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All new knowledgehut.com! What's new?

Welcome to KnowledgeHut’s new website! Here’s a quick walkthrough of what’s new and how you will benefit. For starters, we’ve incorporated intuitive user experience. This means that the interface is very easy to use, and you’ll find that it focuses on what’s important. You can readily access information about KnowledgeHut services and solutions, and can browse based on your interests. The website also boasts a clean design and intuitive and consistent site-wide navigation system with improved menu functionality that directs you to the information most relevant to you. The new website is interactive and gives better access to courses we offer, our trainers, course curriculum and training schedules.  Our current and prospective customers will find our new self-learning and training management portal well accessible to their course purchases with progress tracking, upcoming schedules of live and virtual training, resources delivery and support system. For our trainers, we have introduced a self-servicing platform to create training sessions and upload eLearning courses, which will be offered to customers with a revenue sharing module and enrolment dashboard. You can create your profile and the listing showcases best rated profiles with trainer details and professional experiences. Our popular blog has received a much-needed facelift enabling you to sign up for weekly updates, and access the articles that matter to you through smart topic filters. We hope you find the new website easier to use with a fresh look, and easy-to- access information. We also wish to establish this portal as a source of information for those who visit our site.
All new knowledgehut.com! What's new?
Abhinay
All new knowledgehut.com! What's new? 753 All new knowledgehut.com! What's new? Featured Category
Abhinay Singi Oct 28, 2017
Welcome to KnowledgeHut’s new website! Here’s a quick walkthrough of what’s new and how you will benefit. For starters, we’ve incorporated intuitive user experience. Th...
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Are Remote Agile Teams Replacing Traditional Agile Teams?

When employees work from a location away from their office, it is called remote working. Originally, Agile teams were made to work in clustered teams located together in the same office. According to the sixth principle stated in the Agile Manifesto, “the most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation”. Based on this principle, Agile teams, earlier, were working together in closely located units.  It is an imperative to focus on the mode of conversations taking place in organizations having remote working teams. Transferring a message from a sender to a receiver working for the same project team is the motive of conversation. While at work, the conversation is all about the project process which includes planning, implementation, risk-mitigation, and project requirements. Understanding the right information not as an individual, but as a team, is a formula to project success.  Today, businesses are split into several teams, which are known as Distributed teams. Distributed teams can work seamlessly around the world, can make better workflow, yield higher productivity and find strong talents. Distributed teams cannot operate without some agreements, as many of the teams are unable to carry out face-to-face interactions based on Agile practices. Some other challenges arising for distributed teams are as follows:  Coordination with global teams Building a rapport Managing with sorted development culture Scheduling meetings according to the availability of both the teams  These are unavoidable problems, but not unresolvable. Let’s take a look at the strategies to build a bridge between local and remote offices and ideas to mitigate the issues.    1) Coordination with global teams: Structure your teams like a good software architecture having a modular design. Every office should collaborate in developing a quality software, which can help you minimize the collaboration required with teams present in other time zones. When a project requires coordination from different teams situated at different locations globally, they can concentrate on their APIs. While working, if people distribute code knowledge between offices in different locations, it makes maintenance much more trouble-free. This distribution of code to others is called Code reviews. If any problem comes into sight when one team (mainly the development team) is offline, the teams present in the other geographical areas should be able to support and resolve the issue. 2) Building a rapport: Solid rapport is a base of any program, especially for the Agile programs across the team. Personal talk helps to form trust, fulfills all expectations, maneuvers self-organization and boosts team-spirit. Take time to know the people working in the remote offices in your team. This will build a rapport between the other team members and also help in achieving good relationships. 3. Managing with sorted development culture: There are four simple techniques teams can opt for while working across different geographical areas, sharing a usual development culture. Spread your decisions across all geographical areas: There occurs a communication gap while moving from co-located offices to a distributed culture. It is a big challenge to educate the team to understand that when decisions are made, they need to be discussed with other teams as well. When it comes to teamwork, even the tiniest decisions are significant.  Reduce conflicts while setting-up a development environment: The development environment makes it easier to work and track the issues. Create a simple ‘Getting started’ user manual and try to reduce the conflicts by automating the structure as much as possible. Make the ‘definition of done’ clear: When working between offices, it is important to clarify the standards for the definition of done. It not only eases managing the expectations and building a rapport across the teams, but also helps reduce ambiguity during work. Prepare guidelines for placing effective bug reports: When any problem arises and every team member is not online, having clear guidelines can help debug an issue. So prepare an effective guideline for placing useful bug reports.  4. Scheduling meetings according to the availability of both the teams: Schedule meetings during the ‘golden hours’ of the distributed software teams. The golden hour for the distributed software teams is when both the teams (local and remote teams) are present in their respective offices. When local and remote teams are present in the office, it is a perfect time for stand-ups.  Conclusion:  Today, companies are benefited manyfold by operating like distributed teams. According to a US federal government report, “47% of its employees (more than a million people) were eligible to telework, which has been recorded as a big increase over the year before”. Working remotely helps employees balance their work in an effective way and yields more productivity. Be not surprised if these remote Agile teams completely replace the traditional Agile teams in the near future.   
Are Remote Agile Teams Replacing Traditional Agile Teams?
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Are Remote Agile Teams Replacing Traditional Agile Teams?

Are Remote Agile Teams Replacing Traditional Agile Teams?

KnowledgeHut Editor
When employees work from a location away from their office, it is called remote working. Originally, Agile teams were made to work in clustered teams located together in the same office. According to ...
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Reducing Overheads Through SAFe 4.5

Each SAFe portfolio provides a set of business solutions to run a business smoothly. There should be a confined operating budget to execute each portfolio, as the cost of operating each technical solution is a primary factor in every business. However, many traditional companies make out that, doing business using Lean-Agile development gives rise to an intrinsic conflict with the budgeting and project cost accounting methods. The result is worst and unproductive. To cope with this, SAFe provides strategies called Lean-Agile budgets. Lean-Agile budgets can directly solve this conflict of traditional project funding. With the Lean Budgets model, fiduciaries can keep control on the expenditures required for the project. Also, the model is empowered with the programs like rapid-decision making and flexible value delivery. This model can be productive for the enterprises in two ways: Enterprises can yield the best development processes which form the foundation of all the marketing aspects. Can manage the technology expenditures professionally. According to Scaled Agile Institute, Lean-Agile Budgets can be defined as-  “A set of practices that minimizes overhead by funding and empowering Value Streams rather than projects, while maintaining financial and fitness-for-use governance.” According to the law by a fiduciary government for the development and delivery of IT, hardware and software, ‘every SAFe portfolio operates within a familiar and sanctioned investment expenditure’. This principle is applied to the products, services and any kind of solutions within a SAFe portfolio. The following figure illustrates how the traditional strategic planning process allows all portfolios to operate within a budget in an enterprise. Though this is the traditional method, it helps in regulating the spent investment for a SAFe portfolio.  Moreover, SAFe introduced a unique approach to budgeting. This new budgeting technique results in-  Reducing the overhead  Decreasing costs related to traditional cost accounting Enables decentralized decision-making With this latest approach of working, portfolio-level employees (managers) neither have to schedule the work for other team members nor they need to keep track of the work during the project. Lean-Agile Budgets has come up with a new standard for maintaining budgets over the project-level:  Lean Budgeting- beyond project cost accounting:  This standard provides fiduciary control over all the investments, with fewer overheads, friction, and much effective outcome. The following figure shows the governance with Lean-Agile budgeting.   Lean-Agile budgets include the five major steps for empowerment and governance of project cost, as follows: 1) Fund value streams, not projects- This step in Lean budgets focuses on forwarding the associated expense decisions to the employees involved in the project, thereby increasing empowerment and lessening overhead. This is done by assigning Lean budgets to each value stream, as shown in figure: 2) Empower value stream content authority- Though step 1 is a huge jump towards the budgets, the enterprise wants the assurance that the value stream is building the right things. SAFe offers this through the empowerment and responsibilities of Solution and Product Management and provides visibility to everyone by conducting and prioritizing the Solution and Program Backlogs, as shown in the figure below. 3) Provide continuous objective evidence of fitness for purpose- In this step, SAFe furnishes cadence-based opportunities to evaluate progress with the help of Solution Demo. Progress can also be determined every two weeks, if necessary, via System Demo. Customer, Key Stakeholders, Lean Portfolio Management, Business Owners, team and any Fiduciary can participate to inspect whether the build is meeting the customer’s business needs. 4) Approve epic-level initiatives- Epics are large, so they require additional approval. Generally, initiatives impact multiple value streams and ARTs which cost many millions of dollars. To resolve this, it requires vetting through the system, to check which level (Portfolio level, Large Solution level, Program Level) they belong to, as shown in the figure. 5) Exercise fiscal governance with dynamic budgeting- In the final step, Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) adjusts the value stream budgets within the portfolio. Though Value Streams are highly self-organizing, they can’t fund themselves. Funding varies based on the business dynamics, as figure illustrates.   Typically, these budgets are adjustable twice annually. If this happens less frequently, the spending is fixed for an inordinately long period, which limits agility. When this is happening more frequently, the enterprise may be apparently very Agile. But in reality, the process is not so secured. This leads to a long-term uncertainty and eventually gives rise to an environment of non-commitment.   
Reducing Overheads Through SAFe 4.5
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Reducing Overheads Through SAFe 4.5

Reducing Overheads Through SAFe 4.5

KnowledgeHut Editor
Each SAFe portfolio provides a set of business solutions to run a business smoothly. There should be a confined operating budget to execute each portfolio, as the cost of operating each technical solu...
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Top 7 Reasons That Drive Project Management as Career

Project management is a broad term which has gained huge popularity in the recent times. It is an integral part for every business where time, scope and budget are quite crucial aspects.  The project managers of today are bit different from traditional business managers in efficiently handling the complex and cross-functional teams. They focus majorly on discrete work, concrete deliverables, starting point and a fixed deadline.  Unlike, old business managers who used to handle on-going processes and the basic type of usual business operations, in this era, they do far more than the written tutorials. But, it is not as easy as it seems to be from outer layer. Managers of the recent times have the tendency to interpret process, risk and change management. They have expert skills, immense technical expertise and interpersonal attributes to bring all the pieces of a project together to fulfill the objective. These are the Captivating Reasons to Opt Project Management as Profession- 1. There is a wide popularity of project managers Project management is one of the fastest growing professions in the recent times. One of the major reasons for its exploded demand are rapid technological advancement and wide-expanding global market. Experts are assuming that project managers can meet the industry demands in the desired manner. This profile is actually the finest skillset in demand by almost all organizations across the globe. 2. They can handle multifarious domains In every industry from medium to large level, project management is practically in veins. Almost every firm needs these skilled brains to manage everything from nook to corner. Few major industries that demand the highest scope of project management related tasks are construction, manufacturing, information services, business services, utilities, finance and insurance; oil and gas; and many more. 3. This profession has lucrative salary scale Titles and salaries for the people working at project-management position differ by the industry where they are. It can be construction manager, IT project manager, sales project manager and Internet project manager. They are generally paid with competitive salaries. 4. One can create a great career impact Apart from the monetary benefits of this career, there are plentiful intrinsic rewards that ultimately result in making a huge difference within an organization.  There are numerous things one can do, some of which are- Coordinate among diverse team members for work Keep everyone motivated Balance all the resources and schedules Meet budgets Resolve any issue or grievance Cultivate collaboration In short, organization believes in improving efficiency and bringing tangible values for a project from inception to completion. By employing the same, project managers can create a big difference by putting a tremendous impact on the success of any organization. 5. There are countless options open for advancement In project management, one can find plentiful opportunities for advancement where improvement and experience are never-ending.  The multifarious skills sharpened via different management degree programs or through rigorous on-the-job experience can be communicated through numerous industries and endeavors where budget, schedule and scope control is in demand. Firms are also looking for people with advanced degrees or certifications to hire them as the project managers at their workplace. 6. Project managers manage chaos The variety of projects that a corporate deal with, are chaotic in nature. Here, the primary function of a project management team is to organize and plan all the projects to tame the chaos.  When a clear path is mapped from start from finish, there is a large probability that one can meet goals of a project in no time. 7. Project management helps in maximizing resources All kind of resources needed in an organization cost much, but they are used effectively and in economical way by enforcing several project management disciplines.  Project tracking and risk management are two important aspects project managers deal with. Final Words There is no exaggeration for what project managers are appointed in an organization. In the top-notch competition that businesses are facing, a good corporate is one which utilizes less skills and resources to drain out the best results. An effective project management team is skilled enough to accomplish their endeavors within the defined constraints and boundaries of corporate.  
Top 7 Reasons That Drive Project Management as Career
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Top 7 Reasons That Drive Project Management as Career

Top 7 Reasons That Drive Project Management as Career

Jacob Colleen
Project management is a broad term which has gained huge popularity in the recent times. It is an integral part for every business where time, scope and budget are quite crucial aspects.  The ...
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The Dawn of Data Analytics Jobs in India

The Recession of 2008 has badly affected the IT sector. Unexpectedly, it carved the employees for further growth, as there emerged some new advanced technologies to cope with the declining market growth. Nowadays the trend of automation, AI, IoT, Big Data, Data Science and much more is evolving in the IT industry. These technologies have replaced routine jobs with machines which were performed by humans.   With the vast technologies across various sectors, the call for big data analytics and data science has gained momentum. Today’s increasing stack of data in the fields like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, IoT, and data science has made analytics the most desirable profession in India. Companies are constantly after the highly skilled professionals to fill the gap. A recent study made by Online Analytics Training Institute Edvancer stated that India has approximately 50,000 vacancies for data analytics jobs, which are expected to jump to 80,000 to 1,00,000 by the year 2018.   According to the Analytics & Data Science India Magazine and Edvancer, one of the top online analytics training institutes in India, the number of data analytics jobs in India has increased by almost 100% in the past one year from April 2016 to April 2017. This hike is found to be nearly twice as compared to that in the previous years (2015 and 2016). This unexpected hike is recorded in the field of analytics and data science.  Bhasker Gupta, CEO, and Founder, Analytics India Magazine, has remarked-  “The use of technology has been soaring high in various industries, and so is the use of analytics to generate an actionable insight from the huge amount of data. This has led to an increased demand for skilled analytics professionals in India.” According to studies, Bengaluru has around 25% of these jobs. It was found to be less than the previous year which showed around 27% of analytics jobs in India. Then comes Delhi, contributing to around 22% of analytics jobs. This contribution was also found to be slightly less than a year ago. Mumbai and Pune have witnessed an increased number of analytics jobs from 5% to 7% in 2017. Currently, India is offering 12% of analytics and data science jobs all over the world, making it the largest Data Analytics center in the world (excluding the US). Leading organizations like Amazon, Citi, HCL, Goldman Sachs, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Accenture, KPMG, EY, and Capgemini were found to have the most number of analytics and data science job openings this year.  According to a study of Edvancer and AIM, the banking and financial domain is the biggest analytics jobs contributor in India. E-commerce, Pharma, Retail, Automobile have come down than the previous year, while Media and Entertainment, Telecom have jumped in 2017 than in previous year.   A recent study made by the institute stated that 50% of analytics jobs are open for 2-7 years of experienced candidates. The Data Analytics career in India for freshers is growing rapidly. According to Data Analytics research, 18% of the analytics jobs are currently widespread. So, analytics is a booming field for the freshers who are waiting for an exciting opportunity in the IT sector. Around 42% of analytics job vacancies are for BE/B.Tech graduates, while for 40% of the jobs, companies are looking for MBA, Mtech, etc. As per the study, the average salary in analytics and data science jobs in India is 10.5 lakhs INR per annum. Around 28% of all analytics jobs offer a salary ranging from Rs. 6 lakh to 10 lakhs, making analytics one of the highest-paying fields in India and approximately 24% of the analytics jobs offers the salary between Rs 3 lakh to 6 lakh.  The Analytics and Data Science India jobs study tips that R and Python professionals are most in demand by 36% of the analytics companies, whereas 30% analytics jobs are for the Python professionals. Some of the other booming technologies in companies are- Hadoop, SAS, Spark Tableau and QlikView.  The overall study presents the productive snapshot of analytics and data science jobs in India in the year 2017. It is constructive enough for professionals or freshers who are seeking jobs in Data Analytics industries.  
The Dawn of Data Analytics Jobs in India
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The Dawn of Data Analytics Jobs in India

The Dawn of Data Analytics Jobs in India

KnowledgeHut Editor
The Recession of 2008 has badly affected the IT sector. Unexpectedly, it carved the employees for further growth, as there emerged some new advanced technologies to cope with the declining market grow...
Continue reading

Essential Clients' Guide to Agile Development Methodology

How do software developers do their job? Whenever you turn to software developers, you expect to receive the detailed information about what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. All these information is a basis for a software development methodology the company adheres to. The most common one is Agile methodology which has pushed others off the scene. Those who are outside the developers’ community usually have a very vague idea about how Agile actually works. So, let’s dispel all misunderstandings around the concept and define roles in Agile, common risks and core activities. Agile methodology has brought new principles to the software development process. Unlike Waterfall methodology, which was popular before Agile advent and adhered to sequential project delivery, Agile has suggested a few key concepts: Flexibility - changes can take place anytime during project development; Collaboration - people are more important than instruments; Communication is vital Minimization of documents allows to devote more time to much more important things. Roles in Agile Agile methodology, in general, can be based on various frameworks and tools. That’s why the roles can also be different. However, there are a few basic roles that are essential for any Agile approach. Product Owner initiates development and has a clear view of the desired outcome. So, it’s their responsibility to supervise the development process and discuss details with the team. Stakeholders have a genuine interest in project success. They are end users, sponsors, and anyone who is involved in the project delivery process.   Development team actually builds a product. The lead of the development team is the Project Manager who oversees the workflow and ensures that it goes as it was supposed to. Main Agile frameworks The most common project management frameworks that are based on Agile methodology are Scrum and Kanban.  The point of Scrum Agile methodology is in dividing large tasks into small ones and fulfilling them by the end of Sprint. Sprint is a fixed time unit which can vary depending on the project. Usually, it’s 2 weeks, by the end of which product owner receives a working prototype with complete tasks that were assigned for this particular Sprint. Then, a new Sprint with new tasks starts.  The key player in Scrum is a Scrum Master who links Product Owner and a Development team. The list of his duties is enormous. Organizational, controlling, communicative and retrospective tasks are under Scrum Master’s responsibility. Kanban Agile methodology has made an extensive use of a particular instrument known as Kanban board. It allows teams and product owner to visualize the development process. The board is divided into several columns and has cards with tasks that can be easily moved into different parts of the board (“to-do tasks, in progress, and done” is the most popular division type) depending on their status. Such visualization lets team leads make predictions and optimize the workload. Agile methodology isn’t limited to these two, there is more to it. However, these have proved themselves as the most efficient ones. By the way, Scrum and Kanban can be unified to take the best features of the both. This methodology is known as Scrumban, which is also very popular. Tools for smooth Agile-based workflow Efficient flow is impossible without proper tools, even in case the development team shares one room, which is often not. So online tools are essential to provide great in-team cooperation and management. Let’s check out just a few of the many existing. The functionality of some tools is limited. They can deal with only a few Agile tasks successfully. Trello is a great tool for a pure Kanban approach. Anyone involved can gain access to the virtual board with sorted and prioritized tasks. Easybacklog is a tool to manage project’s backlog (tasks to be done and tasks that are already done). Scrum master or Product Owner create user stories and order them in the backlog. EasyBacklog tool, however, doesn’t allow to assign tasks unlike the two tools below. Other tools are multifunctional. They can be used for entire project management: manage few projects at the same time, count hours and workload, assign tasks and track bugs, create forums, wherein all involved can discuss the details of the task, make reports and Kanban boards. Jira and Redmine are the most popular representatives. They allow not only project management but also bugs tracking, simultaneous management of several different projects, hourage counting, creating group discussion forums, etc. Risk management in Agile Every software development is exposed to various risks.  Technical risks: Will the required feature or product be delivered in a way it was supposed to? Business risk: Will the product be able to generate revenue? Social risk: Do end users really need this product? Deadline risk: Will the product be ready in time? Cost risk: Will I have enough money to sustain? Agile methodology suggests ways on how they can be counteracted. First of all, transparent interaction within the team and with Product owner ensures collective awareness about the project flow, expected terms and issues. Online tools that we discussed above make the process easier. Secondly, the key practice in Agile development methodology is communication. Daily meetings, Sprint planning meetings, Sprint review and retrospective meetings help to ensure that anyone involved is informed and makes management easier and more efficient. Thirdly, follow core activities established by Agile principles. Specification document that is created at the very beginning lets both Product Owner and Project Manager have a documented benchmark and eliminate unnecessary risks. It’s also a good idea to visualize the delivery plan with optimistic and pessimistic trends.             Pre-Sprint activities such as planning, prioritization, and tasks assignment, and ‘Done‘ criteria are extremely important. Sprint reviews and retrospects help to detect weak points and avoid some of the problems in future. There are many project management practices for you as a product owner to choose or you can even invent your own and apply it. Yet, we want to draw your attention that despite seemingly complicated roles and concepts, the Agile methodology provides the simplest solutions for the successful delivery of your projects.  
Essential Clients' Guide to Agile Development Methodology
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Essential Clients' Guide to Agile Development Methodology

Essential Clients' Guide to Agile Development Methodology

Nataliia Kharchenko
How do software developers do their job? Whenever you turn to software developers, you expect to receive the detailed information about what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. All t...
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Projects in Business Environments

Projects do not float in space; they actually operate in a business environment. Key factors influencing the Projects are Organizational Process Assets (OPA’s) and Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEF’s). OPAs may further be categorized into two main categories as Processes, Policies, Procedures and Corporate Knowledge Base. On the other hand, the EEF’s are further categorized in two major categories- Internal EEF’s and External EEF’s.  As per PMBOK Guide® – Sixth Edition, Internal EEF’s are further described as  Organizational culture, structure, and governance. Examples include vision, mission, values, beliefs, cultural norms, leadership style, hierarchy and authority relationships, organizational style, ethics, and code of conduct. Geographic distribution of facilities and resources. Examples include factory locations, virtual teams, shared systems, and cloud computing. Infrastructure. Examples include existing facilities, equipment, organizational telecommunications channels, information technology hardware, availability, and capacity. Information technology software. Examples include scheduling software tools, configuration management systems, web interfaces to other online automated systems, and work authorization systems. Resource availability. Examples include contracting and purchasing constraints, approved providers and subcontractors, and collaboration agreements. Employee capability. Examples include existing human resources expertise, skills, competencies, and specialized knowledge.   *Courtesy of PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition Page# 38 As per PMBOK Guide® – Sixth Edition, External EEF’s are further described as-   Marketplace conditions. Examples include competitors, market share brand recognition, and trademarks. Social and cultural influences and issues. Examples include political climate, codes of conduct, ethics, and perceptions. Legal restrictions. Examples include country or local laws and regulations related to security, data protection, business conduct, employment, and procurement. Commercial databases. Examples include benchmarking results, standardized cost-estimating data, industry risk study information, and risk databases. Academic research. Examples include industry studies, publications, and benchmarking results. Government or industry standards. Examples include regulatory agency regulations and standards related to products, production, environment, quality, and workmanship. Financial considerations. Examples include currency exchange rates, interest rates, inflation rates, tariffs, and geographic location. Physical environmental elements. Examples include working conditions, weather, and constraints. *Courtesy of PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition Page # 39 On the other hand, we have Organizational Process Assets. OPAs consist of the plans, processes, policies, procedures, and knowledge bases owned by the specific performing organization, which varies organization to organization widely. These assets have a huge impact on, the way projects are managed in any given organization. OPAs may further be categorized as: Processes, policies, and procedures and Organizational knowledge bases. The second category of the above listed is updated throughout the Project Life cycle according to the Project information as & when required; these typically include lessons learned, metrics & issues related to performance as well as financial performance information.  On the other hand, the first category of the OPAs are generally untouchables due to their development & enforcement by top management or PMO (usually from outside the Project) & may only be updated through proper procedural provisions enforced by the concerned entities. Any organization’s OPAs are utilized throughout the Project Life cycle so expect the involvement of OPAs in all Process Groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring, and Controlling and Closing) throughout the Project. The Organizational Process Assets usually include but are not limited to- Guidelines, policies, methods and procedures, templates, lists, sample agreements, Change control procedures, Traceability matrices, deliverables or result verification and validation procedures etc.      Organizations are composed of various systems which are the basic building blocks of any organization. Governance is one of these systems which exists as organizational or structural arrangements at various levels of the organization, these systems exist & function as frameworks which may contain Rules, Policies, Procedures, Norms, Relationships, Systems, and Processes etc. this list doesn’t exhaust here & may contain many other components. According to PMBOK Guide® – Sixth Edition, a number of organizational structures may be implemented as per the requirements of an organization. These various types may include: Organic or Simple, Functional (centralized), Multi-divisional (may replicate functions for each division with little centralization), Matrix – strong, Matrix – weak, Matrix – balanced, Project-oriented, (composite, hybrid), Virtual, Hybrid, PMO *Courtesy of PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition Page # 47 To standardize Project Management practices organization-wide, an independent organizational structure is created with the name of Project Management Office (PMO) which enables standardized methodologies, tools, techniques, and facilitation of shared resources. Based on responsibilities PMO may be of following different types: Supportive Controlling   Directive The spread of the PMO office’s responsibilities depends on organization’s needs as well as the view of top management towards the necessity & involvement. As the PMO plays a vital role in Projects delivery organization-wide so the typical responsibilities played by a PMO are: PMO takes care of Management of shared resources across all Projects. All the Project Management related methodologies, Best Practices, and Standards are identified & further developed/enforced by PMO. PMO is responsible for Training, Coaching, and Mentoring & Oversight. Project audits play a vital role in managing/monitoring compliance of Project Management Standards, Policies, Procedures, and Templates; which is another role played by PMO. PMO also handles development & management of OPAs, normally referred as project procedures, policies, templates, and various other documentation shared among the Projects. Lastly, management of inter-project communications.  
Projects in Business Environments
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Projects in Business Environments

Projects in Business Environments

Muhammad Asim Rashid
Projects do not float in space; they actually operate in a business environment. Key factors influencing the Projects are Organizational Process Assets (OPA’s) and Enterprise Environmental Facto...
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Introduction to Project Management with Ref to PMBoK-06

The PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition is out & PMP exam is due to evolution once again, which has been announced by the PMI to be changed on 26th of March 2018. With this latest iteration of PMBoK guide, the whole profession of Project Management is being revamped. The need for an understanding of the latest iteration is mounting all over the globe, the Professionals holding PMP/PgMP/PfMP etc. credential, as well as people willing to earn one in near future are curious to know how this update will impact the profession as well as the upcoming exam & credentialing process? That’s the reason I am going to present this series of articles explaining the core ideas from each chapter of the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition. The focus of each episode will be on core components of the relevant chapter, additionally, will try to compare the contents with the contents of the previous edition along with further discussion of ITT’s etc.       Chapter 01:  Introduction to Project Management The project management is not a new profession; thousands of years ago the wall of China, pyramids of Egypt, and a lot other historical marvels saw the light of the day due to the successful project management. In the recent days, the profession has grown a lot & developed into a branch of science in itself, which led to the delivery of projects like Hoover dam, ISS, Landings on moon & Mars and thousands of other projects worldwide.  PMI is in an effort to provide a common framework which is industry neutral & acceptable globally. These efforts led to the release of PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition, which is the latest buzz of the town. In following lines, I will explain the changes & updates introduced in this edition & will try to explain how these updates will affect the profession. The focus of PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition is to identify Best practices, Processes, Inputs, Tools & Techniques. The focal point of this guide is Project Management specifically, so the areas of Program & Portfolio Management are discussed up to a certain point only.   The same legacy relationship among Projects, Programs & Portfolios is continued in the latest edition as well, being the Projects on the lowest level and the Portfolio at the topmost level on the other hand, the Programs in the middle of the hierarchy. The Project level is for handling individual projects & the Program tackles with the interdependencies among the Projects & between the Projects and Program level to attain the optimal performance. The Portfolio Manages Projects, Programs, Sub-Portfolios, and Operations as a group to attain strategic objectives. The PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition’s key components are-   Project life cycle Project phase Phase gate Project management processes Project Management Process Group Project Management Knowledge Area As per PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition guide, the Project may be divided into four segments roughly, as follows-  Starting the Project Organizing and Preparing Carrying Out the Work Ending the Project  The concepts of Project lifecycle, Project phase, Phase gate, Project Management Processes, Project Management Process Groups, Project Management Knowledge Areas, Project Management Data and Information are as usual as were always. Project Managers are supposed to apply Project Management methodologies to their routine work, A methodology is basically a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules adopted for implementation by concerned professionals in their discipline.  Project management methodologies may be: Developed by experts within the organization, Purchased from vendors, Obtained from professional associations, or Acquired from government agencies.   So, these methodologies are open for tailoring & customization as & when required.  The Projects may contain a lot of documentation for the purpose of planning, tracking, reporting, controlling etc. Each Project starts with a Business Case which addresses the feasibility & need of Project. Another important aspect of the Project Management is the Project Success Measures, the major constraints of Project i.e. Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, which  are traditionally the most important factors in defining the success of a project. When defining the Project success, three major questions are to be answered by Key stakeholders & Project Manager.  What does success look like for this project? How will success be measured? What factors may impact success? The answers to these questions must be documented & agreed upon by the key stakeholders & PM. Additional criteria components are also attached with Project success, which is further linked to the organizational strategy & to the delivery of business results. The Project situation, harmonizing the demands, & enabling proactive communications throughout the project are to be handled by the project teams. So the overall efforts on project may be translated into successful delivery of Project deliverables/results or outputs.  Another vital aspect is the constant business alignment for the Project which eventually leads to an enhanced probability of Project success as a result of project alignment with the strategic direction of the organization.   
Introduction to Project Management with Ref to PMBoK-06
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Introduction to Project Management with Ref to PMBoK-06

Introduction to Project Management with Ref to PMBoK-06

Muhammad Asim Rashid
The PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition is out & PMP exam is due to evolution once again, which has been announced by the PMI to be changed on 26th of March 2018. With this latest iteration ...
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Deadly Errors of a Scrum Product Owner

The boundary between Scrum culture and organizational culture has been porous. This has resulted in the infusion of Scrum values and principles within the corporate confines. However, the mass adoption of Scrum and Agile ideologies is dotted with numerous unseen faux pas. Withstanding assumptions, failures of countless projects that incorporated Scrum are attributed to these critical gaps in Scrum integration. The foremost factor behind project failures is the chain of deadly mistakes committed by the Scrum Product Owner.  It is best to dissect with facts. Data extracted from PMI’s 2016 Pulse of the Profession Report (Version 1) show some statistics from the survey conducted to understand Scrum failures. 38% of the respondents stated that the inconsistent approaches to Agile adoption have contributed to project failures in their organizations. Ill-defined Scrum Product Owner roles have been identified as the prime contributors to such project disasters.  The following section will discuss some of the Scrum Product Owner’s flaws that can be detrimental to project health-  Lack of clarity on role A new, often inexperienced, Scrum Product Owner mostly lacks clarity on the role to be played by him. This mostly arises from the absence of demarcation between the discrete responsibilities of the Scrum Master and the Product Owner. While the Scrum Master is in charge of conducting daily stand-ups and removing possible impediments, the Product Owner is responsible for understanding the product features from end-users’ perspective. An overlap of these two roles is unacceptable.  Improper product backlog prioritization The Scrum Product Owner is expected to create and maintain product backlogs for any project. These should be accomplished at the outset of the project, prior to Sprint planning. One major problem is observed at this stage of product planning. Ideally, the Product Owner is not supposed to allocate the amount of work for each sprint. But in many cases, the Scrum PO does not make a reciprocal commitment of “not imposing new requirements” during the sprint. This often leads to disharmony in the team and affects productivity.  Lack of product knowledge The Scrum PO is expected to know the product inside out. He/she is supposed to have both development and marketing perspectives germane to the product. In real-time projects, however, the Product Owners are often found to perceive the product from a developer’s angle rather than the consumers’ viewpoint. The end result is a product that is not customer-oriented.  Arbitrarily increasing the story points  There are instances where story points are increased arbitrarily. This increases the risks of non-delivery of the promised story points. A Scrum Product Owner should be farsighted enough to base the number of story points of the current sprint on the number of story points that were delivered in the preceding sprint.   Failure to do so will only prove his ineptitude to minimize risks.  Absence of daily stand-ups Daily stand-ups meeting is a proactive process of information sharing within the team members. You should remember that it is not a waste of time. It brings transparency to the work process and makes the team members more responsible.   Not having retrospectives  Many think retrospective meeting as a mere formality and avoid it. Skipping Retrospective meeting is a bad practice and can generate risks. You are missing not only the important feedbacks from the team but also a chance to start the next sprint in a right way. The retrospective meeting provides the positivity towards the next sprint, helps mitigate the risk and put the limelight on the need-improvements aspects, to avoid recurring mistakes in the next sprint. Not meeting sprint deadlines  The undesirable fact in Scrum is when you are failing to meet the sprint deadlines. This can occur in case you fail to accomplish all your commitments. This maybe due to some technical problems or any of the team members falling sick and absence of additional team members to cover that task effectively. It may create a stressful situation and the inability to meet the task timelines. This results in the extension of a sprint. To avoid this, Scrum mandates timeboxed sprints, meaning completion of each sprint must happen within the stipulated time bracket.     Industry-wide studies have shown that a vast number of Scrum projects have failed owing to the fallacious assumption that a project is completely immune to failure, if it has a Scrum Product Owner. Organizations have blindly dovetailed Product Owner’s role with projects, without much clarity on the pros and cons. This has naturally resulted in gross Product Owner’s errors and consequent debacles in the projects.   
Deadly Errors of a Scrum Product Owner
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Deadly Errors of a Scrum Product Owner

Deadly Errors of a Scrum Product Owner

KnowledgeHut Editor
The boundary between Scrum culture and organizational culture has been porous. This has resulted in the infusion of Scrum values and principles within the corporate confines. However, the mass adoptio...
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5 Reasons Why Project Management Matters

Business landscape is changing drastically guided mainly by mobile technologies. It has become more dynamic at the same time and should never be taken for granted. While startups keep looking for someone to bring their ideas of an ultimate application to life, other wonder what project management is.  Is it really important for the development process? Or it is nothing but a waste of time and money. What are the core benefits of efficient project management? Most businesses mistakenly consider it as an unnecessary fee. The thing is that project managers do not actually handle the development process. They deal with other essential issues that should never be underestimated.  In other words, if you see a tax for project management in your contract, do not rush to reject it. Otherwise, the entire project may turn into a total economic failure. That would be a frustration especially if a startup has a limited budget for building an app.  Professional project managers may appear to be the last straw when everything goes down. They ensure meeting the deadlines, they let you reduce the costs and set clear targets. Still have doubts whether you need a project manager for your future product? Let's have a closer look at 5 core advantages you will get.  Handling the Chaos If you look up the definition of the term "project", you will find out that it is actually a complex system of different processes. It involves different departments and specialists in various fields to work as one team. The major problem about such complex projects is the uncertain deadline in addition to significant budgets.  Once you try to undertake a process without having a decent background, you will find yourself in a tight corner very soon. Acknowledgeable project managers have necessary skills, experience and background to bring those processes to one place and give them the right direction. They will clear the mess and make the scope as visible as possible.  Reducing the Cost Every time you have an idea of building a brilliant app, it will require significant investments. A startup will never be able to bring a decent application to stand out with a budget less than $100,000. Sometimes the development costs go much higher. For many businesses, it is vital to stick to the budget. Project managers are the only people who can prevent from exceeding your financial limits.  Going over the budget is very easy without an effective project management. It lies beyond the organization line as well as deadlines and other essential issues. We have numerous examples of potentially strong ideas that have been put to their knees. The reason was the absence of efficient project management.  Managing Risks Every project will face some pitfalls and malwares during the development process. Risks are 100% natural, as people are unable to predict all obstacles. However, those risks can be properly managed in order to prevent them growing into major issues. Some startups prefer just sweeping those risks under the carpet hoping they will never arise.  It is a huge mistake that can result in a total failure of the project. Professional project managers have necessary skills to analyze the future scope and foresee possible obstacles on the way to success. Not only they try to predict risks, but also work out handy tools to handle them and respond to any allocated risk.  Setting Targets and Focusing Having a strong online is a vital step for the development process. If you have a clear plan, you will always be able to get to the finish line. The same thing is with project management. Its another benefit is the ability to work out a clear plan featuring every slight step of the app building process. The plain can be focused on executing strategic missions as well as some secondary goals depending on the complexity of the project.  Some goals might change in future depending on the level of materializing risks. In this case, the whole structure of the project may change. Startups will need someone to handle with new chaos again and bring all new process to one place. Refocusing on new objectives as well as setting clear new targets is vital. Project managers will handle the task.  Creating Competitive Advantages The world keeps going mobile, while the competition on the mobile market grows rapidly. With so many apps, you need to build a product that will stand out. Otherwise, you will never be able to grab the attention of your users. Building sustainable competitive advantages is a good method to succeed.  For this, startups will have to complete different projects including transitioning the app to target audience, building a low cost product, entering a new niche, etc. All tasks require flexible approach and acknowledgment of the mobile market. This is where project managers can help.   
5 Reasons Why Project Management Matters
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5 Reasons Why Project Management Matters

5 Reasons Why Project Management Matters

Brandon Grondwrint
Business landscape is changing drastically guided mainly by mobile technologies. It has become more dynamic at the same time and should never be taken for granted. While startups keep looking for some...
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ITIL Practitioner: Importance of “Adopt and Adapt” Principle and SWOT analysis

In my previous posts on ITIL Practitioner, we walked the journey of basics of ITIL practitioner, then emboldened by our little endeavor, we explored core competencies of ITIL, 9 guiding principles and tried to understand why “service strategy” is the core of ITIL framework. Briefly, we had touched upon the concept of Adopt and Adapt that is the core message of ITIL framework governing body. In this post, I will share my thoughts with you on how ITIL’s core concept of “Adopt and Adapt” is part of their curriculum and if possible, I will share some examples with you. What is Adopt and Adapt concept? Adopt says take whatever you like and think will be useful for your project or organization. Adapt says change it to suit your needs. Simple! Not so. Because this simple looking definition is full of pitfalls and very dangerous ones, at that. If you start adopting everything that you liked in other projects and companies then soon your own project and company will be overburdened with things that do not work well together and worst still, there will be humongous redundancy in techniques and tasks. Let us take a simple example of internet search engine. Suppose I am the owner of company XYZ and I am marketing a new internet search engine service known as XYZ-Search. While my engineers and managers are working hard to make sure that my internet search service performs well on the parameters that have been given to them; at the same time, I should also be spending time to find out the existing best practices being followed by my competitors and peers. But I exercise extreme restraint before actually taking those practices and asking my engineers to follow them blindly. For example, it will be foolish on my part to build a sprawling campus with 24*7 entertainment facilities for my engineering team working on XYZ-Search just because Google does it for its employees. No doubt, this kind of environment does have its own benefits, but it comes with its own cost. And being a start-up, my XYZ-Search cannot afford this. So in spite of success for this organizational facilities, I should not be adopting it as-is. Similarly, I notice Google search engine places online advertisements on specific locations on the page such as top, bottom, right navigation panel etc. So if I tell my engineers, UX, and marketing team to start putting such advertisements on my XYZ-Search page then I can easily drop my dreams of tasting success. Why? Because Google is earning those advertisements on the basis of top-class search results that lead to user satisfaction and if I try to replicate that financial model for my XYZ-Search engine service then it will be thrown to trash in a matter of a few days. Always remember, bad quality never goes unpunished!  But I do want to adopt my peers’ success model; so what should I do? In that case, you need to learn to adapt. The concept of adapting means that you tailor the existing product or service as per your needs and requirements that suit you best. We know, this is a required thing to be done else it leads to the problem of force fitting leading to a lot of other issues such as employee dissatisfaction, customer drain, regulatory non-compliances etc. To continue with our example of internet search engine service, if our very successful competitor, Google, decides to set up a 24*7 customer care number that provides personalized attention to each caller, then obviously, this initiative is going to win a lot of appreciation from the clients for Google. Who does not want a personalized support and care in business especially if things are not working as expected? But it would be foolish on our part to adopt this model in its entirety; in fact even suicidal for our startup that is already tight on cash inflow and is in primitive stages of internet search engine service development and release. So how do we adapt here?  Because adopting this wonderful idea is a no-brainer; it would be stupid to not implement this. But how to make it fit for us? That is where your SWOT analysis comes into picture. SWOT stands for strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. How will this help us fulfill our needs? Let’s see.  SWOT analysis to Adapt the Adopted SWOT analysis is helpful here because it will help us nail down the reasons why we want to adopt a best practice, what are our current challenges to be solved through this, what are the constraints that limit our ability to go beyond what is currently possible and what benefits we are going to reap if we are successful. Let me show you an example of this internet search engine service 24*7 customer care with personalized attention. What are our Strengths? Here we or anyone is supposed to list down the aspects that are your strong points for a given situation. You will need to involve more than 3 but less than 10 people in this exercise to get some tangible outcomes. Let’s give it a try. 1) We are a startup with limited and very minuscule customer base; since we are just starting up In normal circumstances, this would be considered as our weakness but in this case, this is our strength; see how This implies that the demand to set up 24*7 customer support is almost nil or maybe does not even exist. And that actually cuts down on our cost factor to set this up 2) Our another strength is, in this case, that no one expects us to give a wonderful customer support since we are a startup busy with getting our service correct first. So the pressure to set this up is not there. What are our weaknesses? Here, we list down our weaknesses in this area. 1) We do not have big purse or deep pockets; that means we cannot spend money on getting state of art technical automated customer support setup 2) Our developers are busy in developing next version, and they barely have time to work with customers for live site issues And we do not have the capacity to hire new developers What are the Opportunities? List down the scope of getting ahead in business and on your competitors, if you succeed in this case 1) Since the expectations are low, so if we are able to provide 24*7 customer support with personal attention then it takes our customer ratings higher at a very steep rate. This positive feedback loop in turn would lead us to get more business and hence, bigger market share Wow; didn’t think it that way! 2) Customer feedback loop would allow us to develop features that are more relevant to them and since our customer base is small, the impact of positive reaction would be higher Hence, more business through positive word of mouth What are our threats? Here we list down the threats that might hamper us on this journey or worst still, the losses that we may incur if we fail. 1) The much-needed finance would be diverted for something that was not asked for in the first place. 2) We are opening up another input channel for our engineering team through customer feedback and not to forget, our engineering team is already overloaded 3) Increased business might become a bane for us if we don’t keep up with the same quality of customer care going forward, and we might lose business due to that. Now, our SWOT analysis is done; and what is the result? That depends upon you and your risk appetite. Now, you should have a discussion with your team and managers and stakeholders and arrive at the best way to go forward depending upon the above SWOT analysis. And before you realize, you will have a perfectly adapted version of a best practice in your hands for your benefit! ☺ All the best! By the way, if I were you, I would have chosen to implement this model of personalized attention to all customers but only during specific hours of the day along with specific modifications to engage with other countries’ customers.    
ITIL Practitioner: Importance of “Adopt and Adapt” Principle and SWOT analysis
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ITIL Practitioner: Importance of “Adopt and Adapt” Principle and SWOT analysis

ITIL Practitioner: Importance of “Adopt and Adapt” Principle and SWOT analysis

Abhinav Gupta
In my previous posts on ITIL Practitioner, we walked the journey of basics of ITIL practitioner, then emboldened by our little endeavor, we explored core competencies of ITIL, 9 guiding principles and...
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