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Lean Portfolio Management: What Is the Primary Focus?

Lean Portfolio Management: What Is the Primary Focus?

Lean Portfolio Management: What Is the Primary Focus?

When it comes to lean portfolio management, what is the primary focus? If you're asking yourself the same thing, simply click here today!

Keyword(s): lean portfolio management

By 2025, the global market for online training will have reached $300 billion in value.

With the continuing proliferation of information technology, more and more people are turning to their computers as a source of instruction on various topics. Those seeking greater business acumen in the software development space are no different.

Lean Portfolio Management is a concept that has gained importance over the years. Now, you can learn its principles through online training courses.

Read on to learn more about the application of the concept in the modern world of commerce.

What Is Portfolio SAFe?

Lean Portfolio Management is one element of a broader software development management approach known as Portfolio SAFe.

SAFe stands for Scaled Agile Framework. This concept refers to workflow patterns that allow managers to take management concepts that work on a micro-level. They can then scale them up for use across multiple teams.

SAFe management principles are applicable in a range of different disciplines.

Those that can benefit from our instruction here include solution architects, system architects, scrum managers, and more.

Along with Lean Portfolio Management, SAFe consists of the Continuous Learning Culture Competency and the Organizational Agility competency.

What Is Lean Portfolio Management?

Lean Portfolio Management refers to the alignment of strategy and execution. This is important, as it is something that executives frequently fail to do. The consequences of a shortcoming here can be disastrous for businesses.

The idea arises from the general concept of Lean principles. These principles were first outlined by Mary and Tom Poppendieck in 2003.

There are seven broad principles, which we've outlined here.

Eliminate Waste

Elimination of waste is a key consideration in all areas of business. In the SAFe framework, "waste" refers to anything that does not add value for the customer.

Elimination of such waste is achieved by avoiding task switching and relearning, and leaving no work partially done.

Amplify Learning

Because software development is a continuous process, constant learning is essential. When writing code, you can achieve learning amplification through short iteration cycles and continuous testing.

The goal of software development is the function, rather than adherence to pre-arranged guidelines. Therefore, the continuous accumulation of new information from testing is vital to the process.

Decide as Late as Possible

There is always a degree of uncertainty associated with software development. For this reason, it is beneficial to delay decisions until the latest possible moment.

This ties in with the use of short iteration cycles. The greater the number of iterations, the more frequent the feedback, and the better able developers and testers are to address shortcomings in the development framework.

Deliver as Fast as Possible

Software continues to develop at speed.

Because of this competition to come up with solutions first, a development business must always focus on haste. It is no use coming up with a brilliant software solution if your rivals come up with something equally as good first.

This ties in with the practice of using short iteration cycles. It is better to finish something quickly and have more time to address the resulting defects than to do it slowly and have less time to see to them.

Empower the Team

As the business world modernizes, there has been an increasing focus on the devolvement of responsibility to individual workers. This ethos has begun to replace the traditional framework whereby a single manager told each employee exactly what to do, and how to do it.

The advantage of this is flexibility. When individual operatives have the authority and skill to make important decisions without input from a manager, this streamlines the process.

Build Integrity In

Integrity is something that is key to every business. If your customers can't trust what you offer them, they won't be willing to do business with you in the future.

There are a number of ways to cultivate integrity as a software developer. One of the most important is transparency.

Your customers may have little or no understanding of software. If you make the effort to explain your processes to them, they will appreciate this.

This is significant in terms of pricing. Customers appreciate the opportunity to see how their money is being spent. It also assures them that you're not ripping them off.

Optimize the Whole

For your Lean Portfolio Management to succeed, you have to take a holistic approach. This means working out difficulties in relation to the interactions between different parts of your business, rather than just within the parts themselves.

How To Apply Lean Principles in Your Software Development Business Dealings

These principles are quite general in nature. You will need to customize them so that they apply to your business.

Many software development outfits are start-ups. Such companies have little market exposure or experience, and will, therefore, have to address challenges as they come up.

In one company, the challenge might be to upskill all employees in such a way that they can address significant issues. For another, it might be working on the approach to transparency so that customer confidence is maximized.

Find your weakest points and work on them first.

Streamlining Your Approach to Maximize Your Results

Portfolio management in the modern-day and age presents a unique set of challenges. In order to succeed in software development, or in any other type of business, you'll need to learn to get around these efficiently.

Lean Portfolio Management, as part of the broader Portfolio SAFe framework, can help you to do this.

If you're interested in an online, instructor-led course to educate your workforce in these principles, contact us today.

Scrum 101: The Scrum Values and How They Influence Your Work

Scrum 101: The Scrum Values and How They Influence Your Work

Scrum 101: The Scrum Values and How They Influence Your Work

Learn about the five scrum values and principles that dictate your work. Plus, discover how these modes of thinking and practices impact what you'll do.

Keyword(s): scrum values

Scrum is among the most widely used project management frameworks by IT professionals and manufacturers. Using a project management framework like Scrum has been shown to save money for organizations.

At the heart of using Scrum in project management are the values and principles of Scrum. It’s the job of the Scrum Master to learn and apply the Scrum values to ensure each team member is carrying out their role with these values.

Keep reading to learn more about the values and principles of Scrum.

The Scrum Pillars

It helps to know and understand the main pillars of the Scrum framework. You’ll be able to identify how the Scrum values fit in with the overall Scrum methodology.

Transparency

Transparency starts by having a common language and definition around aspects of the project. For example, a developer may have their own definition of done, when the task isn’t truly complete.

This pillar sets the expectations and the processes for all team members to meet.

Inspection

Every member of the team has to inspect the artifacts (product backlog, product increment, sprint backlog) to identify issues and help correct them.

There’s a balance between inspecting too often where it gets in the way of the job at hand. They should be conducted frequently, but not so frequently that inspections cause delays.

Adaptation

Adaptation builds on the first two pillars. Teams have to have a transparent process and inspect issues to be able to adapt accordingly.

Sprint reviews are conducted to be able to assess the progress towards project goals.

Scrum Values

The pillars form the foundation of Scrum. Scrum can’t be applied properly without the values of Scrum. These are the core values of the framework.

Commitment

Every single person involved in the project has to buy-in to the goals of the project and commit to doing their part.

There are a few levels of commitment in Scrum: commitment to achieving the goals of the sprint, commitment of the team, and of each individual.

Courage

Team members have to have the courage to do the right thing for the project and the goals of the project.

Courage isn’t only about doing the right thing, but it’s also about taking risks and failing. Risk-taking is an important part of Scrum because it allows team members to think outside of the box to find better solutions.

It’s common for team members to aim to keep the customer happy, but that can come at the cost of the project goals.

Focus

There’s a reason why goals must be clear. That’s how the team stays focused throughout the sprint. The advantage of having a strong focus is that the team completes tasks with very little left undone.

Openness

Scrum masters have to encourage openness within their teams. They must allow active participation of team members in scrums to keep them engaged in the project.

Openness keeps the lines of communication open, so Scrum Masters are aware of any obstacles in the way or any issues early on. That allows the Scrum Master to fulfill their role and act to remove those obstacles.

Respect

Scrum works because it’s a collaborative approach to project management. The framework fails when team members lack respect for customers, stakeholders, and each other.

Respect is shown when team members express ideas, celebrate accomplishments, and accept mistakes.

Applying the Scrum Values

The Scrum values look fine on paper. How to they apply to real-world situations and day-to-day operations within a sprint? Here are a few examples of how you would use these values in your work.

Courage in a Sprint

Your team is on day 3 of a sprint. They’re working very hard on project items 1,2, and 3 at the moment. The product owner gets a call from the client and the client wants to backtrack and put the entire project on hold.

You and your team members understand that it would be detrimental to the client to put the brakes on the project now. The opportunity costs will be huge because they won’t be first to market.

Rather than just taking orders from the customer, it’s up to the team to summon the courage to relay that to the client. Sometimes, you have to have the courage to prevent clients from making major mistakes.

Applying Commitment

Do you find yourself in a situation where most of your team is working remotely? It’s a challenge to maintain the intensity of a sprint in the middle of a global crisis.

Yet, this is where you and your team members can live out the Scrum value of commitment. If you’re the Scrum master on your project, your team members will look to you for behavioral cues during this new normal.

You have to demonstrate your service to the team and to the organization through your actions. For example, you can find ways to keep your team on track by having the Scrum at the same time every day.

You can also keep messaging channels open for informal communications among team members. You can also have regular check-ins with your team and give them the space to express their challenges.

The Scrum Values

How can you be a top Scrum Master? It starts by understanding the core of the Scrum guidelines. Those are the main pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Underneath those main pillars that hold up the framework lie the Scrum values. They are courage, respect, openness, focus, and commitment. It’s everyone’s job to learn and live those values in the daily tasks within a sprint.

That is a big reason why Scrum is so effective. Do you want to learn more about Scrum? Learn more about becoming a Scrum Master today.

Scrum Methodology: Its Popularity in Project Management.

What makes scrum methodology such a popular thing for project management?

Well, to get that answer you must first understand the monumental impact its introduction had within the tech industry. Scrum created order where so many projects were destined for chaos - this deliverance was a blessing for project managers. But, that's not all! Scrum delivers a lot of good for the customer, team productivity, collaboration, and more.

Our video shares several reasons why scrum methodology became a staple within project management. You'll get an insider's view of how scrum has changed the industry for good, and why you'd want a scrum master on board with your business and its challenging projects.

Be sure to check out our accompanying post to this video - found here: https://agile-center.com/blog/103-7-reasons-the-scrum-methodology-is-so-popular-inproject-management.html.

While you're on our site - be sure to browse our vast selection of agile and scrum certification and courses! And, drop us a line if you have questions and comments about scrum methodology.

How to Be Productive and Efficient When Part of the Remote Workforce

How to Be Productive and Efficient When Part of the Remote Workforce

How to Be Productive and Efficient When Part of the Remote Workforce

The global pandemic has many IT pros now working from home. How do you stay productive and efficient in the remote workforce? This guide has the answers.

Keyword(s): remote workforce

Recent events have turned millions of people into remote employees, seemingly overnight. A lot of employees and managers suddenly find that they're part of a remote workforce, and some may be having trouble adjusting to everything.

It can be easy to underestimate just how much working in an office can help keep you on schedule. When you're physically surrounded by coworkers and have the daily rhythms of the office to follow, staying productive and on task is simple.

When you're part of a remote workforce, it isn't just up to you to make sure that work gets done on time. It's also your responsibility to make sure that you're working efficiently and staying on task at work.

Whether you're new to working remotely or if you want to help your employees work efficiently when they're at home, we're here to help. Keep reading to learn our tips for staying efficient when you're a remote employee.

How to Be a Productive Part of the Remote Workforce

Working at home can be difficult for some people that aren't used to it. They may have children that distract them for work, or they could simply be struggling to work outside of their usual workspace.

With the right tools and help, anyone can become an efficient remote worker. If your newly remote team is having difficulty adjusting to their new work-life, consider sharing these tips with them.

Create Your Work Location

Working from your bed may seem like a dream, but that could be hurting your ability to be productive.

People that are working remotely should try to find a dedicated and comfortable sport at home that they can work from. It should ideally be somewhere that you can associate with "work time" and can leave when you're off the clock.

Try to choose somewhere that's far away from the bustle and noise of your house. Make a spare room into a temporary office, or dedicate "office hours" to a certain room in your house and ask to not be disturbed when you're working.

Keep Learning

A lot of businesses are struggling to maintain normal operations as they switch to being remote. Many aren't concerned about continuing employee growth, but if they want to have a successful remote workforce, education should be top of mind.

Training and skill growth shouldn't stop just because people aren't at the office. Managers should be doing whatever they can to encourage employee learning and growth while they work remotely.

Consider signing your employees up for webinars. Look into utilizing online courses people can take to learn new skills or earn certifications.

Find a Friend

Sometimes just taking the time to talk to coworkers can help you feel more productive at work. You can have someone to bounce ideas off of, collaborate on work, or just have a nice conversation.

If you're working from home, it's safe to assume that your office uses a chat app like Slack or Google Hangouts to communicate with people. Find someone you can message when you need to and make an official remote work friend.

One of your work friends can easily send you a quick message to see how you're doing and check in on your work progress. Having someone holding you accountable for getting things done can be a very helpful and effective way to boost productivity.

 

Ask for One-on-One Time

Are you someone that likes to have daily check-ins with your boss? It can be easy to check-in when you work in the same building, but maintaining that cadence can be hard when you're working remotely.

Be proactive and ask your manager if you can set up a scheduled time to catch up each day you're working remotely. You don't have to plan a full meeting, a quick 10 minute summary of what you're working on what you need can be more than enough to help keep you on track.

Maintain the Same Habits

The saying that humans are creatures of habit is absolutely true. If you find yourself breaking from your usual work habits, you may find that it's more difficult for you to do productive work.

You may not have to dress in a suit and tie when you're working from home, but changing out of your sweats or pajamas into more work-appropriate attire can do a lot to get you in the work mindset.

The gyms may be closed, but you can still get your blood pumping with a quick at-home workout routine. If you're used to listening to a podcast during your morning commute, consider listening to it when you're getting ready or eating.

Try to maintain as much of your usual workday routine when you're working from home. You'll be surprised at how much a little regularity can help improve your productivity at work.

Stay in Touch

Even though you're expected to work and be on time for calls and meetings, a lot of managers understand that working from home doesn't mean that you're going to be glued to your desk from 9-5

Your kids may need some help with their schoolwork. You could have to run to the store or walk your dogs. Perhaps meals need to be made, and you need to take the occasional break.

If there's an app version of your office's communication method of choice, make sure that you put it on your phone so you can respond to important messages even if you aren't on your laptop.

Let your co-workers or managers know that you're about to take a break or do a different task, but let them know when you'll be back online.

Improve Your Workforce

Staying productive in a new work environment is important. If you want to maintain an efficient remote workforce, encourage everyone in your office to follow these tips.

Are you interested in learning more ways to work efficiently? Do you think your workplace could benefit from knowing more Scrum or Agile techniques?

Regardless of what you need, we're here to help. Be sure to reach out to us today so we can start talking about the best way to help your employees.

In light of the recent developments involving the current global crisis, Agile Center is ready to conduct SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework) live online training courses. To ensure that consumers are provided continued access to services, Scaled Agile, Inc. is approving remote delivery for public courses. This implementation is effective immediately, with the hope that everyone will take caution during this unprecedented time to protect and preserve the health of themselves and those around them.

Agile CenterLondon, United Kingdom, 25 March 2020 - Agile Center, a brand of Architecture Center Ltd, has offices in multiple locations, including Agile Center head office in the UK, as well as Agile Center regional offices, located in Germany, Poland, and France. Agile Center provides training in Lean-Agile Transformation, Agile Strategy audit & implementation, and Agile Program/Portfolio management. Through the implementation of proven, world-class standards and the skilled expertise of highly-experienced trainers and consultants, Agile Center supports its clients in successfully establishing and achieving business goals.

As the Coronavirus continues to affect the lives of more and more people around the world each day, Agile Center is making the necessary accommodations to continue offering its services while also keeping in mind the health of consumers. Agile Center recognizes the increasing need to put into place additional safety measures at this time. This includes promoting the widely-recommended practice of "social distancing". In order to reduce health risks, minimize the further spread of disease throughout our communities worldwide, and to abide by the current recommendations of world health officials, Agile Center is taking immediate action to implement the remote delivery of Scaled Agile Live Online Training courses.

With that being said, anyone who is interested in Agile Center's remotely-delivered courses can visit the Agile Center website to find out more or to register for upcoming course offerings. Now, customers can sign up for Scaled Agile live online training courses that have previously been offered in-house, including the 2-day SAFe® Product Owner/Product Manager course and the 2-day SAFe® Scrum Master training course.

The SAFe® Product Owner/Product Manager course is an essential step for anyone with a goal of becoming a SAFe® 5 Product Owner/Product Manager (POPM). This course helps trainees develop the skillsets needed to guide the delivery of value in a Lean enterprise. The SAFe® Scrum Master training course provides attendees with an understanding of the role of a Scrum Master in a SAFe enterprise. Attending this class prepares you to take the SAFe 5 Scrum Master exam and become a certified SAFe® 5 Scrum Master (SSM).

Registrants of Agile Center Scaled Agile Live Online Training courses will receive quality, in-depth training to guide them towards becoming a more knowledgable and successful business leader in the architectural industry. Attendees can feel confident that the Agile Center remotely-deliver training courses will cover all of the material and coursework needed to propel them towards successfully achieving their business goals. Visit the Agile Center website to learn more about Scaled Live Online Training course options or to register for a remotely-delivered online course today.

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 the 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.

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.