Live Open Hour with iZenBridge: Episode 48

  • Project Management
  • Agile Coach
  • Scaling Agile
Created on :
January 30, 2023
iZenBridge
Updated on :
July 13, 2023
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At 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#48 session, which was streamed live on 27th January 2023. Many queries asked by participants regarding the right certification/training for professional growth were discussed by our expert Saket Bansal

Question: How do ICP-ATF, ICP-ACC and ICP-CAT help in growing in Agile coaching?

Question: How much documentation is needed in Project Management?

Question: How will the integration of predictive and agile project management impact PMP certification in the future?

Question: What is Technical Debt?

Question: What is Scrum of Scrum ?

Question: How does the Cost of Quality work in a scrum?

Question: How do I learn to think in agile when I have a waterfall background?

Question: What are the key metrics in agile and Scrum?

Question: What do I do when my Agile Release Train (ART) is unable to deliver value?

Question: Does PMP still attract employers in the job market?

Question: What metrics are usually of interest to senior management?

Question: Is it necessary to have a wireframe or user journey before creating fine-grained user stories in UX design?

Question: Is it possible for an HR person to transition into project management?

Question: What is the recommended career path for a lead business analyst with six years of experience as an engineer and MBA graduate?

Question: Can Scrum Master Apply for Agile Coach Job?

Question: What is the appropriate level of software development knowledge an IT project manager should have?

Question: How does the Product Owner monitor the team’s progress in Agile methodology?

Question: Which SAFe Training is good for me?

Here is the summarised answer given by Saket Bansal for questions asked by participants-

How do ICP-ATF, ICP-ACC and ICP-CAT help in growing in Agile coaching?

Coaching is a vast field, and different programs are available to enhance your skills. First, let us discuss the three most popular programs, which are the Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF), Agile Coaching Certification (ICP-ACC) and Coaching Agile Transformation (ICP-CAT).

ICAgile’s Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF)

The Agile Team Facilitation (ICP ATF) program is designed to help individuals grow their facilitation skills. It is ideal for individuals who work as a Scrum Master or who are expected to run various agile meetings. In this program, individuals learn how to design and run effective meetings, and how to ensure good engagement and participation from all attendees.

ICAgile’s Agile Coaching Certification (ICP-ACC)

If you want to grow your skills in agile coaching, then the Agile Coaching Basic (ICP ACC) program is a good place to start. This program is like a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) for agile coaching and provides an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an agile coach. It helps individuals understand the whole context of agile coaching, but just having the certificate does not make someone an agile coach.

ICAgile’s Coaching Agile Transformation (ICP-CAT)
The Agile Coaching and Transformation (ICP CAT) program is designed to lead the transformation journey. This program covers the transformation piece in 14 hours of content and helps individuals design the transformation roadmap, assess the journey, and guide other coaches to execute the transformation journey.

In general, the Agile Coaching Certification (ICP-ACC) program is a good place to start for individuals who want to enhance their skills in agile coaching. As they grow and gain more experience, they can look for other certification programs based on the opportunities available in their organization.

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How much documentation is needed in Project Management?

The current view of project management is shifting from a focus on documentation and artifacts to a goal-oriented approach. This means that while documentation is still important for managing knowledge and collaboration, organizations have more flexibility in terms of which documents are necessary. For example, a separate scope management plan may not be necessary if the organization has a clear understanding of how to manage scope. Similarly, a communication management plan may not be necessary if the organization has a defined communication process. However, it is important to understand the content of various documents, such as the quality management plan, in order to pass the PMP exam.

How will the integration of predictive and agile project management impact PMP certification in the future?

The idea behind PMP (Project Management Professional) is to understand the difference between predictive and adaptive life cycles in project management. Predictive life cycles involve planning and preparation in advance and are more suitable for well-known or stable environments. On the other hand, adaptive life cycles are more flexible and involve frequent feedback loops, as they are better suited for complex and uncertain environments.

With the world becoming more complex and uncertain, it is becoming more difficult to plan things in advance. For example, with the current COVID-19 situation, it is challenging to plan a holiday. In such cases, a fast feedback cycle is needed to be able to adjust quickly to changes. This is where the Agile approaches comes in, as it emphasizes a fast feedback cycle.

PMP is teaching us to be ready to handle both predictive and adaptive life cycles, depending on the context. For example, if you are walking on a slippery surface, you need to take small steps to make sure you don’t fall. On the other hand, if the surface is smooth, you can take bigger steps. The same applies to project management, where predictive life cycles are used in well-known environments, while adaptive life cycles are used in complex and uncertain environments.

PMP aims to help project managers understand the importance of adapting to different contexts, and to be ready to use both predictive and adaptive life cycles as needed. With the world becoming increasingly complex, it is becoming more important to adopt an Agile approach that emphasizes a fast feedback cycle.

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What is Technical Debt?

In the world of technology, problems are bound to arise while working on a project. Sometimes, these issues may require taking shortcuts to overcome the challenges, but this can lead to imperfections in the code design.

Consider the scenario where you are working on a code that needs to be demoed the next day, and you encounter an issue that requires two days to fix properly. To avoid the delay, you opt to take a shortcut, for example, fixing the problem on the front-end without following the proper three-layer or four-layer architecture. This may lead to a quick fix, but it will be challenging to maintain in the long run.

This shortcut can be considered as taking a technical debt, similar to taking a financial debt. Although it may be necessary to take this debt in the short term, such as to give a demo on time, keeping the debt for a long time will have negative consequences. Over time, the technical debt will continue to grow, leading to a product full of patches, making it difficult to maintain.

To communicate these shortcuts to stakeholders, we can present them in the language of business. By using a metaphorical representation, we can show the stakeholders that taking technical debt is like taking a loan and that at some point in time, it must be repaid. The technical depth must be kept in check, and if it becomes too much, it will become difficult to manage, leading to a situation similar to having high EMIs or monthly payments that will impact the product and everything else.

It is important to keep track of these shortcuts and plan for their repayment. Although it may not be possible to remain debt-free, the technical debt should be manageable. If the debt becomes too much, the monthly payments will become too high, and the product will start to suffer.

Technical debt is a common challenge faced in the world of technology, and it must be communicated to stakeholders in a way they can understand. By using a metaphorical representation, we can help stakeholders understand the concept of technical debt and the need to repay it in a timely manner to avoid negative consequences.

What is Scrum of Scrum ?

In constantly evolving working environment, effective communication and collaboration among teams is crucial for success. In the Agile ways of working, this is accomplished through the use of Scrum of Scrum (SoS) meetings.

SoS meetings are an important tool for ensuring seamless collaboration and integration between multiple Scrum teams working on a common project. In the Agile approach, teams are self-organized and small in size, usually consisting of three to nine people, with a Scrum Master and a Product Owner. This allows for efficient and effective communication among team members.

However, when working on large projects with multiple Scrum teams, it becomes important to ensure that each team is aligned and working towards a common goal. This is where Scrum of Scrum meetings come in. These meetings are held regularly, usually once a week, and bring together representatives from each Scrum team to discuss the overall progress, issues, and interdependencies.

The purpose of SoS meetings is to provide a platform for open and transparent information exchange among different teams. It allows for good collaboration and coordination, and ensures that everyone is aware of the overall progress of the project.

In terms of project management (PMP Exam), SoS meetings are an integral part of the project integration process. By bringing different Scrum teams together, it helps to ensure that the integration of their work is done effectively and that any interdependencies are addressed in a timely manner.

How does the Cost of Quality work in a scrum?

The cost of quality in project has less to do with the life cycle and is the same whether following an adaptive or predictive approach. The cost of non-conformance refers to rework that is generated when a defect is found during validation and the product is not meeting expectations. It occurs when a product fails to meet the definition of done and results in additional work. To minimize the cost of non-conformance, it’s important to focus on educating people, automation, and following coding guidelines. Similarly, the cost of conformance can be reduced by investing in training and following coding guidelines. When working with multiple scrum teams, it’s important to focus on these areas to ensure the highest quality product possible.

How do I learn to think in agile when I have a waterfall background?

The difficulty in transitioning from a Waterfall approach to an Agile approach is a change in thinking and mindset. The Waterfall approach is based on a detailed plan that can be made in the beginning because the future can be predicted for the next six months. On the other hand, the Agile approach involves a short feedback loop, taking small steps, and learning as you go because the future is uncertain and there is a lot of unknown space and uncertainty attached to it. The key is to shorten the feedback loop and take small steps to ensure that everything is good before taking the next step. The recommendation is to remind oneself not to make assumptions and to be aware of the unknown space, and to be agile and take small steps to navigate through it.

What are the key metrics in agile and Scrum?

The Key Metrics in Agile and Scrum are a measure of the progress and effectiveness of a project team. The type of metrics used and their importance will vary depending on the specific problem being faced by the project team. A commonly used classification of metrics is Flow, Outcome, and Competency or Capability.

Flow Metrices are focused on the movement of output and productivity. This can include metrics such as velocity, burn down chart, the average number of defects per week, rework generated due to defects, and cycle time. The specific metrics used will depend on the context and need of the project.
Outcome Matrices are focused on the results, such as customer satisfaction, product use, revenue generation, and the impact of the work. These metrices provide a measure of the project’s success and help to determine if the project is meeting its goals.
Competency Metrices are focused on the abilities of the project team. This can include assessments of team satisfaction, collaboration, trust levels, and other factors contributing to the project team’s sustainability.

It is important to consider the specific needs and goals of a project when selecting the appropriate Key Metrics to track. A good starting point is usually flow matrixes, such as burndown charts and velocity. Still, it may also be necessary to consider other metrics, such as outcome and competency metrices.

What do I do when my Agile Release Train (ART) is unable to deliver value?

Management frameworks like Scrum, Project Management, and Scaled Agile have been used by millions of organizations and projects worldwide to handle the daily challenges that come with delivering value. However, it’s essential to understand that these frameworks are written generically, and they cannot provide a direct prescription for every unique situation.

The unique context of each organization and project often leads to different priorities, such as quality for those working in compliance environments, or delivery time for those working in a fast-paced market. The framework provides principles that guide the discussion and decision-making process, but it’s up to the key stakeholders to find the best solution based on these principles.

For example, the Scaled Agile Framework guides the decision-making process through two important principles: system thinking and an economic view. System thinking involves taking an end-to-end approach and considering the overall impact, not just one team or aspect. An economic view focuses on saving money or maximizing profits.

Does PMP still attract employers in the job market?

It is difficult to give a generic answer as it depends on each individual’s background and the target job market segment. However, from the client space the authors have observed, PMP is seen as a career transforming journey, not just a certificate. The process of preparing for PMP certification and analyzing various contexts, thoughts, and experiences can bring value to the individual. In their customer space, PMP is seen as a valuable addition to the individual’s profile.

What metrics are usually of interest to senior management?

Senior management in an organization is typically more interested in two types of metrics: outcome metrics and constrained metrics. Outcome metrics focus on the results achieved, such as increasing revenue, adoption, or visits. Constrained metrics focus on the limitations, such as budget and timelines. The focus of these metrics can vary depending on the type of organization and the specific scenario.

Is it necessary to have a wireframe or user journey before creating fine-grained user stories in UX design?

It depends on the nature of the product, but it can be valuable to have a clear user journey with the help of a wireframe before creating fine-grained user stories. However, it should not be a one-time approach, but rather should be continuously revisited during agile sprint and retrospective reviews to ensure that the journey is progressing as expected.

Is it possible for an HR person to transition into project management?

Yes, it is possible for an HR person to transition into project management. Utilizing HR experience in change management projects can be particularly useful. HR skills combined with project management skills can be valuable in initiatives related to organization change, transformation, mergers and acquisitions, and growth. HR professionals are also taking project management studies.

What is the recommended career path for a lead business analyst with six years of experience as an engineer and MBA graduate?

The recommended career path for a lead business analyst with six years of experience as an engineer and MBA graduate is to go more and more near to the customer and become a product owner or product management. Another possible path is to move towards project management while still doing some amount of business analysis. The goal is to have more impact and a more challenging job, with growth going more and more near to the customer and market.

Can Scrum Master Apply for Agile Coach Job?

A Scrum Master can apply for an Agile Coach role if they have the necessary competencies and skills required for the role. However, the responsibilities and activities performed by a Scrum Master and Agile Coach may vary from organization to organization. To determine if a Scrum Master is suitable for an Agile Coach role, they should assess their current competencies and identify any gaps that need to be filled. They can then work on acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill the responsibilities of an Agile Coach.

What is the appropriate level of software development knowledge an IT project manager should have?

As an IT project manager, it’s important to have a basic understanding of software development to empathize with the team and understand their challenges. However, it’s not necessary to become an expert in software development or to the point where you can instruct experienced software developers. It’s a good idea to learn about your industry and technology, but avoid being overconfident and telling the developers what to do. The goal is to have a general understanding and be able to communicate effectively with the team.

How does the Product Owner monitor the team’s progress in Agile methodology?

As a Product Owner (PO), you should focus on the goal of delivering value to the customer and ensuring the team is working towards that goal. You should not focus on checking individual developer’s performance in terms of story points delivered per sprint. Instead, you should focus on the team’s velocity and progress towards the goal. The feedback loop, including goal setting, regular assessments, and continuous improvement, should be the responsibility of the Scrum Master or Project Manager. If a team member is not meeting their agreed-upon plan, it’s important to find the root cause and work on finding a solution, such as additional training or a different role that better fits the person’s skills. The focus should always be on continuous improvement and not on pointing fingers or blaming individuals.

Which SAFe Training is good for me?

SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) is a knowledge base that provides ideas, principles, practices, and roles to apply agility at a large scale and across multiple teams working on a common solution. SAFe also focuses on alignment between business cases and execution. SAFe offers 14+ educational programs, one of which is SAFe Agilist, a 2-day program to understand the framework comprehensively. SAFe also offers certification programs for Scrum Masters, including SAFe Advanced Scrum Masters. SAFe Agilist is a two-day educational program that provides a comprehensive understanding of the SAFe framework but is not specific to any role.

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We hope you could have related to some of these questions, and they might have helped you in some way.

To get more assistance, you can connect with the iZenBridge Team.

 📧Email us at (sales@izenbridge.com

📞WhatsApp Us: +91-9958287711

For more such insights and a lot of interaction with the industry experts, stay tuned for our next “Live Open Hour” which is conducted Every second and fourth Friday at 7 PM IST on

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