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What is Scaled Agile Framework?

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

Are you interested in implementing Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®)? Here, we discuss SAFe® and why you should incorporate it into your business.

Keyword(s): scaled agile framework

Want to know how Scaled Agile Framework can help your company?

The Agile management approach has proven to be far superior to other project management methods for several projects. This mindset keeps projects moving forward and provides clients with ongoing product delivery.

If you're ready to implement scaled Agile into your business, then read this guide to Scaled Agile Framework and get ready for your efficiency to skyrocket!

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

The Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe, is a particular method for scaling Agile into your business. It's a way for you to learn the Agile approach to project management as well as successfully implement it.

Switching to an Agile office isn't always accepted at all levels of a business. If upper management doesn't embrace the integration, it could cause Agile to fail. Having a professional framework outlining how to properly utilise it will benefit everyone in your company.

Agile Project Management

Scaling Agile might require a change of mindset. Frequently, agile management will fail in a company because the culture isn't able to accept the new approach.

It's important to make sure everyone in your office understands the benefits of Agile and why it works. When people understand how scaled agile framework helps them, they are more likely to embrace the changes.

Agile management is often used in software development, although it is gaining popularity in other business models as well. The idea of Agile management is to structure a project's framework into small intervals.

When the interval, or sprint, is completed, the project teams move on to the next stage of the project. This forces the project to continue to move forward and also motivates the team to complete one whole portion of a project in a set timeframe.

A sprint will include testing of the final product before it gets presented. After each sprint, the project team will share their work with the client through a demonstration. Each sprint should result in a working part of the software that a client can use.

This allows for the client to provide feedback and detect any bugs or defects in the software early on. It is also an opportunity for the project team to meet and go over what aspects of the sprint were successful and what areas need improvement.

Flexibility

One reason that Agile project management is so successful is that it allows for flexibility and the opportunity to change directions. This is because the teams can meet and reflect often on the direction of the project.

The shorter intervals for completing tasks allow teams to break up a project into smaller, more manageable projects. It also lets small teams take care of product development, which helps them focus on specific tasks together.

In more traditional project management approaches, the project is planned more specifically. This results in a rigid mindset and forces project members to stick to the timeframe without a chance to change. It also doesn't let the individual teams make their own decisions on the project to meet unexpected demands.

Process Improvement

When starting an Agile minded project, the project team enters the planning phase. The developers create a clear list of tasks to complete for the client. These are usually user-based and meet the client's process needs.

Some challenges to having developers working on a project are that they are so focused on development that the user experience falls short. This is why there is usually a product owner who makes sure to take the client's best interests into account.

Since the smaller intervals require daily meetings, there are many opportunities to improve development methods. Agile is more people-focused than process-centric. Each meeting allows the project team to collaborate on resolutions to problems and fix them as they progress.

It also allows the customer to weigh in often on how the project is doing. This further helps in the process improvement since adjustments happen early on. Rather than discovering a ton of problems at the final product delivery.

Meet Deadlines

A common challenge with failed projects is an inability to meet deadlines. When the project falls behind it not only affects results but it also increases costs quickly. That's something no client wants to hear.

With an incremental approach, Agile management helps to keep the project on task. There is typically a project leader or manager who will track the project and make sure that each of the sprint deliverables is being met.

At the end of the sprint, the software should be completed and tested. This forces the project teams to stay focused on a short timeframe and achievable goals. They can then move onto the next portion of the project without delays.

Become Certified in SAFe

If you want to successfully integrate SAFe or Scaled Agile Framework into your company, then you may want to get certified.

This particular training and certification can help you gain expert knowledge when planning out your company's next project. By becoming SAFe-certified as a software professional you'll be a valuable employee who can implement the Agile framework.

To obtain the certification, you need to go through the Agilist training. The required training is a Leading Scaled Agile Framework Course. Then you will need to pass the SAFe Agilist examination.

Take the Lead

Become a leader in your company and share the benefits of Scaled Agile Framework with your team. When you become certified, you'll be able to increase the productivity, customer satisfaction, and success of your projects.

Want to learn more about how Scaled Agile Framework can help you and your enterprise? Visit our blog for helpful advice on Agile and scaling it to your business.

Don't forget to check out our courses to learn more about implementing agile in your workplace!

3 Ways Agile Methodology Improves Project Management

3 Ways Agile Methodology Improves Project Management

3 Ways Agile Methodology Improves Project Management

A project management methodology characterized by building products that customers really want. How can you implement this to your business model?

Keyword(s): agile methodology

Managing any kind of project is difficult; it doesn't matter whether it's in construction, media, or technology. Yet, managing software development projects is especially hard. You need to find ways to keep track of every line of code, and you need to place rigorous expectations on your teams to make a good product.

It can simply be too much for traditional project management principles to handle. That's why managers throughout the software development industry developed agile methodology techniques to help you and your teams! These techniques help you create better products faster and easier.

After you get your agile certification, you will notice some immediate changes. First off, you will notice that your team will get more done and be more productive. However, this will come at a trade-off; you may feel like you have less control over the project.

And how that affects your leadership comes down to what kind of leader you are. Are you the kind that will try to reclaim control over the project, or will you trust your teams to do good work? That's up to you, all we can promise is that agile frameworks will improve your products and make customers and teams happier!

And if you want to learn about 3 ways it does that, just keep reading below!

Agile Methodology Has 4 Principles

You can teach a class on the complexities of implementing an agile methodology in your project management style. There's simply too much to go over in a single article! Yet, there are some core principles that you should be aware of before deciding that agile frameworks are right for you.

Most of these tenants challenge traditional project management styles. They subvert the expectations that managers usually have when trying to lead projects. Whereas most managers would be concerned with tools, documentation, and sales — agile methodologies emphasise the teams and products.

Simply, agile project management is the future. Keep reading below to learn more about the principles behind agile frameworks, and how they subvert traditionally slow project management strategies!

Put Users Before Processes and Tools

When you're making software, most people approach the project with tools in mind. They have a list of the things they want to make for the software package. Teams and project managers alike almost exclusively concern themselves with the product itself.

Few stop to consider the user, and that can come at severe consequences. Agile methodologies emphasise the importance of considering user needs, and how they will use a product. Before you work on a process or a tool, be sure to think about whether anyone would really use it.

Make Sure It Works, Not Just That It's Documented

Documentation is a vital part of the software development process. It keeps your teams informed about changes to the product, and it can help incoming engineers jump onboard with development. Yet, documentation only benefits people if the product works.

Before you tell your teams to document what they do to the product, be sure to tell them to make sure it works first. Tell them to approach problems in search of a solution, and then to only document the solution. Documenting every step of the way towards that solution will only slow things down, and won't help anyone.

Work With Customers, Not For Contracts

You develop software for people, not for sales or to fulfil a contract. People will use the tools that your teams make, and you should always keep that in mind. If you run into an issue that involves your contract, be sure to discuss it with your client.

And if you are just creating software that will be delivered right to market, don't think about what you want to see out of your product. Obviously, the biggest thing you want to see is profit. But you will only get that if you imagine what the users want out of your product while developing it.

Adaptability is the Best Plan

It's important to have a plan for any project, no matter whether it's software development or anything else. Plans guide teams towards a common goal and ensure that your product actually gets made. Yet, they also shouldn't ever become dogma.

If your plan isn't adaptable to changes in the development process, it may kill your product. Plans that don't account for change only create chaos, counter-intuitively. So when you're designing your project management plan, be sure to leave room to adapt in the face of unexpected changes.

Agile Frameworks Give Your Company Agility

Now that you know the core tenants of agile project management, it's time to learn how they can benefit your company. It does more than just make the project faster, and to learn about some of the other ways it can help you, just keep reading below!

1. Meet Changing Priorities As they Appear

Agile frameworks enable your teams to meet new priorities as they appear. Since agile frameworks distribute power from project managers and onto teams, they won't need to wait for managers to lead them. They can make decisions for themselves, to make sure they never get behind!

2. Get Your Product to Market, Faster

When your teams don't need to worry about getting behind, they can complete tasks faster. Agile frameworks also enable greater cooperation between teams, which means the product can be completed faster. When coding teams can reach out to marketing teams seamlessly, your whole company operates as a unit, which will get your product to market quicker!

3. Achieve Perfect Production Times

Individual tasks can take a while to complete with traditional project management styles. Team members may feel lost without constant guidance. Yet, agile frameworks give them the tools and power they need to complete tasks as they come. That means productions times for each step of the development process will improve!

Agile Methodology Improves All Businesses

Using an agile methodology can be intimidating for any project manager. Implementing one can feel like losing control over your project, but that simply not the case. In reality, agile methodologies create better project managers because it gives the faith to trust in their teams.

Agile frameworks turn project managers into visionaries and leaders. And as a result, products end up being better. And if you want to create better products, just reach out to us here. We will help you improve your management style so that you can create better software that more people will use!

Agile Certification: 5 Reasons Why You Need It For Your Career

If you've been considering getting your agile certification in order to advance your business career, you might be wondering if it's worth it.
After all, any certification you get requires time and effort. And you want to make sure it pays off in the form of tangible results in the workplace moving forward.
If you're wondering if agile certification is right for you, you're in the right place. In this video, we go over the five reasons why agile certification is essential for the advancement of your career in the field of project management.
We talk about how it can help career advancement as well as your credibility in the office. We also go over the expanded knowledge you'll have, and how you'll be able to demonstrate it as well as apply it in office scenarios. And we talk about how it could be beneficial when you're one day running your own company too!
Check out this video, and for more info, head here: https://agile-center.com/blog/80-5-reasons-why-your-agilecertification-is-needed-for-your-career.html

The Pathway to Success: What's It Take to Become a SAFe Agilist?

The Pathway to Success: What's It Take to Become a SAFe Agilist?

The Pathway to Success: What's It Take to Become a SAFe Agilist?

Thinking about becoming a SAFe agilist? Learn about what it takes to get there here!

Keyword(s): safe agilist

Did you know that, in today’s corporate world, companies consider the SAFe® certification a standard requirement for all Lean-Agile ventures?

And with traditional project development methods almost becoming obsolete, the need for Agile is more profound than ever.

But what does it take to become a SAFe Agilist?

As a software professional, you can take your career to the next level by becoming SAFE-certified. SAFe certifications vary from entry to advanced levels.

But to obtain even the entry level SAFe certificate, you need to complete a SAFe Agilist course.

So, what can you expect from the course?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Why Become a Certified SAFe Agilist (SA)?

As a certified SA, you’ll possess the ability to apply different agile frameworks to your teams and current projects. This capability will come in handy when planning, creating and delivering various software technologies.

The SAFe principles help you better define the various aspects of each project you undertake to increase effectiveness. But knowing how to properly apply the SAFe principles to your teams and adopting them across teams is critical.

That’s why you need to undergo the Agilist training needed to obtain SAFe certification.

What Do You Need to Get a SAFe Agilist Certification?

The first step towards earning SA certification is the Leading Scaled Agile Framework Course. This is a mandatory requirement, as taking the course allows you to access the study materials you need to pass the exam. That said, taking the Leading SAFe course isn’t a guarantee that you’re going to pass the exam.

While there are no other limitations, some prerequisites are highly recommended for those intending to take the SA certification Exam. The recommended skills and knowledge include:

  • At least five years of experience in software development and testing, business analysis, product management, and project management.
  • Experience in Scrum

After completing the two-day SAFe course, you’re qualified to take the SAFe Agilist examination. To pass, you need to get 34 of the 45 questions right. As such, it’s highly recommended that you practice the SA exam several times until you’re sure you can score at least 90%.

What Areas Does the SAFe Exam Cover?

In most cases the questions in the SAFe Agilist certification exam revolve around the following topics:

  • Agile management of Portfolio
  • The principles of Agile development and Lean Thinking
  • SAFe ScrumXP to enhance team structure, team scale, and code quality
  • Agile Release Trains to focus on common delivery
  • Agile Architecture for scaling approach and methodology
  • Scaling Leadership to create more effective systems

It’s also recommended to prepare for company-specific questions just to be on the safe side.

What are the Terms and Conditions of the SAFe Agilist Exam?

The closed book exam comes in English. It’s delivered via the web on a single browser, in Multi-choice format. There’s a time limit of 90 minutes, and candidates aren’t allowed to obtain outside assistance.

As for the cost of the exam, the charge of the first attempt is included in the course registration fee. That is, provided you take it with 30 days after completing the course.

In case you fail in your first attempt, you can apply for a retake at a fee of $50. You can do this immediately after your first attempt, as there’s no waiting period. But for the third attempt, you’ll need to wait for at least ten days after your second attempt. In case you fail the third time; you can apply for a fourth attempt, this time with a waiting period of 30 days.

How Should You Prepare for the SAFe Agilist Exam?

The SAFe exam exhaustively tests the skills and knowledge required in an Agilist job role. To pass it, you’ll need to be well prepared, and this involves using a combination of study resources.

These include:

Course Materials

The course materials cover all class presentations, making them ideal as reference materials for concepts you might have forgotten. As a general rule, go through all the course materials when preparing for the SAFe Agilist exam.

Study Guide

The study guide provides details for an Agilist’s job role, as well as the various exam-related resources. It also outlines a reading list for further research. You can access the study guide through Learning Plan on the SAFe Community Platform.

Practice Test

The practice test is specially designed to give you an idea of what the actual exam will look like. It comes with the same time limit and difficulty level of the actual exam. The number of questions and their format is also similar to the actual examination.

You’ll find it on the SAFe Community Platform’s Learning Plan, where you can take it as many times as you want for free. Note that passing the practice test only prepares for the actual exam, and passing it isn’t a guarantee of success on the SA certification exam.

What Do You Get After Passing the SAFe Agilist Exam?

After passing the SAFe exam, you’re awarded a SAFe® 4 Agilist certification. This includes:

  • A Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist certificate in PDF format.
  • Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist digital badge for promoting your achievement on online platforms
  • A SAFe Community Platform membership of up to one year. This also comes with a SAFe Agilist Community of Practice access.
  • Entry to Meetup events and groups to help you connect with professionals with similar certifications

You may also get support learning resources to help you in your SAFe Agilist career

Who Should Take the SAFe Agilist Exam?

Generally, the course suits people in the following categories:

  • Enterprise Solution Architects
  • Executives, managers, and directors
  • Portfolio Managers and Process Leads
  • Product Management
  • Project Managers
  • Development and Infrastructure Management

Anyone who’s interested in learning about Agile transformation at enterprise-level should become SA certified.

Where Can I Enroll for SAFe Agile Courses?

Having learned everything you know about the pathway to becoming a SAFe Agilist, the next step is to enrol for training. For that, look no further than the Agile Center.

We offer training and consultancy services in Agile Strategy audit and implementation, Lean-Agile Transformation, and Agile Portfolio/Program management.

So if you’re ready to become a SAFe Agilist, don’t wait any longer. Contact us today to get started.

What Defines the Agile Center? The Top 10 Agile Principles & Practices

What Defines the Agile Center? The Top 10 Agile Principles and Practices

What Defines the Agile Center? The Top 10 Agile Principles & Practices

Curious about the Agile Center & want to find out more? Click here for the top 10 agile principles & practices that define who we are!

Keyword(s): agile principles

In 2001, seventeen software developers had a scrum meeting and created the agile manifesto. A set of twelve agile principles and practices that would change the world of IT plus any other relatable field. It was a round table, filled with great minds which consolidated and created the leading strategy technique there is.

The agile centre creates a conducive environment for people to learn and develop personally and through their enterprises. Eager to learn more, read on and find out the top ten guiding standards.

Agile Principles and Practices

Using the Agile Center, an enterprise can learn about lean-agile transformation, planning and execution of a strategic plan. Guided by its core values, the agile manifesto agrees on these principles and practices.

1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software

This principle runs on the motto, 'the customer is always right' learning to listen to the customer, one can really understand their needs and make for an easier way to deliver a valuable product or service.

The feedback will be more effective and efficient as you will not need to study the customer a subject; neither will you need to document results for improvement.

2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development

Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage

The best thing about agility the ablility to accept change. Especially for a good course. This principle appreciates the fact that you can play around with your strategy accepting any iteration even late in the project.

The best ideas come by when the project is at the edge of completion. Agile methods use this technique to incorporate all that can be used to make the project more than a success.

3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

Other project management methodologies may prefer more documentation and a stick to the scheduling mechanism. Not for agile, this methodology is focused on the development rather than the plan, discussion, and documentation of projects.
Works similar to fieldwork, when all is said and done, the documents will not matter, just the outcome.

4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.

Collaboration is the key to success. While business people see differently from the developers, a bridge between the two is required. Agility training recommends that people build teams to be able to exchange ideas and facilitate the strategy.

With such great minds working together, nothing is unstoppable. There will be evolution and innovation in all projects.

5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done.

It can be so belittling to have someone shadow and critique your work every now and them. In contrary to such, the agile center allows for people to grow mentally and contribute openly without having to check themselves.

With qualifications, comes experience and the ability to work effectively and efficiently. Besides, only the best participate in the scrum.

6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is a face-to-face conversation.

There's nothing better than a personal conversation with someone. You can truly Express your opinions and share your ideas. Using even the best communication tool in the industry wouldn't explain what you truly want to express.

That is why agile methods encourage face to face conversation. Being able to point out bluntly information relevant to any project.

7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.

All factors in a project work towards a foreseeable future. Having prototypes and working amendments is what is best for the progress if the project. Without a context to work with, you may not have anything to work with.

An agile center will allow you to see the cracks and holes in something from an example, a working example. They train you to look at the bugs you see, rather than the works you imagine or plan for.

8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Productivity is best done under short sprees of creativity. You know when the idea sparks and makes you feel important in something. That is what agile is all about. A great pace is what drives a project to success or boredom.

While it's not a planned way of working things, you will certainly be thrilled with the amount of work that can be done in a short time.

9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.

Two words: technical excellence and designing. With agile methodologies, you will not need to twitch each and every move you make. It will be like building blocks to the end. Every small move you make makes an impact on the end result.

While the road to success sometimes doesn't take much credit compared to the result. Agility is best at showing that. All you require is to trust the process, and all will be well with the project.

10. Simplicity - the art of maximizing the amount of work not being done is essential.

The agile methodologies are fast and straight to the point. No complex strategies that need approval, elaboration or complex tools. These agile principles and practices support an easy work environment for better understanding and faster development of the business strategy.

You can easily track the development of your teammates through project management software. It's all about embracing the tools that make it all easy to do the work.

Join the Agile Center

Over the years, people worked separately. Working to document and shelve their ideas, plan to meet instead of meeting to plan. You don't have to do that anymore. With the agile center, you can get your enterprise to embrace the agile principles and practices, learn the courses required to have better strategies.

Your business deserves the best. Contact us for more information on the course we offer in agile project management. Plus ways, we can boost your working environment.

Agile Center

Agile Center provides consultancy and training services in the following areas: Lean-Agile Transformation, Agile Strategy audit & implementation and Agile Program/Portfolio management.

Agile Center is a brand of Architecture Center Ltd.