Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Top Ten Reasons To Go For ManagementYogi’s CHAMP Certification


Professionals around the world have taken the Certified Hybrid-Agile Master Professional (CHAMP) course offered by ManagementYogi and some of them are already CHAMP certified. You can read some of the CHAMP Success Stories.


But as an aspiring professional wants to know about CHAMP, he or she is uncertain due to factors and has a number of questions.

  • Other “well-recognized” bodies also provide Hybrid-Agile certification. Why should I go for ManagementYogi’s CHAMP certificate?
  • I already have Agile certification such as Scrum Master, Product Owner or Agile Practitioner related. How will CHAMP add value to my career?
  • CHAMP certification is not well-known or well-established. How will I get recognition for my effort?

First and foremost, Agile and Hybrid-Agile are different concepts. The way of delivery is different when you compare Waterfall and Agile. Hybrid-Agile is when you combine waterfall or non-Agile with one or more Agile frameworks. 

Hybrid-Agile has seen strong usages in industries and many surveys inform us that usage is on the rise. Learning the concepts and earning a certificate will definitely give a boost to your career and your professional growth prospects.

In this article, I’ll outline 10 top reasons to go for CHAMP certification. There can and will be other reasons as outlined by successfully certified CHAMPs.

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Reason – 1: CHAMP certification is the only certification in the world on Hybrid-Agile Management with strong emphasis on hands-on learning.

Indeed, there are many Hybrid-Agile certifications offered around the world. But not one – not even one – certification emphasizes hands-on learning!

CHAMP is the only certification in the world which takes your learning to the highest level. You can make a search, and you won’t find anyone offering such content.

Reason – 2: As a CHAMP, you will learn both theory and practical. While theory is needed, practical and hands-on applicability is crucial.

Almost all certifications are focused on the theoretical aspects. While theory is needed to learn and understand, practical aspects are very important when you go to the real world. 

For example, let’s say you are asked to baseline a Hybrid project. How would you do that without using a software tool or knowing how to do it practically? Take another example of earned value management (EVM), which predictive projects need for regulatory compliance. 

Your learning is effective only when you can apply it in the real-world. Otherwise, it’s just plain theory without practical applicability. 

Reason – 3: The CHAMP credential is accepted and recognized by management practitioners around the world: North America, Europe and Asia. 

This is one of the key questions that I face from aspiring CHAMPs – recognition. Is this certificate recognized? As a CHAMP, will I be accepted at my peer level of other certifications?

To answer directly, the certification is recognized by professionals around the world from North America to Asia to Europe. You will be in a specific group of high-achieving professionals, who actually know the management of Hybrid-Agile projects. Very few, if at all, have this skillset as this CHAMP Success Story informs.

Considering another aspect, as a CHAMP, you can demonstrate live – how Hybrid-Agile management happens with a hands-on software tool. In this case, the MS Project (Agile) software tool is used.

Reason – 4: With CHAMP certification, you will learn in-depth, hands-on Hybrid-Scrum Management. No other certification provides it.

Scrum is one of the popular Lean-Agile frameworks. But then:

  • How do you apply and employ Scrum within a Hybrid project? 
  • Are the roles and responsibilities different or do they change for the project manager? Is there any separate role for the Scrum part? 
  • How does one create a burnup or burndown chart specifically for the Scrum part of a hybrid project?

The CHAMP certification will teach you all of the above skills in a proficient manner. More importantly, it’s done in a demonstrative manner so that you can learn quickly. 

Reason – 5: You will learn in-depth, hands-on Hybrid-Kanban Management. As a CHAMP, you will also learn Hybrid-ScrumBan management.

Kanban is another popular Lean-Agile framework. While Scrum is iteration based, Kanban is an on-demand, pull-based framework. CHAMP certification teaches all aspects of Hybrid-Kanban management.

With the CHAMP credential, you will also learn another framework and how to use it in a hands-on manner: Hybrid-ScrumBan. Scrumban combines both Scrum and Kanban. Indeed, a certified CHAMP guarantees it as you read in this CHAMP Success Story

Reason – 6: Waterfall is here to stay. Agile is also here to stay. A CHAMP will know both and combine them to get the best from both!

The waterfall or predictive mode of development has been there for quite sometime, and it’s here to stay. Some industries can’t follow Agile, e.g., making a movie. Will you release a movie in a theater every two or four weeks in parts? Will customers come to watch such a movie? You know the answer!

Similarly, Agile is also here to stay. Agile is used when there is rapid churn in requirements and high uncertainty in the technology platform being used. 

Now, as a CHAMP, you will know both waterfall and Agile and you are going to combine them both. This way, you will get the best of both and apply them in real-world projects. Imagine this skillet and the impact you will have while working with every possible kind of organization. 

Reason – 7: From Waterfall to a CHAMP or from Agile to CHAMP is a natural progression. You need not have any previous certification to be a CHAMP. It goes from a beginner to advanced and finally, to expert level.

Hybrid-Agile combines both waterfall and Agile. Hence, if you are coming from a waterfall background or an agile background, it’ll be natural a progression for you.

Though the CHAMP certification is of high-standard, you can easily understand and master this exhaustive course content. The course takes from a beginner level to the level of an expert. 

Reason – 8: You will know various Hybrid-Agile management types, principles, roles, responsibilities, team structures, among others.

Hybrid-Agile management comes with a variety of shapes and types. For example, it can be predominantly predictive (waterfall) with parts as adaptive, predominantly adaptive (adaptive) with parts as predictive. It can also be predictive and adaptive parts of a project running concurrently. If you consider the frameworks, then only Scrum, or Kanban can be used in Hybrid-Agile, or both Scrum and Kanban can be used. You will know them all.

As Hybrid-Agile Management is different, there will be different principles compared to traditional or agile management. You will know the distinct principles of this course. And of course, the team structure, roles, responsibilities will be clearly explained to you.

Reason – 9: You will get a large number of hands-on solution files, quizzes, practice questions. These will help you now as well as in the future.

The CHAMP certification has a high practical-orientation with the needed theory. Hence, the way the course is organized and the way the certification test happens is fundamentally different from any other certification in the world.

Because it is practically oriented, you will get numerous solution files. Specifically, these .mpp (Microsoft project plan) files. You will have lesson-end quizzes, practice questions, including full-length practice questions.

Based on practice and experience, you’ll take the final test and will be CHAMP certified, if you have faithfully prepared. You can have one retake, which is free of cost to you. 

Reason – 10: If you are a PMP, ACP, SM or PO, the freshly updated CHAMP certification will enhance your resume. You can also apply your earlier learnings.

This is related to reason – 7, but with a different perspective for certified practitioners.

If you are a Project Management Professional (PMP), then you’d know the fundamentals as well as certain advanced aspects of traditional project management. Similarly, as an Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), Scrum Master (SM) or Product Owner (PO), you’d know Agile management in more depth.

Now, when you pursue CHAMP certification, you can use your earlier learnings on predictive (Waterfall) and/or adaptive (Agile). Because CHAMP combines them both. In other words, your earlier learning will help you know this unique skill of Hybrid-Agile in a hands-on manner.

Video Brief: Top 10 Reasons to Go for PfMP

The below brief video [Duration - 07m: 18s] is in support of this article. You can watch the videos to learn a few more points about the value of ManagementYogi's CHAMP certification.


Conclusion

As noted in the beginning, this is the only hybrid certification in the world with hands-on learning. You can read a number of published articles on hybrid management in this link.

As per a recent PMI report hybrid is considered to be a new standard and many organizations are following it. In fact, usage of Hybrid-Agile management is more compared to the Agile! You can read the report here.

As noted in the above linked report, Hybrid usage (31.5%) is now more than Agile (24.6%) among project professionals! This is depicted below.

If you are considering your career and growth opportunities, this certification provides in-depth understanding and knowledge on Hybrid-Agile management. You also learn with a hands-on software tool and it's a real competency. And as noted in one of the above reasons, a CHAMP certificate surely shines on your resume.


ManagementYogi's CHAMP Certification Course:


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Portfolio Management: Building An Agile Portfolio Roadmap with MS Project


In my previous articles related to Portfolio Roadmap (Part 1, Part 2), I wrote the following:

“A portfolio roadmap is crucial because it shows the strategic intent of the organization in a visual (graphical) way. Irrespective of the approach used in portfolio management such as predictive (waterfall), adaptive (agile), hybrid or any other, the roadmap acts as an information radiator.”

As you may have noticed, Portfolio Roadmap is also used in adaptive approaches. In this article, we will learn how to have Agile components, using the Scrum framework, in a portfolio roadmap.  

At this stage, I’d strongly recommend that you read the previous two linked articles on the Portfolio Roadmap. Going forward, I’m going to modify that roadmap to include Sprints. Hence, it’s important that you read both.

Our Scenario

For one of the component projects, Project F, the approach used is Agile, specifically Scrum. For Project F, we have three releases and each release will have a number of Sprints. This is depicted below.  

As shown in the above figure, there are many components in our portfolio. The Component Project F consists of three iterations or Sprints. The Sprint length is 4 weeks. The Portfolio Management Office (PfMO) directive is to show all the releases and the Sprints in the portfolio roadmap. 

The Agile Portfolio Roadmap will be similar to the Traditional Roadmap, but differ in visualization. In our case, as noted earlier, we want to have the component project, releases and Sprints.  That said, we will take the following steps. 

Add Agile Custom Flag

To distinguish between the agile and non-agile, we will add another custom Boolean flag - isAgile. This will be in addition to the existing custom flags for component projects, programs and operations.  


Format for Agile Project (Project F)

Next, using the above Boolean flag (isAgile), we will format the Agile related components in the Agile Portfolio Roadmap. The formatting can be done by going to Format tab > Bar Styles group > Format command.  

As shown above, I’ve added an Agile Task above:

  • The appearance is with different color-coding.
  • The conditions applied for the task have the isAgile (flag) enabled.

Now, we are going to add this custom isAgile field and enable it for Project F to be executed in Agile mode.  

As you can see, after I enabled the isAgile custom flag for Project F, the color coding changed. The project has been renamed to Project F (Agile Mode) to make it distinguishable.  

Add Releases to the Component Project (Agile Mode)

In this step, we are going to add the releases to the component project, which is executed in Agile mode. After you add them, we will get the following view. 

As shown above:

  • Project F has three releases – Release 1, Release 2 and Release 3
  • Each release has a 2-month duration. 
  • Each release is highlighted in a separate color.
  • Dependencies among the releases are shown.

You might be wondering about the reason for the change of color of Project F to blue. This is because Project F has now become a Summary Task. Hence, the respective color coding has been applied. 

If you want to keep the same color coding, then you have put the formatting condition below the Summary Task and made some changes to the algorithm.

Add Scrum Custom Flag

To show Sprints under the releases, you can add another custom Boolean flag isScrum, This flag can be added similarly to what we have done for isAgile custom flag.  

Format for Sprints (Project F)

Like we formatted for the releases (Agile mode), similarly, we have to format for the Sprints. You to change the conditions while formatting and applying the Boolean flag isScrum, which we just created.

Next, create the respective Sprints under the releases, and you can see them in the Agile Portfolio Roadmap. This is shown below. 


As shown above:

  • Release 1 has three Sprints – Sprint 1, Sprint 2 and Sprint 3. Release 2 also has three Sprints – Sprint 4, Sprint 5 and Sprint 6.
  • All the Sprints have different formatting and color-coding.
  • Release 3 has no Sprint, and it retains the previous formatting and color coding.
  • With Sprints, Release 1 and Release 2 became Summary Tasks, and hence, they retain the respective formatting and color coding.

Video Demonstration – Portfolio Roadmap 

To have a better understanding, the below video demonstrates further what we have learned so far [Duration: 05m:16s]. 



Conclusion

Sprints are mini-projects with 1 to 4 weeks of duration. As the Sprint length is short, then it’s not necessary to display it in the roadmap. But then, it depends on the organization’s mandate.

Nevertheless, Agile approaches are part of Portfolio Management and if you are preparing for the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®) certification exam, then you need to know them, but not extensively.

The Standard for Portfolio Management explicitly notes other approaches as part of Portfolio Management:

“The portfolio management plan (PfMP) may describe or refer to different methodologies or approaches which the organization applies to manage different classes or types of portfolio components, specified in the portfolio roadmap.”

To elaborate further, the PfMP should have sections or reference sections, where different methodologies to be applied are noted. These can be predictive, adaptive (iterative and incremental) or agile, or a hybrid model.

I hope this article gives your needed hands-on information to build an Agile Portfolio Roadmap.


References

[1] NEW Book – I Want To Be A PfMP, the plain and simple way, by Satya Narayan Dash

[2] Article: Portfolio Management: Building and Managing A Practical Portfolio Roadmap – Part 1, by Satya Narayan Dash

[3] Article: Portfolio Management: Building and Managing A Practical Portfolio Roadmap – Part 2, by Satya Narayan Dash

[4] The Standard for Portfolio Management, by Project Management Institute (PMI)


Friday, April 05, 2024

Portfolio Management: Building and Managing A Practical Portfolio Roadmap with MS Project (Part – 2)


In the earlier part, we discussed the first set of steps needed to build a Portfolio Roadmap with a hands-on software tool, i.e., MS Project. There the following steps were informed:

  • Step – 1: Add the Portfolio Components 
  • Step – 2: Differentiate the Components 
  • Step – 3: Format the Bar Styles for Components

The components, as informed in the previous part, can be projects, programs, operations, business proposals, among others. In this part, we will take the final steps:

  • Step – 4: Apply the Bar Styles for Components
  • Step – 5: Track Progress with Portfolio Roadmap

You will also learn to show the dependencies between the components and the importance of a portfolio roadmap. This part will end with a hands-on video demonstration.

I'd strongly suggest that you read this linked article, before proceeding further. For this part, we will start with Step - 4.

This series: Part – 1

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Step – 4: Apply the Bar Styles for Components

Now that we have customized the bar styles, we have to apply them into our Gantt Chart view to have the visualization. To do so, I’ll remove the earlier columns of Duration, Start and Finish, but add two new columns of isProgram and isOps. Remember we just added these two custom fields (columns).

Next, for each program component, the isProgram flag will be enabled and for each operation component, the isOps flag will be enabled. This will result in the following figure.  

As shown:

  • For Program B, the isProgram flag is enabled, but isOps flag is disabled. It’s shown in green colored bars.
  • For Business Area 1 Operations, the isOps flag is enabled, but isProgram flag is disabled. It’s shown in orange colored bars.

To have the name of the portfolio components on the right side of the bar, do ensure that the “Name” field is populated in the bar styles as shown below. 

Isn’t it a much better representation than the earlier one? 

The flag settings with bar style formatting is also very useful when the new portfolio components are added. You have to just enable or disable the flags and the color will automatically change. 

Step – 5: Track Progress with Portfolio Roadmap

Now, a portfolio, if completely new, can be authorized or some of its components can be authorized by the portfolio governing body. Assuming we have a new portfolio and it’s authorized the portfolio is in progress.

As the portfolio components are executed by the resources (financial, equipment, and human), we will have progress reported on the components. Let’s say few of the components are complete and we have to display the progress. For this purpose, we simply have to use the ‘% Complete’ column and show 100% completion. 

When visualized with completed portfolio components, we will have the following view.


As shown:

  • We have three projects, Project A, Project B and Project C, which are complete.
  • We have one program, Program A, which is complete.
  • The completion is shown with a small horizontal line going inside the bar.

For a clear visualization of completion (a line going inside), I’ve increased the size of the bar by going to Format tab > Format group > Layout command and then changing the bar height to 18, instead of default 12.  

Dependencies in the Portfolio Roadmap

As we learned in the beginning, the portfolio roadmap also shows the dependencies among the components and/or across business areas. Dependencies can be easily shown by using the predecessor field of MS Project software.

For example, in the below figure, we have dependencies shown among multiple component projects and programs of the portfolio.  

Portfolio Component Grouping

The Standard for Portfolio Management, also informs that the completed portfolio components can be grouped and displayed on top of the roadmap. This also can be done with MS Project software. 

For this purpose, I’ll use the built-in Complete and Incomplete Tasks group, which can be seen by going to View tab > Data group and selecting this group from the Group drop down menu. In this grouping, we will change the ordering to Descending.


As shown above, only change the order to ‘descending’ and keep the rest of the formatting as it is. Now, when you apply the grouping, we will have the following view. 

Clearly, the components which are 100% complete are shown on top, whereas the ones not complete, or yet to be started are shown towards the bottom of the above view.

Importance of Roadmap *** NEW ***

The importance of portfolio can be understood by the below top points:

  1. Shows both internal dependencies among portfolio components and can also show external dependencies. In fact, in your portfolio review meeting (governance meetings), this will be one of the first artifacts to be shown. 
  2. Shows the milestones and hence important for portfolio value delivery. Milestones are significant events in the portfolio’s timeline. Any delay in a portfolio component’s closure and subsequent benefits realization can have ripple effects on portfolio management.  
  3. Helps in defining the portfolio components, i.e., used specifically in identification, categorization, scoring and ranking of portfolio components. 
  4. Clearly identifies the classes or types of portfolio components. This way, if some of the components are executed in Agile (Adaptive) mode, they can be represented. Hence, it truly helps in communication and risk management approaches as defined in the Portfolio Management Plan. 
  5. An excellent communication tool with others, including portfolio managers, component managers and top executives, including the C-suites in an organization. 

Video Demonstration – Portfolio Roadmap *** NEW ***

To concretize your understanding, I’ve created the following video [duration: 05m:44s] to demonstrate the portfolio roadmap that we just created. This content of this video is referenced from my new PfMP book. Plug-in your earphones for a better audio-visual experience. 


Conclusion

Now that we have clearly understood portfolio and portfolio roadmap, their components and elements, I’ll come back to our opening quote. But I’d slightly rephrase it and say:

Project creates and delivers. Program coordinates and guides. Portfolio decides and drives. 

A portfolio not only decides the components to be taken, but also drives them in order to achieve the organizational strategies and objectives. The portfolio roadmap, on the other hand, is a key deliverable and indispensable tool used in portfolio management. The roadmap shows the strategic mapping, “to-be” vision of the portfolio, priorities, dependencies as well as the high-level plan.

The portfolio roadmap, along with the portfolio strategic plan and portfolio charter, drive the development of the portfolio management plan – the consolidated plan that drives the execution of the portfolio and its components.

I hope this article helps you in preparing for the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®) certification exam and also enables to apply your learning on portfolio roadmap in the real-world portfolio management. 


This series: Part – 1

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This article was first published by MPUG.com on 12th September, 2023. The current one is an updated version.