t our open-hour session, you are invited to post your queries and get them answered by some of the top experts from the industry. Let it be Agile management, Agile Coaching, Estimation, related to certifications, follow-up queries, or any other aspect of project management, you are invited to speak your mind. The open hour invites are shared in advance mostly it is conducted on the 2nd and 4th Friday at 7 PM IST (+5.5 GMT).
Here are the top questions discussed in our Live Open Hour Episode#44 session, which was streamed live on 25th November 2022, many queries asked by Participants regarding the right certification/training for professional growth were discussed by our expert Saket Bansal.
Here is the summarized answer given by Saket Bansal for each question asked by participants-
Question: How can I guide the team to start estimating in a new Project?
Saket: First, you should not equate the initial estimate with a very accurate forecast of your release Milestones or delivery Milestones. Because the estimation you do at the initial stage, i.e., Sprints 1 or 2, will have higher errors because of the uncertainties. However, if you work in an environment where stakeholders need high-level projection, you can use any estimation technique to give a high-level forecast. You can do a rough order of magnitude estimate instead of waiting for stories to be created and estimated.
Afterwards, when you have a set of small and big requirements, some small requirements may be picked as part of your sprint/iteration. These stories need to be focused on and well-estimated. Still, there may be some error in estimation as this will be your first estimation, but if the team has already worked on a similar kind of work, then they may understand the complexity well, and it will be easier for them to estimate with less error. But if you are working with a new team with no prior experience working in agile space or similar work, then that could be a challenge.
One of the simplest ways is to rank which is the easiest and which is complex from the product backlog you are planning to do in the next Sprint or iteration, and you may give the smallest work item a number, maybe 1 or 2. Then, once you have one Sprint done and understand how things are done, you may look at the complete backlog and do story-pointing based on the reference of complexity from the first sprint/iteration
Question: Can a Service delivery manager become a Scrum master?
Saket: Many times, a service-based team starts integrating with the product team, and the organization redesignate the service delivery manager as a Scrum master. In this case, the role of the Scrum master, like facilitation, mentoring, coaching, impediment removal, working with the stakeholders, and ensuring that all have a common understanding of various matrices, remains the same. However, what may be lacking in service deliverables is the understanding of high-level items like user stories, facilitating the team to discover stories in a small vertical piece of requirements, working with the stakeholders as well as a development team to come up with the estimation and forecasting. So when you are switching your role as Scrum Master, you should focus on the skills you are lacking and utilize the skills you already have which are required as a Scrum Master. In addition, check our IESM Program to speed up your journey.
Question: For the PMP exam in the people domain, what areas should I focus on?
Saket: The PMP exam is more about understanding servant leadership, about focusing on facilitation, conflict management, coaching, mentoring, and teaching. In short, it is all about focusing on developing people to get the product released.
In the context of project management, PMBOK 6 focuses more on stakeholder, communication, and resource management, which are the three main areas interlinked with people. On the other hand, in the case of PMBOK 7, the Project Performance Domains Stakeholders and Team are people focused.
To summarize, you can refer to the PMP exam content outline and task list, focusing primarily on facilitation, leadership, developing people and resolving conflicts.
Question: In a scrum project, what is the relationship between feature and MVP in the release plan?
Saket: Feature is not a standard term used in the scrum. In the scrum way of working, the only thing required is product backlog items. These product backlog items can be features, user stories, spikes, enablers, defects, improvements, or all.
MVP is delivered to the stakeholder/user so that, based on their uses, consumption, and outlook, we can know if we are going in the right direction. So, it is a minimal set functionality with which users can quickly get a feel or product. The primary focus is to validate our value and growth assumptions hypothesis and, for that, put something in the market and based on the user’s response and feedback, we redesign and rework it. There may also be the possibility that we decide to scrap if we see no value in our customer segment. So, depending on what response you get, decide what to do with your MVP. You may want to check our detailed video on MVP.
Question: In the PMP context, what is the difference between SLA and a contract?
Saket: In PMP space contract is a bigger term. It could be any type of agreement that binds us to do something, and inside that contract, there could be deliverables, service delivery, and various items.
When the contract is associated with services like you, report an issue that must be resolved. The response time or the ability to handle that issue in the expected time is often called a service level agreement. For example, let’s say there is service A which needs to be delivered within 24 hours in a particular manner and space and if we fail to meet that SLA, there are some consequences. This much understating of SLA and contact will be sufficient for the PMP context.
Question: Explain capacity management and how does it help an organization?
Saket: Capacity management is the process or activity of understanding and analyzing the actual team capacity, i.e., how much work can be delivered. Capacity depends on various factors like the productive time available, team skills, infrastructure, teams’ availability, and others. Based on this, all-factors capacity is figured out.
We have some plugins in Jira that can help with capacity planning, but it’s always better to talk and plan rather than just use any tool.
Question: Is there any way to renew CSM certification other than earning SEUs?
Saket: Earning SEUs is straightforward. You watch videos and explore agile and scrum, and you will get SEUs. And that’s one way of renewing your CSM certification.
Another way is if you do any Scrum Alliance program like CSPO or Advanced Scrum Master (A-CSM). Scrum Alliance expects you to learn something new every two years, and if you do the advance certificate, then previous certificates are automatically renewed.
Hope these answers helped you in some way to resolve your similar queries.
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