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Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®

Apart from Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PRINCE2® (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is one of the most widely used methods for managing projects across the globe. It is a very methodical way of managing projects based on experience drawn from various projects and from the contributions of numerous people who worked using PRINCE2, such as project sponsors, project managers, project teams, academics, trainers and consultants. Its generic design can be applied to any project regardless of project scale, type, organization, geography or culture. It separates the project management work from specialist contributions, like design or construction Focus is on describing what needs to be done, instead of prescribing how project is to be done. PRINCE2®: is based more on governance for project management is tailored to meet the needs of the organization  is implemented alongside industry-specific models e.g. ’engineering models’ or ‘development lifecycles’ helps participants focus on the viability of the project in relation to objectives mentioned in the business case makes sure that everybody involved is represented in planning and decision-making, appropriately inspires to learn lessons from experience in the projects and helps in continual improvement within the organizations.PRINCE2 in Project Management Some characteristics of project work that differentiates itself from business as usual (BAU) are:- Change - Projects are a great catalyst for introducing change. Temporary - Projects have a definite start and a definite end.   Cross-functional - people having different skills work together Unique - each project will be unique such as it involves a different customer, a different time. a different team, a different location Uncertainty – All projects carry a very high uncertainty – threats and opportunities. What are six project constraints that we wish to control throughout a projectCosts – spending depends on the budget given to the project manager Timescales - A question the project manager is most frequently asked: What is your expected project completion date? Quality - products must be fit for the purpose for which they are produced. Scope – What is in-scope and out-of-scope of the project Benefits – What is the reason for doing this? A very crystal-clear understanding of the purpose of the project is required by the project manager Risk - All projects are risky but project manager must be aware of exactly how much risk we are  in a position to accept PRINCE2 assumes that there will be - a customer who will specify the requirement of a product  a supplier who will provide all skilled resources to deliver that product PRINCE2 StructureThe PRINCE2 Seven Principles are:- 1. Continued business justification - A PRINCE2 project has continued business justification. All PRINCE2 projects require that: for starting the project, there has to be a justifiable reason this justification must be recorded and approved the justification must remain valid and is revalidated, throughout the project life-cycle to ensure that the project remains in line with the benefits which contribute to business objectives justification is documented either as a business case document or may use some business plans or any other similar document 2. Learn from experience - lessons learned (seek), recorded and acted upon throughout the project. 3. Defined roles and responsibilities - within an organization structure engages the business, user and supplier stakeholder interests 4. Manage by stages - A PRINCE2 project is planned, monitored and controlled on a stage-by-stage basis. In PRINCE2, a project must have at least two management stages: an initiation stage at least one further management stage. 5. Manage by exception - tolerances are defined for each project objective, to set limits for delegating authority. 6. Focus on products – focus is more on the defining the products and delivery of products, including quality requirements.7. Tailor to suit the environment - PRINCE2 can be tailored to suit the project size, complexity, team capability, environment, importance and risk. Project manager and project board will have to make choices including decisions on how PRINCE2 should be applied on the project.PRINCE2 Seven Themes The PRINCE2 Seven Themes are - Business Case (Why?): a project usually starts with an idea or a concept which is then considered to have potential value for the organization concerned. This theme addresses how the idea is developed into a viable investment proposition for the organization and how project management maintains the focus on the organization’s objectives throughout the project. Organization (Who?): organization which commissions the project needs to allocate the work to managers who will be responsible for it and steer it through to completion. Projects are cross-functional. This theme describes the roles and responsibilities the project management team is required to have, in order to manage the project efficiently and effectively. Quality (What?): all participants understand the quality attributes of the products to be delivered and then how the project management will ensure that these requirements are ultimately delivered. Plans (How? How much? When?):  project plan for the project as a whole, will usually be a high-level plan, providing indicative timescales, milestones, cost and resource requirements based on estimates detailed stage plan for the current management stage, aligned with the overall project plan timescales, produced before the start of that stage exception plans show actions performed to recover or come back on track from or avoid a forecast deviation from agreed tolerances, applies to project plan or stage plan a number of work packages are developed using detailed team planRisk (What if?): addresses how project management manages uncertainty. Change (What is the impact?): describes how project management assesses and responds to issues which have a potential impact on any of the baseline aspects of the project such as its plans and completed products. Issues may be instances of a product not meeting its specification or requests for change or unanticipated general problems. Progress (Where are we now? Where are we going? Should we carry on?): addresses the ongoing viability of the plans. This theme monitors actual performance, explains the decision-making process for approving plans and the escalation process if events do not go according to plan. Ultimately, it determines how and whether the project should proceed.PRINCE2 Seven Processes The PRINCE2 Seven Processes are:- Starting Up A Project (SU)  Purposeto ensure that the prerequisites for initiating a project are in place by answering the question: Do we have a viable and worthwhile project?  base information needed to make rational decisions such as commissioning of the project is defined, key roles and responsibilities are identified and resources are allocated and a foundation for detailed planning is made available.Objective: To ensure that: a business justification is documented in an outline business case, for initiating the project necessary authorities exist, for initiating the project project brief is available to define and confirm the scope of the project a feasible project approach is selected after evaluating different delivery approaches individuals are appointed who will undertake the project work  the work required for project initiation is planned and documented in a stage planDirecting A Project (DP)  Purpose: To enable project board  to be accountable for the project’s success by making key decisions and exercising overall control of the project and  delegating day-to-day management of the project to the project managerObjectiveTo ensure that some authority exists to initiate the project, to deliver the products and close the project management direction and control are provided to all concerned throughout the project’s life project remains viable at every stage corporate, programme management or the customer has a transparent interface to the project post-project benefits realization plans are reviewed and managedInitiating A Project (IP)  Purposeto establish a sturdy foundation for the project to understand the work that needs to be done to deliver the project’s products before committing to a large spend Objective: to ensure that there is a common understanding of - what are the reasons for doing the project, what benefits are expected and what are the associated risks what is the scope of the work and what are the products to be delivered how the products will be delivered, when should they be delivered and what would be the cost involved at that point of time What the project decision-making team is comprised of  how the required level of quality is be achieved how baselines can be established and controlled how risks, issues and changes can be identified, assessed and controlled how progress of the project can be monitored and controlled who requires which information, in what format and at what point of timeControlling A Stage (CS)  Controlling A Stage (CS)  Purpose: To assign and monitor work, deal with issues, report progress to the project board and take corrective actions to ensure that the management stage remains within tolerance Objective: to ensure that: proper attention is focused on delivery of the management stage’s products by monitoring to avoid uncontrolled change and loss of focus risks and issues are tracked to keep them under control business case is reviewed at appropriate times agreed products for the management stage are delivered to stated quality standards, within cost, effort and time agreed project management team is focused on delivering within the tolerance level setManaging Product Delivery (MPD)  Purpose: is to control the link between the project manager and the team manager(s). Both agree on requirements for acceptance, execution and delivery. Objective: to ensure that: product related work allocated to the team is authorized and agreed upon first team managers, team members and suppliers are clear about what needs to be produced and what is the expected effort, cost or timescales planned products are delivered to expectations and within tolerances accurate information on progress of product development should be provided to the project manager at an agreed frequency to ensure that expectations are managed Managing a Stage Boundary (SB) Purpose: to enable the project manager to provide the project board with sufficient information to be able to: review the current management stage if it has completed successfully approve the next stage plan review the updated project plan confirm continued business justification and acceptability of the risks Hence, this process should either be executed at the end of or close to the end of each management stage.Objective: is to: give an assurance to the project board that all products produced in the stage plan for the current management stage are developed by the team and approved prepare the next management stage plan review the PID documents and if necessary, update the business case, project plan, project approaches, project management team structure and role descriptions provide all the accurate information required by the project board to assess the continuing viability of the project record any information gathered or lessons learned that can help later management stages of the current project and/or other/future projects request authorization to start the next management stage from the project board For exceptions, the objectives are to: review the PID documents and if necessary, update the customer’s quality expectations, project approaches and controls and role descriptions provide all the accurate information required by the project board to assess the continuing viability of the project prepare an exception plan as directed by the project board without fail and further delay project manager must seek approval to replace the project plan or stage plan for the current management stage with the exception plan Managing a stage boundary is not performed towards the end of the final management stage, except an exception plan may be created on need basis.Closing A Project (CP) Purposeprovide a normal termination point at which acceptance of the project’s product is confirmed and accepted by the user group recognize that objectives set out in the original PID documents have been achieved (or approved changes to the objectives have been achieved), or that the project has nothing more to contributeObjectiveverify that the final product has been accepted by the user  make sure that the operations are able to support the products when the project is disbanded review the performance of the project against its baselines assess any benefits that have been realized during the project cycle and update the benefits management approach to include any post-project benefit reviews ensure that provision has been made to address all open issues and risks, with follow-on action recommendationsTeam roles in PRINCE2 Project Board Members: Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers ResponsibilitiesAccountable for the success or failure of the project Provides unified direction to the project Delegates effectively Facilitates integration Authorizes the funds Effective decision-making Supports the project manager Ensures effective communicationExecutive Appointed by Corporate,  Programme management or Customer Ultimately responsible for the project Key decision maker, buck stops at him Ensures project is focused throughout its life on achieving its objectives Ensures project delivers value for money Ensures project is aligned to corporate strategy. ResponsibilitiesDesign and appoint project management team Oversee development of the Project Brief Oversee development of detailed Business Case Secure funding for the project Hold Senior Supplier accountable for the quality and integrity of the product Hold Senior User accountable for realizing the benefits Monitor and control the progress at strategic level Chair Project Board reviews Project Manager Given authority to run the project on a day to day basis  Ensures that the project produces the required products Responsible for producing the result capable of achieving the benefits as stated in the business case Responsibilities  Produce key project documents Prepare key project reports Maintain key project records Liaise with corporate, programme management or customer Liaise with external suppliers Lead and motivate the project management team Manage information flows between various levels of the project Manage production of the required products Establish and manage the project procedures Authorize Work Packages Advise the Project Board of any deviations from the planSenior User Specifies the needs of those who will use the project’s products. Represents the interests of : Those who will use the project’s products. Those for whom the products will achieve an objective Those who will use the products to deliver benefitsResponsibilitiesProvide the customer’s quality expectations Ensure project products deliver the desired outcomes Ensure that expected benefits are realized Resolve user requirements and priority conflicts Ensure availability of user resources Make decisions on escalated issues Undertake Project Assurance from user perspectiveSenior Supplier Represents interest of those producing the project products Accountable for quality of products delivered by the supplier Responsible for technical integrity of the projectResponsibilitiesAssess the viability of the project Ensure that proposals are realistic Advise on the selection of product methods Ensure that supplier resources are made available Make decisions on escalated issues Resolve supplier requirements and priority conflicts Ensure adherence to quality procedures Undertake Project Assurance from supplier perspective.Project Assurance Covers the primary stakeholder interests Has to be independent of the Project Manager Has sufficient credibility May be from corporate, programme management or customer organization.ResponsibilitiesLiaison between business, user and supplier is maintained Risks are controlled Right people are involved in writing product descriptions Right people are planned and involved in quality inspections Staff are properly trained in quality methods Quality methods are adhered to An acceptable solution is being developed Applicable standards are being used Change Authority Authority for approving responses to requests for change or off-specifications Adequately represents the business, user and supplier interests Has sufficiently credibility Change Authority could be assigned to:  Corporate or Programme management Project Board A nominated person / body Project Manager. ResponsibilitiesReview and approve or reject all requests for change and off-specifications within the delegated limits of authority and change budget set by the Project Board. Refer to the Project Board if any delegated limits of authority or allocated change budget are forecast to be exceeded. Project Support Is mainly concerned with providing administrative services or advice and guidance on the use of project management tools. Is the responsibility of the Project Manager. May be delegated to other roles or a separate role. Project Support and Project Assurance roles must be kept separate. ResponsibilitiesSet up and maintain project files Establish document control procedure Collect data – actuals and forecasts Update plans and maintain them Administer quality review progress Administer project board meetings Assist with compilation of reports Contribute expertise in tools and techniques Maintain key records Administer the configuration management procedure.Team Manager Reports to and takes direction from the Project Manager Responsible to ensure production of products allocated by the Project Manager Reasons for allocating a separate Team Manager : Size of the project Specialist skills or knowledge needed Geographical location, or Preferences of the Project Board. ResponsibilitiesPrepare the Team Plan Produce Checkpoint Reports Plan, monitor and manage the team’s work Ensure progress of team’s work and use of team resources Identify any issues and risks associated with a Work Package Advise Project Manager of any deviations Hand over completed and approved products Liaise with Project Assurance and Project Support roles Plan and manage quality activities relating to team’s work. Types of PRINCE2 documentation Throughout PRINCE2 project, documentation is maintained as management products.  There are three types of management product: baselines, records and reports. Baseline management products: are those that define aspects of the project and, when approved, are subject to change control. These are: Benefits management approach Business case Change control approach Communication management approach Plan (covers project plans, stage plans, exception plans and, optionally, team plans) Product description Project brief Project initiation documentation (PID) Project product description Quality management approach Risk management approach Work package Records management products: are dynamic and they maintain information regarding project progress. These are: Configuration item record Daily log Issue register Lessons log Quality register Risk register. Reports management products: provide a snapshot of the status of certain aspects of the project. These are: Checkpoint report End project report End stage report Exception report Highlight report Issue report Lessons report Product status accountSummary PRINCE2 is PRojects IN Controlled Environments separates the management of project work from the specialist contributions, such as design or construction.  focuses on describing what needs to be done, rather than prescribing how everything is to be done focusing on describing what needs to be done, rather than prescribing how everything is done. Characteristics of project work that differentiates itself from business as usual (BAU) are Change, Temporary, Cross-functional, Unique and Uncertainty We wish to control Cost, Timescale, Scope, Quality, Benefits and Risk on a PRINCE2 project PRINCE2 assumes that there will be - a customer who will specify the desired result  a supplier who will provide the resources and skills to deliver that result PRINCE2 principles are :- Continued business justification Learn from experience Defined roles and responsibilities Manage by stages Manage by exception Focus on products Tailor to suit the project PRINCE2 Themes are :- Business Case Organization Quality Plans Risk Change Progress PRINCE2 processes are :- Starting Up a Project (SU) Directing A Project (DP) Initiating A Project (IP) Controlling A Stage (CS) Managing Product Delivery (MPD) Managing a Stage Boundary (SB) Closing A Project (CP) PRINCE2 Team roles are – Project Board (Executive, Senior User and Senior Supplier), Project Manager, Team Manager, Project Assurance, Change Authority and Project Support Throughout PRINCE2 project, documentation is maintained as management products - baselines, records and reports. 
Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®
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Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®

Apart from Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PRINCE2® (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is one of the most widely used methods for managing projects across the globe. It is a very methodical way of managing projects based on experience drawn from various projects and from the contributions of numerous people who worked using PRINCE2, such as project sponsors, project managers, project teams, academics, trainers and consultants. Its generic design can be applied to any project regardless of project scale, type, organization, geography or culture. It separates the project management work from specialist contributions, like design or construction Focus is on describing what needs to be done, instead of prescribing how project is to be done. PRINCE2®: is based more on governance for project management is tailored to meet the needs of the organization  is implemented alongside industry-specific models e.g. ’engineering models’ or ‘development lifecycles’ helps participants focus on the viability of the project in relation to objectives mentioned in the business case makes sure that everybody involved is represented in planning and decision-making, appropriately inspires to learn lessons from experience in the projects and helps in continual improvement within the organizations.PRINCE2 in Project Management Some characteristics of project work that differentiates itself from business as usual (BAU) are:- Change - Projects are a great catalyst for introducing change. Temporary - Projects have a definite start and a definite end.   Cross-functional - people having different skills work together Unique - each project will be unique such as it involves a different customer, a different time. a different team, a different location Uncertainty – All projects carry a very high uncertainty – threats and opportunities. What are six project constraints that we wish to control throughout a projectCosts – spending depends on the budget given to the project manager Timescales - A question the project manager is most frequently asked: What is your expected project completion date? Quality - products must be fit for the purpose for which they are produced. Scope – What is in-scope and out-of-scope of the project Benefits – What is the reason for doing this? A very crystal-clear understanding of the purpose of the project is required by the project manager Risk - All projects are risky but project manager must be aware of exactly how much risk we are  in a position to accept PRINCE2 assumes that there will be - a customer who will specify the requirement of a product  a supplier who will provide all skilled resources to deliver that product PRINCE2 StructureThe PRINCE2 Seven Principles are:- 1. Continued business justification - A PRINCE2 project has continued business justification. All PRINCE2 projects require that: for starting the project, there has to be a justifiable reason this justification must be recorded and approved the justification must remain valid and is revalidated, throughout the project life-cycle to ensure that the project remains in line with the benefits which contribute to business objectives justification is documented either as a business case document or may use some business plans or any other similar document 2. Learn from experience - lessons learned (seek), recorded and acted upon throughout the project. 3. Defined roles and responsibilities - within an organization structure engages the business, user and supplier stakeholder interests 4. Manage by stages - A PRINCE2 project is planned, monitored and controlled on a stage-by-stage basis. In PRINCE2, a project must have at least two management stages: an initiation stage at least one further management stage. 5. Manage by exception - tolerances are defined for each project objective, to set limits for delegating authority. 6. Focus on products – focus is more on the defining the products and delivery of products, including quality requirements.7. Tailor to suit the environment - PRINCE2 can be tailored to suit the project size, complexity, team capability, environment, importance and risk. Project manager and project board will have to make choices including decisions on how PRINCE2 should be applied on the project.PRINCE2 Seven Themes The PRINCE2 Seven Themes are - Business Case (Why?): a project usually starts with an idea or a concept which is then considered to have potential value for the organization concerned. This theme addresses how the idea is developed into a viable investment proposition for the organization and how project management maintains the focus on the organization’s objectives throughout the project. Organization (Who?): organization which commissions the project needs to allocate the work to managers who will be responsible for it and steer it through to completion. Projects are cross-functional. This theme describes the roles and responsibilities the project management team is required to have, in order to manage the project efficiently and effectively. Quality (What?): all participants understand the quality attributes of the products to be delivered and then how the project management will ensure that these requirements are ultimately delivered. Plans (How? How much? When?):  project plan for the project as a whole, will usually be a high-level plan, providing indicative timescales, milestones, cost and resource requirements based on estimates detailed stage plan for the current management stage, aligned with the overall project plan timescales, produced before the start of that stage exception plans show actions performed to recover or come back on track from or avoid a forecast deviation from agreed tolerances, applies to project plan or stage plan a number of work packages are developed using detailed team planRisk (What if?): addresses how project management manages uncertainty. Change (What is the impact?): describes how project management assesses and responds to issues which have a potential impact on any of the baseline aspects of the project such as its plans and completed products. Issues may be instances of a product not meeting its specification or requests for change or unanticipated general problems. Progress (Where are we now? Where are we going? Should we carry on?): addresses the ongoing viability of the plans. This theme monitors actual performance, explains the decision-making process for approving plans and the escalation process if events do not go according to plan. Ultimately, it determines how and whether the project should proceed.PRINCE2 Seven Processes The PRINCE2 Seven Processes are:- Starting Up A Project (SU)  Purposeto ensure that the prerequisites for initiating a project are in place by answering the question: Do we have a viable and worthwhile project?  base information needed to make rational decisions such as commissioning of the project is defined, key roles and responsibilities are identified and resources are allocated and a foundation for detailed planning is made available.Objective: To ensure that: a business justification is documented in an outline business case, for initiating the project necessary authorities exist, for initiating the project project brief is available to define and confirm the scope of the project a feasible project approach is selected after evaluating different delivery approaches individuals are appointed who will undertake the project work  the work required for project initiation is planned and documented in a stage planDirecting A Project (DP)  Purpose: To enable project board  to be accountable for the project’s success by making key decisions and exercising overall control of the project and  delegating day-to-day management of the project to the project managerObjectiveTo ensure that some authority exists to initiate the project, to deliver the products and close the project management direction and control are provided to all concerned throughout the project’s life project remains viable at every stage corporate, programme management or the customer has a transparent interface to the project post-project benefits realization plans are reviewed and managedInitiating A Project (IP)  Purposeto establish a sturdy foundation for the project to understand the work that needs to be done to deliver the project’s products before committing to a large spend Objective: to ensure that there is a common understanding of - what are the reasons for doing the project, what benefits are expected and what are the associated risks what is the scope of the work and what are the products to be delivered how the products will be delivered, when should they be delivered and what would be the cost involved at that point of time What the project decision-making team is comprised of  how the required level of quality is be achieved how baselines can be established and controlled how risks, issues and changes can be identified, assessed and controlled how progress of the project can be monitored and controlled who requires which information, in what format and at what point of timeControlling A Stage (CS)  Controlling A Stage (CS)  Purpose: To assign and monitor work, deal with issues, report progress to the project board and take corrective actions to ensure that the management stage remains within tolerance Objective: to ensure that: proper attention is focused on delivery of the management stage’s products by monitoring to avoid uncontrolled change and loss of focus risks and issues are tracked to keep them under control business case is reviewed at appropriate times agreed products for the management stage are delivered to stated quality standards, within cost, effort and time agreed project management team is focused on delivering within the tolerance level setManaging Product Delivery (MPD)  Purpose: is to control the link between the project manager and the team manager(s). Both agree on requirements for acceptance, execution and delivery. Objective: to ensure that: product related work allocated to the team is authorized and agreed upon first team managers, team members and suppliers are clear about what needs to be produced and what is the expected effort, cost or timescales planned products are delivered to expectations and within tolerances accurate information on progress of product development should be provided to the project manager at an agreed frequency to ensure that expectations are managed Managing a Stage Boundary (SB) Purpose: to enable the project manager to provide the project board with sufficient information to be able to: review the current management stage if it has completed successfully approve the next stage plan review the updated project plan confirm continued business justification and acceptability of the risks Hence, this process should either be executed at the end of or close to the end of each management stage.Objective: is to: give an assurance to the project board that all products produced in the stage plan for the current management stage are developed by the team and approved prepare the next management stage plan review the PID documents and if necessary, update the business case, project plan, project approaches, project management team structure and role descriptions provide all the accurate information required by the project board to assess the continuing viability of the project record any information gathered or lessons learned that can help later management stages of the current project and/or other/future projects request authorization to start the next management stage from the project board For exceptions, the objectives are to: review the PID documents and if necessary, update the customer’s quality expectations, project approaches and controls and role descriptions provide all the accurate information required by the project board to assess the continuing viability of the project prepare an exception plan as directed by the project board without fail and further delay project manager must seek approval to replace the project plan or stage plan for the current management stage with the exception plan Managing a stage boundary is not performed towards the end of the final management stage, except an exception plan may be created on need basis.Closing A Project (CP) Purposeprovide a normal termination point at which acceptance of the project’s product is confirmed and accepted by the user group recognize that objectives set out in the original PID documents have been achieved (or approved changes to the objectives have been achieved), or that the project has nothing more to contributeObjectiveverify that the final product has been accepted by the user  make sure that the operations are able to support the products when the project is disbanded review the performance of the project against its baselines assess any benefits that have been realized during the project cycle and update the benefits management approach to include any post-project benefit reviews ensure that provision has been made to address all open issues and risks, with follow-on action recommendationsTeam roles in PRINCE2 Project Board Members: Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers ResponsibilitiesAccountable for the success or failure of the project Provides unified direction to the project Delegates effectively Facilitates integration Authorizes the funds Effective decision-making Supports the project manager Ensures effective communicationExecutive Appointed by Corporate,  Programme management or Customer Ultimately responsible for the project Key decision maker, buck stops at him Ensures project is focused throughout its life on achieving its objectives Ensures project delivers value for money Ensures project is aligned to corporate strategy. ResponsibilitiesDesign and appoint project management team Oversee development of the Project Brief Oversee development of detailed Business Case Secure funding for the project Hold Senior Supplier accountable for the quality and integrity of the product Hold Senior User accountable for realizing the benefits Monitor and control the progress at strategic level Chair Project Board reviews Project Manager Given authority to run the project on a day to day basis  Ensures that the project produces the required products Responsible for producing the result capable of achieving the benefits as stated in the business case Responsibilities  Produce key project documents Prepare key project reports Maintain key project records Liaise with corporate, programme management or customer Liaise with external suppliers Lead and motivate the project management team Manage information flows between various levels of the project Manage production of the required products Establish and manage the project procedures Authorize Work Packages Advise the Project Board of any deviations from the planSenior User Specifies the needs of those who will use the project’s products. Represents the interests of : Those who will use the project’s products. Those for whom the products will achieve an objective Those who will use the products to deliver benefitsResponsibilitiesProvide the customer’s quality expectations Ensure project products deliver the desired outcomes Ensure that expected benefits are realized Resolve user requirements and priority conflicts Ensure availability of user resources Make decisions on escalated issues Undertake Project Assurance from user perspectiveSenior Supplier Represents interest of those producing the project products Accountable for quality of products delivered by the supplier Responsible for technical integrity of the projectResponsibilitiesAssess the viability of the project Ensure that proposals are realistic Advise on the selection of product methods Ensure that supplier resources are made available Make decisions on escalated issues Resolve supplier requirements and priority conflicts Ensure adherence to quality procedures Undertake Project Assurance from supplier perspective.Project Assurance Covers the primary stakeholder interests Has to be independent of the Project Manager Has sufficient credibility May be from corporate, programme management or customer organization.ResponsibilitiesLiaison between business, user and supplier is maintained Risks are controlled Right people are involved in writing product descriptions Right people are planned and involved in quality inspections Staff are properly trained in quality methods Quality methods are adhered to An acceptable solution is being developed Applicable standards are being used Change Authority Authority for approving responses to requests for change or off-specifications Adequately represents the business, user and supplier interests Has sufficiently credibility Change Authority could be assigned to:  Corporate or Programme management Project Board A nominated person / body Project Manager. ResponsibilitiesReview and approve or reject all requests for change and off-specifications within the delegated limits of authority and change budget set by the Project Board. Refer to the Project Board if any delegated limits of authority or allocated change budget are forecast to be exceeded. Project Support Is mainly concerned with providing administrative services or advice and guidance on the use of project management tools. Is the responsibility of the Project Manager. May be delegated to other roles or a separate role. Project Support and Project Assurance roles must be kept separate. ResponsibilitiesSet up and maintain project files Establish document control procedure Collect data – actuals and forecasts Update plans and maintain them Administer quality review progress Administer project board meetings Assist with compilation of reports Contribute expertise in tools and techniques Maintain key records Administer the configuration management procedure.Team Manager Reports to and takes direction from the Project Manager Responsible to ensure production of products allocated by the Project Manager Reasons for allocating a separate Team Manager : Size of the project Specialist skills or knowledge needed Geographical location, or Preferences of the Project Board. ResponsibilitiesPrepare the Team Plan Produce Checkpoint Reports Plan, monitor and manage the team’s work Ensure progress of team’s work and use of team resources Identify any issues and risks associated with a Work Package Advise Project Manager of any deviations Hand over completed and approved products Liaise with Project Assurance and Project Support roles Plan and manage quality activities relating to team’s work. Types of PRINCE2 documentation Throughout PRINCE2 project, documentation is maintained as management products.  There are three types of management product: baselines, records and reports. Baseline management products: are those that define aspects of the project and, when approved, are subject to change control. These are: Benefits management approach Business case Change control approach Communication management approach Plan (covers project plans, stage plans, exception plans and, optionally, team plans) Product description Project brief Project initiation documentation (PID) Project product description Quality management approach Risk management approach Work package Records management products: are dynamic and they maintain information regarding project progress. These are: Configuration item record Daily log Issue register Lessons log Quality register Risk register. Reports management products: provide a snapshot of the status of certain aspects of the project. These are: Checkpoint report End project report End stage report Exception report Highlight report Issue report Lessons report Product status accountSummary PRINCE2 is PRojects IN Controlled Environments separates the management of project work from the specialist contributions, such as design or construction.  focuses on describing what needs to be done, rather than prescribing how everything is to be done focusing on describing what needs to be done, rather than prescribing how everything is done. Characteristics of project work that differentiates itself from business as usual (BAU) are Change, Temporary, Cross-functional, Unique and Uncertainty We wish to control Cost, Timescale, Scope, Quality, Benefits and Risk on a PRINCE2 project PRINCE2 assumes that there will be - a customer who will specify the desired result  a supplier who will provide the resources and skills to deliver that result PRINCE2 principles are :- Continued business justification Learn from experience Defined roles and responsibilities Manage by stages Manage by exception Focus on products Tailor to suit the project PRINCE2 Themes are :- Business Case Organization Quality Plans Risk Change Progress PRINCE2 processes are :- Starting Up a Project (SU) Directing A Project (DP) Initiating A Project (IP) Controlling A Stage (CS) Managing Product Delivery (MPD) Managing a Stage Boundary (SB) Closing A Project (CP) PRINCE2 Team roles are – Project Board (Executive, Senior User and Senior Supplier), Project Manager, Team Manager, Project Assurance, Change Authority and Project Support Throughout PRINCE2 project, documentation is maintained as management products - baselines, records and reports. 
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Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®

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More Power to Women! Women in Leadership Roles

This year, the theme chosen by UN Women celebrates the efforts by women across the world in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The slogan, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, acknowledges the leadership skills that women bring to the table, making their mark in ways that far exceed the achievements of their male counterparts.Last year, as devastating tragedies caused by the pandemic played out in countries far and wide, women stood out as frontline warriors everywhere. They played remarkable roles as healthcare workers, primary caregivers, counsellors, community workers and engineers and technical innovators and truly made a difference through selfless, untiring service to humanity.And yet, their burdens were disproportionate and their contributions largely went unrecognized. Countries that are headed by women—Germany, New Zealand, Finland and Ethiopia, among others—have been far more successful in halting the progress of Covid-19 in its tracks, making rapid and decisive decisions that were based on compassion and that their citizens responded to. Even so, only 20 countries worldwide have women at the helm of their Governments.Not just in politics, but women are unable to effectively participate in public life, and are as yet unable to make significant contributions to leadership roles in many corporates across sectors and industries. Why this disparity, in today’s day and age? What can organizations do to encourage more women to come out and utilize their strengths, getting recognized just as much as men in a similar role would be?Breaking the Glass Ceiling Traditionally considered the weaker and fairer sex, few women in the 80s and 90s had reached a position where they could wield power and authority. Even when they did, they were expected to lead in much the same manner that a man would: by being authoritarian, directive and leading from the top.However, times and changing and so are trends in the workplace. More women today are at the helm of organizations, big and small, than ever before. They inevitably find that they face bigger challenges than their male counterparts and have to struggle far more to prove themselves.A large part of their workplace woes stem from the fact that what is deemed acceptable behaviour from a male leader is often frowned upon in a woman. If a man is aggressive and assertive, he is respected, while if a woman acts the same way she is considered to be dominating.Similarly, if a woman leader shows that she is caring and nurturing, instead of considering that these are positive traits she is dismissed as lacking authority and being too soft.Women are also automatically given more responsibilities at home, and are considered the more natural caregivers for children and elders in the family. It will take not just a more sensitive organization, but also a more supportive family for them to be able to successfully navigate the challenges of being a woman leader in today’s world. A study by Pew Research showed that about four out of ten Americans feel that there are higher standards set for women seeking to climb the corporate ladder, where they have to struggle much more to prove themselves than a male would have to. The second biggest hurdle was found to be, quite simply, the fact that companies were not really ready to hire women leaders.Women are also automatically given more responsibilities at home, and are considered the more natural caregivers for children and elders in the family. It will take not just a more sensitive organization, but also a more supportive family for them to be able to successfully navigate the challenges of being a woman leader in today’s world. But there are many clear benefits of a woman leader that put them head and shoulders above male leaders.  Women view situations from a new angle. They bring a fresh perspective and a whole new approach to problem-solving that comes out of their own life experiences, which are inherently different from a male viewpoint. They are naturally more empathetic; and mentoring, guiding and collaborating come far more easily to them.  They are excellent communicators and are readily able to manage teams across geographies.  Their capacity for high emotional maturity also helps them to get under the skin of their subordinates better, and be sympathetic to their diverse situations and any personal issues they may have.  When teams led by women feel that they are being heard, they rally together to perform better.A McKinsey study found that on the average, women exhibit five out of nine leadership behaviours that drive organizational performance more often than men. This contributes significantly to stronger organizational performances.Image SourceA Nudge in the Right Direction In fact, having more women in leadership positions isn’t just good for feminist morale—it has been proven to boost profitability.The US think tank, the Peterson Institute conducted a study of over 21,000 public companies across 91 countries, and found a direct correlation between the numbers of women there were at the higher management levels and the bottom line.On the average, a company with 30% female leadership was able to notch up at least 6 percentage points to their net margin, as compared to a similar company with no female leadership. It has been found that women should be at a critical mass of over 20% at the decision making levels in order to catalyse higher performances.What Can Organizations Do to Increase the Numbers of Women in Leadership Roles? The spotlight is already on the concept of equity and gender fairness, and with targeted support, more women can take those all-important first steps to move ahead in the workplace. The first step in the right direction would be to create awareness, across all levels, of the need to create more gender equity in the workplace.   The proportion of women at each rung of the management ladder and among fresh recruits can be studied, and steps taken to address any inadequate representation of women at any level.Pay levels and attrition rates need to be studied, and any salary disparities should be plugged.By carrying out a diagnosis of the existing situation, the management can identify gaps and bottlenecks and take steps to promote more eligible women to suitable posts.Women in Leadership at KnowledgeHut: Dissolving the Gender Barrier!   A versatile leader, Shyni Satyamitra is the Chief Sales Officer at KnowledgeHut, a leading Ed-tech company offering a wide repertoire of professional training programs that equip workforce for the digital age, helping enterprises across industries and sectors develop new capabilities and nurture future-ready talent. Shyni provides a deep understanding and balanced perspective on how the right workplace culture is critical to promote women in leadership positions in today’s VUCA world and emerging industry landscape.She feels that women face many of the same challenges that men face in the workplace — juggling responsibilities at home and at work, spending quality time with their kids, and trying to create a sensible work/life balance in the bargain, so that they are not burnt out during their professional career span.While in many organizations, women do face the added pressure of discrimination and gender bias at work; Shyni as a true leader and being part of the executive leadership group has never allowed or faced a situation at KnowledgeHut where a male and a female in the same role are perceived differently—be it within her team or across the organization. Many of the teams she has led in the past decade were comprised of a majority of women… if not all women…and they worked well as a cohesive unit to drive positive business outcomes and results. While she has no complaints about the salary scale at KnowledgeHut, which is completely merit-and-capability based, in many other companies there is a very real wage gap and women often earn anywhere between 33 - 75% of what men in a similar position take home. Even today, she feels, the higher up the ladder you climb, the fewer women you will find than actually deserve to belong there! She consciously does all she can to reverse this push down trend.In her own experience, she finds that women bring their inherent traits of compassion and understanding to the table, and empathy is a critical skill for leaders in any domain.Shyni has always leveraged her emotional quotient towards her team and empathy towards customers, which is a key differentiator as a woman leader apart from the usual leadership strengths of creative thinking and problem solving."Leading by example is the way to go—and by creating more awareness, and increasing the numbers of women at middle and senior management levels, workplaces worldwide will be moving in the right direction to create a more gender diverse culture," is Shyni's take away on the subject.This year, let’s all #ChooseToChallenge gender bias and inequality. Together, we can create a world that’s inclusive and celebrates women, not just those in leadership roles, but in every role!More power to all women, all over the world. 
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More Power to Women! Women in Leadership Roles

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Immersive Learning Vs Blended Learning: Which is Better?

The world is at a point of no return. The ongoing pandemic has enforced a need for social distancing that has disrupted almost every facet of our lives. Technology has risen to the occasion, replacing all the physical aspects of our erstwhile world with their new virtual avatars. Everything has migrated online; whether it’s retail, business operations, team meetings, or marketing strategies — and the world of education is not far behind.Even before Covid 19 closed schools and colleges, virtual learning was already making waves as the smart new kid on the educational landscape. This pandemic has catalysed our innovative juices, forcing the education sector to take pause and redefine new patterns of learning. There’s no time like now for a fresh start, and for reflecting on innovative ways to design the learning pedagogy of tomorrow’s world.Enormous shifts have already taken place in the ways in which students engage with courses and content, and this has completely disrupted the teaching-learning equation. Traditional brick and mortar has given way to new-age ways of learning that suit the educational needs of today; and e-learning, immersive learning and blended learning have come to the forefront.Which of these learning environments should you adopt for your needs?E-Learning: Flexibility and Convenience CombinedIt has been found that 58% of employees prefer to learn at their own pace.  E-Learning uses digital platforms to deliver learning content that the user can access at their own convenience. This form of learning uses rich multimedia in video format to engage learners, and since it is self-paced they can spend as much or as little time on each module as they need. To refresh concepts, learners can replay relevant segments as often as required till they gain mastery over the material. Learning content is regularly upgraded to stay on top of industry advancements, and the lifetime access to the learning videos provides an easy way to stay seamlessly in touch with new versions and updates.A study conducted by The Research Institute of America concluded that e-learning enhances learning retention by as much as 25% to 60%, as against 8% to 10% with traditional modes of training.Blended Learning: The Best of Both WorldsFor those who find that real-time interaction is invaluable to the learning experience, blended learning offers the best of both worlds. Participants can attend instructor-led classes that are in-person or virtual and can supplement their education with online learning materials that can refresh the concepts learnt in class.Blended learning combines the convenience and flexibility of being able to learn at your own pace, with the advantages that come from instructor and peer interactions. It offers a more comprehensive environment that is interactive and engaging, subjects learners to different stimuli and encourages practical application of the theory that is learnt.Immersive Learning: A New Dimension in LearningA typical problem with all forms of learning has been that they are not rooted in reality. College degrees or diploma programs do not equip graduates to face real-world challenges, and organizations find that new recruits are woefully unprepared to get productive from day one.In many cases, these new employees are forced to learn on the job, unlearning the theory that had been painstakingly grilled into them in college, and re-learning practical ways of working that have been adapted by the company.This is where immersive learning can make a world of difference.Immersive learning works on the premise that all learning must be contextual in order to be effective. Corporate training programs are customised to help employees practically apply their knowledge and skills to their job role.With an immersive learning program, learners are placed in the middle of a highly interactive learning environment, and imbibe hands-on skills through the replication of work-based scenarios.Simulations, role play and learning labs are all application- based components of immersive learning that help learners to understand concepts and practice on their own.By interacting with peers and educators on discussion forums, learners can clear doubts and share insights.Assessments and guided hands-on exercises at every stage help to gauge the level of learning comprehension, and accordingly the learning journey can be customized.Mini projects offer work-like experiences that duplicate real-world situations, teaching learners the right responses and solutions to address every possible challenge.By shifting the dynamics of learning to create solutions that combine traditional learning mechanisms with technology, learners can get a truly immersive learning experience that will hold them in good stead to face the realities of work environments.Benefits of the Immersive Learning ModelThe future workforce will have to cater to a very different set of skills. The Industry 4.0 revolution and the digital transformation that has swept the world today have resulted in a shift in skill requirements for tomorrow’s professionals.The immersive learning model comes with significant differentiators that make it the preferred pedagogy for today’s world. Some of them are listed here.1. Seamless Learning ExperiencesLearners are subjected to a 360-degree experience that brings the best of online self-paced programs, blended models, and live virtual class type courses together through a single dashboard, on one easy-to-use and intuitive platform.Research from Stanford University and Technical University Denmark has found that learning retention increases when using virtual teaching methods than with traditional methods, resulting in a 76 percent increase in learning effectiveness.2. Diagnostic Tests and AssessmentsBy incorporating diagnostic tests to judge present capabilities, an immersive learning program can be customised to create a bespoke pathway that takes the learner from where they are to where they would like to be. Skills and competencies are mapped against the learning segments, and the students will reinforce their understanding by working on hands-on exercises and mini projects alongside the theoretical components of the course.3. Outcome-Based LearningSubject matter experts with extensive industry experience collaborate to create course curricula that lead to measurable outcomes. Modules are designed with job-worthiness in mind, and the assimilation of hands-on practical skills are validated at each stage of the step-wise learning process. Skills that are found to be wanting can be re-learnt till the required competency is achieved.4. Social InteractionsTraditional forms of learning have always encompassed social interactions, but for many years the social aspect of education has been neglected. Immersive learning platforms encourage peer-to-peer interactions and sharing of learning through discussion forums across geographies. More than 75% of L&D professionals have chosen to adopt social learning technologies in their training strategy, simply because they have found it works.5. Mirror Real-Life ScenariosEspecially when it comes to technology courses, immersive simulations play a large role in the comprehension of concepts learnt. Cloud labs allow for real-time coding experiments, and learners build muscle memory by actually practicing skills even as they go through the course. When context and relevance is added to the process, learners find that knowledge retention and application is increased.6. Learn through MistakesEvery mistake made is a lesson learnt, and a significant advantage of immersive learning is that participants can freely make all the mistakes they want to without any danger of actual harm. They can learn through doing, see what works and what doesn’t, and build on their experiences.Paradigms in education are changing, and the last decade has seen immense changes in the way learning content is being developed and delivered across the world. Immersive technologies are, as yet, only the tip of the iceberg. As we step into a future that is brimming with potential, the possibilities are endless!
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Immersive Learning Vs Blended Learning: Which is B...

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Agile Transformation and Its Challenges

Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, has stated that 47% of Agile transformations fail, and 67% of these failures are terminal.That’s a mind-boggling number; considering that more than half of all organizations are now using Agile to drive their transformations.What causes an enterprise-wide transformation to fail? Why is it so difficult to replicate something that has worked well at the team level to the whole enterprise?Change and transformations drive success. As the old adage goes “The only thing constant is change”— and just like people change, organizations and cultures must change too. This became very apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the entire paradigm of work underwent a sea change.To stay relevant under these chaotic circumstances, organizations have to work fast and deliver more. And this can be done only by overhauling the old legacy systems and bringing in processes that allow:increased efficiency,shorter time-to-market,improved quality,happier customers,faster ROI, andsatisfied employees.Agile transformations, when done right, can help bring in all these benefits. Business agility weaves in responsiveness and adaptability into the very core of an organization, and its trickle effect is seen at every level of the business.But, as the statistics show, more often than not, organizations set out on an ambitious full-scale transformation only to realise mid-way that it is not working out.There are several reasons for a large-scale agile transformation failure:Lack of leadership supportLack of commitment at every level of the organizationIncorrect application of popular agile methodologiesA lack of understanding of which methodology will suit your organizationRushing the transformation process.The key to undergoing an Agile transformation is to first understand the agility business model, which comprises of 4 domains. These 4 domains define how and what to change, so that agility can be adopted.The 4 domains are:Business domain: Encompasses how an organization works, what it prioritizes, how it budgets, products it focuses on and more.Organizational domain:Relates to how the organization is structured. Too many departments and too many teams can make agile transformation a nightmare if done incorrectly.Cultural domain:Every organization has a culture, a mind-set which may or may not be difficult to change. But helping the organization and the staff make this mind-set change is the most crucial step towards bringing in a transformation. Whether autonomy is allowed in teams or if there is a strict top-down approach; these are aspects that need to be carefully examined.Technical domain:This relates to the technical expertise of individual teams, their work ethics and their degree of self-independence. Self-organized teams work better, and are more responsive and successful.Image reference: Agile TransformationChallenges of an Agile transformationYour organizational culture blocks change: A company’s core culture impacts not just how it does business but also how it treats its employees. Better engagement, more appreciation, transparent communication, empowering employees and teams, open processes are all hallmarks of an agile culture.An organization that is rigid, has tightly controlled processes, does not value human resources and has not yet fully embraced the idea of change is a sitting duck for transformation failure.Transformation at scale: It’s okay to start small, maybe at the team level or a department level, but change has to be brought about in the entire organization. Just having one or two teams that are agile is not going to help you in your transformation.Agile practices have to adopted by the entire organization to ensure business agility. The impact of the agile methodology will be restricted if it’s not taken beyond the trial stage.Leaders are not convinced: For any change or transformation to be successful, the leaders must be convinced of the change. A transformation across the organization is impossible without the support of the management.Agile leaders lead the transformation from the front, bring in the necessary investments, aid in creating a culture that fosters innovation and create a platform for open communication among all employees.Rushing the transformation: Rome was not built in a day! An organization that rushes its transformation process does so without proper planning, knowledge of processes or the support it requires to carry out this gargantuan task.A successful transformation takes several years and focuses on everything from culture change to process change to mind-set change. A rushed effort will reveal gaping holes in the transformation foundation and will surely lead to the effort coming tumbling down.Not helping employees’ transition: Your workforce is your company! A successful transition means helping the workforce understand:the agile processthe skills that would be required in the new processhow they will be supported in new roleshow their career paths may change due to agile transitionThe workforce must be open-minded about going agile and the management must be transparent with the employees about the whole process. A lack of clarity can cause employee attrition and loss of skill.What to do for a successful transformation?1. Get leadership buy-in: Successful agile leaders support culture change. According to Scrum.org, Agile leaders focus on 3 things: (1) they create and nurture a culture in which experimentation and learning are embraced;  (2) they collaborate with employees (at all levels in the organization) to find common values to create a greater goal for the company and the teams; and(3) they create an organizational structure that reinforces and rewards the other two dimensions.2. Strategize: There has to be a strategy on how, what and why to implement. Large, complex organizations cannot go agile overnight. They have to create an agile roadmap, bring together people, processes and technologies and implement agile at the right places to test its efficacy before scaling. 3. Hand-hold employees of all levels: So how do you keep your employees informed and empowered through the transformation? Since agile means a change in processes it also requires a change in the way people are managed.Employees need to be guided through the transformation through agile trainings, presentations and learnings. The concepts should be reiterated to allow teams to understand them and feel confident in working in a new environment.Agile trainings and coaching, especially, are a great tool towards getting employees to adapt to the Agile mind-set.4. Understand that agile is mostly about an organizational culture transformation:A successful agile transformation requires an agile-friendly culture. Large organizations who have followed the traditional approach may find it difficult to accept new ways of working. But it is not impossible. A culture change can happen only if everyone is on board.Along with leadership alignment, there also has to be a culture shift at the organizational level. So, in essence it is as important to have a bottom-approach as it is to have a top-down approach, to bring this shift, and this can be done by being transparent and truly communicative about the changes that leaders are planning to make.You have a culture ready for agile if you:Listen to your customerMake real-time decisions instead of relying on reportsTake risks and learn from failuresRely on cross-functional and self-organized teamsHave transparent and approachable leadershipHave top-down, bottom-up and cross-communication across the organizationTo conclude: For a successful Agile transformation, organizations must learn from their mistakes and be open to change.Organizations will face unprecedented challenges on their way to an agile transformation. The key is to learn from mistakes and accept change with open arms. Transitioning to agile also requires an experienced agile partner who can guide employees and the organization with coaching, training and working with leaders to bring about change.
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Agile Transformation and Its Challenges

Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, has stat... Read More

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Online Training Programs?

We are in an era of continual change, with new innovations disrupting the workplace and resulting in radical new styles of working. The only way that organizations can hope to stay relevant in this competitive age is by adopting the technological advances and transformative models of the future of work.As edge computing, AI and automation forge new paths in today’s business world, companies have realized that employee upskilling has become, more than ever, an imperative. Talent Trends 2020, a study by PwC  indicates that three quarters of CEOs questioned were concerned about whether they would have the talent needed to navigate an uncertain economic futureWhen questioned on their upskilling programs in reducing skill gaps and mismatches, the global consensus put their perceived effectiveness as only 20%. Even companies with advanced upskilling initiatives reported a meagre 35% rate of effectiveness of their training programs.While upskilling and reskilling can get employees attuned to industry advancements and breed confidence, how can CEOs be sure that the training they are being given is actually having the desired impact?To completely reap the rewards of a continuous learning paradigm, the right measures must be in place to gauge how impactful the training program was.In-depth evaluation is required to judge what is missing from the training sessions, and what can be done to improve the ROI on employee training.And the figures speak for themselves. Today’s businesses are losing whopping amounts of money through ineffective training. Harvard Business Review states that although organizations are collectively spending in excess of $350 billion globally on training, this is money that is not put to the best use.Consider this:A Gartner study finds that 70% of employees feel they lack mastery over the skills needed for their current jobs; Just 12% of employees are confident enough to apply new skills learned through training programs; and In a recent McKinsey survey, 25% of the respondents were certain that the right training could significantly improve performance. So, where exactly are we going wrong? L&D teams often implement training programs without a comprehensive understanding of what defines an effective training program.  Considerable time is wasted as employees spend 11% more learning time than is optimal for best performance. This lost time translates to productivity losses to the tune of up to $134 million. And the wasted investment on L&D functions is at least $6.5 million; money that could have been put to much better use.Just measuring satisfaction scores or course completion targets is not enough, and the true measure of impact should evaluate actual business outcomes post training. Real returns can be judged by the pay-off in terms of time schedules, productivity and financials of the company.Here’s how you can measure the effectiveness of your online training programs!To make the most of your training investment and eke out value for every dollar spent, you should be able to offer your employees the training they need to boost productivity. Here’s how you can do that.1. Pre-training and post training assessmentsLearning programs are usually developed incorporating assessments that can test the employees’ understanding and retention of the theories learnt. By knowing where they have gone wrong, they could build upon their weaknesses and reinforce their strengths till they achieve mastery of the subject matter.These assessments are also useful to judge whether your training program has achieved its goals. For instance, if you find that a majority of the employees are getting stuck at a particular interim assessment, you could take another look at the module to see if the content can be simplified for better understanding.Pre and post tests can measure knowledge gained from undertaking a training course and evaluate whether the training has had the desired effect.Assessments can take the following forms: Before training: The learner’s present level of skills and knowledge is judged. During training: Short tests at regular intervals can help to judge comprehension of concepts learnt. After training: Various evaluation methods could be used to determine whether the training has been effective, and the learning objectives have been achieved. 2. Scenarios and simulationsOnce the training has been completed, how would you know whether your employees have actually absorbed the lessons learnt? Are they able to apply their new skills on the shop floor, for instance, and would you trust them to get it right the first time?Scenarios or real-work situations can put the learner in the driver’s seat, judging their ability to translate the learning to a work-like situation. By creating a series of scenario-based tests, you can determine their level of retention and understanding of the concepts learnt. An ideal scenario-based test is one that is credible and true to life, of which the outcome is easily measured.If your employees are consistently failing the tests, you should look at refining the learning curriculum or providing additional learning content, until they are well versed with all the learning objectives and can apply theory to practice.3. Learning analyticsLearning Management Systems or platforms often have in-built analytics that evaluate the learning journey of your employees. These learning analytics use data collected during the learning journey to trace the efficiency of the learning.For instance, the time spent on each module, the number of attempts of each assessment, and so on can be used to tailor the training for greater effectiveness. As an example, if most of the learners are breezing through a particular module but spending far too long on another, you might want to assess the difficulty levels of the content and adjust it as needed.AI algorithms can further use this data to personalize the learner’s path, giving suggestions as to which are the topics that need further focus. 4. Adoption of technique post training In many instances, the learner may understand the concepts very well during the training—but find themselves at a loss when they have to apply the knowledge to solve a real-world problem.Are your employees putting their newly acquired skills to practice, or falling back into the error of their old ways?Try observing your employers before and after the training session to find out if they are actually achieving the goals of the training. For instance, teams that try to adopt Agile often fall by the wayside, simply because they are more in tune with traditional ways of working and fail to readily transition to the Agile mindset.Post training follow up sessions and technique training can create opportunities for practice, and ensure that the new knowledge acquired is correctly implemented. 5. Measure business impact/ ROI post trainingThe ROI is the clearest indicator of how effective your training strategy is.A Peoplematters article states that in a study, 55% of companies that registered high-growth averaged 30-50 learning hours per employee, while 61% of low-growth companies only spent less than 30 hours of average learning per employee.By knowing the impact of your training programs after a predetermined period post the training, you can get an idea of whether all the effort, time and money you have put in was worth the investment.Estimate the L&D spend, including design and development costs against the benefits that have been observed post implementation of the training. These could be increased sales, more productivity or even a reduction in the customer complaints. Use measurable metrics to chalk out the cost vs performance ratio and determine whether the training strategy has worked the way you wanted it to.6. Feedback from employees When it comes to judging the effectiveness of your training programs, your employees are often your best critics.By collecting their feedback and receptiveness, you can measure the effectiveness of your training program and see what could be done to improve it.Collect data in the form of a survey that could be programmed to rank employee satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Collect suggestions on the topics that were useful and those that were not, and find out from them what the weak areas of your training course were.Above all, your learners should find the course content interesting and valuable, or they will not feel the need to complete it wholeheartedly. If your employees were not engaged and motivated through the learning journey, then you are clearly doing something wrong. 
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How to Measure the Effectiveness of Online Trainin...

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What Are the 4 Core Values of Safe

The foundation of SAFe is its 4 core values and it is important to understand these before  jumping into the concepts of SAFe. So, what is SAFe? SAFe is a model for scaling Agile.Agile development is based on iterative and incremental development, in which requirements and solutions evolve through team collaboration. It recommends a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. It is a theoretical framework and does not specify any particular practice that a development team should follow. Agile uses short iterations of 1 to 4 weeks so that the development process is aligned with the changing business needs. Instead of a single-pass development of 6 to 18 months where all the requirements and risks are predicted upfront, Agile adopts a process of frequent feedback where a workable product is delivered after 1 to 4-weeks of iteration.SAFe is particularly well-suited for complex projects that involve multiple large teams at the project, program, and portfolio levels. It enables larger organizations to manage projects with a higher degree of agility, and helps in getting feedback faster from multiple stakeholders across the globe. This accelerated feedback loop leads to higher engagement levels, increased productivity and improved work quality.Core Values of SAFe® Model:-  SAFe has defined 4 core values as part of their framework, which are as follows: Alignment- alignment means that the whole organization has a clear vision of where it’s going, and how it’s working to reach that goal. The whole company has a clear destination, and purposefully moves toward that destination. When a company is misaligned, on the other hand, it’s unlikely to reach its destination, even if it thinks it knows where it’s going. What’s worse is that an organization lacking in alignment doesn’t respond well to changes in direction. In any organization multiple teams contribute to a program to ensure that all the people in the team act as one and are moving in the same direction. Alignment means that the strategic themes and product backlogs are aligned with the vision, roadmap, and backlogs.  Built-in Quality- Built-in quality also means that each team views quality as an enabler of speed and ensures that every product increment reflects the best quality standards. Quality is not added later but rather it’s built in. Transparency- The main reason transparency is crucial is because it makes organizations more robust and resistant to failures. When things go wrong, trust and openness of information make troubleshooting and fixing problems easier. Transparency is an essential ingredient of a healthy organization. This is because it leads to healthy relationships based on trust, which makes for happier and more productive team members. Program execution- Program execution is at the heart of SAFe. Since multiple teams work and integrate a product, SAFe places intense focus on working systems and business outcomes.Flow- Flow can be achieved by test first and continuous delivery pipeline. Agile teams carry out tests at every stage; from the feature, user stories and the code. Right from the time the item was created, testing is done for both functional and non-functional requirements. In order to ensure faster delivery, the team automates the scripts and executes them, ensuring that the test will run faster.  This also helps in continuous delivery pipeline, which means releasing the product much faster and providing the ability to release on demand. Architecture & Design quality- A well designed system’s architecture determines how well the current system supports the current and future business and also helps in making future requirements easier to implement and deliver. While designing, it is always good to apply good coupling/cohesion and with appropriate abstraction/encapsulation which helps in making implementations easier to understand and modify for future requirements. Always ensure that the system must be flexible enough to easily support new requirements. An effective usage of Design Patterns helps in well-known ways to support these principles and provide a common language to ease understanding and readability. It’s advised to explore multiple solutions to arrive at the best design choice, and not just go with the first choice. Code quality- We will achieve code quality by following the below practices: Unit Testing, where developers write test cases by breaking the code into several smaller parts and execute those parts as automated test cases, which in turn help the developer write the code in an effective manner and provide better built-in quality deliverables.  Pair Programming, where 2 developers work on the same station and on the same user story. One will write the code and the other will be the reviewer providing real time feedback. This helps the developers to think about the problems in a broader perspective, even including some unknown edge cases which may come in. This helps in effective built-in quality deliverables.  Coding Standards – Collective ownership should be there with the team for the work that is being delivered. This will reduce the inter dependencies within the team and help individuals add functionality, fix any errors, refactor the code and improve the design. Always following the standard coding standards helps in consistent deliverables. System quality- Design and coding ensures that the underlying system and its artifacts, and the system/product quality are as they should be with no surprises and everyone agrees that the delivered system/product is working as expected producing the desired results and the business value. Release quality- As an organization we must focus on release on demand. Focus should be on the new functionality that is incrementally released for production based on customer demand. Always target smaller/incremental changes for production, which ensures faster, frequent and defect free / riskless release.Transparency - As per SAFe it is best to ensure open communication across all levels of the team. Right from the top to the bottom of the team, there should be clear and open communications about the road map. This can be done by providing PI objectives and ensuring access to everyone on the Jira, Kanban boards, backlogs and to new upcoming initiatives.Program execution- SAFe focuses on working systems and business outcomes and ensures that teams deliver more substantial amounts of solution value, reliably and efficiently. Things always go wrong and do not work out as planned. There must be openness within the team/organization. To ensure openness, trust is required, and trust only exists when the business and development can confidently rely on another to act with integrity, particularly in times of difficulty. Without trust we cannot build high-performance teams or programs. Again, the core value of program execution is key for a successful SAFe implementation. Yes, aligning, checking quality and being transparent cannot be possible as the team cannot execute and deliver the value constantly. An Overview of its Core Values, Principles, Implementation & Program execution:The four Core Values of alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution represent the fundamental key beliefs of SAFe effectiveness.  SAFe provides guiding principles and helps in directive behaviour and action for everyone who participates in  SAFe. Successful teams and programs who implemented SAFe had aligned their organizations along these core values and gained many benefits including employee engagement, productivity, quality, and time to market. How SAFe Core Values stabilize and accelerate the progress of agile teams:SAFe Core Values are responsible for ordering the behaviour and action of an organization working in a SAFe portfolio. Determining core values of an organization is an essential part of its success. Adhering to these values makes the path to accomplishing your business objectives consistent and creates a unified thriving culture.SAFe is essential for Agile Teams and it should be incorporated to help achieve our business goals as it encourages quick adaptability to changes in technology and economic conditions. SAFe promotes collaboration and transparency between the development and the top management with an active interaction between the development team from top to bottom and ensures we attain business value within sustainable time.Regardless of the size of the enterprise, SAFe allows scalability and configurability that suits our business needs, and helps in focusing on delivering working software after every two weeks. Agile Release Train (ART) brings together multiple agile teams on a consistent routine every 8-12 weeks in what is known as a Program Increment (PI). Planning cadence based sessions where agile teams come together to define the goals they wish to achieve is next fixed and time bound. PI planning is a face to face, collaborative, interactive and innovative session that builds team spirit and synergy and promotes the sharing of strategy, common vision and architecture amongst development and the managerial teams.Continuous integration and validation among the teams and constant feedback from customers helps maintain a successful business relationship leaving room for improvement throughout the entire process; which in turn provides significant improvement in business productivity, quality, employee engagement and time to market. Conclusion:SAFe Core Values are responsible for ordering the behaviour and action of an organization working in a SAFe portfolio. Determining core values of an organization is an essential part of its success. SAFe is an industry-proven, value-focused method for scaling Agile at the Enterprise level. SAFe helps teams in large organizations to meet the organization's strategic goals, not just individual project goals.The framework offers the ability to maintain and create a centralized strategy to deliver value. The SAFe model has four levels that centralize the strategic themes of an organization. Centralized strategy is combined with the decentralized agile development execution. Adhering to these values makes the path to accomplishing your business objectives consistent and creates a unified thriving culture for all participants. 
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What Are the 4 Core Values of Safe

The foundation of SAFe is its 4 core values a... Read More