Frequent Agile
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We have compiled a list of frequent agile questions and answers, to help you with your agile transformation.

As agile principles and practices have evolved over the past two decades, undoubtedly terms have merged, often losing purpose or clarity. So, we thought we should help by using our experience and expert agile knowledge, to bring some clarity to the agile terms being used every day. Please get in touch if you can’t find your frequent agile question listed below, or if you need a more detailed answer. We are always here to help.

Our team is made of up of agile practitioners, with decades of experience between them. Whilst we bring clarity to the agile terms being used and we’re able to answer any questions about agile practices and principles, we also bring pragmatism to any agile adoption or agile transformation.

 

FAQs LIVE

FAQs LIVE webinars discussing agile topics each themed on one of the questions below. Our next FAQS LIVE is:

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How does weighted shortest job first (WSJF) work?

When you have to prioritise a list of requirements from different stakeholders or customers, you can choose from many different methods. One popular method, advocated by lean-agile approaches such as SAFe®, is weighted shortest job first (WSJF).

WSJF is an approach that gives preference to items that provide the most economic impact in the shortest duration.

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What are the stories, features, capabilities, and epics in SAFe?

When you want to express a requirement for functionality in SAFe, you can use stories, features, capabilities and epics. When is each of these used? What level of detail do they contain? And who has content authority for them?

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What are the SAFe events?

In the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), there are regular events (meetings) at different levels. What are they, who should attend, and what is their purpose?

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What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Product Owner in SAFe?

‘Product manager’ (PM) and ‘Product Owner’ (PO) are two roles that appear in many organisations which have adopted agile approaches to their work. In SAFe, these roles are distinct, each with specific responsibilities.

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What is an RTE in SAFe?

The Release Train Engineer (RTE) is a role in the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe). They are responsible for ensuring that the agile release train (the team of agile teams) work well together and follow the SAFe processes.

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How could I run PI Planning when everyone is working remotely?

In the Scaled Agile Framework®, SAFe®, Programme Increment (PI) planning is an essential element and is generally run as ‘big room planning’ event where everyone is in the same location. Often there are some people who connect remotely but how could PI Planning be done when everyone is working remotely?

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How do I start implementing SAFe?

The Scaled Agile Framework®, or SAFe®, is one of a growing number of frameworks that seek to address the problem of coordinating the activities of multiple teams when using lean and agile delivery methods. This article gives advice on how to start using SAFe.

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What are the 10 essential SAFe elements?

The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) has different configurations. Many aspects are optional or depend on the configuration that you have chosen to use. However, there are 10 elements of SAFe that are considered so important to the framework that, if they are not used, then SAFe is not being used. These 10 essential SAFe elements are:

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What is an Agile Release Train?

In the Scaled Agile Framework® SAFe® an agile release train (ART) is a team of agile teams. Additionally, it includes an associated group of stakeholders. An ART frequently delivers valuable functionality into a system.

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What SAFe training courses are available?

The Scaled Agile Framework®, or SAFe®, has a set of certified training courses that are aimed at specific roles within SAFe. Each of these courses prepares delegates for their role in an organisation and enables the delegate to take examinations to gain the associated qualification.

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What are the roles in SAFe?

The Scaled Agile Framework®, or SAFe®, has roles that are usually associated with different levels: Team, Programme, Solution and Portfolio.

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What is SAFe?

The Scaled Agile Framework®, or SAFe®, is a set of workflows and patterns to help enterprises scale lean and agile practices. It is one of a growing number of frameworks that seek to address the problem of coordinating the activities of multiple teams when using lean and agile delivery methods.

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What scaling agile frameworks are available?

As agile has developed over the last 10-15 years, questions have arisen around how you scale when you get a number of teams working on the same product. There are several scaling agile frameworks designed to help to solve the problem of numerous teams working across the same or closely linked products. Using our own experience and a number of different source materials we have collated a list of the top four scaling agile frameworks, based on market share; including their strengths and weaknesses and the agile frameworks they are suited to.

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What is a product owner?

A product owner is a decision maker.

Fundamentally, the role exists to help represent the needs of both the business stakeholders and the users within a complex environment. They broker the needs of those two sets of people condensing their requests for features and enhancements in to a single prioritised list of tasks for the development team to turn in to working product.

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Can I claim PDUs for a course?

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Students of Scrum.org courses may be eligible to apply for 14 PDUs after attending a two-day Professional Scrum Foundations (PSF), Professional Scrum Master (PSM), Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO), or Scaled Professional Scrum (SPS) course and 21 PDUs after attending a three-day Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) course. Scrum.org do not specify which categories are covered by their training courses. It is the responsibility of the individual to decide how the PDUs are assigned across the different areas of the PMI Talent Triangle™. Please go to the Scrum.org PDU webpage for more information and guidance.

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What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is a visible plan for the future.

There’s no one type of plan. There are different sorts that will be of interest and use to different people.

If you’re using the agile product delivery framework, Scrum, the sprint backlog is a plan for the immediate sprint. Most teams will have a product backlog, which is a prioritised wish-list of ideas that need to be taken on a journey from concept to reality.

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What is a product increment?

In the context of agile software product development, using a framework such as Scrum, a software product increment is what gets produced at the end of a development period or timebox.

In Scrum, for example, the regular development cycle is a Sprint, a period of between one and four weeks in which a planned set of product features are developed. At the end of the Sprint, the development team would have created new software that gets built into the product in such a way that it could be released into live operation, if that is the desire. This is the product increment.

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