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ITIL Comprehensive Guide

Most enterprises and their service providers find it difficult to manage IT services within a business. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) was created to solve this problem. It offers a management framework and process guidance that has become a popularly accepted standard. ITIL is used by several organizations, including IBM, NASA, and HSBC to standardize IT Management procedures. Thus, many IT professionals have been trained and certified as ITIL experts according to the recent ITIL certification stats published by EXIN.If you are new to ITIL, learning it may look difficult. It can be a bit dry. However, this guide simplifies the ITIL concepts and makes it easy for you to understand.Let’s get started.Table of ContentITIL: Overview and HistoryWhat is ITIL?History of ITILPrinciples of ITILBasics ITIL terminologies and conceptsITIL LifecycleITIL ProcessesProcesses under ITIL Service StrategyProcesses under ITIL Service DesignProcesses under ITIL Service TransitionProcesses under ITIL Service OperationBenefits of adopting the ITIL frameworkITIL: Where to startITIL Implementation RoadmapHow to embrace ITIL as an organizationITIL TodayThe Future of ITILITIL certification Guide: Overview and career pathsITIL Certification Program OverviewBenefits of ITIL to individualsBenefits of ITIL to organizations/businessesWhat is ITIL certification and is it worth it?Levels of ITIL CertificationITIL Foundation CertificationITIL PractitionerITIL Intermediate Level CertificationITIL Expert CertificationITIL Master CertificationWhy do you need to attend ITIL training to take the exam?Types of TrainingWho should take ITIL Certification?ITIL related jobs and careersConclusionITIL: Overview and HistoryWhat is ITIL?ITIL is coined from two root words - Information Technology (IT) and Infrastructure Library (IL). ITIL emerged in response to the need for the best practices and procedures in IT Service Management. The focus of ITIL is to keep IT Services aligned with the business needs of the organization. ITIL, therefore, is a group of documents that provide the best practice framework for building Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) solutions in the organizations.History of ITILThe ITIL Framework was developed in the 1980s as a governmental initiative. It was developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency (CCTA) - an arm of the British Government in response to the poor and substandard quality of IT services rendered to the government. Prior to the development of ITIL, different private and public players in IT Service Management (ITSM) created and used a different framework. This resulted in duplication of efforts, an increase in cost, along with unnecessary and diverse complexity in establishing the IT Infrastructure. ITIL, therefore, is a response to standardize IT Infrastructures Service Delivery Management.The initial version of ITIL was originally called Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management (GITIM). Though GITIM differed from the current ITIL framework, the concept was similar in both, as it focused on service support and delivery.The first version - ITIL v1, encompassed a broad-based framework of 30-volumes in IT ecosystem. The focus was on the clients and business needs from the perspective of a customer.There was a major change to ITIL v1 between 2000-2001, giving rise to ITIL v2. The focus of ITIL v2 was to make ITIL more accessible and less intimidating. The 30 volumes frameworks in ITIL v1 were rearranged into 9 sets of logical and related elements. In 2006, ITIL Glossary was released thus enhancing the user-friendliness of ITIL v2.The third version - ITIL v3 was published in 2007. It adopted a life cycle approach to service management - a highly organized compact framework of 26 processes. ITIL v3 is now commonly referred to as ITIL 2007 edition.The current edition of ITIL was launched in July 2011. It was launched in five different volumes:ITIL Service StrategyITIL Service DesignITIL Service TransitionITIL Service OperationITIL Continual Service ImprovementIn 2013, AXELOS Ltd - a joint venture between the British Government’s HM Cabinet Office and Capita Plc. became the owner of ITIL. AXELOS now acts as a licensing authority, accreditation provider to the testing institutes, and is also responsible for managing the updates.AXELOS announced in 2017 that a new ITIL is being developed for 2018.Principles of ITILIt is not an easy path for organizations to adopt customer focused and service-oriented approach in IT Service Management. There must be a change in the mindset to achieve such a cultural shift. There are nine (9) Guiding Principles from ITIL Best Practices.Focus on ValueITIL Service Strategy posits that ‘the value of a service comes from what it enables someone to do’. As defined by the Customer, Value is an achievement of the objectives and an affordable mix of fixtures. Service Value could be in the form of reduced pain, reduced cost, increased productivity and better competitiveness. Design for ExperienceServices must be designed based on user needs and experience. This is critical to service success.Start Where You AreThe goal of this principle is to encourage businesses to approach change gradually. It is not about ripping off the old and starting from scratch. ‘Start Where You Are’ is about building gradually on what you have. For instance, build on successful practices and replicate if possible. If you have nothing to build on, then start from scratch.Work HolisticallyNo service components standalone. In order to not to jeopardize the results delivered to the customers, the service provider must work holistically on all the aspects of service delivery and not just on parts. To achieve this, Service providers must consider People, Process, Products, and Partners.Progress IterativelyService Providers cannot accomplish everything at once. It is imperative to organize tasks into smaller, manageable sections. Every desired improvement must have a focused objective and scope. This will enhance the effective and efficient completion of such tasks.Observe DirectlyIt is important to know and measure what is going on through direct observation and not rely on data alone. Direct observation will reduce or eliminate unfounded assumptions. Business information and decisions based on poor monitoring, measuring and reporting could elicit bad behavior from the staff. Never substitute data for direct observation.Be TransparentTransparency creates awareness about what is happening and why it is happening. More people help to make the things happen than obstructing them when there is transparency. Be honest with your teams and customers. Achievement must be communicated and celebrated together.CollaborateCollaborating individuals will yield better results than when individuals work separately. Through collaboration, people share concepts, ideas and can support one another.Keep It SimpleDiscard any process, service or action that does not produce a useful outcome. Use the least number of steps or procedure to accomplish an objective. Complex work methods neither maximizes the outcome nor minimizes the cost.It is good to automate a process to not only reduce the manual efforts also eliminate human errors.Basics ITIL terminologies and conceptsThe ITIL Frameworks are built around these Service Concepts:Maximum Value delivered to the Customers without the customer bearing  unpredicted costs and risksMaximum Service Value must be delivered to the customersThe use of 'resources' and 'capability' optimallyOffering services with the best utility and trusted warrantyProcesses must be planned for specific objectives.Roles must be clearly defined for tasks requiring collective efforts.The following are the basic terminologies within the ITIL framework:ITIL: Set of the best practices that must be adhered to Infrastructure service providers in IT Service Management. Service: Rendering and delivering the desired results to the customers while working within the given constraints.Service Strategy:  A careful plan by the service provider to outperform competitive alternatives over time and through instances of change in leadershipService Model: This is a description of service delivery and its components. Service Portfolio: A description of services rendered and service delivery components.Customer Portfolio: A record of all the customers of the IT service provider is kept in a Customer Portfolio.Operational Level Agreement (OLA): An agreement between the IT service provider and a different part of the same organization. SACM: Service Assets and Configuration Management is done to ensure up-to-date maintenance and verification of assets.Incident: Any disruption in IT service delivery processProblem: An unknown cause of one or multiple incidentsITIL LifecycleThe current edition of ITIL is divided into five components or categories. It takes a holistic or lifecycle approach to provide the best practice in IT Service Management (ITSM). These are the core components of ITIL:ITIL Service StrategyITIL Service DesignITIL Service TransitionITIL Service OperationITIL Continual Service ImprovementITIL Service StrategyThis is the first stage of ITIL Lifecycles. In order to improve service management in a service providing organization, there must be a consistent service strategy. The service strategy must be in agreement with the business objectives of the customer and in addition to this managing services within its scope. The warranty at this stage of ITIL lifecycle is to ensure that the strategy is fit for purpose and use.ITIL Service DesignThis is the second stage in ITIL lifecycles. The service design stage provides a guidance on how to turn strategies, generated in the earlier (Service Strategy) stage into action. At this stage, services and processes are designed and plans are implemented for the purpose of better service management.In service designs, four important areas should be taken into consideration. These are People, Processes, Products, and Partner otherwise known as the "Four Ps of Service Design".People: Human resources and structures within the organization required to support the service.Processes: Service Management Processes needs to support the serviceProducts: Technology and other infrastructuresPartners: A partner could be a third party rendering additional support geared towards the serviceITIL Service TransitionThis is the third stage of the ITIL lifecycle. The core objective is building and deploying IT Services into a live environment in a coordinated manner. The design is built, tested and moved into the production side, so that the business customer can achieve the desired values. At this stage, IT professionals and business associates learn the importance of managing a change in a productive manner. ITIL Service Operation This is the fourth stage in ITIL. ITIL service operation cycle involves managing the services and processes that have been transitioned into a live environment. The Management components of ITIL Service Operation stage includes - Event Management, Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Access Management, Problem Management, IT Operations control, and Facilities Management among others.ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI)This is the fifth and the last stage of ITIL lifecycle. This stage involves a holistic view of earlier stages with the view to check the key performance indicators and determining whether the service is running optimally. The objective of this stage is to learn from past success and failures using quality management methods. Lessons learned are then utilized to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of IT processes.Using CSI, IT Service organizations can measure and improve on Service levels and Technology. CSI also guarantees that services will grow progressively into more and more profitable services.Continual Service Improvement involves Service Review, Process Evaluation, CSI initiatives and Monitoring of CSI initiatives.ITIL ProcessesAccording to ITIL v3 Glossary, Process is defined as "a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into the required outputs. A process may include any of the roles and responsibilities, tools and management control required to reliably deliver the outputs. A process may define policies, standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed"There are 26 processes in ITIL. The processes are divided into a group of five under the ITIL lifecycles. For instance, ITIL Service Strategy has four processes.Processes under ITIL Service Strategy Strategy Management Process - Involves resolving service failures, fixing problems and regular operational checks to ensure efficiency.Service Portfolio Management - A service portfolio consists of all the services being managed by a Service Provider. Service Portfolio consists of 3 distinct parts - Service Pipeline, Service Catalog, and Retired Services. Service Portfolio Management oversees the process by which services are identified, described, evaluated and selected. Financial Management Process (for IT Services) - Provides the platform for managing the costs and other elements of finance. The process involves three key activities: Accounting, Budgeting, and Charging.Demands Management Process - The demand manager role is to understand and influence customer demand. User Profile and Pattern of Business Activity are models considered in Demand Management.Processes under ITIL Service Design Service Catalog Management - The management and control of the information regarding different services in the service catalog. Service Level Management – This is the process of securing and managing agreement between the Customer and the Service Provider. Service level Management is carried out at the Performance and Reliability Levels. Service Management at different levels gave rise to the Service Level Agreements Availability Management - Ensures that Availability Requirement in the Service Level Agreement is adhered to. 'Availability' is the ability of a system or service to perform its functions when needed.Capacity Management - Capacity Management is carried out in three basic areas: Business Capacity, Service Capacity, and Component Capacity.IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) - ITSCM makes sure that the Service Providers can always render the minimum, agreed-upon level of service.IT Security Management - Involves the Management of Information Assets. It Manages the Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, and Authenticity of Information Assets.Supplier Management - The goal of this process of management is to ensure value for money from 3rd party suppliers. It is charged with the responsibility to Evaluate suppliers, Negotiate with suppliers, Review suppliers Performance, Renew or Terminate Contract with the Suppliers.Processes under ITIL Service TransitionChange Management - The goal is to control the changes at all levels, thereby ensuring that beneficial changes are made with minimal disruption to IT Services. Change Evaluation - The goal of this process is the assessment of major changes, for instance, the introduction of a new service or a major change to the existing service. Project Management - This process is essential for planning and coordinating the use of resources.Application Development - This process deals with the availability of applications and systems required for functionality of IT Services. Release and Deployment Management - The goal of this process is the planning, scheduling and controlling the movement of releases to the live environment.Service Validation and Testing - This process ensures that the expectations of the customers are met.Service Asset and Configuration Management - Maintains information about configuration items.Knowledge Management - The process improves Knowledge efficiency thus reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.Processes under ITIL Service OperationEvent Management - Involves the monitoring of CIs as well as the services and events categorization.Incident Management - Manages the lifecycle of all the Incidents. It seeks to return IT services to the users as soon as possible.Access Management - It grants authorization to the right users of a service. Access Management is also known as Identity or Rights Management.Problem Management - This Process manages the life cycles of all the problems. Proactive measures are taken to analyze Incident Record in order to identify trends or significant problems. IT Operations Control - This involves the monitoring and control of IT Services in day-to-day routine tasks. Facilities Management - This process involves the management of the physical environment of IT Infrastructure.Technical Management - This process involves the provision of useful technical expertise and support for the management of IT Infrastructure.Benefits of adopting the ITIL frameworkBusiness opportunities are constantly growing and with these opportunities, the challenge of confidentiality and service quality is growing at the same pace. IT Service providing organization are expected to work efficiently in order to meet and exceed service expectations. Hence, there is a need to adopt the ITIL Framework. The following are some of the benefits that your organization will gain by adopting ITIL.Improve Return on Investment of ITGreater bonding or alignment between IT and the businessEnhance Service Delivery and greater customer satisfactionReduces cost as a result of the efficient use of resourcesImplementation of best practices to improve IT servicesImprove relationship and interaction between IT Service Providers and their customersEnhanced Ability to manage business risk and Service DisruptionCreating a stable service environment to support and keep pace with business changeITIL: Where to startEvery organization is different, also the starting/implementation point for ITIL is different. You may not need every part of ITIL for your organization.In Implementing ITIL, organizations should give preference to that part of ITIL which identifies the biggest problems of IT employees and Customers. Parts of ITIL that addresses these problems are Incident Management, Change Management, and Request Fulfillment. ITIL Implementation RoadmapYour organization should create a roadmap as an implementation guide. Do not seek to adopt all the component of ITIL at once. Make ITIL adoption a long-term goal. Your roadmap must prioritize the improvement that you desire in your organization. If your IT staffs are not familiar with ITIL, you should include ITIL education program for all IT staff members. Constantly, refer to your ITIL implementation roadmap to be sure that you are on course.Before you understand how to adopt ITIL at an organizational level, it is necessary to acquire basic ITIL skills and knowledge as an individual. A comprehensive ITIL® Foundation Certification training program, coupled with industry-relevant course materials can come in handy, especially if you intend to earn credits towards ITIL® expert certification ahead.How to embrace ITIL as an organization Start by setting the right objectivesYour objectives must be chosen according to the need of the organization. What problem do you want to solve with ITIL? How can you improve the quality of your services to clients?  Holistic Approach to all ITIL StagesSome organization adopts ITIL in parts. It is better to embrace all the lifecycle stages of ITIL without neglecting relevant stages. Manage Change and Resistance to Change Embracing ITIL involves a change in organizational behavior. Changes required by embracing ITIL will also encounter resistance from the staff who are used to performing tasks in certain ways. To avoid these bottlenecks, the organization needs to create a sense of urgency around the change required, promote the right vision and strategy, delegate responsibility, create short-term wins (success goals), and create a culture of change. Continuous Training of IT Team The last state in ITIL is Continuous Service Improvement, to achieve this, your IT team in the organization must undergo continuous training until it has fully grasped the ITIL framework.ITIL Today A look at the adoption of ITIL in the United States and Canada shows considerable similarities. However, Canada started earlier than the United States. Companies in North America are adopting ITIL in parts. They are particularly interested in the processes focused on Service Operation and Service Transition.The introduction of Service Catalog gave ITIL a boost amongst the end-user services.The current adoption levels in ITIL are the biggest proof of its relevance. AXELOS states that ‘over a million IT professionals in the US rely on ITIL’s best practice guidance to deliver business success […]As a reflection of this, the update will continue to include the widely-adopted core principles of ITIL.’ The Future of ITILITIL Is looking forward to a few major changes in the new update. According to Peter Hepworth from AXELOS, ITIL v4 will shift its focus on:Core Principle of Quality Service ManagementA practical guide on how to use ITILHow to Combine the use of ITIL with DevOps, Agile and Lean ITIL v4, an update to the current edition is due to be released in the 1st quarter of 2019. There will also be a sufficient crossover period between the current version and the new update in order to minimize the impact of day-to-day operations.ITIL Certification Guide: Overview and career paths ITIL Certification Program OverviewITIL is a leading framework for managing IT service delivery globally. ITIL consists of a lifecycle model that recommends specific processes and activities during the design, development, and delivery of IT Services. Since July 2013, AXELOS Ltd - a joint venture between the British Government's HM Cabinet Office and Capita Plc. took ownership of ITIL. This is responsible for developing the ITIL frameworks; accrediting training and examination institutes. There are hundreds of ITIL Accredited Training Organization (ATO) worldwide. ITIL has five (5) different certifications. These are ITIL FoundationITIL PractitionerITIL Intermediate ITIL ExpertITIL MasterITIL uses a Credit System of Grading for the various level of Certification up till the expert level. You will need a total of 22 Credits to earn the ITIL Expert Certification. There are different requirements to wear the crown of ITIL Master Certification.Benefits of ITIL to individualsThe IT industry is dynamic, thus making it difficult to catch up with the trends. Over the years ITIL has been established within the IT Service Management field. A standard framework or the best practices is a major need for IT professionals in IT services and IT Management.  ITIL best practices are important in the effective management of businesses. Organizations now require ITIL Certified professionals to scale up in the industry.These are some of the benefits of being an ITIL certified professional Recognition:ITIL Certification is viewed as a standard benchmark of quality for IT professionals globally. IT Service Providers and Employers recognize the ITIL brand and any professional certified by ITIL. ITIL qualification is worth the effort and will help you in your career development.   Proficiency in ITIL Terminologies and VocabularyITIL has a name or term for most of the processes and activities in the IT World. There are professionals using IT service management processes without a clear understanding of the processes or terminologies. Through ITIL training and Certification, you will learn the common language/terms in IT Service Management. This, in turn, facilitates better communication with other professionals. Build a dynamic and strong employee-customer relationshipThe success of entities in IT Services is strongly tied to its personnel. Personnel with appropriate competencies, skills, and experience will thrive better in the industry. ITIL training will help you to gain more confidence, competence, and will improve service delivery to customers. The culture of Thinking out of the BoxITIL training will stretch your mind. You are trained to be flexible and encouraged to think out of the box - to come up with new creative ways of working to improve customer satisfaction. ITIL training scheme will help you to contribute effectively to the process of IT Service delivery. Better Job ProspectsAs expected of any good certification, ITIL will enhance your job prospect. Organizations are finding a smarter way to demonstrate value in the workplace. With ITIL, you will be able to contribute constructively and effectively in the ITIL Service Management processes.  Benefits of ITIL to Organizations/BusinessesIn addition to the benefits enumerated earlier, there are other benefits of ITIL lifecycles as it relates to an organization.ITIL Service Strategy will help your organization to understand the customers and develop and deliver IT Services that meet their expectation. Your organization will have satisfied customers.Through ITIL Service Design, your organization will be able to design an efficient and cost-effective service.ITIL Service Transition will advise and guide your organization on building and testing the service designs. Another benefit of ITIL to your organization is that it will be equipped to deliver and manage any service.ITIL CSI will furnish your organization with the mechanism for constant service improvement.What is ITIL certification and is it worth to take this?ITIL certification is a modular approach to the ITIL framework. It consists of a series of different qualifications with a focus on different aspect of ITIL best practices. The degree and depth of details vary at the various level of certification. Holding a professional IT Certification in a competitive marketplace is a great advantage over those that are not certified. ITIL is the standard benchmark in IT practices. ITIL Certification convinces a prospective employer that you have an understanding of the ITIL framework, how it fits together and its application in a business environment.ITIL Certification also entails that you have been trained in the five major areas that drive the IT Lifecycle.There are five distinct levels of ITIL Certification - Foundation, Practitioner, Intermediate, Expert, and Master.Levels of ITIL CertificationITIL Foundation CertificationITIL Foundation is the basic in ITIL certifications. It covers the basics of ITIL practice areas. It is the entry level that offers a general awareness, concepts, and terminologies within the ITIL lifecycles. It is designed for those who require a basic understanding of the ITIL framework. Foundation certification will be helpful to those who need an understanding of how to use ITIL to enhance IT Service Management.There are no prerequisites for this level of certification. Anyone who is interested in IT Service Management can apply. However, you will need higher certifications before you can qualify for IT Service Management Positions.Surviving and sustaining in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) project environment as a beginner will no longer be challenging if you utilize the maximum benefits from an expert-authored ITIL® Foundation Certification Training Program.ITIL PractitionerThis is the next level in the ITIL Scheme. Newly introduced, the first examination at this level was conducted in 2016. It was developed to provide a step between the foundation and intermediate level of certifications. An ITIL Practitioner will be able to explain how to adopt the ITIL Framework to support the business objective while focusing on organizational change management, communications, measurement, and metrics.This certification can be taken at any level beyond Foundation. This is because the skills covered are not in the existing certifications. ITIL practitioner follows 9 Guiding PrinciplesFocus on valueDesign for ExperienceStart where you areWork holisticallyProgressive iterativelyObserve directlyBe transparentCollaborateKeep it simpleA professional intending to take ITIL Practitioner exam must hold a current ITIL Foundation Certificate. ITIL practitioner is NOT a prerequisite for the ITIL Intermediate Level certification. ITIL Practitioner certification will help you to earn three (3) Credits towards ITIL Expert Certification.The examination consists of 40 multiple choice questions. You are required to pass 28 i.e. score 70%.ITIL Intermediate Level CertificationITIL Intermediate certification is structured as modules and each module focuses on different areas of IT Service Management. You can take as many intermediate qualifications as you need. The modules are either classified as Service Lifecycle or Service CapabilityIn the Service Lifecycle modules we have:Service Strategy,Service Design,Service Transition, Service Operation, Continual Service Improvement.The Service Capability modules consist of:Operational Support and Analysis Planning, Protection, and Optimization Release, Control, and ValidationService Offerings and Agreements ITIL Intermediate certification can be taken by anyone who has passed the ITIL Foundation exam. It is a recommendation that you should have at least 2 years of professional experience working in IT Service Management before attempting the ITIL Intermediate Certification Exam.ITIL Expert CertificationITIL Expert is an advanced certification. It covers the breadth and depth of ITIL processes and practices across-board ITIL professions. ITIL Expert Certification is aimed at IT Service Professionals who are willing to demonstrate holistic ITIL Scheme knowledge. This certification is awarded only to those candidates who have excelled in a range of ITIL certification and possess superior knowledge and skill in ITIL Best Practices. There are key requirements before you can qualify for ITIL Expert Certification:Candidates must hold the ITIL Foundation certificate or a Bridge certification equivalent.You must have earned a minimum total of 17 credits from the Foundation and Intermediate modules.Some credits from earlier qualifications and complementary certifications can also count towards these 17 credits.You must attempt and Pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) module with a minimum score of 70% to achieve a total of 22 credits required for the ITIL Expert certificate. ITIL Expert is a prerequisite to the highest level of ITIL Certification - the ITIL Master.ITIL Master Certification ITIL Master is the zenith of ITIL Certifications. It demonstrates the application of ITIL framework and best practices in real-life situations. ITIL Master covers all areas of ITIL Principles from Foundation through Expert Level Certifications.Candidates must explain and justify how they have selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, and methods from ITIL Management techniques in order to achieve ITIL Master.In addition, an ITIL Master must:Have a current ITIL Expert CertificationPossess five years of ITIL experience in Management or LeadershipSubmit a proposal for service improvementBe successful in an Interview with the ITIL Assessment Panel.In a view of the stringent nature, the cost of ITIL Master certification is approximately $40,000. So, this certification needs seriousness and a high-level of dedication. Why do you need to attend ITIL training to take the exam?ITIL training is not compulsory or required before taking the ITIL Foundation Certification Exam. Candidates can source free materials online such as the TSO Foundation pass guide.Subsequently, ITIL Certification will require mandatory training.Types of TrainingA candidate can take ITIL classroom training for ITIL courses. The training could also be offered in a "virtual classroom". All activities in a virtual classroom will be similar to a live classroom except that training will be done remotely.There are also online training - e-learning, Computer-based training/ self-paced/ distance learning.You should research diligently before deciding which type of training is best for you. All the trainings are accredited against the same standards. In the United Kingdom, delegates lean toward the classroom style of training whereas in the US most of the delegates prefer online training.You can find Accredited Training Organizations (ATO) here.Who should take ITIL Certification?ITIL Certification is suitable for Professionals who desire to bring positive changes to their organization.IT Managers and Directors - A certification in ITIL is a valuable credential for IT Project Managers.IT Service-support Engineers may never become ITIL Masters but a basic knowledge of the ITIL framework can provide support for the ITIL process.Other Professionals who could take the ITIL course and Certification to advance in their professions are:Technical Support Professionals in IT ServicesQuality AnalystsOperations ManagersDatabase AdministratorsBusiness OwnersITIL related jobs and careersThere is more than one way to build a career in IT Industry, this is largely dependent on your experience and expertise. IT is becoming a critical part of most businesses including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Job roles and description varies among employers. Here are some ITIL related jobs and careers.Business Relationship ManagerCyber Resilience ConsultantService Level ManagerIT ArchitectIT Security ArchitectBusiness Continuity ManagerSupplier Relationship ManagerRelease ManagerIT Change ManagerIT Configuration ManagerCyber Resilience ManagerCyber Resilience AuditorService Desk TechnicianService Desk ManagerIT Support TechnicianApplication Support SpecialistHardware Support SpecialistNetwork Support SpecialistSecurity AnalystIncident ManagerIT Operations ManagerIT Project ManagerIT Programme ManagerChief Information OfficerChief Technology OfficerChief Information Security OfficerConclusionThe valuable contributions of ITIL Framework to business growth and IT professionals' career has established ITIL in the zenith of IT Service Management (ITSM). ITIL adoption and implementation by businesses on the rise as well. Thus, ITIL Certification is a valuable skill for any IT professional who wants to remain relevant in the IT Service Delivery and Management. Today is the best day to consider taking an ITIL Certification!
ITIL Comprehensive Guide
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ITIL Comprehensive Guide

Most enterprises and their service providers find it difficult to manage IT services within a business. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) was created to solve this problem. It offers a management framework and process guidance that has become a popularly accepted standard. ITIL is used by several organizations, including IBM, NASA, and HSBC to standardize IT Management procedures. Thus, many IT professionals have been trained and certified as ITIL experts according to the recent ITIL certification stats published by EXIN.If you are new to ITIL, learning it may look difficult. It can be a bit dry. However, this guide simplifies the ITIL concepts and makes it easy for you to understand.Let’s get started.Table of ContentITIL: Overview and HistoryWhat is ITIL?History of ITILPrinciples of ITILBasics ITIL terminologies and conceptsITIL LifecycleITIL ProcessesProcesses under ITIL Service StrategyProcesses under ITIL Service DesignProcesses under ITIL Service TransitionProcesses under ITIL Service OperationBenefits of adopting the ITIL frameworkITIL: Where to startITIL Implementation RoadmapHow to embrace ITIL as an organizationITIL TodayThe Future of ITILITIL certification Guide: Overview and career pathsITIL Certification Program OverviewBenefits of ITIL to individualsBenefits of ITIL to organizations/businessesWhat is ITIL certification and is it worth it?Levels of ITIL CertificationITIL Foundation CertificationITIL PractitionerITIL Intermediate Level CertificationITIL Expert CertificationITIL Master CertificationWhy do you need to attend ITIL training to take the exam?Types of TrainingWho should take ITIL Certification?ITIL related jobs and careersConclusionITIL: Overview and HistoryWhat is ITIL?ITIL is coined from two root words - Information Technology (IT) and Infrastructure Library (IL). ITIL emerged in response to the need for the best practices and procedures in IT Service Management. The focus of ITIL is to keep IT Services aligned with the business needs of the organization. ITIL, therefore, is a group of documents that provide the best practice framework for building Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) solutions in the organizations.History of ITILThe ITIL Framework was developed in the 1980s as a governmental initiative. It was developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency (CCTA) - an arm of the British Government in response to the poor and substandard quality of IT services rendered to the government. Prior to the development of ITIL, different private and public players in IT Service Management (ITSM) created and used a different framework. This resulted in duplication of efforts, an increase in cost, along with unnecessary and diverse complexity in establishing the IT Infrastructure. ITIL, therefore, is a response to standardize IT Infrastructures Service Delivery Management.The initial version of ITIL was originally called Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management (GITIM). Though GITIM differed from the current ITIL framework, the concept was similar in both, as it focused on service support and delivery.The first version - ITIL v1, encompassed a broad-based framework of 30-volumes in IT ecosystem. The focus was on the clients and business needs from the perspective of a customer.There was a major change to ITIL v1 between 2000-2001, giving rise to ITIL v2. The focus of ITIL v2 was to make ITIL more accessible and less intimidating. The 30 volumes frameworks in ITIL v1 were rearranged into 9 sets of logical and related elements. In 2006, ITIL Glossary was released thus enhancing the user-friendliness of ITIL v2.The third version - ITIL v3 was published in 2007. It adopted a life cycle approach to service management - a highly organized compact framework of 26 processes. ITIL v3 is now commonly referred to as ITIL 2007 edition.The current edition of ITIL was launched in July 2011. It was launched in five different volumes:ITIL Service StrategyITIL Service DesignITIL Service TransitionITIL Service OperationITIL Continual Service ImprovementIn 2013, AXELOS Ltd - a joint venture between the British Government’s HM Cabinet Office and Capita Plc. became the owner of ITIL. AXELOS now acts as a licensing authority, accreditation provider to the testing institutes, and is also responsible for managing the updates.AXELOS announced in 2017 that a new ITIL is being developed for 2018.Principles of ITILIt is not an easy path for organizations to adopt customer focused and service-oriented approach in IT Service Management. There must be a change in the mindset to achieve such a cultural shift. There are nine (9) Guiding Principles from ITIL Best Practices.Focus on ValueITIL Service Strategy posits that ‘the value of a service comes from what it enables someone to do’. As defined by the Customer, Value is an achievement of the objectives and an affordable mix of fixtures. Service Value could be in the form of reduced pain, reduced cost, increased productivity and better competitiveness. Design for ExperienceServices must be designed based on user needs and experience. This is critical to service success.Start Where You AreThe goal of this principle is to encourage businesses to approach change gradually. It is not about ripping off the old and starting from scratch. ‘Start Where You Are’ is about building gradually on what you have. For instance, build on successful practices and replicate if possible. If you have nothing to build on, then start from scratch.Work HolisticallyNo service components standalone. In order to not to jeopardize the results delivered to the customers, the service provider must work holistically on all the aspects of service delivery and not just on parts. To achieve this, Service providers must consider People, Process, Products, and Partners.Progress IterativelyService Providers cannot accomplish everything at once. It is imperative to organize tasks into smaller, manageable sections. Every desired improvement must have a focused objective and scope. This will enhance the effective and efficient completion of such tasks.Observe DirectlyIt is important to know and measure what is going on through direct observation and not rely on data alone. Direct observation will reduce or eliminate unfounded assumptions. Business information and decisions based on poor monitoring, measuring and reporting could elicit bad behavior from the staff. Never substitute data for direct observation.Be TransparentTransparency creates awareness about what is happening and why it is happening. More people help to make the things happen than obstructing them when there is transparency. Be honest with your teams and customers. Achievement must be communicated and celebrated together.CollaborateCollaborating individuals will yield better results than when individuals work separately. Through collaboration, people share concepts, ideas and can support one another.Keep It SimpleDiscard any process, service or action that does not produce a useful outcome. Use the least number of steps or procedure to accomplish an objective. Complex work methods neither maximizes the outcome nor minimizes the cost.It is good to automate a process to not only reduce the manual efforts also eliminate human errors.Basics ITIL terminologies and conceptsThe ITIL Frameworks are built around these Service Concepts:Maximum Value delivered to the Customers without the customer bearing  unpredicted costs and risksMaximum Service Value must be delivered to the customersThe use of 'resources' and 'capability' optimallyOffering services with the best utility and trusted warrantyProcesses must be planned for specific objectives.Roles must be clearly defined for tasks requiring collective efforts.The following are the basic terminologies within the ITIL framework:ITIL: Set of the best practices that must be adhered to Infrastructure service providers in IT Service Management. Service: Rendering and delivering the desired results to the customers while working within the given constraints.Service Strategy:  A careful plan by the service provider to outperform competitive alternatives over time and through instances of change in leadershipService Model: This is a description of service delivery and its components. Service Portfolio: A description of services rendered and service delivery components.Customer Portfolio: A record of all the customers of the IT service provider is kept in a Customer Portfolio.Operational Level Agreement (OLA): An agreement between the IT service provider and a different part of the same organization. SACM: Service Assets and Configuration Management is done to ensure up-to-date maintenance and verification of assets.Incident: Any disruption in IT service delivery processProblem: An unknown cause of one or multiple incidentsITIL LifecycleThe current edition of ITIL is divided into five components or categories. It takes a holistic or lifecycle approach to provide the best practice in IT Service Management (ITSM). These are the core components of ITIL:ITIL Service StrategyITIL Service DesignITIL Service TransitionITIL Service OperationITIL Continual Service ImprovementITIL Service StrategyThis is the first stage of ITIL Lifecycles. In order to improve service management in a service providing organization, there must be a consistent service strategy. The service strategy must be in agreement with the business objectives of the customer and in addition to this managing services within its scope. The warranty at this stage of ITIL lifecycle is to ensure that the strategy is fit for purpose and use.ITIL Service DesignThis is the second stage in ITIL lifecycles. The service design stage provides a guidance on how to turn strategies, generated in the earlier (Service Strategy) stage into action. At this stage, services and processes are designed and plans are implemented for the purpose of better service management.In service designs, four important areas should be taken into consideration. These are People, Processes, Products, and Partner otherwise known as the "Four Ps of Service Design".People: Human resources and structures within the organization required to support the service.Processes: Service Management Processes needs to support the serviceProducts: Technology and other infrastructuresPartners: A partner could be a third party rendering additional support geared towards the serviceITIL Service TransitionThis is the third stage of the ITIL lifecycle. The core objective is building and deploying IT Services into a live environment in a coordinated manner. The design is built, tested and moved into the production side, so that the business customer can achieve the desired values. At this stage, IT professionals and business associates learn the importance of managing a change in a productive manner. ITIL Service Operation This is the fourth stage in ITIL. ITIL service operation cycle involves managing the services and processes that have been transitioned into a live environment. The Management components of ITIL Service Operation stage includes - Event Management, Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Access Management, Problem Management, IT Operations control, and Facilities Management among others.ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI)This is the fifth and the last stage of ITIL lifecycle. This stage involves a holistic view of earlier stages with the view to check the key performance indicators and determining whether the service is running optimally. The objective of this stage is to learn from past success and failures using quality management methods. Lessons learned are then utilized to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of IT processes.Using CSI, IT Service organizations can measure and improve on Service levels and Technology. CSI also guarantees that services will grow progressively into more and more profitable services.Continual Service Improvement involves Service Review, Process Evaluation, CSI initiatives and Monitoring of CSI initiatives.ITIL ProcessesAccording to ITIL v3 Glossary, Process is defined as "a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into the required outputs. A process may include any of the roles and responsibilities, tools and management control required to reliably deliver the outputs. A process may define policies, standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed"There are 26 processes in ITIL. The processes are divided into a group of five under the ITIL lifecycles. For instance, ITIL Service Strategy has four processes.Processes under ITIL Service Strategy Strategy Management Process - Involves resolving service failures, fixing problems and regular operational checks to ensure efficiency.Service Portfolio Management - A service portfolio consists of all the services being managed by a Service Provider. Service Portfolio consists of 3 distinct parts - Service Pipeline, Service Catalog, and Retired Services. Service Portfolio Management oversees the process by which services are identified, described, evaluated and selected. Financial Management Process (for IT Services) - Provides the platform for managing the costs and other elements of finance. The process involves three key activities: Accounting, Budgeting, and Charging.Demands Management Process - The demand manager role is to understand and influence customer demand. User Profile and Pattern of Business Activity are models considered in Demand Management.Processes under ITIL Service Design Service Catalog Management - The management and control of the information regarding different services in the service catalog. Service Level Management – This is the process of securing and managing agreement between the Customer and the Service Provider. Service level Management is carried out at the Performance and Reliability Levels. Service Management at different levels gave rise to the Service Level Agreements Availability Management - Ensures that Availability Requirement in the Service Level Agreement is adhered to. 'Availability' is the ability of a system or service to perform its functions when needed.Capacity Management - Capacity Management is carried out in three basic areas: Business Capacity, Service Capacity, and Component Capacity.IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) - ITSCM makes sure that the Service Providers can always render the minimum, agreed-upon level of service.IT Security Management - Involves the Management of Information Assets. It Manages the Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, and Authenticity of Information Assets.Supplier Management - The goal of this process of management is to ensure value for money from 3rd party suppliers. It is charged with the responsibility to Evaluate suppliers, Negotiate with suppliers, Review suppliers Performance, Renew or Terminate Contract with the Suppliers.Processes under ITIL Service TransitionChange Management - The goal is to control the changes at all levels, thereby ensuring that beneficial changes are made with minimal disruption to IT Services. Change Evaluation - The goal of this process is the assessment of major changes, for instance, the introduction of a new service or a major change to the existing service. Project Management - This process is essential for planning and coordinating the use of resources.Application Development - This process deals with the availability of applications and systems required for functionality of IT Services. Release and Deployment Management - The goal of this process is the planning, scheduling and controlling the movement of releases to the live environment.Service Validation and Testing - This process ensures that the expectations of the customers are met.Service Asset and Configuration Management - Maintains information about configuration items.Knowledge Management - The process improves Knowledge efficiency thus reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.Processes under ITIL Service OperationEvent Management - Involves the monitoring of CIs as well as the services and events categorization.Incident Management - Manages the lifecycle of all the Incidents. It seeks to return IT services to the users as soon as possible.Access Management - It grants authorization to the right users of a service. Access Management is also known as Identity or Rights Management.Problem Management - This Process manages the life cycles of all the problems. Proactive measures are taken to analyze Incident Record in order to identify trends or significant problems. IT Operations Control - This involves the monitoring and control of IT Services in day-to-day routine tasks. Facilities Management - This process involves the management of the physical environment of IT Infrastructure.Technical Management - This process involves the provision of useful technical expertise and support for the management of IT Infrastructure.Benefits of adopting the ITIL frameworkBusiness opportunities are constantly growing and with these opportunities, the challenge of confidentiality and service quality is growing at the same pace. IT Service providing organization are expected to work efficiently in order to meet and exceed service expectations. Hence, there is a need to adopt the ITIL Framework. The following are some of the benefits that your organization will gain by adopting ITIL.Improve Return on Investment of ITGreater bonding or alignment between IT and the businessEnhance Service Delivery and greater customer satisfactionReduces cost as a result of the efficient use of resourcesImplementation of best practices to improve IT servicesImprove relationship and interaction between IT Service Providers and their customersEnhanced Ability to manage business risk and Service DisruptionCreating a stable service environment to support and keep pace with business changeITIL: Where to startEvery organization is different, also the starting/implementation point for ITIL is different. You may not need every part of ITIL for your organization.In Implementing ITIL, organizations should give preference to that part of ITIL which identifies the biggest problems of IT employees and Customers. Parts of ITIL that addresses these problems are Incident Management, Change Management, and Request Fulfillment. ITIL Implementation RoadmapYour organization should create a roadmap as an implementation guide. Do not seek to adopt all the component of ITIL at once. Make ITIL adoption a long-term goal. Your roadmap must prioritize the improvement that you desire in your organization. If your IT staffs are not familiar with ITIL, you should include ITIL education program for all IT staff members. Constantly, refer to your ITIL implementation roadmap to be sure that you are on course.Before you understand how to adopt ITIL at an organizational level, it is necessary to acquire basic ITIL skills and knowledge as an individual. A comprehensive ITIL® Foundation Certification training program, coupled with industry-relevant course materials can come in handy, especially if you intend to earn credits towards ITIL® expert certification ahead.How to embrace ITIL as an organization Start by setting the right objectivesYour objectives must be chosen according to the need of the organization. What problem do you want to solve with ITIL? How can you improve the quality of your services to clients?  Holistic Approach to all ITIL StagesSome organization adopts ITIL in parts. It is better to embrace all the lifecycle stages of ITIL without neglecting relevant stages. Manage Change and Resistance to Change Embracing ITIL involves a change in organizational behavior. Changes required by embracing ITIL will also encounter resistance from the staff who are used to performing tasks in certain ways. To avoid these bottlenecks, the organization needs to create a sense of urgency around the change required, promote the right vision and strategy, delegate responsibility, create short-term wins (success goals), and create a culture of change. Continuous Training of IT Team The last state in ITIL is Continuous Service Improvement, to achieve this, your IT team in the organization must undergo continuous training until it has fully grasped the ITIL framework.ITIL Today A look at the adoption of ITIL in the United States and Canada shows considerable similarities. However, Canada started earlier than the United States. Companies in North America are adopting ITIL in parts. They are particularly interested in the processes focused on Service Operation and Service Transition.The introduction of Service Catalog gave ITIL a boost amongst the end-user services.The current adoption levels in ITIL are the biggest proof of its relevance. AXELOS states that ‘over a million IT professionals in the US rely on ITIL’s best practice guidance to deliver business success […]As a reflection of this, the update will continue to include the widely-adopted core principles of ITIL.’ The Future of ITILITIL Is looking forward to a few major changes in the new update. According to Peter Hepworth from AXELOS, ITIL v4 will shift its focus on:Core Principle of Quality Service ManagementA practical guide on how to use ITILHow to Combine the use of ITIL with DevOps, Agile and Lean ITIL v4, an update to the current edition is due to be released in the 1st quarter of 2019. There will also be a sufficient crossover period between the current version and the new update in order to minimize the impact of day-to-day operations.ITIL Certification Guide: Overview and career paths ITIL Certification Program OverviewITIL is a leading framework for managing IT service delivery globally. ITIL consists of a lifecycle model that recommends specific processes and activities during the design, development, and delivery of IT Services. Since July 2013, AXELOS Ltd - a joint venture between the British Government's HM Cabinet Office and Capita Plc. took ownership of ITIL. This is responsible for developing the ITIL frameworks; accrediting training and examination institutes. There are hundreds of ITIL Accredited Training Organization (ATO) worldwide. ITIL has five (5) different certifications. These are ITIL FoundationITIL PractitionerITIL Intermediate ITIL ExpertITIL MasterITIL uses a Credit System of Grading for the various level of Certification up till the expert level. You will need a total of 22 Credits to earn the ITIL Expert Certification. There are different requirements to wear the crown of ITIL Master Certification.Benefits of ITIL to individualsThe IT industry is dynamic, thus making it difficult to catch up with the trends. Over the years ITIL has been established within the IT Service Management field. A standard framework or the best practices is a major need for IT professionals in IT services and IT Management.  ITIL best practices are important in the effective management of businesses. Organizations now require ITIL Certified professionals to scale up in the industry.These are some of the benefits of being an ITIL certified professional Recognition:ITIL Certification is viewed as a standard benchmark of quality for IT professionals globally. IT Service Providers and Employers recognize the ITIL brand and any professional certified by ITIL. ITIL qualification is worth the effort and will help you in your career development.   Proficiency in ITIL Terminologies and VocabularyITIL has a name or term for most of the processes and activities in the IT World. There are professionals using IT service management processes without a clear understanding of the processes or terminologies. Through ITIL training and Certification, you will learn the common language/terms in IT Service Management. This, in turn, facilitates better communication with other professionals. Build a dynamic and strong employee-customer relationshipThe success of entities in IT Services is strongly tied to its personnel. Personnel with appropriate competencies, skills, and experience will thrive better in the industry. ITIL training will help you to gain more confidence, competence, and will improve service delivery to customers. The culture of Thinking out of the BoxITIL training will stretch your mind. You are trained to be flexible and encouraged to think out of the box - to come up with new creative ways of working to improve customer satisfaction. ITIL training scheme will help you to contribute effectively to the process of IT Service delivery. Better Job ProspectsAs expected of any good certification, ITIL will enhance your job prospect. Organizations are finding a smarter way to demonstrate value in the workplace. With ITIL, you will be able to contribute constructively and effectively in the ITIL Service Management processes.  Benefits of ITIL to Organizations/BusinessesIn addition to the benefits enumerated earlier, there are other benefits of ITIL lifecycles as it relates to an organization.ITIL Service Strategy will help your organization to understand the customers and develop and deliver IT Services that meet their expectation. Your organization will have satisfied customers.Through ITIL Service Design, your organization will be able to design an efficient and cost-effective service.ITIL Service Transition will advise and guide your organization on building and testing the service designs. Another benefit of ITIL to your organization is that it will be equipped to deliver and manage any service.ITIL CSI will furnish your organization with the mechanism for constant service improvement.What is ITIL certification and is it worth to take this?ITIL certification is a modular approach to the ITIL framework. It consists of a series of different qualifications with a focus on different aspect of ITIL best practices. The degree and depth of details vary at the various level of certification. Holding a professional IT Certification in a competitive marketplace is a great advantage over those that are not certified. ITIL is the standard benchmark in IT practices. ITIL Certification convinces a prospective employer that you have an understanding of the ITIL framework, how it fits together and its application in a business environment.ITIL Certification also entails that you have been trained in the five major areas that drive the IT Lifecycle.There are five distinct levels of ITIL Certification - Foundation, Practitioner, Intermediate, Expert, and Master.Levels of ITIL CertificationITIL Foundation CertificationITIL Foundation is the basic in ITIL certifications. It covers the basics of ITIL practice areas. It is the entry level that offers a general awareness, concepts, and terminologies within the ITIL lifecycles. It is designed for those who require a basic understanding of the ITIL framework. Foundation certification will be helpful to those who need an understanding of how to use ITIL to enhance IT Service Management.There are no prerequisites for this level of certification. Anyone who is interested in IT Service Management can apply. However, you will need higher certifications before you can qualify for IT Service Management Positions.Surviving and sustaining in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) project environment as a beginner will no longer be challenging if you utilize the maximum benefits from an expert-authored ITIL® Foundation Certification Training Program.ITIL PractitionerThis is the next level in the ITIL Scheme. Newly introduced, the first examination at this level was conducted in 2016. It was developed to provide a step between the foundation and intermediate level of certifications. An ITIL Practitioner will be able to explain how to adopt the ITIL Framework to support the business objective while focusing on organizational change management, communications, measurement, and metrics.This certification can be taken at any level beyond Foundation. This is because the skills covered are not in the existing certifications. ITIL practitioner follows 9 Guiding PrinciplesFocus on valueDesign for ExperienceStart where you areWork holisticallyProgressive iterativelyObserve directlyBe transparentCollaborateKeep it simpleA professional intending to take ITIL Practitioner exam must hold a current ITIL Foundation Certificate. ITIL practitioner is NOT a prerequisite for the ITIL Intermediate Level certification. ITIL Practitioner certification will help you to earn three (3) Credits towards ITIL Expert Certification.The examination consists of 40 multiple choice questions. You are required to pass 28 i.e. score 70%.ITIL Intermediate Level CertificationITIL Intermediate certification is structured as modules and each module focuses on different areas of IT Service Management. You can take as many intermediate qualifications as you need. The modules are either classified as Service Lifecycle or Service CapabilityIn the Service Lifecycle modules we have:Service Strategy,Service Design,Service Transition, Service Operation, Continual Service Improvement.The Service Capability modules consist of:Operational Support and Analysis Planning, Protection, and Optimization Release, Control, and ValidationService Offerings and Agreements ITIL Intermediate certification can be taken by anyone who has passed the ITIL Foundation exam. It is a recommendation that you should have at least 2 years of professional experience working in IT Service Management before attempting the ITIL Intermediate Certification Exam.ITIL Expert CertificationITIL Expert is an advanced certification. It covers the breadth and depth of ITIL processes and practices across-board ITIL professions. ITIL Expert Certification is aimed at IT Service Professionals who are willing to demonstrate holistic ITIL Scheme knowledge. This certification is awarded only to those candidates who have excelled in a range of ITIL certification and possess superior knowledge and skill in ITIL Best Practices. There are key requirements before you can qualify for ITIL Expert Certification:Candidates must hold the ITIL Foundation certificate or a Bridge certification equivalent.You must have earned a minimum total of 17 credits from the Foundation and Intermediate modules.Some credits from earlier qualifications and complementary certifications can also count towards these 17 credits.You must attempt and Pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) module with a minimum score of 70% to achieve a total of 22 credits required for the ITIL Expert certificate. ITIL Expert is a prerequisite to the highest level of ITIL Certification - the ITIL Master.ITIL Master Certification ITIL Master is the zenith of ITIL Certifications. It demonstrates the application of ITIL framework and best practices in real-life situations. ITIL Master covers all areas of ITIL Principles from Foundation through Expert Level Certifications.Candidates must explain and justify how they have selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, and methods from ITIL Management techniques in order to achieve ITIL Master.In addition, an ITIL Master must:Have a current ITIL Expert CertificationPossess five years of ITIL experience in Management or LeadershipSubmit a proposal for service improvementBe successful in an Interview with the ITIL Assessment Panel.In a view of the stringent nature, the cost of ITIL Master certification is approximately $40,000. So, this certification needs seriousness and a high-level of dedication. Why do you need to attend ITIL training to take the exam?ITIL training is not compulsory or required before taking the ITIL Foundation Certification Exam. Candidates can source free materials online such as the TSO Foundation pass guide.Subsequently, ITIL Certification will require mandatory training.Types of TrainingA candidate can take ITIL classroom training for ITIL courses. The training could also be offered in a "virtual classroom". All activities in a virtual classroom will be similar to a live classroom except that training will be done remotely.There are also online training - e-learning, Computer-based training/ self-paced/ distance learning.You should research diligently before deciding which type of training is best for you. All the trainings are accredited against the same standards. In the United Kingdom, delegates lean toward the classroom style of training whereas in the US most of the delegates prefer online training.You can find Accredited Training Organizations (ATO) here.Who should take ITIL Certification?ITIL Certification is suitable for Professionals who desire to bring positive changes to their organization.IT Managers and Directors - A certification in ITIL is a valuable credential for IT Project Managers.IT Service-support Engineers may never become ITIL Masters but a basic knowledge of the ITIL framework can provide support for the ITIL process.Other Professionals who could take the ITIL course and Certification to advance in their professions are:Technical Support Professionals in IT ServicesQuality AnalystsOperations ManagersDatabase AdministratorsBusiness OwnersITIL related jobs and careersThere is more than one way to build a career in IT Industry, this is largely dependent on your experience and expertise. IT is becoming a critical part of most businesses including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Job roles and description varies among employers. Here are some ITIL related jobs and careers.Business Relationship ManagerCyber Resilience ConsultantService Level ManagerIT ArchitectIT Security ArchitectBusiness Continuity ManagerSupplier Relationship ManagerRelease ManagerIT Change ManagerIT Configuration ManagerCyber Resilience ManagerCyber Resilience AuditorService Desk TechnicianService Desk ManagerIT Support TechnicianApplication Support SpecialistHardware Support SpecialistNetwork Support SpecialistSecurity AnalystIncident ManagerIT Operations ManagerIT Project ManagerIT Programme ManagerChief Information OfficerChief Technology OfficerChief Information Security OfficerConclusionThe valuable contributions of ITIL Framework to business growth and IT professionals' career has established ITIL in the zenith of IT Service Management (ITSM). ITIL adoption and implementation by businesses on the rise as well. Thus, ITIL Certification is a valuable skill for any IT professional who wants to remain relevant in the IT Service Delivery and Management. Today is the best day to consider taking an ITIL Certification!
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A Journey Towards Earning a Leading Safe® 4.6 Certification

Our blog regularly provides insights about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®), like 4 main features that enable SAFe®. You can also go through an article stating the benefits of SAFe® Agilist certification. Also, we recently published a specific article about the benefits to get the SAFe® 4.5 Certification, and here we give some details about the Leading SAFe® 4.5.What is SAFe®? When any large organization wants to go Agile, it can hardly skip the Scaled Agile Framework ® (SAFe®). Now, this framework has become the world’s leading framework for companies that target to scale Agile. Also, SAFe® is described as the “Agile Enterprise Big Picture”, as it helps to apply Agile and Lean practices and principles to the whole organization, from the Team to the Portfolio level.Benefits of the SAFe® certification For any professional, being SAFe® certified brings recognition to be able to support all kinds of organizations in their Lean and/or Agile transformation. Indeed, SAFe® is the most used framework for scaling Agile, especially in big companies like the ones listed in the US Fortune 100. Consequently, holding a SAFe® certification makes a candidate profile very attractive compared to employers’ expectations.Accreditation body of SAFe®The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®®) has an official certifying body: Scaled Agile, Inc. This accreditation body guarantees “ a valid, reliable, and consistent method of assessing SAFe® skills, knowledge, and mindset “ (read more About SAFe® Certification ).Salary of the SAFe® certifiedSalary for SAFe® certified professionals can vary across regions and experience:EuropeIndiaUnited StatesAgile Coach€ 70,000Rs 2,220,000$135,000Product Owner€ 80,000Rs 1,900,000$115,000Scrum Master€ 55,000Rs 1,220,000$95,000Software Engineer€ 60,000Rs 1,630,000$75,000Job roles/Target audience of the SAFe® certificationThe target audience of the SAFe® certification is wide and covers all these positions:         Executives and Leaders, Managers, Directors, CIOs, and VPs         Development, QA, and Infrastructure Management         Program and Project Managers         Product and Product Line Management         Portfolio Managers, PMO, and Process Leads         Enterprise, System, and Solution ArchitectsStatistics related to SAFe® certification(Note: All the data mentioned here is provided by https://www.payscale.com )EuropeIndiaUnited StatesGenderFemale: 10%Male: 90%Female: 40%Male: 60%Years of experiencePopular companiesDeutsche BankINGBNPViseoPhilipsOmicron4Com TechnologiesMotorolaAir France KLMCA, Inc.Syntel, Inc.Tata Consultancy Services LimitedInfosys LimitedAccentureJohnson ControlsFederal Express Corporation (FedEx)Cap GeminiUsaa InsuranceVencore, Inc.TechSmith CorporationJohnson ControlsSAFe® Agilist Exam detailsWhat is the format of the exam?The SAFe® certification exam is in the Multiple Choice Questions formatHow is the exam delivered?The exam is Web-based (single-browser), closed book, no outside assistance, timed.How to get access to the exam? Once they have completed the Leading SAFe® course, candidates can access the exam. For this, they will use the SAFe® Community Platform. How long is the exam?The exam duration is 90 minutes.How many questions? The SAFe® exam consists of a total of 45 questions.What is the passing score? 34 out of 45 (75% passing score). What is the exam language?English. How much does the exam cost?The course registration fee covers the first exam attempt, the provided candidate takes the exam within 30 days of course completion. Then, it will cost $50 for any additional attempt. What are the exam prerequisites? There are two main prerequisites to take the exam. First is to have an experience using the Scrum framework, the second is to have more than five years in one or several of these fields: project or product management, business analysis, software development.What is the exam retake policy of the exam?A first retake, meaning a second attempt on the exam, can be done at any moment after a first attempt. In case of a third attempt, candidates have to wait for 10 days and in case of a fourth attempt, they have to wait for 30 days.Leading SAFe® 4.6 Exam preparation SAFe® Agilist Certification exam questionsHere are some of the questions that might be helpful in exam preparation- How to run agile on multiple teams?How to synchronize the work of these teams?How to prioritize organizational demands?How to scale an agile architecture?How to deal with risks in an agile way?Agile and governance, is it possible?Can you highlight the addition and changes in 4-level with 3-level SAFe® 4.0?Can you define a System Team?Can you explain the difference/relationship between a Value Stream and an ART?What is the key to crossing back in forth or connecting the various levels of SAFe®?What is the difference between a Capability and an Epic or Theme?Why would you decentralize decision making? Doesn’t this disempower the product owner or cause confusion about who is the final decision-maker?Are there any reasons that Scrumban would not work with SAFe®?We have some applications that use Scrum delivery practices and some that are milestone driven (waterfall). Can SAFe® 4.0 support both epic and user story management planning, backlog prioritization for Scrum teams, as well as requirements management for our waterfall teams (until they transition to agile)?Some teams may run continuous integrations while others not. How can we balance this if we have a fixed Program Increment timeline?Is SAFe® making it more complex and less agile (e.g., more rigid, additional control)?Exam study materialsKnowledge and skill required by the job role are primarily measured by the exam. In order to prepare well for the exam, candidates can use various online resources like these ones:The course materials are one of the most important components from the course because they offer an opportunity to refer back to the content delivered during the class. All candidates can access to it within the SAFe® Community Platform.The Study guide delivers comprehensive details about the job role and the exam, like a reading list. Here again, it is accessible via the Learning Plan in the SAFe® Community Platform.Another element of the Learning Plan in the SAFe® Community Platform is the Practice test. It offers predictability of success on the exam because it works with similar time duration and level of difficulty and provides the same number of questions.You can go through the SAFe sample test that contains 8 questions that will help you in SAFe 4.6 certification exam preparation.Ways of earning Leading SAFe® 4.6 certificationAttend the courseCourse completion is the first step toward SAFe® certification.Scaled Agile training classes are designed with the learner in mind. Incorporating active learning techniques with a robust role-based curriculum is a great start to the SAFe® learning journey.Receive access to the SAFe® Community Platform after the class, which provides access to study materials & the exam.Study for the examDetailed exam study guides are available to help prepare for the exam and are part of the Learning Plan provided to candidates on the SAFe® Community Platform. Each study guide provides relevant and content-specific exam information, such as the certification role description, prerequisite skills and knowledge, exam objectives, and a comprehensive reading list.Practice tests can help prepare for the exam and are part of the Learning Plan on the SAFe® Community Platform. With a practice test, candidates can ‘test before the test.’ It simulates the actual certification exam in duration, difficulty, and topic area. Passing the practice test does not guarantee to pass the certification exam, but it provides a testing simulation, and the score report can be used to identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Practice tests are available at no additional charge, delivered through the Learning Plan in the SAFe® Community Platform, and can be taken as many times as needed. Note that the testers will receive the same bank of questions each time, but the questions will be randomized.Sample tests provide the examples of the type and format of the questions to expect on the certification exam. They are publicly available for all exams under Exam Details on each certification detail page.Leverage experience. It’s more than being book smart. Scaled Agile exams test specific knowledge, skill, experience, and attitudes related to each SAFe® job role. Combining a person’s learning and studying with their real-world experiences is a key to becoming SAFe®® Certified.Take the ExamA link to the exam is included in the Learning Plan on the SAFe® Community Platform.Candidates have 30 days after course completion to take the exam at no additional charge. However, once they start the exam, they’ll have a fixed time to complete it.Complete exam information, including exam time limit, number of questions, and a sample test, is available for all the exams under Exam Details on each certification official page.What will you get on passing the SAFe® 4 Agilist exam?Becoming a Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist requires an exceptional range of skills and is a career path for many servant leaders (Scrum Masters). SAFe® 4 Agilist certification includes:An outstanding skill set is required to become a Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist, however, this is an essential career booster. Being certified also means:Getting the Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist PDF certificateGetting the Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist  digital badge. Any candidate can promote their accomplishment onlineNote: Digital badge permits individuals to share authentic certifications online through email signatures, digital resumes, and social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Digital badging consists of metadata that indicates a Certified SAFe® professional’s qualifications. Scaled Agile has partnered with Acclaim to provide digital versions of SAFe® certifications.Getting one-year membership to the SAFe® Community Platform. It also includes access to the SA Community of PracticeGetting access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other SAFe® certified professionalsNote: SAFe® Meetups provides opportunities to the SAFe® certified across the globe. SAFe® Meetups allows to connect with each other face-to-face, share best practices (sometimes SAFe® experts attend or speak in these sessions to enable learning), and gain knowledge on Scaled Agile Framework in a local setting.Getting access to a variety of learning resources to support you during your SAFe® journey.Summing It UpFor professionals who are looking for career development in the Agile field, SAFe® certification can be the most relevant option today. It gives a guarantee to the companies that they hire individuals with the skills required to scale Agile and a strong knowledge of the SAFe® environment. On top of that, it is important to know that a large majority of big enterprises have implemented SAFe® and that the hunt for SAFe® certified professionals is still very active.
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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

Project management is a fast-paced and profitable career path. This explains the reason younger people are choosing project management as their first career. Businesses are realizing the importance of project management. Companies that are committed to Project management practices waste 28x less money because more of their strategic moves are carried out successfully. Also, 97% of organizations believe that project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. Hence, the reason more companies are hiring Project Managers.  According to PMI, 15.7 million project management roles will be created through 2020.Are you aspiring to be a Project Manager, but don’t know where to start? Are you a Project Manager that is looking for how to take the career to the next level? Whatever your level, this extensive guide will show you the right way to become a Project Manager.Table of Content 1.0 What is a Project Manager?    1.1 What does a Project Manager do?    1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?3.0 How to become a Project Manager    3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?5.0  Types of Project Manager       5.1.1 Construction Project Manager       5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager       5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?       5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?5.2 IT Project Managers       5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager       5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?5.3 Technical Project Manager    5.3.1 What does a technical Project Manager do?    5.3.2 How much does a technical Project Manager make?5.4 Digital Project Manager:    5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager    5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?6.0 How to become a good Project Manager    6.1 What is the difference between the Project Manager and program manager?    6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager7.0 How to get a Project Manager jobConclusion1.0 Who is a Project Manager?A Project Manager is anybody who is responsible for leading a project through all its phases from conceptualization to closure. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the 5 phases in the life cycle of project management are - project initiation/conception, project planning, project execution, project monitoring, and project closure. The design of each phase is such that it meets the particular project's needs.Project Managers exist in every organization. They are the essential change agents, perform greatly under pressure, and are comfortable with the complex nature of dynamic environments. Project Managers are highly motivated and effective leaders, great communicators, excellent time managers, good organizers, reliable, and trustworthy. They are responsible for the whole scope of the project, resources, team, and the success or failure of the project lies on their shoulders. The following statistics show the importance of Project Managers.Companies that are committed to Project management practices waste 28x less money because more of their strategic moves are carried out successfully.80% of “high-performing” projects are directed by a certified Project Manager65% of organizations have a high alignment to strategic goals.83% of executive leaders report that their organizations continue to fully understand the value of project management.The upsides of having certified Project Managers came to light much later, after the organizations realized that they were wasting 9.9% of every dollar due to poor project performance. The main reason behind such project catastrophes was the stark shortage of project management skills. Henceforth, the demand for a go-to resource bundle for project management professionals (PMP®) grew steadily. To understand how such courseware helped the project management professionals to spread across various industries, you can access every detail here in the PMP® Certification Course page.1.1 What does a Project Manager do? Although the Project Managers rarely take part in the direct actions that produce the project's objectives, they occupy an oversight position of managing the human and material resources of a project. This helps in building a healthy communication and trust among the team members and strives to ensure good practices for the success of the project.A Project Manager works on well-defined projects, which are based on fixed schedules, timelines, and budget.1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project ManagerProject planning: This is where the Project Manager plans and defines the project and its objectives, develop a detailed work plan with attention to any possible risks and determines the responsibility of each team member with defined timelines. Project management: Here, the Project Manager strives to have all works executed to the correct standards within the acceptable timeline, while sticking to the approved budget. The motivation of team members is essential here for optimum commitment,  and the Project Manager ensures that there is proper coordination among work done by different teams/groups for the elimination of all obstacles to productivity.Delivery and closure: The Project Manager has the responsibility of maintaining the project budget through to closure. He/she ensures that the Stakeholders receive project status in addition to delivering their expectations. Moreover, the Project Manager aligns the project to business goals and hands over a project that is on schedule and has delivered on all expected outcomes.  2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?Certain needs and/or skills drive the desire to be a Project Manager. You would want to be a Project Manager if you already possess or willing to develop certain traits/skills such as great interpersonal relationship, organizational ability, open to keep learning/improving, etc. If you prefer to have not just a job, but also a career that is challenging, rewarding, and has job security, a career in project management may just be what you want. Demand: There is a great demand for project management in different organizations because of the risks associated with the ever-changing business environment. Businesses are rapidly expanding and positioning themselves for the future, and these create a huge demand for Project Managers to keep everything under control. Salary: Project management salaries are highly competitive because of the multitasking nature of each project - where the Project Manager needs to manage a team, handle clients, and ensure that everything is running on a budget. The average annual salary of a Project Manager in the United States is $131,822 US Dollars as of September 28, 2018 (Salary.com). With the steady year-to-year increase in the demand for Project Managers, salaries of PM roles increase correspondingly, offering more attraction for you to want to be a Project Manager.Teamwork: If you are naturally a people person, good at working with teams, and have great communication skills, you may want to pursue a career in project management. The ability to manage human relationships effectively is necessary for the success of any project. Each project has many moving parts and a Project Manager is essential to keep everything working towards the project's objectives.Industry: Although many Project Managers can fit into many industries, only professionals handle projects in specialized industries such as construction or IT.  Therefore, if you are a professional in any of these specialized sectors, and want to build your career in it, you can be a Project Manager and still be in your career path. Management and Leadership: Are you the type of person that naturally finds yourself in leadership and management roles in a group? These are great skills, and project management can help you develop them more because you will have the responsibility to drive and motivate team members for optimum performance. Responsibility: Do you crave responsibility? Are you comfortable taking ownership of any assignment given to you? Do you enjoy the pressures that often come with deadlines and timelines? Then you would succeed as a Project Manager. CEO Position: The exposure and demands of both a CEO and a Project Manager are much similar. They set objectives and communicate expectations to team members. They both manage people, use leadership skills to produce results, and have a clear focus on financial goals. Therefore, a Project Manager position can be a preparation towards becoming a CEO in the future. 3.0 How to become a Project ManagerEducation: You need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in business management. A bachelor's degree in other specialized areas such as computer science or engineering  (depending on the type of Project Manager you wish to be), will also be sufficient. Experience: With the necessary education qualification, you then need to gain some feel in an environment that exposes you to what project management is all about. Get involved in any organization/club/group that aligns with your project management career goals. For instance, if your desire is to be a construction Project Manager, you can take up an internship in a construction company. You would be amazed at the quality of project management skills you can acquire from this.Personal skills: While acquiring some project management skills and techniques, you need to develop the right human relationship skills to succeed as a Project Manager. People make up projects. Without understanding, training, and communicating effectively with the project team, it will be impossible to be successful as a Project Manager. It is also important you have a mentor at this stage. This should be an expert in your career path. Tools of the trade: Riding on only the knowledge of soft skills in project management such as processes, techniques, etc., may not be enough to make you the complete Project Manager you aspire to be. Organizations tend to complete projects on time, within budget, and with better quality when incorporating project management software. Budgeting, scheduling, risk management, contract management etc., are all essential skills a Project Manager needs to acquire. Do not neglect them.  Certification: The project management industry is highly competitive and certification may be the key to get ahead in your career and land bigger contracts. In addition, if the company implements some type of project management framework, then you need certification that is in line with such a framework. The point is to determine your career path and expectations, decide if a project management certification will help you achieve them, then get the appropriate certification.  An end-to-end training on project management techniques serves a complete package if you want to take your project management career a few notches higher. 3.1 How to become a certified Project ManagerGetting a certification in Project Management Professional (PMP®) can be difficult, but the rewards are great. Follow the steps below to become a certified Project Manager. Eligibility: The Project Management Institute (PMI) stipulates that to be eligible for the PMP certification you must possess the followings:   (i) A four-year degree and 4500 hours of leading and directing projects or a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the equivalent) and 7500 hours of leading and directing projects.   (ii) 35 contact hours of project management education.Membership: Once you are certain of your eligibility, register as a paid member of PMI. This is not compulsory but recommended because it qualifies you for discounts on a variety of purchases including exam fee. You also get a free downloadable current edition of PMBOK®Guide (Project Management Book of Knowledge), which helps you prepare for the exam.  Application: Apply for the exam on the PMI website by filling the online application form. Then pay the examination fee ($405 for members and $555 for non-members).Exam schedule: At the approval of your application, you will get the PMI eligibility ID.  Choose an exam date that will give you enough time to study. A minimum of 3 Months is ideal. Also, choose a test location suitable for you. Prepare: You need to study and understand everything in the PMBOK® Guide to stand any chance of passing the CAPM® or PMP® exams. You can either take paid preparatory classes that will equip you with exam-focused tips, or study the materials on your own.Exam: You will appear in person for the exam which is a 4-hour test that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. You need to pass 175 questions out of the 200 multiple-choice questions in the PMP exam. At the end of the exam, you will take a short survey, after which you will have access to your result.Result: Pass or fail, you will know immediately after the short survey. If you passed, you will see your name in the PMI's certification registry in less than a day. Your certificate will come in the mail within a month. You are now a certified Project Manager. 4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?According to Salary.com, the annual average salary for a Project Manager in the United States as of September 28, 2018, is $131,822 US Dollars. However, because of certain variables such as education, a number of years of work experience, level of certification, additional skills etc., salary ranges from $117,345 to $147,570 US Dollars. Apart from the salary, Project Managers in the U.S. can also earn compensations that include bonuses, retirement, and healthcare benefits, up to an average total of $139,926, with the range falling between $122,589 and $160,280 US Dollars.Below are the Average salaries of a PMP in different countries of the world, According to the survey released by the Project Management Institute based on survey collected from 26,000 project management professionals in 34 countries.Annualized salary (in USD) by CountryMedian Salary Exchange rateSwitzerland$130,000Australia$108,546United States$108,200United Kingdom$92,221New Zealand$90,442Netherlands$89,482Belgium$88,364Germany$87,245Qatar$82,314United Arab Emirates$81,6635.0  Types of Project Manager5.1.1 Construction Project ManagerA construction Project Manager is a Project Manager who works in the construction industry. Fundamentally, a construction Project Manager takes charge of the planning, coordination, and execution of any construction project. The project could be civil, residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, environmental, or institutional. This field consists of complex tasks and needs a Project Manager with great knowledge of construction processes, problem-solving skills, and strong communication skills. Due to the complex nature of the construction industry, a construction Project Manager should have knowledge of different areas which are associated with the construction industry, such as law, finance, mediation, etc. 5.1.2 How to become a construction Project ManagerEducation: Having a minimum of a bachelor's degree seems to be the natural way to go. This could be a degree in building science, engineering, or construction science. Whatever degree path you choose, it is important that your coursework includes classes in construction methods and materials, building standards and codes, project management and control, and any other similar classes. These courses will build the foundation for you to become a Project Manager in construction.Work experience: During or after you have gotten your degree, you should find opportunities that offer on-the-job training for those without construction work experience. Some organizations employ Project Manager assistants. These assistant roles are often very practical and hands-on. The Project Manager concentrates on the big picture while leaving most of the project implementation responsibilities for the assistants. If you do not have any type of degree, then work experience is very important. With lots of experience and years spent in the construction industry, you can easily get selected as an Assistant Project Manager even without having any educational background in the respective field.Certification: Although many companies may not demand that you have a  certification as a prerequisite for giving you a job, a certification can give you a better advantage over other candidates that do not have any certification in construction project management. The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the American Institute of Contractors (AIC) are some bodies that offer certification courses in construction project management. The AIC issues the Certified Professional Constructor and the Associate Constructor certificates while the CMAA offers a course in Certified Construction Manager.Soft skills: Construction projects have many moving parts. These include people,  tools, finance, weather, machines, time etc., and a Project Manager must have certain skills to be able to keep all these parts running smoothly. You need to develop effective communication and time management skills in order to become a Construction Project Manager. The management of human relations is a complex one and the success or failure of any project depends largely on how motivated and committed a team is. As a Project Manager, you need to be a problem solver and able to quickly adapt to change. For instance, the weather is a huge factor in construction because it is beyond human control. When the challenges of poor weather come up, a Project Manager needs to improvise in order to complete the project on time. 5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?Construction Project Managers are also known as general contractors or simply, Project Managers. Their duties will largely depend on the type and scope of projects. Big projects will often have several Project Managers where each Project Manager will handle a specific part of the project. For instance, in some large building projects, there could be a Project Manager in charge of all electrical works, while another Project Manager handles all HVAC responsibilities. These different Project Managers will be under the supervision of one Project Manager. However, generally, a construction Project Manager will have the following roles:Preparation of budgets, timelines, and cost estimatesDetermination of the relevant construction techniques and methods to useClearly communicate technical and contract details to the teamPromptly communicate budget issues and project progress to clientsSelect and hire laborers and subcontractorsSupervise on-site activities and personnelRespond and provide solutions to emergencies, problems, and challengesCollaborate with engineers, architects, and other building and construction expertsAdhere to legal provisions, safety and building codes, and other building regulations5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?Factors that determine the salary of a construction Project Manager include education, level of experience, location, the scope of projects, certification, etc. In the United States, the average annual salary for a construction Project Manager as at September 28, 2018, is $101,022 and depending on the factors stated above, this could be as high as $113,839 and as low as $88,049 (Salary.com).Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.Construction Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$101,022United Kingdom£41,740CanadaC$77,632AustraliaAus$98,673IndiaRs 966,397United Arab EmiratesAED 312,397ChinaCNY 744,000Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)5.2 IT Project ManagersAn Information Technology (IT) Project Manager is an expert that has the duty of managing all the processes of planning, delegation, and execution responsibilities, in fulfillment of an organization's IT goals and objectives. The IT Project Manager has a firm knowledge about the objectives of the business with respect to specific demands and allocates resources in with respect to these goals. Some IT projects are; data management, hardware installation, software development and implementation, system upgrades etc.   5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager Education: Most employers demand that their IT Project Managers have a  minimum of a bachelor's degree in fields such as information technology, computer science etc. A master's degree will be an advantage.Experience: Most information and computer system managers have many years of work experience in information technology. If you have experience in managing any project or supervising people in an IT department, you are already on your way to fit into an IT Project Manager role. Skills: To be an IT Project Manager, it is important to acquire relevant skills such as human management, critical thinking, strong communication, time management, decision making, system analysis, use of relevant software (project management/  enterprise resource planning/query/database user interface), leadership skills, etc.Certification: A certification in an IT area relevant to your career path would distinguish you from others. You will have a deeper understanding of your specialization by being current with the latest techniques, technology, and trends in the field.5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?Fast changes occur in the IT industry, and this creates the need for constant improvements and upgrades in systems and technology. The IT Project Manager has the role to supervise a team of IT experts and manage the budgets and timelines of an IT project to ensure smooth execution. These roles include:Ensures communication is effective among all stakeholder throughout the projectMonitor project milestones and modify project plans to meet business needsAssign and delegate duties to team members according to skill setsEnsures that everybody understands the project deliverablesCreate good working relationships among all key stakeholdersEffectively manages budgets and timelines5.2.3How much does an IT Project Manager make?The salary/total pay of an IT Project Manager will always depend on certain variables such as the number of years of experience, education/certification level, location, and additional skills.  In the United States, annual average salaries in this field are $81,697 (IT Project Manager I), $101,961 (IT Project Manager II), and $120,098 (IT Project Manager III) as at September 28, 2018. However, the range falls between $71,897 and $131,846 US Dollars (Salary.com).Below is a table showing average salaries of IT Project Managers across the world.Construction Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$101,022United Kingdom£41,740CanadaC$77,632AustraliaAus$98,673IndiaRs 966,397United Arab EmiratesAED 312,397ChinaCNY 744,000Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)5.3 Technical Project ManagerA technical Project Manager is anyone that oversees and manages the development and delivery of an IT or technology initiative. Technical Project Managers manage either a wholly technical project or the technical side of a project. They are professionals that grew from technical backgrounds, can solve technical issues, evaluate technical risks, and accurately estimate project timelines based on their many years of technical experience. In essence, technical Project Managers come with the combined wealth of organizational skill and technical experience. 5.3.1 How to become a technical Project ManagerEducation: To become a technical Project Manager, you need to have a minimum of a   bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering or other related fields.Experience: You need adequate direct work experience (differs across companies) in a project management role, which has given you sufficient opportunities in process creation and execution.Skill set: To become a technical Project Manager, you need to have strong organizational skills, prioritizing skills, and excellent time management skill. Project management generally is fast-paced with an ever-changing project environment;  therefore, you need to be able to work under the pressure of deadlines. A can-do attitude is compulsory, as well as effective communication.Certification: A specialized certification in technical project management will widen the skills, knowledge, and experiences you have acquired as a working professional, and help you transit faster into a managerial role.5.3.2 What does a technical Project Manager do?The core reason of choosing technical Project Manager for a project is to have someone that can evaluate the project, resources, schedule, and control, through a more technical perspective than the conventional Project Manager can. Responsibilities of a technical Project Manager include:Manage projects with total oversight, in line with budget, scope, and timeline, to ensure project success.Develop detailed project plans that combine a client's requirements with the organization's goals.Coordinate and motivate different technical teams from project conception to completion. Constantly track project progress and create scheduled reports on quantifiable indices such as deliverables and milestones. Evaluate changes in project plans and discuss with stakeholders in order to adopt the beneficial ones.Supervises the acquisition of materials and resources needed for projects and negotiates prices with vendors and suppliers. 5.3.3 How much does a technical Project Manager make?In the U.S., the annual average salary for a technical Project Manager as of October 05, 2018 is $109,071 US Dollars. Average additional compensation is $9,721. Factors that determine the total pay for a technical Project Manager are location, experience, employer, skills/qualifications, etc. These factors cause the annual average to range from $83,000 to $144,000 US Dollars and the annual average compensation from $2,304 to $23,084 US Dollars (GlassDoor.com).Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.Technical Project Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$83,000United Kingdom£40,659CanadaC$81,210AustraliaAus$99,392IndiaRs 1,433,957United Arab EmiratesAED 267,401China¥300,000Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)5.4 Digital Project Manager: A digital Project Manager is someone that has the responsibility of fine-tuning the processes involved in the management of online projects from conceptualization to closure, within budget, and using a specific amount of resources. Examples of digital projects are social media, games, advertising, videos, mobile apps, search engine optimization, events, websites, content development, etc.5.4.1 How to become a digital Project ManagerThere is no straightforward route to becoming a digital Project Manager. You will see no specific university degrees or courses that will teach you digital project management, and you cannot assume a role here without any previous experience. Nevertheless, as a guide, the path to becoming a digital Project Manager can be broken down into a few steps as follows:Skill building: One of the most certain ways you can advance your career is by developing skills highly sought after by companies you admire. Search for these companies to see if any of them has an open or recently closed vacancy for a manager. You can as well search on job boards. Once you find any suitable company, make a list of all the skills, certifications, etc. they demand as requirements for the position and improve yourself by acquiring same skill set. Shadowing: The best way to get anything done is by following those that have successfully done those same things. LinkedIn is a great place to search out professionals in various industries. Search for Project Managers in companies you admire and check what they have listed in their career path/timeline. Look at their educational background, skills they possess, and jobs they handled before becoming Project Managers. You would often notice that these Project Managers have already specialized in one core digital areas or the other (development, design etc.) before climbing up the managerial ladder. You stand a better chance of becoming a digital Project Manager if you first learn and specialize in one of the core digital areas. Certification: A project management certification alone is not the key to getting a  project management job. It only makes it easier when it comes down to an employer having to make a choice between two qualified candidates where the one with certification has better chances of securing the job. Apart from getting a certification that is relevant to your industry needs and career path, a management degree such an MBA will also give you good chances of getting a digital project management job. Responsibilities: It is a prerequisite for a digital Project Manager to be an expert in your core digital specialization. Depending on your present company, and your desire to take on more responsibilities, this can take anywhere from a few months to years. If you show willingness in assisting your Project Manager, and you are proficient when taking on project management focused roles, your boss will naturally give you more work to do. More work means more experience, and more experience means a quicker climb into a full Project Manager role.5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?The digital Project Manager has the role of making sure that all the required deliverables for a project are properly completed and handed over within the project timeline and on budget. Digital Project Managers ensure that all the different parts of the project are streamlined and running smoothly. These roles include - assigning duties and deadlines, clearing obstacles, defining and managing the scope of the project, developing and communicating the project plan/timeline/budget, monitoring and evaluation of project progress/success, etc. 5.4.3 How much does a digital Project Manager make?The salary of a digital Project Manager varies and is dependent on factors that include experience, location, and the level of responsibility the digital Project Manager handles. Salaries in the United States come at an annual average of $90,337 US Dollars as of October 04, 2018 and ranges from $59,000 to $134,000 US Dollars. The average compensation ranges from $1,703 to $22,564 US Dollars (GlassDoor.com).Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.Digital Project Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$90,337United Kingdom£33,673CanadaC$58,429AustraliaAus $115,000India₹420502United Arab EmiratesAED 208,425ChinaCNY 285,766Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018) 6.0 How to become a good Project ManagerIn the professional environment of today, Project Managers are required to multi-task, switching promptly between the daily duties of managing a team to not losing sight of the big picture. The environment is high-pressured and needs great skills and dedication to be successful.Build positive relationships: Create the right attitude and interaction among all parties to the project. This establishes effortless communication and understanding.The big picture: Focus on the big picture but do not neglect the details. The ability to see both perspectives is a skill that makes you a good Project Manager.Lead: You can neither be everywhere nor do everything. Provide enough guidance for your team and do not micromanage them. Trust makes the workspace runs smoothly.Be firm: Projects veer off course when people start focusing on themselves and neglecting common goals. This creates friction and lack of respect and cooperation. Setting some ground rules from the onset with clear consequences will limit disruptions.Influence: Identify each team member's strength and influence each person to give their best irrespective of conflicts, personal opinions, and challenges. 6.1 What is the difference between the Project Manager and Program Manager?Project Managers and program managers use similar techniques and tools, but they have different roles because of their different job descriptions. While a Project Manager is in charge of the team responsible for executing the project and producing expected results, program managers have a broader role. Program managers manage several projects, and sometimes, several programs. The key roles that differentiate the Project Manager from the program manager are:a) Program manager: Manages several projectsManages several project teams that sometimes may include the Project ManagersEnsures successful program deliverablesb) Project Manager:Manages a particular project with the associated schedule, scope, and resourcesCoordinates and manages the project's team's activitiesEnsures project deliverables are successful, timely, and within budget 6.2 How to be a successful Project ManagerIn the highly competitive project management industry, simply being a good Project Manager may not set you apart from the rest. In order to take your career to the next level, you must transit to being a successful Project Manager, whose approach has some uniqueness and produces amazing results.Get involved: To be successful, you need to be wholly involved, especially in team building. A study, understand and know how to get the best out of your team. Know each team member's skill and the way to utilize it effectively. Be informed. Be agile. Be flexible. Change is inevitable. Have a firm grasp of the project and know when and how to adapt to any sudden change that occurs.Be proactive: A successful Project Manager knows that unexpected curves do appear along the project management track. As long as you have the big picture in focus, anticipate these curves in your planning and scheduling, and be ready to provide real-time solutions. Successful Project Managers create alternatives.Bargaining power: You may never have everybody agree with you all the time.  However, if you have great bargaining skills, can negotiate and collaborate effectively with all stakeholders to achieve your organization's objectives, you are already on your way to being a successful Project Manager. Time, Budget, and Quality: Projects are successful when completed on time, within budget, and with high-quality deliverables. A successful Project Manager will make the team aware of these three essential factors to a project's success.7.0 How to get a Project Manager jobA Project Manager's role is very demanding. It needs someone that is flexible with strong leadership skills. The role spans across several industries such as construction, IT, human resources, etc. You will need to plan, organize, delegate, budget, and document all aspects of a new project. This profession is also highly rewarding. To get a Project Manager job, the following steps will guide you.Employer requirements: Research the qualities employers desire in a Project Manager. Some favorite important traits common among employers include strong leadership, effective communication, integrity, initiative, and foresight.Evaluation: Assess yourself and your experiences. Compare your skills with those required by employers, determine where they overlap, and where there are gaps. Deepen and reinforce all current skills that are project management focused and improve to fill the gaps identified. Get qualified: It is becoming very difficult finding entry-level roles in project management. Having some sort of degree qualification, which can be different from one industry to another, is often the first essential step to securing a job. Even without a degree, there are now many online platforms where you can get project management courses without going through a university.Keep improving: The career path in project management is far-reaching. Whether you are looking to secure your first job in project management or aspiring towards higher roles in your career, you can succeed as long as you have a positive attitude and stay motivated. Keep updated on the trend within your industry, and regularly add to your skills, qualifications, and knowledge accordingly. If you are an Agile professional looking to make it big as a Project Manager as well, being the best fit for a project management job can be challenging. Industry experts, however, recommend an exhaustive Agile PMP® Training Program to make you industry-fit and enhance your earning potential. ConclusionThe demand by companies for accomplished Project Managers that are technical savvy, and with great leadership skills is on the increase. The business environment is constantly changing and becoming more complex by the day. The need for a leader that can hold it all together, yet produce fantastic results has become a major priority of business owners. Therefore, any Project Manager with the necessary training, in addition to relevant core soft skills can stand out in his or her chosen field, achieve great results, and attain unimaginable heights.  
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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

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Steps Involved in Risk Management for an Improved Project Execution

1. What is risk management and why is it important?Risk is an uncertain event which could possibly on its occurrence, affect the ongoing project life-cycle/ phase and in turn the project’s outcome. A risk may be a potential hazard to the planned outcome of the project in terms of Cost, Time and Quality. However, in a few cases, the risk may turn out to be a positive catalyst to the project.Uncertainties in a project may be anticipated mostly based on experience and historical data which can be mitigated or avoided while few cannot be anticipated turning out to be absolute disasters ruining the project outcome out-and-out.One can compare the risks/ uncertainties with occurrence in every individual’s life shackling its progress. Attending untimely or de-efforts to mitigate it may lead to tragedy. Hence, managing such risks is of utmost importance to safeguard the interests of the project or life. Nevertheless, life is also a project with many phases in it.The objectives of the risk management initiative are toensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations,assurance that the activities comply with PACED (will be discussed later in this article),support decision-making with appropriate risk-based information,thus assisting in enhancingthe efficiency of operations,the effectiveness of processes andefficaciousness of strategies.2. What are the five steps in the risk management process?For a successful risk management, there are five (5) steps to be executed in a proper manner.Plan Risk Management - defining methodology to be applied for managing the risk.Identify the Risk(s) - listing out the possible uncertain events those could affect the project outcome.Perform Risk Analysis - analysing the probability of occurrence of the risk and its possible impact (Qualitative) on the project outcome based on the numerical analysis (Quantitative).Plan Risk Response(s) - developing strategies for the possible and probable risks to either enhance the positive effect or reduce the negative consequence.Control Risk(s) - performing all the above steps/ identifying new risks/ evaluating risk process effectiveness throughout the project.3. What are the 4 process steps of risk management?The four (4) process steps involved in risk management are:Identify - distinguishing the possible risksAssess - analyzing the probable impact of the identified risksControl - managing or mitigating the risks depending on the risk natureReview - evaluating the process of risk management to the requirements4.What are the methods of risk management?Methods of risk management include:Risk strategyRisk management frameworkRisk management documentationRisk management responsibilitiesRisk-aware cultureRisk training and communicationRisk assessmentImportance of and approaches to risk assessmentShort, Medium and Long-term risksRisk likelihood and impactLoss controlRisk responseImportance of risk appetite - risk capacity and risk exposure4Ts of hazard response - Tolerate, treat, transfer and TerminateRisk control techniques - Preventive, Corrective, Directive and DetectiveRisk assurance and reportingEvaluation of control environmentActivities of an internal audit functionRisk assurance techniques - audit committeesReporting on risk management - risk documentationImportance of corporate reputation5. How do you project risk management?Risk Management in project has become of utmost priority because of experiencing global financial crisis and increase in a number of corporate failures, also, increasing stakeholder expectations.Whichever the field the project is, there is always a possibility of encountering risks which may or may not be averted depending on its nature. However, risk management is everyone’s responsibility.Here, I would like to mention the 10 myths of risk management by Dr. David Wilson which clearly states what risk management is all about and its role among the project teams.All risks are badRisk management is a waste of timeWhat you don’t know won’t hurt youThe risk manager manages riskAll risks can and should be avoidedOur projects aren’t riskyRisk management requires statisticsRisks are covered by routine processesContingency is for wimpsRisk management doesn’t work6. What are the types of risk?Risks can be divided into three (3) categories:Hazard Risk - associated with the management of pure risk - need to be mitigated.Control Risk* - associated with the management of uncertainty (unknown and unexpected) - need to be managed.Opportunity Risk - associated with the benefits of speculative opportunities - need to be enhanced.Note: * not to be confused with Control Risk - one of the five steps of the risk management process.There are certain events that can only result in negative outcomes. These risks are hazard risks or pure risks. In general, organizations will have a tolerance of hazard risks, and these to be managed within the levels of that tolerance. A common area where these kinds of risks are observed is Occupational health and safety.There are certain risks that give rise to uncertainty about the outcome of a situation. These can be described as control risks. Often these risks generate uncertainties on the project budget, time and quality which are to be taken care of or managed to be in the desired range. The main purpose of managing such risks is to reduce the variance between anticipated outcomes and actual results.At times, organizations consciously take risks in order to achieve a positive return, though not guaranteed. These can be described as opportunity risks. These relate to the relationship between risk and return.However, apart from the above, a project may face risks from four (4) different ways which can be broken down as below. These, again, maybe of hazard, control and opportunity kind of risks.7. What are the principles and techniques of risk management?Principles of risk management:The main principle of risk management is that it reduces the volatility or uncertainty of outcomes thus achieving the best possible result/ product.A successful approach to risk management initiative and framework within an organization is known as PACED.P - Proportionate to the level of riskA - Aligned with other business activitiesC - Comprehensive, systematic and structuredE - Embedded within business processesD - Dynamic, iterative and responsive to changeHowever, the key goal of risk management is to enhance the efficiency of operations, the effectiveness of processes and efficaciousness of strategies.As the result of a risk may have on the project, a negative impact (due to hazard or pure risk) or a positive impact (due to opportunity or business risk) so the strategies to deal with the risks.Techniques in risk management:a. Hazard or pure risk:Avoid - changing the project plan so that particular risk can’t occur during which inadvertently new risks arise called secondary risks.Mitigate - steps are to be taken to reduce the likelihood and/or impact of an identified risk.Transfer - outsourcing the risk or awarding the handling of risk to a third party.Accept - tolerating the risk as it is.         b. Opportunity or business risk:Exploit - reduce the time to completion or to provide lower cost than originally planned.Share - forming risk-sharing partnerships, teams or JVs.Enhance  - increase the probability and/or positive impact of an opportunity.Accept - no action.In whichever the given situation, both the risks must be assessed and managed.8. What are the four ways to deal with risks?Priority significant risks facing by an organization are those that have:High or very high impact in relation to the benchmark test for significanceHigh or very high likelihood of materializing at or above the benchmark levelHigh or very high scope for cost-effective improvement in controlTo handle such risks, Paul Hopkin - Author of Fundamentals of Risk Management, stated in his book, four (4) ways called 4Ts.Tolerate risk and its likely impact - a detective action is required to control the risk.Treat risk to reduce the likely impact - a corrective action is required to control the risk.Transfer risk to the third party - a more directive action is required to control the risk.Terminate activity generating the risk - a preventive action is required to control the risk.9. What is risk management in project management?Drawing a distinction between project risk management and the reason why the project was undertaken is of utmost importance because project risk management is concerned about the risks embedded within the delivery of the project. Project risk management should be an extension of project planning. The main requirements of any project are that it is delivered on time, within the budget (cost) and to specification or performance (quality).A risk is often defined in terms of uncertainty or deviation from required outcomes. Therefore, the focus of risk management is often on the reduction in the variability of outcomes and the management of control risks. Project risk management is a type of control management. Project risk management is one of the successful areas for the application of risk management tools and techniques.As per the Project Risk Analysis and Management (PRAM) Guide developed by The Association for Project Management (APM), there are five (5) points in a project where an accurate prediction of the impact of risk-based events can be done:Feasibility: at this stage the project is most flexible, enabling changes to be made that can reduce the risks at a relatively low cost.Sanction: the client can view the risk exposure associated with the project and check at all steps to reduce/ manage the risks have been taken.Tendering: the contractor can ensure that all risks have been identified by the risk contingency or risk exposure limits have been set.Post Tender: the client can ensure that all risks have been identified by the contractor and assess the likelihood of programmes being achieved.During implementation: the likelihood of completing the project to cost and timescale will increase if all risks are identified and correctly managed.Risk management should be embedded in project management so as to consider that it is just another project management technique. It must not be seen as an optional. It must be built-in into project management and not seen as a bolt-on. Built-in risk management has two (2) key characteristics:Project management decisions are made with an understanding of the risks involved.Risk management must be integrated with other project management processes.10. The Importance of Risk Management In An OrganisationImportance of Risk Management in an Organization can be understood by analyzing a series of steps:Level of risk:The explicit management of risks brings benefits. By taking a proactive approach to risk and its management, organizations will be able to achieve improvement in:OperationsProcessesStrategyStakeholders should expect that organizations will take full account of risks that may cause disruption within operations, late delivery of projects or failure to deliver the strategy.The exposure presented by an individual risk can be identified in terms of likelihood of the risk materializing and the impact of the risk when it does materialize. As risk exposure increases, then likely impact will also increase. The level of risk should be compared with the risk appetite (set of risk criteria) of the organization for risks of that type.Impact of hazard risks:Hazard risks undermine the objectives, and the level of impact of such risks is a measure of their significance. Hazard risk management is closely related to the management of insurable risks. Hazard (or pure) risk can only have a negative outcome.Hazard risk management is concerned with:HealthSafetyFire preventionAvoiding damage to propertyConsequences of defective productsHazard risks can cause disruption to normal operations resulting in increased costs. Theft and fraud can also be significant hazard risks to an organization. Techniques to avoid such risks include adequate security procedures, segregation of financial duties, and authorization and delegation procedures, etc.Risk and reward:Another feature of risk and risk management is that many risks are taken by organizations in order to achieve a reward. When an organization puts the value at risk, it should do so with the full knowledge of the risk exposure and it should be satisfied that the risk exposure is within the appetite of the organization. Even more important, it should ensure that it has sufficient resources to cover the risk exposure. Risk and uncertainty:Risk is sometimes defined as uncertainty of outcomes. It is particularly applicable to the management of control risks. Control risks are most difficult to identify and define but are often associated with projects. The overall intention of a project is to deliver the desired outcomes on time, within budget (cost) and to specification (quality).A certain level of deviation from the project plan can be tolerated, but it must not be too great.Attitudes to risk:Different organizations will have different attitudes to risk. Some organizations may be considered to be risk-averse while some others risk aggressive. To some extent, it depends on the nature and maturity of the marketplace within which it operates, as well as the attitude of the individual board membersRisks cannot be considered outside the context that gave rise to them. Improvement in the decision-making process is one of the key benefits of risk management.
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Steps Involved in Risk Management for an Improved ...

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Roles and Responsibilities of Successful Scrum Masters

How do the various roles and responsibilities make a Scrum Master an amazing game changer?Three influential powerful roles in Scrum framework of agile software development are- Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development Team (Development Team is a cross-functional team such as UI Designers, Dev, QA, DevOps and specialties necessary to complete the work). Here I am sharing my awesome experience by explaining the scrum master role.1. Scrum Master responsibilities towards Addressing Team Dynamics:A good scrum master encourages the team to follow Scrum and also ensures the team has a more productive environment. Provide guidance to the team on how they can become Self-organized to achieve the Sprint goals. Tackles scrum teams, work on impediments, facilitation and also educate organization on agile methodologies to maximize value delivered.  Enabled improvement in team delivery commitments and capacity planning for sprints by identifying & tracking hidden tasks that increased customer’s satisfaction. Ensures to keep build transparency with the entire team.Share insights throughout the company through blogging, internal confluences etc.Managing, improving, empowering and shielding the Scrum teams to achieve Sprint goals. Gives trustable Working environment where all problems can be raised without fear.Arbitrate between team members when necessary.Ensures a good relationship with Dev Team and Product owner  These responsibilities can also be qualities of successful scrum master 2. Scrum Master as a Facilitator, Moderator, and Master of Ceremonies: Facilitator  “key player responsible for Process ”, Moderator “Guide the Scrum team” and Master of Ceremonies “person responsible for the show i.e. Scrum events execution”.Scrum Master conducts ceremonies like Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-Ups, Sprint Reviews, and Retrospective meetings.Sprint Planning and Story Refinement: Ensure the product backlog has been ordered and completed by product owner before sprint planning begins.Attendees: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team.Time box: 2Hours for 2 Week Sprint.Sprint Review or Sprint Demo: Product Increment Demo, planned vs. completed work assignments. Capture actionable feedback as items in the backlog. Attendees: Stakeholder, Product Owner, Development Team and Scrum Master. Time box: 2 Hours for 2 Week SprintSprint Retrospective meeting: Meeting organized by Scrum Master in which team discusses three points:What went well in the sprint?What could be improved? What will we commit to improve in the next sprint? Any actionable suggestion is captured, assigned and tracked by Scrum Master.  Attendees: Development Team and Scrum Master. Product Owner is optional.Time box: 1 Hour for 2 Week Sprint Burn-Up and Burn-Down charts: Team progress display in terms of graphs is one of the most popular agile methodologies. Scrum master should be able to conduct Sprint /Release progress through Burn-up and Burn-down charts.  Burn-down chart represents how much work still remaining and burn up charts represents how much work has been done or completed. The main idea behind this is to make work progress visible to all levels. Ensures that a Definition of Done (DoD) and Definition of Ready (DoR) is maintained and followed by the Product Owner and team. Suggests Metrics (Metrics tool to track lead times, velocity, and no. of bugs logged so on.) fundamentals for the team as catalysts for change. Keeps track of running Sprint through Scrum tools like Scrum board, Kanban, action board, Jira, charts, backlogs etc.3. Responsibilities towards Product Owner and outside stakeholders: Product Owner someone projects key StakeholderProduct owner and Scrum Master are two different roles but both compliment each other and work closely for Project success.As per my current experience as a Scrum Master role, I observed that teams are not able to perform like they should because the Product Owner and Scrum Master spent more time in discussing roles and responsibilities than helping teams to produce value for their customers.Scrum Master helps Product Owner to maximize ROI (Return Of Investment) to meet his objectives through the scrum.Scrum Master works as a Liaise between the Product Owner and the Development team. Coaches Product Owner to help them understand how to achieve their goals and continually adapt and prioritize their backlog items for example in case there is a change in requirement or change in plan, Scrum Master knows it well how to come through the way that will benefit both Team and PO. Ensures to make collaborative meetings to bridge the gaps. When there is some internal/external conflicts that come up SM understands it and facilitate a collaborative meeting to resolve this. Ensures to work on every possible mitigation strategies to bridge the gap.4. Remove impediments:Impediments can be of any form and can come from any direction. Scrum Master to be brave and creative in removing impediments.Scrum Master owes two types of impediments:      1.Impediments owned by Scrum Master Lack of Automated testing in ProjectConflict between team members.Continuous Integration/Deployment is not good enough for Project     2. Impediments Scrum Master wants the team to resolveConflict between team members.Focus on roles5. Meta Skills:Scrum Master Should be Compassionate, Generous, Humble, Empathy, Selfless, Creative, Innovative, greatness for others, works for People over processes, Quick learner etc.Well trained in Agile techniques/practices like Agile Games, Acceptance Testing Driven Deployment (ATDD), Feature Driven Deployment (FDD), Paired Programming, Test Driven Development (TDD) etc. Familiar with CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment). Fostering, vision statement, enabling a culture of openness, collaboration, and continuous improvement.“Scrum Master plays a very Crucial Support System role for team/Organization in implementing Agile/Scrum”6. Servant leadership quality: What is Servant leadership in Scrum? It means leaving one’s ego at the door, no authority or power over other team members, operate in a completely flat structure with zero hierarchy. Servant leadership is that the leader is not a superior, but rather a part of the body of the team. S – See the future,E – Engage and Develop OthersR – Reinvent ContinuouslyV – Value Results and RelationshipsE – Embody the Values Ensures ceremonies or planning sessions should be on time. Scrum Master knows that mistakes are unavoidable, it is human nature, after all, and mistakes are additionally a good teacher.Works with Dev team in Estimations so that team does not overcommits the work.Wrap it up: Last but not the least Scrum Master works as a doctor in terms of health check of the project. Coaches new Scrum Master and trained them so that they equally contribute to Organizations success. Of course, there are plenty of blog/articles available on Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities or Day to Day activity but here I have reiterated my own experience as a Scrum Master.
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Roles and Responsibilities of Successful Scrum Mas...

How do the various roles and responsibilities make... Read More

A Step-by-step Guide to Implementing Scrum in Organizations

When I started my Agile journey, I was very much apprehensive about Scrum, because till now we experienced the comfort zone with the implementation of Waterfall methodology, even if it made us fail! Maybe that’s how we human beings are. We feel uneasy with the new changes around us as that changes need to implement from scratch. Looking at the market scenario two years back, there was a survey done by Version One which shows, 58% of the organizations adopted Scrum as their framework to work on the products, today, Scrum has expanded in its share in the market and is being widely used, and moreover, teams are now customizing it as per their need. Let’s see what is Scrum, exactly – in a simple language – it is a way of delivering quality product iteratively and incrementally in a time-box fashion. This is a simple illustration of what the Scrum implementors and others define it, moving with it, why not just explore what they say too- “Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”– Scrum.org“Scrum is an agile way to manage a project, usually software development. Agile software development with Scrum is often perceived as a methodology; but rather than viewing Scrum as methodology, think of it as a framework for managing a process.”– MountainGoatSoftware.comTo set this framework up, we need some roles to support this process, the roles include:Scrum MasterThe Scrum Master supports the team in boosting and streamlining the processes by which they can accomplish their objectives. They also shield the team from both internal and external interferences. Product OwnerThe Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the products produced, they are the owners of the product backlog and makes sure that the backlog is healthy and prioritized.The Development TeamThe Development team is one who creates the product as a whole, they are actually involved in the coding, testing etc, to make sure a quality product is delivered in a time-boxed manner.  They are self-organizing, cross-functional team of people who together are responsible for all of the work necessary to produce a working software or product.Why Scrum? Interestingly, there are reasons behind the popularity of Scrum framework in the technological market, let us look at some-First and the foremost is, “delighted customers”, so far we have been talking about customer satisfaction but now we are one step ahead and focusing on delivering delight.Next, on the list is “improved return on investment”.  Most of the projects have witnessed reduced costs and faster results, which in turn gives confidence to the clients and upliftment to the teams. These look small when we just talk on paper but these are really big advantages of the Scrum that an organization can get.Though we have talked a lot about the benefits that Scrum provides, one must not mistake this as a magic wand that can cure all the problems. There might be scenarios where Agile is not a good fit for your product. It is really important to understand if Agile is the way to go for your product or not! There are many scenarios when we can say that Agile is all we need, to quote some, frequent requirement changes, it is not essential to expend months documenting requirements that may or may not result in what the client wants or is looking for. Next big reason can be, management support for the Agile framework and its philosophy of enabling teams. When we talk about adopting Agile, it is not just a bottom-up approach rather it should go in all directions and more focused from top-to-bottom. If the top management is aligned with the change and merge it with their goals, it will work wonders!Now that we have gone past through the evaluation of Agile adoption, let’s move back quickly to the discussion we originally started with – Scrum!!What if you are asked to implement Scrum for your product? How comfortable will you be to go ahead with this move? I know you might be thinking of all those points that might go into this, no problem, let’s look at it together. For moving about how to implement Scrum, there are few pre-requisites which you are already aware of: Be ready with your product backlogThis is a very essential step in Scrum implementation. To start this up, you have to identify your product owner who can actively work with the Stakeholders and create a product backlog which contains requirements that can deliver value and also are prioritized as per the market need. A Product Owner takes up the ownership of the product backlog. A product backlog usually comprises two kinds of work items:Epics - High-level requirements that are very coarsely outlined without much detail.Stories - More comprehensive requirements for what should be doneDuring the development phase, the teams might encounter some requirements which were not covered in the backlog but are needed, so the team has all the rights to add items on the backlog but only the product can prioritize them.Let’s build our teamDefining a Scrum team is again a crucial step, as this is the team who is required to work closely bound and deliver a quality product. The team will comprise of 5-9 team members which include developers, testers, support, designers, business analysts, etc. All the members in a team will work towards a common goal as set in the commitment. Usually, we strive for creating a cross-functional and self-organizing team, getting the former is quite easy and doable but don’t worry if making them self-organized is taking time. Don’t panic, it really takes a lot of effort and time to churn out a self-organized team!Who will be our Scrum Master?So far, we have the product backlog and the team to work on it, but, where is the person who will make all this go smoothly without interruptions, who will make sure the team is encouraged and being involved productively, who will make sure the team realizes their potential, (the list is pretty long ….). In short, let’s get a Scrum Master. The Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum team is effective and progressive. The person will help the team in planning the work for the coming sprints. Here comes TIME-BOXING in ScrumWhen we talk about Scrum, we talk about Sprints. A sprint is a time-box for the Scrum team to commit and deliver items in a short span of time. It usually ranges between a week to a month, whatever the length has been locked for the team, it stays the same throughout. The Sprint starts with a commitment from a team on the backlog items, they develop, code, test, etc. and provide a demonstration at the end of the Sprint. The Sprint closes with the retrospective ceremony where the team reflects on what went well and how can they improve further. Get, Set, Go!! – First drive with the SprintThe Sprint starts with the first gear – Sprint Planning – here the team picks items from the list (typically from the top in the backlog). They set their Sprint goal and start working on the items, during the course of the Sprint, the team will regroup each day for a quick meetup called Daily Standup/Daily Scrum to talk about their progress and if there’s anything blocking their path of delivery. Once in a while, they will stop by, to talk about the next inline items for the upcoming sprint which is called the Backlog Grooming/Story Time. On the closure day, the team will demo the items they have worked on to the Stakeholders or the Product Owner. The Sprint gets over with the last regrouping called the Retrospective where they inspect how they did and work on the ideas to make it better by adapting to it.How we did on the numbersIt is really important to measure our success and failures, it gives us a chance to improve. This applies to Scrum as well. Here, we talk about our burndown charts, yes, these charts can be compared to the ultrasounds or the X-rays we have, they show how we did as a team, anyone can read out the issues and the brownies from our charts. The Scrum Master can understand, just by looking at the burndown, how the team did, the scope change, the blockers and how the team adapted to the new environment. It should be one of the goals for a team to reach Zero by the end of the Sprint in the chart.Overall, I can say, Scrum is really effective if implemented with the right spirit and the focused direction. There’s a Scrum implementation plan which has to be laid out. We have many success stories where Scrum helped the teams deliver the products on time with customer delight. The dynamic participation, teamwork, and collaboration in Scrum Teams make for a more pleasant place to work and most importantly if your teams are happy, they will go to any lengths to make your customer happy. I have been working with the Scrum teams since last 10 years and I must say, they are more contented. So it’s not just about the product or the organization, it is also about the ‘PEOPLE’, it is about us!Master Scrum and learn more about the Scrum roles and process to deliver the best to the users. Be a better Scrum Master with our Agile and Scrum online practice test! 
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A Step-by-step Guide to Implementing Scrum in Orga...

When I started my Agile journey, I was very much a... Read More