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Agile vs. Scrum: Everything You Need to Know

Agile vs. Scrum: Everything You Need to Know

Agile vs. Scrum: Everything You Need to Know

Scaled Agile vs. Scrum: There are many different methodologies in software development, but these two are quickly taking over the market. Learn the basics of each here.

Keyword(s): scaled agile

Want to know the difference between Agile and Scrum?

Did you know that a full 71% of organizations now implement Scaled Agile approaches for their projects? The framework has taken over the industry and revolutionized the way businesses manage projects.

But many offshoots of the framework exist. The question is which is right for you? The article below outlines Agile and its most popular offshoot, Scrum. Read on to determine which will suit your needs.

What is Scaled Agile?

Agile project development is based on an iterative, incremental approach. Methodologies focus on constant feedback from the end users. It allows for constantly changing requirements rather than in-depth planning at the onset of a project.

Cross-trained teams work on different iterations of a product. These iterations are organized into a backlog that’s prioritized based on customer or business value. The goal with each iteration is to produce a viable, working product.

Agile methodologies encourage teamwork over individualization. Accountability and face-to-face communication are paramount in this framework. Developers and stakeholders must work together. They must align company goals, customer needs, and product goals.

The Agile framework refers to processes that align with the concepts originally laid out in the Agile Manifesto. It’s a lightweight development methodology created by software developers back in 2001. Their goal was to create a better way of developing software through application and teaching.

12 Agile Principles

Twelve underlying principles rule the Agile framework. Most of which are also used in other, similar project development frameworks.

  1. The highest priority is the satisfaction of the customer. It's done through early and continuous delivery of great software.
  2. The process harnesses change for competitive customer advantage, even late in the development.
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from weeks to months, as soon as iterations allow.
  4. Developers and business people must work together each day throughout the project.
  5. Mold projects around motivated individuals. Then give them the support, environment, and trust they need to finish the job.
  6. The fastest and most effective methods of communication are face-to-face conversations.
  7. Progress is measured primarily through working software.
  8. The process promotes sustainable development. Sponsors, users, and developers should be capable of maintaining the constant pace indefinitely.
  9. Continuous attention to good design and technical excellence enhance agility.
  10. Simplicity is essential. Maximize the amount of work NOT done.
  11. Self-organized teams create the best architectures, designs, and requirements.
  12. At regular intervals, each team reflects on its effectiveness. Then they tune their behavior to optimize results.

When you look at Agile vs Waterfall or Agile vs Scrum, remember that many of the methods are the same. It’s the focus that changes, as you’ll see when you reach the section on Scrum below.

Agile Advantages

If you’re wondering is Agile training for you, consider the following benefits before you get an agile certification. Is the framework right for your organization?

Change is embraced: The short planning cycles make it easy for developers to create and accept changes any time in the project. Teams can introduce changes to the project in a matter of weeks by refining and reprioritizing the backlog.

End-goal may be unknown: Agile is built for projects in which the end-goal isn’t clearly defined. The goal will eventually become clear as the project progresses. Developers can easily adapt to such evolving requirements.

Fast, high-quality delivery: Teams can focus on high-quality development, collaboration, and testing. It's done by breaking the project into manageable iterations. Developers identify bugs and find solutions more quickly because of the testing done each iteration. As such, the software is delivered faster.

Focused team interaction: Frequent communication and face-to-face interactions are paramount. Teams work together in a more flexible manner, owning different parts of the project during each stage.

Customers feel heard: Customers have opportunities during each iteration. During this time they can see the delivered work, share input, and impact the end product. They gain a sense of ownership by working closely with the project.

Unfortunately, Agile isn’t all peaches and cream. It has several disadvantages too, as you’ll see in the next section.

Agile Disadvantages

Before you adopt the Agile framework, keep in mind that it isn’t good for everything. It has its drawbacks too:

Planning is less cohesive: Solid delivery dates are often vague. Some items may be late for delivery because Agile is based on project managers often re-prioritize tasks. Sprints are required sometimes in order to meet deadlines.

Teams must be experts: Agile teams work in small groups, and members must be highly skilled in a variety of areas.

Developer Time Commitment: When the development team is completely dedicated to a given project, the project is most likely to succeed. This is more time consuming than a traditional approach. It requires active involvement and collaboration throughout the Agile process.

Neglected Documentation: Working software trumps comprehensive documentation in the Agile framework. That leads to neglected documentation in many cases.

Final results may differ from original intentions: Since the initial project might not have a clear goal, the final product might be unexpected. Evolving customer feedback may change the direction of each iteration. This may lead to an unexpected final deliverable.

Next, we’ll move on to what many consider an Agile derivative: Scrum.

What is Scrum?

You can think of Scrum as the most popular subset of Agile. It’s used to manage complex product development. It used fixed-length iterations, called sprints, which last from one to two weeks in length. At the end of each sprint, developers and stakeholders meet to plan the next iterations.

Scrum follows the same set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings each sprint. They don’t change from one iteration to the next.

The Scrum process was created in 1993 by Jeff Sutherland. He modeled the framework after a study published in the Harvard Business Review. It compared high-performing, cross-functional business teams to the “scrum” formation used in the game rugby.

Advantages of Scrum

Consider these advantages when you compare project management frameworks:

Higher project transparency and visibility: With daily meetings, each team member knows who is working on what. This eliminates confusion.

Increased accountability: No project manager tells the team what to do. The team collectively decides what to complete during each sprint. The team works together, improving collaboration and empowering each member.

Simple to make changes: Changes are easy to implement because of the short sprints and constant feedback.

Lower cost: The team knows of issues as soon as they arise because of the constant communication. They can fix these blunders immediately, lowering expenses and increasing quality.

Notice the most distinct feature, the lack of team leader. We’ll talk more about the Scrum Manager’s roll in the next section.

Disadvantages of Scrum

As you’ll see, scope creep is arguably the biggest problem in Scrum frameworks. Stand your ground when stakeholders try to increase your workload.

Scope creep: Some projects experience scope creep because of their absence of a projected end date. Without a completion date, stakeholders are tempted to continue requesting more functionality.

Requires teams with experience and commitment: Everyone does everything on a scrum team. That means team members must have broad technical experience. Each member must also commit to the daily meetings and be on board until project completion.

Needs a good Scrum Master: A Scrum Master is not a project manager. The master doesn’t have authority over the team. If the master tries to control the team, the project has a high potential for failure. The master should instead trust the team and avoid telling members what to do.

Higher likelihood of inaccuracies: If tasks aren’t well defined, timelines and project costs won’t be accurate. If initial goals aren’t clear, planning grows difficult and sprints take extra time.

Other disadvantages are minor. Agile shares many of these minor disadvantages.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve compared the Scrum and Scaled Agile frameworks, what did you think? Which suits your organizations needs better? It’s better to stick with one framework from a project’s inception through its completion.

If you found this material helpful, skip over to our library and read one of our other articles on all things Agile. So long and good luck!

The Future of the Workforce: Is Agile Training for You?

The Future of the Workforce: Is Agile Training for You?

The Future of the Workforce: Is Agile Training for You?

In software development, agile methodology is quickly becoming the norm. Learn more about it by reading here.

Keyword(s): agile training

Agile is nothing short of a game-changer.

It has been dominating the marketplace for years now, surpassing clunky traditional frameworks. As a result, the demand for Agile training, professionals, and certifications has skyrocketed.

That is to say, this framework is both the present and the future of the workforce.

It represents a fine blend of modern software development and project management wisdom. The main advantage it holds is breaking down projects into small, manageable bits. This process lays the foundations for iterative, incremental delivery of products.

To add value to your career and organization, you need to grasp not only the Agile principles. And that’s just the first stop because the implementation of knowledge in practice follows.

If this seems like a lot to handle, don’t fret. Certified Agile training is the best way to overcome the learning curve.

A Change of Pace

The nature of workplace has changed in recent years.

Left and right, corporations are ditching the old, command-and-control leadership style. In the process, they are dismantling rigid vertical hierarchies and demolishing barriers to communication and collaboration.

The Agile framework spurs continuous improvement and delivery of products packed with user value. It puts people first and focuses on their development and growth. Thus, Agile HR has become a critical core of lean business organizations.

And that is precisely where Agile training comes into play.

Certifying and training personnel allows companies to unlock the full potential of HR. They are able to assemble self-organizing and cross-functional teams.

As for managers, Agile training gives them irrefutable proof of their skills and competencies. It supercharges their careers and enables swift growth.

In all these cases, training is a surefire way to gain an edge in the market.

Angle of Approach

The tricky thing is there is no single way to approach Agile.

The framework encapsulates a wide range of mythologies and practices. Their common thread is a dynamic take on project management and delivery of performance.

Namely, the success of Agile execution hinges on the ability to adapt to shifting challenges and business requirements.

So, the first thing to do is familiarize yourself with the underlying Agile framework. You need to gain a sense of what the Agile mindset is and how it differs from outdated methodologies like Waterfall.

Once that is sorted out, take into account your knowledge level, experience, and goals.

Notice training usually encompasses multiple layers of the organization. Indeed, it makes a lot of sense for all team members to enroll in common programs, ideally in the same class. Involving development teams and key stakeholders in the education process is a must.

That’s the way to keep everyone in-the-know and on the same page.

On the other hand, more formal concepts are usually for individuals, not whole teams. Depending on your ambitions, you can go more in-depth on your own here.

Baby Steps with Agile Training

Taking into account its ubiquity, Agile is probably the right choice for you.

But, the question remains: which training to go for? Well, there is no shortage of great options available.

For example, you can obtain a solid baseline with a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) program. It’s one of the most popular courses for managers and it sheds light on the makeup of Scrum. When we say makeup, we mean Scrum roles, artifacts, happenings, and procedures.

You can take this course with three-day training class via esteemed Scrum Alliance. This is a go-to for various Scrum courses. It spearheads the adoption of this framework in the software industry.

Apart from the aforementioned program, it has six other courses for IT and development pros:

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner
  • Certified Scrum Developer
  • Certified Scrum Trainer
  • Certified Scrum Coach
  • Certified Scrum Professional

They suit people of different positions and in stages of the career.

Venturing Further

The next logical step would be to check out the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO).

The course teaches students how to set ideas and goals in advance and then guide development toward success. Product Owner is a key stakeholder, who sets (and resets) requirements via user stories and Product Backlog.

Among other priorities, this individual ensures a prime level of user functionality.

On the other hand, Scrum.org offers the Professional Scrum Master (PSM). This course entails intense training and testing. You have to obtain theoretical knowledge but also display you are able to apply it.

After a PMS assessment test, no additional training is necessary.

Furthermore, Project Management Academy (PMI) is another reputable institution setting industry standards.

It provides excellent training for those who are leaders in management or want to become one. For instance, Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) lets you learn the ins and outs of the effective Agile application.

The only problem is it requires 1500 hours of work experience on Agile projects. So, it’s definitely not something for newcomers.

Scaled Agile at Its Finest

As we indicated earlier, there are multiple implementation methods worth noting.

To navigate this complex landscape, it’s crucial to understand the differences and similarities between them. And this is what Scaled Agile courses can do for.

For instance, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a major model geared toward lean enterprises.

If you want to become proficient in it, opt for licensed SAFe training courses like SAFe Agilist. They give insights into Scaled Agile Framework and its implementation in enterprise environments. You also gain a deeper understanding of Lean and Agile portfolio management.

This knowledge lets you plan and initiate short iterative cycles (Sprints).

You cannot go wrong tapping into other SAFe courses, exams, training, and other resources either. Agile Center lists a heap of options worth your attention.

Some of them are:

The training lasts two days and takes place in cities across the globe.

Beyond these learning sources, the list of possibilities goes on. Feel free to explore more and remember. The more courses you complete, the better it is for your career/company.

The Future Is Now

Agile is here to stay and rock the booming software ecosystem.

It’s fostering disruptive market conditions and opening incredible growth opportunities. Agile training is a sound strategy to capitalize on these trends and level-set an organization.

In other words, learn the basic lexicon of Agile to get more things done every day. You want to stick to renowned certification programs and the most prevalent methodologies. These are knowledge benchmarks.

Use them for real-world application of methodology, which is always a process of trial and error. In due time though, you should be able to empower the teams and delight the customers.

Contact us if you need help in taking the business game to the next level. It’s time to embark on a professional learning journey!

Agile Center Now Providing SAFe® For Architects Course

The course helps senior technical contributors understand the role of particular architects in Lean-Agile enterprises, reports agile-center.com.

Agile Center Becomes Silver Partner Of Scaled Agile, Inc.

(London, UK)—Agile Center based in London, a provider of high-quality consultancy and training services all over the world, recently announced that their company stands ready to provide Scaled Agile training courses for System, Solution, and Enterprise Architects. The latest of the in-depth training prepared by the experts at Scaled Agile, Inc. and provided under their partnership agreement, the SAFe® for Architects course is designed to help senior technical contributors who need to understand the role of System, Solution, and Enterprise Architects in Lean-Agile enterprises.

"Simply put, SAFe® for Architechts is an answer to the market's need," said Marcin Chmielewski of Agile Center. "It essentially aligns architecture with business value, helping people communicate the vision and intent of their projects and driving continuous flow to large systems-of-systems while supporting SAFe program execution. It is our aim to ensure that, in the end, what is learned in this course will change how architects engage in, and contribute to, a Lean-Agile enterprise."

The SAFe® for Artichects course prepares System, Solution, and Enterprise Architects to engage across the organization as effective leaders and change agents. Attending the class prepares participants to take the SAFe® 4 Architect exam and become a certified SAFe® Architect (ARCH). This training is a perfect addition to the full suite of Scaled Agile courses already available in Agile Center's portfolio, such as Leading SAFe® 4.6, SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager, SAFe® for Teams, SAFe® Agile Software Engineering, SAFe® for Government, and SAFe® 4 DevOps Practitioner. The training will start in April of 2019, but attendees can register for it starting today.

Chmielewski continued, "Simply put, this course is vital for every architect working in a Lean-Agile environment. Through multimedia presentations, group exercises and discussion, practical workshops, case studies, and practice tests, we will help architects overcome their challenges and learn to synchronize alignment, collaboration, and delivery as they seek to create transformation in their organization."

Visit agile-center.com to learn more about Agile Center, see their scaled agile training calendar, and register for the SAFe for Architects course.

About 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. Through implementation of proven world-class standards, we support our clients in establishing and achieving their business goals. Our team is composed of highly experienced consultants and trainers. Agile Center is a brand of Architecture Center Ltd.

Media Contact:

Marcin Chmielewski

London, W1B 2QD, United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3598 3287

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: https://agile-center.com/

A Comprehensive Guide to SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master Certification

Agile Center - Safe Advanced Scrum Master

A Comprehensive Guide to SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master Certification

Scrum masters demonstrates a mastery of skills for improving team results. Read this comprehensive guide to SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master Certification.

Keyword(s): safe advanced scrum master

Agile development is unstoppable. With each passing year, business owners and c-suites are realizing the power and potential of adopting agile best practices.

In the 12th Annual State of Scrum Report, the respondents detail their reasons for adopting agile practices. Four out of the top five involve boosted productivity.

The Top 5 Reasons For Adopting Agile

  1. Accelerated software delivery (75%)
  2. Manage changing priorities (64%)
  3. Increase productivity (55%)
  4. Enhanced IT/business cooperation (49%)
  5. Improved software quality (46%)

Tellingly, four out of the five main reasons for adopting agile practices match the main benefits of doing so.

The Top 5 Benefits Of Adopting Agile

  1. Manage changing priorities (71%)
  2. Project visibility (66%)
  3. Business/IT alignment (65%)
  4. Delivery speed/time to market (62%)
  5. Team productivity (61%)

One of the main benefits of Scrum is its ability to adapt to any task. Scrum can be scaled to accommodate nearly any task you're working on. That doesn't mean you can just throw yourself and your development to the winds and hope it all works out.

Scrum involves having a thorough, detailed understanding of both the process your team is working on as well as the goals you're striving for. This requires a good framework to orient your work after.

Today we're going to talk about the Safe Advanced Scrum Master certification, and how it can help you and your development teams stay on the same page, so you're as productive as possible.

Your Guide to the SAFe Advanced Scrum Master Certification

Knowing which scrum framework is going to work best for your needs isn't immediately obvious. There are multiple different frameworks for scaling scrum to choose from. Each of them has its own unique strengths as well as drawbacks.

We'll be focusing on the Scalable Agile Framework (SAFe) in this article. SAFe has been leveraged by hundreds of organizations to take full advantage of agile development.

Let's start off by learning what SAFe® is.

What Is SAFe?

Even the most cutting-edge, progressive businesses have a tendency to get stuck in a rut. This prevents businesses from truly making the most of all that agile and lean have to offer.

SAFe® is a framework that allows every element of an enterprise to remain adaptable and open to new information and skills. Agile is useful for single teams working on a single project. It's relatively easy to assess a given problem, test out a solution, and apply those insights retroactively.

The problem is that there's a certain amount of guesswork or intuition in this setup. While this might not be a big deal for a single team, it becomes exponentially more serious as more teams get added.

This means that agile is not always useful for working on large projects with multiple teams.

SAFe remedies that by considering the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on a single problem, SAFe considers projects in 8-12-week intervals. This span of time is known as the project increment (PI).

How to Get Started with the SAFe® Framework

SAFe® is meant to help get all agile teams working together on the same page. This usually begins by training the project-level management team to be scrum masters. This understanding trickles down to all levels of an enterprise.

If you're approaching scrum from the portfolio, here are some steps to follow to teach every member of your team how to be a scrum master.

First, you're going to want to identify the portfolio manager. This is the person who will prove the ROI of the project for the entire organization. Then you're going to make sure that portfolio manager understands the business goals as well as the strategy for implementing them, in a step-by-step manner.

Once you've got the conceptual framework in place, it's time to start focusing on the practicalities. Your portfolio managers are going to assess your various income streams, from products on the market to digital assets like a marketing funnel or online revenues. Then you'll assign a budget for each one.

Once your goals and budgets are in place, you're going to create your agile teams. These are known as the agile release trains (ARTs). You're also going to identify the release train engineers, who are basically scrum masters at the project level.

Now you're going to create the epic backlog of potential projects. Some organizations struggle in this realm, but it doesn't need to be that hard.

Most enterprises have a large backlog of projects they've been meaning to get to. The epic backlog just formalizes that list and sets it in stone.

These are the basis of the scrum SAFe framework. It ensures each individual team is working towards the same goals, sharing resources, and working efficiently.

Advantages Of SAFe Advanced Scrum Master Certification

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts in a scrum enterprise. Not everybody has a background in project management. Not everybody wants to take the time to create their own curriculum, as well, especially when there are already excellent guides in place to help you do so.

The Advantages of SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master Certification:

  1. Attain a solid mastery of Scrum knowledge and principles
  2. Get into the agile mindset
  3. Help your entire organization adopt the agile framework
  4. More cooperation, which is better for both productivity as well as company culture and morale
  5. Make your team more desirable, helping them to attain valuable, marketable skills

Adopting an agile framework is beneficial for every component of an enterprise. Your employees will be happier and more productive. Your company will be streamlined and profitable.

Everybody wins when you pursue SAFe advanced scrum master certification.

Ready To Pursue Your Scrum Certification?

Agile and scrum have been revolutionizing the business and development worlds in every conceivable way. Training in modern philosophies like the SAFe advanced scrum master certification helps your entire enterprise make the most of this philosophical innovation.

If you're looking to make the most of this innovative, cutting-edge philosophy, make sure to check out our complete list of upcoming agile training seminars!

Agile Center Becomes Silver Partner Of Scaled Agile, Inc.

Agile Center Becomes Silver Partner Of Scaled Agile, Inc. The company is now providing SAFe(R) (Scaled Agile Framework) licensed training courses to businesses all over the world, reports agile-center.com.

Agile Center Becomes Silver Partner Of Scaled Agile, Inc.

(London, UK)—Agile Center, London’s premier business consultances, is pleased to announce their Silver Partner status with Scaled Agile, Inc. As of February 2019, the company is now authorized to provide SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework) licensed training courses to businesses all over the world that are looking to achieve certification for SAFe® Agilist (SA). Agile Center’s scaled agile training calendar can be found on their website.

“We could not be more thrilled about this new partnership with Scaled Agile, Inc.,” said Marcin Chmielewski of Agile Center. “As highly experienced team, we’ve been providing Lean-Agile transformation, Agile Strategy audit and implementation and Agile Program and Portfolio management consulting services for many years. We’re confident in our ability to help others achieve their business goals and are honored to have the opportunity to do so as a Silver Partner.”

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) helps businesses address the significant challenges of developing and delivering enterprise-class software and systems in the shortest sustainable lead time. As a SAFe Agilist (SA), the team at Agile Center will strategically guide the adoption, success, and ongoing improvement of Lean-Agile culture in enterprises around the globe. Those attending the Scaled Agile In-house Training Courses will gain an understanding of the Lean-Agile mindset and why it’s so effective and get practical advice on supporting Agile teams and programs, empowering a Lean Portfolio, building a continuous delivery pipeline and DevOps culture, and coordinating large solutions.

Chmielewski went on to say, “Our goal is straightforward: we want to help business owners and teams develop a skillset that’s in demand worldwide and empower their enterprises to succeed in a disruptive marketplace. In our courses, we’ll help businesses define their organizational mission and vision and communicate strategic decisions to all stakeholders and teams. Then, we’ll show them how to motivate knowledge workers by helping them enhance their capabilities and increase their engagement and commitment to that mission and vision. As we work to enhance their Lean-Agile leadership skills, enterprises will begin to see transformation on unprecedented levels.”

Visit agile-center.com to learn more about Agile Center and register for their Leading SAFe 4.6 training course.

About 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. Through implementation of proven world-class standards, we support our clients in establishing and achieving their business goals. Our team is composed of highly experienced consultants and trainers. Agile Center is a brand of Architecture Center Ltd.

Media Contact:

Marcin Chmielewski

London, W1B 2QD, United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3598 3287

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: https://agile-center.com/

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.