Category: News


A very, very brief overview of Scrum

The godfathers of Scrum define it as, “a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”

The method is made up of roles, event, and artefacts, all of which are clearly defined and work together to produce frequent product increments that can be used and assessed by stakeholders long before the project comes to an end. This ensures not only that expectations are continuously understood by all stakeholders, but also that that which is being developed will in fact have impact and create value for the clients and the ends users.

It has roots in software development, dating back several decades, but today you can find this process framework has transcended its origins and has taken root has a widely applicable project management methodology.

Transparency, Inspection, Adaption

Scrum has three pillars: Transparency, Inspection, and Adaption.

  • Transparency is important due to the self-organizing nature of the scum method, no matter your role on the team the process must be visible so that you can have a sense of shared ownership in outcomes.
  • Inspection requires that all team members inspect project artefacts and the progress being made towards a sprint goal. This can detect variances and misalignments during the course of sprint rather than having to wait until the sprint review with stakeholders.
  • Adaption is an essential piece to scrum because it informs the iterative nature of the process. The expectation is that if the project is veering off course, team members must be ready to adapt and change course.

With these pillars and an understanding of the artefacts, roles, and events of scrum you are ready to spring into action and be a part of your organization’s agile transformation.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of working agile, check out this blogpost.

Roles

A scrum team is made up of anywhere between 5 – 11 members. While each scrum team will only have one Product Owner and one Scrum Master, the diversity of the skills required will dictate the number of development team members. It is important to note that there is no hierarchy in the team, all are equal and all are responsible.

  • Product Owner: This person is responsible for ROI, product vision, and prioritizing the backlog. This person works closely with the business side and the stakeholders. An apt metaphor for this position would be that of a Foreign Minister, responsible for communicating with those outside of the product team.
  • Scrum Master:To continue this metaphor, the Scrum Master is the Interior Minister and is responsible for managing communication within the team. More than that the Scrum Master is there to facilitate the scrum process, which in many cases amounts to removing barriers and obstacles that could impede the team from doing their work. This person also capture the empirical data to produce the burndown chart — an artifact that keeps the work towards the end goal visible and can signal missed deadlines before they hit.
  • Development Team: All other team members are a part of the development team and they are a cross functional group which encompasses all the necessary skills to complete the project.

Artefacts

Artefacts are used within the scrum method to ensure transparency. Artefacts include; product backlog, sprint backlog, and product increments.

  • Product Backlog: A list of requirements written from the perspective of users. This list can be continuously updated and refined.
  • Sprint Backlog: A list of the development team’s work for a sprint which emerges in Sprint Planning.
  • Product Increment: a.k.a. DoD or Definition of Done is a functional representation of the work completed within a particular sprint which is shared with the business and stakeholders at the Sprint Review.

Scrum Events

This section will briefly describe the events which make up Scrum: Sprints, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective.

Sprint

Work is carried out in 1 to 4 week sprints, or time-boxed, wherein the Scrum Team works towards the creation of a working product, known as an Incremental Product Release.  A new sprint begin immediately following the conclusion of the previous sprint. Spring contain the following events: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective.

Sprint Planning: the What and the How

What is known as requirements specification in traditional development projects is encapsulated in the product backlog. This prioritized list is curated by Product Owner.

During each sprint, the team works through the sprint backlog which is the team’s prioritized tasks for each sprint.

Through the use of user stories and epics, the team collectively estimates the amount of hours to be spent on the tasks making up the sprint backlog and the relative value each will produce.

What makes scrum so special is its focus on consistently delivering working products that can immediately translate into creating value long before the project is completed.

These MVP like products are an excellent way to ensure the project is on track and will produce value for stakeholders from day 1.

Daily Scrum

Daily scrum are short meetings (no more than 15mins!!) where the pillars of scrum can be seen at work. The meetings are held at the same time each day and preferably in the same place where work is inspected and synchronized, and any impediments are revealed. If adaption is necessary then follow-on meetings may be made after the Daily Scrum.

Sprint Review

Once the sprint is completed the team invites the stakeholders in to inspect the product of the sprint. Remember the product must be functional.

Sprint Retrospective

This is an opportunity for team members only to discuss the previous sprint and is facilitated by the Scrum Master. Possible changes and adaptions for upcoming sprints are discussed here.

Agile as a Mindset

Going agile should not be taken lightly and it requires full buy-in not only from employees and upper management but middle management as well.

To alleviate the stress that a new working perspective can have on middle management consider closely vetting incoming candidates for their proven ability working agile and offer current employees opportunities to get educated and certified in Scrum and SAFe.

This is why BuILD has taken such an interest in this method, because doing so can create value for our passionate and career-driven students while also creating value for the organizations with which we and our students collaborate with.

Together we are preparing to face the challenges of the Digital Age and together we learning and growing. 

BuILD your Brand with us in April!

BuILD has organized several events that are geared towards recognizing and developing your brand. These opportunities are not just for students or start-ups.

If you’re a researcher looking to attract industry collaborators, join us and learn how to succinctly present findings, applications or potential partnerships in a business setting.

This event series open to all who are interested.

More than the elevator pitch, Tuesday April 10th

These days a pitch isn’t something just for door-to-door salesmen. It’s a skill that can be an advantage in almost any setting. So whether you need to pitch for group work for a course, are looking to attract investors to your latests start-up, or have conducted research that you would like to see applied in practice, we at BuILD are here to help.

On Tuesday April 10th at 14.00 in Aud 2, our good friends at Implement Consulting Group will host a Pitch Workshop, where you can get the hands-on experience and expert feedback you need to make an impression.

Sharing is caring and this event is open to all so, don’t be afraid to share with anyone you may think would be benefit from attending.

Developing your brand & Become a Content Creator, Tuesday April 17th

Branding ourselves can be very difficult especially, if we are preparing to begin a job search or are looking for outside investment in a business venture.

Creating content on sites like LinkedIn or doing guest blog posts on websites that cater to your audience are great ways for others to get to know you, your personality, and your passions.

When we say persona brand, this is what we mean; a means of marketing yourself in a succinct manner that is easily digestible, to a future employer or potential investors.

Join us in Scroll Bar on Tuesday April 17th from 15.00-17.00 for a fun hands-on workshop where Google Alum and Digital Business Consultant Thomas Grønfeldt Senger will help you identify your personal brand, produce a comprehensive outline for your first LinkedIn article post, and finally, perfect your *Tell me about yourself* response in an job interview setting.

Open to students, recent graduates and ITU employees.

Share your insights in a professional produced LinkedIn video, April 24th & 25th

You’ve done the work, so share it!

ITU’s communication department is joining us on this one, to record single-shot videos lasting  no more than 2-minutes where you can explain findings, pitch an idea, or refine your brand, with the iconic atrium in the background.

If interested in signing-up then contact us.

Event Recap: Google Hash Code @ ITU

Another great event in the books! Earlier this month BuILD hosted the Copenhagen hub for Google’s Hash Code Competition. We want to thank all those who came out and made the event a success! We would also like to thank the student volunteers who took the initiative to make their dream a reality.

37,000 Participants from Norway to South Africa

The atmosphere was relaxed and light-hearted with groups excited to hear the problem statement which was live streamed from Google Dublin. Over 37,000 students and professional participated this year, according to google it would take 22 days to drive from the northern-most hub in Svalbard to the southern-most in South Africa.

This year’s problem was about self-driving cars. Teams were asked write programs that would pick up riders and deliver them to their destination within a given amount of time.

A Fun Night of Coding

Third Year Software Development bachelor student Marcus Joost was happy to spend the evening in good company and having fun, “we joined to try our hand at solving the problem,” he says, “I’m glad I participated. We really enjoyed our evening of coding.”

Join Us at BUILD!

Are you interested in being a part of BuILD? There ar many ways to do so aside from just participating in our events. Help set our agenda by requesting to join our facebook community or fill out our Contact Form and learn more about the volunteering opportunities we offer.

 

Discussion and Hands-on Workshop: Strategic Execution & Value Creation in Project Delivery

This is event is open to all interested participants so please spread the word. Register here today.

BuILD is delighted to announce that Alexandra Chapman, Co-founder and COO of Totally Optimized Projects,  has agreed to do a Discussion & Workshop on “How to execute strategy and get the value” while visiting Copenhagen from her home base in Australia.

What: 90-minute Discussion & Workshop: How to Execute Strategy and Get Value
When: Thursday March 8th at 13.00
Where: IT University of Copenhagen, Auditorium 4
Who: Alexandra Chapman, Co-Founder and COO, Totally Optimized Projects

When project success is measured by ‘on budget and on schedule’, the most important purpose of a project gets lost: delivering the benefits and value the project intends to.

Alexandra Chapman has been recognized by Cranfield University in 2017 as one of their top 50 alumni globally. She holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, writes highly regarded articles for CEO Magazine and is COO for Totally Optimized Projects.  Over the past 30 years, Alex has dedicated her professional career to developing TOP’s tools, techniques processes. These teach organisations how to execute strategy through projects and deliver the value that organizations want.

Alex will discuss how the TOP Value Equation™ enables business value as the key measurement of project success, covering:

  • Delivering “value” in your projects – what do we mean by this?
  • The power of defining project outcomes in business terms – your desired business outcomes
  • How defining a business initiative – a project – in business terms aligns an organization from the C-Level executives to portfolio managers and to the project team
  • How linking benefits to business outcomes enables transparent benefit tracking during the project lifecycle – why wait until the project is over to account for benefits
  • How to identify the change activities required and tie them to project deliverables
  • Using financial models to track financial benefits.

During the session, participants will get hands on experience in the TOP accelerated process used to define Business Outcomes process, which is the cornerstone of the TOP Value Equation.

Alumni Spotlight: COMBATTING FOOD FRAUD WITH BLOCKCHAIN

Kristoffer Just works to apply blockchain technology in the fight against food fraud.

There have been a number of stories in recent years about contaminated and tainted food both here in Denmark and around the world. In fact, last Spring, through testing, the Ministry of Environment & Food of Denmark found out that just six of every 35 bottles of the extra virgin olive oil on Danish shelves fit the classification of extra virgin, which is the highest quality you can buy, as advertised.

From DIM Student to Start-up Project Coordinator

“It was during the course Process Innovation, that I had the opportunity to explore blockchain within food fraud,” Kristoffer Just says. “I investigated the current supply chain to then qualify a blockchain supply chain as a process innovation.”

This led to Kristoffer’s master thesis where he focused on the journey falsified bottles of extra virgin olive oil made on its way to Danish supermarket aisles and examined whether blockchain technology could prevent such food fraud as a means of contributing to the raising the level of traceability in our food products.

Upon obtaining his Master’s in Digital Innovation & Management, Kristoffer was able to leverage his passion and his research to land a job as Project Coordinator at the start-up, BLOC, Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration, where he continues to pursue research opportunities in Digital Supply Chains and Food Systems.

Advice for Current ITU students

Kristoffer relies heavily on the competencies he learned throughout his time at ITU, including critical thinking and the use of digital tools, “I continue to use the data scrapping and visualization tools I learned about in Navigating Complexity as a part of my work.” Kristoffer shares, “But I also reflect on the technology that we are promoting and working on as well.”

He encourages students to engage, “with people from various backgrounds, both from other academic tracks at ITU, but also your classmates. You can learn more than you would think from listening to other people’s perspectives.”

The Start-Up Life

For students looking to jump into the deep end after graduation and pursue a career at a start-up like BLOC, Kristoffer suggests you prepare yourselves for the fast-paced nature of the start-up environment, “things can change dramatically over the course of a few hours, so if you work best within a sound structure, a start-up may not be the best environment for you.”

But for those willing to take the leap, “you will build a network very quickly through participation in in events and conferences, as well as the co-working spaces many Copenhagen-based start-up are located.”

This post is the first in series on ITU alumni and their work post-graduation.

STEEMIT – THE FUTURE OF THE BLOGOSPHERE?

With the advent of facebook, the idea of social media as we know it today was born, now over a decade later this frontier, some would argue, is losing its novelty. This post explores some exciting innovation in the realm of social media, where users are monetarily incentivized to engage with the site and its users powered by blockchain technology.

Yes, users get paid to post in a currency known as Steem, which can be cashed out or reinvested in the form of Steem Power or Steem Dollars. Although Steem is similar to Bitcoin in that it is also a cryptocurrency, the primary method of earning money is not mining, which is dictated by the amount of computing power you have, but rather engaging with the community through producing and/or supplying content.

Is this the future of social media? Want to know more before jumping in a posting? Or is it the novel application of blockchain technology that has piqued your interest?  Either way, let’s jump into a brief overview of steemit and its social networking site, steemit.com. Links to other, more in-depth, resources will be provided if you’re interested in learning more.

We hope you find this to be a good starting point.

What is Steemit?

We’ve heard talk of the blogosphere for years now, and these days it seems like everyone is trying to get a piece of the action. And why not? We all have passions, curiosities, and a sense of adventure now and then; sharing that with others via the internet is becoming – dare we say it –the norm.

But steemit.com, the social networking site associated with Steemit, is different.

Instead of the platform reaping nearly all of the non-commercial benefits of its users’ content generation, like facebook, for example, steemit passes these earnings onto the individual users, via its cryptocurrency.

Like many communities surrounding cryptocurrency, users are very concerning with verifying each other’s identities, this is usual done through an introduce yourself post where new users share their personal story starting with a current picture of themselves holding up a hand-written sign as proof of identity.

How does one get paid?

Steemit.com is a reddit-resembling social networking site where content creators and content curators get paid for producing and providing the best content and it’s completely free to sign-up.

So how do users get paid you may ask? Through what they refer to as Steem and there are three different Steemit currency units: Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars.

Steem are tradable units of the currency, much like bitcoin or stocks on the stock market.

Steem Power cannot be sold for two years so in that way is something like a long-term investment in the currency. Holding this unit of currency is favoured by the platform and these types of ‘investors’ are rewarded for their loyalty – 90% of the daily newly generated Steem Currency is in the form of Steem Power, with the rest going to content creators and providers. Half of content provider’s/curators’ pay is in the form of Steem Power.

Steem Dollars are the most stable unit of the currency and can be sold at anytime. The other 50% of the pay popular content creators/curators receive is in this unit of the currency and this portion can be immediately cashed out.

Steem and Steem Power represent the value of Steem digital assets, while Steem Dollars are something like loans taken out based upon the value of these digital assets. Sceptical that such digital assets can retain ‘real world’ value? Then look to the world of multi-player video games where on numerous occasions players are documented to have paid ‘real’ money for a digital game item.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Not only does steemit.com empower its users through paying for high quality content in many ways such a system also inevitably leads to the suppression of low quality content. (fake news anyone?)

Although the social networking site has not reached the size or influence of the mainstream social media site we know so well, many bloggers and youtube stars that have already gone viral or made a name for themselves on these conventional social media sites are complementing their success with the adding themselves to steemit.com as well.

As we see in many industries, consumers are demanding more transparency, traceability, and accountability – steemit.com provides all of these and on top of that it is the users that reap the benefits of their posts… not the platform.

 

Image Courtesy of steemit.com

CONTEST: Write a short blogpost and win a ticket to Day of Play 2018 — a hands-on workshop and networking opportunity

BuILD’s first contest of the year is now officially underway. Write a short blogpost and win a ticket, worth over 2.600dkk, to A Day of Play 2018  — a hands-on workshop on the future of work with networking opportunities with the leaders of Scandinavian’s top companies.  

What You Need to Know

The Task: Write a 300-500-word blogpost on the future of either leadership, change, or learning and the winners in each category will win a ticket to attend A Day of Play 2018.

The Prize: Day of Play is a conference/workshop on February 5th at the National Museum in Copenhagen where leaders, decision-makers, and practitioners filled with workshops and knowledge sharing.

How to Enter: This contest is open to all ITU students. Simply send your blogpost to build@itu.dk

Submissions will be accepted until 14.00 on Friday 2nd of February and the winners will be announced that afternoon.

There will be three keynotes given at the event:

 Future of Leadership by Marianne Dahl Steensen, CEO Denmark & Iceland, Microsoft

 Future of Change by Anders Buchmann, Chief Intrapreneur, Bang & Olufsen

 Future of Learning by Nina Uller, Vice Dean of the Royal Danish Defence College

Networking and Gamification

BuILD is offering this unique opportunity to students because this conference is not about the emergence of new technologies in and of themselves but rather a look at how these technologies will shape the future and the ways in which organizations must react. With participants from Scandinavia’s top companies this will be an excellent opportunity to network in an informal setting.

More than this Workz, the host of the event is a change management consultancy located in Copenhagen, Denmark that believes in ‘Change Through Involvement’ a mantra that manifest itself in some very interesting ways including gamification, story-telling and role playing.

If interested check out this short video below on Workz.

Remember submissions will be accepted until 31st of January and winners will be announced on Friday 2nd of February.

What it Means to BuILD

As our name suggest we are in the business of creating, of building. We call ourselves BuILD but it is really just an acronym. We are the Business Innovation Lab here at IT University of Copenhagen and we are constantly evolving.

It is our members, both students and faculty alike, that define us.

So if you want to know what it is we do here, all you need to do is explore our competencies. We are a network of like-minded individuals passionate about Process Innovation – including Robotic Process Innovation – inspiring today’s leaders in tackling the challenges and opportunities of digital innovation, and providing the tools and strategic partnership necessary to implement distributed ledger practices across all of Europe.

Given these competencies, collaboration is in our DNA and we take very seriously the opportunities to co-create and innovate together with our industry partners. Research with a practitioner focus is our speciality and through it we set out to create value through the use of IT for students, business partners and outside organizations.

If this sounds like a community you’d like to be a part then what are you waiting for? You can contact us, send us an email at BuILD@itu.dk, or connect with us on facebook or LinkedIn.

Robotics Process Automation within Danske Bank — A presentation for Process Innovation Masters Students

This week, Digital Innovation and Management students enrolled in Process Innovation were given the opportunity to learn more about Process Automation, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence through participating in a workshop facilitated by Danske Bank. This post will briefly explain a few concepts surrounding Process Automation, share students’ thoughts on the experience, and offer suggestions for those interested in how they can learn more about process automation as well as collaboration opportunities for students, researchers, and industry.

Danske Bank – An Industry Partner

Danske Bank is Process Innovation’s Industry Partner throughout the entirety of the semester and as such has worked closely with its professor, Raffaele Ciriello, to integrate a number of workshops and projects into coursework. Raffaele finds the partnership to beneficial to his students, “they can better relate to the concepts they learn in class and understand how their acquired knowledge can be applied in practice.”

To learn more about our Industry Partnership services for companies and outside organizations, feel free to contact us, here at BuILD.

Robotic Process Automation

Last month, Process Innovation students were introduced to the Process Mining Tool Minit, through a workshop facilitated by Nordic Consultancy, Bizcon. This week, gears are shifting to the role of Process-Aware Information Systems (PAIS), Robotic Process Automation and Nordic banking industry giant, Danske Bank.

Process Automation and Process improvement is something that Process Innovation students have been working on all semester for Danske Bank concerning their Danske Gave Plus product, but workshop took a more holistic approach to the adoption of automation technologies as a way for the bank to optimizing all aspects of the customer journey.

Natascha Wang is a third semester Digital Innovation & Management Master student enrolled in the course. “The robotic process automation presentation was really useful and I learned a lot, it offered a glimpse into how the bank currently uses robotic process automation,” Natascha said of the experience.

One way they are exploring to achieve these goals is marrying Process-Aware Information Systems (PAIS) with Automation and software robotics. So long as processes are rule based manual tasks, a software robot can conduct these faster and more efficiently, freeing up employees to focus on interacting meaningfully with customers.

What to learn more?

As always, we hope this post has been useful and informative and we encourage you to contact us here at BuILD if you have any questions or would like to hear more about our services.

FOR STUDENTS

If you are a student and are interested in conducting researching related to process mining whether it be for a thesis, an industrial PhD, or something else altogether, then we at BuILD encourage you to reach out to us directly.

FOR ORGANIZATIONS

If you are an organization with a wicked process-related problem and are looking to work with ITU students, commission research with our faculty, or fund an industrial PhD, we encourage you to reach out to us here at the BuILD lab; we offer services that can help facilitate this process and guide you to the correct resources from start to finish.

ITU master students participate in hands-on Process Mining workshop facilitated by Nordic IT Consultancy Bizcon

Here at BuILD we’re crazy about business innovation and are constantly in search of innovative approaches to problem solving and value creation. In this blog post, we will explore the innovative business practice of Process Mining through a workshop facilitated by Bizcon, a consultancy offering, among other things, process mining services to its clients.

This blog post will explore a number of questions surrounding process mining including what is it, what are the tools employed, and how can you get started.

Bizcon’s Alexandru Timar and Carsten Christiansen, called the experience “a great opportunity to get fresh input and different perspectives from an academic environment.” This workshop is a part of BuILD Lab’s Student Colaboration opportunities and is available to all companies involved in innovative practices that pair well with coursework as a part of the Digital Innovation and Management (DIM) program.

DIM students enrolled in Process Innovation were given the opportunity to use MINIT, a business process management tool that offers data-driven process analysis to its users. Alexandru and his team offered participants the opportunity to learn more about what Process Mining is and the analytical tools employed through analysis of a real case.

If you too are interested in learning more about Process Mining after reading this blog post, feel free to check out the, ‘How can I get started?’ section or join the Process Mining Group Nordic on LinkedIn.

But before we go too much further, let’s dive a little deeper into the notion of Process Mining.

What is Process Mining?

Processes are a part of every businesses’ core strategy, regardless of size or industry. Through extracting knowledge from event logs, which consist of timestamped activities relating to different cases or process instances, process mining can discover, monitor and improve an organization’s processes using a fraction of the resources traditional methodologies — concerned chiefly with conducting in-depth interviews and significant observation — require. Once these logs are imported into a process mining tool such as MINIT, they are crunched into tables, charts, and visualizations that allow for much faster process analysis than traditional means.

Want to know more? Check out this video.

Below you can find brief descriptions of the most prominent use cases for Process Mining.

Use Cases

The applications of process mining can be divided into three overarching use cases: compliance, increasing efficiency, and understanding business processes. Below you will find brief explanations of each of these cases.

Compliance

Process mining and its visualizations can help business experts identify non-compliant behavior within an organization, improve internal controls, and identify where controls are in fact being bypassed.

Increasing Efficiency

Identifying bottlenecks and their cause is also a common use case for process mining. Alliveiating these pressure points can be the answer to wicked problems facing an organization. Comparing processes and their time to completion across department offers the opportunity to share best practices and motivate change.

Understanding Business Processes

But more than compliance and increasing efficiency, process mining also be employed to achieve a better overall understanding of the processes conducted within an organization. Answers to questions such as, ‘How long does a process take from end-to-end?’ ‘How is a department or a resource performing?’ and ‘What is the end-to-end cost of this process?’ can be found through the act of process mining.

Why Process Mining?

There are three types of process mining: discovery, conformance, and enhancement. These actions offer organizations opportunities identify, confirm, and improve processes based upon data that would otherwise be unavailable or require a massive amount of resources to analyze.

Once processes are discovered, for example, they can be used amongst stakeholders for discussing the problems they reveal and stimulating improvements and solutions.

Conformance on the other hand is a means for ensuring that the discovered processes reflect observed behavior. This can be used for quality assurance purposes related to documenting processes, to guide discovery algorithms, and to identify where deviations occur.

Existing process models can also be extended or improved through the use of enhancement process mining.

How can I get started?

 If this short blog post has piqued your interest in process mining there are a number of ways in which you can learn more and get started with your own projects.

For Students

If you are a student and are interested in conducting researching related to process mining whether it be for a thesis, an industrial PhD, or something else altogether, then we at BuILD encourage you to reach out to us directly.

For organizations

If you are an organization with a wicked process-related problem and are looking to work with ITU students, commission research with our faculty, or fund an industrial PhD, we encourage you to reach out to us here at the BuILD lab; we offer services that can help facilitate this process and guide you to the correct resources from start to finish.

Sources

P2M Channel

Van Der Aalst, W. (2012). Process mining: Overview and opportunities. ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems (TMIS)3(2), 7.