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The ITIL Framework and It’s Processes

You’ve got ITIL® questions. We’ve got ITIL answers. Recently, a group of learners, due to complete their engineering degrees in computer science caught up with John Dell, one of our expert ITSM trainers and authors, seeking advice on careers in ITSM. This blog is an account of the conversation which will serve ITIL aspirants well. The learners opined that they were not very keen on programming and would like to explore what other options exist in the IT sector. They were about to graduate and were not sure there is much opportunity outside programming in IT. John clarified that firstly, the IT sector does not revolve only around software development. The IT industry is vast and presents plenty of opportunity. He suggested they start by carrying out a quick SWOT analysis for themselves.  Majority of the learners cited that communication, good analytical and testing skills and leadership skills were their strengths;incidentally, coding and design were not particularly strengths for this group. The group recognized that IT support and the IT service industry would open up several opportunities, while programming and core software development were not areas that appealed to them. Based on this basic SWOT analysis, John suggested that the students considerjobs related to Service management. Jumping into whatITIL is all about and how it couldpropeltheir career.  IT Management mainly involves Software Development & Management, IT Infrastructure Management, and IT Service Management. The ITILFramework refers to set of best practices, guidelines, methodologies designed by industry experts to align their IT Services with customer and business strategic goals. So, this framework provides uniform and consistent guidelines to all IT industries to define their IT Service Management processes.  Why is there a need for a consistent framework? When asked whether each IT companycan come up with their own framework and design for IT service management, John answered that they actually can. He further elaborated with an illustration -  Company A provides support to Company X and Company B provides support to Company Y. Here, A and B are Service providers and X and Y are service consumers. They have not adhered to any service management framework.  Both service providers, A and B, have unknowingly made many mistakes and faced lots of challenges in providing support to their consumers, X and Y.  After a couple of years, once the project is completed, A and B have not exchanged notes, nor learnt from each other’s mistakes. Six months down the line, B commits the samemistakes that A earlier had and vice versa. In such a scenario, would service consumers X and Y ever come back to A and B again? Not likely. When mistakes repeat,service consumersor customers will not be happy and may not return to with the project again. To avoid such a scenario, what such companies could do is to connect with each other and sharelessons. Such an initiative would avoid many bottlenecks and arrest many recurring challenges. John explained that companies, understanding the importance of consistent process, have embraced lessons from the industry and continually improvise their processes for better customer experience. While it may not be feasible to connect with every other company and collect their lessons and best practices in real time, not with standing that companies may or may not share that information, there is a need for a common forum or entityto collect best practices and lessons across the IT industry and formulate aframework. Such a framework formulated for the IT Service industry is called the ITIL framework. Why is this framework called ITIL? ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. When asked why it was referred to as a ‘Library’, John explained that it is a set of practices for Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business.  As it is a set of practices best practices and lessons from the service industry, it is referred to as a “library”.  Significance ofITILin theService Industry Johnwent on to explain that there were plenty of reasons for the ITIL framework: ITIL framework helps to align the IT solutions with business strategic goals  It helps to set the realistic, achievable and predictable service goals  It ensures efficient service delivery and improves customer satisfaction  It reduces costs through improved utilization of resources  It defines consistent IT roles and improves communication through standardized terminology It improves planning and continual improvement due to regular measurement and monitoring What is meant by continual improvement? John addressed the question with a use case: Company A is the Service Provider and Company X is the Service consumer.  Company A and Company X are in legal contractual agreement. Company A agrees to provide N services to Company X for the next 2 years. One of the agreed services is to resolve all High priority incidents within 4 hours. After a year of experience, Company A (Service Provider) becomes very good knowledge in resolving incidents within 2 hours and this has been verified as well.  Now, Company A (Service Provider) submits a proposal to Company X (Service Consumer) to improvise the High priority incident resolution time by 2 hours instead 4 hours. The contractual document is amended. Company X (Service consumer) agrees to pay an additional amount for the improvisation of service to Company A (Service Provider). This is a good example of continual improvement.  Continual improvement results in improvising service will always increase the customer satisfaction index, says John. History of ITIL In the year 1989, the UK Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) developed the first version of ITIL to unite IT systems in an efficient and cost-effective way.  Collecting best practices from all government agencies and private sector companies across Europe, the CCTA came up with an initial standard framework. ITIL soon grew to a 30-volume catalogue, providing a collection of all IT best practices that focused on and catered for client and business needs. In the year 2000, CCTA change into OGC (Office of Government Commerce, UK). The same year, Microsoft also adopted ITIL as the foundation for developing their Microsoft operations and framework (MOF). This version was focused on making ITIL more accessible and arranged the 30-volume framework into nine related categories.  In the year 2007, ITIL was expanded and reorganized as an IT service management lifecycle, known as ITIL Version 3 (ITIL V3).  Thisversion covers the initial conception, development, transition, operations, and improvement of a service.  ITIL V3 views the activity of managing service as a lifecycle, which is a shift in focus from the individualized process/function view of the previous version.The service lifecycle concept has further evolved since.  In the year 2011, AXELOS released a revision of ITIL that resolved errors and inconsistencies with V3. This is the updated version of the 2007, referred to as ITILv3 updated. In this version,the ITIL service lifecycle contains 5 stages:  ITIL Service Strategy,  ITIL Service Design,  ITIL Service Transition,  ITIL Service Operation and  ITIL Continual Service Improvement.  This forms the basis for all ITIL best practices across the globe. Since 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS Ltd – a joint venture between Capita Plc and the British Government’s Cabinet Office. In the year 2019, due to the Industry 4.0 revolution, the current version of ITIL was launched. V4 has more practical guidance on how to use ITIL in an organization which embraces digital journey. This makes it easier for organizations to align ITIL with DevOps, Agile, and Lean work methods. With V4, ITIL adopted more of a holistic philosophy towards service management, making it broader and more inclusive for the modern IT environment. Having developed a good understanding of the evolution of ITIL, the students learnt about how the best practices which originated from a few European companieswere continuously improvised and revised tonow become a global acceptable Service management framework across the globe. How ITIL works The students now wanted to go deeper and asked how ITIL could help the organization to achieve its strategic goals. John explained that following ITIL practices helps organization achieve their strategic goals by: Ensuring quality of IT services meetsService consumer’s expectations and needs EnsuringService consumer can use IT services whenever and wherever they are needed Ensuring organizations can improve Customer satisfaction by building and maintaining positive business relationships Ensuring that organizations maximize value for money from their service providers Allowing organizations to benchmark their IT services and maximize ROI Allowing organizations to demonstrate and quantify the actual value of the services they provide Allowing organizations to forecast, influence, and respond to demand IT services in a cost-effective manner depending on fluctuating demand situations Allowing organizations to minimize IT service disruption Stages of ITIL and the purpose of each stage By now, the students were very keen and eager to know about the different lifecycle stages defined in ITIL V3 and its purpose. John went on to explain that ITIL has five stages. The following table helps explain each stage and its purpose:S.NoITIL StagesPurpose1Service StrategyThe Service Strategy stage provides guidance on how to design, develop, and implement IT Service Management. This is the core of the Service Lifecycle. This phase mainly focuses on understanding and defining the market. Also defines the needs of the customers2Service DesignIn the Service Design stage, strategies generated in Service Strategy stage are turned into action. Services and processes are designed, and plans are implemented to have a better service management.3Service TransitionThe Service Transition stage ensures that the new changes and modifications are efficiently incorporated in the service lifecycle without disrupting the other existing services or processes. It is carried out in a well-coordinated manner using cost-effective measures and resources. Through service transition, the design built is tested and implemented in the lifecycle in a productive manner4Service OperationThe Service Operation stage provides guidance on day-to-day business operations. The goal is for the IT department to keep things running smoothly, reliably, efficiently, and cost-effectively. The activities and processes in this phase ensure that services are delivered to customers at the agreed Service level agreement with minimal interruptions and disruptions. Service Operation focuses on providing value to both service consumer and the service provider.5Continual Service ImprovementThe Continual Service Improvement stage focus on improving the current service to the Service consumers. Continual Service improvement focus on progressive monitoring and controlling of services. Key performance indicators must be in place to determine whether the service is running optimally, and the service owner must ensure that the service complies with the strategic targets linked to the IT serviceJohn went on to explain that the outcomes of the Continual Service Improvement become the inputs for Service Strategy. Identified improvements will help to revise the strategic goals and targets.  Explaining what was meant by Key Performance Indicator, John defined it as a quantifiable measurement for measuring any strategic goal. This is generally agreed between Service consumer and Service Customer in the legal contract, he added. The difference between ITIL®V3 and ITIL®4  Digging deeper into the difference between ITILv3 and ITIL4, John explained that ITIL4 was the latest version. The two may need to be prioritized depending on the case, he pointed out.  S.NoITILv3ITIL41IT defines life cycle approachIt defines Service Value system-based approach2This version does not talk about 4-dimension model.This version emphasises the importance of 4-dimensions for a holistic service management.3ITIL V3, with its 26 service lifecycle processes, functions and other guidance arguably also describes how the components and activities in the organization work together.ITIL 4 and the Service value system take a more holistic approach, providing organizations with a flexible operating model that supports different work approaches. ITIL 4 presents 34 practices as "sets of organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective".4There are no guiding principles under ITILv3The ITIL 4 guiding principles are universal recommendations that can guide organizations in many situations, such as "work holistically" and "keep it simple and practical".5ITIL V3 covers governance under service strategyThe governance component of the ITIL 4 service value system is about directing and controlling the organizationWhat are the different certifications available in ITIL? Explaining the available certifications in ITIL, John elaborated using the following table to help the students to understand the different certifications under ITIL.  (Source: Axelos). S.NoLevelsPurpose1ITIL 4 Foundation LevelThe ITIL 4 Foundation certification is designed as an introduction to ITIL 4 and enables candidates to look at IT service management through an end-to-end operating model for the creation, delivery and continual improvement of tech-enabled products and services.2ITIL 4 Managing ProfessionalThe Managing Professional (MP) stream provides practical and technical knowledge about how to run successful IT enabled services, teams and workflows.3ITIL 4 Strategic LeaderITIL 4 Strategic Leader demonstrates that the you have a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy.4Master LevelTo achieve the ITIL Master certification, you must be able to explain and justify how you have personally selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods and techniques from the ITIL Framework and supporting management techniques, to achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments.Getting started Concluding, John summarized that to get started all one needs to do is to talk to professionals to understand how the work they do contributes to creating value for customers. If everybody thinks about what they do in these terms, then the next step will be much easier. The IT world we live in is becoming more and more service based by the day and there is great opportunity. Industry leaders have seen ITIL in action and have bought into it. Most major global corporations run their services on ITIL®, and such IT professionals are in great demand. 
The ITIL Framework and It’s Processes
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The ITIL Framework and It’s Processes

You’ve got ITIL® questions. We’ve got ITIL answers. Recently, a group of learners, due to complete their engineering degrees in computer science caught up with John Dell, one of our expert ITSM trainers and authors, seeking advice on careers in ITSM. This blog is an account of the conversation which will serve ITIL aspirants well. The learners opined that they were not very keen on programming and would like to explore what other options exist in the IT sector. They were about to graduate and were not sure there is much opportunity outside programming in IT. John clarified that firstly, the IT sector does not revolve only around software development. The IT industry is vast and presents plenty of opportunity. He suggested they start by carrying out a quick SWOT analysis for themselves.  Majority of the learners cited that communication, good analytical and testing skills and leadership skills were their strengths;incidentally, coding and design were not particularly strengths for this group. The group recognized that IT support and the IT service industry would open up several opportunities, while programming and core software development were not areas that appealed to them. Based on this basic SWOT analysis, John suggested that the students considerjobs related to Service management. Jumping into whatITIL is all about and how it couldpropeltheir career.  IT Management mainly involves Software Development & Management, IT Infrastructure Management, and IT Service Management. The ITILFramework refers to set of best practices, guidelines, methodologies designed by industry experts to align their IT Services with customer and business strategic goals. So, this framework provides uniform and consistent guidelines to all IT industries to define their IT Service Management processes.  Why is there a need for a consistent framework? When asked whether each IT companycan come up with their own framework and design for IT service management, John answered that they actually can. He further elaborated with an illustration -  Company A provides support to Company X and Company B provides support to Company Y. Here, A and B are Service providers and X and Y are service consumers. They have not adhered to any service management framework.  Both service providers, A and B, have unknowingly made many mistakes and faced lots of challenges in providing support to their consumers, X and Y.  After a couple of years, once the project is completed, A and B have not exchanged notes, nor learnt from each other’s mistakes. Six months down the line, B commits the samemistakes that A earlier had and vice versa. In such a scenario, would service consumers X and Y ever come back to A and B again? Not likely. When mistakes repeat,service consumersor customers will not be happy and may not return to with the project again. To avoid such a scenario, what such companies could do is to connect with each other and sharelessons. Such an initiative would avoid many bottlenecks and arrest many recurring challenges. John explained that companies, understanding the importance of consistent process, have embraced lessons from the industry and continually improvise their processes for better customer experience. While it may not be feasible to connect with every other company and collect their lessons and best practices in real time, not with standing that companies may or may not share that information, there is a need for a common forum or entityto collect best practices and lessons across the IT industry and formulate aframework. Such a framework formulated for the IT Service industry is called the ITIL framework. Why is this framework called ITIL? ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. When asked why it was referred to as a ‘Library’, John explained that it is a set of practices for Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business.  As it is a set of practices best practices and lessons from the service industry, it is referred to as a “library”.  Significance ofITILin theService Industry Johnwent on to explain that there were plenty of reasons for the ITIL framework: ITIL framework helps to align the IT solutions with business strategic goals  It helps to set the realistic, achievable and predictable service goals  It ensures efficient service delivery and improves customer satisfaction  It reduces costs through improved utilization of resources  It defines consistent IT roles and improves communication through standardized terminology It improves planning and continual improvement due to regular measurement and monitoring What is meant by continual improvement? John addressed the question with a use case: Company A is the Service Provider and Company X is the Service consumer.  Company A and Company X are in legal contractual agreement. Company A agrees to provide N services to Company X for the next 2 years. One of the agreed services is to resolve all High priority incidents within 4 hours. After a year of experience, Company A (Service Provider) becomes very good knowledge in resolving incidents within 2 hours and this has been verified as well.  Now, Company A (Service Provider) submits a proposal to Company X (Service Consumer) to improvise the High priority incident resolution time by 2 hours instead 4 hours. The contractual document is amended. Company X (Service consumer) agrees to pay an additional amount for the improvisation of service to Company A (Service Provider). This is a good example of continual improvement.  Continual improvement results in improvising service will always increase the customer satisfaction index, says John. History of ITIL In the year 1989, the UK Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) developed the first version of ITIL to unite IT systems in an efficient and cost-effective way.  Collecting best practices from all government agencies and private sector companies across Europe, the CCTA came up with an initial standard framework. ITIL soon grew to a 30-volume catalogue, providing a collection of all IT best practices that focused on and catered for client and business needs. In the year 2000, CCTA change into OGC (Office of Government Commerce, UK). The same year, Microsoft also adopted ITIL as the foundation for developing their Microsoft operations and framework (MOF). This version was focused on making ITIL more accessible and arranged the 30-volume framework into nine related categories.  In the year 2007, ITIL was expanded and reorganized as an IT service management lifecycle, known as ITIL Version 3 (ITIL V3).  Thisversion covers the initial conception, development, transition, operations, and improvement of a service.  ITIL V3 views the activity of managing service as a lifecycle, which is a shift in focus from the individualized process/function view of the previous version.The service lifecycle concept has further evolved since.  In the year 2011, AXELOS released a revision of ITIL that resolved errors and inconsistencies with V3. This is the updated version of the 2007, referred to as ITILv3 updated. In this version,the ITIL service lifecycle contains 5 stages:  ITIL Service Strategy,  ITIL Service Design,  ITIL Service Transition,  ITIL Service Operation and  ITIL Continual Service Improvement.  This forms the basis for all ITIL best practices across the globe. Since 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS Ltd – a joint venture between Capita Plc and the British Government’s Cabinet Office. In the year 2019, due to the Industry 4.0 revolution, the current version of ITIL was launched. V4 has more practical guidance on how to use ITIL in an organization which embraces digital journey. This makes it easier for organizations to align ITIL with DevOps, Agile, and Lean work methods. With V4, ITIL adopted more of a holistic philosophy towards service management, making it broader and more inclusive for the modern IT environment. Having developed a good understanding of the evolution of ITIL, the students learnt about how the best practices which originated from a few European companieswere continuously improvised and revised tonow become a global acceptable Service management framework across the globe. How ITIL works The students now wanted to go deeper and asked how ITIL could help the organization to achieve its strategic goals. John explained that following ITIL practices helps organization achieve their strategic goals by: Ensuring quality of IT services meetsService consumer’s expectations and needs EnsuringService consumer can use IT services whenever and wherever they are needed Ensuring organizations can improve Customer satisfaction by building and maintaining positive business relationships Ensuring that organizations maximize value for money from their service providers Allowing organizations to benchmark their IT services and maximize ROI Allowing organizations to demonstrate and quantify the actual value of the services they provide Allowing organizations to forecast, influence, and respond to demand IT services in a cost-effective manner depending on fluctuating demand situations Allowing organizations to minimize IT service disruption Stages of ITIL and the purpose of each stage By now, the students were very keen and eager to know about the different lifecycle stages defined in ITIL V3 and its purpose. John went on to explain that ITIL has five stages. The following table helps explain each stage and its purpose:S.NoITIL StagesPurpose1Service StrategyThe Service Strategy stage provides guidance on how to design, develop, and implement IT Service Management. This is the core of the Service Lifecycle. This phase mainly focuses on understanding and defining the market. Also defines the needs of the customers2Service DesignIn the Service Design stage, strategies generated in Service Strategy stage are turned into action. Services and processes are designed, and plans are implemented to have a better service management.3Service TransitionThe Service Transition stage ensures that the new changes and modifications are efficiently incorporated in the service lifecycle without disrupting the other existing services or processes. It is carried out in a well-coordinated manner using cost-effective measures and resources. Through service transition, the design built is tested and implemented in the lifecycle in a productive manner4Service OperationThe Service Operation stage provides guidance on day-to-day business operations. The goal is for the IT department to keep things running smoothly, reliably, efficiently, and cost-effectively. The activities and processes in this phase ensure that services are delivered to customers at the agreed Service level agreement with minimal interruptions and disruptions. Service Operation focuses on providing value to both service consumer and the service provider.5Continual Service ImprovementThe Continual Service Improvement stage focus on improving the current service to the Service consumers. Continual Service improvement focus on progressive monitoring and controlling of services. Key performance indicators must be in place to determine whether the service is running optimally, and the service owner must ensure that the service complies with the strategic targets linked to the IT serviceJohn went on to explain that the outcomes of the Continual Service Improvement become the inputs for Service Strategy. Identified improvements will help to revise the strategic goals and targets.  Explaining what was meant by Key Performance Indicator, John defined it as a quantifiable measurement for measuring any strategic goal. This is generally agreed between Service consumer and Service Customer in the legal contract, he added. The difference between ITIL®V3 and ITIL®4  Digging deeper into the difference between ITILv3 and ITIL4, John explained that ITIL4 was the latest version. The two may need to be prioritized depending on the case, he pointed out.  S.NoITILv3ITIL41IT defines life cycle approachIt defines Service Value system-based approach2This version does not talk about 4-dimension model.This version emphasises the importance of 4-dimensions for a holistic service management.3ITIL V3, with its 26 service lifecycle processes, functions and other guidance arguably also describes how the components and activities in the organization work together.ITIL 4 and the Service value system take a more holistic approach, providing organizations with a flexible operating model that supports different work approaches. ITIL 4 presents 34 practices as "sets of organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective".4There are no guiding principles under ITILv3The ITIL 4 guiding principles are universal recommendations that can guide organizations in many situations, such as "work holistically" and "keep it simple and practical".5ITIL V3 covers governance under service strategyThe governance component of the ITIL 4 service value system is about directing and controlling the organizationWhat are the different certifications available in ITIL? Explaining the available certifications in ITIL, John elaborated using the following table to help the students to understand the different certifications under ITIL.  (Source: Axelos). S.NoLevelsPurpose1ITIL 4 Foundation LevelThe ITIL 4 Foundation certification is designed as an introduction to ITIL 4 and enables candidates to look at IT service management through an end-to-end operating model for the creation, delivery and continual improvement of tech-enabled products and services.2ITIL 4 Managing ProfessionalThe Managing Professional (MP) stream provides practical and technical knowledge about how to run successful IT enabled services, teams and workflows.3ITIL 4 Strategic LeaderITIL 4 Strategic Leader demonstrates that the you have a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy.4Master LevelTo achieve the ITIL Master certification, you must be able to explain and justify how you have personally selected and applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods and techniques from the ITIL Framework and supporting management techniques, to achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments.Getting started Concluding, John summarized that to get started all one needs to do is to talk to professionals to understand how the work they do contributes to creating value for customers. If everybody thinks about what they do in these terms, then the next step will be much easier. The IT world we live in is becoming more and more service based by the day and there is great opportunity. Industry leaders have seen ITIL in action and have bought into it. Most major global corporations run their services on ITIL®, and such IT professionals are in great demand. 
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The ITIL Framework and It’s Processes

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Agile Project Management: Best Practices and Methodologies

Agile is an iterative and incremental solution development methodology that focusses on delivering value to the customer by seeking customer feedback, embracing and adapting to change and striving for improvement continuously.  The Agile Manifesto along with the Agile Principles are at the heart and in the spirit of the various Agile Frameworks which are being adopted increasingly by Enterprises as their Project Management Framework. Agile Project Management Agile Project Frameworks Scrum, Kanban, XP, SAFe are some of the Agile Frameworks that are have replaced traditional waterfall and predictive approaches of Software Project Management. Long standing philosophies such as Lean and practices like TDD, BDD, Pair Programming etc are leveraged into these frameworks.  Scrum and Kanban are the most popular Agile Frameworks used today with Scrum being used in almost 58% of Agile Projects as per the Annual State of Agile Report 2020. Scrum uses a time-boxed iterative approach to develop incremental products and solutions with each iteration spanning 2 /3/ 4 weeks. Kanban does not have time-boxed iterations and focusses on establishing flow of work by controlling WIP (Work In Progress) and is well suited for maintenance, support or Helpdesk projects. In this article we will discuss about Agile Project Management using Scrum. Before looking at the Scrum framework briefly, we need to understand two very important aspects in which Agile Project Management is different from traditional Waterfall – Scope and Estimation. The Iron Triangle Unlike traditional projects, in Agile the schedule and the cost involved for a project is largely fixed. The scope is the variable entity and is adjusted as per the latest information and feedback from customers. The focus is on delivering value rather than following a rigid and detailed plan laid out at the beginning of the project. In Scrum for example, every Sprint runs for a fixed time-box and changes to agile team composition is not recommended. Iron TriangleEstimation – Relative Sizing Agile recommends “relative sizing“of work items that enables predictability rather than complex estimation techniques striving for accuracyAgile EstimationIn the Image 2 above people on the road looking at the buildings would most likely converge on the fact that Building A is the smallest of the three, Building B is twice that of A , Building C is the tallest – almost 3 times that of Building A. This can be done quickly at the first glance. In contrast if they must estimate the actual height of the building in metres it is prone to error and there are going to be a lot of differences. The power of relative sizing lies in the fact that we do not strive for accuracy (in the example the height of the building in metre) but focus on sizing the work and achieving predictability over the course of time. Instead of complex effort estimation in man days/hours, High level Epics /Features are usually estimated by the T-shirt sizes (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large) and Stories are estimated and given “Story Points” that follow the  modified Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100) Brief overview of Scrum Framework The Scrum framework comprises of the roles, events and artifacts and describe how these entities interconnect with each other in order to implement the framework.   Scrum follows an iterative approach where development cycles are 2 /3/4 weeks long. At the end of every iteration an incremental version of the product/solution is ready to be shipped. Each event /artifact/role in the scrum framework serves a purpose and furthers the goal of Agile project development. Let us go over each of them in detail. Scrum FrameworkRelease Planning  Although Agile does not recommend detailed rigid plans laid out well in advance, it does not altogether forego planning. There is a high-level Release Planning at the beginning of the release and shorter detailed Sprint planning events at the beginning of every Sprint. Having short planning phases throughout the project implementation helps to adapt to changes and course correct at responsible milestones. For large organizations where multiple scrum teams work towards developing a solution, planning and timing a release is very important. The organization might choose to time the release as per Customer(s) demand or at an established cadence (e.g every quarter) or in alignment with certain events (e.g tradeshow/ compliance deadline etc). The release planning is a look ahead planning with an objective of arriving at the scope of the release considering the schedule and budget as fixed components of the iron triangle. The two important inputs required for this event is a prioritized product backlog and the velocity of the teams participating in the release (historic data for teams running on agile and an informed guesstimate for the new teams.) The teams will roughly plan out their upcoming sprints (if a release spans 12 weeks there can be 5 sprints of 2 weeks each followed by a 2 week “hardening sprint”). At the end of this planning event there is a list of prioritized features that can be accommodated in the release and a high-level plan for each sprint.  Scrum Roles  The Scrum Master, Product Owner and the development team form the “3 Amigos”. There is a good amount of trust and a healthy relationship amongst the people playing these three roles. Healthy conflicts and disagreements between these three entities is expected and bound to occur. At these times the teams are guided by the Scrum Values of Respect, Courage and Openness. At all times the scrum team practices commitment and focus to achieve the Sprint Goals and further the Agile Values and Principles. The Three AmigosResponsibilites of Each RoleScrum Artifacts Product Backlog: A Product Backlog consists of all the new features, changes to the existing features, technical requirements such as infrastructure upgrades or architectural requirements that might become a part of the product. This is continuously refined by the product manager, product owners and the scrum teams. The purpose of the refinement is to prioritize, split and detail the contents of the backlog so that the first set of items in the backlog are ready to be picked by the teams during their Sprint Planning. Sprint Backlog: The items picked from the Product Backlog and committed by the team for a Sprint constitutes the Sprint Backlog. It is unlikely to change during the course of the Sprint/iteration. A product owner could introduce changes in consensus with the team. Multiple changes to the sprint backlog within the Sprint timeframe should be discouraged and root cause analysis has to be performed during retrospective meeting if this happens often. Product Increment: The work items ready to be delivered at the end of a Sprint is a Product Increment. It has to be in a potentially shippable condition and meet the definition of done as defined by the team and has to be accepted by the Product Owner as complete and ready for release. Scrum Ceremonies / Events EventFrequency of OccurrenceDescriptionBacklog RefinementContinuousEpics and features are estimated and broken down to Stories. Stories are broken down and acceptance criteria are added. The Backlog is prioritized and ordered.Sprint PlanningOnce at the beginning of a Sprint lasting up to 4 hours for a 2-week SprintThe top priority stories that are refined and ready for the team is picked. The teams estimate the stories and load the sprint up to their Capacity. The historic Velocity and the current capacity (leaves and holidays adjusted) are taken into account for loading the Sprint.SprintCan be 2 /3/4 weeks longNot recommended to change the Sprint duration often. The cadence once set has to run for at least 3 to 4 Sprints to collect data for becoming predictable.Daily Stand upEvery day for 10-15 minutesThe Scrum Master facilitates the event and the team shares the happenings of previous day, strategize and plan for current day. Impediments /concerns are raised.Sprint ReviewOnce at the end of the SprintThe working software is demonstrated to stakeholders. Based on Sprint Review and outcomes, inputs and changes are done to the Product BacklogSprint RetrospectiveOnce at the end of the SprintThis is the "sacred time of learning" for the entire team. Issues and problems faced during the Sprint are discussed, root cause analysis performed and team arrives at solutions to resolve and prevent in future. The team identifies areas of improvement.Scrum ceremonies or eventsScrum Values  Courage - Every team member feels safe to fail and learn, to seek help, to say ‘no’ and question something that is going wrong. Commitment – Commits to the Sprint goals as a team. Does not overcommit.  Focus - Aims to complete what is started and steer away from distractions and unprioritized / "shoulder tap" work. Limits Work in Progress. Openness - Seeks and values feedback and opportunities to learn. Makes impediments, failures and learnings visible. Respect - Team collaborates and acknowledges the work and achievements of every member. Builds trust. Quantitative Metrics Organizations can collect and measure various metrices. The below metrics are most likely to be captured by most of the projects and add value. Burn Down Chart: The Burn down chart is a run chart of the rate at which the scrum team completes work within a sprint in terms of number of Story points completed per day.  Velocity: Velocity is the number of story points completed and accepted by the Product owner within a Sprint.  Collecting data on velocity enables teams, releases and projects become more predictable. Other than the absolute velocity, another important perspective of velocity data is % of story points delivered against total story points committed by the team. Velocity cannot be used to compare the efficiency of teams since 3 story points for one team is different for another team. Quality related Metrics: Quality related metrics like number of defects reported in production after release, number of defects in Integration testing are captured to understand the level of Quality. Armed with quantitative data the teams can come up with ways to improve Quality.  Agile Projects at Scale While the scrum framework prescribes the guidelines to run an Agile team, the same can be extrapolated and mechanisms can be put in place to scale it to multiple teams. SAFe and Nexus offer frameworks to scale Agile in large Enterprises. Large projects in Enterprises involve multiple teams and dependencies with other functions, divisions and with third party partners, suppliers and vendors. The complexities of large solutions and programs require Governance, Compliance, Stakeholder Management, Streamlined Communication, Conflict and Risk management. The Agile Program Management Office takes care of establishing Agile at scale with the help of Senior Leadership, Agile Coaches and Change Agents (who could be the Agile Project Managers and Scrum Masters). Role of the Agile Project Manager The Agile PM plays an important role when doing Agile at scale in large enterprises. While working towards a seamless project release by interfacing with the multiple scrum teams and various stakeholders, the Agile PM also plays a key role in the Agile transformation journey of the Enterprise.   Agile at ScaleAgile Project ManagerScrum Master and Agile PM Roles Agile Projects at scale requires the role of a Scrum Master for the internal functioning of the team and the Agile PM for aligning multiple teams and orchestrating the activities of a Release. Agile PMScrum MasterTakes care of the facilitation, risk management, conflict management, handling of impediments that span multiple teams and external stakeholders.  Engages closely with Senior Leadership, Product Managers, Product Owners, Scrum Masters to ensure smooth implementation of the current release, forward plans for the subsequent release and co-ordinates the Post production activities of the previous release. Facilitates the Scrum of Scrums synch meetings at a regular cadence (every week).  The Agile PM guides the scrum masters to resolve risks and impediments within the team if and when escalated. Takes care of these activities within the scrum team. The Scrum Master focuses on the current sprint and current release. Facilitates Scrum Ceremonies. Participates in the Scrum of Scrums and updates if the team is on track to meet the Sprint Objectives and if there is any change/ risk foreseen. During this meeting the Scrum Masters raise any impediments /risks/concerns they are unable to resolve and need help with. Release Management Continuous Integration and Deployment: With incremental versions of the product after every iteration from multiple teams early continuous integration is the need of the hour. Investing in an automated Continuous deployment into the Staging or Production environment is encouraged so that the latest version of the product is release ready. Enterprises are increasingly using toggle configurations to switch on/off a set of features so that the release can be done for a particular market segment or can be timed with an important milestone like a tradeshow. By separating the deployment and actual release, there is a lot of risk avoided. The actual product release can be announced at the right time – as per Market demand/ after a robust Beta has been done and feedback incorporated/timed with a compliance deadline or important milestone like tradeshows. Post-production Support: Releasing working software at regular intervals is not the end of the road. Customer Support, training and customer documentation where required is necessary and these activities should also come under the purview of an Agile Working environment.  Beta and Canary Release: Large Enterprises engage with Beta customers to get focussed feedback on the product before a wider market release. Solutions and products can also be released to a particular market segment or a subset of users alone. This is called a “Canary Release”. This phased approach rather than a big bang approach will ensure the risk level is reduced and the quality of the product and credibility of the Enterprise is maintained.  How is an Agile PM different from the Conventional PM  The roles and responsibilities of a conventional Project Manager is now distributed amongst the Scrum Teams, Scrum Master, Product Owner and the Agile Project Manager. But the most important but subtle difference between the Conventional PM and Agile PM is the mindset.  The Agile PM is a Servant Leader who wants to create a self-empowered self-organized team. He/she creates an agile environment where everyone is accountable, there is no fear of failure but the willingness to learn and continuously improve. The Agile PM avoids the traditional Command and Control approach where decisions are taken for the teams. .  There is also a conscious effort to decentralize decision making so that decisions are taken closer to where work is done. There is always an emphasis for visualization of work and transparency. Go-to Traits for a Successful Agile Project Self-Organized Teams: Self-organized teams that are empowered and largely self-sufficient is an important facet of Agile. Teams are used to conventional ways of working where they look up to their superiors for decision making. Decentralized decision making will help largely to create empowered teams Responsive to Change: creating empowered teams enable them to respond to change responsibly with minimum red tape. Quick Feedback Loops: Agile thrives when there are quick feedback loops established so that teams can adapt to change based on informed decisions. Continuous Improvement: Learning from the past and resolving not to repeat mistakes is an important facet of Agile teams. Retrospection at end of every iteration and release is highly recommended. Business Agility: It would not be enough if engineering teams are agile and churn out software seamlessly. “Building the product right “is not sufficient and the teams should “Build the right product”. Solutions and products have to meet the customer needs and solve Customer Problems.  All functions such as product management, marketing, sales HR have to come into the purview of Agile Principles and Values to achieve the kind of Business Agility that is required to be Customer Centric and deliver value. In conclusion, Agile is a paradigm shift from the phased traditional waterfall methods which run on detailed plans laid well ahead. Agile Project Management is the need of the hour considering the rapidly changing market scenario, disruptive technologies and the ever- growing competition.  Before embarking on Agile projects organizations have to invest the time and effort to create a conducive Agile Work environment. The bare basics of Agile training and creation of small Agile teams (5 to 9 members recommended) with the vision to make the teams self-organized need to be in place. Agile Coaches and Change agents have to be identified to ensure the Agile transformation starts and keeps pace with small strides and does not die a natural death with teams, business and leadership falling back to traditional waterfall methods in the name of agile. 
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How to Update Document in MongoDB

MongoDB provides the update() method to update the documents of a collection. To update only the specific documents, you need to add a condition to the update statement so that only selected documents are updated. In this article, we will understand how to update a document in MongoDB using the update() method, save () method, updateOne() method and updateMany() method with examples for each. We will also look at the differences between each of these methods. Updating Single document Syntax: db.collection.update(query, update, options) Use the update method  Specify the condition to be used to update the document. In the below example, we need to update the document which has the Employee id as 100. Use the $set operator to update the values  Choose the Field Name that needs to be updated and enter the new values accordingly –  Employee_Name =”Daniel Morales”db.Employees.update( {"Emp_ID" :100}, {$set:{"Employee_Name" :"Daniel Morales"}}); WriteResult({"nMatched": 1,  "nUpserted: 0, "nModified":1 })Updating Multiple documents Syntax: db.collection.update(query, update, options) For updatingmultiple documents at the same time in MongoDB, we need to use the multi option or else by default only one document is updated at a time. The below example shows how to update many documents. In this example, we are going to first find the document which has the Emp_ID id as "1" and then change the Emp_ID from 1 to 21 and Employee_Name to “Nandan Kumar”. Use the update method  Specify the condition which you should be used for updating the document. In the below example, we need to update the document which has the Employee id as 1. Use the $set operator to update the values  Choose the Field Name(s) that needs to be updatedand enter the new values accordingly – Employee_Name =”Nandan Kumar” Emp_ID = 21db.Employees.update({ Emp_ID : 1},{$set :{"Employee_Name" : "Nandan Kumar"," Emp_ID" : 21}})MongoDB save() Method  The db.collection.save() method is used to update an existing document or insert a new document Syntax: db.collection.save() db.Employees.save( {Emp_ID : 21000 , Employee_Name : "Anshu", Salary:20000 } ); WriteResult({“ nInserted" : 1 })The save() method returns a WriteResult object which contains the status of the insert or update operation. During the insert, the shell will create the _id field with a unique ObjectId value, as verified by the inserted document:db.Employees.find(); {"_id" : ObjectId("5da78973835b2f1c75347a83"),"Emp_ID" : 21000 , "Employee_Name" : "Anshu", "Salary":20000 }In the below example, save() method performs an insert since the document passed to the method does not contain the _id field so it creates a new document . Note -  If the document doesn’t contain an _id field, then the save() method calls the insert() method. db.Employees.save({_id:2400, Emp_ID : 21000 , Employee_Name : "Anshu", Salary:20000 } ); WriteResult({"nMatched": 0,  "nUpserted: 1, "nModified":0,”_id”:2400})The save() method performs an update with upsert:true since the document contains an _id field:  db.Employees.save({_id:2400, Emp_ID : 21000 , Employee_Name : "Anshu", Salary:20000 } ); WriteResult({"nMatched": 1,  "nUpserted: 1, "nModified":0 })Note -  If the document already contains an _id field, then the save() method is equivalent to an update with the upsert option set to true and the query predicate on the _id field. Updating Single and Multiple Values in MongoDB documents by using methods  -updateOne, updateManywith examples : MongoDB updateOne() method This method updates a single document within a collection matching the filter or condition. Syntax The syntax of updateOne() method is − db.collection.updateOne(, ) Example> db.Employees.updateOne( {First_Name: 'Nandan'}, { $set: { Age: '30',e_mail: 'nandan@gmail.com'}} ) { "acknowledged" : true, "matchedCount" : 1, "modifiedCount" : 0 }MongoDB updateMany() method The updateMany() method updates all the documents within a collection based on the filter or condition . Syntax : The syntax of updateMany() method is − db.collection.updateMany(, ) Example>db.Employees.updateMany(  {Age:{ $gt:"25"}},  { $set:{Age:'12'}}  )  {"acknowledged":true,"matchedCount":2,"modifiedCount":2}Using the find command, you can retrieve the contents of the documents:> db.EmpDetails.find() { "_id" : ObjectId("6fd6636870fb13eec3963bf5"), "First_Name" : "Nandan", "Last_Name" : "Kumar", "Age" : "12", "e_mail" : "nandan@gmail.com", "phone" : "8000012345" } { "_id" : ObjectId("6fd6636870fb13eec3963bf6"), "First_Name" : "Chris", "Last_Name" : "Goel", "Age" : "12", "e_mail" : "chris@gmail.com", "phone" : "8000054321" } { "_id" : ObjectId("6fd6636870fb13eec3963bf7"), "First_Name" : "Praveen", "Last_Name" : "Sharma", "Age" : "21", "e_mail" : "praveen@gmail.com", "phone" : "9000011111" }What If the update operation doesn’t match documents in collection? If the update operation doesn't match any documents in the collection, it can automatically insert a new document into the collection which matches the update query by setting the upsert option as true.db.Employees.update( {type:"FullTime"}, {$set:{salary:20000}}, {upsert : true} )WriteResult({"nMatched": 0,  "nUpserted: 1, "nModified":1 })   You can also see the upsert getting reflected in the Write Result of the above operation. upsertoperation in MongoDB is used to save documents into collection . If the document matches query criteria then it will perform an update operation or else it will insert a new document into the collection. Difference between db.collection.update() , db.collection.update One() and db.collection.update Many() The difference is that update() by default, modifies only one document based on the specified filter. However, the user can modify all the documents by adding the modifier {multi: true} . This command works as both updateOne and updateMany command. db.Employees.update (    { "joinYear ": "2020" },    {      $set: { "bonusEligiblity": "False" },    } )Here, it will update only first document which matches the condition.db.Employees.update (    { "joinYear ": "2020" },    {      $set: { "bonusEligiblity": "False" },    }, { multi: true } // Additional Parameter )Here, by adding the parameter – multi: true it works as updateMany() and updates all the documents matching the condition .db.collection.updateOne() --> method to update only one document in a collection.db.Employees.update (    { "joinYear ": "2020" },    {      $set: { "bonusEligiblity": "False" }, // Here multiple parameters can also be updated      } )This update commands use the joinDate =2020 as a filter (match the query) in the collection “Employees”. $set operator (called as update operator) updates the value of the bonusEligiblity to False.You can also update multiple parameters but they need to be separated by a comma (,). E.g.$set: { "bonusEligiblity": "False" , “emp_status : ”New”},db.collection.updateMany() --> method to update multiple document in a collection matching the specified conditiondb.Employees.updateMany(    { "joinYear": "2020" },   { $set: { "bonusEligiblity": "False" },   } )Here, ALL the documents having joinYear =2020 get updated to bonusEligiblity= “False” What If the update operation doesn’t match documents in collection? If the update operation doesn't match any documents in the collection, it can automatically insert a new document into the collection which matches the update query by setting the upsert option as true.db.Employees.update(      {type:"FullTime"},      {$set:{salary:20000}},      {upsert : true}   )WriteResult({"nMatched": 0,  "nUpserted: 1, "nModified":1 })   You can also see the upsert getting reflected in the WriteResult of the above operation. upsert operation in MongoDB is used to save documents into collection . If the document matches query criteria then it will perform an update operation or else it will insert a new document into the collection.Conclusion   To summarize, MongoDB has methods: update() and save() which are used to update documents into a collection. The update() method updates the values in the existing document while the save() method is used to insert a new document or update an existing document if it already contains an _id field The parameters in the document.update() method is a condition for which document needs to be updated, and the next is the update operation which needs to be performed. db.collection.update(query, update, options) In this article, we have gone over the update() method, save () method, updateOne() method and updateMany() method with examples for each. We have also explored the upsert function. Hope this has been useful. The MongoDB course will get you familiar with the popular NoSQL database and arm you with the essential skills to start using Mongo to power your software application. Happy coding! 
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How to Update Document in MongoDB

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How to re-engage your employees post COVID-19

Slowly, but surely, we are heading back into the office. The world is reopening and we’re ready to embrace it with open arms. After months of lockdown, you might assume that employees are keen to get back to work. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In this guest post, Natalka Antoniuk) shares about the challenge that Quadrant2Design, an exhibition stand company, are facing with no restart date for their industry yet. She shares insights from their experience with tips to re-engage employees and get your business up and running again.Employee engagement is key to rebuilding a business however, a study by Dr. Nick Keca shows that on average only 29% of employees in your company are actively engaged. They are loyal, committed, more productive and easier to retain which is why they are vital to business regrowth.Employee engagement as per a study by Keka Research  Just over half of your team are likely not engaged, meaning that they can be productive, but they are not psychologically connected to their company.These are the employees who will miss workdays and are more likely to leave.  A fifth of your employees are actively disengaged. These are the employees that you need to work with. These individuals are physically present but are unhappy and psychologically absent. Furthermore, these employees share their unhappiness with others which can influence others who are not engaged. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve JobsAs a business owner, employee engagement might not be at the forefront of your mind given the current situation. With businesses starting back up, and huge VAT reductions to encourage economic growth, you are probably more concerned with customer relations and closing deals.  If you don’t actively work towards re-engaging your employees, this might not be possible.After almost five months working from home, employees have realized benefits such as saving time and money by not commuting. They are asking for flexible working patterns, the ability to work remotely, and an openness to new working styles.   This shift in attitudes is going to have a ripple effect when offices do reopen. Although individuals have missed the social aspect of the office, they have made it clear that they want a change. Admittedly restructuring your business amidst a global pandemic isn’t the smartest choice, employers are going to have to do something to keep their staff engaged.  How do you engage employees? Trying to engage your employees, and keep them engaged, was hard before the global pandemic. Now, with the looming recession, job losses, two months of working from home and a virus still in circulation, it is going to be even harder.Nevertheless, the traditional methods that employers have used for years will still be effective and shouldn’t be ignored in your struggle to reengage your team. Reopening your office will take some getting used to after the lockdown. Trying to keep on top of the basic pillars of engagement will go a long way towards keeping your employees happy and motivated. Recognition Employees are more engaged when they feel like their contribution has been recognized. Although remuneration, benefits and rewards are common ways to show your employee that your value their input, you might not be financially stable enough to give these kind of rewards post-COVID. So, what do you do? Fortunately, over 80% of employees value recognition above any rewards or gifts. As long as your employees feel like you appreciate the work they are doing, they will be more actively engaged.  The type of recognition that you give your staff also matters. Over two-thirds of people believe recognition as an individual was more motivating than recognition as a team.Almost 90% of people find praise from their managers to be very or extremely motivation. And three quarters said the same thing about praise from their peers. Recognizing your employees and praising them for their contributions doesn’t cost you any time or money. Look at everything that has been achieved whilst we’ve all had to work from home and get ready to offer individual praise when your doors finally reopen. Growth Employees are more engaged if they feel like there is the potential to grow and develop their career within your organisation. In fact, the majority of people listed opportunities for growth as a more motivating reason to stay at a company than receiving a pay rise.  This is why employee engagement tends to be better in a growing company, as staff members understand the correlation between business growth and new job opportunities. The problem that most businesses will have is that the post-pandemic recession is likely to halt any growth. Whether you are open with your employees or not, there will always be tell-tale signs whether your business is growing or taking a hit. If your staff feel like the business is struggling financially, they will likely disengage quickly. Although growth and career progression might not be on the cards right now, job security is becoming increasingly important as we enter a global recession. Where possible, you need to make every member of staff feel like their job is safe. If you have made any redundancies, then they will likely feel insecure about their position within your organisation. Continue offering praise and recognition for their work so that they feel confident within their role at your company. Fun Without a doubt, the easiest and most effective way to keep your team motivated and engaged is to provide a fun working environment. Nine out of ten employees list fun working environments to be very or extremely motivating.  This doesn’t mean that you need to turn your office into a trendy London agency or Google HQ overnight. Simply building strong relationships and encouraging their out-of-work hobbies can go a long way. Most people are just looking for a healthy work environment. Remember, the vast majority of people have enjoyed the time and money that they have saved by working from home. They have had more time to develop new hobbies and will likely be looking for a better workand life balance.  One of the things you can do to create a more fun working environment is open new avenues of communication. Make your employees feel comfortable coming to you to discuss ideas like flexible working. In building relationships with immediate supervisors and colleagues, your employees will be happier, more motivated and you will notice increased employee engagement.Expect unengaged employees One of the problems business owners are facing is the shift in attitudes that has led to previously engaged employees feeling unmotivated and disengaged. With all of the changes that 2020 has already brought, employees are looking for a sense of normality. Having spent months out of the office only to return to a new socially-distanced environment will take its toll. It is understandable when you look at the three pillars of employee engagement listed above. For months, each team member has been working from home without their colleagues around them. This segregation will have led to a decrease in praise and recognition both from management and on a peer-to-peer level. Furthermore, they are likely to have lost confidence in their job security. With media headlines focussing on the looming recession and the vast number of job losses, many employees are worried about the safety of their own roles.  Finally, any element of fun that was provided in your work environment before has been stripped bare by the 2m social distancing requirements, plastic screens and lingering smell of hand sanitiser. Employees got used to a life working from home where they had more free time available for their family and new hobbies. Now they are back in the office with regulations in place to stop any kind of relationship building.  Of course, the measures we listed above will help you overcome these difficulties. But the truth is that you have a lot of things to consider at the moment. This is a global pandemic and you’re working hard making the right business decisions. Nobody blames you for letting employee engagement slip. But in doing so, you will cause more damage to your business.How do you motivate a disengaged team? It is much harder to motivate an individual who has recently become disengaged. Although we can make assumptions as to why this has happened, you can never be completely sure. That means no employer will ever know a quick fix. The problem is, once an individual becomes disengaged it is hard to get them back on course. A disengaged employee isn’t satisfied with the job that they are doing, they don’t find it exciting and they spend their day clock watching.  Under normal circumstance, when an employee reaches this point, they are likely to be searching for a new job. In the current situation, disengaged employees may feel trapped or threatened by the decreasing job pool. This can lead to further problems down the line as they will vocalise their issues to the other employees, and their negative attitude could start to rub off. Although you don’t want negative people on your team, cutting staff could lead to further disengagement. It is also incredibly cost-effective to actively reengage a current member off staff rather than recruiting new people. So how should you do this? Career development Okay, so you might not be in the best situation to start promoting your employees and dishing out pay raises and bonuses – but you can still let your staff know that their position within your business is safe. Encouraging your staff to attend training programs that enable them to develop new skills will make them feel appreciated. It shows that you intend to have them working for you in the future, giving them a sense of job security.   Be open Share all the company news, good and bad, with your employees. In doing so, you are telling everyone that they are a valuable member of the team. It will help them to engage with the business, company goals, and align themselves with your mission and values. Furthermore, you may find a handful of hidden talents hiding amongst your team. When an employee is disengaged, they pass the day by doing the bare minimum and clock watching. Engaged employees go above and beyond for their company. By being open about the current business situation, your team will become more actively engaged and could even provide solutions to company problems. Lay out your expectations Your business goals will have to be adjusted to help you face the crisis. You may find your product offering, your distribution methods or your marketing strategy have to change. If you are open with your employees, they will already understand that their roles may change slightly moving forward. Make this transition easier by sitting down with each of your employees to discuss their new roles and setting clear expectations, goals and objectives. In doing so, you reiterate the importance of every member of staff and they feel more secure in their job roles with clear targets to work towards. At Quadrant2Design, we are patiently awaiting a reopen date for our industry. Normally at this time of year we are busy designing exhibition stands, however our day-to-day working pattern has changed. Rather than designing stands, we have been creating free resources to help individuals with their exhibition planning and budgeting.  It has been a great exercise for our highly creative team, and something that has seen different groups working together. Overall, we have found this to be extremely helpful in re-engaging our employees. In summary Believe it or not, your employees want to engage at work. Nobody wants to be sat at a desk clock watching for a third of their life. Engaging your team will not only boost your business but make your office a better place to work. The truth of the matter is your employees will find it much easier to stay motivated and engaged at work if you provide the right atmosphere for them to do so. You can do this by following everything that we have outlined above.   Providing an open atmosphere by working on colleague relationships, particularly with supervisors and managers, and keeping the team up to date with the current business situation will be key to this. Furthermore, adjusting to the changing attitudes of staff by encouraging hobbies and becoming more flexible may also benefit engagement. Offer employees the opportunity to grow and develop their career, even if you currently are not in a financial situation to promote and reward them. Letting employees know that their job is safe and there will soon be an opportunity to progress will also be key to maintaining employee engagement.  Finally, take it upon yourself to have a one-to-one with every individual. It could be that their job role has changed as you’ve had to adapt your business offering. Set your expectations and give them personal goals and targets to work towards in this new role. Keeping everyone on board will be crucial in business regrowth post-COVID19.
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How to re-engage your employees post COVID-19

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Key Insights from the 2020 State of Agile Report

How are agile businesses changing in 2020?  Digital.ai, the creator of the industry’s first intelligent Value Stream, recently published its 14th Annual State of Agile Report, along with a survey addendum to reflect the current 2020 landscape. The report took a look into the enterprise, what Agile techniques companies are implementing, their benefits, and what’s trending. The report provides the most comprehensive data in the world to benchmark your Agile practice and plan your next wave of expansion. The survey documents the experiences of more than 1,100 business and IT professionals across a range of industries and roles worldwide.  About 40,000 Agile practitioners, consultants, and executives have shared their insights to make this the longest-running and largest report of its kind. For the first time, it revealed insights beyond the general results by filtering the results along the demographic lines. The analysis indicates a correlation between the time practicing Agile, the ability to manage the changing priorities, and improved time to market.  In this article, we give you the complete lowdown on the state of Agile in 2020 including the COVID-19 impact and what’s next in Agile. Agile in numbers Let us explore the top responsesto the survey in numbers. Respondents answered their top reasons for implementing Agile techniques, which techniquesand methodologies they employ the most, what tools they recommend most, and the top benefits of using Agile. Top five reasons for adopting AgileTop five benefits of adopting agileRespondents were asked why their teams adopted Agile methodologies and techniques. These were the most responded benefits: Accelerate software delivery (71 percent) Enhance the ability to manage changing priorities (63 percent) Increased productivity (51 percent) Improve business/IT alignment (47 percent) Enhance software quality (42 percent)  This year, the reasons for implementing Agile were more about reducing project risks as opposed to reducing project costs.Top five Agile techniques employedThese are the five most used tactics that help teams adhere to the twelve principles of Agile.Top five Agile techniques employedThe Daily Standup was the most common Agile technique used in organizations. The most notable changes from last year was a decrease in Release Planning (51 percent this year as opposed to 57 percent last year) and an increase in Product Road Mapping (49 percent this year as opposed to 45 percent last year). Top five benefits of adopting AgileTop five benefits of adopting AgileWe see that the top five benefits of adopting Agile are built around speed and adaptability. Project Cost Reduction was last on the list with only 26 percent of the respondents considering it to be the benefit of Agile implementation. Top five Agile methodologies Top five Agile methodologiesThe survey shows that Scrum and its variants are the most common methodologies used for Agile implementation. 3 percent of the respondents didn’t have any idea of the methodology used by their organization.  Top five Agile project management toolsTop recommended project management toolsRespondents were asked if they would recommend the tools on the basis of their experience. Atlassian JIRA and VersionOne were the most recommended tools. Five critical takeaways from the 2020 State of Agile Report Many organizations still learning to adopt AgilePercentage of teams using AgileThe survey showed that only 18 percent of the organizations implemented Agile for all the teams. 77 percent of the organizations had still not implemented Agile in all the company’s teams. With 5 percent of the organizations yet to adopt Agile, there is clearly plenty of area for growth. Agile maturityWhile 95 percent of organizations have some form of agile process in place, practice maturity and adoption remain a work in progress. Around 50 percent of respondents report that less than half of their teams are using agile, and 84 percent acknowledge that their organizations are below a high level of competencies.  Areas other than software development yet to take advantage of AgileAreas of organization practicing AgileAgile practices are not limited to software organizations. The survey data showed that while Software Development continues to be the major area for Agile adoption, other areas like IT and Operations have also started adopting the methodology. Other areas in the organization are yet to take advantage of everything the Agile approach has to offer. More business outcome KPIs, fewer metrics As per the respondents, accelerated delivery speed is the most critical measure of the success of Agile initiatives. Next is improved quality, followed by reduced risk and increased customer satisfaction. Reduced IT costs is low on the spectrum with just 39 percent considering it as important for measuring success.  How success is measured in Agile transformationsAgile success and metricsWhen asked how organizations measure success of Agile transformations, the top measures of success were consistent with those reported over the last few years. Outcomes, customer satisfaction and business value, ranked higher than outputs like on-time delivery and productivity. The survey results for this section remain consistent over the past few years. There might be some ups and downs. But overall, Customer Satisfaction and Business Value are at a higher rank than productivity and on-time delivery. How success is measured in individual Agile projectsAgile success and metricsAs with Agile transformations, business value delivered, and customer or user satisfaction remained the top two cited measures of success within for individual projects.  Scaling Agile faces culture challengesMethods and approaches of scaling AgileAbout one-third of respondents are applying the Scaled Agile Framework, roughly another third are using other scaling frameworks, and another third stated they didn't know/other. There appear to be several common challenges scaling agile as over 40 percent of respondents cited six different challenges/barriers with adopting and scaling agile practices. These included: resistance to change, lack of leadership participation, inconsistent processes, misaligned organization versus agile values, inadequate management support, and insufficient training.    Challenges experienced when adopting and scaling AgileEnterprises are adopting the framework at a remarkable rate that shows that companies want to get the benefits of a structured framework included in the Lean/Agile BoK of SAFe.  The lack of qualified professionals also remains one of the common challenges with insufficient leadership participation (46 percent) at number 2 and lack of experience or skills with Agile methods (41 percent) at number 6.  The report also shows that culture is at the primary target of change as it affects the thinking and working of the organization. Agile organizations slowly adopting DevOps DevOps practices are a strong partner to agile methodologies, and 69 percent of survey respondents stated that DevOps transformation was either important or very important to their organization. But adoption of DevOps practices lags its important with only 55 percent employing continuous integrations and 41 percent continuous delivery. Only 36 percent practice continuous deployment. The top two benefits targeted are accelerated delivery speed (70 percent) and improved quality (62 percent). But respondents are tackling quality first with 67 percent implementing unit testing and 58 percent coding standards, even higher engineering practices over the 55 percent on continuous integration.  More than half of the respondents reported that their organization was already implementing Value Stream Management (VSM) or have plans to do so. VSM is a combination of people, technology, and processes that maps, measures, optimized, visualized, and governs the business value flow using a heterogeneous enterprise delivery pipeline.  Each level of automation requires investment and additional work to prove its robustness. There are seven prerequisites before improving release frequencies, and that requires investment in aspects of these seven DevOps practices. Even so, there are questions DevOps teams should answer before increasing deployment frequency. Summary of key insights Currently, the Agile approach is predominantly implemented in the software or information technology sector. The benefits an organization can reap once Agile is implemented in other areas as well would be tremendous. Here is a quick summary of key insights from the report: Cost reduction is not anymore one of the primary reasons to adopt the Agile approach. Identifying technical risk before deployment is considered very valuable by 34 percent of the respondents, which was 22 percent last year. Greater Agile maturity is correlated to the time of practicing Agile. The length of time since Agile adoption is also related to the increased ability to manage the changing priorities and improved time market. Organizations that have practiced Agile for more than 5 years have a greater percentage of DevOps initiatives and interest in Value Stream Management.  Companies with 20,000 or more people are more likely to have been using Agile for 5 or more years. Companies with less than 1,000 people correlated to a higher percentage of all their teams implementing the Agile approach.  More than half of the respondents stated their companies are either implementing VSM or have plans to do so.  Risk and compliance increased by 54 percent to be the top value to identify and measure technical risk before the deployment begins. SAFe is the most popular scaling method, increasing 5 percent over the last year. There was a shift in Agile techniques as release planning decreased by 11 percent while product road-mapping increased by 9 percent. This change can be attributed to the increase in CI/CD and better program increment planning. Currently, Agile is mainly confined to software development, operations, and the IT sector. However, it is expected that by next year, the organization will expand agility into areas beyond developing, deploying, and maintaining software solutions. The COVID-19 impact and what’s next in Agile The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a health emergency worldwide. Leaders across industries are moving promptly to protect employees and build resilience, as the impact of the crisis continues to mount. In mid-May 2020, Digital.ai conducted a brief supplemental survey of respondents to learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their Agile adoption. Supplemental findings reveal that: 55 percent say their company plans to increase the use of Agile in the next 12-14 months. This is an increase of 13 percent over the original survey completed just five months ago. 43 percent of organizations say their momentum for Agile adoption has increased over the past 90 days, with 15 percent saying it has increased significantly. 33 percent say they increased or expanded Agile adoption in the last 90 days to help manage distributed teams. In summary, forecasters continue to predict how long the COVID-19 crisis will last, but it seems inevitable that many organizations will be working remotely for the foreseeable future.Implemented correctly, an agile approach can help remote teams function effectively and build resilience for the future.  Following the pandemic, working from home more frequently (perhaps 2-3 days per week) may become an accepted norm for many companies, as this could realize cost efficiencies and prove that an agile, remote working model is productive.
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Key Insights from the 2020 State of Agile Report

How are agile businesses changing in 2020?  Digit... Read More

AngularJS: Top Use Cases and Reasons to Opt for This Tool

AngularJS represents a structural framework for dynamic web applications. It is an open-source, JavaScript-based front-end web platform primarily developed by Google and a consortium of individuals and companies to solve many of the challenges faced in the development of single-page applications.   AngularJSAngularJS offers flexibility in coding like no other framework due to its simple design architecture. In terms of simplicity, it helps beginners to get started and make improvements to their application projects easily. AngularJS also handles heavy web applications that are exceptionally well loaded with features and components. It allows you to use HTML as your template language and allows you to extend the syntax of HTML to clearly and succinctly express the components of your application. The data binding and dependency injections ensure that we do not need to write a big chunk of code which otherwise we would have ended in writing. And all happens inside the browser making it a perfect partner for any application. The next layer data binding frameworks gains popularity due to strong demand. The foremost known ones are: AngularJS KnockoutJS BackboneJS DurandalJS JavaScriptMVC AngularJS overview AngularJS is a platform and framework that uses HTML and TypeScript to build single-page client applications. The below diagram will give you fair idea of difference in traditional page life cycle vs Single page life cycle : The AngularJS application is written using typescript. It introduces core and optional features when you import a collection of TypeScript libraries into your applications. The architecture of an AngularJS application is based on some fundamental principles.The basic building blocks are NgModules which provide the component compilation background. NgModules compile the related code into functional sets; a collection of NgModules define an AngularJS application. An AngularJS  application often has at least one root module that enables bootstrapping, and usually has a lot more feature modules.We will not go into details as this is out of scope of this article but to give you better understanding of an AngularJS application ,let's look at below example where we are trying to calculate area of rectangle :  Area:     Width:     Breadth: Area: {{width * breadth}} This appears to be normal HTML, with some new markup. A file like this is called a Template in AngularJS. Once AngularJS launches the code, it uses the compiler to interpret and process this new markup from the template. The DOM that is loaded, transformed, and rendered is then called view. The Directives are the first kind of modern markup. We add special actions to items or attributes in the HTML. You would have noticed the new attribute ng-app which is a directive for initializing AngularJS apps automatically.AngularJS also defines an input element directive which adds additional behavior to the element. The directive ng-model stores / updates the value of the input field within / from a variable. Why AngularJS? AngularJS is backed by Google. This is a huge relief for developers to operate on a stable code base that will offer the application maximum support. it's a stable platform to focus on. Many frameworks are nowadays a pure bundling of existing resources. They are an integrated group of tools but they are not very elegant. AngularJS is the next generation platform where each tool was built to function in an integrated manner with any other tool. Please find below some reasons why AngularJS is considered as best among its competitors: MVC inbuilt support Most frameworks enforce MVC by asking you to break your app into MVC components and then allow you to write code to re-string them. This is a lot of work. As a developer we have to just split the framework into MVC components and leave everything to AngularJS for taking care. Declarative User Interface AngularJS uses HTML to describe the user interface within the program. HTML is a more concise and less complex declarative language than the procedural interpretation of the JavaScript interface HTML is also less brittle to reorganize than a JavaScript-written GUI, so things are less likely to break. And when the view is written in HTML, you can put in a lot more UI developers. Data models are POJO The POJO acronym for plain old java objects are being used as data models in AngularJS and it works without superfluous functions getter and setter. You can include and change properties straightforwardly and circle over objects and exhibits voluntarily. Your code will look a lot of cleaner and progressively instinctive, the way mother nature expected. Behaviors with Directive Directives are the way AngularJS brings added functionality to HTML. Imagine a world in which HTML has so many rich elements ( e.g. < accordion>, < grid>, < lightbox>, etc.) that we never have to manipulate a DOM to simulate them.To get some functionality out of the box, all that our app needs to do is assign attributes to items. Flexibility with filter Before displaying data on UI, filters filter the data and may include anything as simple as formatting decimal places on a list, reversing the order of an array, filtering a parameter-based array, or implementing pagination. Filters are designed to be stand-alone features, similar to instructions, independent from your device, but concerned only with data transformations. Less code All the points you have received up to now mean you 're getting to write less code. No need to write your own MVC pipeline. The view is described using more succinct, HTML. Without getters / setters, data models are easier to write. Data-binding means you don't have to manually insert data into the view. Also the directives are different from the software code, they can be written in parallel with limited integration issues by another team. Filters let you manipulate view level data without changing controllers. Unit testing ready The definition of AngularJS would be incomplete without speaking of its readiness for unit test. Dependency Injection (DI) links the whole of AngularJS together. Agular's unit tests will use dependency injection for unit testing .It mocks the data and injects into server. In reality, AngularJS already has a mock HTTP provider for controllers to insert fake server responses. It beats the more conventional way web apps are checked by creating individual test pages that activate a single feature and then communicate with it to see if it is working. Google assisted, and a great community of growth. Supported by IntelliJ IDEA and Visual Studio .NET IDEs. Limitations AngularJSis not a magic bullet. Some of its drawbacks are the backsides of its positive points, some of which are intrinsic to JavaScript inefficiency that could not be solved even with the strongest derivatives of its limitations are listed below: AngularJS is broad and complicated. With multiple ways to do the same thing, it's hard to tell which way is best for a particular task. Mastering AngularJS at the "Hello World" level takes significant effort. Different developers' coding styles and habits can complicate the integration of different components into a complete solution. When the project expands over time, you will most likely need to throw away current implementations and build new ones using different approaches. AngularJS implementations are poor in scale. More than 2,000 watchers will seriously lag behind the UI. This limits the complexity of your AngularJS forms , especially large data grids and lists. Best use cases of AngularJS If you want to build smart lightweight applications, AngularJS is your best bet. This TypeScript-based framework helps you to build interactive SPAs that are safe, maintainable, and easy to check. Some of the popular use cases for AngularJS are as follows: YouTube PlayStation three app for video streaming Anyone who likes to play video games would not have skipped the PlayStation 3 version of YouTube. Considering the vast popularity of YouTube, a structure will be needed. Because Google owns AngularJS, it has been leveraged to introduce a brand-new version of YouTube on PlayStation 3. The flexible architecture has helped Google reinvent the PS3 experience by replacing the traditional operating method with a fully new one.  They replaced mouse movements with basic keystrokes. With AngularJS usability, the features of native apps like YouTube PS3 can be extensively leveraged.AngularJS has made a greater contribution in playback video and smooth scrolling on the YouTube PS3. It's the latest ultra-modern and seamless experience of AngularJS, experienced by the crowd of gamers. eCommerce applications like T-Mobile T-Mobile discovered that its customers had to wait for content to be loaded while connecting to the app. So, to make it quicker and less complicated, they used AngularJS server-side rendering to reduce the time. They also used AngularJS so that they could use HTML parsing for search engine purposes.  This leading telecommunications leader has had tremendous success in their eCommerce app, which has generated a phenomenal search engine traffic. With AngularJS, the application interface has been revamped and turned into a smooth and powerful app. Real-time Data Application like weather.com Weather.com is one of the most popular real-time weather update websites. The credit for its success is given to AngularJS 's modular functionality of modules and directories that enable you to use the features of the app on mobile and smartphone devices.  The framework enables developers to build customizable widgets based on the device's specific needs. Using real-time data and dynamically presenting it made it available on the Web using AngularJS technology. What projects don’t need AngularJS AngularJS is super heroic, but there are situations where you can't use AngularJS. Websites with Static Content Small websites with lower targets and static content. These types of websites are better built with limited technical stacks and do not need to be used by AngularJS, as the technology will only add extra pieces of code that are not required by the website or a specific project. Example: landing pages, educational websites, event pages, etc. Limited Resources and Startups AngularJS is not a good idea to start with for small teams and limited resources. AngularJS needs the skillful tools necessary to solve fast problems in large-scale projects. Technology should also not be used for small projects; it can be developed with other available frameworks and does not require much technological facilitation. Game Apps and Heavy Analytical Apps AngularJS is not a gaming app. Other frameworks, such as React, can be used to build a highly interactive UI in games. AngularJS tests every document object model before it changes its position. It is not recommended to use AngularJS in any app which require strong complex mathematical analytics mostly which is used in gaming. Popular web apps built with AngularJS Sharing a list of some of the renowned web applications that are driven by a versatile and robust AngularJS framework: The Guardian The Guardian is a leading designer and publisher, winning a variety of competitions in these fields. The Guardian website UI is created as an AngularJS app.Guardian.comPayPal Papal is one of the world's largest Internet payment firms. This is another one of the big websites that use AngularJS.Paypal.comJetBlue JetBlue is one of the most famous airline companies in the United States as the online airline portal. The new edition of the JetBlue website uses AngularJS.jetBlue.comLego Lego is one of the world's leading producers of play materials. Its products are traded global and can be virtually explored at www.LEGO.com.Lego.comNetflixNetflixNetflix is an American MNC entertainment company. It focuses on and offers streaming media and video on demand online and DVD by mail.FreelancerFreelancer.comFreelancer – the global leading online workplace where understanding businesses and professional service provider go to work!WeatherWeather.comWeather.com is one of the top weather forecasting online report websites. It is also one of the biggest websites using AngularJS.YouTube for PS3YouTube App on PlayStationOwned by Google, YouTube is mainly used for video hosting and sharing. This is being developed using AngularJS framework. Conclusion We can conclude that the AngularJS web app development framework surely has a wide range of powerful features that gives AngularJS an edge over its competitors like ReactJS. This is one of the primary reasons large-scale businesses are opting for AngularJS as their preferred choice of web development platform. To summarize the key points about AngularJS. It is easy to learn and master. It makes application stable and fast. A bunch of useful features in one framework. There are tons of reasons why you should choose AngularJS for your next web app. The World loves it. We mastered it.
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AngularJS: Top Use Cases and Reasons to Opt for Th...

AngularJS represents a structural framework for d... Read More