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Professional Scrum Competency: Evolving the Agile Organization

Evolving the Agile Organization IconOrganizations need to learn fast and respond quickly to market conditions in the Digital Age. Evolving the Agile Organization includes concepts and tools for measuring and enabling business agility through Evidence-Based Management (EBM). It also examines the importance of Organizational Design and Culture, which includes human factors, processes, and structures in the organization that can promote or inhibit agility with Scrum.
Evidence-Based Management (EBM) encourages rational, data-driven decisions while applying empirical process theory to the development of high-value products.  EBM provides a set of perspectives on value and the organization’s ability to deliver value. These perspectives are called Key Value Areas (KVAs). These areas examine the goals of the organization (Unrealized Value), the current state of the organization relative to those goals (Current Value), the responsiveness of the organization in delivering value (Time-to-Market), and the effectiveness of the organization in delivering value (Ability-to-Innovate). Focusing on these four dimensions enables organizations to better understand where they are and where they need to go Organizational Design and Culture focuses on understanding how organizational attributes affect strategy, stimulate employees, and build distinctive capabilities that make it easier, or harder, to deliver value to customers. Organizational design, and the use of tools that can help guide iterative and incremental value-focused organizational change, are critical to evolving and cultivating an Agile culture.
Additionally, Scrum uses empiricism and self-organization to address Portfolio Planning. It is important to recognize that this approach affects the entire organization, not just the Agile Leaders, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and Developers. Every person who has inputs to, or outputs from, a Scrum Team or Teams is affected by how the team works within the organization.
Scrum Masters and Agile Leaders are particularly attentive to Evolving the Agile Organization, but a key element to that growth is for all roles in the organization to understand the growth vision, hence, this competency applies to all roles.


Key Focus Areas

Within each competency, a number of Focus Areas provide a more detailed view of the knowledge and skills you require to master that competency.

Organizational Design and Culture

Traditional organizations are often structured around Taylorism and mass production concepts in response to simple problems. Complex problems require a different way of organizing. This Focus Area describes the fundamental differences of an agile organization; namely its structure, culture, and design. A practitioner will understand what an agile enterprise looks like and approaches for implementing the agile enterprise in a traditional organization. They will understand how to balance the needs for agility with the existing reality of traditional organizational structures.

Portfolio Planning

For many large organizations, work is being undertaken in the context of a broader portfolio. That portfolio could be a product, system, value stream, supply chain, or even a program. This Focus Area describes what agile portfolio planning looks like; its characteristics, principles, and associated practices. The Practitioner will understand why agile portfolio planning must be different than traditional portfolio planning in order to deal with complex products and systems. They will also understand how to apply these ideas to their portfolio. Practitioners will understand the challenges of managing complex dependencies and the choices that need to be made, while ensuring that team agility is not broken, to serve the needs of the larger organization.

Evidence-Based Management

A fundamental element of Scrum is empirical process; the idea that complex problems require real experience to effectively plan and deliver value. Evidence-Based Management (EBM) is a set of ideas and practices that describe broad measurement areas used to provide an effective, empirical, and value-based approach to any product. This Focus Area describes what EBM is and how to apply it to any product. The practitioner will understand what EBM is, as well as the practices that comprise it, and how to use EBM to enable a business-driven, value-based empirical process.


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