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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major & Minor Roles explained]

A project is run by a team and without one, it won’t even begin or complete. When a team is finally formed, they would then have to formulate a plan and act on the same to complete the project. Thus, it becomes an issue of great importance that the members in the team associated with a particular project are aware of what they have to do, what they can expect from others as well as their team members, to whom they have to report their work, and who shall do the brainstorming and decision-making, and this article focuses on providing answers for these questions. Hence, this principle defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone who is associated with the project, from the very beginning till the closure of the project.PRINCE2® clearly suggests that a project should have well-defined, distributed and agreed roles and responsibilities among the entire team undertaking the project. It is important for an organization to distinctly identify these roles and responsibilities to enable its structure that deals with Business, User and Stakeholder interests to function properly and effectively.PRINCE2® ORGANIZATION THEMEThe organization theme is responsible for defining and authorizing the accountability and responsibilities, that form the structure of a project.PRINCE2® assumes that there will be a customer responsible for specifying the desired result and then purchasing the project. Similarly, a supplier will also be present to provide the resources and skills needed to deliver the desired results. Thus, it is safe to say that  PRINCE2® is based on a customer/supplier environment.One major feature of PRINCE2® is that all the projects should have a defined organizational structure that will ultimately bring together the various parties and teams for the common aspirations of the project. It further enhances the effectivity of project governance and decision making.These are the components of a successful project management team under the organization theme:1. Representation of all the three major stakeholders as listed in PRINCE2®, a project consists of three major stakeholders which are the Business Sponsors, Users, and Suppliers.Business Sponsors are responsible for ensuring that the product or service offers value for money and is of high-quality standards.Users represent the consumer aspects, they will use the final finished products and services, and are the ones receiving the benefit of those products and services.Suppliers are responsible for providing the basic material and resources, raw or tailored and supplying proper knowledge and experience to the project. They are the producers, producing the finished products according to the designed project plan.This particular principle clearly states that the three major stakeholders must be correctly represented in the Project Management Team and in the Project Board as they act as the three staunch pillars that support and drive the project further ahead. Every successful project team must have a proper Business, User, and Supplier stakeholder representation.An effective project team should have defined responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project. These three processes paired up with accountability are the key components of a project and thus require accurate and proper distribution of responsibilities.Another component of a successful project team is the regular and continuous reviewing of various project roles assigned to the members throughout the project.The final component is to come up with an effective strategy for properly managing the communication flows that the project team must maintain to/from the external key stakeholders.It is a common understanding that the senior management board will be under a lot of workload and cannot supervise the day-to-day development of the project. Hence, the board issues certain responsibilities to certain individuals or a group of individuals, such that the direction and management of the project is separated from the delivery of the project’s outputs and results. It is done by using the principle of Management by Exception.The structure that eventually forms comprises of four levels, where Corporate level is outside the project borderlines:Corporate: It is responsible for:Commissioning the project in the first placeAppointing the Project Executive  Defining the project level tolerances to be followed by the project boardDirecting: It is undertaken by the project board, which is responsible for:Overall direction and supervision of the projectAccountable for the project’s successThey approve all the major plansThey approve completion of each stageThey authorize the start of the next stageCommunicating with the stakeholdersAuthorizing any deviation that exceeds the project level tolerancesManaging: Project Manager comes under this level and is responsible for:The day-to-day management of the project within the parameters set by the project boardTo make sure that the products are being delivered according to the time, cost, quality, scope of risk and benefit objectivesDelivering: Team Managers come under this level and are responsible for:Delivering the project’s products with the desired quality standards and within a specified time frame and costTo summarize these components, we can conclude that each project should have direction, management, control and communication within its structure and project team for providing better and fruitful outcomes.THE PREDEFINED ROLES IN A PROJECTThe PRINCE2® methodology is based on processes and division of stages for improved performance. It also brings along a series of defined roles with specific tasks designated to them. The predefined roles in a project based on a PRINCE2® environment are:Project Board - It is a group of professionals that includes :Executive: The executive has the custody of the business case and is the person ultimately taking responsibility for the project.Senior User: This position can be held by an individual or a group of professionals. Their primary objective is to represent the demands of the final user.Senior Supplier: This position can also be assigned to one or more individuals. Their responsibility is to ensure the representation of the interests of the suppliers.Project Assurance: The primary goal of Project Assurance is to make sure that the interests of the stakeholders are met.Change Authority: They are responsible for deciding the major change requests on behalf of the Project Board.Project Manager: The person responsible for undertaking the day-to-day supervision of the project on behalf of the Project Board.Project Support: It is the body responsible for assisting the Project Manager in the Project Management tasks and duties.Team Manager: This position can be assigned to one or more professionals that ensure the quality and other elements of production in the various teams that focus on a particular skill or knowledge from various departments.1. Roles Associated with the Project BoardThe project board represents the direction level of the project and consists of the following roles : a. The Executive: The executive actually owns the business case and his role is that of a business-oriented leader who is ultimately accountable for the project. The executive also has the authority of delivering the final words and decisions that are taken in the project. Thus, the project board doesn’t demonstrate any signs of democracy and equal decision-making rights.The executive is appointed by the corporate of programme management, he is the one responsible for the project with additional support from the Senior User and Senior Supplier. The executive is also responsible for designing and appointing the project management team, including the rest of the project board and also appoints the project manager b. The Senior User: It represents the final user’s requirements in the board. It specifies the needs of the user that will use the finished product or service and also establishes communication between the project management team and the users, and ensuring that the products will cater to the needs of the users, especially the quality of the product or service and ease of use. It also supplies benefits information for the Benefit Review Plan. c. The Senior Supplier: It represents the interests of the supplier. It represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating and implementing the project’s product and services, they provide supply to the project and make sure that only the right tools, people, equipment and expertise are in place. They also ensure that the product meets the expected criteria including the quality criteria.   Only one person can be the executive, but both the other two roles i.e the senior user and the senior supplier can be assigned to one or multiple individuals.Associated DutiesThe project board is responsible for holding accountability for the success and the failure of the project.Another duty is to provide unified direction to the project and the respective Project Manager.The project board also provides the resources and also authorizes funds utilized in the project.They should also provide additional visible and continuous support and assistance to the Project Manager.They ensure that there is effective communication within the project team and with external stakeholders.In real life, there are many organizations that have a project board that is incapable of handling projects or is either inexperienced or not at all interested in the project itself. This is a serious issue and a major drawback that could sabotage the entire project and the team associated. Henceforth, a great project board is a must to ensure that the direction is on point and effective. 2. The Project Assurance RoleIt is the responsibility of the Project Board to ensure that the project performs well and the products/services are produced, this is known as the Project Assurance. The board usually checks it directly through the Project Manager. But in large projects, many of the board members are busy with their respective tasks. Thus, the board can delegate this responsibility to someone else. The basic method is to double-check the information and this is called Project Assurance.It monitors the performance of the project and provides assistance to the Project Manager by giving insights on corporate-related issues. That’s how the board uses its Project Assurance responsibility to ensure that everything is going according to plan and the Project Manager is up to date with corporate regulations.Different board members have their respective Project Assurance responsibilities. For example:The Executive is responsible for Business Assurance (Business Value)The Senior User is responsible for the User AssuranceThe Senior Supplier is responsible for the Supplier’s Assurance 3. The Change Authority Role The responsibilities associated with the Change Authority are as follows:This role lies under the Project Team Management.The Project Board may decide if an individual should be appointed or an entire group is required to undertake this role.The primary objective of  Change Authority is to review the requests for change or the off-specifications related to the project.The Change Authority is also capable of delegating responsibility to a number of levels depending on the intensity and the complexity of the change.Asperity of Change RequestDecided ByLevel 1Project Support / Help DeskLevel 2Project ManagerLevel 3Change AuthorityLevel 4Project BoardLevel 5Corp / Programme ManagementIf smaller changes are expected in a project then the Project Board can handle them. But when many major changes are expected then it is more efficient to use a separate Change Authority group.A separate Change Authority group simplifies the change process and saves the Project Board from all the hassle. 4. The Project Manager RoleThe Project Manager role has the following impact on the project:Their primary objective is to manage the project on a daily basis. Their main focus is on the day-to-day progress of the project.This particular position of a Project Manager can never be shared and only one is appointed for a particular project.The Project Manager runs and supervises a project on behalf of the Project Board within a few specified constraints and collaborates throughout the project with the Project Board and the Project Assurance.In the case of PRINCE2®, it is usually preferred that the Project Manager belongs to the customer side.The Project is also responsible for running all the principal processes except Directing a Project Process (DP).The Project Manager is responsible for the Project Support and assistance and also the Team Managers.In several smaller projects, where there are no Team Managers, the Project Manager can manage the team members directly. Additionally, in cases where there is project support, the support task is completely on the shoulders of the Project Manager.5. The Team Manager RoleThe role of a Team Manager is actually optional and not necessary in smaller projects. The role  of a Team Manager only comes into the scene if:The Project is quite huge and requires a lot of members. Thus, a number of Team Members would be required to manage and supervise several teams from different departments and expertise.Team Managers are usually required for a specific skill, skillset or knowledge of the products to be produced. For example, a project requires an individual with great expertise of JAVA to provide assistance in handling and developing the applications or programs or researching on a particular product.They are also the need of the hour when the project is affected by geographical reasons. The project might include remote teams that provide assistance from remote locations, then that particular remote team is managed by a Team Manager.If the project is using an external company, then it would be easier to coordinate with the Team Manager rather than all the team members directly and individually.6. The Project Support RoleThe project support role offers the following services to the project:The Project Support provides administrative services to provide assistance to the Project Manager in the form of filing, distributing documents, adding documents to an IT System, etc.Project support also advises and offers guidance regarding the use of project management tools and configuration management.The Project Support also provides additional assistance in planning and risk management. For example, keeping the planned documents up to date and also highlighting what has been completed and what aspects of the projects are delayed.The prominent responsibility of the Project Support is Configuration Management and following the guidelines under the Configuration Management Strategy Document: it is one of the four strategy documents formulated at the beginning of the project.The responsibility of the Project Support is under the authority of the Project manager. To put forward in simple words, the Project Manager is responsible for the administrative duties associated with the project. Therefore, this role is not optional, however, the Project Manager can delegate this responsibility to another person or group.In a case, where the Project Manager is unable to delegate this role to someone else, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to assume the role of the Project Support. This is the reason why we see many Project Managers working late in the evening and doing overtime. As they are trying to catch up on their administrative tasks and keep forgetting to plan all this in their normal working hours.STAGE-WISE MANAGEMENTA great way of handling a big and chunky task or project is to divide it into smaller and manageable fragments. This is the same methodology implemented in the PRINCE2® method of project management. But, instead of chunks or fragments, in PRINCE2® a different terminology is used, i.e. stages - Management Stages. The PRINCE2® methodology focuses on running and operating a project under a planned and controlled environment through a stage by stage basis.These stages are separated and decided by the Project Board on the basis of Decision Points. After the completion of each stage, the Project Board assesses the performance of the previous stage, analyzes the plans for the next stage, and ultimately decides whether to proceed to the next stage or not. The higher the number of stages, the more control is possessed by the Project Board, but it also increases their workload. Fewer stages in a project require less amount of work from the Project Board which indicates that the Senior Management will have less control over the project.  The division of a project into stages has some advantages as mentioned below:It allows the project to be divided into smaller and simpler fragments that can be easily managed.It leads to a high-level plan for the project and a very detailed Stage Plan.It also incorporates learning from the previous stages while devising a plan for the upcoming stages.There should be a minimum of two management stages in a project under a PRINCE2® project environment:The Initiation StageThe Management StageThe Closing a Project process is the last part of the second stage in a two-stage project.In this manner a particular PRINCE2® project is controlled, managed, and monitored on a stage by stage basis.
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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major & Minor Roles explained]

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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major & Minor Roles explained]

A project is run by a team and without one, it won’t even begin or complete. When a team is finally formed, they would then have to formulate a plan and act on the same to complete the project. Thus, it becomes an issue of great importance that the members in the team associated with a particular project are aware of what they have to do, what they can expect from others as well as their team members, to whom they have to report their work, and who shall do the brainstorming and decision-making, and this article focuses on providing answers for these questions. Hence, this principle defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone who is associated with the project, from the very beginning till the closure of the project.

PRINCE2® clearly suggests that a project should have well-defined, distributed and agreed roles and responsibilities among the entire team undertaking the project. It is important for an organization to distinctly identify these roles and responsibilities to enable its structure that deals with Business, User and Stakeholder interests to function properly and effectively.

PRINCE2® ORGANIZATION THEME

The organization theme is responsible for defining and authorizing the accountability and responsibilities, that form the structure of a project.

PRINCE2® assumes that there will be a customer responsible for specifying the desired result and then purchasing the project. Similarly, a supplier will also be present to provide the resources and skills needed to deliver the desired results. Thus, it is safe to say that  PRINCE2® is based on a customer/supplier environment.

One major feature of PRINCE2® is that all the projects should have a defined organizational structure that will ultimately bring together the various parties and teams for the common aspirations of the project. It further enhances the effectivity of project governance and decision making.

These are the components of a successful project management team under the organization theme:

1. Representation of all the three major stakeholders as listed in PRINCE2®, a project consists of three major stakeholders which are the Business Sponsors, Users, and Suppliers.

Major Stakeholders

  • Business Sponsors are responsible for ensuring that the product or service offers value for money and is of high-quality standards.
  • Users represent the consumer aspects, they will use the final finished products and services, and are the ones receiving the benefit of those products and services.
  • Suppliers are responsible for providing the basic material and resources, raw or tailored and supplying proper knowledge and experience to the project. They are the producers, producing the finished products according to the designed project plan.

This particular principle clearly states that the three major stakeholders must be correctly represented in the Project Management Team and in the Project Board as they act as the three staunch pillars that support and drive the project further ahead. Every successful project team must have a proper Business, User, and Supplier stakeholder representation.

  1. An effective project team should have defined responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project. These three processes paired up with accountability are the key components of a project and thus require accurate and proper distribution of responsibilities.
  1. Another component of a successful project team is the regular and continuous reviewing of various project roles assigned to the members throughout the project.
  1. The final component is to come up with an effective strategy for properly managing the communication flows that the project team must maintain to/from the external key stakeholders.

It is a common understanding that the senior management board will be under a lot of workload and cannot supervise the day-to-day development of the project. Hence, the board issues certain responsibilities to certain individuals or a group of individuals, such that the direction and management of the project is separated from the delivery of the project’s outputs and results. It is done by using the principle of Management by Exception.

The structure that eventually forms comprises of four levels, where Corporate level is outside the project borderlines:

  • Corporate: It is responsible for:
    • Commissioning the project in the first place
    • Appointing the Project Executive  
    • Defining the project level tolerances to be followed by the project board
  • Directing: It is undertaken by the project board, which is responsible for:
    • Overall direction and supervision of the project
    • Accountable for the project’s success
    • They approve all the major plans
    • They approve completion of each stage
    • They authorize the start of the next stage
    • Communicating with the stakeholders
    • Authorizing any deviation that exceeds the project level tolerances
  • Managing: Project Manager comes under this level and is responsible for:
    • The day-to-day management of the project within the parameters set by the project board
    • To make sure that the products are being delivered according to the time, cost, quality, scope of risk and benefit objectives
  • Delivering: Team Managers come under this level and are responsible for:
    • Delivering the project’s products with the desired quality standards and within a specified time frame and cost

To summarize these components, we can conclude that each project should have direction, management, control and communication within its structure and project team for providing better and fruitful outcomes.

THE PREDEFINED ROLES IN A PROJECT

PREDEFINED ROLES IN A PROJECT

The PRINCE2® methodology is based on processes and division of stages for improved performance. It also brings along a series of defined roles with specific tasks designated to them. The predefined roles in a project based on a PRINCE2® environment are:

  1. Project Board - It is a group of professionals that includes :
    • Executive: The executive has the custody of the business case and is the person ultimately taking responsibility for the project.
    • Senior User: This position can be held by an individual or a group of professionals. Their primary objective is to represent the demands of the final user.
    • Senior Supplier: This position can also be assigned to one or more individuals. Their responsibility is to ensure the representation of the interests of the suppliers.
  2. Project Assurance: The primary goal of Project Assurance is to make sure that the interests of the stakeholders are met.
  3. Change Authority: They are responsible for deciding the major change requests on behalf of the Project Board.
  4. Project Manager: The person responsible for undertaking the day-to-day supervision of the project on behalf of the Project Board.
  5. Project Support: It is the body responsible for assisting the Project Manager in the Project Management tasks and duties.
  6. Team ManagerThis position can be assigned to one or more professionals that ensure the quality and other elements of production in the various teams that focus on a particular skill or knowledge from various departments.

1. Roles Associated with the Project Board

The project board represents the direction level of the project and consists of the following roles :

 a. The Executive: The executive actually owns the business case and his role is that of a business-oriented leader who is ultimately accountable for the project. The executive also has the authority of delivering the final words and decisions that are taken in the project. Thus, the project board doesn’t demonstrate any signs of democracy and equal decision-making rights.

The executive is appointed by the corporate of programme management, he is the one responsible for the project with additional support from the Senior User and Senior Supplier. The executive is also responsible for designing and appointing the project management team, including the rest of the project board and also appoints the project manager

 b. The Senior User: It represents the final user’s requirements in the board. It specifies the needs of the user that will use the finished product or service and also establishes communication between the project management team and the users, and ensuring that the products will cater to the needs of the users, especially the quality of the product or service and ease of use. It also supplies benefits information for the Benefit Review Plan.

 c. The Senior Supplier: It represents the interests of the supplier. It represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating and implementing the project’s product and services, they provide supply to the project and make sure that only the right tools, people, equipment and expertise are in place. They also ensure that the product meets the expected criteria including the quality criteria.   

Only one person can be the executive, but both the other two roles i.e the senior user and the senior supplier can be assigned to one or multiple individuals.

Associated Duties

  • The project board is responsible for holding accountability for the success and the failure of the project.
  • Another duty is to provide unified direction to the project and the respective Project Manager.
  • The project board also provides the resources and also authorizes funds utilized in the project.
  • They should also provide additional visible and continuous support and assistance to the Project Manager.
  • They ensure that there is effective communication within the project team and with external stakeholders.

In real life, there are many organizations that have a project board that is incapable of handling projects or is either inexperienced or not at all interested in the project itself. This is a serious issue and a major drawback that could sabotage the entire project and the team associated. Henceforth, a great project board is a must to ensure that the direction is on point and effective.

 2. The Project Assurance Role

It is the responsibility of the Project Board to ensure that the project performs well and the products/services are produced, this is known as the Project Assurance. The board usually checks it directly through the Project Manager. But in large projects, many of the board members are busy with their respective tasks. Thus, the board can delegate this responsibility to someone else. The basic method is to double-check the information and this is called Project Assurance.

  • It monitors the performance of the project and provides assistance to the Project Manager by giving insights on corporate-related issues. That’s how the board uses its Project Assurance responsibility to ensure that everything is going according to plan and the Project Manager is up to date with corporate regulations.
  • Different board members have their respective Project Assurance responsibilities. For example:
  1. The Executive is responsible for Business Assurance (Business Value)
  2. The Senior User is responsible for the User Assurance
  3. The Senior Supplier is responsible for the Supplier’s Assurance

 3. The Change Authority Role 

The responsibilities associated with the Change Authority are as follows:

  • This role lies under the Project Team Management.
  • The Project Board may decide if an individual should be appointed or an entire group is required to undertake this role.
  • The primary objective of  Change Authority is to review the requests for change or the off-specifications related to the project.
  • The Change Authority is also capable of delegating responsibility to a number of levels depending on the intensity and the complexity of the change.
Asperity of Change Request
Decided By
Level 1
Project Support / Help Desk
Level 2
Project Manager
Level 3
Change Authority
Level 4
Project Board
Level 5
Corp / Programme Management
  • If smaller changes are expected in a project then the Project Board can handle them. But when many major changes are expected then it is more efficient to use a separate Change Authority group.
  • A separate Change Authority group simplifies the change process and saves the Project Board from all the hassle.

 4. The Project Manager Role

The Project Manager role has the following impact on the project:

  • Their primary objective is to manage the project on a daily basis. Their main focus is on the day-to-day progress of the project.
  • This particular position of a Project Manager can never be shared and only one is appointed for a particular project.
  • The Project Manager runs and supervises a project on behalf of the Project Board within a few specified constraints and collaborates throughout the project with the Project Board and the Project Assurance.
  • In the case of PRINCE2®, it is usually preferred that the Project Manager belongs to the customer side.
  • The Project is also responsible for running all the principal processes except Directing a Project Process (DP).
  • The Project Manager is responsible for the Project Support and assistance and also the Team Managers.
  • In several smaller projects, where there are no Team Managers, the Project Manager can manage the team members directly. Additionally, in cases where there is project support, the support task is completely on the shoulders of the Project Manager.

5. The Team Manager Role

The role of a Team Manager is actually optional and not necessary in smaller projects. The role  of a Team Manager only comes into the scene if:

  • The Project is quite huge and requires a lot of members. Thus, a number of Team Members would be required to manage and supervise several teams from different departments and expertise.
  • Team Managers are usually required for a specific skill, skillset or knowledge of the products to be produced. For example, a project requires an individual with great expertise of JAVA to provide assistance in handling and developing the applications or programs or researching on a particular product.
  • They are also the need of the hour when the project is affected by geographical reasons. The project might include remote teams that provide assistance from remote locations, then that particular remote team is managed by a Team Manager.
  • If the project is using an external company, then it would be easier to coordinate with the Team Manager rather than all the team members directly and individually.

6. The Project Support Role

The Project Support Role

The project support role offers the following services to the project:

  • The Project Support provides administrative services to provide assistance to the Project Manager in the form of filing, distributing documents, adding documents to an IT System, etc.
  • Project support also advises and offers guidance regarding the use of project management tools and configuration management.
  • The Project Support also provides additional assistance in planning and risk management. For example, keeping the planned documents up to date and also highlighting what has been completed and what aspects of the projects are delayed.
  • The prominent responsibility of the Project Support is Configuration Management and following the guidelines under the Configuration Management Strategy Document: it is one of the four strategy documents formulated at the beginning of the project.
  • The responsibility of the Project Support is under the authority of the Project manager. To put forward in simple words, the Project Manager is responsible for the administrative duties associated with the project. Therefore, this role is not optional, however, the Project Manager can delegate this responsibility to another person or group.
  • In a case, where the Project Manager is unable to delegate this role to someone else, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to assume the role of the Project Support. This is the reason why we see many Project Managers working late in the evening and doing overtime. As they are trying to catch up on their administrative tasks and keep forgetting to plan all this in their normal working hours.

STAGE-WISE MANAGEMENT

A great way of handling a big and chunky task or project is to divide it into smaller and manageable fragments. This is the same methodology implemented in the PRINCE2® method of project management. But, instead of chunks or fragments, in PRINCE2® a different terminology is used, i.e. stages - Management Stages. The PRINCE2® methodology focuses on running and operating a project under a planned and controlled environment through a stage by stage basis.

These stages are separated and decided by the Project Board on the basis of Decision Points. After the completion of each stage, the Project Board assesses the performance of the previous stage, analyzes the plans for the next stage, and ultimately decides whether to proceed to the next stage or not. The higher the number of stages, the more control is possessed by the Project Board, but it also increases their workload. Fewer stages in a project require less amount of work from the Project Board which indicates that the Senior Management will have less control over the project.  

The division of a project into stages has some advantages as mentioned below:

  • It allows the project to be divided into smaller and simpler fragments that can be easily managed.
  • It leads to a high-level plan for the project and a very detailed Stage Plan.
  • It also incorporates learning from the previous stages while devising a plan for the upcoming stages.

There should be a minimum of two management stages in a project under a PRINCE2® project environment:

Stages in the project Environment

  • The Initiation Stage
  • The Management Stage

The Closing a Project process is the last part of the second stage in a two-stage project.

In this manner a particular PRINCE2® project is controlled, managed, and monitored on a stage by stage basis.

KnowledgeHut

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1 comments

Richard 14 Aug 2019

Thanks for sharing this informative blog.

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However, taking the official exam is mandatory to get certified. Scrum.org is the official provider:Syllabus of Professional Scrum MasterA core of knowledge about Scrum remains the Scrum Guide from Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.Spend time and train seriously on the Scrum Open Assessment: this is the most realistic assessment you can train on!Next very useful resources are available with the Scrum Master Learning Path: this is a set of Professional Scrum Competencies which each contain a number of focus areas.Further reading:Scrum tutorial: An in-depth learning of Scrum, about its origin, evolution, and the progressive development of the framework.Scrum.org recommends strongly these books:Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther VerheyenSoftware in 30 days by Ken SchwaberScrum.org offers also:A very complete glossaryforums populated by threads of quality, written by contributors with solid experience in ScrumA popular blog regularly updated with highly valuable posts, again made by writers shortlisted by Scrum.orgOther Open Assessments might be relevant to gain additional perspective on the other roles of a Scrum Team: check the Scrum Developer Open Assessment and the Product Owner Open Assessment.What is the eligibility to become a PSM trainer?Eligibility to become a PSM trainer requires three conditions. First, candidates must have at least four years of intense experience as Scrum Master in software development. Second, candidates must have conducted real-world training and have delivered coaching using Scrum. On top of that, candidates passed their PSM 1 assessment with at least a 95% score.After PSM training within how many days do I need to take the certification? After PSM training, there is no minimum duration to take the certification. As soon as candidates feel they are ready, they can schedule an online assessment.4. Exam and Certification Information Who provides the certification?Scrum.Org coursesA list of Scrum.org official sessions is available online. As stated on their website:Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM) is a 2-day course that covers the principles and (empirical) process theory underpinning the Scrum framework and the role of the Scrum Master in it. This course is a combination of instruction and team-based exercises and teaches what is at the heart of the Scrum and Agile movement. The course also includes a free attempt at the globally recognized Professional Scrum Master I certification exam (PSM I).It is also important to know that taking a Scrum.org official training offers candidates a free attempt at the assessment.What is the process for applying for the certification?As passing the certification does not require to attend to the official course, candidates can directly apply on the Scrum.org website. They will receive a personal password (with no expiration date) and then they can connect to a specific page and take the exam.Cost of the Professional Scrum Master certificationThe cost is $150 per attempt. If you attend a Scrum.org training class, fees include a free attempt.The structure of the examThe exam is exclusively online. It consists of 80 Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False questions. 60 minutes maximum are allowed to perform the full exam, and only English language is available.Topics covered in the PSM examScrum Framework: this is foundational knowledge for every Scrum Team member. It covers Scrum theory as described in the Scrum Guide.Scrum Theory and Principles: this topic is more about understanding Scrum theory: empirical process, principles, and values of Scrum.Cross-Functional, Self-Organizing Teams. Questions here cover how Scrum Teams are different from traditional development teams:cross-functional, self-empowered and self-organizing people promote flexibility, creativity, and productivity.Coaching and Facilitation. Questions here are about how mindset and behavior of Scrum Master are different from traditional Project Manager: by acting as a Servant Leader, the Scrum Master facilitates and coaches full organizations in understanding and using Scrum.Sample questions of PSM exam Here are three potential questions at the PSM exam:Question 1: When many Development Teams are working on a single product, what best describes the definition of “done”?Each Development Team defines and uses its own. The differences are discussed and reconciled during a hardening Sprint.Each Development Team uses its own but must make their definition clear to all other Teams so the differences are known.All development Teams must have a definition of “done” that makes their combined work potentially releasable.It dependsCorrect answer : 3Question 2:The three pillars of empirical process control are:    1. Inspection, Transparency, Adaptation    2. Transparency, Eliminating Waste, Kaizen    3. Planning, Inspection, Adaptation    4. Respect For People, Kaizen, Eliminating Waste    5. Planning, Demonstration, RetrospectiveCorrect answer: 1Question 3:The maximum length of the Sprint Review (its time-box) is:4 hours for a monthly Sprint. For shorter Sprints, it is usually shorter.As long as needed.2 hours1 day.4 hours and long as needed.Correct answer: 1Tips to pass PSM The best way to be well prepared for the PSM official exam is to work on the Scrum Open Assessment.You can consider that you are ready once you get 100% at every attempt.Salary of the Professional Scrum MasterSalaries of the PSM can vary a lot according to level of experience, industry, company size and location. Here is a table with most common figures:USFranceUnited KingdomSingaporeJunior70,000-115,00030,000-40,00040,000-70,00080,000-100,000Mid-Senior(more than 3 years with SM experience)90,000-135,00035,000-55,00060,000-110,00095,000-125,0005. Is the PSM I certification worth investing?CSM vs PSM exam:"Differences to note" CSM PSM Passing ScoreMinimum 69%(24 out of 35 questions)Minimum 85%Exam patternMultiple choiceMultiple choice,Multiple Answers and True/False questions.Exam durationNo time limit,35 questions60 minutes to complete 80 questionsCertification Validation2 yearsLife timeCertification cost                      1200$2nd attempt is free in within 60 days        25$ for  additional  attempt.             150$(one  attempt)Exam  Level2 Days training + Exam           Much  harder than CSM       Require experience,and deep         Theoretical knowledge.The first goal at Scrum.org is to make candidates understanding how to get valuable software thanks to a high level of maturity in Agile using Scrum. In order to achieve that, Scrum.org deliver assessments to examine, improve and certify candidates’ knowledge of Scrum. On top of that, the Scrum Guide and the Nexus Guide serve as the main background for all Scrum.org assessments. Individuals that are successful at the PSM 1 certification demonstrate a fundamental level of Scrum mastery: they understand Scrum as described in the Scrum Guide and the concepts of applying Scrum. The PSM 1 certification is considered significantly more valuable than other options for Scrum.6. What next after PSM?People who follow Scrum.org courses can claim Project Management Institute (PMI) Professional Development Units credit: 14 PDUs after attending a two-day Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Keep in mind that PMI PDUs are earned for course attendance and not for passing a Scrum.org assessment.7. How much should I pay to renew PSM certification?There is no need to renew PSM certification: Scrum.org certificates are lifelong and do not require any additional payments or renewals.Career benefits of PSM certifiedConsequently, becoming now a certified and experienced professional in Agile expertise seems to be an interesting option to stay at least “employable” and marketable. Still being realistic, professionals in Agile will be directly requested either to perform the Agile transformation in many big (old) organizations or to build the Agile culture from scratch in new companies and startups. Attractive and valuable challenges are in perspective.
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Everything you need to know about PSM certificatio...

1. Introduction to Professional Scrum MasterWho is... Read More

5 Steps to Better Project Tracking

You can plan your projects exceptionally well, but things may not always happen as planned and that can cause your projects to derail. This is where project tracking and monitoring proves invaluable in overall project management. Time tracking in Project Management provides the project team and stakeholders an understanding about the project health and highlights the areas of concern on the project. If you follow these steps on how to track your project, then you'll be able to think proactively and deal with any issue before it becomes a problem.                                                       Fig: Process Flow Of Better Project Tracking 1. Prioritize It is very important to plan and prioritize the work effectively in order to make the most of your time and effort. According to Pareto Principle, 80% of the effect of your work will come from 20% of the work you do. As a Project Manager, you need to be smart with your time and focus on important things. You can’t track everything; there simply aren’t enough hours in a day; so decide what element of your project is most important and critical. Project scope, milestones, budget and resources are the most important components that a PM should focus on while tracking the project. These demand a close scrutiny, since they help you determine the performance of the project. It’s very crucial to keep tabs on your upcoming milestones and monitor them since these are the deliverables which your project stakeholders will keep asking you about. Then there’s budget, of course for you to ensure that you aren’t spending more than what’s initially allocated. And scope to avoid any scope creep and manage changes effectively. 2. Set measurable targets Now that you have prioritized, what do you expect your project performance should be? Performance measurement starts with setting targets or goals and assigning KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which are measurable. While setting KPIs for each target, it is also essential to anticipate how the achievement of the target will be tracked. The foundation of project tracking is comparing what you planned to how you executed that plan. A baseline turns out to be useful to check the actual versus estimated progress throughout the project. Create a performance measurement baseline (combination of scope, time, and cost baseline) with realistic targets, which will represent a standard to measure project performance. Changes in any project are inevitable and can drastically impact a project; hence controlling the baseline is very crucial for project success. 3. Report to stakeholders: Your success as a PM can be determined a lot on the way you deliver your reports. They need to clearly and concisely answer the questions that stakeholders have about the project.The project stakeholders need to know what is working and what is taking the project off-track.The PM should ensure to conduct team meetings on a regular basis. Regular tracking and monitoring enables to identify potential problems as early as possible so that timely adjustments to project plans can be made before moving forward. For instance, if it looks like the upcoming milestone may be missed;the stakeholders must be immediately alerted.   4. Use dashboards: The key to any successful project is efficient communication. But communicating with sponsors, stakeholders, team members and other project related parties can take up quite a lot of a Project Manager’s time. A dashboard always comes handy when it comes to expressing a project’s status in a crisp yet effective manner.A Project Management Dashboard often provides at-a-glance view of project performance KPIs in a format that conveys project’s overall progress and highlight particular problems that require further attention. They can be customized to give you the information you need, when you need it, hence saving your time and effort. 5. Recommend actions for improvement and follow-up: This is most important activity in project tracking. As a Project Manager, you should think of and recommend actions that will offer the greatest dividend in terms of keeping the project running smoothly, efficiently, and on-time, after taking feedback from the management. Recommendations could be corrective actions, preventive actions, or changes in the plan or the project execution. Ensure that you provide specific guidance, assign a responsible team member and direct him to perform a specific action by a specific date, and make sure they are slated to report back on the results of their action. Also confirm that the recommendations are being followed, expected outputs are being created and the project as a whole is on track.  
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5 Steps to Better Project Tracking

You can plan your projects exceptionally well, but... Read More

Prince 2: The Road Map To Project Success

PRINCE2 is an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. It is an effective process-based method for authoritative project management. It is mostly used by the UK Government and also in private sectors, internationally. The PRINCE2 method offers the best practice guidance on project management. PRINCE was established in 1989 by CCTA (the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency). Since then, it is widely used for Project Management. PRINCE2 principles helps to manage the projects particularly in the business world. Before proceeding further, you should have knowledge about, “What is a Project and what makes a successful project?” A project can be defined as “a management environment that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to a specified business case”. You can connote the term “Project” in a broader perspective by considering the downside, that is by taking into account the conditions that culminate in the failure of a project.   Given below are some of the factors responsible for the failure of a project- Lack of management support: Results into insufficient finance and resources. Resource problems: Can mean there is a lack of employees in the project Lack of clarity: If the clarity about the roles and responsibilities is missing, a sag in the performance curve is inevitable. Poor communication: The necessary project information, if not routed in the proper direction, may cause confusion among the team members. Lack of leadership – A project can be unsuccessful if team members are not guided properly. This may happen if the project manager himself does not have the required experience or management skills. The Project can be successful if the following are present- Preplanning– For a project to be successful, planning plays a crucial role. The project manager should have a vision of the project outcome. The first step to achieve this is to create and explain the roles and responsibilities to the team members. Strong leadership – The team lead should be skilled enough to spearhead in the best way possible. If the team members get proper guidance, any project can be implemented successfully. Project completion time – The key to the success and reputation of a project hinges on how well the timeline has been managed. Completing the project within or before the stipulated time not only impresses the Client, but also proves to be a measure of the potential of the project members. For successful and smoothly operated projects, PROMPT II, PRINCE, and subsequently PRINCE2 were all introduced to operate with the common reasons for project failure. PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is considered as a calibrated International product. It is the standard method for managing the projects and providing a flexible and accommodating approach to suit all the projects. There are some keys to project success while using Prince2, which enhances the quality of the project. Reducing Waste: Reducing waste saves both money and time. However, it is difficult to predict and pinpoint the sources of waste. Prince2 helps eliminate waste through the following two techniques- Project Assurance : Project Assurance is essential for a PRINCE2 project. It is a kind of survey which gives accurate information to the project board. Organizations are getting smarter due to “assurance audit”. This does not need a separate role, since the ‘financial merger’ does the ‘financial audit’ for you. Tailoring –:With PRINCE2, you can tailor the projects to make them small, yet effective.     1. Improving Strategy for Business Arrangement: To make the project run and sync towards the business goal, make sure your project is equipped with: Continued business justification – ‘A project should be run only if it is aligned with the organizational goal’, is the fundamental principle of Prince2. If you plan a strategy and resources for the project, your project will be effective. Business Case – The Business Case keeps record of the costs and expected outcome of a project. The non-perishable business cases can create inconsistent project objectives.      2. Sponsor engagement: Communication – It is useful to keep all the stakeholders in loop, including the sponsors.  PRINCE2 calls it stakeholder engagement rather than sponsor engagement. If anyone is interested in the project, they are expected to be updated with the project. Communication Management Strategy – A document that describes communication strategy with the stakeholders, may vary depending on the project size and organisation. You can make groups for communication. For instance, the group for project team meeting can also have communication strategy for individuals which depends on their communication preference. By and large, Prince 2 has proved to be a highly effective method for the success of any project. The team leads should be knowledgeable enough to master the method and upscale their teams accordingly.  
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Prince 2: The Road Map To Project Success

PRINCE2 is an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled E... Read More