Agile is a methodology that allows teams in any organization to break down a project into several parts and constantly collaborate with the stakeholders. After obtaining the customer’s requirements, the professionals follow this methodology to plan and execute their strategies until the end product is developed. This assists the companies to create high-quality products and services for the end-users.
Better project management using Agile enables companies to reduce costs and increase their efficiency. So, for those who want to become an Agile Product manager, a CSPO certification is highly recommended.
What do you mean by Agile methodology?
Agile is a project management methodology that is aimed at building products for customers using short work cycles consisting of rapid production and constant revision. This world-famous concept was built on the following core values –
- Individual and team interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The main aspect of the Agile methodology is that it focuses on teamwork and how the team members work together. It is believed that the best solutions evolve through collaborative cross-functional teams. The heart of the Agile framework lies in collaboration, trust among team members, adaptation and open communication.
Although the project leader lays down the project deliverables and specifics, the team decides how the project is to be carried out. They do this by creating assignments and decomposing the project into granular tasks.
The results, plans and project requirements are constantly evaluated in Agile. This enables teams to respond to change quickly and effectively.
Why are the Agile methods popular?
Leading corporations use Agile methods to cope up with the changing customer demands and the corporate landscape. The Agile methods commonly used include –
- Agile Scrum Methodology
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Lean Software Development
- Feature Driven Development (FDD)
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
These methods have become popular over the years due to the following benefits –
Enhanced stakeholder engagement
Agile methods allow team members to collaborate closely with the clients during each step of the project. This allows them to gain a better understanding of the requirements and vision of their clients.
Agile methods also help teams to deliver high-quality software products before the deadlines and gain their client’s trust. Using fixed and scheduled sprints – which is a fixed time period during which the work has to be completed – new features can be delivered fast and efficiently.
These sprints of 1 to 4 weeks let developers release the software or beta test it a little early to see how it works.
As the Agile uses sprints, the costs associated with the work to be done in a single sprint can be estimated beforehand. This helps in estimating the cost of each feature added to the product. This, in turn, helps in decision making and prioritizing the required features for the final product.
By letting the client determine the priority of features, the team understands which features will bring the most profit for the business.
As the Agile methodology focuses on user stories to define their product criteria, the product is developed to provide maximum value to them. As beta testing is possible after each sprint, customer feedback is obtained early in the project which helps in incorporating changes efficiently.
Agile projects are broken down into several parts and iterations with a certain milestone and a deadline. This maximizes the use of resources and keeps your developers busy and productive. This is because the developers do not have to wait too long for the instructions and objectives.
What does an Agile product manager do?
The main role of an Agile product manager is to combine traditional product management concepts with Agile methodologies. An Agile product manager has the responsibility to work with the customers and company leaders to define the final product’s direction and image. He or she represents the customer’s or clients’ vision and designs the project guidelines accordingly.
Agile product managers understand their customers’ lifestyles, habits, behaviors, and demands by undergoing thorough research. They talk to their customers/ clients and staff to understand the product requirements. Other responsibilities include –
- Developing new ideas for products
- Performing market analysis to know the market scenario and customer needs
- Performing competitor analysis to understand competitor strategies and products
- Handling usability testing, beta testing and assessing the results of these tests
- Providing feedback to the teams
Skills required to be an Agile product manager are –
- Excellent teamwork and collaboration skills
- Proven experience to handle cross-functional teams efficiently
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Good at understanding capabilities of team members and assigning them tasks accordingly
- Thorough knowledge of Agile methodologies
- Skilled in supervising the advertising and sales team for successful product marketing
Importance of a CSPO certification
The Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification validates your skills, experience and knowledge required to be a Product Owner. A product owner defines the product backlog – which is a list of prioritized product features – and conveys the project vision to the team.
This certification will increase your knowledge of Scrum and employment scope in all companies where Agile is utilized. Top companies who extensively hire Certified Scrum Product Owners are Intel, Siemens, Ernst & Young and Honeywell.
To complete the certification, you can learn the basics of Scrum by reading the Agile manifesto and Scrum guide. The topics covered in the certification are –
- How to develop a product vision
- How to create, prioritize and maintain a product backlog
- Handling stakeholders
- Determining user needs and demands
So, enroll in a CSPO certification course today to take your career to new heights!