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What is the Difference Between Scrum and Agile?

What is the Difference Between Scrum and Agile?

There still remains a lot of confusion as to what the difference is between Scrum and Agile. Some people believe them to be two completely different methodologies while others believe that they are the same methodology given two different names. While aspects of Scrum and Agile can seem similar, it is important to note the differences. Agile describes a range of working practices. Scrum can be described as an Agile framework in that it follows Agile principles, but its approach also varies in such a way that it can be classed as a separate methodology. Agile Project Management Agile is, in essence, a very broad term. Any process that aligns with the principals and values outlined in the Agile Manifesto can fall under the umbrella term ‘Agile’. The four main values of the Agile Manifesto are: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan The polar opposite of the traditional Waterfall methodology, Agile requires evolvement and adaptability. It is particularly useful in environments where change and risk management are high priorities. Rather than working to a strictly managed process, teams that implement Agile are knowledgeable and capable of managing their own work. Because planning is less concrete, team members need a sense of initiative in order to keep a project moving in the right direction, and regular meetings and discussions are necessary to ensure that everyone in the team is notified of any changes and requirements. Teams that implement Agile work in iterations, aiming to produce a working product after each cycle.  While the phases of a work cycle involve planning, analysing, designing, developing, testing and deploying, these phases don’t necessarily happen in succession. This flexible approach to the project means that these phases can happen at any time during a project, depending on where the team is in terms of progress and which issues need addressing at that time. Agile teams are able to take challenges as they come and work at their own pace to get the project where it needs to be. Pros Improved change management Progress is not compromised by an undefined end goal Continuous improvement High level of focus on customer and client requirements Scrum Training You will often see Scrum being described as an ‘iterative and incremental Agile software development method’, but, to put this in simpler terms, if Agile is the product, then Scrum is the brand. Scrum is a subset of Agile – a framework rather than a methodology – that is used to manage complex product development. Scrum is useful for cross-functional teams that regularly encounter rapid changes in their projects. The difference is that, where Agile allows ultimate freedom and needs to be interpreted almost entirely by the individuals within the team, Scrum has rules and guidelines that can help teams avoid some of the shortcomings of Agile. Instead of a project manager, Scrum teams have a ‘Scrum Master’ who acts as a guide for the team but does not lead the project. The main concept of Scrum is the same as Agile – teams work in iterations – however, with Scrum, these cycles are more structured and require an element of routine to better apply a team’s adaptive capabilities. The cycles in Scrum are referred to as ‘sprints’ and are of a fixed length, lasting one or two weeks, whereas the cycles of Agile have no defined length or order. A structure is applied to these sprints using four ‘ceremonies’: sprint planning, a daily stand-up, sprint demo, and sprint retrospective. During these ceremonies, the team analyse their current progress, prepare for the next step, and reorganise their work in accordance with any changes to the project. Pros More transparency Improved collaboration Strong team communication and relationships Quickly and easily adapt to change Scrum vs. Agile Not all teams are the same, and neither are all projects. In some instances, a cross-functional team is what you need, but with other projects, you may need a person in charge to keep things on track. The risk will always be that if you plan for one event, then you will be at a disadvantage when another occurs and the same can be said when choosing between studying either Agile or Scrum. Many teams require the freedom and flexibility of Agile, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t utilise some of the structured nature of Scrum. For example, daily stand-ups can be recommended for almost any work environment. They give you an opportunity to see what has been done, what is being done, and what needs to be done in a project, allowing you to keep an eye on the project as a whole rather than focusing too much on the one part of it that is your responsibility. When teams take too much of an independent approach to their work, they run the risk of under-communicating and working towards different end goals because they haven’t collectively established what it is that they are working towards. If you are concerned that you may need to utilise aspects of both Scrum and Agile, then studying both may be the most beneficial options. While Agile will supply you with the fundamental principles of flexible project management, Scrum will inform you of how to apply for some order without being limiting. Scrum and Agile Certification The Knowledge Academy offers a range of Scrum and Agile certification for those wishing to learn more about these approaches. AgilePM® provides an official qualification for the use of Agile as a method of project management, while our Scrum courses will show you how to fulfil vital roles in a Scrum team, including Scrum Master and Scrum Product Owner.

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  24 May 2017

Top Tips for Passing Your ITIL Foundation Training

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation is one of the fastest growing qualifications used by IT professionals around the world. Many professionals that have achieved ITIL Foundation receive an increase in salary, discover more career prospects, acquire valuable skills and help to improve their organisation. While ITIL Foundation isn’t as difficult as some other certifications to earn, it is by no means a walk in the park, and passing it takes time and dedication. If you are planning on undergoing ITIL training and are looking for tips on how to pass your exam, here is some advice for you to take with you: Go a step further Rather than just listening quietly and reading what you’re told to read, you need to take your education into your own hands and take control of your learning. This means that you need to ask questions – a lot of questions – read around the subject before you begin the course, take lots of notes and annotate your resources. If possible, run through some sample papers before you sit through the final exam. If you go the extra mile and put in the effort to learn more about ITIL, you will find yourself breezing through your course and will be more prepared to put ITIL into action in real life situations after you earn your certificate. Know your keywords! Keywords are one of the best tools you can utilise in your exam and once you learn them and what they mean, they can point you in the right direction when you’re having trouble and help you dissect the exam questions. Try not to draw on personal experiences Many people make the mistake of referring back to their place of work while writing their exam. They think about the way their organisation works, their daily operations and how ITIL would be applied in their organisation. But how your organisation works doesn’t matter in the exam. You are being tested on the principles, processes and functions of ITIL, not how to apply them. So, during the exam, you need to imagine that you are working in an organisation that is the ideal ITIL environment and leave your past experiences at the very back of your mind. Utilise effective revision techniques Humans are built only to have so much willpower, and our attention span can be quite limited. So, no matter how much you force yourself to read and reread the course material, you may find yourself having difficulty retaining all of the necessary information. That’s why, rather than forcing yourself to labour for hours over your books, you need to utilise more effective techniques. Whether you’re a kinaesthetic learner, an auditory learner or a visual learner, there is a range of revision techniques that you can access online that can provide you with revision techniques that will keep you focused and help you retain information. Some effective techniques that students recommend include: Record yourself reading your revision notes aloud and listen to it Use illustrations and diagrams to summarise the information through images Stay active while reading over your notes. You can do this by walking around the room or holding something that you can fiddle with while you think, like a stress ball. Use exam techniques While you’re actually sitting the exam, there are a few things you can keep in mind to improve your chances of getting a good score. Because the ITIL exam doesn’t have a negative marking system for wrong answers, you can and should answer every question, even if you’re uncertain about your answer. It’s better to take a risk on an answer than miss out on points. Work at a good pace and review your answers at the end of the exam rather than spending ages on a question you can’t answer. Sitting and thinking will only waste time and cause you to miss out on potential marks. If you can’t answer a question, leave it blank and come back to it after you have answered all of the questions that you can answer. Read the question carefully before answering. Don’t be tempted to rush into a question when you haven’t read it all the way through. It’s very easy to misread information when you’re in a rush, so take a deep breath and take your time. Trust your first instinct when answering a question and don’t be tempted to keep second guessing your answers. Otherwise, you might risk wasting time on fixing an answer that didn’t need fixing. If you haven’t signed up for ITIL Foundation training yet, this globally recognised certification has the potential to transform your career and the way that you work for the better. Find out more about the ITIL training courses we provide here at The Knowledge Academy today and discover the places this knowledge could take you. 

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  19 May 2017

How Lean Six Sigma Can Improve Your Earning Potential

Lean Six Sigma is one of the most powerful management tools utilised in the professional world and by completing a course in Lean Six Sigma you stand a great chance of improving your earning potential.Lean Six Sigma is a methodology geared towards improving performance through effective teamwork, communication and leadership, blending together the principles of the Lean and Six Sigma management strategies. Lean teaches you about speed and efficiency while Six Sigma is concerned with improving quality and reducing errors.  There are several different belts within this qualification. In order from lowest to highest level of expertise in Lean Six Sigma methodologies, these belts are; Yellow, Green, Black and Master Black. The difference between the belts depends mostly on the amount of experience that you have had with Lean Six Sigma prior to taking the course and how extensive the learning is. With a Yellow Belt qualification, you will know the fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma, while earning a Master Black Belt will supply you with enough knowledge to train others in the principles of Six Sigma. With a Master Black Belt, you can improve your earning potential by being eligible for a consultancy position and capable of conducting internal training with other employees.  While your salary with a Lean Six Sigma qualification can depend on your employer, your industry, and the belt you earn, achieving any Six Sigma qualification can secure you a salary of roughly £30,000, with Master Black Belts earning as much as £60,000 and upwards. This is because the qualification provides a range of valuable skills and tools that are useful for you and your career, as well as being valuable to many organisations and employers. Leadership skills are one of the most notable benefits of a Lean Six Sigma certification that can positively impact your earning potential. One of the qualification’s key intentions is to teach you how to improve operations, which requires you to learn mentoring skills, change management skills, project management skills and interpersonal skills, and supplies you with the tools necessary to construct and implement effective strategies. All of these skills contribute to what any employer would define as a good leader, and so, with this qualification, you will find yourself being a stronger candidate for senior and leadership roles. Another set of skills that a Lean Six Sigma course will help you improve is your analytical skills and your critical thinking skills. In order to improve the efficiency and quality of operations, you need to first realise where it is lacking and where it can be improved. This involves efficiently collecting and interpreting data as well as producing insightful analysis and evaluations that can direct strategies for improvement. These are skills that are valued at every level within a workplace and indicate a high quality of work. With these skills you can help an organisation to maintain a consistent level of progress and any employer would be eager to take onboard someone that is capable of aiding the success of their organisation. With these universally applicable skills, you have the freedom to expand your career search and aim for higher paying and challenging positions in any number of industries. Lean Six Sigma is one of the most highly sought after certifications and is capable of opening doors and leading your career to places you had never expected you were capable of reaching. If you’re interested in harnessing these valuable skills, start your learning with our Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training and apply today. 

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  09 May 2017

What a Project Management Qualification Could Mean For You

Progression in our career of choice is something we all seek to achieve over the duration of our lives. While some jobs may not directly benefit from project management qualifications, all career pathways can certainly look to benefit from the skills and techniques taught during these courses. If you are looking to expand your industry knowledge and have a better understanding of how project management qualifications like PRINCE2 can impact your life and career pathway, then you have come to the right place. The best thing about undertaking a project management course is that you will not need to have prior knowledge of management, and the skills you learn will undoubtedly influence your future in any working environment. Which course is right for me? Something that is regularly asked is which project management course is best for the respective industry you are working in and is best suited to getting your foot in the door. Here are some of the most popular answers to this question: 1.Agile Project Management Agile courses are great if you are seeking to apply project management skills to Agile projects. Agile is essentially a methodology that seeks to introduce and incorporate cycles of development that push for the betterment of a particular service or product - this is a distinct example of its flexibility of use. 2.PRINCE2 PRINCE2 courses are among some of the most popular and offer some of the best skills for those looking to improve their career outlook in the project management field. The PRINCE2 methodology features looking at a project from a structured and methodical point of view and helps the manager identify key areas of potential risk. 3.Scrum Scrum training will show you how to make use of Agile, preparing you for practically applying Agile methods to projects in fixed-length iterations. It is particularly useful for those working in software development, where Scrum was first introduced to great success. What can project management qualifications do for you? Using a project management qualification like PRINCE2 can be a significant help when it comes to improving your career path options in the future. Here are some of the ways in which a project management qualification can change your professional life for the better: Project management courses like PRINCE2 are industry standard courses which mean they will be recognised by most employers, both in the UK and around the world. Progressing into the field of project management would not be possible without investing in a course such as this. Those who enrol in project management courses can look forward to being able to reap the rewards of their course investment by earning more money in the long run. With starting average salaries for those who are qualified in SCRUM, Agile or PRINCE2 sitting at around £32,000, it’s easy to see why they are so appealing to those looking to progress within their company ranks. On a global level, project management qualifications are ideal if you are looking to find work overseas. As we previously mentioned, these qualifications are accepted in other parts of the world, which leads to fantastic work progression opportunities around the world.​  If you would like to know more about the ways in which your career can be enriched through enrolling on one of our project management courses, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.    #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} #mc_embed_signup .button { background-color: #e35f00; } #mc_embed_signup .button:hover { background-color: #233f8c; } Subscribe to our mailing list

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  03 May 2017

Different Types Of Project Management Qualifications

Knowing which project management qualification is best suited to your career prospects or your current place of employment is exceptionally important. Project management qualifications can open a whole new world of opportunities for those who are looking to boost their careers, but one of the most commonly asked questions is which project management qualification is the most suitable for you. Each qualification is tailored to be compatible with different types of work environments, but one of the most important things to consider is the intrinsic elements of each qualification that are can be combined and utilised to suit the project that you are dealing with. Here, we’re taking a look at the different project management qualifications that we have on offer at The Knowledge Academy and the benefits of each.  PRINCE2 One of the most recognised project management qualifications in the UK is PRINCE2. This is one of the most traditional methodologies that operates within many different industries and is based on the original waterfall methodology, where different stages of a plan fall into each other in a seamless process. When implementing this methodology, each stage of a project needs to be completed in full before the team can move onto the next stage, allowing for progress to be clearly tracked throughout the entirety of the project. While PRINCE2 can be implemented within a wide range of sectors, it is most commonly seen in IT, Professional Services and Financial Services, which demonstrates just how versatile PRINCE2 is. There are a number of reasons why people may choose the PRINCE2 qualification, with some of the top motivators being skills development, career progression and because it is a required element of a role that they have taken on. With the highest average annual salary of those with a PRINCE2 qualification being £98,740, it is easy to see the personal benefits of earning a PRINCE2 qualification as well as the positive impact it can have on one’s professional career.  PMP As of 2014, there were over 600,000 active PMP certified people around the world, showing just how popular this project management qualification is – not just in the UK but around the globe. Through this qualification, 15 million jobs have been created across a number of industries, including construction, utilities, oil/gas and much more, which goes to show how adaptable a PMP qualification is. While there is a higher percentage of PMP qualified males than females, there are a number of benefits for all PMP qualified professionals, with one of the most prominent being that the highest average annual salary of a PMP qualified professional is over £84,000!  Agile One of the biggest upcoming project management qualifications is Agile, and this is leading to a number of people questioning whether PRINCE2 or Agile is the better qualification. Agile is a more flexible project management approach and is in high demand across a broad range of sectors. In 2015, 38% of organisations were already using Agile frequently and saw significant improvement in terms of meeting goals and deadlines and keeping within their budget limits. An Axelos Survey suggested that 84% of current project managers believe that Agile will grow in importance, showing just how transformative gaining an Agile qualification could be for you and your career. Scrum One of the most flexible project management qualifications out there is known as Scrum. This can be used in a broad range of functional areas, including accountancy, research, sales, marketing, HR, product development, software development and IT. A Scrum qualification is known to great for employees as well as management, and when you have completed your Scrum qualification, you will henceforth be known as a Scrum Master!  APMP APMP is one of the most popular project management qualifications and research has shown that up to 37% of project management professionals actually believe that APM PMQ is the best indicator of a competent project manager. With professionals earning up to £10,000 more per annum and 86% enjoying greater project success, it is easy to see the benefits of an APMP qualification.  Lean Six Sigma Lean Six Sigma provides a number of real life benefits for those looking to become a qualified project manager. Lean Six Sigma has been known to provide professionals with a more effective professional outlook and many already qualified individuals have said that the qualification improved their career prospects while others report that the project management qualification has generated significant cost savings. Lean Six Sigma and Process Excellence are applied across a broad range of areas, including IT, general business operations, customer service, supply chain and manufacturing. With an average salary of £55,000 outside of the UK as of 2014, there are plenty of opportunities that can be obtained with a Lean Six Sigma qualification.  MoP MoP is a type of portfolio management qualification. There is a multitude of reasons why people look to MoP courses to improve current and future operations in their place of work. With these qualifications, professionals can improve their chances of successful delivery in terms of time, quality and budget and achieve greater efficiency with project delivery. These qualifications also help to enhance an organisation’s transparency and accountability.  MoV MoV (Management of Values) training offers a number of benefits to both individuals and organisations. For individuals, it provides a means of defining objectives while also being able to maximise value in line with the programme. In addition to this, it can help to supplement management practices and help with sustainable decision making. This helps organisations by reducing expenditure, helping to deliver relevant outcomes, improve benefits and much more.   P30 The P30 qualification can help qualified professionals build a project portfolio that features all of the processes, techniques and strategies that help to enable and implement change in a Projects office. Change is an extremely important part of any business, and those with the P30 qualification are in the best position to provide in-depth analysis and strategies to help organisations effectuate these changes.  Managing Benefits Training Managing Benefits Training can help professionals better understand the responsibilities, principles, practices and techniques that are capable of optimising a business’s ROI through Benefits Management. Our courses are globally recognised and fully accredited here at The Knowledge Academy, and the training is most suitable for change leaders, initiators, appraisers, evaluators, support staff, implementers and enablers.   Change Management Here at The Knowledge Academy, we have trained over 3000 delegates in Change Management, which allows projects to effectively meet or exceed project objectives. According to official studies, businesses that feature an excellent Change Management program can reach up to 143% ROI, showing just how much of a positive impact Change Management can have on a business. However, Change Management is also exceptionally beneficial to the delegates, with earning potential ranging from £40k - £85k on average for those who have an accredited Change Management qualification, dependant on experience and industry. Here at The Knowledge Academy, we can provide you with all of the information that you need to help you to determine which project management qualification is best suited to your needs. With a huge number of project management qualifications to choose from, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements today!  Want our latest blog delivered to your inbox every week? We'll be talking about industry news, job tips and more. Just fill in your address below. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} #mc_embed_signup .button { background-color: #e35f00; } #mc_embed_signup .button:hover { background-color: #233f8c; } Subscribe to our mailing list

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  27 Apr 2017

Latest News

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WannaCry ransomware infects computers around the globe

WannaCry ransomware infects computers around the globe

  24 May 2017

Organisations and users around the world have been infected by the cyber attack WannaCry. The attack, which takes the form of a ransomware program, encrypts users’ files and prevents them from accessing their computers unless they make a payment to the attackers. If they do not pay within 7 days, the ransom doubles. Having started on Friday 12 May 2017, the attack spread on an unprecedented scale, affecting machines in organisations including the National Health Service in England and Scotland, FedEx, Hitachi, the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Russia, Renault and Telefónica. The attack was slowed in its early stages by a cybersecurity researcher who unknowingly activated a kill switch. This gave time for countries which had not been attacked so severely to deploy defences. Nevertheless, estimates suggest that around $72,000 in payments have been made already. In addition, a new strain of the virus is now operating which doesn’t have the kill switch, making it much more difficult to prevent. The attack is believed to have entered systems via an exploit within the Microsoft Windows operating system. Although the exploit had been patched in recent security updates for newer systems, older, unsupported systems like Windows XP were not protected. In a rare move, Microsoft rushed to bring out an emergency update for the older operating systems Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 shortly after the attack. The impact of the virus has caused many to reconsider their stances on cyber security, as they realise how important it is to keep systems and protection up to date.

The Knowledge Academy announces General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Courses

The Knowledge Academy announces General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Courses

  24 May 2017

We’re pleased to announce the introduction of two new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) courses for 2017. The courses cover what we see as a growing training need for companies to understand GDPR and how they can be compliant before the new law is introduced in May next year. The first new course is Certified EU GDPR Foundation. This entry-level course is designed for those looking for an introduction to GDPR. It provides an overview of the new legislation, including changes to existing law and new additions. We recommend it for managers and senior staff who wish to gain an idea of the impact of GDPR on their business and how they should prepare for it. Our second course is Certified EU GDPR Practitioner. This course follows on from Foundation to provide a more technical look at the content of the GDPR and is aimed at those who will be directly be involved in the implementation of its guidance and monitoring to ensure compliance. It will be of particular value to those who will take on the role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) in their organisation. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new regulation which protects the personal data of EU citizens and harmonises existing data protection laws. First discussed in April 2016, the law comes into effect on 25 May 2018. After this date, businesses which are not compliant can be fined up to 4% of their global revenue.

AXELOS announces PRINCE2 update for 2017

AXELOS announces PRINCE2 update for 2017

  24 May 2017

Global best practice providers AXELOS have announced that PRINCE2 will be updated for the first time since 2009. The new version of the methodology is expected to be released in mid-2017. The bulk of the update focuses on practical guidance for the tailoring of PRINCE2 to project requirements. It also clarifies the principles of PRINCE2 and the links between the themes and principles. The changes come as the result of consultations with over 100 project professionals around the world about their real life experiences with PRINCE2, including practitioners of the method as well as academics and organisations. Along with the updated guidance comes changes to the exams. PRINCE2 Foundation now has updated assessment criteria for tailoring and its syllabus places greater emphasis on the principles. The number of questions has also been reduced from 75 to 60. PRINCE2 Practitioner has been updated to focus on practical skills for using PRINCE2 in project environments, and the syllabus has again been adjusted to emphasise the principles. The number of questions has been reduced from 80 to 75. Both exams have also been adjusted to be slightly more difficult. Changes are also being made to the way PRINCE2 Practitioners recertify. There will be no longer be a PRINCE2 Practitioner re-registration exam; instead, those wishing to recertify can take the full Practitioner exam. There is also an alternative option, which is to have a PRINCE2 Membership subscription and earn at least 45 CPDs every three years. We expect the update to be released in July.

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