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A Novel Way To Design Your Career as a Scrum Master

Today, the Scrum framework has become a renowned framework for the teams that are interested in embracing an Agile methodology. According to a survey conducted by Version One’s State of Agile Development, 2016 report, 58% of teams are purely following the plain Scrum approach to implement the Agile methodology in their organization. Moreover, this number has increased to 75%, if you include Scrum hybrid approach users. The Scrum hybrid approach is the blending of Scrum with another Agile approach like kanban to form ‘Scrumban’, or DevOps to form “ScrumOps”.  Though the Scrum framework is simple, its adoption in an Agile approach is quite challenging, especially if you are a beginner. If you are already a part of a Scrum team, you must be knowing about the roles of a Scrum Master. A large part of the team’s success depends on the presence of a skilled Scrum Master. This person is solely responsible to ensure that the team conforms to the Scrum framework to deliver the product in the most effective way. As the popularity of Scrum framework is increasing, one should not forget that the demand for Scrum Masters is also rising. According to one latest LinkedIn data assembled in the current financial year, the Scrum Master’s role is at the 10th position out of the 20 most promising jobs in 2017. Below is a rundown of the career prospects of a Scrum Master, as per the aforementioned-  Scrum Master: Median Base Salary: $100,000 Job Openings (YoY Growth): 400+ (104%) Career Advancement Score (out of 10): 8.0 Top Skills: Agile Methodologies, Software Project Management, Scrum, Requirements Analysis, SQL What do you think about Scrum Master’s role? Authentic job lists consist of many highly specialized roles. Some roles such as Data Architect, Site Reliability Engineer, Analytics Manager and a few more require ample time and experience to attain a certain height. The Scrum Master role, unlike these roles, is easily attainable for an individual who already has a sound technical background.  This role needs an in-depth knowledge of organizational software delivery process and readiness to build relationships with domestic and foreign bodies of the project. The Scrum Master has to build these necessary skills to guide the team so that they keep moving efficiently to achieve a target. That potentiality of solving obstacles and helping the team in getting through the target is the most important responsibility of a Scrum Master.   If you already have working experience in software development in a role such as a developer, tester and if you like to interact with members associated with the project, then being a Scrum Master can be a good choice for your career as it doesn’t require years of training and experience as compared to other technical specializations.   Requirements to become a Scrum Master: You should be familiar with the practices and the elements of the Scrum framework to ensure that your team is using the Scrum principles effectively. Also, you need to know the Agile concepts and methods that are associated with a Scrum framework, in a broader way. Make sure that your team is always sticking to the Scrum and Agile principles. Additionally, many people believe in holding a Scrum Master certification from the renowned certification centres. The Scrum Alliance certified ScrumMaster certification, identified as CSM, and the Scrum.org Professional ScrumMaster certification commonly known as the PSM I, are the most recognized certification standards. You can check certification requirements and processes to attain the certificate by visiting respective websites of each certification body.  Today, Scrum Master is identified as the most rewarding role for those who are interested in technology, leadership, and businesses. Adequate knowledge in these domains helps the Scrum Masters make their teams more productive. Before choosing this career path, you should remember that there is no other option than continuous improvement for the Scrum Masters.   
A Novel Way To Design Your Career as a Scrum Master
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A Novel Way To Design Your Career as a Scrum Master 294 A Novel Way To Design Your Career as a Scrum Master Agile Management
KnowledgeHut Editor Nov 08, 2017
Today, the Scrum framework has become a renowned framework for the teams that are interested in embracing an Agile methodology. According to a survey conducted by Version One’s State of Agile De...
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Privileged Insights into Project Management Success

Given the high rate of venture disappointments, you may believe that organizations would be upbeat to simply have their undertaking complete with some level of achievement. But that is not the situation. In spite of the chances, associations anticipate that activities will be finished speedier, less expensive, and better. The main way these destinations can be met is by using compelling undertaking administration procedures and strategies.  Venture administration appears to be so direct. You set a due date. You set a financial plan. You select the opportune individuals. The venture completes.  In all actuality, venture administration is once in a while direct. The wrong individuals are doled out to the undertakings. Individuals don't realize what is anticipated from them or get clashing data. The extension changes. Due dates aren't met. Put all the more briefly, things happen.   So what can organizations, and venture supervisors, do to enhance the chances of undertakings being finished on time and on spending plan?  <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IjTEI0PrK3I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> 1. Ensure you have full project details before starting. Making a totally itemized venture scope affirmed by all partners is a need. The extension ought to incorporate break turning points, with deliverable dates and a spending worksheet. On the off chance that the underlying undertaking review has enough detail, you and your customer will collaborate through its generation in a much better way. Change solicitations will occur on each task, yet this enables you to deal with the customer when something is out of the degree.  2. Have the right (and right-sized) venture administration group set up. All together for a task to be fruitful, you need the correct venture group set up, individuals whose abilities and experience can benefit the undertaking, from the task administrator on down. It additionally confines the number of individuals included.  A director truly can just deal with such a significant number of direct reports without losing the handle on either the vision for the task, points of interest of the work included, and identities and individual necessities of their association and staff. In this way, to amplify adequacy, confine the extent of your undertaking administration groups. What's more, include individuals whose abilities align with the undertaking necessities.  3. Set desires and points of reference in advance. In the event that you just set a very long-term or abnormal state point of reference, you won't understand if a venture is stuck in an unfortunate situation until it's past the point of no return. At the point when everybody in the group unmistakably comprehends the extension from the earliest starting point, you wipe out the equivocalness that can wreck an undertaking.  A decent approach to do this is to hold a kickoff meeting where everybody involved attends. Kickoff gatherings "help to set desires," where you can "examine the venture in detail," make a workable guide and allow individual parts and duties.  4. Be clear about who is in charge of what and due dates. At the point when various individuals are working together on similar errands, assignments, due dates, and other vital subtle elements regularly become mixed up in interpretation. To dodge perplexity, figure out which colleagues are in charge of which bits of work [upfront], and assign responsibility. An online undertaking administration program is a basic approach. It's critical that colleagues are aware of what is expected from them. This incorporates the full extent of the undertaking and an exact course of events of when errands should be finished. Since each task is extraordinary, it helps for the greater part of the key players to have a strong comprehension of how each of their endeavors adds to the undertaking in general. Undertaking points of reference and benchmarks are extraordinary for dealing with these desires and keeping groups on track with due dates.  5. Don't micromanage. Meet regularly with the team members who will be working on the project. However, allow them the breathing space to work without feeling micromanaged. Making an adjustment here is vital to guarantee that work is being done and that colleagues feel enabled to do their best work.  6. Ensure you have a decent framework setup for dealing with the undertaking, one that everybody can and will utilize. Email communication appears to be the clearest type of correspondence while dealing with a task. Trawling through e-mail strings for past correspondence is an immense time waster. Utilizing programming that keeps all venture data and correspondence in one place not just spares time, but also keeps up a gainful workspace.  7. Keep colleagues inspired by compensating them when turning points are arrived at. It is valuable to set points of reference while arranging ventures, perceive colleagues at whenever a turning point is met. Commending points of reference can be an awesome approach to track advance while keeping colleagues persuaded.  8. Hold general venture status gatherings or calls, yet keep them short. Visit correspondence with all individuals from the group and in addition, the customer is an ideal approach to guarantee that a task is on track. This is particularly essential in a virtual situation, where [you] don't have the advantage of flying into a partner's office to check the status of an errand. While staying up-to-date with the latest venture's status is basic, you require an approach to convey everybody's status to whatever remains of the group. This urges colleagues to concentrate on the most applicable insights about the previous week.  9. Work in time for changes. In innovation, ventures absolutely never appear to take care of details precisely, which constructs custom occasion applications. To avoid pain points and save time, build in extra time for specification changes and requests.  
Privileged Insights into Project Management Success
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Privileged Insights into Project Management Success

Privileged Insights into Project Management Success

Anirban Saha
Given the high rate of venture disappointments, you may believe that organizations would be upbeat to simply have their undertaking complete with some level of achievement. But that is not the situati...
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The Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM)

The Business Analysis Core Concept Model™ (BACCM™) is a conceptual framework for business analysis outlined in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® Guide (BABOK® Guide). The Guide defines business analysis as “the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders”. Business analysis encompasses a wide range of skills, knowledge, and tasks that may vary in form, order, or importance for individual business analysts or for various initiatives within an organization. The purpose of BACCM™ is to provide a common conceptual framework to business analysts so that they can perform and discuss their work in a common terminology that is independent of perspective, industry, methodology, or their levels in the organization. Additionally, the BACCM helps business analysts perform better business analysis by holistically evaluating the relationships among these six concepts and also by evaluating the impact of these concepts and relationships at any point during a project in order to establish both a foundation and a path forward. The BACCM consists of six core concepts: Change, Need, Solution, Stakeholder, Value, and Context. All core concepts are equally important and necessary. There is no ranking among these - no single concept holds greater importance or significance over any other concept. Each core concept is defined by and dependent on the other five core concepts and cannot be fully understood until all the concepts are understood.  Let’s review the six core concepts in detail, along with their definitions as provided by the BABOK Guide: 1) Change: Change is an act of transformation within an organization in response to a need. The need can be internal or necessitated by an external event such as a disruption in the market. The aim of the change is to improve the performance of an enterprise through deliberate actions controlled through business analysis activities. 2) Need: Need is a problem or opportunity to be addressed by the business analyst. Needs can cause changes by motivating stakeholders to act. Changes can also cause needs by eroding or enhancing the value delivered by existing solutions or creating the need for new solutions. 3) Solution: A specific way of satisfying one or more needs in a context. A solution satisfies a need by resolving a problem faced by stakeholders or enabling stakeholders to take advantage of an opportunity. 4) Stakeholder: A group or individual with a relationship to the change, the need, or the solution. Stakeholders are grouped based on their relationship to the needs, changes, and solutions. 5) Value: The worth, importance, or usefulness of something to a stakeholder within a context. Value can be tangible or intangible. Examples of tangible values are potential or realized returns, gains, and improvements. Intangible value often has a significant motivational component, such as a company's reputation or employee morale. 6) Context: The circumstances that influence, are influenced by, and provide understanding of the change. A change always occurs within an environment. A context is a wide-ranging term that can include everything from an organization’s culture, mission, and demographics to government policies, competitors, products and sales. In order to successfully implement the change, the business analyst must carefully define and analyse the context within which the change is being implemented. Let’s consider an example to illustrate the BACCM in more detail. The wave of digitization is transforming many traditional industries. A traditional retail business that operated brick and mortar stores for years must now compete with e-commerce companies that provide the same goods to customers but with additional benefits such as convenience (shop from home), wide range of products and attractive discounts (due to the lower cost business models of e-commerce players). In order to respond to this change in market dynamics, a business analysis task can be performed at a traditional brick and mortar retail store using the BACCM. Here is how the six core concepts may be analysed in this example: 1) Change: Provide e-commerce solutions to customers who prefer shopping online. This will require completely new business processes and functions to fulfil online orders. 2) Need: Rising popularity and market share of e-commerce competitors who directly compete in the marketplace with the company, to attract a growing share of customers, transactions and volume of goods sold. 3) Solution: Depending upon the company’s organizational structure, capabilities and time-sensitive nature of the change, the probable (but not exhaustive) list of solutions could be to implement an IT project that enables the organization to set up its own e-commerce store, partner with existing e-commerce players to use their infrastructure for order fulfilment or acquire an existing e-commerce player and merge it with the company’s existing operations. 4) Stakeholder: The stakeholders, in this case, are almost from all functional areas – sales, marketing, IT, HR and Operations – within the organization. 5) Value: The tangible value, in this case, can be increase in sales and increase (or maintaining) the company’s market share. The intangible value can include transforming the organization to a digital future, introduction of new talent and ideas. 6) Context: The context for this proposed change can be the growing market share and popularity of e-commerce players, changing demographic profile of the customers, improvements in the digital infrastructure in the country, entry of foreign players in the market and easier government regulations towards setting up of e-commerce companies.  
The Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM)
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The Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM)

The Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM)

KnowledgeHut Editor
The Business Analysis Core Concept Model™ (BACCM™) is a conceptual framework for business analysis outlined in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® Guide (BABOK® Guide). The Gu...
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7 Common Mistakes Often Committed By Business Analysts

A business analyst ensures that the end product meets the requirements and parameters of project's stakeholders. Business analyst holds the responsibility to gather the requirements through streamlined communication with stakeholders and to make the sense of collected information in order to help the project team complete the tasks successfully. The most challenging and wide-scoped task of BA is to give the users what they want instead of giving what they need during requirements gathering. The business analyst is expected to bridge the gap between the traditional and advanced practices of information gathering; it saves the time of all the project team members that they otherwise invest in pulling data from a spreadsheet and then feeding it into the Excel sheet to make it accessible at different points.       The certified business analyst works on a very wide landscape with possibilities to commit mistakes unknowingly; and, even the single mistake affects the profitability, team members’ performance, and customer satisfaction. The learning is a continuous process; the following often committed 7 mistakes by business analysts will help you improve your performance:     7 Common Mistakes You Need To Avoid:      1. Requirements Review without Proper Collaboration The requirements review shouldn’t be considered as a task to be completed solely by the business analyst. The requirements review should be done with the proper involvement of concerned stakeholders to validate the importance of requirements against different perspectives. Checking the collected requirements against the related attributes with concerned stakeholders helps to minimize the possible defects before the application stage. 2. Improper Language in Requirements BA often fails in expressing the requirements in proper technical terms from the specific technical viewpoint. Business Analysts are expected to keep the requirements tested and well structured. Business Analysts need to make the requirements - SMART: Specific – Measurable- Attainable- Realizable -Time-bound. Going a step ahead from this commonly used ‘SMART’ approach, you can follow - SMART-CC that adds Complete & Concise also to ‘SMART’ acronym. The organization itself is the primary user of the requirements that you collect and make smart for testing; so, ensure that there is no confusion in understanding by anyone involved.   3. Allowing The Team Go For Designing Without Fixing Requirements:  I have been engaged in many activities of reviewing and fixing stakeholders’ requirements; I noticed that numbers of stakeholders start discussing the designs and approach implementation too early without waiting for getting the analyzed and fixed requirements from business analyst. BA needs to squash such practices immediately because such practices tend to overshadow the actual requirements. Before understanding the stakeholders’ requirements, initiating the process designing may harm the project’ success.  4. The Conversation without a Thought Line  The proper conversation with stakeholders is the key to complete the project successfully but it needs to be in the line of the perspectives you get after the analysis of business needs and that of the project. Non-relevant discussions put just the blinders to actual requirements and distract the team members from the task causing frustration. The competent business analysts avoid involving too many stakeholders in discussions to get the best solution for a particular issue; all the meetings should be issue based.   5. Taking the Requirements granted 100% Complete & Accurate before Discussing with Stakeholders:  The numbers of business analysts feel that the documented requirements are 100% correct even before sharing with stakeholders. The less experienced business analysts have a common notion that the correction in documented requirements means that they didn’t do the job correctly; however, there are no fixed parameters for BA’s evaluation that stop them to change the once documented requirements.  6. Getting Approval for Documented Requirements without the Shared Understanding Some business analysts tend to get fast approval of requirements to expedite the process but a smart business analyst is expected to share the documented requirements with concerned stakeholders to assess their understanding and viewpoints. The common understanding is must to complete the project successfully on the time.   7. Each project has different requirements and success measuring parameters but some business analysts tend to use the most used template of BRD (Business Requirements Document) just to make the task easier. The BRD template, you select to use, may have some irrelevant categories to make your task more complex and time-consuming; if you notice such categories either remove these or mark N/A.       The success mantra for accurate business analysis is to ensure that you discuss with all those with whom you should do to share your vision of requirements for designing a collaborative approach.  
7 Common Mistakes Often Committed By Business Analysts
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7 Common Mistakes Often Committed By Business Analysts

7 Common Mistakes Often Committed By Business Analysts

Shubhranshu Agarwal
A business analyst ensures that the end product meets the requirements and parameters of project's stakeholders. Business analyst holds the responsibility to gather the requirements through stream...
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Best Practices When Using JIRA

The Atlassian product suite is most commonly used by IT companies to define requirements and track issues in their Agile projects. However, teams often have questions around what are the best practices of managing requirements using JIRA and Confluence. In this article, I will be discussing how to add different types of requirements on JIRA and discuss a few best practices for managing the same. Creating requirements on JIRA The ‘Create’ option on JIRA opens up a pop-up window that allows the team member to create an issue as indicated in the image below.  The starting point for adding any set of requirements is to first add business requirements as Epics. The user can also add requirements as features or user stories. Changes to requirements can be added as improvements, incidents, ideas or even as a bug. JIRA also provides the possibility to add test cases and test scenarios also as issues that helps better manage projects heavy on assurance of solutions. Epics added will appear on the left side of the screen as indicated above. The user can expand on each epic and view issues added as user stories, tasks etc. under that epic. The user may also directly create a story under a particular epic by selecting the Create Issue in Epic option.  Epics in traceability wth atlassina JIRA will be colour coded and a tag will appear against each issue allowing the user to easily identify to which epic a particular issue belongs. This helps teams group related issues together to better manage the progress of feature groups identified as epics. When adding issues in JIRA the team members can add a lot of information about a particular issue. Below is a small discussion about these aspects and on how JIRA supports the same.  Every issue will need to have a summary explaining the issue, type of issue, priority of the issue, due date, a person to whom the issue is assigned, who created the issue etc. Similarly, the team members can mention which environment the issue appears in or needs to be fixed on and the acceptance criteria for the issue added as a description.  The team members may also specify the complexity or size of an issue in story points or specify the effort required to complete the issue. The team may tag epics to which a particular issue belongs and in addition to that add any supporting materials as attachments.  Issues may also be tagged to a sprint or just be kept on the backlog for future development. Labels added to issues can be used as tags to assist with searching issues in the future. Tasks and subtasks can be added under issues/stories created in JIRA. This is possible by selecting the Create subtask option from within an issue in JIRA as shown on the image below. One of the common problems teams face in terms of requirements on JIRA is with regards to the following. There are lots of instances where issues go beyond the duration specified for a particular sprint. Similarly, multiple subtasks need to be completed in order for a story to be marked as a sprint. It is fine if all subtasks added under a story can be completed during the said sprint. However, more often than not it is not the case and tasks get overrun. Similarly, there are stories or issues which may run for months together where multiple long-running subtasks need to be completed for a story to be marked as done. How do we handle this in JIRA? Is it reasonable to keep on creating the same user story over and over again whenever a related subtask needs to be created? Is it a good practice to keep on forwarding a story to subsequent sprints marking them as not done and let your velocity suffer? JIRA provides a solution to overcome the above dilemma, allowing teams to link tasks to stories.  This allows teams to specify tasks or issues as belonging to, blocked by, cloned by, duplicated by, relates to or as to be tested by another issue in JIRA. Issues or tasks added using the above approach will allow teams to complete and mark these tasks as done without affecting the whole user story which is the parent of it. The parent issue or user story can thus be forwarded to a future sprint without any issue. Discussed above are some of the best practices in managing issues in JIRA. If used intelligently, JIRA can be a very powerful tool to manage Agile projects.  
Best Practices When Using JIRA
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Best Practices When Using JIRA

Best Practices When Using JIRA

Rumesh Wijetunge
The Atlassian product suite is most commonly used by IT companies to define requirements and track issues in their Agile projects. However, teams often have questions around what are the best practice...
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Struggles of Becoming Agile

With the ever-shrinking timelines for delivering technical solutions, more and more IT companies are now compelled to shift from traditional delivery models to more Agile delivery approaches. Organizations are expected to quickly make the said transition in terms of their processes, practices, tools, and techniques while being capable of delivering more with an exact number of resources or even less. Transitioning into Agile delivery approaches is no easy task. Organizations and teams tend to struggle to make the necessary changes. So, what are some of the pertinent challenges in transitioning into Agile? Strategic misalignment Consider a plump of baby ducklings swimming in the water following the mother duck. The ducks will follow the mother duck following her cry. The mother duck sets the direction and sets an example by leading the team. If at all the mother duck loses focus the little ducklings go astray. An IT services delivery company shifting to Agile is exactly the same. The strategic objectives of the organization must directly be linked to the tactical decision of doing delivery using Agile approaches. Often what happens is that the C-level executives suddenly hear the latest buzzwords from the industry and blindly try to implement them within the company. If the leaders themselves embrace the principles and values in Agile and then motivate the staff in following the same, then the application of the new approach becomes more fruitful.  I once worked in an organization where the CEO of the company was one of the first individuals to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) from the company. This ensured that the CEO himself understood the terminology and the dynamics in following Scrum and was better able to even onboard customers to get their solutions done using an Agile delivery approach. Receptiveness to change The success of any change depends on how receptive the individuals are for that change. Agile demands teams to move away from being process oriented to being more focused on collaboration, communication, and continuous improvement. Organizations who have been used to running projects in waterfall approach with well-defined plans and with tight processes often find it difficult to move away from their comfort zone.  Agile demands just enough documentation to execute projects and expects teams to figure out things on the go. Teams must be more hands on and be prepared to experiment and be ready to fail.  Clients too need to adapt to these changes by first being onboard to Agile contract types of Time & Material models and be receptive for a continuous definition of requirements and ever-evolving solutions. ‘We’ vs ‘I’ One of the common problems which most of the teams have is with regards to ‘groupthink’ and the ‘dominator’. Teams often tend to go with the ideas of the consenting majority even when an idea given out by one single individual seems most plausible. Similarly, there can be one person in the group who can be dominating and be able to influence the entire team.  Another side of this problem is where teams expect one person to be the superhero and be responsible for taking up a task and completing it all by himself. This is the traditional waterfall approach where the assignee is expected to be the sole owner of a task. Agile begs team members to be different where individuals are expected to pitch in whenever a task is pending or whenever a team member is stuck and be able to provide a solution to take the team forward. Thus, Agile teams are expected to be self-organizing and self-healing. This requirement for change in mindset often leaves new Agile teams scratching their heads for answers. In conclusion, a shift from traditional approaches to Agile requires shifts in the mindsets of both employees as well as the leaders. It is often a matter of getting the basics right and getting the consent of everyone to follow suit. However, this often is the toughest part in transitioning to Agile!!  
Struggles of Becoming Agile
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Struggles of Becoming Agile

Struggles of Becoming Agile

Rumesh Wijetunge
With the ever-shrinking timelines for delivering technical solutions, more and more IT companies are now compelled to shift from traditional delivery models to more Agile delivery approaches. Organiza...
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Top 7 benefits of Having ITIL Skill

The challenges in digital data management are getting more complex because of the increasing amount of data required by the businesses. IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification delivers the much-needed perfection to IT professionals to structure and implement the tailor-made IT service management strategy with a deep understanding of particular requirements. ITIL management allows collecting, analyzing, and distributing the data by following the time-tested methodology. As more businesses are realizing the benefits of ITIL management, the requirement for ITIL certified professionals is increasing fast in almost all the business sectors including education, e-commerce and healthcare etc.  ITIL Certification – A Qualification by Choice:  The tiered structured ITIL certification allows the candidates to choose the certification type and level according to personal career objective. ITIL certification, one among the top IT certifications, is provided at five levels to help the IT professionals boost their career in a progressive manner.  The ITIL intermediate certification modules are designed to produce the competent ITIL experts in specific areas like-  OSA (operational support & analysis) PPO (planning, protection and optimization) RCV (release, control and validation) SOA (service offerings and agreements)  ITIL service operation ITIL service transition ITIL managing across the lifecycle …  7 Key Benefits of Having ITIL Skill:   ITIL is a globally recognized set of the best in class management practices. ITIL certification helps you know the widely used concepts, terms, and processes to improve the organization’s growth. More numbers of organizations in almost all the business sectors are accepting ITIL implementation as a necessity to survive in the competitive marketing environment. Before joining any particular ITIL training course, you need to know the benefits for performance and career boost. The key benefits experienced by the most of ITIL certified experts, irrespective of their role in services management, are: 1. Worldwide Recognized Qualification: ITIL certification sets an international benchmark for your qualification and service management skill. Leading international service providers recognize ITIL certification as a prerequisite for services management experts; therefore, it helps to boost your career even at international level.     2. Acquaintance with Standard Language: Many service managers use advanced service management processes but without knowing the standard terminology or processes. ITIL certification helps you learn the standard language and processes widely used globally.  3. Smart Approach to Improve the Initiatives: Smart professionals work in smarter ways to demonstrate their skills and values. ITIL courses & workshops provide a smart skill to help you identify the potential to improve the initiatives.  4. Helps to Introduce Proactive Culture:  ITIL training builds the confidence to innovate new ways to improve customer satisfaction. ITIL training helps you focus better on the customers’ expectations and users’ experience. The gained expertise in using ITIL framework and tools helps you improve service delivery quality by developing a new proactive culture.  5. Instills Confidence & Refines Capabilities:  The quality of service delivery depends on the capabilities of the involved personnel; the organizations need confident and capable Services Management Experts to compete with rivals. ITIL certification courses are designed to produce confident service managers with improved capabilities to address the challenges in specific areas.    6. Makes You A Key Contributor To Organization’s Growth: ITIL certification course improves your competence, productivity and capability to build better relationships with customers and within the organization. ITIL expertise helps you make the processes more cost-efficient by optimizing the use of available resources. The holistic approach to getting better ROI with an eye upon risk factors helps the organization to achieve sustainable growth.     7. Career Boost:  The successful completion of ITIL course gives you a globally recognized qualification and expertise; therefore, you are paid better. Numbers of project experts accept that they got 15% salary hike after getting ITIL certification. Besides the salary aspect, you get wider landscape with more opportunities to progress.  ITIL Certification Course: Is It For You?  More and more organizations worldwide are adopting time-tested ITIL framework; so, the job trends make ITIL training a smart choice for IT services professionals. ITIL certification courses are designed to benefit -  Professionals engaged in a business sector but planning to move a company providing IT services.  IT service management professionals willing to update their skills   Mid-level & senior-level IT professionals IT consultants  
Top 7 benefits of Having ITIL Skill
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Top 7 benefits of Having ITIL Skill

Top 7 benefits of Having ITIL Skill

Shubhranshu Agarwal
The challenges in digital data management are getting more complex because of the increasing amount of data required by the businesses. IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification delivers the much...
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Agile and ITIL: Friends or Foes?

Today, many IT organizations are expanding their IT businesses using ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and other valuable industry frameworks for ITSM (IT Service Management). They are focussing on improving their service quality. In addition to quality, companies are trying to build agility, with the emergence of new technology and methodology like Agile Software Development.  Recent reports from ITSM.tools emphasized upon the factors that organizations measure during work in IT industry. The following image shows the statistics of the aspects, as measured by the organizations. Even after the use of these methodologies and technologies to speed up delivery, IT operations were not able to get on with the fastest delivery rate of IT services. So industries carried out many discussions regarding the combination of ITIL and Agile- Is it possible that both can coexist within an organization? Can ITIL and Agile play major role after merging service quality with agility and speed? Will Agile and ITIL together becomes friends or foes? The article has tried to address this as precisely as possible.  ITIL provides a framework for the governance of IT from the business and customer outlook. ITIL is referred as the best practice framework for IT service management (ITSM). It focuses on continuous measurement and improvement in the quality of the IT services delivered to the customers. According to the ITIL Practitioner course, ITIL includes 9 guiding principles as follows: Focus on value Design for experience Start where you are Work holistically Progress iteratively Observe directly Be transparent Collaborate Keep it simple Agile is a set of processes for software development which fulfills customer requirements and solutions from the cross-functional teams. Companies need to adopt the key points from the Agile Manifesto to achieve Agile ITSM. The key points are as follows: Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools Working Software over comprehensive documentation Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to Change over following a plan. If these Agile practices are matched with the 9 principles of ITIL, you will find some striking similarities. ‘Working software’ is an equivalent to ‘Focus on value’- which means develop the right things, the valued software can be used by the customers. The ‘Keep it Simple’ principle clearly explains how close ITIL and Agile are! This principle suggests to act quickly and deliver quality, which is the same as ‘Responding to change’.    One of the main hurdles in the integration of Agile and ITIL is the truth that ITIL follows sequential framework, whereas Agile is an iterative approach where Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) are constructed and updated in a very short period cycle. This may create instability. However, businesses and their clients look for stable and agile IT services. DevOps can be the solution for it. It is a more endurable approach for bringing these two contrasting approaches to enable stability and agility (Development and Operations), together. DevOps is based on the combination and communication between Development (Dev) and IT Operations (Ops). DevOps provides technical practices to produce a software. The goal behind DevOps technology is to automate an application delivery and workflow of the processes (planning, design, implementation, testing).  In future, there will be a lean, fast and agile IT service management. According to Gene Kim, thought leader and co-author of The Phoenix Project- “Patterns and processes that emerge from DevOps are the inevitable outcome of applying Lean principles to the IT value stream […and] ITSM practitioners are uniquely equipped to help in DevOps initiatives, and create value for the business”. Essentially, considering the diverse perspectives, Agile and ITIL can exist without some major conflict. Agile and ITIL can very much go hand in hand, because this combination allows IT organizations to have a new culture called, Agile ITSM. ITIL will offer a framework for stable and quality-assured service rapid delivery, whereas DevOps will ensure to provide the continuous stream of improvements. Due to the alliance of Agile/DevOps and ITIL principles, Agile ITSM can provide guidelines for service and the speediest delivery in an Agile way!   
Agile and ITIL: Friends or Foes?
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Agile and ITIL: Friends or Foes?

Agile and ITIL: Friends or Foes?

KnowledgeHut Editor
Today, many IT organizations are expanding their IT businesses using ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and other valuable industry frameworks for ITSM (IT Service Management). They ...
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What PRINCE2 Does and Does Not Describe

PRINCE2, as we all know, is a standard project management method widely used in the UK, and increasingly being used internationally. PRINCE is a registered trademark but is available in the public domain. PRINCE stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and is a project management method that helps reduce the risk of failure and increase the chances of success.  A bit from history The earliest version of PRINCE is PROMPT, created by Simpact for IBM in 1975. Then PROMPT2 was adopted for government information systems projects in 1979. PROMPT2 was developed into PRINCE in 1989 to be applied to all government information systems. PRINCE2 was released in October 1996 as a generic method suitable for all projects and it was last updated in 2009 and is now used and examined worldwide by an organization known as Accrediting Professional Managers Globally (APMG). What PRINCE2 is  PRINCE2 defines a best practice approach based on practical experience and research in project management and it enables standardization of approach and terminology for project managers, team members, customers, suppliers, and contractors. PRINCE2 also provides a basis for improvement within an industry sector, organization or in general.  PRINCE2 focuses on the Business Case for the project and does so right throughout the project. The business case is the checkpoint based on which evaluation happens, right from the time of justifying the need for a project to validating the requirements, the design and the developed solution against these needs. PRINCE2 ensures a solid foundation through a thorough initiation to the project and helps divide the project into manageable and controllable stages using product-based planning.  PRINCE2 defines a well-oiled project organization structure for project management including executives from the client organization, senior users from the user community and senior suppliers from the vendor organizations forming the project board under which project managers, team managers, project assurance teams, project support teams, change control teams and team members collaborate and coordinate. This structure thus defines the reporting structure and authority levels of each individual in the project. PRINCE2 projects are based on control mechanisms defined to ensure quality and to manage changes to products and plans. PRINCE2 is road map to project success & also a scalable and adaptable approach to different project circumstances through a comprehensive process model. What PRINCE2 does not describe As explained previously, PRINCE2 is a project management approach. It defines the activities that a project manager needs to perform during different stages of a project and the deliverables that they need to produce in controlling, managing and delivering the project. Hence, PRINCE2 does not describe the actual work to be carried out during different stages of the project, nor does it define the tools and techniques to be used in performing these tasks. For example, PRINCE2 just mentions the fact that project scope needs to be defined properly and a thorough estimation of effort needs to be done during the planning stage itself. The project manager just needs to ensure that he breaks down the product into manageable chunks of work and uses it as the basis to allocate resources, to estimate effort and to schedule resources. Hence, the Project Manager may decide to use feature-based work breakdown structures to decompose the project, 3-point estimation to estimate the effort required and the network diagramming method or the Gantt chart to schedule the work.  PRINCE2 does not require the project manager to perform a detailed risk analysis, nor does it mandate the project manager to perform risk management diligently. However, risk identification, planning, and control is embedded in PRINCE2 approach such that risks are managed every day and at every stage gate applied in the project. PRINCE2 also does not mandate the requirement for an organization-wide Quality Management System (QMS). A quality management system will be the one-stop location in an organization that holds the end-to-end process of business analysis, solution design, development, testing and deployment and how project management ensures delivery of the project. Since PRINCE2 does not define HOW project activities should be done, the requirement for a QMS does not exist.  PRINCE2 also does not require detailed financial justification for a project using NPV, IRR, Payback analysis or any other technique, nor does it discuss tracking project progress through Earned Value Analysis. PRINCE2 just expects the project to be executed along the different stages that are defined and for the projects to constantly check whether it is delivering the intended value to the stakeholders.  Conclusion PRINCE2, as we can see, is a project management method. It is applicable for the duration of the project from its initiation to the time it is deployed and delivered to the customer. PRINCE2 project manager’s scope does not include pre-project idea generation / pre-sales activities nor does it include post-project verification and maintenance or improvement activities. PRINCE2 thus provides a systematic approach for the project manager to better manage projects through to its completion.  
What PRINCE2 Does and Does Not Describe
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What PRINCE2 Does and Does Not Describe

What PRINCE2 Does and Does Not Describe

KnowledgeHut Editor
PRINCE2, as we all know, is a standard project management method widely used in the UK, and increasingly being used internationally. PRINCE is a registered trademark but is available in the public dom...
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Benefits of Implementing Agile Practices for Infrastructure Operations Support Teams

Agile methodologies have become mainstream and more than 90% of the organizations had indicated that they are practising Agile in some form or the other (Version One, State of Agile Survey, 2016). In this post, I will highlight how a specific Agile methodology is used in the infrastructure space to manage routine operations work.  <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sm66q6nQ2PE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> In the infrastructure domain, there are not many organizations which are using Agile as it is not easy to implement the scaled Agile framework (Scrum) as the nature of work is more from the operational perspective as compared to the product development space where the focus is on knowledge work. However, in large enterprise organizations (> 5000 members), if an organization has to become agile, all the divisions will sooner or later need to focus on Agile. The organization does not derive much benefit if only one division in the organization is focused on Agile and all the other divisions are not being agile. Hence, initially as part of the Agile transformation, the product development division adopts Agile and subsequently, other support divisions also focus on exploring Agile and how to implement Agile for their activities.  With this background context, I would like to explain how the Infrastructure teams which are engaged in operational activities focus on implementing Agile in their projects/activities. Taking the specific example of a Unix Server Support team which is offering support for L1, L2 and L3 activities (L1, L2 and L3 – different and increasingly varying and higher levels of support where the team focuses on providing support to the customer, e.g. – L1 – call center support, L2 – Basic configuration and minor changes, L3 – Deep Dive and resolution of problems). Generally, the Infrastructure teams follow the ITIL Best Practices to ensure that their services are providing optimal support to the customer (24*7 support – also enabling follow the sun approach). In this case, when we are implementing Agile practices for these teams, I have observed that Kanban practices and a good Kanban framework help the team integrate ITIL with Agile practices.  These teams are focused on operations work which is routine and is undertaken daily through the implementation of a help desk support system (Service Now, Impulse, Jump, Remedy and other tools) utilizing tickets that are raised by people and non – humans (computer programs).  The tickets are raised automatically by computer programs (incidents), raised by humans (mostly requests), problems (raised by humans), change requests/ctasks (change tasks) by humans. Hence, ITIL implementation provides a good focus on the key areas – Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Help Desk and related areas. In such a scenario, the implementation of Kanban helps to integrate ITIL and Agile and the team does not feel the extra burden of the Agile implementation. Kanban easily dovetails with the existing ITIL framework and the team is able to implement both Kanban and ITIL at the same time. This ensures that the team is meeting the organizational requirements and at the same time, the team is also able to implement Agile as per the requirements.  The routine operational work of these teams is considered as one big project focused on delivering operational support and meeting the service level agreements for the customer. Kanban is basically a framework for managing the process flow and change in a visual manner. It starts with the as-is state and slowly builds on incremental improvements to improve the process over a period of time. Hence, it becomes easier to start with the already existing ITIL processes which the teams are already following in their day to day work. The Kanban system focuses on visualizing the process flow and identifying the bottlenecks in the process and how they could be eliminated so that the process becomes faster from concept to cash. In this case, it derives the basic inspiration from Lean principles which are also focused on identifying and maximizing value, while minimizing waste at the same time.  The focus on implementing Kanban frameworks for the Operations team in the Infrastructure domain leads to the following benefits–  The team can manage its process flow with the already existing systems in place (e.g. lean, ITIL and other process models/frameworks).  Workload Management, Capacity Adaptation, and Capability/Competency Improvement in the teams. It is easier for the team to implement Agile practices as Kanban focuses on starting with the existing processes instead of making any drastic changes in the basic process.  The team is able to visualize the basic work through the technique of value stream mapping (VSM) and it is able to eliminate bottlenecks using the Theory of Constraints (ToC).  The team is able to identify the core values and focus on how to enhance customer delight.  Implementing Agile practices leads to improved team motivation and team morale.  Focus on working at a sustainable pace instead of working in death march projects which leads to quicker burnout and increased attrition.  It helps the team to visualize the workflows which enables the team to focus on out-of-the-box thinking and innovative techniques to improve lead times of their processes.  Simple metrics like – lead time, cumulative flow diagrams and Yamazumi charts help the team to focus on their processes and check how they could fine tune their processes further.  Lessons learnt as part of the Kanban meetings and workshops enable the team to focus on continuous improvement.  The focus on Kanban practices enables the team to set up a robust ecosystem in the organization that engenders continuous learning and enables the organization to build the skill level of its employees.  Assimilation of new processes by the team through design thinking and other techniques for providing operational support helps the team to improve customer satisfaction. Thus, we can observe that the choice of selecting Kanban as an Agile implementation methodology for the Operations Support Teams in the Infrastructure domain is a prudent option as it helps the team to continue following its existing processes and at the same time also implement Agile practices in their projects with minimal conflicts. In future posts, I will highlight how we could go about implementing Kanban and Agile practices in the Infrastructure Operations Support teams, providing support to the product development teams in the organization.   
Benefits of Implementing Agile Practices for Infrastructure Operations Support Teams
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Benefits of Implementing Agile Practices for Infrastructure Operations Support Teams

Benefits of Implementing Agile Practices for Infrastructure Operations Support Teams

Badri N Srinivasan
Agile methodologies have become mainstream and more than 90% of the organizations had indicated that they are practising Agile in some form or the other (Version One, State of Agile Survey, 2016). In ...
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How a CBAP Certified Professional can Help with Business Analysis

CBAP stands for Certified Business Analysis Professional, level 3 certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. The importance of this course in the modern world of the ever-expanding businesses can never be stressed enough. There are some requirements and a key feature that one needs to be aware of before venturing into the course. This is the next level of expertise for the already working and experienced professionals. CBAP Requirements The general requirements for the CBAP are: 1) Work experience in handling business analysis - This includes a minimum of 7,500 working hours in ten years. This also includes any project directly handled by the applicant and also the projects that he has worked on as an assistant.  2) The requirement of the knowledge in the field - There are six knowledge areas defined under this system, and a minimum knowledge of at least four areas is demanded. There must make an investment of a minimum of 900 hours in each of these knowledge areas.  3) Development of the profession - There must be at least 35 hours of development noted in the past four years of his work life. 4) References from people of value - For getting enrolled in the course, the reference to at least two people is asked. These people are usually- a career manager, a client or a CBAP certified professional. The organization is giving the course certification checks these references before getting anyone enrolled in the course. 5) The code of conduct issued by the CBAP needs to be agreed upon Certification Benefits The value a CBAP  certified individual can offer is indispensable making the CBAP certification high in value in the professional field and highlights both professional and personal recognition to the individual.   The best advantage for the individual is perhaps the significant increase in salary among certified professionals. There has been up to sixteen percent increase in salary of the individuals after completing their certification.   It is also a great CV builder, adding an edge to the CV/resume that can be a distinguishable factor from other candidates in the business analysis field. The opportunity of development of the profession is immense and the value added to any company that the individual decides to be a part of is indispensable. Program Certification Levels Program certification levels are the steps of progression in the person’s career and are best to be fulfilled in order.  Levels are set based on the competency of the applicant where each level has its eligibility requirements. Level 1: This certifies the entry in the business analysis. The individuals entering the profession are the ones that should go through this level. The students and the just graduates are the best candidates for this level. The ones with the transitional phase of career are also good to enroll. The managers involved business analysis indirectly. The eligibility includes 21 hours of work in the last four years and agreeing to the Entry Certificate in Business Analysis Code of Conduct. Level 2: This is for the professionals who already have 2-3 years of experience in the field. This gives formal recognition to their already acquired and developed skill set. The work experience is a prime requirement in this level of certification. It requires at least 3,750 hours of work experience in the last seven years. There must a development in the professional level of about 21 hours in the last four years. This also needs references and agreement to the CCBA code of conduct. Level 3: This is for the business analysis professionals who have been in the business for at least over five years. It demands 35 hours of professional development in the last four years. A work experience of about 7,500 hours is demanded as a requirement for getting admitted to the Certified Business Analysis Professional level. The same references and the agreement to the code of conduct are asked as usual. Level 4: The final level is for the professionals with over ten years of experience in the field of business analysis. They have considered the industry thought leaders in the field of business analysis. They are the experts in the business analysis. They contribute to the evolution of the field. They are the pioneers in the field who are polished to perfection by the Certified Business Analysis Thought Leader course. The CBAP Certified Professional Exam The exam is 3.5 to 4 hours long with 120 multiple choice questions. The emphasis is given on the case study in order to analyze the depth of knowledge and the ability possessed by the candidates. The first step in the certification journey is to get familiar with the ‘A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge’ (BABOK guide) book.   Thorough understanding of the BABOK guide is essential, a process that requires time and attention. Professional Development Hours Joining a business analysis study group would be the first step; it provides the opportunity to get help with the exam preparations and to discuss with others the professional development hours. Another option is to enroll in a business analysis training course. There are also conferences that qualify for the professional development credits. The professional development hours are necessary if you want to enroll in any level of CBAP certified professional course. The enrollment in the CBAP course depends on the time investment and the budgetary allowances you can make. The timeline for the certification should also be a consideration you make before going for the certification.
How a CBAP Certified Professional can Help with Business Analysis
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How a CBAP Certified Professional can Help with Business Analysis

How a CBAP Certified Professional can Help with Business Analysis

KnowledgeHut Editor
CBAP stands for Certified Business Analysis Professional, level 3 certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. The importance of this course in the modern world of the ev...
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