Search

What is Estimation Projection & Validation in Agile?

Ensuring successful software development within constraints of ‘scope, schedule, and cost’ has been a conundrum that every software development methodology tries to solve. In any scenario, we can fix only one of these 3 parameters. For example, if we fix the software estimation, we have to keep the schedule variable according to the new changes in scope. Similarly, if we fix the schedule, we will have to adjust with varying scope and cost. Fixing of all these three factors is against Agile culture. The scope keeps changing as the project makes progress on the agreed timeline, so, the estimation becomes a challenging task for the product owner.What is Estimation in Agile?Agile software estimation is used for realistic planning to implementing the project requirements as per commitments. The estimation also supports for projections that are used by the product owners to prioritize the tasks and to schedule product releases. To simplify the task, estimation can be made a 10-step process as shown in fig. 1:How to Do Realistic Estimation (Techniques):The following three techniques are often used for Agile estimation:1. Expert Opinions: By collecting the opinions of people with previous experience on similar project types.2. Analogies: By comparing an already delivered similar project to current project; the parameters are more accurate and scalable.3. Disaggregation: By breaking the project development into the smaller units.All the three above-mentioned techniques can be used simultaneously also. Planning Poker is the most widely used estimation perfectly blended with opinions, analogies and disaggregated tasks. To know more about ‘Planning Poker’, you can refer to "Agile Estimating and Planning" – a book written by Mike Cohn.  Validation in Agile Estimating & Planning:Sometimes, the project team members get confused by the terms verification and validation because of the thin separating line. Verification is focused to assess – ‘Did I build what I said I would?’, while, the validation is focused on - “Did I build what I need to satisfy the customer and organization?”The validation helps you verify the methods and results. The validation in Agile makes you more confident for having accurate and goal directing database derived by using the most effective technique. To simplify the process, the validation exercise can be stipulated in three steps:1. Demo in Sprint ReviewThis type of validation demonstrates the software features/functionality completed during the particular sprint in the presence of customer/ advisory board or user group to highlight progress and to gain the important feedback. The gained feedbacks ensure that the team is on the right track. This validation exercise can be programmed as per sprint cadence; and, you should have sufficient time for two or more end-of-sprint reviews if there are different user groups. The sprint review validation demands 1:1 demo also if you need to satisfy a particular person in user group.2. Hands-on Experience:Under this validation model, also called ‘Alpha testing’, customers get hands-on experience of using the software or particular feature in a pilot working environment. This model is highly effective for cloud-based applications where a number of users can access and use the software. It is usually programmed for once or twice for each release. The participants are selected on the basis of created customer profiles. 3. On-the-premise Installation Validation:At this validation stage, the customers install the delivered software over their systems in the actual working environment. The exercise is often called acceptance testing or Beta testing also. It gives you feedback on how the developed software can be used in other environments with different user interfaces. This validation exercise is commenced at the last stage of release. All the concerned users are the participants of on-the-premise installation validation.Conclusion:The estimating in Agile environment helps to implement the viable solutions and is the key startup exercise for Agile project development. To get the training for Agile estimation and planning, you may visit – KnowledgeHut. Agile Estimation and planning training provides an understanding of estimation tools and techniques helping you manage iterative processes better.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 57 customer reviews

What is Estimation Projection & Validation in Agile?

397
What is Estimation Projection & Validation in Agile?

Ensuring successful software development within constraints of ‘scope, schedule, and cost’ has been a conundrum that every software development methodology tries to solve. In any scenario, we can fix only one of these 3 parameters. For example, if we fix the software estimation, we have to keep the schedule variable according to the new changes in scope. Similarly, if we fix the schedule, we will have to adjust with varying scope and cost. Fixing of all these three factors is against Agile culture. The scope keeps changing as the project makes progress on the agreed timeline, so, the estimation becomes a challenging task for the product owner.

What is Estimation in Agile?

Agile software estimation releasing planning

Agile software estimation is used for realistic planning to implementing the project requirements as per commitments. The estimation also supports for projections that are used by the product owners to prioritize the tasks and to schedule product releases. To simplify the task, estimation can be made a 10-step process as shown in fig. 1:

How to Do Realistic Estimation (Techniques):

The following three techniques are often used for Agile estimation:

1. Expert Opinions: By collecting the opinions of people with previous experience on similar project types.

2. Analogies: By comparing an already delivered similar project to current project; the parameters are more accurate and scalable.

3. Disaggregation: By breaking the project development into the smaller units.

All the three above-mentioned techniques can be used simultaneously also. Planning Poker is the most widely used estimation perfectly blended with opinions, analogies and disaggregated tasks. To know more about ‘Planning Poker’, you can refer to "Agile Estimating and Planning" – a book written by Mike Cohn.  

Validation in Agile Estimating & Planning:

Sometimes, the project team members get confused by the terms verification and validation because of the thin separating line. Verification is focused to assess – ‘Did I build what I said I would?’, while, the validation is focused on - “Did I build what I need to satisfy the customer and organization?”

The validation helps you verify the methods and results. The validation in Agile makes you more confident for having accurate and goal directing database derived by using the most effective technique. To simplify the process, the validation exercise can be stipulated in three steps:
Steps in Agile Estimation & planning

1. Demo in Sprint Review

This type of validation demonstrates the software features/functionality completed during the particular sprint in the presence of customer/ advisory board or user group to highlight progress and to gain the important feedback. The gained feedbacks ensure that the team is on the right track. This validation exercise can be programmed as per sprint cadence; and, you should have sufficient time for two or more end-of-sprint reviews if there are different user groups. The sprint review validation demands 1:1 demo also if you need to satisfy a particular person in user group.

2. Hands-on Experience:

Under this validation model, also called ‘Alpha testing’, customers get hands-on experience of using the software or particular feature in a pilot working environment. This model is highly effective for cloud-based applications where a number of users can access and use the software. It is usually programmed for once or twice for each release. The participants are selected on the basis of created customer profiles. 

3. On-the-premise Installation Validation:

At this validation stage, the customers install the delivered software over their systems in the actual working environment. The exercise is often called acceptance testing or Beta testing also. It gives you feedback on how the developed software can be used in other environments with different user interfaces. This validation exercise is commenced at the last stage of release. All the concerned users are the participants of on-the-premise installation validation.

Conclusion:

The estimating in Agile environment helps to implement the viable solutions and is the key startup exercise for Agile project development. To get the training for Agile estimation and planning, you may visit – KnowledgeHut. Agile Estimation and planning training provides an understanding of estimation tools and techniques helping you manage iterative processes better.

Shubhranshu

Shubhranshu Agarwal

Freelance content writer

Shubhranshu Agarwal is a technical writer with special interest in business management and project management subjects. Over the 15 years of freelance content writing, he has written a lot to help the industries, businesses and project managers to achieve the sustainable growth by implementing strategic critical management methodologies.
 

Join the Discussion

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

Suggested Blogs

Top 5 Career Paths for Scrum Masters

Are you a Scrum Master? Will you remain as a Scrum master forever? What are your future plans which can advance your career? Let’s discuss what is beyond Scrum master and understand the scope of the various roles or career paths that Scrum Master can play and the supporting certifications to upskill his/her career.Career Paths for Scrum MasterAgile CoachProduct OwnerMentorManagerManagement RolesLet’s understand each role clearly.Agile CoachIt has become a trend now to become an Agile Coach after achieving the CSM certification. This role will help you to stand out in the crowd. A Scrum Master who is successful in managing the complex tasks and handling the multiple teams can go for the role of the Mentor.  Agile Coach is responsible for facilitating the Agile and Scrum implementation. As an Agile Coach, you help teams in Agile adoption and reach success.To become an Agile Coach, the first step is you should be well-versed with the Scrum concepts. Agile and Scrum Certifications will lead you to enhance your Scrum skills. To call yourself a master in the Scrum, you should become a Scrum Master. Along with this, a Product Owner or any other Development team member in the team can be a good Coach. Having experience in playing all the three Scrum roles (Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Development team)  will be a great start to your Coaching career. On the contrary, if you are not practicing any of those roles, getting trained in these certifications is the best choice to earn hands-on experience.Agile coach education and training:To become an Agile coach there are plenty of online and in-person courses that will help you build the skills to become an Agile coach. ICP-ACC certification is the most popular in demand certification.To know more about this training, check out our ICP-ACC certification course.Product Owner:While on a Scrum team, if the Scrum Masters like what the team is building more than the act of creating something, then they can be most appropriate candidates to become a Product Owner. Product Owner is another role to which a Scrum Master can make a transition. This is not a part of the career path but it is a movement within a team. The Product Owner role is equal to that of a Scrum Master role which can be taken in order to switch to the Product Owner role.Certification leads to the Product Owner roleThere are two certifications available for a product owner Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) by Scrum Alliance and Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I) by Scrum.org. to validate and certify their understanding of the role of the product owner and how they would respond to real situations that will challenge them.Mentor:A Scrum Master who has been successful in his current role can step ahead into a role as a mentor to other Scrum Masters. This includes the transmission of knowledge and psychological support to the team. As the team is engaged in the daily use of scrum, the scrum master helps the team to use it more effectively. The main motive behind the scrum master acting as a mentoring is to help the individuals become self-sufficient and the team to become self-organizing.Manager:A good manager is essential to the success of a Scrum process and if the manager is an ex-Scrum Master then he or she will understand the problems clear and support teams in the right way. As a manager, your roles and responsibilities will increase. Management RolesScrum Masters are not to be confused with the Project Managerial role. But some Scrum Masters find this task very interesting while working with the team members closely. Scrum Masters become very proficient at guiding teams after working as a Scrum Master for years. Due to this, many wishes to move to management roles.To conclude:The role of Scrum Master increases the demand for the scrum experts and thus there are great opportunities for the scrum professional. The scrum master career path allows one to build a career in different fields. Choose the best career path and it’s good to know your options.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 1 customer reviews
8982
Top 5 Career Paths for Scrum Masters

Are you a Scrum Master? Will you remain as a Scrum... Read More

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 ...

Scrum Masters and Project Managers are not the sam... Read More

How to Renew CSM® Certification?

Are you a CSM® certified professional? As a Certified ScrumMaster® you are now ready to help the Scrum team perform at the highest level while protecting them from both internal and external distractions. Further, the certification helps you to:Expand your career opportunities across every industry that adopt Agile practices.Demonstrate your core Scrum knowledge.Learn about the foundation of Scrum and its scope.Engage with Agile practitioners who are committed to continuous improvement.But it’s not enough to be CSM® certified. You need to maintain your certification to continue your CSM® journey.Maintain your CSM® certification by renewing itAfter working hard to earn your CSM® certification, you need to avoid its lapse by renewing it every 2 years. You are required to earn a certain amount of Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) in order to validate your participation and continued proficiency in the fundamental principles and practices of Scrum. All the SEUs must be earned within the past 2 years. You also need to pay a renewal fee.The SEU requirements and renewal fees that you need to pay for renewing your CSM® certification are as follows:CertificationSEUs requiredFee Per TermCSM®20$100These 20 SEUs can be earned by you in the following ways:By watching community webinarGiving back to the Agile community by volunteering in some wayParticipating in a local user groupAttend a Scrum Gathering at a global or regional levelWrite a Scrum or Agile blogRead a book on Scrum or AgileSteps to renew your CSM® certificationYou need to be within 6 months of your current CSM® certification date. Further, you need to follow these steps in order to renew your CSM® certification:Step 1: Log in to your certification account.Step 2: Click on the ‘certification dashboard’ which you can find in the settings.Step 3: Pay your renewal fee by scrolling to the ‘Actions’ window and click the renewal link. Why should you renew your CSM® certification?You can reap the following benefits by renewing your CSM® certification:Get your knowledge, abilities, and skills endorsed by the largest, most established, and influential Agile certifying body to differentiate yourself from others in your field.Increase your opportunities for career advancement and potential for increasing your earnings.Influence the future of Scrum to participate in volunteer opportunities.Open your path towards obtaining more advanced certifications.Promote your achievements by displaying a digital badge.On a concluding noteYour CSM® certification credential lasts for only two years. This blog discusses all that you should keep in mind to maintain your CSM® credential. The renewal opens your door to various career advancement opportunities. Also, it helps to promote your achievements by displaying your digital badge. 
Rated 4.5/5 based on 2 customer reviews
6633
How to Renew CSM® Certification?

Are you a CSM® certified professional? As a Certi... Read More

Useful links