A Remarkable Journey through the D3 world
My entry into the world of D3 was simply fortuitous. I was all very excited for my project assignment in 2014, which was to lead the upcoming release of one of our most successful products – SAP Multiresource Scheduling. It was a good opportunity to showcase my learnings out of the PMP certification as much as this opportunity came with a list of many firsts for me – first FBS of this size and visibility, first project in D3, first PM opportunity with a global team to deliver, and many more. When MRS 10.0 started in the second half of 2014, the team was new to Scrum. Me, along with my Project Architect had to do a lot of self learning to come up with the Sprint Plans. The Seniors in the team who had experience with the team dynamics helped us to come up with the communication plans to enable continuous communication and transparency between all stakeholders. One highlight of this was to have weekly PO calls to sync between the development POs and the Main POs. During the course of the project, these meetings helped the decision making on the nebulous areas of the scope by bringing in transparency on what comes in and what stays out.
Since we were the front runners in Scrum and thereby D3 adoption, we were also invited to various sessions for sharing our experiences, which helped us connect with many people who wanted more inputs and guidance from us. Having seen the benefits of following Scrum, using backlogs and tracking velocity trends, I was convinced of the immense benefits that this new way of working would bring to the table. The need to define the backlog items to the granular level and the expectation that the backlog item be completely defined before getting into a sprint, demanded deeper look into the problem statements at an early stage. The confluence of Agile, Requirements Engineering and User Experience brought in more clarity, and sometimes even brought new requirements to light. Based on my belief in this new methodology and the experience that I got from my project, I was given an opportunity to attend the Train The Trainer Training for Product Owners conducted at Walldorf during Sep’ 15. The training further vindicated the way I looked at Agile and Scrum.
The PO – Train The Trainer Training was again a first of its kind for me. It was a Global Training with colleagues from all over the world attending . All aspects of the training looked promising – ranging from the participants, the trainers, the curriculum and the structure. We had people with SAP experience ranging from 3 months to 25 years. People with little to more than a decade of Scrum experience took part in the training which made the classroom interactions valuable. There were hardcore fans of Scrum and there were others who were convinced that this is not a fit for a product company. Amidst all the interesting discussions, lectures, activities and different trainers – we completed our 5 days of training.
The structure of the training was also well thought of – the first two days we had trainers from Scrum.Org taking us through the PO curriculum. Their experience of working with many companies helped them answer many burning questions from the classroom. After that was a 1.5 day training on the SAP Curriculum for POs by the trainers from SAP. The last 1.5 days was “reverse training” where the participants were to make a “Tandem” ( pair of two) and deliver a portion of training for an hour. Attending a training, of course, was easy , but delivering something in front of a diverse audience, where you had to convince and convey value, was a challenge by itself. Having said that , me and my co-trainer spent hours into the night discussing and preparing for the D-day. We also prepared many hand drawn charts and were able to deliver a pretty good training the following day.
At the end of this training, all participants were provided with a Scrum.Org password which could be used to appear for a Scrum.Org Professional Scrum Product Owner Certification (PSPO 1). Whilst there was no validity period, I decided to do it as soon as possible to challenge myself. Finally I got certified early November 2015.
During my tenure in MRS 10.0 , I was playing the role of a Scrum master and all through while attending the PO trainings, I was looking for information on how to get certified as a Scrum Master as well. The Scrum.Org Trainer told me that I can buy a Certification password from Scrum.Org and appear for it. This was my next challenge. I wanted to get certified before end of 2015 and cleared it in early December.
People who would potentially like to get certified on the above certifications would be interested in information on “How to get certified as a PSPO or PSM?”. While I am available for my experience sharing, I do also recommend to follow the advice through the link below:
PSPO 1 Certification: http://www.scrumcrazy.com/Scrum.org+PSPO+I+Study+Tips
PSM 1 Certification: http://www.scrumcrazy.com/Scrum.org+PSM+I+Study+Tips
Certifications are a good way to showcase to the world your proficiency in a subject. Some people get certified after practising a particular domain for a long time. I have always gone for certifications when I was still a newbie with some experience in the domain. My experience is that this helps your thought process early on. During the preparation towards Scrum Certifications, I would have read the Scrum Guide close to 10 times as advised in the above link and tried to understand the meaning of each and every statement within. This, when added to my project experience, enabled me to choose the right response while answering the certification questions. The certification is also interesting, as there will be a few questions, which forces you to think in new ways and integrate different concepts together to arrive at the right response.
People who want to test their Scrum knowledge can also try the open assessments available through the following link:
There are different types of assessments in the above link, and based on your role preference – whether you are a Scrum master, a Product owner or a Development Team member, you can take different flavors of the test.
I am now a D3 Coach for APJ projects. In most of the projects that I have coached, I have realized the power of D3 as early as in the first Sprint itself. Being part of these projects, I am aware of the challenges the teams face and the learnings therein. Every project is unique and so are challenges and opportunities. I am privileged and happy to be learning as I play the role of the coach and attempt to help the teams with my experiences to make projects successful.
2015 has been rewarding with a lot of different experiences, and D3 did stand out, as opportunities such as these where you learn and deliver on something as significant, do not happen too many times in one’s career. D3, according to me is a new way of project execution that touches almost all aspects of our professional delivery – a disruptor in our daily lives, but also a great learning experience!