Monday, 15 October 2018

What is Scrum and Agile Project Management that works for the Business?

   
   
           Agile is a perfect fit for organizations looking to transform how they manage project and operate as a whole. Agile project management methodology that uses short development cycles called "Sprints" which are focusing on continuous improvement in the development of a product or service. Agile developed for the software industry to streamline and improve the development process in an effort to identify and adjust for issues and defects.
              Agile PM is a highly iterative process that allows for rapid adjustments throughout the project for better performance and agility by project teams.  It provides a way for developers and teams to deliver a better product, in a faster manner, through short, iterative and interactive sprints. Agile can help company-wide process and methodological alignment. There are various agile frameworks including scrum, lean, Extreme Programming and SAFe. It typically includes the tasks that are broken into small increments with minimal planning in order to allow for increased agility. Agile PM referred to the movement, development, method or more commonly used the methodology in the software industry.

     The most IT project managers and software developers are familiar with Agile Manifesto. The evolutionary model of software development methods outlines the history of IT development technique and includes these models,
   * Waterfall - Follows the sequential process and maintains the document trail
   * Rapid Prototyping - Creates a disposable prototype to establish customer preferences
   * Spiral - Serious of prototypes that incrementally incorporate user requirements
   * Incremental delivery - Delivers a system to the consumer in chunks of functional programs that are integrated incrementally to create a complete system.
   * Evolutionary Delivery - It is an iterative approach in which customers test an actual version of the software.

Scrum and Agile: Agile is a a set of methods and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the agile manifesto which includes things like collaboration, self-organization, and cross-functionality of teams.  To understand the scrum, you have to know the people and parts of the framework and need a place to organize your thoughts or your backlog that could be the software like Trello or whiteboard. Also, you need the roles like Product Owner and Scrum Master. These are the essential parts that make the scrum happen,
    * Scrum starts with a Product Owner. This person represents the user's interest and authority to say what goes into the final product.
    * The Product Owner is in charge of making the Backlog, a list of tasks and requirements the final product needs. The backlog must be prioritized. For ex, If you use scrum to design a car, items like " must have an engine" would be the top of the priority list because a car can not run without it. "Must be painted red" would be low priority list. Because it is not much important to run the car.
  * Next is Sprint. Sprint is the predetermined time frame within which the team completes set of the task from the Backlog.
   * Every day, the team meets to give progress updates in the Daily Scrum. It is also called as "Daily Stand-ups".
   * Each team ends with review or Retrospective, where the team reviews their work and discuss a way to improve the next Sprint.
 

Here are the steps to get started, 
       Step1: Pick your Roles - Product Owner who is responsible for the project need of the user. Scrum Master who helps the team move along based on the principles of the scrum. Scrum runs on a Servant-Leader model.
       Step2: Create Product Backlog - The backlog is where you list out everything the project needs and prioritized. The backlog is never complete. As the project takes shape and new needs emerge, you will need to add. The product owner responsible for this work.
      Step3: Plan Sprint - It is to pick the tasks from the backlog to completed Sprint. Sprints are time-limited. Decide on the time length that works for you, but they are always less than a month.
     Step4: Get to Work - Start to work on the Sprint. Team members work on the tasks and everybody checks in on their progress at the Daily Scrum Meeting. The meeting lasts no more than 15 minutes and answers 3 questions like what did you work on yesterday? what will you work today? Is there anything blocking your work today that need the help?
    Step5: Review the Work - At the end of the Sprint, the team reviews the work accomplished and presents their completed tasks.
     Step6: Review your Process - In the retrospective meeting, you'll need to review how the actual work process went and plan ways to improve and work efficiently next time.
    Step7: Repeat -  With the first Sprint Complete, it is time to start over again. Pick the tasks from the backlog and repeat the process.

Software Costs and Pricing: Cost is the Product of time and Peoples. It depends on the stakeholder confidence for the fixed cost or variable cost. The following steps are taken into consideration for an estimate and fixed price project,
 1. Initial High-Level Scope - At the beginning of the project, it is important to know about its eventual outcome and to know exactly what features our customers and users need. So, it can break down the tasks as,
  a. Project Vision and Objective Setting: It is to decide on what are the business objective and what you need to achieve and build? Understanding these questions allow you to scale the project. Do you need a prototype to test the idea or concept? Have you Identified the clear Value Proposition that has been tested with your market and ready to build your Minimum Viable Product(MVP)? Are you scaling your existing product or business to take it to the next level?
 b. Epic Features: Define the features that the projects need to fulfill the customer needs. It is called user stories that are the backbone of the product.
c. Analysis of Product:  The Maslow analysis technique helps to identify what is really necessary to make the product viable. The items that are identified as "Must" satisfy what will encourage users to engage and adopt your product. The features that are identified as "Should" will delight the customer but could be built later. The "could" items can add significant value to the business, may not increase the return and lowest priority. The feature identified as "Won't" are out of scope for the project iteration.
2. Creating the Proposals: The proposals provide information to create the product you want?  Does this align with the business strategy and finance? When will we launch the project?  With this information, We can derive one technical solution that delivers the known scope and estimated cost to complete the project. At the outset of the project, we know what will be delivered.

3. Release Planning: The next level of estimation is a release plan that will deliver the range of features in a given timeframe. The release plan has the list of features, size of the project, how quickly the team can develop the software that meets customer expectations and techniques for managing the risk of uncertainty. It has the following information,
   a. Product Backlog: It is simply an ordered list of "user stories" or "epics" that represents the features required for the product. The epics can break down into meaningful items. Each item represents a portion of the business value to the customer.
  b. Estimation: There are agile estimation techniques like Ideal Days, Planning Poker. The Planning Poker technique ensures quick, reliable results based on expert opinions and analogous sizing. It assigns an agreed number to each item representing size and complexity. This is called a story point.
The Story Point is the unit of measure that expresses the overall size of the user story. The size of the story includes all aspects of design, engineering, testing, code review, and integration etc., Each size of the story relative to another story. For ex, Story A may be sized as one point. Here, the story C is three times the size of story A. And, the total size of the project is 15 story points.

     Ideal Days is a measure of size expressed on days. It removes the overhead such as interruptions, agile planning activities, reading emails, and other non-project related activities. It concentrates on how long it would take if you were to work on something continuously without interruption rather than the elapsed time from start to finish.
 c. Prioritization: This is really about what is being most valuable to the customer in order to achieve the desired results. The item at the top of the list considered the most important, the second item is less important than the first and so on to the list.
     The Release Planning can define as how long it will take to deliver a releasable product to the customer and the team including the designers, engineers, testers, project manager, scrum master work together to identify what can be achieved and how quickly work can be done to create a release plan. The release plan gives the insight into how the project will align with the customer strategic plan. It ensures the project team has a guiding light that leads the way and defines the logical endpoint to development. It is important to ensure the agreed definition of "done". These are the given set of criterias that a customer will accept as complete and also meets all of the engineering requirements to be considered releasable.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

The Entrepreneurship: What is Lean Startup?



           Lean IT is the extension of Lean Manufacturing and Lean Services principles to the development and management of information technology(IT) products and services. In the context of Lean IT is the elimination of waste, where waste is work that adds no value to a product or service. Lean thinking spreads and using in all industries like logistics, distribution, retail, healthcare, construction, maintenance, IT etc., The traditional IT organizations still build the wrong products that customers do not like and after they release them too late, infrequently, with too many errors, time-consuming causes to costly process and accrues high amount of technical debt. The Dev's job is to add features and Ops job is to keep the site stable and fast. The conflicts generate lots of waste like organizational silos, different implementation, and mindset etc., So, every organization should assess its own downtime costs based on its own business model and architecture.

    Definition of Startup: The startup is the human institution designed to create something new under extreme uncertainty. Therefore, it is a management challenge. We don't know what the product and the customer at the initial stage. If you were in the situation of high uncertainty, find out what you don't know as quickly as possible. So, the learning helps you identify what is unknown and allows you to make progress with the product.
          In Lean Startup, there is a concept called Validated Learning. It is the process of using the quantitative methods to modify the end product in a way that becomes more successful. It is a proven method to yourself, your investors, and stakeholders that are getting better the product.  Metrics that provide useful information for the entrepreneur to modify the end product is called Actionable Metrics. On the other hand, Metrics that look very good but essentially useless to portray your success is called Vanity Metrics. Make predictions on metrics that are supposed to happen by avoiding the vanity metrics. When you go product iterations from pivot to pivot quantitatively, not only you learn from abstract, you can apply that learning to change the customer behavior. It is fundamentally the product is a tool for changing the customer behavior and changing the way the world works. In that way, you have the sustainable business.

     If you have the vision and innovative business idea to work on the project. Here are the steps to validate your idea without wasting time, budget, and building something that nobody wants,

Step 1: Write the User Experience Vision - It is the description of the initial setup with ending of High-Level Plan.
Step 2: Identify the Critical Assumptions - It will save a large amount of time waste and ensure that the target customer will actually buy the product. It is actually gathering the behavior of the audience, not the opinion.
Step 3: Build an Early Version to Validate a Critical Assumption: It can be done by Concierge MVP and Smoke Screen MVP. The Concierge MVP is a manual method to test the automated process and Smoke Screen MVP is marketing with a finished product. This helps you to measure the actual customer behavior.
Step 4: Release and Measure: Once the product is released, it is time to measure the number of pre-orders received, average watching time of your product ad on the social media etc.,
Step 5: Pivot or Persevere: If your ad gets trends or more people watching the video, you have the bit more time to tweak the product. The sign of the successful pivot is that this engine-tuning are more productive after the pivot than before.

Continuous Process Improvement: Continuous Improvement or "Lean" is a systematic approach to business management which uses universal principles and tools that are logic based and relatively simple to implement, The key to a Toyota way and what makes Toyota stand out is not only of individual elements. But what is important is having all the elements together as a system and must be practiced in a very consistent manner.

       Lean Startup is a field-tested philosophy that provides you the toolset to minimize the failures and increases your chances of success. Being Lean is the practice that considers any goal other than creating value for the consumer to be wasteful. Just having that plan is enough to the success. The business plan is serious of assumptions and guesses what might be happening in the future? The lean startup aims to quickly and quantitatively identify great hypotheses and the bad ones.
 TPS helps you answer these questions,
 * What do customers truly want?
 * When they want?
 * In the quantity they require without defects?
 * What is the path to the sustainable business?
 * How can you waste less time building a new startup?
The entrepreneur always has the vision. The vision is where you want to go but doesn't have to tell you how to get that. If you have an idea or strategy for the new product, the first step is to create a Minimum Viable Product(MVP). It is the smallest possible product we can possibly imagine. This helps you to figure out the right track or not. It could be a simple prototype or mere elements of the business and it is enough to learn on the right track. Learning is the most vital function of any startup.

What are Lean Principles: The important Lean Principle is that you are always moving from doubt to certainty. It specifies the value from the perspective of the customer. It does not focus on organizational and functional boundaries. It can define as,
    * Looks across the Value Stream and determining customer needs and ensure to make the value flow. Whatever the customer needs every day is most important in value flow without interruption making the customer happy and satisfied.
   * Pull of the customer that do only what the customer wants when they want it. It strives for perfection by continuously removing the successive layers of waste as they were uncovered.

     The Value Stream Mapping technique helps visualize customer value, differentiate value from the waste, and eliminate the sources of waste. Takt Time is the value stream metrics which is the heartbeat of the process. It is the meantime between the request. The pace of the process keeps in order to keep up the pace with demand. If the pace too fast, then the Resource remain idle. If the pace too slow then the work in progress(WIP) builds up. There are 3 types of wastes identified in lean that are Mudi, Mura, Muri ( in Japanese terms ) means as,

Mudi refers to Unnecessary Activities and NonValue
Mura refers to Variation, Variance in the process
Muri refers to Inflexible, Overburdening on the process.


        So, how the lean maximizes customer value by minimizing the waste. Determine the activities by removing those things which are non-value, the one that is necessary but not delivering value, and the one that is really value added. It can describe as,


        The value of the customer can be identified in the products and services. In the product, the factors to be considered are performance, features, timeliness, reliability, aspects, reputation, and completeness etc., The factors in the service to the customer value are competence, reliability, accuracy, responsiveness, courtesy, communication, credibility, understanding etc.,

Why Lean? How do we make sure that we are successful working in the right direction, satisfying the customer requirement, and providing outstanding flow?  By using the Continuous Improvement Methodology, you can reach those goals. Continuous Improvement measures waste in following types,

   * OverProduction - It is a production of what they need and when they need it and not underproduce. Also, it is very costly.
   * Inventory Waste - It is a material or information  that are not required for customer demands
   * Waiting - We experience waiting in a laboratory environment for the next business cycle before the process to be completed. Make sure that the information flow in and out as per the customer need.
  * Motion - It is the necessary movement of people and process. Every movement should add value to the customer and movement should not be impeded.
 * Transportation - An unnecessary movement of people between processes and internal links. Are you using the best value of the product distribution or material?
  * Defects - Anything that has to be redone are considered defects
  * Extra Processing - Process in the environment does not have any value or any extra operations are considered extra processing. The material should be delivered and consumed just in time and no stopping or stagging or inspection.
  * Unused Creativity -The goal is to eliminate waste and allow to think and improve the business.
        With the strategy in mind, the features and functions can be implemented in quick, good and useful to the customer. Here is an example of IT service Management Value Creation,



DBS Management System: It is a standard systematic way to manage the Continuous Improvement in Corporate Culture.  It works on all internet operating company and it has 3 critical components
  1. Daily Management(KPI) - How we serve the customer TODAY and meet current expectations. KPI involves delivering quality, inventory, and productivity. When you enter the new market, we have to think again the breakthrough or redesign through strategy. You need to go through the advance methodology for action planning
  2. Policy Deployment - What are the strategies or goals up to 3 or 5 years in advance and make sure working in the direction satisfied to the customer or business. It is also how we create a sustainable competitive advantage by striving for world-class performance.
 3. Problem Solving - It is everybody's daily work and really looking at improving the KPI. It is the iterative process to bridge the gap of performance which often exists between where we are and where we want to go.
    DBS System increases the productivity without compromising the quality. The Method in Lean is to simply identify the process or product to work online.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

What is Product Management with Lean, Agile and Design Thinking?


         Design thinking is the process to understand and solutions to your user's issues. The representative from every discipline needs to be involved in the design thinking exercise.  The design thinking can describe as a technique to bring business and technology partners together, create the solutions for real user needs and test whether solutions will generate business benefit before you invest time in coding. It ensures that all different perspectives are covered and that everyone is on the same page.
      There are three mindsets of product development, and design thinking is how we explore and solve the problem. Lean is the framework to test the beliefs and learn to the right outcomes. Agile is how we adapt to the changing conditions with the software.



       Design thinking is the customer-focused process. It helps you to identify and fix real customer pain points. It also helps the measurable understanding of which your ideas are likely to be successful with your customers. If you are running lean or agile style project method, you'll be going through build, test, learn iterations. Design thinking starts on these iterations faster and helps you prioritize the order in which to build things so that you can get early benefit and feedback on your ideas. With design thinking processes, you get multiple opportunities to check-in with potential customers and make necessary course corrections.

Design Thinking Process: Good design thinking involves all the stakeholders responsible for building the product. It is the systematic steps that show the team how the user data translated into a usable and a valuable interfaces. The design thinking cycle includes a validation phase where you build the design concepts and test with your customers. It also helps you plan, and prioritise the implementation details so that to move straight into the development process. Here are the steps in the design thinking process,

 1. Finding the Real Problem: It starts with in-person research to find out where your customer's issue lie. They can show you the problems they have. Recognizing and solving these problems likely delightful for the customer which translates into business value.  Watching your customer performing their real tasks, then talking to them about the experiences gives you insights into what is going on, but not why. Once you have the insights from your customer observation, you can turn them into prioritize list of goals for what your new product should achieve. Setting the measurable goals helps you ensure that you are really delivering the business benefit.

 2. Ideation: Ideation takes many forms, and it involves all the different disciplines on your team. Getting insights from the whole team based on the idea will lead to more creative solutions. The creative part is something the value of the agency. The most logical, practical, grounded individuals create wonderful design ideas.


 3. Prototyping: Paper prototype creation and usability testing are fast, cheap, and easy ways to see whether we covered all angles. If the prototype created in a day, then the usability test with consumers done on the next day to see how well it works with them. It is necessary to understand the concept and changes need to make before the product is ready for development. The paper prototype usability testing is only the first of many customer check-ins and other metrics gathering activities aimed to stay on-track during the development process. To figure out what type of prototype you need to create, try to answer these questions in the four categories,
    * Generate New Ideas

    * Convey Complex Interactions

    * Document Design Intent

    * Learn how users react to your Ideas

 4. Implementing: It is the process after you have been through this build, test, learn-cycle with the paper prototype to create high-level planning for building the product. The plan you create should be incremental. It's a setup to deliver the business benefit early in the process and add functionality piece by piece releasing after each new addition. This lets you test the product at multiple points to meet your goals and are delivering something that people will use. The research and marketing team can say which items are likely to appeal to the customers' and encourage them to use the product. Designers create a template and design field for the product with the good understanding of what items needed later, so things fit together go well.

      In Design-thinking process, you have got early customer-centric design input and prototype feedback so you can be more confident that your solutions will be accepted. The frequent deliverable and opportunities measure progress against your initial goals that allow you to course correction through the development and implementation process. Lean is a business process to test new ideas quickly and get the business benefits faster by using the feedback from those tests to decide what element of the product to work next. Agile is the technical process used to build new ideas quickly and test those ideas, using the things you learn from the tests drive the next iteration.


Agile Development Practices: In agile development, everyone needs to work together. It is not only the designer and developer, and it includes clients, stakeholders, and tester. Communication is the king. From the developer and designer needs to open up a channel of direct communication as early as possible and that lasts throughout the project.

Planning Phase: In this phase, choose the technical and managerial toolsets that include,

  * Project Management Software

  * Version Control

  * Third Party Libraries

For agile project tracking, start with simple tools like Airtable, Trello, Pivotal Tracker. These are basic kanban boards that you can create your user stories, backlog, and sprint on. If you want some powerful tool, you can jump into JIRA, Hansoft.
    By the design phase of an agile project, the technical team needs the good understanding of the product they are building. It is good idea to have the short document with project standards. This includes how to write version control commits, user stories, and anything needs to be standardized across the team.

Design Phase: The main advantage of the agile software development is to focus on iteration. So, the code base will be updated very frequently. The code needs to handle heavy iteration without architecture overhauls at every sprint. The project architecture goes as to keep things modular. It starts with a constant awareness of what is being built and how it is built. The goal is to deliver working software. So, it is not only to consider how you write the clean code but how you can make it as flexible as possible for later expansion.

Development Phase: In agile development, velocity is the measurement that is used to determine how much work an agile team can do over the period of time. It is also called as sprint velocity. Velocity depends on how your team decides to weigh user stories and tasks. Being that velocity is the measurement over time, the question at the beginning of the project is how to set the baseline. The rule of thumb to think of potential velocity as about 30% of your actual sprint time. Whether you hit the mark or not that will tell you a lot about how and other developers work and what needs to improve. Once you have the baseline velocity, each successive sprint can be planned more effectively.

   There are 2 programming methodologies that go well in agile development that Pair Programming and Test-Driven Development. In Pair Programming, two developers sit at one computer, one writing code, and other watching and offering advice, direction, and the possible improvements. The benefits of this method are many, first, the code is written by 2 peoples result in less error and more elegant coding solutions. It increases the level of competence and knowledge that every member of the agile team with practical software delivery with the credit for the code written is shared. The Test-Driven development is more time intensive programming practice and powerful. First, you write the failing test. This is a red phase. Next, you write the production code to pass that failing test. After your code passes from the green phase, that gets into the refactoring phase.


Testing:  One of the critical decision you'll have to make for your project is how to handle testing. In agile, the best way to test the software project is to use the test-driven development. Another method of testing is manual testing. This can be done by your client, stakeholders, dedicated quality assurance team or developer themselves. If you're manually testing, you need to have a dedicated tester or testing time set during each sprint. Here is the way to handle the bugs in test-driven and manual method,

       For instance, Sprint1 is finished and starting Sprint2 right away. Ideally, We have done the quality assurance test at the end of the Sprint1. There will always be the bugs that come after the test. In the middle of the Sprint 2 and a few bugs and change request come back in backlog. So, how to deal with these things. First, Keep the record of specific bugs are found in. Second, you have to address the bug as early as possible. The important thing is not letting them down in the production code for too long. Third, if you have got the bugs stacking up towards the end of a sprint, consider the next sprint focused on clearing them up and load up less on new development work. Treat them bugs and change request as backlog items that are same as development feature or user story.

Release: It is how we handle the integration code for multiple developers so that the code base doesn't fragment. As the problem suggests that, we need something that can handle the code integration and later deployment with multiple developers working concurrently.  So, the Continuous Integration(CI) is the solution.  The new commit is pushed to the project repository. It's tested against a defined test suite. If it passes, it's deployed into the testing platform or release to the public. While CI is concerned with integrating and validating your codebase, a release pipeline will focus effectively managing the different configurations.



Friday, 31 August 2018

What is Agile Software Development from the Perspective of Product Owner?



      Agile Software Development acknowledges the importance of communication between the business and technical team. Agile is a set of values and principles. It is the collection of beliefs that teams can use to make decisions about how to do the work in developing software. The agile process is dynamic, encourage flexible and respond to the change. It forces a different way of thinking about developing and improving the product. It relies on team effort with varied level of expertise and the process can complete more efficiently and smoothly.

Empower the Right Agile Product Owner:  For every entrepreneur and startup, the challenge to the product owner is to build a compelling product design in time. Here are the crucial challenges while implementing and managing the projects.

            * Time Management

            * Short-term Vs Long Term Goals

            * Direction and Delivery of the project

            * Analysis of Customer Needs

            * Command & Control Vs Adapt & Inspect

      Agile Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the business value delivered by the team.  The ideal product owner is the person with experience, authority, and bandwidth to make all decisions regarding the features and the priority to add the product. Product Owner has the ultimate accountability of health and well being of your product. He owns the product vision and understanding customer needs and making continual decisions on what to build and when. He manages the stakeholders and sponsors expectations. Here are the things to know as an agile product owner,


1. Develop the holistic view of market segments, customer needs, and value: Agile focus on value, and delivering the highest value features as soon as possible. So, everyone from c-suite to engineering team needs to have their eyes fixed on the prize and built collaborative product visions and objectives with representatives from cross-functional disciplines.

2. Build an Empathy with your Customer: Share the experience from your customer visits and interactions with team members. It is good to bring your engineers, testers, business analyst, user experience and the members of the delivery team to the customer to observe.

3. Answer all the questions about Work in Progress: Be available for the clarification of acceptance criteria, prototypes review, completed stories and demos. Until you see it, the team can't consider it done. Always attend your team demos and market the demo.

4. Be Part of Team Retrospective Meeting: Be ready to give and receive feedback. Also, Be engaged and expect retrospective to be well facilitated, and transparent. Each retrospective should conclude with one or more specific actions for improvement.

5. Leverage Agile Strategically to shape the Product to Market Need: Capture the feedback from the customer and use it to reshape the vision, requirements, and priorities.  Delegate the decision making authority to business analyst, tester, or Scrum Master and whoever has the right skills.

6. Develop the Product inch by inch: Think small tests or slices with clearly defined desired outcomes. Teams need clear, measurable acceptance criteria so they can create tests necessary and deliver what you need.

7. Sketch out the View of Product: On the agile product, you don't try to understand or predict the product requirements up front. However, you need to sketch out the long view of the product to establish a common focus and organisational resources of people, money, space, and governance. From the tipping point, you need to define what to build in each release and each iteration.

        There are 3 levels - Product, Release, and Iteration corresponds to 3 views(Big views, Pre View and Now View) of the product. The Big view is an overall understanding of the product and the sequence of the delivery. The Preview outlines what product functionality to deliver in given release and obtain the agreement on product backlog items to deliver in the first few iterations. The Now view defines the item deliver in an iteration. So, the Product Owner should keep the big view in mind, when they progress through Pre-view and Now View.

8. Use Product Roadmap for the Guidance: Agile projects need a planning and analysis tool called product roadmap. It is an evolving plan of product releases with a brief description of themes, features, and anticipated outcomes. The product roadmap is the product vision over time and satisfies goals and objectives. There are 2 things to remember: Evolving and Over time. When the product is developed, the roadmap must be revised to include technologies, opportunities, marketing condition, customer feedback and new learning.

9. Develop KPI's and use to drive Priorities:  Product Owners need to ensure their development team is data-driven in decision making. Their role is to define key KPI's on product performance in the areas such as customer satisfaction, financial, risk and other criteria to help drive priorities.

10. Develop Brands, Platforms, and Ecosystem: Product Owners need to recognise that product do not survive in silos. They need to consider how their offering become a platform or interface into an appropriate ecosystem. They must also partner with marketing to build brands, prospects and develop the relationships. Product Owner should know how and when to thank the team for accomplishment on small and big wins.

       Product Owner has the vision and passionate about the product. He knows why we built the product, the Problem to Solve and for whom to deliver the product. These individuals maximise the value of the product and built according to Scrumguides. Stakeholders are the people to use the product, and they are affected by the system being developed. He needs and expresses ideas as user stories.

        For instance, In the Hotel Reservation System, stakeholder needs to book the hotel and can describe as one user story. The development team has to build the system. This agile team has the capacity to release user stories 4-6 per week. But, the bunch of stakeholders has the number of ideas and visions. Suppose, they ask for 10 user stories per week to develop the system. The development team gets overloaded by user stories. The product owner takes the responsibility to limit the work(ex, WIP limit =5) without causing overloading. The side effect of WIP Limit is the formation of the queue in front of the development team. It is called the product backlog.


     There is a tradeoff between different types of values. It includes short term and long term thinking. Earlier on the project, There is a need to analyse the following factors,

       * Scope - It is to define the total quantity and functionality planned to develop

       * Business Risk - It is to analyse what we are building is the right thing?

       * Technical Risk -  Which platform to work on the scale?

       * Resources - Number of people working on the projects

       * Social Risk - Can these people build on?

       * Cost & Schedule Risk - Can we finish the product at the reasonable amount of time?

The Challenges can be solved, once you have the answers to these questions,

     * What is the right thing to build?

     * How do we build up the right thing?

     * How can we do it most effectively?

     * How to coordinate with the team to do it effectively and in time?

        Designing the valuable products, ensuring priorities and productivity of the organisation is a chief role of the Product Owner. If the PO fails in channelising above roles and responsibility, the project gets doomed. So, it is essential for any product owner to recognise the process in which roles and team work together for the success of a project.

       When the uncertainty is high, it is necessary to focus on knowledge acquisition like user interface, prototypes and technical information and experiments. The product owner can decide what should be in the queue, the sequence, the value of the story and the size. The biggest value can discuss with the stakeholders. Every time the team delivers the product to real users, the team gets the idea of value and size. Product Ownership is all about the communication about the prioritisation, value, and size that are called backlog grouping.

    From the Customer Value perspective, When the uncertainty is reduced, we can focus more and more on customer value. By doing the highest stories first, you can get the steep customer value, and the value curve gradually flattens out. So, build the important stuff and add the noticed features first. At any point, the customer feels met the value, trim the tail and move on to another or whole new feature on the same product. It is called business agility. So, the value can define as,

                      Value($) =  Knowledge Value(?) + Customer Value(😊)


The Product Backlog - Ultimate To-Do List: A product backlog is a prioritised list of work for the development team that derives from the roadmap and its requirements. The important items are at the top of the product backlog. So, the team knows what to deliver first. The development team pulls the work from product backlog either continually from kanban or by the iteration scrum.

             The roadmap can be broken down into epics(here green, blue, teal) and user stories for each of those epics. The product owner organises the user stories into the single list for the development team. Product Owner Prioritize user stories based on,

 * Customer Requirement

 * Urgency of getting the feedback

 * Relative Implementation difficulty

  * Symbiotic relationship between work items (e.g. B is easier if we do A first)

Effective Product Owner seeks input and feedback to optimise everyone's workload and the product delivery.





Wednesday, 15 August 2018

How to Scale the Agile with Scaled Agile Framework(SAFe) and Large Scale Scrum(LeSS)?


 SAFe Introduction: The Scaled Agile Framework(SAFe) built upon Agile, Lean Systems Thinking and Product Development Flow. It allows agile to be scalable for enterprise systems and software. Similar to Scrum, it offers the flexible and evolving framework in which milestones are met to complete a larger project. It provides practices, roles, artifacts and activities for agile development at the enterprise scale. It is a loved resource for large enterprise companies that driven by its structural and methodical approach to project alignment and completion.
     The Scaled Agile Framework can be implemented in the enterprise-class product or service initiative. It allows the user to see the SAFe Big picture to understand the roles, teams, activities necessary in enterprises. SAFe adoption delivers the best business benefits concerning faster time to market, higher quality of the product, improves the productivity and employee engagement.

    Delivering the Software with SAFe: One of the activities of SAFe is the alignment of multiple agile teams around the value streams. It is the lean construct that provides the organisational pattern for delivering the continuous flow of value. Value Streams are realised through the Agile Release Trains(ARTs). It serves as the delivery mechanism for value streams. The key concepts of ARTs are,
    * ARTs work on a fixed and reliable schedule provides the regular development and predictable planning. They also provide an architectural and UX guidance and release governance.
     * The people needed to the ART are dedicated to the train regardless of the reporting structure. It makes easier to apply SAFe without reorganising the enterprise.

  Program Level work of Scaled Agile Framework: Program-level work accelerate the Agile Release Train(ART) that delivers the solution incrementally to the stakeholders. It consists of planning, program kanban, and adapt activities which inspect the optimum quality of the solution.
      The Agile Release Train consists of multiple agile teams, and the individuals are responsible for leading the Train and providing the maximum output in their roles as,
     * Release Train Engineer: Guides the flow of value in the Agile Release Train
     * System Architect and Product Manager: Constructs the architecture of the System. The System Architect has design authority at the program level.
     * Product Manager: Product Manager has the complete authority over the content and understands the Customer Needs
     * Business Owner: Stakeholders or Customers can provide the feedback of the product
Artifacts are the result at the program level that is,
    * Features: items that are become part of the final solutions
    * Product/Program Backlog: It is the list of features that have to be implemented for an Agile Release Train.
    * Program Epics: It originates from Portfolio Epics and become part of the Agile Release Train.
    * PI Objectives: The Program Increment Objective which has to be achieved
    * Architectural Runway: It is the technical vision consisting of code and the features that become the part of the solution that enhances the value of the business.
Portfolio Level Requirements: The collection of multiple value streams is called as a portfolio. It connects the enterprise software via themes like investment funding, program management, strategy. Each theme assists with overall budget planning in large development initiatives called epics. Business epics are the customer-facing solution while the architectural epics are technology facing solutions that are managed in the kanban system.


Configurations of SAFe: Businesses can choose the configuration of SAFe to complete the enterprise software. It can be defined as,
  * Essential SAFe: It is the basic configuration and businesses choose this configuration because it focuses on the critical elements needed to be successful. It includes a foundation with team and program levels.
  * Large Solution SAFe: This is same as essential SAFe with a large solution level added in place of Program Level. This Solution train ensures value delivery of the most complicated large-scale systems.
   * Portfolio SAFe: It contains 3 levels such as Team, Program, and Portfolio level requirements. In Portfolio level, the budgets are defined with the help of epics and themes.
   * Value Stream - There is a 4th level SAFe framework used to scale the enterprise solutions. It is an additional layer between the  Program level and Portfolio level. A value stream can be defined as the series of steps it takes to deliver value from the beginning of development to customer interaction. It flows from customer request to delivery.
  * Full SAFe: It is the configuration that has all the configurations of SAFe in one package. It is a very large systems contain thousands of people to develop. It comprises Team, Project, Portfolio and Large Solutions.

Here is the nutshell of SAFe,
                                   Image Credit: Henrik Kniberg

Adoption of SAFe: The Value Stream that produces the consistent result is essential to the adoption of SAFe to the Organization. So, consider these question to identify the value stream,
       * Is the Executive Supports this idea?
       * Where are the team members are located and distributed?
       * What are the programs that provide the biggest opportunity?
       * What program to adopt SAFe the fastest?
   If you are looking for a solution to scale your development platform for large-scale enterprise solutions, SAFe could be the right iteration of Agile for your business. The benefits of using SAFe in your enterprise solution includes the organised structure, clear definitions and boundaries with the flexibility and overall ability to scale with program needs. SAFe based on the principles of Agile for developers who are used in scrum and sprints to provide consistent results with the same level of reliability. It makes an excellent choice for developers in any organisation that needs to restructure their development framework and processes.

 Large Scale Scrum(LeSS) Introduction:  Is it possible the small-scale development can apply the large-scale development? This question has driven Craig Larman and BassVodde to hundreds of experiments and formulate the LeSS. LeSS scales up the activities in the scrum, applying at the team-of-teams level, while the scrum is single team oriented. Large Scale planning is done by delegating one or two members from each team to the higher level team.  Retrospective and scrum of scrum problem solving are done in the same way. LeSS is defined by minimalism and minimal process, i.e. use as little process as possible to get multiple teams to work well.  LeSS is a solution of how Scrum is intended to work.

Overview: LeSS has a set of principles and experiments. It is based on some of the proven principles of Queueing Theory, System Thinking, Empirical Process Control. It is a product development framework for building the products with at least 2 teams. It is based on the scrum rules, and it can extend multiple team scrum. LeSS tries to stay true to the Agile Manifesto and scrum while figuring out how to work with more teams on the same product.
      Also, LeSS manage the products as products and not as projects. It leads to permanent long lived team owning their work and continuously improving forever. The effect of having the lot of roles, artifacts, process, and layers causes the team does not own the process, the process own the team. With LeSS, you have less roles, less artifacts, and less process but more ownership, creativity, improvement and purpose. It is called More with LeSS.


LeSS Framework: It is a Scrum with Scrum master, development team and product owner. This stable team grows into Feature team. LeSS is based on lean thinking and systems thinking. LeSS organisations follow a simple structure. Work is organised around the teams, and mismatch of skills triggers the learning and coordination within existing teams. Feature teams scales the team that goes above 8 members, and then the additional structure is needed. The requirement area provides this structure with concepts behind the feature teams. Requirement area is the categorisation of the requirement, leading to different views of the Product Backlog managed by a Product Owner. LeSS has an architecture and design, technical excellence, and continuous integration to add value to scrum. It looks like the below picture,


Organizational Descaling & Adoption: When adopting to LeSS, it will reflect the structure of your organisation. The organisational problems that are traditionally solving in a complex way can be solved more easily in LeSS. The small batches of working software Sprint by Sprint enables the removal of complexity in traditional development.
    Traditionally, Organizations manage the work using the projects. A project from Agile is managing the large batch of requirements towards the release. The project way of managing the work is obsolete when focusing on the product and delivering value to the customer. It is much easier to manage small batches of work via product backlog for the life of product. This allows investing within budget in the product, based on the predicted and realised customer value. Thus LeSS organisation descaled the organisation by removing projects and project management and solve the organisational problem of managing the work.

Business Analysis Are the Focal Point For Scaling Agile: Most of the organisations are delighted with the results produced on the agile projects, but they are struggling in the application on large and complex projects and adaptation in enterprise-wide frameworks like Scrum of Scrums, Scaled Agile Framework(SAFe), Large Scale Scrum(LeSS) and Nexus. There is a great deal about which framework is best that there is a need for coordination, integration, and communication among agile teams related to the solution being developed. It is a Business Analysis work that has always been needed on large, integrated projects - the coordination of dependencies, security, business and technical impacts, and version control etc.,






Tuesday, 31 July 2018

An introduction to agile Scrum and Kanban for SaaS Productivity



      The discipline of product management has grown and evolved in the era of the internet as Software as a Service(SaaS) and web apps. Agile focuses on ever-changing business requirements and the needs to create a product to be consumed and shipped in smaller units. It supports strong teamwork, accountability,  and communications to ensure the product aligns with client company goals. The success of the product depends on the solid and continual execution of updates, growth surfaces and more. So, the product management tools have to adjust the complexities of continuous delivery.
           The Scrum and Kanban are well-known agile productivity tools. It is to decide on your projects to be completed quicker or if you want to improve the overall process. Try the Scrum method, if you want to produce the work faster, or use the Kanban to improve your production process. If the project demands a linear workflow, implement the waterfall method.  It depends on the business requirements to decide between these two agile methodologies.

 Agile, Scrum & Kanban: Agile is used to describe the project management methodology which breaks down the large projects into smaller manageable units. It is used in software development to speed up the completion of projects. If you want to work in agile, the Scrum and Kanban are two ways to do it. These are two different methodologies with subtle differences. Both methods use the physical board, where people work between three different categories,
* Work that needs to be done
* Work that is in Progress and
* Work that has Completed

Overview of Scrum Method:
       The Scrum is a project management framework mainly describes an iterative and incremental approach for the project work. It is a transition from a project focused to a team-centric structure. The scrum model takes time to implement. But, the effort will be the payoff. The components of the scrum framework are,
   *  Roles:  The Scrum Master, Scrum Product Owner, and the Scrum Team.
   * The Prioritized Product backlog containing the end user requirements called as sprints
   * Scrum Review Meeting, Scrum Retrospective Meeting, Daily Sprint Meeting
    Generally, the Scrum teams are small. Their main tasks are to break down the requirement, create tasks and distribute them. This will be used for Sprint Backlog. They will perform daily Sprint Meeting and ensure at the end of the Sprint, the shippable functionality is delivered. The sprint rules get the team motivated and productive.
Sprint Rules:
1. Avoid adding new features to your Sprint Once you have started it.
2. Keep new features for the next iteration
3. Commit to complete your sprint first
4. Keep your sprint short, deliver early

    The Scrum team selects the User Stories and make sure that they can finish within the 2-4 weeks of Sprints. They are allowed to commit their own goals and work with the best possible performance. Also, they need to update the status of the efforts and allow the creation of Sprint Burn Chart. The Scrum masterwork as a servant-master within the scrum team. His main tasks are to reach its maximum productivity on the scrum team. The Scrum Product Owner can be anyone with a solid understanding of the user or the end customer and or stakeholders responsible for maximizing the value of the product and ensure that work is done at the right time.
      Product backlog consists of all the requirements that need to be done to successfully deliver the working software system. It is a living document that there is a list of things that need to be done within the project.  The sample Product backlog is,

The Definition of Done: When the feature is complete(in terms of quality, testing, and documentation) are defined by the definition of done(DOD) right at the start of the sprint. The incomplete or untested feature will not be released to the customer. This allows the resource usage(time, budget) to the customer and minimizes the waste. This Scrum Implementation Steps will help the best practices in your organization.

Using the Kanban Method to achieve Flow in the Business: It is also an incremental approach and evolutionary process that the systems change for the organization. It was originally developed in Toyota Factory to overhaul the system and delivery. It uses the visualization via kanban board of tangible work items. The flow-based principles applied in numerous types of work environments.  It allows limiting work in progress by multitasking and context switching, exposes any operational problem your business may have and stimulate the collaboration by continuously improve the system.

     It is a pull system that provides focus, sustainable pace & regular delivery by focusing on optimizing the flow of work from beginning to end. It also proves to be a great way to promote the environment.
The Key Principles of Kanban:
    1. Start with what you Do now
    2. Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities and job titles - Recognize some part of the existing process work acceptably and worth preserving.
   3. Agree to pursue the incremental and evolutionary change
   4. Encourage the act of leadership at all levels. Work collaboratively and don't wait for someone to make things better.

Kanban Method :
Visualize your Current Process:  Start defining your kanban board that visualizes the process your team to develop, test and deliver/deploy the user stories. State changes in the work that generally reflect changes in the activity used to generate new information about that work. In the Ready-Doing-Done board, expand the Doing column into each step the user story goes through. The kanban board look like the one below,

    Define WIP Limits: Once you get the visualization of kanban board, You need to implement WIP in each stage/step to reflect the maximum amount of work should be there in each step at a time. Then, you have to observe the typical flow of work and decide the WIP limit specified per stage. WIP Limits are shown as numbers on each stage in the picture,
                                 Image Credit: Pawel Brodzinski

Improve Flow by addressing the Bottlenecks: Once you start to observe the flow and evaluate the stages where work is getting blocked, you can discuss in your team meetings and address the problem being faced. Solutions would range from adjusting WIP Limits in earlier stages to regulate flow better by defining explicit policies to handle work that is being held up, adjusting the resource assignment and so on.
    When the team understands theories about workflow, process, and the risk then they will be able to improve the problem. The team will evaluate the situation, suggest a change and predict an outcome. The predictability of kanban comes from measuring the cycles time and using that to predict the delivery date of an item in the backlog.
The Advantages of Kanban are,
 * It provides a sustainable pace for your team
 * It supports for small changes over the time
 * Gain faster delivery and more money.

Scrumban: Scrumban is the blend of Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban is the agile methodology for scrum team exploring the Lean and Kanban concepts in the organization.  Basically, the Scrumban framework is implemented when the team opt for Scrum as the working way and use Kanban methodology as a magnifying glass of view that carry out the continuous improvement in the work. Many organizations experience issues with scrum methodology. So the enterprise discovered the optimized means of clubbing the methodologies as the new way for the teams to follow. The need to combine these two concepts is due to the cons of both techniques. Those are,
Cons of Scrum :
  1. In the scrum, sprints must be time-boxed to a month or less. This deaccelerating the working pace of the team
  2. Each sprint should be a potentially releasable product at the end of the increment. The teams are asked to deliver the software design that is coded and tested at every span to the stakeholders. This creates anxiety for the members.
 3. Scrum teams are entirely committed to customer requirements. If they fail to achieve the target, they might add technical debts to solve the time-boxed problem.
Cons of Kanban:
     Kanban first used in car manufacturing line and believed that can be used in the repeatable processes. Also, it will not be used for complex software development process systems that the needs changes at each and every point.

So, the term Scrumban discovered by Corey Ladas coined the syllables "scrum" and "ban" that describe the several phases of transition from the Scrum to Kanban. He suggested that the time boxed principle mandated by the scrum is no longer necessary and there are few changes made in the practice of Scrumban over the kanban and scrum are,
    * Organized and added specialized teams and function
    * Queuing and the laws of flow theory are applied
    * Realized the value of time-boxed iterations.
By applying the right changes, You can overcome the cons of the agile methodologies and it can be used in large enterprises. The basic metrics of flow of the scrum team using the kanban are,
    * Work In Progress(WIP): It is the number of work item started but not finished(according to the scrum team's definition of workflow in the kanban guide for scrum teams)
    * Cycle Time: It is the amount of time elapsed between when the work item starts and the work item finishes.
    * Work Item Age: It is the amount of time between the work item started and the current time.
    * Throughput: The number of work items finished per unit of time. It is also the exact count of work items.
                                           



Sunday, 15 July 2018

Experts Reveal on B2B Brand Thought Leadership Content for the Customer's Journey


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       Thought leaders earned the respect of others and are the true leaders within the industry. It is a go-to authority for their insights on development, expertise and practical knowledge. It requires willpower, knowledge along with your time and energy to develop a solid reputation and earn the respect of your audience. They have the information about trending issues and contributes meaningfully to the industry. They are well-known to deliver consistent and exceptional results that build the solid foundations in the industry.
      Thought leadership plays an important part of a content marketing strategy. Brands need for strategic thought leadership content along with product and purpose-orientated messaging. Content establishes the brand as an authority in a specialized field or business. It could be the answers to the biggest questions on the mind of the company's customers. It gives an organizations unique perspective to the public so that prospects can think of the company when they are ready to buy. So, your marketing efforts will be powerful when your expertise matches the interests of the audience they are trying to reach.
       Often, the business owners are the only source of thought leadership in the organizations. But, encourage the new member in your organizations as a thought leader to bring a unique way of answering the questions.  Allow him to look at the emails when they have answered the toughest questions for customers or others in the organization for inspirations. The company wants the insights and ideas. It is like telling the story. An internal or external marketing resource can turn it into something customers can read. Also, it needs to be a consistent schedule. The content marketing using thought leadership are effective if the company publishes the new information on a weekly/ bi-monthly basis and one team member should be responsible for ideas.

Thought Leadership Content: 
Great thought leadership treats blog content as valuable as the polished ebook. Whitepapers and ebooks are used to highlight and demonstrate the expertise of thought leadership to the target audience. It usually takes a comprehensive look at a subject and designed for some attentive reading time.  It is defined as the distinctive, authoritative, provocative and provides insights into the industry. It is the kind of information people in the industry are eager to consume and share. You have to stand out the thought leadership content when it doesn't require a lead gen form. So, the content that makes the customers call you. It can be achieved by including the new formats and distribution mechanism. The experience, tools, and effort will help you to move forward faster than your competition,
  1. Experience: the depth, insight, and knowledge you have on your industry
  2. Tools: Content Marketing, blog, and social channels
  3. Effort: Time and effort you are willing to put to stay on top of the news and drive the trends in your industry. Also, it includes nurturing the relationship with an influencer and relevant media outlets.

The Influence of Thought Leadership Content: 
The Thought leadership content that influences B2B decision makers relates to the topic they are currently working are having these properties,
   * 3-4 pages of content
   * Snack-sized content, consumed in 1-2 minutes
   * Short videos
Excellent-level thought leadership development content requires planning and input from SME's. It must attract and compel the reader for conversion. The study shows that the organization based on thought leadership content including the C-level executive are over 80% agree their trust level increased after engaging with it.

 Follow these steps to implement the thought leadership in your company,
    1. Identify your company to be known:  Thought leadership specifically for the digital and innovation areas. It is the combination of value, strategy, and purpose.
   2. Select the people in your Organization: Once you identified the areas to be known for, you need select the appropriate people to raise the company to profile in the areas. Companies have to look at the expertise, potential to speak, write and contribute on the topic etc.,
   3. Focus on Development: The appropriate people have to be trained for broader thinking. It allows them to present their ideas in the conceptual levels through models, research and stories.
  4. Provide the support and opportunity to Customer: Company needs to provide ongoing support and opportunities that add value to employees and customers.

Here are the best examples of industries thought leadership content,

    1. Openview Labs is an example of B2B expansion stage software company. It brings founders and other experts to help SaaS companies find product-market fit, generate the demand and develop the organizational structure. They publish the wealth of valuable information covers the product development, customer success, marketing, finance, sales exit strategy and much more for starting and growing the business.



2. The most effective content marketing is to help others. So, educating others helps to solve the problems and it is also the most effective reliable approach. The CRM software company  Pipedrive using its blog to publish a consistent stream of valuable advice by posting the useful articles about the sales industry to educate their customer and provide act on advice for small businesses,

    Generally, the content market project has in common goal that how skillfully they link thought leadership with the overall goals. As a result, they are breaking the consequential material turns their sites into destinations for repeat visitors. The thought leadership content has the following features,
     1. Thought leadership content marketing starts with thinking rather than the straight line process
     2. Thought leadership content is effective and leading to the conversation
     3. It will help to grow the customers and partners
     4. Educating the markets on emerging trends and opportunities

The things to follow to become the best thought leader are,

 1. Thought leadership is a Professional Boost:  The thought leadership is a day job for business owners who focus their efforts on the production and dissemination of content. Professionals embrace thought leadership because they want to elevate their standing in the profession and attracts new business. If you want to become a high performer in your field, then you are expected to advance the conversation and present an engaging point of view. The primary cost of thought leadership will be your time. As you create content and engage with social media, you will get busy and accelerate your opportunities and potentially multiply your earnings.

 2. Develop your Personal Brand: Your personal brand is the combination of your personality, reputation, expertise, and history. So, your personal brand needs to be different from the company brand. The robust social media presence helps you to develop the personal brand by sharing the educational content and conversation around hot topics that will you differentiate from your competitor.
3. Write for the Press Release: Media is a powerful source for boosting your ranking. HARO(Help A Reporter Out) connects with a journalist who is interested to talk with people in the industry. Press Release strategies are used by businesses at every occasion from the creation of a product to the great endeavor.
These are some essential components in the press release that can distribute in the media. Those are,
   .* Captivating Headlines: Headlines are crucial for click-through rate on social media and search engines. The perfect headlines must be around 100 characters or less suitable for social media and the people to scan it.
    * Simple and Straight Forward Message: PR should be easy to pick it up and understand your news. It should get to the point in the first paragraph. So, keep your release on one page.
    * Highlight the Message for your Target Audience: The important thing in PR is to highlight someone will benefit from your PR. So, Research the audience and understand who you are addressing before you prepare the press release. For example, your target audience in the C-Suite of the technology industry then crafts your release that concerns about to come up in the course of their day-to-day business.
    * Include a Quote: It helps your audience appeal and branding yourself as a thought leader. So, include the quotes that are relevant and explaining the impact your announcement in the industry.
    * Include the CTA: The goal of the CTA is to engage readers and motivate them to act. So, include the CTA which are appropriate to their action in positive language.
    * Optimize for SEO: Search engine is an integral part of crafting the perfect PR. So, choose the long tail keyword contains your industry and demography like India's Business Software Services, Newyork's financial software services etc.,
    * Include the Graphic Elements and Social Sharing Links; Graphics, bullets, charts, video will help you to engage more people in your story. Plus, the releases with images receive more views than text-only releases. Make it easy to share your PR by including the sharing buttons or links at the bottom of the PR. The Pitchengine helps you to distribute your PR on social media.
      In the end, Proofread your release at several times and remember that the release and distribution service should be very keen on the grammar rules. Consult an editor or Associate Press Stylebook(APS) for the current rulebook before releasing to the press.   
4. The Thought Leadership Opportunities:  The simple way of getting the TL opportunities are,
   1. Start with Your Positioning: 
   * The distinct value your company provides that intersect with your customer needs
   * Bring the simplicity and security to the chaos of mobility
   2. Follow with their priorities
    * What problem does your customer need to solve, why and what caused the problem.
    * Enable remote access to applications with colleagues and increase the mobile workforce.