an enabler role.

As a Project Manager, you might hold accountability for creating a plan and for publishing progress reports against that plan to the Stakeholders.  As a Scrum Master, you are accountable for enabling the team to produce a plan and publish progress reports.

You may end up being the person who grabs progress data and publishes it, but you are doing it in service to the team rather than to service your own delivery accountabilities. You may have very little to do with publishing progress reports. Anybody on the team or the team collectively can perform that task.

Your job is to help the team understand the need for progress reports, to help them find useful methods to get the job done, and to find the discipline to consistently do the job well.

The Scrum Master is advised to use the Scrum framework as a tool to inspect and adapt to both the product demands and the capabilities of the team. As your team learns new things, they will prioritize the opportunities and make changes according to the way they operate.  

You can help them identify the opportunities and implement them. There are several easy ways to access methods and tools to solve a variety of problems out there, both inside and beyond the Agile toolkits, but the team should not settle for any obvious best practice. Good practices should be used, not to be settled. Always seek better.

We have already looked at how your accountabilities change, but a Scrum Master won’t succeed unless they approach the work with the right attitude.  Each team is different, so you should always assess the expectations of the team and the role you play. Also, you will be able to bridge any gaps by using some fair core values based behaviors that people expect from a Scrum Master.

Servant leadership — the watchword

The Scrum Master role is a Servant Leader role. The Servant leaders seemingly face a conundrum that ‘how do I serve and lead at the same time’.  The answer is that you lead some things with authority based on the expertise and knowledge. You also step aside and let others manage their things based on authority, experience, and roles.

For example the Product Owner in Scrum has positional authority on the backlog (that is supposed to be based on knowledge, but is also deeply positional.)

Servant leadership


You are expected to bring an authority, based on knowledge and experience around the  Scrum, team and system dynamics, and it should be valued by the team. To do this effectively you need to follow some tips for transitioning to the Agile Project Manager.

Know your stuff

Knowing only what to do leads to cargo cult practices and doesn’t engender a learning organization that continually evolves.  

  • How and why Scrum works
  • Why does each of the attributes of Scrum bring value?
  • What problems do they solve and why does that part of Scrum work the way it does?
  • You also need to know why Scrum parts work more effectively when it is executed integratively.

New Scrum teams: Start with a Big Bang?

If you are working with a team which is new to Scrum or Agile practices, as an effective Scrum Master you should also have some expertise in the way you roll in or implement the new Agile ways of working. Should you do a big bang implementation of Scrum, or roll in one practice at a time? Which one should you start with? Which next?

The answer will depend on the circumstances of the team and the Scrum Master should have enough experience and wisdom to have an opinion that the team value because ideally, the teams should be deciding how to roll in the practices.

Ask outcome-focused questions

An important operating method for Scrum Masters is to highlight issues and ask questions.  When and if people express interest in the topic being raised, the Scrum Master may then offer advice and suggestion options. Collectively, the team should engage in the issue and decide what to do.  

If the Scrum Master feel that the teams are going to make a mistake, you think about whether the mistake will be small enough to be safe and whether the team will take lessons from the failure. If you see risks, raise them and try to influence the down team with the different paths.

As you interact with the team, your experience and advice should become more valued by the team over time.  You should build a consistent track record of helping them become a more successful team. You should not have to try to force change, although sometimes you will feel like you do, and some even rarer times you may feel you have to invoke authority from the management to force something.

The importance of feedback

Scrum and Agile methodology rely very heavily on fast and transparent feedback. As a Scrum Master, you have an initial feedback system laid out from you in the form of the Scrum ceremonies. These are just the beginning though. You and the team should continuously look to tune and improve your feedback systems so that the team can continually find better ways of delivering better business outcomes.

Part of the Scrum Master’s role might be to look at the feedback system, to help the team assess whether they are the right ones and to find better ones.  Sometimes, a Scrum Master finds new ideas about feedback that a team might miss. The team members are all heads down building products and solutions and often prioritize ‘the work’ over ‘the system’.

But a Scrum Master can bring an outsider’s perspective, or might be more able to observe the wider system the team operates in. Don’t be afraid of expressing your observations and ideas to the team where you have an insight that they don’t have. That perspective can be very valuable.  You will often be the first to see when a change needs to be made and can let the team know it’s time to start thinking differently.

Getting feedback on your own performance

Have a plan for how you are going to grow and become great at the role.  Pursue continuous incremental improvement by setting up regular short cycle feedback systems on yourself.  Pause and reflect on how you are going and what you should do to improve. Do it regularly, and no less frequently than the sprint cycle.  

Keep checking with the team whether they need help and what they would like you to help them with, and when you are done, check what they thought of your efforts.

Get experience, get training, get a coach or mentor and find a community of practitioners that you can connect with and learn from. Leverage the experience from others, as the people who do this work love to help others and make themselves generously available.

Traps in transitioning from Project Manager to a Scrum Master

Here are some of the traps in transition that can be avoided by a Project Manager who has recently assumed the role of a Scrum Master.

Responsibility to organize meetings

Agile Manifesto principles believe in building projects collaboratively. Scrum Master arranges meetings for the teams whenever necessary. This is unlike a traditional Project Manager who used to be an administrative assistant to schedule meetings for everyone. Scrum and Agile give an importance to the individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

Mistaking the ‘Daily Scrum’ as a ‘Status Update’ task

Scrum Master arranges the ‘Stand-ups’ to communicate with the team members. The traditional Project Manager keeps track of everyone’s work to update the project plans and finding out the finishing dates. In Scrum, teams act as self-directing and accountable. So, after their transition to the Scrum Master’s role, the earlier Project Managers should be mindful about their perception of “daily scrum”. The point should be sledgehammered to the minds of these new Scrum Masters that daily scrum is only for the purpose of discussion and is not a status update task.

Being a ‘Scrum Master’ is the only job

Scrum Master’s role should be multifaceted as an SM has to play the ideal servant-leader role. Also, his role keeps changing in some Agile teams. If any task is incomplete and the Scrum Master is capable of doing it, they should pick up and implement the task. Scrum guide states that “helping the development team to create high-value products”, is one of the services of the Scrum Master. Therefore while transitioning from Project Manager to the Scrum Master, it is important to keep in mind that Scrum Master is not a unidimensional role. It entails multiple aspects.

Improper Stakeholder Communication Management

In Scrum, the progress is measured as a ‘working software per Agile Manifesto’. The issues are raised, analysed and solved by the team with an external help if necessary. The Scrum Master may not be able to manage the objective the team uses to collaborate. The required deliverables may be set already if there is a governing body such as a portfolio management group or a project management office. In such cases, Scrum Masters should spot the reality that issues are flexible and alter depending on the work committed by the team. Detailing out risks can be ignored, as they will be outdated within a few days or even minutes.

Conclusion

Transitioning from Project Manager to Scrum Master can be a challenging yet fun. You just need to be very careful. It is important to help with reflection and coaching so that the new Scrum Masters leave some habits behind. When it comes to transitioning to the Scrum Master role, you definitely cannot achieve everything overnight. The first vital step is to get laser-focused. Certifications, as we discussed earlier can be the best if not the only way to do it. All the best for your transition.

Craig

Craig Brown

Blog Author

Craig’s roles over the past 20 years have involved leading project management teams, projects and programmes, consulting, training and coaching in a variety of aspects of project delivery. Most recently Craig was a program manager on Telstra’s Customer Advocacy journey, working with culture change, Net Promoter Scores, and lean-style customer centred process improvements.

Apart from the disciplines of project and portfolio management Craig is also an Agile and Lean enthusiast with a focus on the collaboration and cultivation aspects of agile practices and methods. Craig runs the Melbourne Scrum User group and also runs meetup groups for Agile business analysis and agile project managers where he helps people navigate their way from traditional roles and thinking to modern ones.

Craig also co-created the LAST conference which is a low cost community driven conference focusing on lean, agile and systems thinking.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 comments

Sanvi Raj 01 Nov 2018

Awesome Blog.... informative and knowledge gaining ..Thanks

Mellissa 03 May 2019

Thank you for writing this awesome article. I'm a long time reader but I've never been compelled to leave a comment. I subscribed to your blog and shared this on my Twitter. Thanks again for a great post!

Staci 07 May 2019

Great article! Thank you :)

Nilda 10 May 2019

I like it when individuals come together and share thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

Luther 11 May 2019

Thanks for posting this awesome article. I'm a long time reader but I've never been compelled to leave a comment. I subscribed to your blog and shared this on my Twitter. Thanks again for a great post!

R. Beaudet 17 May 2019

Thank you for the good writeup.

Publissoft 24 May 2019

Thanks for posting this awesome article. I'm a long time reader but I've never been compelled to leave a comment. I subscribed to your blog and shared this on my Twitter. Thanks again for a great article!

Alyssia Alexandria 11 Jun 2019

Fantastic thank you for sharing this truly eye opening.

Prem kumar 24 Jun 2019

This information is more valuable & use full thanks for providing such kind of blog...

Suggested Blogs

Top 10 Things To Know About Leading SAFe® 4.5

In today’s fast-paced environment, organizations need a procedural framework that could fundamentally help their profitability. Many regard Agile framework as the main path for an effective enterprise development, a quick accomplishment of business objectives and fulfillment of client needs. It is difficult to understand the complete methodology at a glance, so organizations have initiated applying the Agile methodology to the team members gradually.  In case of organizational change, it is hard to adopt the new things at once. Team members need a thorough knowledge of the SAFe® practices, also it requires building new practices, leadership styles, and culture. SAFe® quickens Lean-Agile change with the new Implementation Roadmap, which guides endeavors consistently. Agile Transitioning from Traditional methods of software development:                                                              Fig. Project success rates statistics Today, the Agile system is progressively discovering its place in software development ventures over the world. According to the State of Agile survey,  88% of the companies have adopted the Agile methodology, only 38% are implementing Agile practices for more than 75% of their projects.  Here are the steps involved in Agile transitioning that will help you in smoothly transitioning from traditional methods: 1.Agile Awareness- This is the first step toward Agile adoption to spread the awareness of the Agile methodology. The basic step in transitioning to Agile is skipping what has been learned by you in years of the traditional approach of working. 2.Agile training- Providing training to the team members helps them to be familiar with the Agile practices and they will be more openly accept the changes. 3.Choosing a right approach- Before making a transition to Agile, it is best to abstain from completing a project 100%. Instead, organizations can make an incremental progress by choosing a trail aspect by selecting the Agile mode. This will lower the risk of transitioning from traditional approach to Agile approach. 4.Redefining the roles of the team- In an Agile team, team members should be familiar with their roles and the processes they need to implement in the project. This will make an easy transition.  5.Automating test processes- Automation testing is the key feature of an Agile methodology. While implementing automation, developers need to discuss with the testers wherever necessary for setting up the automation process. Looking for a quick overview of #SAFe? Check out our most popular download: https://t.co/Iw7rVXSK6U pic.twitter.com/oPEExo8mUY — Dean Leffingwell (@Deanleffingwell) October 31, 2017 What is new in SAFe® 4.5?  Leading SAFe® 4.5 version is also known as SAFe® for Lean Enterprises, as it provides a better way of raising an alignment and execution over the entire organization. Here are the benefits of upgrading to SAFe® 4.5. 1. SAFe® 4.5 is more lean and agile, more configurable and cultivates speedier innovation and learning. It enables organizations to confer better and faster business outcomes. 2. SAFe® 4.5 is made to support all types of development environment. It supports from simplest to the toughest development environment. It has come up with four new configurations-  Essential SAFe® - an initial phase which starts just after realizing the benefits. Portfolio SAFe®- adds portfolio level, strategy and investment funding, guidance on Agile programs, and Lean governance as a scenario. Large Solution SAFe® - for building large systems that involve Agile Release Trains and Suppliers Full SAFe® - for the largest firms those are seeking the benefits of the Lean-Agile enterprise.   3. SAFe® 4.5 is better configured to match the organizational needs. It permits companies to perform the following very easily: Use the Lean Startup Cycle and Lean User Experience(Lean UX) to test ideas faster. Using Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery Pipeline, organizations can deliver more quickly.  With Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) and Lean Budget, enterprises can simplify governance and improve portfolio performance. 4.  SAFe® 4.5 has provided a guide, which is called ‘SAFe® Implementation Roadmap’. This guide contains 12 series articles that escorts the crucial steps that an enterprise can implement to achieve long-term goals, based on the change management techniques for getting success early in the project.  5. The more interesting and useful thing about SAFe® 4.5 is that it is completely backward compatible. All you need to do is adopt advanced principles of SAFe® 4.5, reserving the old practices to its original position. 6. SAFe® 4.5 has come up with more innovations with Lean Startup and Lean UX. This coordination helps the organizations in commencing investments to form Minimum Viable Product(MVP). Additionally, feedback is carried out from the customers in order to form valuable decisions rapidly. 7. SAFe® 4.5 is built-up with the combination of Lean ‘hypothesis-build-measure-learn’ and Scalable DevOps & Continuous Delivery delivers more inventive solutions energetically. Being a major organization, you can enhance several solution components withSAFe® 4.5.  8. SAFe® 4.5 maximizes the speed of product delivery, from initial phase to delivery, and from customer feedback to required improvements, offering a build-measure-learn feedback cycle. 9. SAFe® 4.5 is more upgraded with the feature of quickest delivery using Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery Pipeline. 10. SAFe® 4.5 always emphasizes on simplicity. While implementing SAFe® in the entire organization, it allows working with unnecessary workflows and approval procedures that create bottlenecks.   Reasons to Upgrade to SAFe® 4.5: Organizations were seeking a specific path to gain faster results in fewer efforts. The current version (SAFe® 4.0) was inefficient to manage this challenge.  So, to overcome this challenge, Scaled Agile Inc. has introduced SAFe® 4.5, the most improved version of SAFe® 4.0. It is a decision made after the field research of 1.5 years. The field research consists of the users’ feedbacks and lots of implementations. Finally, the decision has made about SAFe® 4.5 is that it is leaner, more Agile, and easily understandable and better at getting faster results as compared to its predecessors. About SAFe® Agilist Certification: When it comes to Agile, you definitely cannot achieve everything overnight. The first vital step is to get laser-focused. The SAFe® Agilist (SA) certification can be the best way to do it. The SAFe® Agilist certification cost ranges from Rs. 20,000 to 24,000.  SAFe® Agilist Certification value-  On completion of the SA training, you will- Learn how Lean, Agile, and Product Development flow form the SAFe® foundation. Learn how to apply SAFe® to scale Lean and Agile development in the enterprise. Identify and apply Lean-Agile mindset and principles. Learn to coordinate the development of large solutions. Learn to enhance your Lean-Agile leadership skills. Benefitted with 16 PDUs and 16 SEUs. Summing it up We all know that switching to other methodology in an organization is difficult. As it needs to adopt new changes, leadership styles and the methods. Just to make the transition easy, SAFe® works on Lean-Agile transformation with Implementation roadmap that guides on each critical steps to the organizations. The above-mentioned changes will help you to get an overview of the newest changes to the present framework.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 12 customer reviews
3403
Top 10 Things To Know About Leading SAFe® 4.5

In today’s fast-paced environment, organizations... 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.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 25 customer reviews
7214
SAFe® Agilist Certification Vs PMI-ACP®: W...

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

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:Source Lean-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 Rivain Business 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
Rated 4.5/5 based on 13 customer reviews
12474
Reasons to Get Updated to Leading SAFe® 4.6 Ce...

SAFe®️ is an agile framework for software devel... Read More