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Agile Center Partners with PEDCO

Agile Center announces a partnership with PEDCO

Agile Center is pleased to announce a partnership with PEDCO. The direct connection between Agile Center and PEDCO will expand the number of Applied SAFe® clients. While leveraging the practices and principles of Lean-Agile standards through extensive training sessions conducted by Agile Center, Applied SAFe® will be delivered by PEPCO.

ABOUT PEDCO

PEDCO is a public limited company based in Zurich, Switzerland and collaboration partner of Scaled Agile Inc., Boulder (USA) and Method Park, Erlangen (Germany). They support enterprises around the globe for process implementations within regulatory environments. PEDCO offers a comprehensive range of solutions to set-up, select, operate, and develop lean, compliant and efficient processes. Their mission is to help system and software-dependent enterprises achieve better business outcomes, increase employee engagement, and improve economics through the application of Lean-Agile principles and practices with Applied SAFe® based on the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®). Applied SAFe® is a stand-alone product from PEDCO. It is a fully fledged ALM tool agnostic implementation of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) as a process model and kept in sync with the current SAFe® version by Scaled Agile Inc. (SAI). Together with partners, PEDCO ensures a smooth transition to agile, lean, efficient and compliant processes with Applied SAFe. For further information please visit their website on www.appliedSAFe.com

Agile Center announces a partnership with PEDCO

ABOUT AGILE CENTER

Agile Center provides consultancy and training services in the Lean-Agile Transformation, Agile Strategy audit and implementation and Agile Program/Portfolio management areas. Through implementation of proven world-class standards, we support our clients in establishing and achieving their business goals. As a leading consultancy and training company, we trained more than 4000 professionals in more than 70 locations. We deliver our services based on globally recognized standards and hands-on experience. We focus on our client's requirements and strive to maximize client's business value. Our team is composed of highly experienced consultants and trainers. Agile Center is a brand of Architecture Center Ltd. Architecture Center Ltd is Silver Partner of Scaled Agile, Inc. and The Open Group® Gold member. We offer accredited and licensed SAFe, AgilePM, TOGAF, IT4IT, ArchiMate and COBIT training courses. Visit agile-center.com to learn more about Agile Center

Everything You Need to Know About Agile Online Courses

Everything You Need to Know About Agile Online Courses

Everything You Need to Know About Agile Online Courses

Online classes are a great way to learn how to implement the Agile system in your workplace. Here's everything you need to know about Agile online courses.

Keyword(s): Agile online courses

Software developers rely on certain constants to make certain that they're on task and productive. Agile has emerged as one of the most worthwhile methodologies that several professionals used.

By taking coursework related to Agile you'll learn the tools and information to add this methodology to your workflow. Read on to learn more about taking Agile online courses that can take your workplace and skills to the next level.

Why Should You Take Agile Online Courses?

So what makes an online Agile course such an excellent idea? If you're interested in this methodology and don't quite know where to start, taking courses will help you learn the major points that come with the territory.

These courses are convenient since you're taking them remotely and on your own time. You can comb through the entire course curriculum and work ahead whenever you need to. Since it's online, you'll also be learning with a community of other students and can review the archives of information whenever you need a refresher course.

When you understand the benefits of Agile you'll be better able to implement it into your workflow. Here's what you can do for your workplace when you take online Agile coursework:

1. Agile Allows for Growth and Transparency

By embracing Agile, you're essentially embracing growth and transparency with your workflow. This workflow lets you stay transparent with your customers so that they play a role in the development process.

They'll have the chance to chime in on review sessions and will have a say in some of the features that you work on implementing. When you maintain this measure of transparency you can count on your customer base growing with you. It enhances your relationship with your supporters and improves your retention rates.

2. The Costs Are Predictable

When you implement Agile, you're giving each leg of the project a fixed timetable and deadline. By getting more methodical about the way you put these projects together, it's also easier for you to control the costs.

By controlling the costs of your development you will get more out of your budget and will inevitably improve your profit margins as a result.

3. It's a Quality Process That Will Carry Your Team

Flat-out, you'll get more quality from your software development process when you incorporate Agile. With this methodology, the focus is qualitative, rather than quantitative.

Agile puts your workers in the best position to succeed and contribute, rather than trying to arbitrarily fit them into roles. The individuals' strengths and weaknesses come into play heavily when creating plans of action.

What's more, your team will have more continuity and everyone has access to changes as they occur.

4. You Can Make Changes as Needed

Change is the name of the game with the Agile methodology. You'll have the freedom to make changes to your backlog without it being cumbersome.

Since transparency is a key part of Agile, all your developers can respond to these changes in the most effective way possible.

What Are the Most Useful Agile Certifications?

After you pass an Agile exam you'll be able to also rack up certifications. You now know while Agile courses are an excellent idea, but which are the most useful?

Here are a few quality certifications that you should consider seeking:

1. ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP)

This certification sets the tone for a lot of the Agile philosophies that you'll carry with you throughout your career. It'll teach you all about things like programming and coaching in all of its varieties.

You'll learn the fundamentals, which you can build upon in other courses.

2. Agile Scrum Master (ASM)

Achieving the Agile Scrum Master (ASM) certification gives you the chance to put together the most capable team and put them in the best position to succeed. The coursework revolves around creating assignments that help your team maximize its value.

Whether you run a large corporation, are planning out Information Technology (IT) projects or want to put together a new piece of software, getting ASM certifications will serve you.

3. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification is among the most common Agile certification. As such, it opens you up to tremendous career prospects.

When you're a Scrum master, you will exhibit an expert level understanding of this methodology that will translate to any energy you're working in.

4. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

This certification builds on principles like active listening and brainstorming. You'll be able to coach your team with more deliberateness after getting the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification.

In addition to the training that you get from the course, this certification requires a few thousand hours of experience in the industry before you can pass. By learning a bit more about this courseload you'll bring expert-level thinking to every project that you take on.

Add Agile to Your Workplace

These tips can help you get started with this popular methodology through the use of Agile online courses. Regardless of what line of work you're in, it's up to you to add more tools to your toolbox whenever possible.

It's incredibly convenient to rack up certifications when you register for online courses. You'll come away with the thought processes and framework that will grow and sustain your team for the future.

We would love to help you make that transition. Be sure to lean on us for courses, training, and more. Use the points in this article and contact us via the web or call us at (929)255-1300 (for US) and +44 (0) 20 3598 3287 (for EU).

The Differences Between a SAFe Product Owner and a Scrum Master

The Differences Between a SAFe Product Owner and a Scrum Master

The Differences Between a SAFe Product Owner & a Scrum Master

Although they both have the same objective, a Scrum Master's main focus are its team and operations of the team. Lined up are the key differences between them.

Keyword(s): Scrum Master

Are you curious about whether your team needs a product owner or scrum master? Or are you considering which role is a better fit for your personality?

If so, then you’re in the right place. We’ll break down the key differences between your Scrum Master role and that of the product owner.

Don’t worry if the titles confuse you, keep reading to learn all about what each role does and how they can help your team.

What is SAFe?

The agile methodology has been turning heads since its inception at the turn of the 21st century by like-minded software developers. Today agile is being adopted by more than just software developers. Teams everywhere are embracing the roles of the agile process.

Within the agile process are four key roles, the stakeholders, the scrum master, the product owner, and the scrum team.

The difference between a scrum master vs product owner can be subtle, but strong agile teams understand they need both. These two leaders will work together in tandem to guide their teams towards production. All while maintaining an agile environment and lean production.

The SAFe environment is a framework that allows large organizations to utilize the same agile process as smaller companies. Your company can quickly get your next product to market.

Organizations across various industries are all adopting the agile methodology. This is helping them to streamline and improve their development process.

Keeping your business agile becomes increasingly difficult the bigger your corporation becomes. However, the SAFe model allows larger companies to incorporate the agile methodology into their product development framework.

What is a Product Owner?

The product owner works behind the scenes in your organization. They work to incorporate several departments into the production process. They spin many plates and balance many team members to ensure that the best product is delivered to the customer.

While the product manager is forward-facing and interacts with the clients, the product owner is active in the back end interacting with the various departments working together to develop the product.

The product owner is responsible for ensuring that the customer’s priorities and requirements are met throughout the development and production of the new product.

The product owner is the liaison between the stakeholders and the teams working every day on the project. The product owner defines the user story and its iterations. They are responsible for contributing the vision and roadmap along with the product manager.

Smaller organizations might be able to get away with combining the product owner and product manager. However, as your company grows you will need separate people to fill each role.

The product owner is not necessarily at every meeting, as the scrum master is, but they are kept up to date on all decisions and meetings by the product manager.

What is the Scrum Master?

The scrum master is more involved in the day-to-day processes of the product development process. The scrum master is in charge of the implementation of the scrum process.

Their responsibilities include coordinating the team, managing the daily scrum meetings, and ensuring the process goes smoothly. Additionally, they are good communicators and listeners, they work with the team to ensure collaboration across all departments.

They coach the team when obstacles arise, they ensure that the definition of done is never changed, and they ensure that the scrum process is followed. They are also accountable for ensuring the product is delivered on time and budget.

The scrum master is responsible for ensuring that the team and operations are on track and will be completed on time. They are problem solvers and process developers, they are creative in the planning process and ensure that the backlog is prioritized and on time. Learning to be an effective scrum master isn't easy, but it can be very gratifying.

The scrum master and product owner must work together to deliver the best results possible for the customers. The scrum master plays a vital role in ensuring that the process is maintained and eventually is a success.

Key Differences Between Them

There are several key differences between the scrum master and product owner. Here we lay them out for you to see:

The Product Owner must:

  • Determine the deadlines
  • Determine the release date
  • Manage the backlog
  • Define the user stories

The Scrum Master must:

  • Keep the team from distraction
  • Assist the team in tackling obstacles
  • Manage the process and methodology
  • Arrange the daily stand up meetings and facilitate the process

As you can see these two roles are complementary and must work together to ensure the agile process is followed. They must cooperate to ensure the product is built efficiently and delivered on time.

Without each role, the process can become muddled and teams run the risk of working in silos away from each other. With the skilled training of quality scrum masters and product owners, the agile process is seamless and efficient.

The Same Objective With Different Roles

In a nutshell, the product owner is the big picture visionary who listens to the customer. They create product features that will ensure you create the perfect product for your clients.

The Scrum Master is the day-to-day tactician who can think on their feet and put out fires as they crop up.

Both roles are imperative to the scrum process and must work together to ensure the timely development of the best product possible.

With the proper training, your scrum master and product owner can work together to deliver the best product possible to your customer. We work hard every day to facilitate the learning and development of agile technicians and we want to work with your team to build the right environment at your organization today.

If you have any questions about how you can better train your team to facilitate the SAFe process, contact us today.

What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager (And Why They Matter)

What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager

What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager (And Why They Matter)

A SAFe product manager has various different responsibilities. For instance, working closely together with the Product Owner. Find out more about this role.

Keyword(s): SAFe product manager

Are you implementing the Scaled Agile Framework within your company or organization? Have you been hearing about how everyone else is going agile or incorporating lean and you’re not quite sure what that means?

If you’re not sure whether or not your company could benefit from hiring a product manager then keep reading. If you’re a product manager who’s not quite sure how you fit into your company, then you’re in the right place too.

Don’t worry; we’re going to break down what a SAFe product manager is. We'll also look at how they can help you incorporate an agile workplace into your product development.

Let’s get started.

What Is a Product Manager?

In today's fast-paced world, customers expect new and exciting products regularly. New features must be added to existing products, from physical devices to software, and apps alike.

If you're in the business of releasing and updating products, then you need a product manager. You need someone to oversee the entire project and ensure on-time delivery to happy customers.

The product manager is the front-end, customer-facing member of your team. The product manager looks at the company-wide goals and vision as well as the current state of their products. Then, they will focus on creating and updating the product line to fit the market demand.

They are also responsible for delivering the best product at the best value to the customer. In doing this, they must create a vision and roadmap for the development of the product.

Additionally, the PM will:

  • identify the features and benefits of the product that are important to the client
  • manage the product backlog
  • identify what will be worked on next
  • decide the order each feature will be rolled out

They will determine which items in the backlog will strategically fill the demands from the market. The PM also validates the priorities so that everyone can transparently see the items in the backlog. This also allows everyone to see how to deliver the best products to your customers.

This role is vital within the SAFe environment, and a successful PM will be able to identify how they fit into the Scaled Agile Framework.

How Does This Fit Into the SAFe Framework?

The SAFe system is a way for large organizations to structure their product development in a lean and start-up similar style. It provides a framework in which small teams within a large organization can operate. This allows large organizations to operate in an agile environment and experience the same benefits seen in smaller companies.

Through the planning and execution of release trains, product managers can incorporate ART to drive their products to market quickly, efficiently, and sustainably. Agile Release Train is a system in which a team of teams within an organization can operate to work towards a common vision and roadmap.

The person keeping everyone on the same page and working towards the same vision is the SAFe product owner/product manager. They are the Release train engineer and their job is to manage the ART team to ensure delivery of the product to the client.

The product manager must be highly trained in the SAFe system. This allows them to manage your teams and ensure timely delivery of your product. While your entire team, and really your entire organization must be trained in the agile method to ensure its success, the product manager must be specialized to properly manage the process.

Benefits of Having a SAFe Product Manager

When it comes to delivering a quality product to your customers, having a SAFe product manager ensures that your various departments are not working in separate silos.

Your design team needs to work with your marketing team. Both need to work with research and development to deliver the best product that your client will love and use every day.

The product manager ensures that these teams are working together and that they are working towards the same vision and final product features. Collaboration is a must in any agile environment.

Unfortunately, in many large organizations, it can be hard to strengthen the collaboration and communication amongst the various departments. Your product manager brings your teams together to ensure the proper collaboration happens. This means you can deliver an amazing final product.

The product manager clearly defines the expectations for each department and ensures that they are carried out. This role can be difficult to do without proper training. The PM must be able to communicate and negotiate between several departments.

They are the glue that holds together the team and unites the various departments working to create and deliver the product to the customer. This vital role is important to any company that wants to scale its growth while also remaining agile and lean within its industry.

Incorporate This Vital Role in Your Company Today

Product development is a team sport and your SAFe product manager is the coach leading the team onto the field. To be successful and to get the best product to market, you need a strong leader who will listen to your clients and guide your teams towards that final product.

Success will come when you can deliver quality products to happy customers. Do this while maintaining a lean and agile environment, you will see tremendous success for your company.

If you have more questions about the product manager role and how you can incorporate it into the agile workplace, contact us today. We’re in the business of building agile leaders every day and look forward to working with you and your company.

A Guide to Passing the Scaled Agile Exam

A Guide to Passing the Scaled Agile Exam

A Guide to Passing the Scaled Agile Exam

Are you due to take the scaled Agile exam? Here are some great tips to help you make sure you pass the exam with flying colors.

Keyword(s): Scaled Agile exam

Show the world you are an expert in implementing Agile and improving projects by passing the Scaled Agile exam. The Scaled Agile exam combines questions related to your experience and skills that analyze your experience.

What should you study and how is the exam administered? This helpful guide will breakdown how to pass the Scaled Agile exam and set you up for success.

Scaled Agile Exam

Organizations that implement Lean and Agile Practices can use the guidelines provided by the Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe. SAFe tests your knowledge of three different categories of information including Agile Software Development, Lean Product Development, and System Thinking.

These practices allow businesses to improve when dealing with issues that arise when developing and delivering ideal systems and software by a specified time. The Scaled Agile Framework practices are complex, challenging, and a crucial aspect of business for many companies.

Becoming an expert on SAFe practices will help you move your company towards the SAFe was of performing tasks and allow you to easily take on new challenges.

Passing the Agile exam not only provides you with a certificate but it positions you as an Agile leader in the industry. Scaled Agile Framework skills can help advance your career and improve projects you are working on.

Details of the SAFe 5 Exam

The Scaled Agile Framework exam is taken on a computer. It is web-based and timed. This exam is given in English and participants are not allowed to use any books or notes when taking the exam.

The format of the exam is multiple choice. After participants complete the Leading SAFe training course, they will be given access to the exam on the online SAFe Community Platform. Participants are given 90 minutes once the exam starts to complete the exam. If you go over the 90 minutes given for the exam the exam will time out.

There are 45 questions on the exam. You must correctly answer 34 questions to pass. The cost of the exam is included in the course registration fee.

The course fee only includes one attempt at the exam and that attempt must be used 30 days after completing the preparatory course.

Retaking the Agile Exam

If you do not pass the examination on the first attempt, you can retake the exam again for a fee. You can immediately take the exam again your first unsuccessful attempt.

If you do not pass the examination on the second attempt, you have to wait a minimum of 10 days before you can take the exam for the third time. There is an additional 30-day required wait period if you do not pass on the third attempt.

Once a participant scores a minimum passing score of 76% they are not allowed to retake the exam unless updates are made to the Agile system and the exam.

Setting Up a Study Space

The Scaled Agile Exam is designed to analyze the knowledge participants have in Agile Software Development, Lean Product Development, and System Thinking.

The exam will test your theoretical knowledge and practical skills. You must have both of these to pass the exam successfully.

Don’t wait until the last minute to study for the exam. Some participants thrive on last-minute cram sessions but for most this is not the best way to prepare.

Start your preparation with a proper time management strategy. Set up a schedule for when you will study for the Scaled Agile exam. Organize your study time around your schedule and according to the amount of preparation you feel you need.

Study in a place where you can spread out all of your notes and course materials. Make sure the place you choose to study has enough light and a comfortable chair. Put any distractions away out of sight so they do not interfere with your study time.

Some people like to play background music to help them focus while they are studying while others need complete silence. Do whichever works best for you.

Some people need to have a neat and organized room to concentrate while other throve in a cluttered environment.

Think about the type of study environment that works best for you and do what you can to set your environment up to meet your optimal study conditions.

Preparing for the Agile Exam

Some participants find visual aids to be really helpful when studying for the Scaled Agile exam. When you begin a new topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about that section before you study. Then fill in the gaps of your knowledge with the areas you find as you study.

Once you get a bit closer to the date of your exam, consider converting all of your notes into one-page diagrams. Sometimes participants don’t remember the answer but they can “see it” visually on the pages they studied from.

Getting all of your ideas down in this format can help you quickly recall information and “see it” when you take the text.

Practice exam questions from previous versions of the text. This can be one of the most effective ways to prepare. Time yourself as you practice the old questions to see how long it takes you to answer the questions.

Make sure you are not spending too much time on the questions. If you are that’s probably your cue to go back and study more.

Another great study strategy is to study with a friend and explain the answer and questions to them. Since they are not familiar with the material you will have to do a really thorough job of explaining it.

This method can help you achieve a better understanding of the material yourself by explaining it to someone else.

Good Luck on Your Exam

Taking the Scaled Agile exam can be the first step in an exciting career path. Becoming a SAFe 5 Agilist requires a lot of knowledge and skills.

The Agile Center can help prepare you for your exciting future as a SAFe 5 Agilist. Enrol in our SAFe Agilist examination preparatory class today and get on the road to success.

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.

© 2021 Architecture Center Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Agile Center is a brand of Architecture Center Ltd.

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