Live Open Hour with iZenBridge: Episode 50

  • Project Management
  • Agile and Scrum
  • Kanban
Created on :
February 25, 2023
iZenBridge
Updated on :
July 13, 2023
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Join us for our open-hour sessions, where you can post your project management queries and have them answered by industry experts. Whether your questions are about Agile management, Agile coaching, estimation, certifications, or any other aspect of project management, we encourage you to share your mind. The open-hour invites are shared in advance, and the session is usually held on the 2nd and 4th Friday at 7 PM IST (+5.5 GMT).

During our Live Open Hour Episode#50 session, which was streamed on February 24th, 2023, our expert Saket Bansal discussed various questions raised by participants regarding the most suitable certification or training for their professional growth.

Question: What is the difference between PMI’s PMP and PMI-ACP certifications, and who should consider obtaining each one?

Question: What is the importance of project management experience for obtaining a PMP certification?

Question: Is the role of Business Analysis disappearing after Agile implementation?

Question: Are people still using excel to manage their scrum projects?

Question: What certification would benefit a business analyst with two years of team-leading experience in an expiring technical business?

Question: What are the responsibilities and qualifications of an Agile Coach, and how can someone become one?

Question: Is it expected for a ScrumMaster to have skills other than just Scrum?

Question: Is it possible to split a user story at the end of a sprint?

Question: What is the conflict between product manager, project managers, master product, and owner?

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

What is the difference between PMI’s PMP and PMI-ACP certifications, and who should consider obtaining each one?

PMI’s PMP certification is meant for project leaders and managers and requires three years of project management-related experience. The program covers various working styles and focuses on selecting the appropriate lifecycle and approach to deliver the best value to stakeholders. It is divided into three domains: people, business, and process.
On the other hand, PMI-ACP certification is a practitioner-level certificate focused on agile knowledge, including various approaches like Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and Agile estimation, among others. It is open to anyone with around 15 months of project experience, even as a team member.
PMP certification is more popular and caters to a larger audience. However, if you are working as a Scrum master, it is recommended to do the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification first. For those who want to focus on delivery rather than a framework, the recommendation is to focus on the PMP certification. The cost and investment vary, and we provide training for both programs.

What is the importance of project management experience for obtaining a PMP certification?

Project management experience is necessary for obtaining a PMP certification. The PMP certification is not just about educating a person on project management from the beginning; it is also about adding project management knowledge on top of one’s experience. When a person mixes their experience with project management knowledge, they better understand the PMP certification’s content. The certification is meant for people with project management experience who want to apply that experience to understand the content better. Therefore, experience is a part of a person’s learning team, regardless of their designation or role.
A person in a project management role might facilitate and align a group of people with the project objective. This could include leadership-related activities such as directing and leading activities, as well as any other responsibilities that require a person to be responsible for the project’s success. Someone can find more details about the tasks that are expected of a project manager and that will be tested in the PMP exam in the PMP Exam Content Outline (PMP ECO). It Outlines lists various tasks that each project manager is expected to do, and those tasks are the ones that will be tested in the PMP exam. Additionally, the Outline breaks down tasks into three domains: people domain, process domain, and business domain. Therefore, a person should be able to demonstrate their experience in these tasks and domains to prepare for the exam.

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Is the role of Business Analysis disappearing after Agile implementation?

The role of a dedicated Business Analyst in a project may be less common in some organizations after the implementation of Agile methodologies. However, business analysis, such as exploring customer needs and benchmarking, is still necessary throughout the project. For example, a product owner may perform some of these tasks, manage the product backlog, and collaborate with stakeholders.
In the past, project managers were often expected to perform the role of a Business Analyst as well. This could involve conducting interviews, creating user story maps, and developing context diagrams to understand the project’s requirements.
While the role of a Business Analyst may not be as prevalent, individuals with expertise in business analysis can still make valuable contributions to the team. For instance, they can guide the different types of requirements that need to be considered, such as functional, non-functional, and technical requirements. In addition, knowledge of business analysis is often expected of project managers, as it is a crucial aspect of project management covered in the PMP Certification study material.

Are people still using excel to manage their scrum projects?

Yes, some people may still be using Excel to manage their scrum projects, but it depends on the organization’s process maturity. For example, in organizations that have established development processes and a focus on knowledge and work management, advanced tools may be used instead of Excel.
For example, let’s say a software development company has a team of developers working on a new product using the Scrum framework. Initially, they use Excel spreadsheets to manage their user stories, sprints, and tasks. Then, the team members update their progress in the spreadsheet, and the project manager uses the data to generate burndown charts and other reports.
However, as the project progresses, the team began to experience some issues with Excel. For example, they find it difficult to share information, and attaching screenshots and other files to work items becomes messy. Additionally, the team members are working remotely, making it challenging to manage the spreadsheets. In response to these challenges, the organization switches to an advanced tool like Jira. Jira is a project management tool designed specifically for agile development teams. It provides features like sprint planning, backlog management, and burndown charts, making it easier to manage the project. Additionally, Jira allows team members to collaborate more effectively by sharing information and attaching files directly to work items.

What certification would benefit a business analyst with two years of team-leading experience in an expiring technical business?

The answer would depend on the specific career goals of the individual. If they want to explore the product domain, they should focus on learning business analysis. If they’re going to become a Scrum master or work in a facilitation role, they should develop their Scrum skills. The PMP certification could be helpful for those interested in project delivery space, including Scrum and non-Scrum ways of working. To focus on leadership roles in Scrum, the CSM (Certified ScrumMaster) certification is a good starting point. The CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner) certification is also a good idea for those interested in the product domain. Regardless of the certification, a good understanding and ability to facilitate conversations, manage stakeholders, run effective meetings, and explain current processes is necessary for all roles.

What are the responsibilities and qualifications of an Agile Coach, and how can someone become one?

An Agile Coach is a professional who guides teams and organizations in adopting and implementing Agile. Their primary responsibility is to enable teams to become self-sufficient in using Agile frameworks, such as Scrum, Kanban, or Lean, to achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.
The role and responsibilities of an Agile Coach can vary depending on the organization’s needs and objectives. Still, they usually involve educating people on Agile principles and practices, consulting with groups and organizations to understand their current problems and develop recommendations, coaching and mentoring individuals to build their Agile competencies, and training teams and stakeholders. In a large-scale transformation, multiple Agile coaches may be required to address various dimensions of development, such as technology, processes, and culture.
To become an Agile Coach, an individual must possess several qualifications and skills. One of the most popular certifications for Agile coaching is the International Consortium for Agile Certified Agile Coach (ICP-ACC). This certification is designed to help individuals understand what competencies and skills are required to become a successful Agile Coach.
However, obtaining an ICP-ACC certification does not guarantee that one will become a great Agile Coach. Instead, it requires education, certification, and practical experience in implementing Agile methodologies to build the necessary skills and competencies. In addition, the Agile Coach must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, leadership and facilitation abilities, and the ability to adapt to change and work in a collaborative environment.
The ICP-ACC certification covers various topics, including coaching conversations, building competency and skills, team assessment and coaching, adapting to multiple environments, and working with stakeholders. During the certification program, participants learn how to enable teams to become high-performing, facilitate organizational change, and establish an Agile mindset.

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Is it expected for a ScrumMaster to have skills other than just Scrum?

Yes, in some organizations, Scrum Masters are expected to have additional skills beyond Scrum, mainly if the organization focuses on projects for clients. It is recommended that Scrum professionals have multiple skills to be able to handle problems or lack of resources, and having secondary skills is always a good idea. In the Agile world, developing at least one secondary skill besides Scrum is important.

Is it possible to split a user story at the end of a sprint?

In Agile, user stories are a crucial part of the development process, as they represent the features or functionalities required by the user. During the sprint planning meeting, the team agrees on the user stories they will deliver during the sprint. However, there are situations where a user story might not be completed by the end of the sprint, and the team needs to decide what to do with it.
One option is to mark the whole user story as Not Done if it is not fully completed by the end of the sprint. However, this can be wasteful, especially if there are portions of the story that have been completed and can be used by the business. In such cases, it is possible to split the user story into two or more parts, where the completed part can be marked as done, and a new user story can be created for the remaining part.
The decision to split a user story should be based on negotiation and agreement between the product owner, the development team, and the stakeholders. The team needs to ensure that splitting the user story does not affect the quality of the product, and the new user stories created should still deliver value to the user. The team should also re-estimate the remaining user story, which will be added to the product backlog and prioritized for future sprints.

What is the conflict between product manager, project managers, master product, and owner?

The conflict arises due to different value priorities. For example, a product manager may want to ensure a great customer demo tomorrow. Still, the team may already be sitting since morning, and working till midnight may lead to motivational issues for the team. On the other hand, a team leader or scrum master may prioritize team satisfaction and happiness over meeting the customer demo deadline. This creates a conflict between the product manager, project managers, master product, and owner.
To resolve such conflicts, the parties involved must share their concerns and priorities. This can be done by sharing screens and discussing how to balance economics and values without getting into conflicts. On the other hand, conflicts are a good opportunity for leaders to establish the right values for their teams and align people back to those values. In summary, conflicts are necessary as they reflect different values, but they can be used for better information exchange, alignment, and common values.

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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PMP Certification and Training 13 June – 12 July 2024 Chennai More Details
PMP Certification and Training 6 July – 4 August 2024 Pune More Details

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