Sort by :

Underlying Competencies for Business Analysts

Business Analysts play a pivotal role in digital transformation projects carried out by organizations. BAs are thus expected to have knowledge about key concepts of business analysis and be skilled in using different tools and techniques for eliciting, analyzing and managing requirements. In order to facilitate the five core responsibilities of business analyst and communicating requirements and in evaluating solutions, the BA is expected to have a set of competencies.  BABOK® defines 6 key groups of competencies that a BA is expected to possess. Each competency group constitutes of multiple sub competencies which are as discussed below. 1) Analytical Thinking & Problem Solving The BA must be able to understand and decipher requirements elicited and be able to devise solutions to overcome problems faced by customers. These are fundamental thinking skills where the individual works on breaking down the large problem into smaller, more manageable parts. The BA must logically reason and make judgments based on evidence and assumptions. This competency group consists of the following competencies. Creative Thinking A BA is expected to look at needs of stakeholders thinking from different perspectives and suggest unorthodox solutions. Creative thinking may be facilitated through brainstorming, mind mapping and lateral thinking. It is important for the BA to be a creative thinker as he is expected to be a change agent who facilitates innovation in an organizational context. Decision Making Decision-making ability in the context of business analysis refers to the analyst’s ability to make selection of a course of action or to be able to facilitate such a thinking process. It is a cognitive process where the BA must guide key stakeholders in making decisions by providing adequate and accurate amount of information in a format suitable for making necessary comparison of options. The BA may need to make decisions on which tools or techniques to use, which stakeholders to consult, which solution options to take and so on. Learning The BA is not expected to be ‘A master of all trades’. The BA must instead be able to listen, observe, learn and understand whatever is required to facilitate the process of providing solutions for problems and opportunities. Problem Solving Often BAs are expected to face many a problem during the lifetime of a project. A BAs role is to understand customer problems and be able to recommend suitable solutions. Problems solving requires mental skills that must be analytical as well as creative.  Systems Thinking Systems do not refer only to software systems. In system thinking, the BA is expected to consider every element in the context within scope as an interacting system when determining solution options. Hence, the software system being developed or the process being studies, stakeholders interested or impacted, interfacing systems, elements in the environment all form the context. The BA is expected to look at this bigger picture when performing his or her tasks. 2) Behavioral Characteristics Ethics A BA becomes a powerful individual within a project context, as he or she gains access to processes and information that may even be highly sensitive to a particular organization or stakeholders. The BA is thus expected to hold highest regard to the security and safety of accessing or using such information thus working with the highest level of integrity. Personal Organization BAs are often deployed to work in high-pressure environments. They are expected to liaise with multiple stakeholders, facilitating high value workshops to elicit requirements and then produce documents listing down the findings. In order to produce the requisite deliverables on time and to the expected level of quality it is imperative that a BA is self-organized and meticulous in his or her way of work. Trustworthiness Organizations and stakeholders provide access to information, systems and other high value assets sometimes even placing their entire business at risk. The BA is thus expected to uphold the trust placed on him by the stakeholders and ensure that due diligence is given in defining and devising solutions to satisfy customer needs. 3) Business Knowledge  Business Principles & Practices Business principles and practices are characteristics that are common across all organizations with a similar purpose and structure. Functions and capabilities such as HR, Finance, IT, Marketing & Sales that are needed by any organization are examples of such practices. Although not mandatory, it is good for a BA to be familiar with such practices so that they can consult and advise customers with relevant requirements. Industry Knowledge Many a competitive force shapes industries. BAs are required to understand these forces such as competitors, suppliers, buyers, substitutes etc. so that they can identify commonalities and differences that may influence business requirements. Organizational Knowledge Organizational knowledge refers to an understanding of the business architecture of the organization being analyzed. This includes understanding the business model adapted by the organization, the structure and relationships in place, people, data, technology and other aspects of the organization in place. Enterprise analysis frameworks such as ZACHMAN and POLDAT help in this case. Solution Knowledge Business analysts must attempt to relate and apply learning from other projects or programs to solve current business problems at hand without re-inventing the wheel. Hence, an understanding and familiarity of existing solutions (custom made or commercially available) gives BAs an added advantage. 4) Communication Skills Oral Communication It is important for a BA to be able to verbally express ideas, information or other matters. In addition to be able to express thoughts in a clear manner, the BA must also be able to actively listen to ensure that ideas generated by stakeholders are clearly understood. Teaching Business analysts are expected to communicate requirements to team members and provide guidance on scope. Thus they must train to be good teachers who are capable of understanding different learning capabilities of individuals and be able to adapt and customize learning material and experience accordingly. The BA must be able to cater to auditory or visual learners with appropriate use of training material. Written Communication Proper command over language in terms of vocabulary, grammar and style and use of other terms is essential to ensure that written text is correctly and adequately understood. 5) Interaction Skills Facilitation & Negotiation A key element of a BA job role is to be able to moderate group discussions and be able to enable participants to effectively articulate their thoughts and ideas. The BA must be able to define a proper process based on the audience and be able to guide the participants along the process so that the session leads to attainment of expected outcomes. Leadership & Influencing The BA’s role in defining and communicating requirements places a key leadership role in any project or group. Hence, the BA is expected to work together with the team in guiding them in terms of project scope, motivating them to reach shared goals and objectives for the team as well as the client stakeholders. The BA would be in the best position to be able to discuss sensitive and pertinent matters with the sponsor, client stakeholders, users as well as the implementation team and be able to guide them in the decision making process. Teamwork Business analysts are most often than not part of a team. It may be a project team, a team of SMEs or sometimes even as part of a client stakeholder team. The BA is expected to be having good skills in developing personal relationships, avoid conflicts and be able to work towards a common end goal. 6) Software Applications General Purpose Applications A business analyst is expected to have knowledge in applications that help carry out day-to-day project tasks. This includes MS Office suite, requirements management tools such as JIRA, communication tools such as Skype, Email client etc. Specialized Applications The BA must also be capable in using specialized tools such as document management systems, content management systems, sales force automation systems etc. which are built specifically for different purposes. This may depend on project requirements. So, if you want to become a successful BA it is necessary that you attempt to be competent in some or all of the above areas. Here're the top 5 reasons to start your career as business analyst  
Underlying Competencies for Business Analysts
Underlying Competencies for Business Analysts 185 Underlying Competencies for Business Analysts Business Management
Rumesh Wijetunge Sep 07, 2017
Business Analysts play a pivotal role in digital transformation projects carried out by organizations. BAs are thus expected to have knowledge about key concepts of business analysis and be skilled in...
Continue reading

How SAFe is Beneficial For Enterprises Building Multiple Solutions?

SAFe is also known by the name of Scaled Agile Framework, and it assists businesses to address significant challenges of delivering and developing enterprise class software and systems in the shortest lead time. Many call it an online and freely revealed knowledge base of success patterns. By undertaking a course in SAFe, one can quickly implement lean, agile software and systems at the enterprise level. It is beneficial for organizations that are into developing multiple solutions at the same time. Quite interestingly, SAFe synchronizes collaboration, alignment, and delivery of a vast number of agile teams. As SAFe framework is highly configurable and scalable, it allows each organization to adapt to its business requirements. On the other hand, it usually supports smaller-scale solutions that employ small practitioners, and it is also quite adept in giving rise to a complex system that requires thousands of people.  As an extensive body of knowledge, SAFe is quite adept at describing the roles artifacts, responsibilities, and activities that are termed necessary to implement Lean-Agile Development. By undertaking a course in SAFe, it can be guaranteed that the enterprise where that particular individual works would benefit immensely. SAFe features emphasizes on the principles of the Lean-Agile framework, and thus the person can contribute to the growth of an organization by undertaking this course by proving as an asset for the company.  How SAFe is beneficial in improving system development results? It has evolved as a proven approach to the development of complex systems and software in Lean-Agile manner. It stresses on three primary bodies of knowledge. These are- systems thinking, Agile development and Lean Product Development. SAFe is beneficial for enterprises as it helps them to answer the below-mentioned questions. How can we align the motive of enterprise toward common technical and business goals? How can we implement better decisions in improving our economic outcomes? How can we deliver new value in case of a predictable schedule so that the rest of the business can be executed and planned effectively? It also lays focus on improving the quality of an enterprise's solutions thereby having a positive impact on the target audience of that company. How can we create an environment that puts stress on fostering innovation, collaboration and continuous improvement? SAFe also makes sure that the intrinsic motivation of the individuals can be unlocked so that they can improve their work productivity. SAFe also makes sure that an organization can help their teams without getting in their way. How can we know that the new ways of functioning are more efficient? What are the full requirements of a unit that performs under pressurized environments? Hence, by adopting SAFe and applying its well-described set of values, practices, and principles, an enterprise can address these questions to realize greater individual and professional benefits.  What are the learning goals of a SAFe certification course? With the constant evolution of business environments, it has come to the fore that many trending courses are in vogue. One such course is training in SAFe. By pursuing a course in SAFe, an individual can effectively become an asset for a company that specializes in building multiple solutions. Here is the list of learning goals that a SAFe certification course emphasizes. By learning the fundamentals of SAFe, one can lead an enterprise Lean-Agile change One can be empowered with a lean portfolio One can perform high-value stream identification One can play the role of a trainer in a corporate environment by providing training to managers and executives By learning SAFe, an individual can implement and execute an implementation roll out strategy One can also align the organization to a common way of working and shared language Who will benefit by undertaking a course in SAFe? It is that type of course that is intended for those who would be directly involved in SAFe adoption. It also includes practitioners, consultants and change agents who are responsible for implementing portfolios and Agile programs to make sure that the enterprise is compliant with the Lean-Agile change initiative. Here is a list of those who would be benefited from SAFe. Technology and business executives that also include leaders, directors, and managers Project and Program Managers Product Line and Product Managers System, Enterprise, and Solution Architects It is also beneficial for those who perform the role of internal change agents It is suitable for those who are in development, Quality Analysis, and IT Management The prerequisites of undertaking a course in SAFe It is interesting to note that all stakeholders in a Lean-Agile transformation can attend the class regardless of their experience. On the other hand, some prerequisites are highly favored for those who intend to undertake a course in SAFE. Here are the eligibility criteria for the candidates.     A candidate must possess more than three years of experience in Agile     They should have in their possession one or more Agile certifications   One should also possess more than five years of experience in software testing, development, product management and business analysis The context of pursuing a course to great solutions SAFe It is intended for those types of enterprises that are building complex and large solutions that require the contribution of multiple Agile suppliers and trains. It is common for industries like Aerospace, Defense, and Government where they deal with extensive programs. By undertaking a course to a great solution SAFe, you would find yourself in a reputed sector like that of a Government and Aerospace industry. With the help of portfolio SAFe, it can be ensured that the organization would have minimal dependencies on one another. Moreover, the portfolio level of SAFe provides investment funding and strategy for resources and people. Hence, by undertaking a course in SAFe, an individual can prove to be an asset for the company. It is entirely reasonable that building these solutions need additional roles, events, and artifacts. Thus, an individual adept in SAFe can make sure that the enterprise can create significant independent systems. Moreover, the Portfolio level SAFe configuration is for firms that design multiple solutions.  
How SAFe is Beneficial For Enterprises Building Multiple Solutions?

How SAFe is Beneficial For Enterprises Building Multiple Solutions?

Joyeeta Bose
SAFe is also known by the name of Scaled Agile Framework, and it assists businesses to address significant challenges of delivering and developing enterprise class software and systems in the shortest...
Continue reading

The Present Day Scope of Undertaking a Course In Hadoop

Hadoop is known as an open-source software framework that is being extensively used for running applications and storing data. Moreover, Hadoop makes it possible to run applications on systems that have thousands of commodity hardware nodes. It also facilitates the handling of thousands of terabytes of data. It is interesting to note that Hadoop consists of modules and concepts like Map-Reduce, HDFS, HIVE, ZOOKEEPER, and SQOOP. It is used in the field of big data as it makes way for fast and easy processing. It differs from relational databases, and it can process data that are of high volume and high velocity. Who should undertake a course in Hadoop? Now a days main question is Who can do hadoop course. A course in Hadoop suits those who are into ETL/Programming and looking for great job opportunities. It is also best suited for those managers who are on the lookout for the latest technologies that can be implemented in their organization. Hence, by undertaking a course in Hadoop, the managers can meet the upcoming and current challenges of data management. On the other hand, training in Hadoop can also be undertaken by any graduate and post-graduate student who is aspiring to a great career in big data analytics. As we all know, business analytics in the new buzz in the corporate world. Business analytics comprises of big data and other fundamentals of analytics. Moreover, as this field is relatively new, a graduate student can have endless opportunities if he or she decides to pursue a training course in Hadoop. Why is Hadoop important for professionals and students? In recent years, the context of pursuing a course in any professional subjects is of due importance. This is the reason that many present day experts are on the lookout for newer methods to enrich their skills and abilities. On the other hand, the business environment is rapidly changing. The introduction of Big Data and business analytics has opened up avenues of new courses that can help a professional in their growth. This is where Hadoop plays a significant role. By undertaking a course in Hadoop, a professional would be guaranteed of huge success. Following are the advantages that a professional would gain while taking a class in Hadoop-  • If a professional takes a course in Hadoop, then he or she will acquire the ability to store and process a massive amount of data quickly. This can be attributed to the fact that the load of data is increasing day by day with the introduction of social media and Internet of Things. Nowadays, businesses take ongoing feedback from these sites. Hence, a lot of data is generated in this process. If a professional undertakes a course in Hadoop, then he or she would learn how to manage this huge amount of data. In this way, he or she can become an asset for the company. • Hadoop increases the computing power of a person. When an individual undertakes training in Hadoop, he or she would learn that Hadoop's computing model; is quite adept at quickly processing big data. Hence, the more computing nodes an individual uses, the more processing power they would have. • Hadoop is important in the context of increasing the flexibility of a company’s data framework. Hence, if an individual pursues a course in Hadoop, they can significantly contribute to the growth of a company. When compared to traditional databases, by using Hadoop you do not have to preprocess data before storing. Hadoop facilitates you to store as much data as you want.  • Hadoop also increases the scalability of a company. If a company has a team of workers who are adept at handling Hadoop, then the company can look forward to adding more data by just adding the nodes. In this case, little supervision is needed. Hence, the company can get rid of the option of an administrator. Additionally, it can be said that Hadoop facilitates the increasing use of business analytics thereby helping the company to have the edge over its rival in this slit throat competitive world. How much is Java needed to learn Hadoop? This is one of the most asked questions that would ever come to the mind of a professional from various backgrounds like PHP, Java, mainframes and data warehousing and want to get into a career in Big Data and Hadoop. As per many trainers, learning Hadoop is not an easy task, but it becomes hassle free if the students are aware of the hurdles to overpower it. As Hadoop is open source software which is built on Java, thus it is quite vital for every trainee in Hadoop to be well versed with the basics of Java. As Hadoop is written in Java, it becomes necessary for an individual to learn at least the basics of Java to analyze big data efficiently.  How to learn Java to pursue a course in Hadoop? If you are thinking of enrolling in Hadoop training, you have to learn Java as this software is based on Java. Quite interestingly, the professionals who are considering learning Hadoop can know the basics of Java from various e-books. They can also check Java tutorials online. However, it is essential to note that the learning approach of taking help from tutorials would best suit a person who is skilled at various levels of computer programming. On the other hand, Java tutorials would assist one to comprehend and retain information with code snippets. One can also enroll for several reputed online e-learning classes can provide great opportunities to learn Java to learn Hadoop. The prerequisites for pursuing a course in Hadoop One of the essential prerequisites for pursuing a course in Hadoop is that one should possess hands-on experience in good analytical and core Java skills. It is needed so that a candidate can grasp and apply the intriguing concepts in Hadoop. On the other hand, an individual must also possess a good analytical skill so that big data can be analyzed efficiently.  Learn more information about how to get master bigdata with hadoop certification  Hence, by undertaking a course in Hadoop, a professional can scale to new heights in the field of data analytics.  
The Present Day Scope of Undertaking a Course In Hadoop

The Present Day Scope of Undertaking a Course In Hadoop

Joyeeta Bose
Hadoop is known as an open-source software framework that is being extensively used for running applications and storing data. Moreover, Hadoop makes it possible to run applications on systems that ha...
Continue reading

Self-Organization: The Linchpin of a Successful Agile Team

The biggest paradox of a Scrum Master’s role is to become obsolete. We all should aim at ensuring that we coach and build teams that do not need us in future and can run by themselves. Though this might raise concerns in minds of many, for me this was a challenge I took upon myself when we created a new product team in my company.   When you are set to reach a milestone, you need to start right. As they say the first step in the wrong direction sets you off-course for the entire journey. We were a few engineers with varied skills, levels of experience, and were from diverse cultural backgrounds, but we had one thing in common, the zeal and passion to succeed, and succeed together.   Bruce Tuckman's Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing model describes to a great extent how a team evolves into a high performing team. But these are the times of getting things done at a pace never done before and with the quality never imagined before, hence we not only ensured that we gave every individual enough time and flexibility to understand the way of working of every other person in the team, but also ensured that the team started delivering as early as they could and probably skip a few steps in Tuckman’s model of team formation.                                                                        Fig: Bruce Tuckman's Model   As a leader one needs to ensure that the team is built up on a foundation of common goals and objectives. It is never X’s task or Y’s story, it is always the team’s work and the team’s success and also the team’s failures. We shall never provoke any internal competition in a team; in the short run we might gain results faster, but in the long run it creates barriers for growth within the team members.   Following are a few practices that I imbibed and which helped my team not only to become a self-organized team but a high-performing self-organized team.   1- Safety is the default. Have you ever noticed the smile on a kid’s face when we toss them in the air, they feel no fear of falling or getting hurt? Wonder why? Well, because the kid is more than sure that he will be grabbed safe when he comes down. That feeling of comfort and safeguard is what we have to instill in each and every one within the team. Risk taking shall be a default, and individuals should never be questioned on failures. Nobody would try going that extra mile, if they fear being questioned in case they fail.   2- Learning shall never stop With the way technology is changing today, it is extremely important to keep the team abreast with the latest technical knowledge. If we invest in our teams, we reap the benefits multifold in a long run. And it is not just about sending folks for technical trainings but keeping them equipped with appropriate tools and resources to help them train themselves when the need be. In my team, we ensure that every individual has a Pluralsight license, which gives them the flexibility to take up self-paced trainings.   There was once a time where my team was very new to Polymer, and we were expecting a lot of work coming our way in that. The team members themselves decided to spend a weekend and go through a couple of courses on Pluralsight and do a POC. After just a few days into Polymer, they were not only working on it, but soon enough guiding other teams as well.   3- Value individuals One thing that we should understand is that each and every individual in the team is equally important and valuable for the team’s success. A team is not a team without its people, if we do not value our team members’ personal life and well-being, they will never value the company or the products they work on.   In my team, we give due respect to individuals’ personal life. I don’t remember a time when anyone in my team was on leave and we called them for work, unless it was an emergency and couldn’t wait until the individual was back to work. One thing to understand is that an individual has voluntarily taken personal time off, that itself is an indication that he or she wants to be away from work, we don’t do any good by bombarding them with queries or favors to get work done while they are officially on leave. Also, denying leave is a thing of the past, these days I see emails floating in my company urging people to take break from work and spending time rejuvenating.   But this comes with a responsibility from the individual's’ side as well. In my team, we send details of any planned vacations as soon as we plan them, even if it is a month or two in advance. This not only makes everyone aware of your probable absence but mentally prepares everyone for it and any foreseen dependencies can be mitigated well in advance.   4- Empower teams and people With great power comes great responsibilities, and this aspect not only requires an open leadership but also a set of matured team members. When we empower people to take up responsibilities, not only things move faster towards completion, but we instill a sense of ownership within everyone. It motivates teams to take the right decisions for the success of the product. They manage their work as a group, they may still require mentoring and coaching but do not require command and control.   In my team, we ensure everyone owns some or the other part of the application from the code perspective or own a part of the process such as cybersecurity, defect tracking etc. This way we not only involve everyone while we take the product to completion, but we also ensure that every individual considers themselves an intrinsic part of the team and not just a resource working on code.   5- Appreciate and recognize teamwork and attitude Continuous appreciation for work well done, acts as the catalyst for multi-fold growth of a team and its members. Appreciation motivates people not just to do what they have been doing and but to do that more. Quoting a very unique observation by one of my leaders about my team,   “Keep up the great work that you all have been doing. It is great to see that you all work for each other’s success and go beyond boundaries to help each other achieve their goals, while focusing on your own priorities.”   These few lines of encouragement for the team, not only made the team bond better but they induced comradery and the “we are one” attitude; ultimately making the team more cohesive and efficient. So, appreciating the right attitude and teamwork is far more important and shall always precede over individual recognition. In most of the cases it is never a single hand, but always a team effort behind a successful outcome and a happy customer.   6- Deliver value and not just user stories. One of my fellow agilist Kalpesh Shah talks about not being Backlog Lumberjacks, and instead deliver value and think about outcomes for our users. The team should be delivering value and not just running the race for story points. As leaders, we shall never consider story points as a means to judge a team’s success or failure, they should only help the stakeholders keep a track of the timelines. If a lot of importance is given to completing more story points, it might lead to development of a software which has a lot of stories implemented but none of the features ultimately add value to the user and help them do their job well. Value shall take precedence over story points.   7- Processes are to help. Many times, we fail to understand that processes are there to help us do our jobs better and faster. In my team, if anyone feels that a process is stopping us from doing things better or faster, we simply get rid of it. If we do not see any repercussions of that, we continue or else, we change, try something new and repeat. The whole concept of Agile is to change for the better, and that is what we continue doing in my team. This not only delights the team but also makes them believe in the system.   8- Aim at product development and not just software development. When we build software, we think about features, but when we create products we think about usable features. That is the mindset we shall bring about in every individual within the team. I was once a part of a review meeting with a scrum team, and the discussion was going on about a feature being no value add for the user. I was shocked and surprised to witness one of the engineer state that he needs to get his tasks completed for the scrum update tomorrow and isn’t bothered about what will be used or not. Even if we add a feature which makes the software smart, but it is never used by the users, it adds no value. Grooming individuals to question the status quo and work with a product mindset is a must for the ever-changing competitive market. All in all, it is not about etching rules on stone, but setting the ideas and thoughts in practice and that's what makes it an amazing challenge for each one of us out there looking for making their teams self-organized.   
Self-Organization: The Linchpin of a Successful Agile Team

Self-Organization: The Linchpin of a Successful Agile Team

Ankit Goyal
The biggest paradox of a Scrum Master’s role is to become obsolete. We all should aim at ensuring that we coach and build teams that do not need us in future and can run by themselves. Though th...
Continue reading

Fostering Employee Engagement and Involvement through Process Improvement

Managing an enterprise or a small business unit with a process oriented approach is always a hit. From decades, companies of all forms – small, medium and large have benefitted when systems are in place. Case studies of successful corporate stories have formed the essence in developing key content areas of study at leading Business schools, the world over. These practices have in turn been renamed as Process improvement or standard operating procedures or practices. Well known companies like GE and Motorola have come up with a more scientific reasoning which is famously referred as Six Sigma.                                                      Fig: Process of Employee Engagement & Involvement   How should you start the Process? Fundamentally, when starting a process management strategy, you should think about 3 important factors like Bottlenecks that slow down the operations, Risky activities which can be avoided, areas where customers or clients are in contact and finally activities which can add value to the organization.  A new innovation in this area is lean – which is basically to avoid unnecessary flow of activities. To avoid the unwanted is the mantra these days.  When solving process improvement issues, always think about the gravity of the problems and what is the priority level to be given. This is based on urgency of the issue. Finally, see the current scenario and status of the problem – whether it is worsening or will worsen in the medium or long run. This is essentially to get a hold of your problem.  Bottlenecks and Implementation Issues Incidentally, even after so much research, available material and much debate, there is still a gap between implementation and expectation when it comes to quick fixing of process issues. Somewhere, down the line, small and medium enterprises are missing the boat of hitting the target and trying to adjust with the present situation. They are whiling away time and postpone the process of planning and designing these kind of methods. If you look at the tools, most of the operations, management teams are not able to identify which are the right technologies to use at specific needs. This brings to limelight how this major function is misunderstood and in some instances - ignored. The problem lies partly with the top management.  Key Tools to start with! Simple tools like Excel can make a huge difference. You can build charts, graphs, develop metrics and arrive at some sort of a figure when analyzing results in Process improvement methodology. Further, there are techniques like brainstorming which might be used and quite familiar to many but don’t apply as a technique. This is a powerful tool to unite a team, share ideas to improve models or company processes. At the end of a serious discussion, 4 to 5 ideas might be ready.   Emerging industries should embrace change It is time for dynamic industries like Startups to at-least start believing in this area as an important tool to tighten your strings. Creating the right framework, or a structure right at the start gives a huge impetus of going in the right direction in the long run. I have observed that, many employees do not take ownership of the process or their piece of work. This is the root cause of many issues. This proves a point that, when employees do a self-appraisal of their own work – then they discover their own mistakes. However, people need to be open and flexible for any changes. Otherwise, even though many tools and processes might come but it might go utter waste. BPO companies have to some extent have focused on process and quality. Thanks to GE for marketing this very well and believing this method. In india, GE Capital started with Six sigma approach by first training their employees in-house and sponsoring them for external training programs. Slowly, results started flowing, millions of dollars got saved and soon other companies followed. It is a classic example of leveraging the need and creating the environment in the right way.   If you look at industry wise requirement, no sector or area can be undermined and left-out where you can ignore this method. Simply put, when there is no tool is deployed, you can see the process leakage, in-efficiency and slowness in success rate of any organization. These days, margins and profitability is keenly observed by top management. Hence, it is high time to look at best business practices like ISO 9000 or Six sigma or Kaizen to be evaluated as early as possible.  Evaluation of alternatives It is better to see if a particular set of tools are most closer to your industry. In this case, you might need to consult a third party for evaluation. Since, management consultants are trained to understand your pain problems, it is highly recommended to outsource this part of the work to experts. There have been many cases of shortage of skilled resources for developing the right programs. Hence, it is also mentioned in various research works that, employing certified consultants who are able to provide metrics will be most useful in this aspect. Concluding remarks Let us start a journey of starting a process oriented mindset first. When you think in this way, you are actually taking the first step towards your personal and professional career, indirectly helping the organization in your thirst to drive excellence.   
Fostering Employee Engagement and Involvement through Process Improvement

Fostering Employee Engagement and Involvement through Process Improvement

Praveenya Ananthula
Managing an enterprise or a small business unit with a process oriented approach is always a hit. From decades, companies of all forms – small, medium and large have benefitted when systems are ...
Continue reading

Why You Should Give Yourself Permission To Suck

"Before you get [ good at anything ] you have to give yourself permission to suck first..... Learning is a lifelong process...." - David Kadavy  I classify myself as a lifelong learner and I believe that I learn more from situations where I have permission to get suck first. Therefore, I feel that it is vital that whilst working in an Agile team, there is an environment where mistakes can be made as long as you chalk those mistakes up to experience and inspect and adapt your thinking to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This is something I try bring into my work life each day. I believe that as we spend a lot of our lives in the workplace, we should make every effort to make it an enjoyable experience. If there is an environment where it is acceptable to experiment, try new things and fail without fear of reprisal then teams have the opportunity to master their craft, continually learning and adapting. Amy Edmondson from Harvard Business School studied this subject and the term ‘psychological safety’ has been coined to describe it. See here for a TED talk by Amy on building a psychologically safe workplace:    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LhoLuui9gX8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> I am currently working with a brand new Scrum team who have never used this way of working before. Whilst trying to help them understand the Agile principles and Scrum framework, I have tried to create the space and freedom for them to try new things and see if they work or not. So far they have had great success in adapting their working methods to ensure that they deliver quality products faster. Working this way has given the Development team the ownership of the overall product they craved, allowing them to feel proud of their achievement as a team. Introducing Scrum to this team and their business area, they are working with as significantly reduced time it takes to complete a project. To put this into perspective, the first project they did for them took 8 months to complete with a further 6 weeks of post-implementation support. Using Scrum on their current project, they have delivered the entire project within 10 weeks with 2 weeks of post-implementation support. This is a massive step forward for them and a huge learning curve. Following each 2 week timebox they completed a review and retrospective, which gave them early sight of feedback, meaning they were able to recognise where things weren’t working early on and take steps to change it. This is a great example of everyday learning. Even when things sucked, they took a step back to understand the reasons and put steps in place to ensure that it didn’t happen again. There is still a long way to go to help them get to a place where this all happens naturally but they are certainly on the right track.  One of the things that the team put into place was an Agile team space. This consisted of a pod of desks for the team to sit around together and a space close by that they could use for meetings. This space is open enough to be visible in the office but they also purchased a large whiteboard on wheels that was used to enclose and create a safe space for open discussion. Using a whiteboard rather than software to log tasks has helped them to visualise the work in progress and plan more effectively. This also means that the work is visible to anyone who wants to view it.We now have a real chance to take into account some of these small changes that make a big difference and make it a great place to work. This has given me sufficient insight into what it takes to make a great team and I have taken on many learnings myself where I missed opportunities to guide the team as well as I would have liked to.  Transitioning to Agile ways of working within the department has been a hard task. One that I certainly took for granted given that I have used Scrum for over 5 years now. I made assumptions that everyone would enjoy working this way and that they would adapt quickly and so, at points it has certainly not worked as sucked.  I have been able to take a step backward and review where we are in our Agile journey and will use these learning experiences to adapt the way I interact with the new Scrum team that I am going to be working with over the coming months.  Our Agile journey will be a continuous one into the unknown which is somewhat scary but also an exciting prospect. However, it is a challenge that I am looking forward to be a part of.
Why You Should Give Yourself Permission To Suck

Why You Should Give Yourself Permission To Suck

Bianca Reeves
"Before you get [ good at anything ] you have to give yourself permission to suck first..... Learning is a lifelong process...." - David Kadavy  I classify myself as a lifelong learn...
Continue reading

How Cost-Effective is the PMP Certification?

Project Management Professional(PMP) certification is the most endorsed certification issued by Project Management Institute(PMI) for the project managers. For any professional seeking measurable upturns in his/her career in project management, PMP certification is an essential career boost. Lately, organizations worldwide are more interested in hiring PMP certified project managers.    With a PMP certification from an accredited organization, individuals can work on any project irrespective of the geographical location. This establishes PMP as a globally recognized certification. Another benefit of PMP is that it permits common methodologies which allow project managers to work collaboratively. This certification indicates that a person knows the language of project managers and can effectively apply project management methodologies to a project. Requirements for PMP certification: Obtaining a PMP certification is not as easy as it sounds. Project Management Institute (PMI) has defined some prerequisites to get this certification. The important PMP certification eligibility criterias are as follows: ●    An individual should possess secondary degree (High School Diploma, Associate Degree, or Global equivalent). ●    Project Management experience of nearly 7,500 hours in leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of Project Management Education. ●    An individual should possess 4 years degree (Bachelor Degree or the Global equivalent) ●    A minimum 3 years of Project Management experience with 4,500 hours in leading and directing projects, and at least 35 hours of Project Management Education. PMP training cost: PMP course cost is of two types-  1. Examination cost:  The PMP examination fee is a globally fixed price for anyone who has to attend the exam. Following is the structure of the standard PMP Examination price. 2. Preparation and training cost:    This type of cost depends on the training institute that you chose. As per PMI standards, the candidates need to undergo 35 hours of training before appearing for the exam. Preparation cost depends on what reference materials you want to use. Along with the PMI issued Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide, you can buy other study material to clarify your doubts on the concepts.  In India the PMP course fee is between INR 12k to 20k including examination and preparation fee if you are opting for self-study. The certified training institutes that assure of offering quality PMP Certification, charge around 15,000 to 18,000 INR. It is recommended that you go for the popular packages offered by those institutes. It will help you save your money. Let us have a look at the PMP training price in different countries. ●    America, Canada, Australia: ~1500 USD ●    South America (Brazil, Chile etc.): ~600 USD ●    China, India: ~500 USD ●    European Countries: ~1200 USD ●    Arabian Countries: ~2000 USD So the global average cost of PMP training as per today’s market turns out to be around 1160 USD. The PMP training fee may vary from a few hundreds to thousands of dollars. It totally depends on the type of the training program you select. Generally, the training institutes offer courses in three modes- 1. Online course: For the online programs, you have to pay  180 USD approximately. 2. Virtual Classes: For the online programs, you have to pay  500-1,000 USD approximately. 3. Classroom training: For the online programs, you have to pay more than 1,000 USD.  The Cost of Books: For cracking the PMP exam, ideally, it is suggested to refer at least three books. Two PMP reference books should be of any good author and the third book should be the PMBOK guide. The cost of two reference books ranges from 80 USD to 120 USD and the PMBOK guide for PMI members is free. For non-PMI members, the guide costs 37.39 USD. For all PMI members, it gives access to freely download the PMBOK guide. After clearing the PMP exam, an applicant has to follow some rules to maintain the PMP credential set by the PMI. The PMP certificate can be renewed after every 3 years. In these 3 years, the applicant has to earn 60 PDUs (Professional Development Unit) to retain the certificate (1 PDU == 1 hour of pmp training). Getting the PMP certification is not cheap and easy.  But once earned, it can help attain some of the critical goals in one’s career. 
How Cost-Effective is the PMP Certification?

How Cost-Effective is the PMP Certification?

KnowledgeHut Editor
Project Management Professional(PMP) certification is the most endorsed certification issued by Project Management Institute(PMI) for the project managers. For any professional seeking measurable uptu...
Continue reading

INFOGRAPHIC: SCRUM Process In A Nutshell

We provide Certified Scrum Master training, to check out the schedule click here
INFOGRAPHIC: SCRUM Process In A Nutshell

INFOGRAPHIC: SCRUM Process In A Nutshell

KnowledgeHut Editor
We provide Certified Scrum Master training, to check out the schedule click here ...
Continue reading

Scrum master- The Legend of Daily Scrum

Scrum is a crucial part of software development. It is designed for the teams having at least 10 individuals. The development cycle consists of two-weeks of Sprint cycle. Also, it can be called Daily Scrum. This approach can be used to scale Scrum to the larger organizations involving Large-Scale Scrums and “Scrum of Scrums”. Scrum is an incremental, step-wise agile software development. The Scrum framework provides a flexible way to the team members to work collaboratively to reach a common goal. In Daily Scrum, meetings are arranged at the same place and time each day. Ideally, this meeting is held in the morning, as it is suitable to decide the work for the day. These Daily Scrums last up to 15 minutes. Though, this discussion is brisk, it unfolds more relevant information about work.  We all know that Scrum teams are incomplete and loosely defined without the Scrum Masters. The role of the Scrum Master is fairly diversified. A good Scrum Master facilitates relays all critical aspects to the teams and has the ability to apply them depending on the situation. So you can consider Scrum Master as a facilitator between the team members. The different roles of the Scrum Master can be well identified from the following diagram.    Scrum Master as a Facilitator:  You can call Scrum Master as a facilitator. Let us see what exactly the Facilitator means! The Facilitator can be defined as- “someone who helps the individuals to understand the work, choosing implementation strategy to achieve the goals”. It can be well understood by the key elements: ●    Assisting team members in achieving their objectives, ●    Like ‘neutral’, not at particular side, ●    Supports everyone to achieve the best’ ●    Allows collaboration and interaction over the work, Participants of the Daily Scrum- ●    Product Owner ●    Team Members ●    Scrum Master   It is not an obligation for the Scrum master to personally attend all the Scrum events. But Scrum Master should ensure that some of the following tasks are done: ●    The use of the Sprint should be well, to create a ‘done’, useful, releasable built. ●    There be a proper use of the Daily Scrum, to inspect the team’s progress. ●    Sprint Planning is in use to discuss, plan and agree on the deliverables which can be done on the same day. ●    Sprint Review is in use, to inspect the developed build. ●    Finally, Retrospective can be used properly to ensure continuous delivery and discuss the existing constraints. How does the Scrum Master facilitate within the Scrum Framework? Lyssa Adkins offers a good description in her book ‘Coaching Agile Teams’: “A Scrum Master should facilitate by creating a “container” for the team to fill up with their ideas and innovations. The container, often a set of agenda questions or some other lightweight (and flexible) structure, gives the team just enough of a frame to stay on their purpose and promotes and environment for richer interaction, a place where fantastic ideas can be heard. The coach creates the container; the team creates the content.” A great facilitator should be able to: ●    Facilitate the Scrum process to the team members and look for continuous improvement in the process ●    Facilitate the team in achieving their objectives towards the project ●    Listen to understand the scenario ●    Plan and govern a meeting with responsibility ●    Facilitate friendly relationship between the teams  ●    Integrate the Scrum teams ●    Help things to happen confidently In case, Scrum Master fails to remove barriers like technical issues directly himself/herself, he/she can forward this responsibility to one of the trusted team members. The majority of teams conduct Daily Scrums by playing ‘poker activity’. In this, each individual has to pick one poker card to decide the priority of work. Accordingly, the task is assigned to the teams. Facilitating for the teams require mastering the Scrum Master skills. Grabbing the skills require time, continuous analysis, practice and continuous improvement. To enable best Scrum practices in organizations, you can get certified from a reputed training institute.  
Scrum master- The Legend of Daily Scrum

Scrum master- The Legend of Daily Scrum

KnowledgeHut Editor
Scrum is a crucial part of software development. It is designed for the teams having at least 10 individuals. The development cycle consists of two-weeks of Sprint cycle. Also, it can be called Daily ...
Continue reading

INFOGRAPHIC: Implementations Of Leading SAFe 4.5 in the Organisation

  We provide Leading SAFe 4.5 training course, to check out the schedule click here
INFOGRAPHIC: Implementations Of Leading SAFe 4.5 in the Organisation

INFOGRAPHIC: Implementations Of Leading SAFe 4.5 in the Organisation

KnowledgeHut Editor
  We provide Leading SAFe 4.5 training course, to check out the schedule click here ...
Continue reading

Agile Project management Triangle: A “Golden Product” in Organizations

Prior to the advent of Agile methodology, the software development teams used to work within the fringes of the software ‘Iron triangle’. The three edges, rather, the three components of the (traditional) Iron triangle are- Scope, Schedule, and Cost. For any project to succeed, Agile considers quality as a vital factor, which is always placed in the middle of the triangle. So most Agile teams vary the scope and follow Cost, Schedule, and Quality as the three sides (aspects) of the triangle.  ●    Project delivery must be cost-effective ●    Project must be delivered within time ●    Project must meet the scope ●    Project must meet all the quality requirements raised by the customers Jim Highsmith pioneered the concept of ‘Agile Triangles’. Agile Triangle is an antidote to the Iron Triangle. According to him, the Iron Triangle was leading to a lot of constraints in the operations of the Agile teams and suggested an Agile Triangle. The Agile Triangle attempts to balance development between values, quality, and constraints, instead of cost, schedule, and scope.  According to Jim, “Many agile teams are now caught in a dilemma. On one hand, they are told to be agile, flexible, and adaptable, but on the other, they are told to conform to pre-planned traditional Iron Triangle framework of scope, schedule, and cost. In essence, they are being told ‘be flexible in a very small box’ Agile teams are striving to meet one set of goals and managers and executives are measuring against another set.” Also, he suggested that when Agile is applied to the Iron Triangle, it should follow the below points: ●    Value- to the end user in terms of a deliverable product ●    Quality- continuous delivery of value according to the customer’s requirements ●    Constraints- a traditional scope, schedule and scope According to him, though the constraints are considered as the important measurable factors of Agile project management, they are not the goals of the project. Further, he said,  “Value and Quality are the goals and constraints may need to be adjusted as the project moves forward to increase customer value. The schedule might still be a fixed constraint, but then scope could be adjusted to deliver the highest value within the schedule constraint.” Today, with the new wave of innovations in the IT sector, the Waterfall model is not the exact answer to all the prevailing issues. So, other frameworks like Agile has emerged. The Agile Triangle, also called the Agile Golden Triangle has come into the picture soon after. The Agile Golden Triangle consists of three vertices: 1. Product Owner (PO)-  The Product Owner is the person who is accountable for the overall business processes and provides the user requirements to the teams. PO is much concerned about the business than teams. PO can push user stories to the teams during the sprint cycle. The user stories might be unplanned during sprint planning meeting or they might be ‘out of queue’.   2. Scrum Master (SM)- Scrum Master is the person who ensures that the team is following the Agile practices in the right manner. The SM acts as a facilitator between the Product Owner and the team. Also, SM makes sure that the PO is not compelling the team members to manage the ‘out of the queue’ stories. The SM solves the issues raised by the team members. 3. Team The team consists of the developers, testers, UX/UI, Database Architects, System Architects etc. The team is responsible for coding, reviewing, designing, testing and deploying the product. They understand the requirements from the Product Owner, prepare the stories and give the timeline for completing these stories.   If these vertices (components) of the Golden Triangle (PO, SM, and Team) work with each other, then according to Jim Highsmith the value, quality, and constraints of the Agile Triangle can be maintained and the outcome can be a ‘Golden’ product.   We provide Project Management Course training, to check out the schedule click here.
Agile Project management Triangle: A “Golden Product” in Organizations

Agile Project management Triangle: A “Golden Product” in Organizations

KnowledgeHut Editor
Prior to the advent of Agile methodology, the software development teams used to work within the fringes of the software ‘Iron triangle’. The three edges, rather, the three components of t...
Continue reading

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG