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Scrum-PSM-II Professional Scrum Master II

The Professional Scrum MasterTM level II (PSM II) assessment is available to anyone who wishes to demonstrate his or her ability to apply the Scrum framework to solving advanced, complex problems in the real world. Those that pass the assessment will receive the industry recognized PSM II Certification as an indication of their advanced knowledge and abilities pertaining to Scrum and the role of the Scrum Master.

Anyone attempting the PSM II should have advanced Scrum knowledge, in-depth Scrum experience and/or have taken the Professional Scrum Master course prior to taking this assessment. However, attending a course is neither necessary nor sufficient for certification. The PSM II assessment is very difficult, and consists of multiple-choice questions based on your knowledge of Scrum and how you would handle real-world situations.

The PSM II certification assessment is an advanced assessment and relies heavily on your own experience using scrum, and how you would apply Scrum in particular circumstances. While it is not required we recommend that before taking PSM II you have a passed PSM I and may find it beneficial to review the PSM I Suggested memorizing page during your preparation.

The PSM II assessment includes questions from the following Focus Areas as defined in the Professional Scrum Competencies.

Understanding and Applying the Scrum Framework:
Empiricism, Scrum Values, Roles, Events, Artifacts, Done.
Developing People and Teams:
Self-Organizing Teams, Facilitation, Leadership Styles, Coaching and Mentoring.
Managing Products with Agility:
Product Backlog Management, Stakeholders & Customers.
Developing and Delivering Products Professionally:
Managing Technical Risk.
Evolving the Agile Organization:
Organizational Design & Culture.

Professional Scrum Master II
Scrum Professional techniques
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The Scrum world has changed a lot in the last few years. Nowhere is that more true than estimating; Scrum folks have struggled with the practice since the framework's origin. Other folks also struggle with it, but this article focuses on Scrum. Many don't see the value in estimating. The 2020 Scrum Guide replaced the word estimate with size or sizing.  Some people often forget that estimates are, after all, just estimates.

Community opinion on the whole area of sizing and forecasting is fraught. My intent is not to add fuel to the fire but to add some thoughts to further the discussion. In my view, the Scrum world needs an article like this. It is a theoretical piece assuming the reader has a reasonable amount of  Scrum knowledge, informed by practice. I hope you find it helpful. 

If your forecasts are routinely correct, you're a freak of nature. Forecasting is rarely perfect due to the following:

  • Waiting time due to dependencies is a huge factor in how long work takes and is affected by many unpredictable events.
  • Even in straightforward work environments, people overestimate how efficiently their day will go.
  • Often, people doing complex work in the pursuit of speed leave work behind them that is untidy and potentially embarrassing (accidental complication). Even worse, people compound the untidiness of the work in follow-up work, which takes longer than intended whether the untidiness is removed. Some call it "broken window syndrome."
  • Complex work involves many unknown variables. 
  • Lack of focus, e.g., "have you got 10 seconds" or "throwing in the kitchen sink" due to prolonged release cycles or over-planning (too much work) around the flow bottleneck.
  • Changing priorities, and the lack of updated sizing based on the changed priorities, e.g., after a problematic forecasting session where it's clear that the odds are against us, another priority is thrown into the mix.

It's often assumed that forecasts are requests to tell with some confidence, "when will it be done?" Often there is another question behind the question, such as:

  • How can I transfer worry to someone else?
  • What progress is being made?
  • What risks remain?
  • When will we get some return on this investment?
  • What trade-offs can we tolerate regarding which work can discover/deliver the potential value, e.g., the 80:20 rule?
  • What trade-offs can we tolerate in terms of reducing some or all of effectiveness, efficiency, and predictability, e.g., running some experiments?
  • What progress trade-offs can we tolerate in terms of required "dead work" to avoid execution bias, such as laboratory setup?
  • How much investment will go into acquiring skills, e.g., education or apprenticeship?

A meta-question of "what does winning the game mean?" is well worth considering. Is the team being given a game it can win? And if the team can win, what are the odds? Probabilistic forecasts can help, e.g., Monte-Carlo simulations.

Despite the hazards, sometimes teams still feel the need to forecast because people fear that stakeholders will make up arbitrarily fixed undoable dates in a vacuum. Sometimes teams want to attain a ballpark date range to get ahead of stakeholder expectations. Interestingly, most of us can accept a weather forecast that gets updated regularly based on the latest information, even if we know it's still inaccurate. 

Troy Magennis does an excellent job of explaining Monte Carlo simulations; simply put; they allow people to model a future based on data and assumptions. Probabilistic forecasts can tell you how much work you can get done, not whether the work at hand fits that forecast. Although probabilistic forecasts are an illusion for complex work, one can redo them regularly as new information comes to light, making them somewhat more reliable over time. 

  • Monte Carlo When forecasts play out scenarios using 500 to 1 million random number generations for throughput (delivery rate of valuable work items per time period, let's say per Sprint) within min/max limits per time period (real data or 90% confident guesstimates) combined with random number generations for the number of items within a range; each forecast returns a range of dates with associated probabilities. For example, in the results shown below, after 10k simulations, 50-75 items have an 85th percentile probability of delivery on 22nd November or sooner.


Screenshots of TWiG and ActionableAgile

  • Monte Carlo probabilistic How Many forecasts use random number generations for throughput within limits per time period to forecast how many items would be done for given dates; the output is a range of dates with a number of items done by that date plus a probability percentage. For example, below is an 85th percentile number of items that would be delivered by date or sooner.

Screenshots of TWiG and ActionableAgile

In either case, using the wrong limits results in a low-quality forecast. For example, let's say we used a seven-sided die of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 when throughput has only ever and is only likely to be 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. We've allowed the possibility of 1 or 2 when that should likely be outside the limits. That said, 1, 2, 8, or 9 are still possible, just not probable. Prateek Singh goes into a lot more detail about how random the number generation would be using various models. Also, if throughput is erratic or mostly zero per time period, the quality of a Monte Carlo simulation reduces considerably. Forecasting, at its essence, is about risk management. It answers the question - How much risk is contained in our current plans? Lower quality forecasts also mean inadequate risk management.

Communities are not aligned on this approach. One project is only executed once. While probabilities may help inform decisions, the problem is that they don't make the decision any easier. Estimation is often used as a proxy for a decision (do we do this project or not?). In that regard, does probabilistic forecasting offer any answer, or does it only offer more questions? They are important questions, but the reasons for using estimates differ from probabilistic forecasting. I have seen many probabilistic forecasts based on guesstimates and a lack of history, yet they were not far off in the end. If you'd like to dig more into that, check out when I spoke with Troy Magennis about it.

Let's examine in more detail the options for sizing and forecasting to help inform the lesser evils in a Scrum context.

Sizing Techniques

When using Scrum, the Scrum Team self-manages, and the Developers carry out sizing because they are the people closest to the work.

The most popular sizing techniques are either based on data or educated guesses. When dealing with complexity, know that these techniques are almost always inaccurate. 

I find that most people are poor at estimating. Still, people perceive value in the conversation because assumptions can surface while we come to a common understanding of the work and its challenges. Understanding 'the work item' and 'Estimating the work item' are separate activities that should not be conflated. My view is that estimates for individual product backlog items don't provide a solid foundation for forecasting the time it will take to complete the work.

The most popular sizing techniques using estimation for forecasting are as follows:

  • Relative estimation 
    • Time reference - Comparing current work items to the time it took to complete historical reference items.
    • Assigning numeric values - Examples include using story points based on the Fibonacci sequence and often carried out collaboratively with playing cards (planning poker). 
    • T-shirt sizing - Assigning s, s/m, m, m/l, xl, xxl, xxxl, xxxxl to Product Backlog Items instead of numeric value, sometimes simplified by leaving out every second size without losing scale S=1, M=3, L=8, XXL=20 (rounded up), XXXXL=60,    rounded up), ?=100 (rounded up)
    • Wall estimation - Assigning numeric values by collaboratively placing and moving cards on a wall, also referred to as magic estimation or silent estimation.
  • Flow metrics or counting items
    • For a goal or time period - Identify/count (as best you can) a number or range of Product Backlog items to get to Done.
  • Right-sizing - Identify small enough items for intake — often using a flow-based approach — it's less about whether an item is small or medium. The practice involves figuring out if the team can complete a Product Backlog Item according to the Definition of Done comfortably within one Sprint.
  • #NoEstimates - one interpretation being …
    • Strive for an even distribution of "ballpark" item sizes throughout a backlog.
    • Count running tested stories or running tested features to demonstrate progress in output terms.
    • Focus on simplifying the what for the why - a focus on desired outcomes.
    • Right-sizing - Identify small enough items for intake.
    • Slicing into 24-hour timeboxing of items encourages the creation of experiments that validate assumptions/hypotheses towards a goal, discover to deliver.
    • Use rolling-wave forecasts to communicate uncertainty.

Some would argue that counting Product Backlog Items without throughput data is also an estimation, and I agree with that view. Counting based on the throughput of done items is forecasting.

Of the above sizing approaches, only wall estimation considers relative potential value directly. It uses value points for estimating value (not effort). Value is not absolute; it is relative. Customer value gets realized after a release to the customer, and it might be a lot higher/lower than we expect. 

All of the above sizing options are devalued by:

  • Not having caveats associated with the start date, e.g., nine weeks from the date we start.
  • Not recognizing the amount of work in progress and the progress (or not) of that work.
  • The severity of impediments.
  • Not ordering items higher up the Product Backlog according to delivery risk.
  • A sub-optimal approach to handling dependencies.
  • Confusing outputs with outcomes; a customer/end-user outcome is a change in customer/end-user behavior.
  • Not engaging in discovery activities when the risk of not harvesting potential value is high, compounded by assuming that every item moves from discovery to delivery.
  • Delusions of accuracy and pursuing more accuracy.

Suboptimal trends include

  • Size per skill - typically caused by focus on resource efficiency over flow efficiency
  • Size inflation - typically caused by pressure for more "velocity.” No prizes for guessing which size a team might use for a borderline case, out of higher or lower; they're likely to pick higher. In extreme cases, I refer to this as (sizing) bingo.
  • Not taking quality seriously, e.g., lack of conformity with the definition of done - typically caused by pressure for more "velocity." Make no mistake - quality via the Definition of Done commitment is a big deal.
  • Not taking the customer seriously, e.g., delivering outputs without measuring if they made a difference - typically caused by an excess of "thinking inside the building" or distance from the customer.
  • Size normalization across teams is typically caused by the assumption that people are replaceable machine parts. In my experience, given many situations with the same product backlog, the same reference items for comparison, and the same scale, teams have never come up with the same sizes. 
  • Counting complete but fake product backlog items, items that don't deliver value, as throughput - typically caused by the use of work breakdown structures that lose sight of value
  • Not focusing, not finishing. Focus is a big deal in Scrum primarily via the Product Goal in the Product Backlog, the Sprint Goal in the Sprint Backlog, and the Scrum values. And how about focusing on finishing what we started, even if it means splitting or canceling work? 
  • Delusions of predictability for work that is uncomparable with work from the past 
  • Lack of discovery to find the items we maybe should not build, some say 70%. If we run low-cost experiments, we might fall upon better ideas. For example, insofar as I can tell when Bose discovered noise-canceling headphones, they were looking for something else, higher sound fidelity. Lack of discovery is typically caused by leaders committing to work on behalf of teams; the view becomes "there is no point in finding better ways, we have a deadline.” 

This article is not designed to help people sustain such trends but to shed light on better ways. If you want help getting better at estimation with story points, you're looking at the wrong article. 

The main sizing options this article draws attention to are estimation, right-sizing, and #NoEstimates. Neither of those options is perfect. I've included some other options to consider, but regardless of the approach, the level of exactness is low. 

  • About estimation:
    • It comes in different flavors.
    • If you estimate, the best thing that can happen is the estimates are correct. How long things take has little to do with the processing time - see an article by Troy Magennis on this topic
    • Estimates are prone to the "flaw of averages" (Sam Savage). Is 50:50 an excellent way to set expectations? 
    • The average of independent blind assessments can be near enough to the truth (Dave Snowden on Xagility podcast). Estimates are rarely blind, though. 
    • If you don't estimate at all, you don't waste time; hopefully, you will discover/deliver outcomes sooner.
       
  • About right-sizing:
    • How much time could you save caring more about whether the team can complete an item within the Sprint and less about making that item infinitely smaller?
    • Think of the reduced cognitive load on the Product Owner resulting from fewer PBIs.
    • Counting the number of (valuable right-sized) PBIs delivered to Done per Sprint is valuable for Sprint Planning and forecasting goals.
    • If throughput is sporadic or irregular, we have more significant problems than forecasting; we have a "plumbing problem."
    • Using average throughput also pursues the "flaw of averages." Monte Carlo probabilistic forecasting is preferable.
       
  • About #NoEstimates, one interpretation is:
    • Counting the number of (valuable right-sized) PBIs delivered to Done per Sprint is valuable for Sprint Planning and forecasting goals.
    • If throughput is sporadic or irregular, we have more significant problems than forecasting; we have a "plumbing problem."
    • "Rolling Wave Forecast” based on throughput with variance limits is preferable.

Whether one uses estimation, right-sizing, or #NoEstimates, sometimes it's difficult to break down Product Backlog Items (PBIs), so they're still valuable (and not just subtasks).  There is a variety of guidance on how to split Product Backlog itemsExample mapping is a powerful approach; the Scrum Team can pick just one example for this Sprint and get feedback. When evidence (we can harvest value) is lacking even if the potential value is high, it’s sensible to experiment to validate assumptions through hypotheses; #NoEstimates and Scrum with UX support this approach. Splitting can result in discovery or discover-to-deliver. For example, customer interviews and UX research might be triggered by splitting.

Potential upsides of some sizing approaches

Historical time reference 

Assign numeric values, e.g., story points

T-shirt size to be Done

Wall estimation 

Number/range of product backlog items to be Done (for a goal)

Right-sizing

#NoEstimates - one interpretation

Does not require that much Scrum education apart from Definition of Done and Product Backlog Refinement.

Developers value discussions on relative size, as the perception is it leads to a better understanding of the work.

Developers value discussions on relative size, as the perception is it leads to a better understanding of the work.

Developers value discussions on relative size, as the perception is it leads to a better understanding of the work.

Uses continual forecasting as a basis for continual negotiation of the budget and/or the number of items based on empirical value delivery

Simple. Developers assess if a Product Backlog Item fits comfortably within a Sprint or not, and if not, break it down at some point.

The point is that estimation is used to inform decisions. If the base information (estimation) is so wrong that it causes catastrophic failure in the decision-making process, then the technique must be replaced.

Usually includes waiting time.

Developers feel a better sense that they have discovered relative complexity/risk.

Developers feel a better sense that they have discovered relative complexity/risk.

Developers feel a better sense that they have discovered relative complexity/risk.

Developers can “ballpark” this with a range.

Less “analysis paralysis.” For scaling, a general rule in LeSS is 4 Product Backlog items per team per Sprint for the next 2-3 Sprints.

Focus on discovery/delivery, and split items as necessary.

Bas Vodde in the LeSS community advances that this method is less harmful than story points to Done (see point 40 in this article)

People say the conversation is important (although, perhaps there is a better trigger for such a  conversation). 

T-shirt sizes can be converted to story points if there is a T-shirt size to a numerical value scale.

Can use T-shirt sizes /  numerical values.

Useful for sizing a chunk of the backlog, e.g., the Product Goal, the Sprint Goal.

Can possibly use for probabilistic forecasting for a selection of Product Backlog.

Small batch is still a goal so less likely to take on “elephants.” 

Useful for “slice of cake” teams (can deliver value without depending on other teams, all layers of the cake are represented on the team).

A way to limit work in progress in a Sprint but  there might be a better way.

People say the conversation is important (although, perhaps there is a better conversation).

Quick when using in combination with T-shirt sizes and T-shirt size to numerical value scale (can size most backlogs in under 1 hour).

Can use across multiple teams.

Product Backlog items are likely to be more valuable due to less item splitting.

Forecasting using data assumes/accepts uncertainty and imperfect information 

Speaks in the customer’s language (i.e., time), or does it? (timely value?).

Time-consuming if using planning poker - see this article for more:  

Requires very little detail for Developers to take a view of the relative size.

See this article by By Mitch Lacey. Owner, Mitch Lacey & Associates, Inc that considers potential value and effort. 

Can be used for probabilistic forecasting.

When used with probabilistic forecasting, speaks in the customer’s language about when it might be done (or does it?), as long as we state the caveat: “We’ll have a better forecast next week/Sprint/month.”

Uses continual forecasting as a basis for continual negotiation of the budget and/or the number of items based on empirical value delivery

       

When used with probabilistic forecasting, speaks in the customer’s language (or does it?) about when it might be done, as long as we state the caveat: “We’ll have a better forecast next week/Sprint/month.”

Forecast using data assumes/accepts uncertainty and imperfect information. 

Categorization - comparing the scale of current investment with similar previous investments helps to win over “the dressing room;” similar in terms of three to five characteristics, e.g,  business domain, technology, and item types. team, process, client type, being careful not to overfit (deterministic rather than probabilistic mindset).

       

Forecast using data assumes/accepts uncertainty and imperfect information. 

Uses continual forecasting as a basis for continual negotiation of the budget and/or the number of items based on empirical value delivery

Throughput is based on running tested stories- no ambiguity.

           

Independent stories slice the investment vertically ( you get a “slice of cake” rather than a “layer of cake”)

           

Attempts to have a mixture of item sizes throughout the running tested stories can be trusted more as a metric of progress (outputs at least).

           

Moves the focus to value;  get creative and simplify the what to deliver value, then deliver regularly as Scrum expects.

           

Encourages slicing of Product Backlog items into experiments that validate assumptions / hypotheses

Potential downsides of some sizing approaches

Historical time reference 

Assign numeric values, e.g., “story points”

T-shirt size to done

Wall Estimation 

Number/range of product backlog items to Done (for a goal)

Rightsizing

#NoEstimates - one interpretation

Requires a reference item of that size (and perhaps type) from the past. But a reference item might still be next to useless due to accidental complication, changed circumstances, etc.

Even the person who claims to have created story points, Ron Jeffries, regrets story points. 

Only for the Scrum Team, not even for other Scrum Teams on the same product (but maybe it could be?). 

Opens the possibility for size normalization across multiple teams on the same product - comparing teams is almost always a bad idea. 

Prone to use of “epics” as containers for Product Backlog items rather than PBIs themselves.

The number of items in the Product Backlog is less useful for forecasting purposes as many could be “elephant-sized.”

Psychologically difficult for some stakeholders - people prefer to be wrong than uncertain

Prone to abuse by people with a “utilization” mindset. See

Only for the Scrum Team, not even for other Scrum Teams on the same product. 

Prone to size inflation or normalization across teams. Some people like to cap the sizes, unknowingly hiding effort.

Often one and done: It should be revisited frequently.

Counterintuitive: even if the usefulness of throughput is demonstrated, people are strongly biased towards relative sizing 

Misunderstood that all PBIs need to be of equal size – if we’re not making widgets, if this is not manufacturing – we’re probably doing complex knowledge work and we expect items to be different from one another.

Most teams are “layer of cake” teams, and hence don’t produce Running Tested Stories” unless they use coping strategies such as Nexus (although Nexus does not share Product Backlog Items across teams). But this is not so much a downside of #NoEstimates to be fair. In #NoEstimates INVEST stories tend to get sliced.

Would not be used for probabilistic forecasting, as it’s not output-based.

Prone to inflation or normalization across teams. Some people like to cap the sizes, thus hiding effort.

Prone to abuse by people with a “utilization” mindset. See

 

Misunderstood that all PBIs need to be of equal size – for knowledge work we expect items to be different from one another.

Disconnect in lean/agile community whether PBI split rate is a useful input. See.

 
 

Prone to abuse by people with a “utilization” mindset. See

When converted to story points, could be used for probabilistic forecasting, but should you? In any case, if the Product Backlog is not fully sized, what limits would you use for backlog size (min/max)?

 

People push back because, in their minds, PBI types seem like mixing apples with oranges.

Probabilistic forecasts will be less useful if the team does not deliver any PBIs most days.

 
 

Could be used for probabilistic forecasting, but should you? In any case, if the Product Backlog is not fully sized, what limits would you use for backlog size (min/max)? See

   

Probabilistic forecasts will be less useful if the team does not deliver any PBIs most days

   
 

Fibonacci is the trend – that might not be exponential enough.

   

Often misunderstand that we should use rolling/moving averages for long-term forecasting - heads or tails anyone?

   

Other considerations for sizing approaches

 

Historical time reference 

Assign numeric values, e.g., “story points”

T-shirt size to done

Wall Estimation 

Number/range of product backlog items to Done (for a goal)

Rightsizing

#NoEstimates - one interpretation

Typically combined with

T-shirt size

T-shirt size 

Three-point method

Story points

Assign numerical values

T-shirt size

Monte Carlo Probabilistic Forecasting

#NoEstimates

 

Number(or range of numbers) of PBIs to Done

 

Monitoring of WIP

 

Cycle time and work item aging

Number(or range of numbers) of product backlog items to Done, monitoring of WIP, cycle time and work item aging, reference class sizing, story mapping, impact mapping

Usefulness in complexity

Low

Low

Low to Medium

Low to Medium

Medium

Medium

medium

Devalued by

Capping the size.

Converting to time for people utilization purposes, story points per skill, capping the size, and time-consuming approaches such as planning poker.

Converting to time for people utilization purposes, T-shirt size per skill, capping the size, and time-consuming approaches such as planning poker.

Capping the size.

Lack of focus on PBI aging, the delusion of accuracy in complexity. Also, even in a Scrum context, focusing on throughput while ignoring impeded/forgotten PBIs is a fool’s errand.

Stuffing items into a Sprint, definition of Done de-emphasized in the wrong hands, sub-optimal approach to handling dependencies.

Lack of discipline with product backlog item size being suitable for a Done increment within a Sprint

 

If communicating a forecast for a range of items using an interval/span of dates - stakeholders might just take the most optimistic end of the interval/span

Splitting of “stories” could happen to the extent that stories are not valuable in and of themselves. In both Scrum and Kanban, items should be valuable. The danger is the team delivers activity instead of outputs that trigger outcomes.

Worst thing that could happen (if done badly)

Delusion that what happened in the past dictates the future.

Story points per skill, adding too much contingency, activity measurement as opposed to output measurement for work that is not done.

T-shirt size per skill, adding too much contingency, activity measurement as opposed to output measurement for work that is not done.

Developers wall estimating in groups without cross-checking.

The delusion that items have to be the same size, the definition of ready complementary practice used as a gate.

The delusion that items have to be the same size, Size is not considered at all, and “elephants” get taken in the Sprint, definition of ready used as a gate.

Size is not considered at all and “elephants” get taken into the sprint

Forecasting

When forecasting effort, the most popular methods tend to be based on:

  • Past performance of the number/range of Product Backlog Items (PBIs) to Done, based on averages or a range – past performance does not predict the future, but it is acceptable for a short period such as a Sprint.

    

Screenshots of TWiG and ActionableAgile - This team is delivering stuff, but they deliver nothing to Done for many days.

  • Past performance of the number/range of numerical values or PBIs to Done
    • Past performance does not predict the future, but it is usually acceptable for a short period, such as a Sprint.
    • Beware of using arithmetic on numeric values, as complexity rises exponentially with Product Backlog Item size, and putting an "elephant" in a Sprint is problematic.
    • Beware of the number of PBIs already in progress.
    • Sometimes based on a burnup/burndown chart using "exact"/relative sizing of remaining work over time.

Burnup/burndown charts are based on averages and often misinterpreted.       

  • Probabilistic forecast with a percentage probability that a number (or range) of items with varying probabilities for a range of dates; can be used for short-, medium- and long-term forecasts. 
    • Consider using a parametric scale or random sampling to model based on previous work. For example, you might think: this investment feels like two other similar past investments, but we'll need to add 15 items. 
    • Consider also a number or range of items for pulling everything together as work doesn't always knit tightly and easily in the end – but isn't that risk well-managed through iterative, incremental, and continuous delivery anyway?

Screenshots of TWiG and ActionableAgile

  • Probabilistic forecast for how many PBIs can be completed by a specific time - with a percentage probability, a date, and a number (or range of numbers) of items by that date; it can be used for short-, medium- and long-term forecasts, but it's more useful for output orientation than goal orientation. 

Screenshots of TWiG and ActionableAgile

  • A statement something like, "We're using an empirical approach operating one Sprint at a time; the Sprint Goal is not even a guarantee; the real answer is we don't know, but let's start and learn quickly." You might not even use Now?, Next ??, Later ???.

The most offensive part of forecasting is that it often does not consider how many PBIs we're working on simultaneously. Alas, all too often I have also seen teams of teams bringing in more items than their usual capacity.

As mentioned, teams can use different approaches to size the effort to deliver a Sprint/Product Goal. The forecast will almost certainly be wrong, so they should convey uncertainty, reminding stakeholders that they're using an empirical approach, moving one Sprint at a time, and refreshing forecasts frequently. The Product Backlog is (hopefully) a living and breathing emerging artifact.

Some would say it's better not to provide a forecast at all. They would say, "Discover and deliver capabilities—review outcomes with the customers and end-users. Learn what can be learned. Act on what we have discovered. Don't manage expectations."

Takeaways

  1. Avoid story points. If you must use story points, use them as a temporary crutch. The story points approach is a popular complementary approach for teams, but it is not part of Scrum. I am not a fan. When people use story points, I usually observe destructive behaviors. I see story point inflation, story point bingo, story point normalization, and story point velocity used as a proxy for performance measurement. For example, senior leaders look for more velocity leading team members to split items that are not Done to claim some kind of story point velocity. Teams are not wholly in control of how much work they can deliver. So, if a team is under pressure for more velocity, the chances of a medium item being defined as large or extra-large increase. 

  2. Avoid average throughput. The throughput approach is better, and while it's not perfect, it's a more accurate basis for forecasting when used with probabilistic forecasting and counting valuable items within throughput. Throughput lacks credibility without value or right-sizing. Though not part of Scrum and only optional in Kanban Guide, for non-software, consider separate throughput for separate product backlog item types, e.g., packaging vs. communications. Using averages to forecast time/points/throughput is not a great way to manage one's career. "Boss, we have a 50/50 probability of on-time delivery; is that ok?"

  3. Consider historical reference items. Historical reference items include "waiting time" and depend on remembering how long that took but don't consider accidental complication. Accidental complication is the untidiness of the work we leave behind and its knock-on effect on the quality of estimates; it explains why reference items still don't work well for time estimation. 

  4. Try throughput of valuable items as a basis for probabilistic forecasting. For non-software, consider separate throughput for separate product backlog item types, e.g., packaging vs. communications. It's still "smoke and mirrors" for complex work, so you'd best add the caveat that you'll provide a better forecast next week and the week after that once you learn more. Beware of probabilistic forecasting based on fake throughput (throughput of fake items - items lacking value), sporadic throughput, and particularly when most time periods selected have zero throughput—probabilistic forecasts based on erratic throughput lower the quality of forecasts considerably.

  5. Try #NoEstimates - rolling wave forecasts communicate uncertainty well. To avoid breaking Scrum or Kanban(for example, using the Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams), ensure that all (product backlog) items are valuable.

  6. When asked when the team will have something done, try responding by saying you don't know. Explain that you're using an evidence-based empirical approach and operate one Sprint/week/month at a time. Many items require discovery/spikes; you don't know what feedback you'll get, you don't know what you'll learn, and you don't know what you'll have to respond to. Beware that in many cultures, vacuums tend to get filled, and if one does not provide a forecast, others eagerly await to offer one, probably with an undoable deadline.

  7. Favor leading by example with agility. Understand the problem space. Discover and deliver capabilities—review outcomes with the customers and end-users. Learn what can be learned. Act on what we have discovered—set expectations of uncertainty and bets, not dates. Don't feed the desire to know something we don't know. As a well-known agilist said to me, forecasting makes us feel we are doing something useful; that feeling or unmet need is what needs to be addressed.

We get lost during sizing and forecasting, and we often forget value. Measure with people affected if the work made a difference and tweak.

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to members of the Design, UX, Product Management, #NoEstimates, Scrum, and Kanban communities for either inspiring ideas for this article, or reviewing this article in its entirety or in part. Reviews of the article added perspectives that were acted upon; even so, reviewers might disagree with the article. I want to offer special thanks to Glaudia Califano of Red Tangerine and Christian Neverdal for reviewing in detail a much earlier iteration of this article, I am in their debt. I am in debt to many other un-named reviewers who also put in a lot of effort. I especially want to thank Arpad Piskolti for inspiring me with his uncertainty-embracing catchphrase “and I’ll provide you a better forecast next time (week/Sprint/month).”

Appendix  

Flow metrics

Flow metrics are not just about throughput. Following the Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams, one can also look at WIP, Cycle Time, and Work Item Age; in that context, looking at throughput alone would be myopic. Even in a Scrum context, focusing on throughput but ignoring impeded/forgotten product backlog items is a fool’s errand.

The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams introduces four metrics to Scrum, namely:

  • Work in Progress (WIP): The number of work items started but not finished. The team can use the WIP metric to provide transparency about their progress towards reducing their WIP and improving their flow. Note that there is a difference between the WIP metric and the policies a Scrum Team uses to limit WIP. 
  • Cycle Time: in a Kanban Guide for Scrum Team context, the elapsed calendar time between when a work item starts and when a work item finishes (rounded up). 
  • Work Item Age: The elapsed calendar time between when a work item started and the current time; this applies only to items still in progress. 
  • Throughput: The number of product backlog items finished per unit of time.

See How can Scrum with Kanban help people solve complex problems? 

Some techniques to inform/challenge forecasts

Guidance on Sizing - other approaches

Upsides of other sizing approaches

Time estimation - estimation of work in hours, person-days, perfect days

Cost estimation

Three Point Method

Does not require Scrum education

Does not require Scrum education

Developers value discussions on relative size, as the perception is it leads to a better understanding of the work

Speaks in the customer’s language (time), or does it?

Speaks in the customer’s language (money cost), or does it? (timely value?)

Developers feel a better sense that they have discovered relative complexity/ risk

 

Estimated usually in sprints (useful for a product goal) or time converted to cost

Optimism, pessimism, realism - everyone gets a voice

   

Creates a range rather than a number, which is great for communicating uncertainty, and getting stakeholders used to uncertainty

Potential downsides of other sizing approaches

Time estimation - estimation of work in hours, person-days, perfect days

Cost estimation

Three Point Method

Prone to abuse by people with a “utilization” mindset (keeping people busy). See

Less useful for sizing individual product backlog items that would go into a sprint. More useful for rough order of magnitude for say an entire product goal.

Might be used to expedite Planning Poker, losing the value of the conversations to understand opinions more

Would not be used for probabilistic forecasting, as it’s not output-based.

 

When converted to story points, could be used for probabilistic forecasting min/max, but should you? 

When was the last time you had a perfect day?

   

Other considerations of other sizing approaches

 

Time estimation - estimation of work in hours, person-days, perfect days

Cost estimation

Three Point Method

Typically combined with

T-shirt size

T-shirt size, Time estimation, Historical time reference

Assign numerical values, T-shirt size

Usefulness in complexity

low

low

low to medium

Devalued by

Capping the size

Capping the size, the use of function points, use of Gantt charts

Capping the size

Worst thing that could happen (if done badly)

Delusion that everyone works full days, full months to maximum efficiency, sandbagging

Delusion that what happened in the past dictates the future

Easily gamed

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 16:55:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.infoq.com/articles/sizing-forecasting-scrum/
Killexams : What is a Scrum commitment?

Scrum Commitments are targets

Every arrow needs a target.

Without a target, an archer doesn’t know where to aim. Nor would they know if they ever hit their mark.

In Scrum, artifacts are the arrows. Scrum commitments are the targets.

The Scrum Guide has always demanded that work revolves around the following three artifacts:

  • A product backlog that represents every feature to be developed
  • A list of backlog items selected for the Sprint
  • Increments of progress that stakeholders can regularly review

Scrum Commitment Definition

Since the release of an updated Scrum Guide in 2020, each artefact is now mapped to a Scrum commitment.

A Scrum commitment is the evaluation criteria against which a Scrum Artifact is measured.

The existence of a Scrum commitment acts to Strengthen transparency and enhance an Agile Scrum developer’s focus as the project progresses.

“Each artifact contains a commitment to ensure it provides information that enhances transparency and focus against which progress can be measured.”
– The 2020 Scrum Guide, page 10

What are the 3 Scrum Commitments?

The 2020 Scrum Guide defines

  1. The Product Backlog’s Scrum commitment is to the Product Goal
  2. The Sprint Backlog ‘s Scrum commitment is to the Sprint Goal
  3. The Increment’s Scrum commitment is to to the Definition of Done
Scrum Commitment and Values

The three Scrum commitments are different from the core Scrum value of commitment.

Why do we need Scrum commitments?

Agile DevOps practitioners don’t like plans.

“We value responding to change over following a plan” is one of the four declared values stated in the Agile Manifesto.

Plans aren’t inherently bad. In Scrum, every Sprint begins with a Sprint planning session. Planning is a requirement of the Sprint Framework. Not planning is definitely an Agile anti-pattern.

But the problem with conscientious people is that when they are given a plan to follow, they do their best to follow it. And that can sometimes be counter-productive, especially when conditions change, which they inevitably do.

Scrum Commitments, Goals and Plans

In comparison to a plan, a commitment is a higher-order calling to which team members will aspire. “Shifting from plan driven work to goal driven work leads to a lot more flexibility,” says Professional Scrum Trainer, Dr. Charles (Chuck) Suscheck.

The purpose of the three commitments is to provide a clear, shared, and agreed upon goal upon which all work takes place.

The commitments also encourage participants to constantly evaluate how effectively the work they’ve planned will help the team follow through on a given commitment.

If the work, plan and commitment are misaligned, developers are encouraged to raise the alarm and change the plan, because the commitment represents a higher calling than the plan.

“If the team cannot complete selected Product Backlog items during a sprint, the plan may need to change in order to meet the Sprint Goal,” says Suscheck.  “That’s because the commitment is to the Sprint Goal, not the details.”

Empiricism and Scrum Commitments

The Scrum Framework’s three pillars of empiricism are:

  • transparency
  • inspection
  • and adaptation

With a clear Product Goal, well-defined Sprint Goal and a concise Definition of Done, the software development process is given more transparency and becomes more Agile.

This allows for an objective inspection of the progress that is made, which allows for immediate change and adaptation when individual efforts don’t align with the greater commitments made by the team.

Before a archer to pulls back their bow, they need a target to aim at.

For Scrum practitioners, the Scrum commitment is the target to which their artifacts will aim.

Sun, 10 Jul 2022 01:29:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.theserverside.com/blog/Coffee-Talk-Java-News-Stories-and-Opinions/What-is-a-Scrum-commitment
Killexams : The 3 key strategies to slash time-to-market in any industry

Presented by PMI


In a rapidly changing market driven by megatrends, from labor shortages and digital disruption to the climate crisis and global economic shifts, businesses need to find smarter strategies to get to market fast. The need for speed is the most frequently cited reason organizations are prioritizing innovation and growth, McKinsey found — and fast companies outperform in the market.

“Speed and efficiency have become new benchmarks — and organizations that are too slow, or too comfortable, could soon be left behind,” says Sierra Hampton-Simmons, Vice President of Products at Project Management Institute (PMI). “But gaining speed should not mean breaking the rules. It needs to be done strategically based on the needs of your customer.”

Sustainable, transparent and efficient ways to significantly slash time to market requires a few things, including revisiting policies to root out rigidity, and finding ways to boost strategic clarity.  PMI research shows businesses must also prioritize flexibility and agility, as well as encourage constant innovation for project professionals.

There are three movements in the business world that are helping organizations work smarter and more efficiently: a focus on the collaborative citizen developer; a turn toward more effective agile development; and an emphasis on innovative problem-solving to swiftly tackle challenges of every size.

Here’s a closer look at these three strategies which can help transform a company’s way of working, approach to innovation and speed to market without jeopardizing strategy.

1. Low-code and no-code and the citizen developer

The deficit of skilled software developers will hit 500,000 by 2024, IT departments are overworked and the overall tech talent shortage is painting a grim picture. That’s where the citizen developer comes in. Not only does an investment in citizen developers help bridge the tech talent gap, but it also supercharges internal collaboration and a company’s ability to deliver real value to customers and stakeholders, offering greater operational efficiency and productivity across the board.

Low-code and no-code solutions are the key. These platforms replace hand-coding with intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-coded workflows that can provide anyone, regardless of tech expertise or prior coding experience, the ability to build complex interactions, transactions and processes that can be easily automated.

Citizen development eliminates the middleman, taking the pressure off IT, and putting the power to build solutions that solve pain points directly into the hands of the project professionals who are right there in the mix. They’re intimately familiar with the context of each problem they’re solving for, and have the expertise to conceive the practical, innovative solutions necessary. Further, they have the tools at hand to develop, test and iterate, fast and efficiently, to drive digital transformation as a strategic business partner.

An effective citizen developer strategy requires appropriate guardrails to keep these projects in line with the organization’s broader IT strategy and governance policies, from data privacy to security, costs and quality. The PMI® Citizen Developer suite of resources guides organizations in developing a secure, effective low-code and no-code technology strategy that optimizes the power of the citizen developer by overcoming challenges and pitfalls, leading to faster value delivery.

2. The transformative power of agility

Agile is a powerful tool for driving successful projects fast and efficiently. But many organizations look at agile as a one-size-fits-all approach, which limits the full benefits of the technique. Far from a cookie-cutter approach, agile offers a variety of methodologies and frameworks, including Scrum, Lean, Kanban and much more. Each approach is specially suited to help address a variety of project objectives — but locking your team into one specific framework limits innovation, and therefore limits team speed.

The best way of working is specific to every team, and agile frameworks are a good starting point — but a truly agile approach means borrowing the best thinking across the strategies available to you, from agile to lean and traditional sources. PMI’s hybrid tool kit harnesses hundreds of agile practices to guide you in the best way of working for your team or organization in a tailorable and scalable manner.

PMI’s tool kit is architected into four views and four layers. The “Mindset” layer builds on the foundations of agile and lean to address enterprise realities. “People” is about giving any person one or more roles to help create a truly adaptable team. “Flow” is a streamlined way to adopt process in a context-sensitive manner. And the “Practices” layer is about scaling, whether that’s at the team level (tactical agile) or at the organizational level (strategic agility).

PMI also offers both instructor-led and self-paced training, with interactive courses, micro-credentials and certifications that include simulations, activities and supplemental memorizing to reinforce the toolkit’s guidance. Those who master the toolkit will obtain the skills needed to tailor their way of working, leading to optimized organizational and team effectiveness and faster speed to market.

3. Solving complex problems with Wicked Problem Solving

Traditional problem-solving techniques are not standing up to the increasingly complex array of issues businesses face as economic, technological, environmental and political landscapes keep shifting. Problems of every size, from the major challenges that impact an organization’s future to smaller, everyday obstacles have become resistant to tried-and-true strategies.

For these “wicked problems,” PMI alongside TED speaker, entrepreneur and technology pioneer Tom Wujec has developed PMI Wicked Problem Solving, rooted in cognitive science, and incorporating elements of design thinking, and lean and agile practices. It is a shared operating system for solving problems and boosting greater collaboration, designed to enhance traditional or agile project management approaches.

Tasks are organized into a series of plays, the basic building block — time-bound periods in which a team clearly articulates the problem, creates a visual model of the issue and uses visualizations to make ideas concrete and engaging as the team works collaboratively to build a solution. It’s helpful not only for complex challenges, but for helping teams run more successful meetings and making conversations more productive.

There are many types of plays, from simple ones that apply to most situations to more sophisticated plays used to break down complex issues. More basic plays can be incorporated into a professional’s toolkit almost immediately and, once the system is mastered, any number of different plays can be assembled to break down and solve any issue. Finding innovative ways to diagnose problems and visualizing and identifying solutions more quickly can help teams bring value to customers faster and more consistently.

PMI and Wujec’s Wicked Problem Solving course and tool kit is integrated with Miro, an online whiteboard collaboration tool. The course consists of 20 core video lessons that outline the principles and practical techniques, a workbook, a playbook and three decks of Wicked Problem Solving Principle cards for configuring plays.

Upskilling for success

The foundation of all these strategies is an environment where employees have the mindset, skills, knowledge, tools and customer understanding they need to make their work more efficient and to realize positive organizational, environmental and societal impact. But the number-one barrier to developing those capabilities is a lack of strategic prioritization of learning and development (L&D).

“While businesses understand the necessity of L&D, it is important that executives do not offer trainings just for trainings’ sake,” Hampton-Simmons added. “Businesses need to strategically evaluate all options and consider which programs not only help your business improve, but also provide your team members with the skills that they value most. PMI can work with you to understand these needs and find a solution that is customized and impactful.”

Organizations that gain speed through strategic upskilling can better prepare their workforce to provide value to customers more quickly, adapt nimbly to new technology, and weather the storm of the next big event — without sacrificing quality.

Learn more about how PMI’s thought leadership, training and tools are helping companies equip their talent with the knowledge and opportunities they need to thrive.


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Mon, 11 Jul 2022 15:20:00 -0500 VB Staff en-US text/html https://venturebeat.com/programming-development/the-3-key-strategies-to-slash-time-to-market-in-any-industry%ef%bf%bc/
Killexams : Driving DevOps with Value Stream Management

Key Takeaways

  • Value Stream Management (VSM) is an approach to make Lean-oriented production improvements across an organization's development and operational value streams.
  • A value stream is simply an end-to-end sequence of activities where work, materials, and information flow in a coordinated and streamlined manner to deliver value (products, services, results) most effectively.
  • In its modern reinvention, VSM software tools provide end-to-end and real-time access to data and analytical tools to help Strengthen Flow across CI/CD and DevOps software delivery pipelines.
  • In a digital economy, VSM improved software deliveries support the businesses' other value stream improvement initiatives.

As a contractor, over the past ten years, my professional roles allowed me to support three relatively large software development programs involving more than 100 team members spanning eleven, sixteen, and twenty product teams, respectively. In addition, I've recently supported a team developing reusable CI/CD configurations for a large federal agency. I've watched the organizations I've worked with install Agile and Lean-Agile practices throughout these activities, with limited success at best.

I wrote my last book, Scaling Scrum Across Modern Enterprises, to explore the alternative Agile and Lean-Agile scaling approaches developed and promoted by various industry leaders, focusing on Scrum-based practices. During my research, I reached out to interview the founders, or their designates, of the following Scrum and Lean-Agile practices.

  • Scrum-of-Scrums – the original Scrum scaling strategy as a team of teams
  • Scrum-At-Scale – An extension to the Scrum Guide that scales the basic Scrum of Scrums concepts enterprise-wide and across business domains with minimum viable bureaucracy (MVB) via scale-free architectures
  • The Nexus Framework – the software developer's extension to the Scrum Guide that implements Network Integration Teams (NIT) to manage cross-team dependency, integration, and synchronization issues on multiteam product development efforts
  • Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) – Another scaled-Scrum approach, with two Scrum scaling frameworks, that helps coordinate the activities of multiple teams, around features (LeSS Framework) and requirements areas (LeSS Huge Framework), working in collaboration to develop large and complex software-enabled products
  • Disciplined Agile (DA) – A Lean-Agile approach to development that provides six product development lifecycles, numerous process guides, and hundreds of potentially useful techniques that allow teams to choose their preferred Way of Working based on their unique business and organizational needs and situations
  • Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) – With four configurations, a Lean-Agile approach for large organizations working on large-scale product development efforts that can leverage their economies of scale as strengths to provide greater efficiencies and yet incorporate Lean-Agile practices to enable business agility on an enterprise scale

The objective of that book was to use my experience coordinating the work of multiple teams on large software development programs to evaluate and document the alternative Scrum and Lean-Agile scaling approaches available to software teams.

After I finished that book, my publisher, PACKT Publishing, asked me what my next area of interest was. I knew I wanted to write something to help business executives understand the critical issues they must address to successfully install DevOps capabilities to compete more effectively in our digital economy. Moreover, I felt more work was required to explain how and why Lean and Agile concepts go together.  Finally, having many years of practitioner and consulting experience helping clients Strengthen their value streams, I felt there was much to say about the modern reinvention of value stream management (VSM).

A common phrase you will hear IT industry analysts make today is that "DevOps is the table stakes that allow an organization to compete in our digital economy." That's a true statement, but it's a mistake to think that executives can mandate such a change and leave the IT organization to figure things out. Instead, the organization's executives must take the lead to ensure the IT investments achieve desirable ROIs by using their improved software deliveries to Strengthen all other organizational value streams.

DevOps, or Dev(Sec)Ops, implements a strategy to integrate, automate, and orchestrate software delivery activities as a lean-oriented value stream, otherwise referred to as a software delivery pipeline. Lean production practices eliminate all forms of waste that do not add value from our customers' perspectives. The objective is only to implement activities that add value and to streamline the flow of work and information across value stream activities, end-to-end from concept through delivery.

A value stream, such as a DevOps pipeline, is simply the end-to-end set of activities that delivers value to our customers, whether internal or external to the organization. In an ideal state, work and information flow efficiently with minimal delays or queuing of work items.

So far, this all sounds great. But good things seldom come easily. Let's start with the fact that there are hundreds of tools available to support a Dev(Sec)Ops toolchain. Moreover, it takes specific skills, effort, costs, and time to integrate and configure the tools selected by your organization.

While software developers perform the integration effort, the required skills may differ from those available in your software development teams. Also, such work takes your developers away from their primary job of delivering value via software products for your internal and external customers.

In short, asking your development teams to build their Dev(Sec)Ops toolchain configurations is a bit like asking manufacturing operators to build their manufacturing facilities. Assuming they could learn the skills quickly and efficiently, redirecting your software developers to create pipeline configurations is still non-value-added work from your customers' perspectives. So, my new book provides strategies to deal with these issues. The book is titled Driving DevOps with Value Stream Management: Strengthen IT value stream delivery with a proven VSM methodology to compete in the digital economy.

In its modern context, value stream management (VSM) has become a tools-based strategy to provide visibility to data across your Dev(Sec)Ops pipeline activities and tools. A mature VSM platform provides integration adaptors and a common data model to aggregate, display, and analyze data from multiple disparate tools supporting your Dev(Sec)Ops pipelines.

In other words, with VSM tools, executives and decision-makers have end-to-end visibility to activities, work items, and information flows. As a result, they can evaluate their current state of software production and assess alternative tools and work strategies before making commitments.

Mature VSM platforms also help integrate Dev(Sec)Ops toolchains, automate pipeline activities, and orchestrate work and information flow. The result is that the VSM tools supporting Dev(Sec)Ops platforms outperform traditional Waterfall and even Agile-based approaches by orders of magnitude.

We can use the DORA Four metrics as an example of the best performers against the lowest performers:

Metric

Elite performance

Low Performers

Deployment Frequency

on demand, multiple deployments per day

between once per month and every six months

Lead Time for Changes

less than one day

between one month and six months

Time to restore service

less than one hour

between one week and one month

Change failure rate

0% to 15%

46% to 60%

Source

But, if there is one thing I want you to take away from my book, its that organizations can develop spectacular software delivery capabilities and spend a lot of time and money in the process but not realize sufficient business improvements to justify the investments. You might ask, "how is that possible?" The answer is "how you aim your improved software delivery capabilities is every bit as important as the improved delivery capabilities."

When we provide a demo of our automated CI/CD pipeline configurations, we measure time lapsed across pipeline activities in microseconds. These activities occur much faster than the time it takes to define requirements or even write the code. From a systems thinking perspective, such radical improvements is a form of localized optimizations.

For example, imagine visiting an automobile manufacturing plant that has a belt conveying vehicles at a single, steady pace. Let's also suppose each car moves between stations every 60 seconds, from front to end. Then imagine the automobile manufacturer invests a whole bunch of money in implementing a robot that can complete its work in just 30 seconds. Will the edition of that robot speed up the line? Of course not, because its cycle time is not the limiting factor across the entire line.

The same principle applies to your Dev(Sec)Ops software delivery pipelines. The speed of software deliveries is so fast that it's not likely to be your organization's bottleneck. The question is, how do you maximize the value of your software deliveries.

Value stream management is not a new concept. It's been around for decades as a continuous lean-oriented improvement strategy. In fact, there are standard steps associated with implementing a VSM initiative, regardless of the type of value stream, performed as follows:

  1. Commit to Lean and learn how it works
  2. Choose your value stream
  3. Map the current state of your selected value stream
  4. Identify Lean metrics
  5. Map the desired future state, including alternatives
  6. Plan and implement identified value stream improvements

In an ideal situation, organizations employ VSM initiatives to evaluate all their values streams, not just their software delivery processes. And, because we compete in a digital economy, the identified value stream improvement opportunities will include digital enhancements. It is those digital enhancements powered by software that can deliver the most value to the organization.

So, in this context, my book has a simple admonition: VSM is not just about tools to Strengthen software deliveries. VSM is a lean-oriented Lean-improvements strategy that provides the means to evaluate and prioritize all value stream improvement opportunities, many of which will require digital solutions.  The VSM tools help drive software delivery improvements. But it's the alignment of your improved software delivery capabilities to support other value stream improvements that will make the investments supportable and sustainable.

This book was written for corporate executives, managers, DevOps team members, and other stakeholders involved in digital business transformations to Strengthen the flow of customer value through their organization's value streams. Also, this book will help technology leaders and decision-makers understand how to get the most out of the Dev(Sec)Ops toolchain investments. Similarly, this book is also for the IT certified who needs to understand how to gain executive support for their Dev(Sec)Ops and VSM tool investment requests.

Finally, other stakeholders impacted by IT investments will find this book helpful in maximizing value-based deliveries across the organization. I define a stakeholder as anyone who has an opinion that matters. It's not that some opinions matter more than others. But, let's face it, the demise of many software projects and programs came at the hands of Stakeholders who didn't see the value and worked behind the scenes to shut down the program and funding.

However, if your software delivery pipelines properly support other organizational value stream improvements, you'll have a much better chance of justifying your program and product team expenses.

While writing this book, I interviewed representatives from the VSM Consortium, 16 tool vendors – and conducted research on 24 VSM software tool companies in all, plus the two leading Lean-Agile Framework Companies and two of the leading Lean training and methodology companies.

The book is fairly broad, covering a range of topics. During the learning journey, you will find out what it means to deliver value and why enterprises should incorporate systems and lean thinking with their agile practices to deliver the most value. You will also learn about value stream management methods and tools and Dev(Sec)Ops pipeline implementation pitfalls and considerations. 

This book logically divides into four parts, subtitled as follows:

  1. Value Delivery – what it means and how to go about it.
  2. VSM Methodology – a Lean-oriented and proven approach to make Flow improvements across an enterprise.
  3. VSM Tool Vendors & Frameworks – to Strengthen your software delivery pipeline capabilities.
  4. Applying VSM with DevOps – to drive digital business transformations.

The chapters cover the following topics:

Chapter 1, Delivering Customer-centric Value - Defining what constitutes the delivery of value.

Chapter 2, Building on a Lean-Agile foundation – discover what it means to be a Lean-Agile enterprise.

Chapter 3, Analyzing complex systems interactions – Looking at software development activities as a complex system and understanding the impacts of interrelationships between participating elements.

Chapter 4, Defining Value Stream Management – understanding the history and fundamentals behind value stream management.

Chapter 5, Driving business value through a DevOps Pipeline – Assessing the end-to-end activity and information flows and integrated toolchains that make DevOps pipelines so complex and expensive to implement on an enterprise scale.

Chapter 6, Launching the VSM initiative (VSM Steps 1 - 3) – Learn why it's critical that the organization makes a commitment to Lean, how to choose a value stream, and what VSM team members and other stakeholders need to learn about implementing Lean.

Chapter 7, Mapping the current state (VSM Strep 4) – Learn how to construct a current state value stream map using a CI/CD pipeline flow improvement use case as an example.

Chapter 8, Identifying lean metrics (VSM Step 5) – Learn the common Lean metrics used to identify wastes that contribute poor performance across value streams and those that most apply to assessing IT and DevOps-oriented value streams.

Chapter 9, Mapping the future state (VSM Step 6) - Learn how to construct a future state value stream map and Kaizen Burst (production improvement opportunities) using a CI/CD pipeline flow improvement use case as an example.

Chapter 10, Improving the Lean-Agile value delivery cycle (VSM Steps 7 & 8) – Learn of to develop and execute a Kaizen Plan that addresses the improvement opportunities identified in the future state value stream maps.

Chapter 11, Identifying VSM tool types and capabilities – Introduces the three primary types of VSM tools and their general purpose and capabilities.

Chapter 12, Leading VSM Tools – Offers descriptions of capabilities provided by fifteen leading VSM tool vendors, and their individual strengths and areas of focus.

Chapter 13, Leading Digital VSM Practice Leaders – Introduces the VSM Consortium and two of the leading Lean-Agile frameworks that promote VSM, Disciplined Agile and the Scaled Agile Framework®.

Chapter 14, Enterprise Lean-VSM Practice Leaders – Introduces two of the leading Lean training and certification organizations, the Lean Enterprise Institute and LeanFITT™.

Chapter 15, Defining the appropriate DevOps platform strategy – Provides interviews with six expert DevOps practitioners to explain the potential DevOps implementation pitfalls that organizations need to be aware of. Also introduces four DevOps platform implementation strategies, and the pros and cons of each.

Chapter 16, Transforming Businesses with VSM and DevOps – Using VSM and DevOps tools to drive business transformations by aligning software deliveries to support improvements across all organizational value streams.

Gary Rupp's professional aims are to bridge the gap between customers and solution developers to ensure we build the right products with the highest commercial value while maintaining profitability. For more than thirty years, he has been a strong advocate of using visual modeling techniques for collaborative problem-solving in business. Gary's experience in the software industry includes executive-level roles in program and project management, professional services, and the sales and marketing of CASE, software development, and middleware tools.

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 20:40:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.infoq.com/articles/DevOps-value-stream/
Killexams : What Is Jira: An Overview of a Unique Project Management Tool
Dismayed man sitting at a desk with his hand on his forehead.

Image source: Getty Images

Searching for a project management solution, but find yourself wondering "what is jira?" Here we breakdown what Jira is used for, its best features, and see if it's the right fit for you.

When it comes to project management software, I see Jira as a true comeback story. Years ago I wrote off this tool as a plain and confusing mess of a platform, but over time it has refined itself into a competent force to be reckoned with in the software world.

However, this isn’t a review of Jira. Instead, this is an overview of what Jira really is, what it is used for, and what core functionality it has to offer its users.

Think of this as the practical guide to Jira which goes hand-in-hand with our product review.

Overview: What is Jira?

Jira is project management software first and foremost, but it began its life in 2002 as an issue tracking platform for software developers. It is now offered in three separate packages:

  • Jira Core: The basic Jira project management platform.
  • Jira Software: Offers all functions of Jira Core, but also includes additional Agile functionality.
  • Jira Service Desk: Meant for IT professionals or other forms of service desks. This guide will ignore Jira Service Desk since it is not relevant to project management.

What is Jira used for?

Since its inception, Jira has grown to encompass all kinds of project management types.

The platform leverages all kinds of project management skills, including software development, Agile project management, bug tracking, scrum management, content management, marketing, professional service management, and so much more.

Using Jira for kanban

I’ve been on a kanban kick for the past few weeks and Jira is a great option to go with if you’re looking for this type of workflow style.

In the last three years, Jira’s parent company, Atlassian, acquired Trello, another prominent kanban project management tool. This led to serious upgrades in Jira’s user experience and user interface, including major improvements in their kanban system.

Setting up a kanban board in Jira is simple. Either you create one during the initial setup process or you add one to your existing project.

The initial setup process will ask you what you are looking to use Jira for, the level of experience you have with Jira, and the type of management style you are looking to use.

Once you select “kanban” then it will walk you through the Jira tutorial for creating your new workflow board.

Jira kanban board view showing different columns to show status of tickets.

Jira’s kanban workflow is simple, yet extremely easy to learn and use. Image source: Author

If you’re creating one in your existing project, all you have to do is click on your project name on the left hand menu and select “create board.”

Using this management style in Jira will provide you a full picture of the project you are working on including which tasks are smoothly moving along the workflow and which ones are bottlenecking the process.

Jira’s kanban workflow also operates on a drag-and-drop system for tasks, making it easier for you and your team to move tasks along as they see fit.

You can use this style to manage marketing efforts, track bug fixes in your software, track software development, and all kinds of other projects. It’s a simple, yet elegant process that teams of all experience levels will understand.

Using Jira for scrum

Jira also allows you to create scrum boards that track your sprints and backlog in order to execute projects in a quick and efficient manner.

If your project is massive and requires many steps to complete, Jira’s scrum board will help you simplify the execution phase using smaller sprints.

In order to set up a scrum board in Jira, all you have to do is either select “scrum” as a management style during the initial setup process or create a new scrum board in your existing project in the same manner that you would for creating a new kanban workflow.

Jira screen showing a sprint backlog of different tickets with brief ticket descriptions in a right-hand side rail.

I’ve created a scrum board using the same tasks that I created for my kanban view. Image source: Author

You’ll select specific tasks from your backlog and place them into separate short-duration sprints.

Jira also sets up your sprints into mini-kanban board views, allowing you to focus on the tasks at hand without the clutter of every project task in your view. The best part is the efficiency in which you can switch between kanban views and scrum views.

Jira makes the scrum board creation process simple by allowing you to port over the steps you created on your kanban board. These steps will help you specify where these tasks are in the “progress” stage.

Using Jira for content management

This was my very first use for Jira and it still holds up in this regard. Jira has multiple types of use formats, including content management, under their business templates.

Jira makes it easy to create a content management project board.

Jira makes it easy to create a content management project board. Image source: Author

Once you’ve selected this format, Jira will create a kanban workflow centered around everything you’ll need to draft, edit, and publish content for your business.

You can use the standard steps created for you or you can edit the process by adding and removing new steps to ensure all of your work is tracked.

The best part about using Jira for content management is the ability to integrate with popular publishing platforms like WordPress and Squarespace. This way you won’t have to worry about any breakdowns in transferring your content from one platform to the next while managing your publishing workflow.

Using Jira for software development

Besides issue tracking, this is where Jira really comes into its own, because Jira has made huge strides into shaping itself as an Agile project management tool.

The scrum process is perfect for software developers, and if you’re new to using Agile methodology or tools, Jira offers templates that’ll help you learn the ropes of this process.

Once you’ve created your development project you can create your backlog, shape it into sprints, and plan your release.

Jira project roadmap showing different estimated timelines for project with individual ticket descriptions in a right-hand side rail.

The project roadmap is perfect for laying out your plans and communicating your next steps with your stakeholders. Image source: Author

All of this is accomplished by creating your own feature development processes, linking your tasks in the roadmap view, and even integrating with other software development tools in order to create a seamless process.

Using Jira for issue tracking

Finally, Jira’s bread and butter: Issue tracking is what Jira was made for, and it still excels as an issue tracker. Using Jira, you can identify and create new issue tasks, attach screenshots of software issues, prioritize issues for completion, and track them along your workflow.

Jira's issue tracking screen with fields to add specific information about the problem

Jira’s issue tracking is nearly identical to all other task creation forms in the software. Image source: Author

You can even customize your workflow to differentiate bugs from other types of issues or tasks so you can prevent any confusion between your quality assurance team and product development teams.

As you knock out issue after issue Jira will notify the appropriate parties for any work reviews until the bug is fixed and your users are happy with the end result.

Top features for all Jira users

Jira covers many of the project management basics that you’d expect from a mainstream platform, but there are a few key features that set it apart from the rest.

These are the particular features I’ve found that makes this tool unique when juxtaposed against other platforms.

1. Project roadmap

This is one of Jira’s key features for software and product development teams. The project roadmap allows you to create a clear vision of the product you are creating, including a timetable, direction, list of tasks to complete, and both short and long term goals.

These roadmaps provide support for:

  • Executives looking to present the outline of product development to the project stakeholders as well as track goals and metrics for their teams.
  • Development teams looking for a blueprint that lays out the entire process for completing a project.
  • Sales teams looking to promote new features and benefits to their customer base.

This roadmap functions as a work breakdown structure for your team to digest at any point in the project and reorganize at any time. It is essentially the backbone of your project management plan in Jira.

2. Detailed reporting

Jira offers exceptional reporting capabilities that are detailed, yet simple to understand and use. Jira’s standard reporting system covers everything you’d expect from a project management platform such as:

  • Created vs. completed tasks
  • User workloads
  • Task conclusion times
  • Time since issues
  • Average age of issues

Jira tracking also covers Agile metrics and formats, such as:

  • Scrum board tracking
  • Control charts
  • Cumulative flow charts
  • Burndown charts
  • And sprint reports

Not to mention if you’re looking for additional reporting capabilities, Jira’s add-ons include additional reporting tools for you to integrate with.

3. Time tracking

It’s important for any manager to understand the time spent on tasks and issues in order to plan ahead for future sprints in your project life cycle. Jira provides time tracking that covers several different parameters and views, including:

  • Working hours per day
  • Working hours per week
  • Time formats: days, hours, weeks, etc.

It doesn’t end there. If Jira’s time tracking doesn’t go deep enough or you already use a third-party time tracking application, the Atlassian Marketplace offers plenty of integrations with more advanced time tracking programs.

4. Mobile application

This is a feature that I feel is severely overlooked by software users of all kinds, but Jira’s mobile application is exceptionally helpful for project managers that are constantly on the move and don’t have time to spend hours in front of a desktop.

Using the mobile app you can manage your projects and backlogs, create and edit your tasks or issues, and receive notifications about project updates.

What’s more, the Jira mobile app is available for iOS and Android phones and tablets, so you won’t miss out on anything no matter which device you use.

5. Application security

It wasn’t until 2020 that I started paying far more attention to the security features offered by project management applications. After all, that year was a hotbed for cybercrime, especially the Solar Winds hack, which not only affected the U.S. government but also exposed many private companies that utilized their services.

While your business might not be holding state secrets worthy of a Russian-sponsored attack on your assets and project plans, it’s still very important that you protect your business from unauthorized access.

That’s why I want to highlight Jira as a fantastic option for those looking to secure their project roadmaps beyond the standard usernames and passwords. Jira offers multiple security features, including single sign-on integrations with Okta and OneLogin, two-factor authentication, account permissions, and password policy controls.

Using these features will help you take control of who has access to what so you’re never left with proprietary information exposed.

Learn more about Jira and other project management tools

Now that you have a deeper understanding of what Jira is used for and what it has to offer you, either you’ve made up your mind about trying out this project management tool or you’re thinking of looking elsewhere.

However, if you’re still on the fence about Jira, be sure to read my review and find out more about its ease of use, pricing, and other important details.

If after everything you still aren’t convinced, we have lots of other product reviews on The Ascent that’ll help you make this important decision for your business or organization.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/small-business/project-management/articles/what-is-jira/
Killexams : Test Preparation Workshops

Timothy Porter is an Army veteran of 10 years. He achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class within 7 years. After being involved in a bomb explosion, Porter was medically retired and began pursuing his passion: technology. In 2009, after teaching himself how to develop mobile apps, Appddiction Studio was formed. In 2011, Appddiction Studio was nationally recognized by the USA Network Channel. Porter was one of their USA Character Unite Award winners for developing an award-winning anti-bullying App for schools. Appddiction Studio has developed well over 200 commercial mobile apps and has become a leader in Enterprise transformations focusing on Agile and the SAFe Framework.

Porter has multiple degrees in Management Information Systems and holds an MBA. He is an SPC and RTE and has performed roles for Appddiction Studio as Scaled program Consultant, Enterprise Coach & Trainer, Agile Coach, Release Train Engineer to Scrum Master. Appddiction Studio has been performing for programs supporting Gunter AFB as a Prime Contractor in: Agile Coaching, EODIMS JST & EODIMS Backlog Burndown and now as a subcontractor on ACES FoS.

Porter has taught over 50 public/private SAFe classes and has submitted his packet for consideration to become SPCT Gold Partner. He is certified at all levels of SAFe Framework and teaches Leading SAFe, SAFe Scrum Master, Advanced Scrum Master, Lean Portfolio Management, Product Owner/Product Management, SAFe DevOps, SAFe Architect in addition to Agile courses like ICAgile Agile Fundamentals, ICAgile Agile Team Facilitation, ICAgile Agile Programming & ICAgile DevOps Foundations.

Mon, 17 Aug 2020 01:05:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.utsa.edu/pace/test-prep.html
Killexams : Top 10 Skills Employers Want for All-Remote Technology Jobs

Remote technology jobs and remote software developer jobs are today accessible through the web. These scrum master jobs remote hire individuals for remote jobs Los Angeles engineers for performing critical undertakings of data set administration, software development advertising the board, content composition, IT management, and data management. Different employers hire remote developers who can perform their tasks from their homes or some other attainable spot. 

 Organizations additionally hire remote developers to lessen the workplace expenses of their organizations. Many organizations, for example, Polychain Labs, Hire with Together, Toptal, and FlexJobs are available that employ remote software developers. Remote positions have acquired prevalence because they are home-based positions and individuals don’t need to travel to customary office mediums. With the progression of time and innovation, employers have to learn different skills to manage and operate remote teams to perform the tasks efficiently. 

Following are the 10 skills employers want for All-remote technology jobs:

Effective communication is an important skill that employers should learn because it is a significant part of any remote group. Employers should know how to use email which is a typical strategy for corporate communication and numerous everyday tasks. The use of different applications, for instance, Skype, Google Drive, SharePoint, and Microsoft Office are a few significant administrations that should be learned for effective communication.

Motivating and Empowering the team remotely is another important skill to learn through online channels and is an advantageous method to lead the team. In addition to necessary leadership, team empowerment can increase the profits of the business.

Planning is necessary for various administrations and online management of ongoing and upcoming business procedures that can bring about improved efficiency. Deficient planning can bring about blunders, time wastage, and loss. Inadequate planning can also decrease the efficiency of remote professionals. 

Remote employers should know how to utilize different programming software, for example, Loom, Google Drive, MS groups, and cloud applications. This software helps to keep a record of work and share updates. Applications, for example, Zoom are utilized for video conferencing. These skills assist with driving groups for meeting the board of remote workers.

Leadership abilities are abilities you use while coordinating with others to arrive at a common objective. It is necessary for remote employers for driving new ventures, coordinate events, and recruit according to the deadlines. It involves different skills of planning and organization of remote teams.

Being compassionate means thinking often about your employees comprehensively while considering them to be something other than their capacity to perform. Compassionate pioneers ought to share their battles and struggles of life and desire a similar genuineness from others. This can bring about a better work environment.

Empathy is the capacity to see the world through the eyes of someone else and figure out their point of view on a circumstance. Compassion and empathy empower an individual to utilize those experiences to further develop another person’s temperament and back them through tough circumstances. The empathetic skills of employers help employees to perform appropriately.

  • Project management skills:

For leaders to perform appropriately adequate project management skills are important. Technical management skills with an understanding of IT infrastructure, networking, hardware, and software components are necessary for employers. He should be capable of staffing different roles at different positions to produce better results.

Using time productively is the capacity to utilize your time effectively. Managers could likewise consider it the craft of having the opportunity to do all that they want, without having a focused outlook on it. It sounds basic, yet it is a lot harder practically speaking. Time management also helps employers to coordinate for the upcoming events of remote working.

Another important skill necessary for employers hiring remote workers is coordination skills. It helps to organize staff meetings, call for online meetings, scheduling events,  manage project timelines, create meeting agendas, defining budgets and deadlines. Coordination also helps to manage and plan different corporate events and cross-functioning with other agencies or remote teams.

A remote work medium benefits in terms of expenses and ease. Thus, the governmental bodies and businessmen should introduce novel strategies for remote jobs for young individuals and the firms should hire remote developers. Remote developers are fortunately among the top professionals to work remotely throughout the world. Therefore, they can work at flexible hours and locations. 

Wed, 13 Jul 2022 06:13:00 -0500 GISuser en-US text/html https://gisuser.com/2022/07/top-10-skills-employers-want-for-all-remote-technology-jobs/
Killexams : Professional Certificate in Product Management - For Women

This program is ideal for:

  • Early-career professionals with one to five years of experience as a product manager or in a product support role
  • Professionals making a lateral career move from an adjacent field, such as engineering, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), marketing, or sales

Previous participants come from a wide range of industries that include:

  • Tech-intensive services organizations, such as banking/fintech, IT products, and consultancies
  • Technology organizations, including electronics/hardware and e-commerce
  • Product-based organizations, including retail and fast-moving consumer goods
  • Health care, advertising, media, education, and agriculture

Module 1: Introduction to Product Management

  • Define the characteristics of a product strategy
  • Differentiate among the applications of product strategies across industries
  • Create a Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures (V2MOM) for an organization, business, or product
  • Determine the skills required to be a successful product manager

Module 2: Customer Insights for Product Innovation

  • Articulate the nature and source of customer insights
  • Utilize customer insight tools to transform insights into action
  • Conduct customer research for a specific product 

Module 3: Analyzing Product Opportunities

  • Analyze product opportunities using the JTBD framework
  • Define the key points of finding product opportunities
  • Utilize the R-W-W framework to assess product opportunities

Module 4: Product Discovery and Requirements Definition

  • Create a discovery hypothesis and an MVP experiment
  • Identify key points of the discovery hypothesis framework
  • Create high-level user stories
  • Determine the functions and characteristics of a product requirements document (PRD) and user stories

Module 5:  Business Model Design

  • Complete a freemium business model template
  • Establish the relationship of pricing and product tiers
  • Articulate the pros, cons, and differences of the various business models

Module 6: Financial Analysis for Product Managers

  • Define the total available market (TAM), serviceable available market (SAM), and serviceable obtainable market (SOM) for a specific business scenario
  • Analyze the steps of a business case analysis
  • Understand the impact of downward and upward line extensions
  • Evaluate SaaS and marketplace models
  • Determine the best business model for your product or service

Module 7: UI/UX design for Product Managers

  • Understand user experience (UX) vs user interface (UI) roles and characteristics
  • Assess a product's feasibility, viability, and desirability
  • Create a wireframe for a product and define the Five S's

Module 8: Agile Product Development

  • Describe the key components of the Agile method of product development
  • Define the principles of Agile development and Agile methodologies
  • Understand the principles of scrum and utilize the SAFe 5.0

Module 9:  Product Planning and Roadmapping

  • Utilize product planning tools to develop a product roadmap
  • Describe the required components of a product roadmap
  • Articulate how to link business strategy to product development

Module 10: Product Prototyping

  • Understand the concept of prototyping and its importance
  • Establish a design challenge
  • Learn best practices in prototyping
  • Define the end prototype

Module 11: Taking Products to Market

  • Choose the best route to market by analyzing your audiences
  • Define the primary value proposition for a product
  • Discuss best practices for product launches
  • Define the elements of a GTM strategy

Module 12: Business Communication for Product Managers

  • Differentiate between internal and external communication skills
  • Learn the fundamentals of storytelling
  • Learn how to communicate effectively, run productive meetings, and deal with difficult situations as a product manager

Module 13: Managing the Partner Ecosystem

  • Define the elements of the whole offer and perform a gap analysis
  • Analyze the whole offer of an organization to Strengthen it
  • Describe how to design and manage partnerships effectively

Module 14: Managing Product Evolution and Growth

  • Use the key lessons from this program to create a strategic roadmap for a business
  • Discuss the effectiveness of growth hacking techniques
  • select the correct strategy to drive revenue growth
  • Define key terms related to product evolution and growth

Module 15: Growth Hacking

  • Tap into the growth-hacker mindset
  • Develop and refine growth-hacking skills and strategies
  • Describe best practices in growth hacking

Module 16: Data Science and Analytics for Project Managers

  • Identify effective A/B tests, challenges in A/B testing, and scale
  • Differentiate between the model evaluation metrics
  • Identify the types of bias and examples of each
  • Complete the Google Analytics certification

Module 17: Machine Learning and Data Tools

  • Understand the methodologies and concepts of AI and ML
  • Design a data strategy and testing plan to Strengthen business outcomes
  • Become familiar with AI/ML platforms and tools

Module 18: Managing Stakeholder Relationships

  • Learn the required skills to lead a product team
  • Articulate how to lead effectively without authority
  • Learn how to manage conflict and remote teams

Module 19: Product Management for Services Organizations

  • Determine the scalability of products versus services
  • Learn about the development process for services and how it differs from that for products
  • Differentiate between B2B and B2C business models

Module 20: Capstone Project

  • Create a product management plan for developing a product and taking it to market

What is the program about?

The Professional Certificate in Professional Certificate in Product Management - For Women program was designed to help you become a successful product manager, bringing your authentic self, unique perspective, and diverse background to a rewarding product management career—and to help return gender parity to this rapidly growing field.

What is the learning experience?

Your learning experience will consist of frameworks delivered via video lectures, live webinars, real world examples and case studies, application of frameworks through weekly activities, customized assignments and quizzes, discussion boards, and faculty engagement. The program culminates with a capstone project, bringing together all the key concepts from the program.

What is the program format?

The program consists of 20 modules delivered over 6 months online. Learners can expect to dedicate 15-20 hours per week to watch videos, complete assignments and participate in discussions. Modules are opened at the beginning of each week and have quizzes/assessments at the module’s conclusion. Learners may choose to engage with the program module all in one sitting or in smaller segments of time throughout the week. While the modules do not close, access to assignments is closed each week.

Could a learner choose to opt out of some topics?

No. This is an online program in which a subject module is introduced each week and the learner is expected to watch the video lectures, participate in the live webinars, complete the exercises/activities and take the mastery quiz at the end of each week to progress to the subsequent week’s topic.

Are any of the sessions delivered in real time (live)?

There will be live webinars, led by faculty and/or subject matter experts, delivered during the course of the program via a video conferencing platform. These sessions provide learners an opportunity to listen and ask questions, and while they are valuable in enhancing the overall experience, attendance is not mandatory. All live sessions are recorded for later viewing.

What methods will be used for grading and evaluations?

Kellogg program leaders will review assignments, discussions and exercises to determine participants’ understanding of the material.

How much time is allocated to complete assignments?

The due date for submitting assignments is typically within 7 days of the module opening, but can be as long as 14 days, depending on the scope of the assignment. However, learners may request deadline extensions to accommodate for business and personal conflicts that may arise during the program timeframe. Reach out to the program leader to discuss any challenges you may have in completing assignments.

Can participation in this program be counted as credit toward a degree, either at Kellogg, Northwestern University or another academic institution?

No. Executive Education offers only non-degree programs and each participant receives a certificate of completion at the end of the program. This certificate does not count as credit toward a degree. In addition, at this time, our online programs do not count as credit toward a Kellogg Executive Scholar Certificate.

Does the program offer community engagement for learners?

Yes, participants can create a profile, connect and collaborate with peers, and interact with academic/industry experts such as program leaders and teaching assistants. Office hours will be held during the program and all participants are welcome to join in with questions or to discuss assignments.

What are the requirements for accessing the program?

Participants will need the following to access the Professional Certificate in Product Management - For Women program:

  • Valid email address
  • Computing device connected to the internet (Mac/PC/laptop, tablet or smartphone)
  • The latest version of your preferred browser to access our learning platform (Chrome and Firefox are preferred for accessing Canvas)
  • Microsoft Office and PDF viewer to access content such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts
  • Additional software and resources may be required for certain programs – this will be communicated upon registration and/or at the beginning of the program

PLEASE NOTE: Google, Vimeo and YouTube may be utilized in the program delivery

Does the program offer a certificate?

Yes. Participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from Kellogg following a successful conclusion to the program. Since this program is graded as a pass or fail, participants must receive an 80% to pass and obtain the certificate. This digital certificate can be shared with colleagues and posted on LinkedIn. (PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide reports of assessments, or “transcripts,” since this is a non-degree program.)

Who is Emeritus and what is their relationship with Kellogg Executive Education?

Kellogg Executive Education is partnering with Emeritus Institute of Management, an online education provider, to develop and deliver this program. By working with Emeritus, we are able to provide broader access to Executive Education, beyond our on-campus offerings, in a collaborative and engaging format that is consistent with Kellogg’s standard of quality.

What is the program about?

The Professional Certificate in Professional Certificate in Product Management - For Women program was designed to help you become a successful product manager, bringing your authentic self, unique perspective, and diverse background to a rewarding product management career—and to help return gender parity to this rapidly growing field.

What is the learning experience?

Your learning experience will consist of frameworks delivered via video lectures, live webinars, real world examples and case studies, application of frameworks through weekly activities, customized assignments and quizzes, discussion boards, and faculty engagement. The program culminates with a capstone project, bringing together all the key concepts from the program.

What is the program format?

The program consists of 20 modules delivered over 6 months online. Learners can expect to dedicate 15-20 hours per week to watch videos, complete assignments and participate in discussions. Modules are opened at the beginning of each week and have quizzes/assessments at the module’s conclusion. Learners may choose to engage with the program module all in one sitting or in smaller segments of time throughout the week. While the modules do not close, access to assignments is closed each week.

Could a learner choose to opt out of some topics?

No. This is an online program in which a subject module is introduced each week and the learner is expected to watch the video lectures, participate in the live webinars, complete the exercises/activities and take the mastery quiz at the end of each week to progress to the subsequent week’s topic.

Are any of the sessions delivered in real time (live)?

There will be live webinars, led by faculty and/or subject matter experts, delivered during the course of the program via a video conferencing platform. These sessions provide learners an opportunity to listen and ask questions, and while they are valuable in enhancing the overall experience, attendance is not mandatory. All live sessions are recorded for later viewing.

What methods will be used for grading and evaluations?

Kellogg program leaders will review assignments, discussions and exercises to determine participants’ understanding of the material.

How much time is allocated to complete assignments?

The due date for submitting assignments is typically within 7 days of the module opening, but can be as long as 14 days, depending on the scope of the assignment. However, learners may request deadline extensions to accommodate for business and personal conflicts that may arise during the program timeframe. Reach out to the program leader to discuss any challenges you may have in completing assignments.

Can participation in this program be counted as credit toward a degree, either at Kellogg, Northwestern University or another academic institution?

No. Executive Education offers only non-degree programs and each participant receives a certificate of completion at the end of the program. This certificate does not count as credit toward a degree. In addition, at this time, our online programs do not count as credit toward a Kellogg Executive Scholar Certificate.

Does the program offer community engagement for learners?

Yes, participants can create a profile, connect and collaborate with peers, and interact with academic/industry experts such as program leaders and teaching assistants. Office hours will be held during the program and all participants are welcome to join in with questions or to discuss assignments.

What are the requirements for accessing the program?

Participants will need the following to access the Professional Certificate in Product Management - For Women program:

  • Valid email address
  • Computing device connected to the internet (Mac/PC/laptop, tablet or smartphone)
  • The latest version of your preferred browser to access our learning platform (Chrome and Firefox are preferred for accessing Canvas)
  • Microsoft Office and PDF viewer to access content such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts
  • Additional software and resources may be required for certain programs – this will be communicated upon registration and/or at the beginning of the program

PLEASE NOTE: Google, Vimeo and YouTube may be utilized in the program delivery

Does the program offer a certificate?

Yes. Participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from Kellogg following a successful conclusion to the program. Since this program is graded as a pass or fail, participants must receive an 80% to pass and obtain the certificate. This digital certificate can be shared with colleagues and posted on LinkedIn. (PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide reports of assessments, or “transcripts,” since this is a non-degree program.)

Who is Emeritus and what is their relationship with Kellogg Executive Education?

Kellogg Executive Education is partnering with Emeritus Institute of Management, an online education provider, to develop and deliver this program. By working with Emeritus, we are able to provide broader access to Executive Education, beyond our on-campus offerings, in a collaborative and engaging format that is consistent with Kellogg’s standard of quality.

Additional questions?

Please contact us by calling 847-467-6018 or email us at execedonline@kellogg.northwestern.edu.

Fri, 20 May 2022 13:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/executive-education/individual-programs/online-programs/pcpmwomen.aspx
Killexams : The unheralded Welsh prop that left Mako Vunipola in a heap No result found, try new keyword!Scarlets prop Harri O'Connor is relaxing in sunny Lanzarote after a long hard season when his phone rings unexpectedly. Sat, 06 Aug 2022 21:44:12 -0500 en-nz text/html https://www.msn.com/en-nz/sports/other/the-unheralded-welsh-prop-that-left-mako-vunipola-in-a-heap/ar-AA10or9N Killexams : Core courses

We have a duty to you, our alumni and future students to maintain the integrity and standard of the degrees we award through a rigorous assessment system. The purpose of the various assignments and examinations we ask you to complete is not simply for assessment: these are also intended to help you to structure your learning to help you gauge your progress through the programme.

The assessment system makes use of elements like course assignments, projects, group work, class participation, examinations and simulations. You will be expected to prepare for and attend class and participate actively in discussion both in class and in your group. The precise assessment model for each course - for example, whether class participation and oral report presentations count towards your final grade - will be set out clearly from the outset.

You must successfully pass all core courses. Your grades will be adjusted to a grade curve from A+ to C, with the top 10% of the class achieving A+. The decision to Pass or Fail is a matter of academic judgement, and there is no obligation to fail any students.

To earn your degree, you must complete all requirements of your programme. This includes both courses and programme elements. You must pass all Business Fundamentals and Tailored Core courses, and successfully pass a minimum of ten elective courses, but you may carry one elective fail. You must also successfully complete Leadership Launch and the Global Business Experience.

Sun, 03 Apr 2022 07:46:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.london.edu/masters-degrees/mba/programme-content/core-courses
Scrum-PSM-II exam dump and training guide direct download
Training Exams List