Sunday, March 24, 2024

CHAMP Success Story: A Niche Certification – Never Seen Anything Like This Before

 By Ravi O’Reilly, CHAMP


Before getting into CHAMP certification, I had a face-to-face, virtual meet-up with Satya, where I asked what I should pursue first. As per his suggestion, I started my journey by first completing the MS Project Agile course.

The CHAMP certification was a natural progression and I also really wanted the full certification for its credibility as it is a niche skill.

Own Study – CHAMP Certification

To achieve my CHAMP credential, I diligently followed the videos in the order set out and made time whenever I could. They are nice and short; hence it makes it easily digestible. 

In the course, all the videos are clearly explained and they are very thorough so you get to repeat the steps in subsequent videos. 

Review – CHAMP Certification Course

The course is very niche, extremely detailed and uses MS Project toolsThe certification is a unique selling point (USP) in itself. I have not seen anything like this before and it truly gives you all the learnings.  

Once you get to grips with adding the data and setting up the Hybrid Agile plan, I found the reporting topics were useful, as you get to slice and dice the data in different ways i.e., how to report on earned value management (EVM), the baselines for the traditional part and resourcing.

Throughout the course, there are lots of opportunities to recap and take the short tests. After completing the whole course, a full set of questions and answers (Q&A) helped me to see how much I learned and what parts I needed to go over again. 

CHAMP Exam Experience

After completing the course, I believed I was prepared for the CHAMP exam. I asked Satya to provide me with the online link for the test. The exam has 50 questions to be taken in 1 hour (60 minutes). 

For the exam, my strategy was simple. I just made sure I read the questions properly and not rush them. I knew some of the questions straight away. However, for some of the others, I needed to go back and check on them.

After completing, I thought I didn’t clear the exam and thought I have to retake the test. But Satya informed me that I’ve cleared as I have scored 70%, which is needed to be CHAMP certified!  I received my certificate afterwards.

Suggestions for CHAMP Aspirants


  • If you like this style of learning (hands-on) and also want to get certified in a niche skill, then I would suggest you just go for it.


  • If you are not managing Agile/Hybrid-Agile projects, you may not need it. 


The CHAMP certification is of high standard and to be a CHAMP, you need to be well prepared. The course is so practical! You can apply your learnings in your day-to-day projects in a hands-on manner.

Brief Profile: Ravi O’Reilly, CHAMP, Programme Planning Manager, UK Transport and Govt. related projects.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

ManagementYogi’s Hybrid-Agile (CHAMP) Certification: Multiple Sprint Management in Hybrid-Scrum Projects

In a recent article for managing the Retrospective Board Hybrid-Scrum project, there was an offline question about multi-Sprint management in Hybrid-Scrum project, along with certain other questions. The questions are:

  • How do you manage multiple-Sprints in Hybrid-Scrum projects?
  • Can they be managed in parallel, if you have separate teams?
  • How do you manage the Sprint Burndown and Burnup charts in such projects?

The answers to the above questions are yes, yes and yes. It’s definitely possible to run multiple Sprints in a Hybrid-Scrum project. One can plan, manage and track them to completion. 

The content of this course is taken from ManagementYogi’s Certified Hybrid-Agile Master Professional (CHAMP) course. In-depth explanation, a number of reports and metrics as well as downloadable .mpp files are part of this certification course. 

Current Scenario

Let’s take the scenario created in the linked article about Retrospective Boards in Hybrid-Scrum Projects. I've modified it to show the status date as of mid-Sprint 2.  

As shown, above:

  • There are five Sprints planned, from Sprint 1 to Sprint 5
  • Sprint 1 under Scrum Development phase has been completed.
  • Sprint 2 is underway and we have completed some of the items.
  • Our status date is mid-Sprint 2.

As this stage, I’d also suggest that you read this article on how to manage multiple Sprints in a plain Scrum project. 

The Planned Sprints

In this case, we have 5 Sprints planned. This can be done with the Manage Sprints commands available under the Project tab.  

All the planned Sprints will be integrated into the Hybrid-Scrum project. The planned Sprints are:

  • Sprint 1: From Monday 13th Oct, 25 to Sunday 26th Oct, 25
  • Sprint 2: From Monday 27th Oct, 25 to Sunday 9th Nov, 25
  • Sprint 3: From Monday 10th Nov, 25 to Sunday 23rd Nov, 25
  • Sprint 4: From Monday 24th Nov, 25 to Sunday 7th Dec, 25
  • Sprint 5: From Monday 8th Dec, 25 to Sunday 21st Dec, 25

Integrated Plan for Hybrid-Scrum Project

The integrated Hybrid-Scrum project plan is shown below. 
(Please click on the images for enlarged views)

In the figure show above, at the end of Sprint 1 (24th Oct, 25) a number of predictive as well as Agile elements. The Sprint 1 events such as Sprint 1 Planning, Daily Scrum (Sprint 1), Sprint 1 Review and Retrospective are complete. The features taken for this Sprint 1, i.e., Smart Entry and Smart Alarm are also complete.

This can also be seen in the Current Sprint Sheet view. It must be noted that the Current Sprint Sheet view is only for the Sprint 1 items.   

Plan for Upcoming Sprints (Sprint 2, 3, 4 and 5)

As shown below, we have features associated for rest of the 4 Sprints. This can be done by going the to the Sprint Planning Board view and just dragging and dropping the work items across the board.  

For Sprint 2, we have Feature – Smart App Integration

Add did you notice Sprint 1? It’s empty because Sprint 1 has been completed. 

Building the Plan for Sprint 2

We are going to take this feature (Smart App Integration) and break it down to individual tasks. We are also going to add various Sprint Events into the Sprint 2 plan. In other words, we are going to the build the Sprint 2 Backlog

We will break the Smart App Integration features into the following tasks:

  • Integrate with smarty entry – 4 days
  • Integrate with smart alarm – 3 days 
  • Test the integrated smart apps – 2 days
  • Deploy and closeout – 1 day

We will also add the following events or ceremonies. 

  • Sprint 2 Planning of 0.5 day
  • Sprint 2 Review of 0.25 day
  • Sprint 2 Retrospective of 0.25 day
  • Daily Scrum (Sprint 2) 
    • Each meeting will be of 15 minutes.

After we add all the above ones, we will have the following view.  

As shown above:

  • The Sprint 2 for the Hybrid-Scrum project is fully planned. It’s highlighted in orange color.
  • There are elements under Test summary task, which are the predictive parts. It’s highlighted in blue color
  • The other Sprints such as Sprint 3, 4 and 5 are not at all planned now.

This can also be visualized in the Current Sprint 2 Board view by going to Sprint Tools > Sprints tab > Views group > Sprint command and then choosing the Current Sprint.  

As you execute the above command, the Current Sprint 2’s Board view will be visible. The Sprint Backlog for Sprint will be available with all the work items. It’s shown below.  

Next, we are going to track the Sprint 2 Backlog. Do note that the above workflow states are changed, but you can go with the existing available ones such as Next Up, In Progress and Done. You can also add as many workflow states as needed. 

Tracking the Sprint 2 Plan

Before you track, set your status date to mid-Sprint. In this case, I’ve set it to Monday, November 3, 25. To track, you have to take the cards and drop them in the respective columns. 

Post tracking, we have the following view. This view clearly shows the Spint 2 board along with the tracked work items.

As you go to the Gantt Chart view one can visualize the tracked Hybrid-Scrum project in detail. 


As we just learned, managing multiple Sprints can be easily done with MS Project Agile software. Multiple Sprints are not only applicable for Hybrid-Scrum projects, but also for Hybrid-Kanban or Hybrid-ScrumBan projects. 

However, to do really learn Hybrid-Agile Management, you need to have the right course and content. In the marketplace, though there are many courses or certification, rarely few will show you how to do in a hands-on manner with principles of Hybrid-Agile management, the roles and responsibilities used, and the tricks or tips needed to succeed in such an environment. 

Finally, the more you practice Hybrid-Agile Management, the better you will get at it!


[1] Certification Course: Certified Hybrid-Agile Master Professional (CHAMP), by Satya Narayan Dash

[2] Article - Working with the Retrospective Board in Hybrid-Scrum Projects, by Satya Narayan Dash, first published by 

[3] Online Course: Mastering MS Project Agile, by Satya Narayan Dash

[4] Online Course: ACP Live Lessons – Guaranteed Pass, by Satya Narayan Dash

[5] Online Course: Microsoft Project Live Lessons, by Satya Narayan Dash

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Sprints at Scale: Working with 10, 100, 1000, or More Sprints in A Scrum Project

A Sprint is a mini-project and usually has a length of 2 weeks, though it can vary from 1 to 4 weeks. While running Sprints for a big project using Scrum framework, one can run 10, 100, 1000, or more Sprints. The number of Sprints goes-up when the Sprint length is shorter – say 1 week. This scenario highly possible.

Do not confuse Sprints at Scale with Agile at Scale, where multiple teams can work on multiple Sprints.

Now, questions can be:

  • How do you manage so many Sprints?
  • If you are using a software tool, how do you manage them?
  • Is it possible to have the current Sprint being shown first in the tool?
    (with all other Sprints)
  • Is it possible to show the work items for the current Sprint first?
    (a view showing all the Sprints)

These questions are very pertinent for any Scrum Master, Product Owner or an Agile Project Manager. In fact, recently I received such questions from Agile practitioners, who have been using my courses.

Let’s see how to manage a large number of Sprints and the answers to the above questions. 

Our Plan with Epics and Features

Our current plan is shown below and at a high-level:

  • There are 5 epics, from Epic 1 to Epic 5.
  • Each epic is broken into 10 features. In total, there are 50 features.
  • These features will be associated with the respective Sprints. 
  • One feature will be completed in one Sprint. For example, feature 50 will be done in Sprint 50. 

This is shown below in the Gantt Chart view of MS Project. 

These you can add in the Gantt Chart view or you can use the Sprint Planning Board or Sprint Planning Sheet views. 

As shown, we have features numbering up-to Feature 50. When you switch to the Sprint Planning Sheet, you will get the following view. 

Plan for the Sprints

To associate with Sprints, we need to create the Sprints first. These can be done using Project tab > Properties group > Manage Sprints command. 

As you can see, we have 50 Sprints planned now. 

Associate with the Sprints

One can use various possible views to associate the feature items with Sprint, but the most used ones (and recommended by my courses) are the Sprint Planning Board and Sprint Planning Sheet views of MS Project Agile software tool.

Using the Sprint Planning Board, for example, I’ve associated a number of features items as shown.

You have to simply drag and drop the items from the No Sprint column to the respective Sprint column. But then we have some constraints here!

  • When it reaches Sprint 5, then the board view on the left does not show the feature items. If you have to associate with Sprint 50, then you have to drag it all the way up-to Sprint 50, which is on the extreme right.
  • If you want to see only the last 3 Sprint items, i.e., Sprint 48, Sprint 49 and Sprint 50, then we also have to use the horizontal scrollbar to the end.

Hence, the better view to use in this case of having a large number of Sprints will be the Sprint Planning Sheet view. This is shown below. 

As shown, you have to just scroll down and associate the Sprint in the popped-up, drop-down or show-up list. Isn’t is very easy this way?

Show the Latest 3 Sprint Items first

Another issue is to show the last 3 Sprint items first. This cannot be done using the Sprint Planning Board view as the filters, groups are disabled in this view.

But you can circumvent it using the Sprint Planning Sheet view and applying the built-in Sprint group.  

Do note the change in order from from Ascending to Descending. That way, the latter Sprints will be shown on top. 

Sprint Grouped View

As you apply the above modified Sprint group, you will have the latter Sprints and the associate work items shown on top. The initial Sprints such as Sprint 1, Sprint 3 or Sprint 5, will be shown towards the bottom.  

Another Way to Show

Some of you may not want to apply to the Sprint group, but just want to see the latter Sprint items on top for quick usage. In that case, you have to change the sorting and sort it by Sprint ID as shown below. 

The Sort command dialog box can be seen by going to View tab > Data group > Sort > Sort By... command. 

Do note the change the order of sorting to Descending. That way, the latter Sprints and associated work items will come on top. 

When you apply this sorting, the Sprint Planning Sheet will come as shown below. 

As shown:

  • The work items for Sprint 50, Sprint 49 and Sprint 48 are shown on top.
  • The work items for Sprint 1, Sprint 2 etc. are towards the bottom.
In this case, we didn't apply any group, but just sorted items with Sprint ID field.


[1] Online Course: Mastering MS Project Agile, by Satya Narayan Dash 

[2] Certification Course: Certified Hybrid-Agile Master Professional (CHAMP), by Satya Narayan Dash 

Monday, March 04, 2024

WBS Level – 0 (L0) Vs. Level – 1 (L1) with Oracle Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project


Many times, while interacting with the project management or agile practitioners, questions come on the levels of the work breakdown structure (WBS). In particular, the biggest confusion is about the differences between Level 0 (L0) and Level 1 (L1). 

Most project management literature and tools are focused on L1 of the WBS and rarely mention L0! This results in questions such as:

  • Is L0 possible in a WBS?
  • What does it represent?
  • How is it managed with a software tool?

In this article, I’m going to explore the answers to the above questions with hands-on practical software tools. First, to understand, let’s briefly discuss various levels of WBS.

Various Levels in WBS

Following are the levels of WBS:

WBS Level – 1: This is the highest level in a WBS and it represents the entire scope of work to deliver the product or service.

Considering an example of TESTPROJECT (name of the project), it can be assigned a numerical number 1 or a WBS code TESTPROJ. We will see them with examples shortly.

WBS Level – 2: This is the first level of decomposition. These are the major deliverables or areas of work. Remember, a WBS is a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of work. It means the WBS is broken-down/decomposed the way you want to deliver your work. 

Considering our previous example, the numbering at L2 will be:

  • 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, … 1.n

WBS Level – 3: It’s the next level of decomposition or decomposition of L2. Here one can have the major deliverables/areas of work broken down further for better estimation and understanding.  

The numbering schemes here can be:

  • 1.1.1, 1.2.1, 1.3.1, 1.4.1, … 1.n.1
    • At the level of 1.1.1, you can have 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4 …
  • Using TESTPROJ code, it’ll be TESTPROJ.1.1, TESTPROJ.2.1, TESTPROJ.3.1, TESTPROJ.4.1, … TESTPROJ.n.1
    • At the level of TESTPROJ.1.1, you can have TESTPROJ.1.2, TESTPROJ.1.3, TESTPROJ.1.4 …

What is Level – 0 (L0)?

This is where the confusion comes-up! Why does one need Lo?

To simplify, here are certain key points with respect to L0:

  • If present, it’s the highest level of the WBS tree or tabular structure.
  • Below L0, in the WBS, you will have L1.
  • L0 is NOT used in the numbering schemes, rather L1 is taken-up for it.
  • L0 is useful, when you are managing multiple projects together in a single file. For example, one can have a large project with multiple WBS (each starting with L1). 
  • Looking at the previous point, all smaller projects, under a large project, can have their own numbering schemes. 

Now, let’s see the practical usages of it.  

L0 and L1 - Oracle Primavera P6

Primavera allows up-to 20 WBS levels by default. You can check the levels under the Admin menu > Admin Preferences > Data Limits tab. I’ve changed it to four for this article.

Next, I added four levels in the WBS tab of Primavera P6’s main screen. 

As shown above:

  • TESTPROJ = Level – 1
  • TESTPROJ.1 = Level – 2
  • TESTPROJ.1.1 = Level – 3
  • TESTPROJ.1.1.1 = Level – 4

So, the highest level is Level 1 in Primavera P6. 

Next, I’ll modify this WBS to make it more formal and have a couple of work packages. 

As you can see, now we have two work packages: Work Package 1 and Work Package 2 at L2. The WBS codes are WP1 and WP2, respectively. The Project ID is another column as TESTPROJ, which is L1. 

Did you notice how the WBS code is noted? It’s ProjectCode.WBSCode, e.g., TESTPROJ.WP1.

Next, for each work package, we have four activities and they are all linked with finish-to-start (FS) dependencies. This is shown in the Activities tab. I’ve added the WBS, WBS Name columns under the Activities tab to have better clarity.

As one can check, there is a Work Package 1 (WBS Name) that has a WBS (Code) as TESTPROJ.WP1. It has four tasks: Task 1-1, Task 1-2, Task 1-3, and Task 1-4. All the tasks in the respective packages are linked.

Considering the WBS levels, we can have following interpretations:

  • Highest level is TESTPROJ (L1).
  • Next level is TESTPROJ.WP1 (L2) and TESTPROJ.WP2 (at Level 2).
  • These are also reflected in the graphical side of the Gantt Chart.

Hence, in Primavera P6, there is no Level 0 (L0), but only Level 1 (L1). This L1 can be further decomposed to any level you want.

L0 and L1 - Microsoft Project 

To demonstrate Level 0 (L0), I’m going to use the MS Project software. The below commands/usage will be valid for all versions of MS Project from MS Project 2003. 

Just like the previous situation, here too, we have a Test Project (Project Name) with two work packages – Work Package 1 and Work Package 2. Each work package has four activities. The plan is shown below. 

Unlike Primavera P6, there is no separate WBS tab or command available in MS Project. To see the WBS code, you have to add the “WBS” field available in the software. This can be added by right clicking and using the command “Insert Column”. 

When added, we will get the following view.

As shown above, in the Test Project we have two work packages (WP 1 and WP 2).

  • Test Project = L1
  • Work Package 1 and Work Package 2 = L2
  • Various tasks under the work packages = L3

So, where is L0?

For that, you have to enable the Project Summary Task command under Format tab > Show/Hide group. 

After you enable it, Level 0 (L0) will appear in the MS Project plan as shown below.

As shown:

  • A new line entry is auto-added and it’s named Project 1This is Level 0 or Lo.
  • This is one level up the L1 and also shown in the graphical side of the Gantt Chart.
  • The lower levels such as L2 (work packages) and L3 (tasks) are also shown.


In conclusion, you can say Primavera P6 does not have L0, but MS Project does! Earlier in the article, I’ve noted certain key points about L0 for a WBS.

Another usage of L0 is when in the same project, you have different kinds of work and you want to keep them all at L1. Say, a project has different work and you want to have different WBS codes being applied to those work. With L0 availability in MS Project, you can perform those operations.

However, if you are using Primavera P6, there is no L0 and it’s not needed. This is because in Primavera, the WBS code is built separately in another tab and then activities are added to the WBS levels. 

I hope this article gives clarity on how and when the L0 and L1 are used in a work breakdown structure with real-world and widely used software tools.


[1] Online Course: MS Project – Live Lessons, by Satya Narayan Dash.

[2] Article - Work Breakdown Structure in Traditional and Agile Life Cycles, by Satya Narayan Dash