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Navigating SAFe Certifications: Which Are Right For You?

Navigating SAFe Certifications: Which Are Right For You?

Navigating Safe Certifications: Which Are Right For You?

With many options available to pursue, selecting the most relevant SAFe certifications for you requires research and planning for your career ahead.

Fifteen years ago, Agile became the hot new approach in software development. What started as a reaction to traditional approaches to projects has become the norm these days in departments across companies.

Today, two-thirds of companies describe their development style as pure Agile or leaning towards Agile. Using Agile as a platform to advance your career makes a lot of sense, given its popularity. And SAFe certifications can help you climb the ladder.

Agile’s appeal beyond software development comes from its focus on customers and team collaboration. You can find the principles at work in management and human resources teams, as well as project management outside of software.

Certification shows a commitment to a career using Agile and validates your skills. Your choice can open new doors in your current role or prepare you to shift into leadership.

More than 700,000 people have been trained in the SAFe approach to date, so you are in good company if this is the route you choose.

Choosing SAFe Certifications

Starting your journey with Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise (SAFe) makes a lot of sense. SAFe is the leading framework in use today, with nearly 35 percent of companies deploying it, a 5 percent increase over the year before.

Thanks to that, a SAFe certificate is going to make you a better match for more job openings and is globally recognized.

The SAFe process focuses on the skills, experience, and knowledge required to perform specific roles in a SAFe working environment. You must complete a relevant course before you can sit for the exam, and many learning resources beyond the class are provided to help you pass the test.

Which SAFe certification is best for you depends on a variety of factors. These tests are based on job role, so you need to decide if you’re going for one to solidify your grasp on your current role or if you want to use the designation to allow a shift to a new one.

Here’s a rundown of some of your options for SAFe certification and the required training classes.

SAFe Certification Options

The role-based training of the SAFe program gives a natural progression from entry-level SAFe practitioner to SAFe expert. Some of the tests require experience working in Agile already, while others are suitable for true beginners.

These certifications don’t build on each other, although the list here covers beginner and intermediate ones. Consider which might advance you in your current role or would allow you to make a shift to a different role in management. Specific courses are required before you can take the certification exam.

SAFe DevOps Practitioner

Required course: SAFe DevOps

While Agile has moved beyond software development, this particular level is targeted to those in that field. These people are the ones responsible for improving the flow of value from idea to solution.

The class is appropriate for anyone interested in Agile in development environments, but prior experience is of benefit. You’ll learn how to execute an implementation plan for delivery and how to support the plan. By the end, you’ll be able to take the SDP certification exam.

SAFe Agilist

Required course - Leading SAFe

This is another basic-level course and great for anyone who wants to work in an Agile organization. If your company is looking to transition to Agile, this designation is a good starting point to help you develop the skill set needed. An SA guides the adoption and ongoing improvement of the Agile culture by defining the mission.

If you plan to sit for the exam, they recommend at least five years in software development, testing, business analysis, product management, or product management. Experience with Scrum is also helpful.

SAFe Scrum Master

Required course: SAFe Scrum Master

Scrum masters lead teams and are responsible for helping them self-organize, manage, and deliver value. They coordinate with other teams in the Agile process.

This course goes beyond traditional training to explore the role of the SC in the context of your entire company. You learn to plan and execute the key components of Agile at scale and how Scrum is used throughout the organization.

While anyone is welcome to this course, it is highly recommended that you already have a working knowledge of Agile, Scrum, and software development if you are planning to sit for the certification exam.

SAFe Agile Product Manager

Required course: Agile Product Management

The role of product manager is to define strategies and roadmaps to find new markets and speed up the product lifecycle to get fast feedback. Training for this position includes how to develop innovative solutions and delight customers in a way that aligns with your company’s strategy and intent.

The class for this certification is open to anyone, but it is recommended to have attended at least one other SAFe course. The course is also targeted to those with a background in product or solution management.

SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager

Required course: Product Owner/Product Manager

This particular class and certification are about leading the Agile charge within your company. People with this training would be working with enterprise backlog management, delivering product features, and stakeholder management.

The course is meant for those already working in Agile and lean product management. It is recommended that you have already taken the Leading SAFe course or have that certification.

SAFe Architect

Required course: SAFe for Architects

We’re back to the world of software with this certification, which is for system, solution, and enterprise architects. The class teaches you how to work as effective leaders and change agents in your company. It is also a good option for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of how architecture fits into an Agile enterprise.

Attendees should already be familiar with Agile principles and have attended at least one other SAFe course before this one.

Time to Get Certified

If you are ready to advance in your career by learning more about Agile, SAFe certifications and courses have much to offer. There are many choices based on the path you plan to take and what knowledge gaps you are seeking to fill.

If you are still not sure what Agile certification is the right one for you, contact us, and our experts would be happy to help you make your selection.

Scaled Agile Community: How to Join and Benefits

Scaled Agile Community: How to Join and Benefits

Scaled Agile Community: How to Join and Benefits

After getting your SAFe certification, try joining the Scaled Agile community for a plethora of perks and access to thousands of tools and resources!

Do you live and breathe scaled agile?

Do you want to connect with like-minded individuals, enhance your practice, and embed the learnings from your SAFe certification?

If the answer is yes, then it’s time you joined the scaled agile community. The world’s largest network of accredited SAFe professionals. With over 600,000 members worldwide, the scaled agile community is the best way to connect with SAFe practitioners in your field and advance your career.

In this post, we’ll show you how you can get involved and discuss the benefits of becoming a member. It’s one of the best decisions you can make in terms of growing your network and experience as a scaled agile professional.

What is the Scaled Agile Community?

The scaled agile community is more than just a networking group. Founded by Scaled Agile, the provider of SAFe Certifications, the community was created to continue practitioners’ agile journey outside of the classroom.

Members can access forums, workshop materials, and refresher courses on-demand. There are also regular events and conferences, such as the renowned Scaled Agile Summit. (This is currently offered in a virtual format in light of restrictions).

These events take on real-world challenges and explore how scaled agile frameworks can be used to meet them.

Why Should I Become A Member?

Whether you are an agile developer, UX designer, or certified scrum master, joining the scaled agile community will help you further your career and cultivate an agile mindset within your organization:

Access Exclusive eLearning Materials

If you’re new to scaled agile principles, the ‘Getting Started’ resource in the community could be your new best friend. The introductory eLearning's revisit key topics from your training. Gain the confidence to throw yourself into events and discussions with other community members.

Watch How-to Videos

Struggling with a particular concept or agile framework? The community’s selection of ‘How-to’ videos can help.

These quick videos cover a variety of practical SAFe topics such as “Preparing for PI Planning” and “How to Create an Effective Program Board.” They’re great when you need a refresh or are struggling to translate SAFe concepts into a working environment.

Workshop Facilitation

Part of your role as a scaled agile professional is to create an agile culture within your organization. Workshops play a key part in this.

Members of the scaled agile community can access SAFe Collaborate, a virtual workspace for the Scaled Agile Framework. The workspace provides templates to help you facilitate SAFe events. Topics include PI Planning, feature prioritization, participatory budgeting, team retrospectives, and more.

Connect With Peers

Last but not least, joining the scaled agile community provides a unique opportunity to engage with peers. Agile teams are often cross-functional, meaning you might be the only scrum-master or solutions architect in your team. Sometimes you need to get an opinion from others who know your field inside out- and that’s where the community comes in.

Build connections, get advice from expert coaches, and see how the community tackles common challenges to improve your agile practice.

How Can the Community Benefit My Career?

As well as providing the tools you need to put your SAFe certification into practice, joining the scaled agile community can be a gateway to career advancement.

By engaging with others in the field, you are growing your personal network. This network could lead to new opportunities further down the line. Demand for scaled agile practitioners is set to rise by almost 8% over the next 10 years. So you can expect to be in high demand as an established advocate of agile methodologies!

On the flip side, even if you love your current position and have no plans to move, having an active network and showing a continued aptitude for learning demonstrates that you’re an authority in your field and were worth the initial course investment.

I’m Interested, How Do I Join?

There’s more than one way to become a member of the scaled agile community. However, to be eligible, you must have attended and passed the SAFe Certification.

  • If you are already SAFe certified, you can buy a membership to the community for $199 per year. You can still apply if your certification isn’t active, but we recommend taking advance of the community's eLearning tools to make sure your skills are up to date.
  • If you are not SAFe certified, you need to pass the test before joining the community. This applies even if you use scaled agile principles in your day-to-day role and regardless of your level of seniority. The good news is that once you pass the test, you’ll be given a year’s FREE membership to the community!

I Need to Get Certified, Where Do I Start?

To become a certified scaled agile practitioner, you will need to attend a two-day training course with an accredited SAFe training provider. The course will prepare you to pass the 90-minute multiple-choice examination required to join the safe community.

At the Agile Center, we’ve trained thousands of professionals across the globe. Our SAFe® training courses are provided under the Scaled Agile Partner Program Agreement, so we can guarantee that your training will be of the highest standard. Check out our courses to get started.

Ready to Take the Next Step? Contact Us!

Joining the scaled agile community gives you the tools you need to progress your career and implement scaled agile frameworks with confidence.

By connecting with like-minded peers from around the world, you’ll be able to learn from their experiences to take on bigger and more complex projects. There’s no other agile community like it in the world.

If having a SAFe certification is holding you back from joining the community, we can help! The Agile Center provides specialized certifications for each role in an agile team.

Contact us to find the best course for you and kickstart your agile journey.

How to Become a SAFe Agilist?

How to Become a SAFe Agilist

How to Become a SAFe Agilist?

A SAFe Agilist plays an important role in achieving significant improvement throughout the Agile journey and acts as the backbone for better results.

Becoming a SAFe Agilist Practitioner is not new for today as with the implementation of Agile Methodology, comes the fact that it has offered major contributive importance within the IT industry and Software for growth, development, and improved results.A SAFe Agilist plays an important role in achieving significant improvement throughout the Agile journey and acts as the backbone for better results. A SAFe Agilist is a Scaled Agile Framework enterprise leadership professional who is part of a Lean-Agile transformation.

SAFe Certification

Scaled Agile, Inc. is the certificate provider of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The certification program offers a reliable and valid method of assessing SAFe knowledge, mindset, and skills. It should be also known that certified SAFe members are recognized globally for their high knowledge and ability in the transformation of companies into Lean-Agile enterprises. This vision is supported by providing highly recognized certifications based on the best data-driven methods and practices supporting the SAFe learning journey through consistent role-based educations and ongoing supports. Also, SAFe certifications offer a remarkable and top-notch program that required by professionals, companies, and partners.

What is the role of a SAFe Agilist?

The first essential introduction to SAFe constructs and principles is SAFe Agilist. You can be SAFe Agilist if you pass the examination. In order to take the exam, you should attend Leading SAFe which lasts for two days and prepare you for the exam. As we can see from the name, Leading SAFe is meant for individuals who want to "lead" Lean-Agile organizations, and who want to become familiar with this framework at strategic levels.

Leading SAFe course goes into the SAFe and its underlying ideas as derived from Agile development, design thinking, product development flow, Lean Portfolio Management, DevOps, and system thinking. It also offers the Lean-Agile leaders the understanding needed to assist and take part in the PI Planning event and to get the work of 1 or several Agile Release Trains. A SAFe Agilist is ready to apply Agile, Lean, and Product Development Flow principles to be able to improve employee satisfaction, productivity, quality, and time-to-market. They know the ways how to introduce and apply SAFe in an organization and the way to benefit from achieving objectives. As a SAFe Agilist you will know the interaction between Agile programs, Agile teams, and Agile Portfolio management.

Responsibilities of a SAFe Agilist

Responsibilities of a SAFe Agilist

A SAFe Agilist has an imaginative and prescient of what is needed for the Agile Development process. He/she makes strategic planning as a lead, which forges the path for the Development group and other members of the organization to embark on an Agile path with the workflow process. The SAFe Agilist plans and implements incremental values via Program Management. This consists of time box planning within the form of working, tested software and systems.

Implementation of the Lean-Agile Principles and values within the workflow process is the first task that SAFe Agilist governs. Working beneath the Lean-Agile Principles helps the SAFe Agilist up to the best possible extent within the constructing of Agile Portfolio management with Lean-Agile Budgeting. With the advantage of Agile Portfolio Management, the SAFe Agilist enhances identifications, priorities, group, and management of products developed. This proves to be of nice use in optimizing the development process that's sustainable in the long term.

The SAFe Agilist is also responsible for the optimized flow and continuous efficient of Kanban Solutions. While keeping the monitor of Kanban Solutions, the SAFe Agilist ensures that the workflow process is visualized at an early stage which eliminates the traffic and blockages at an early stage and makes the workflow process clean, cost-efficient, and optimized.

As a SAFe Agilist and expert of Agile Framework, one leads the team with the Cross-Functional, Collaborative, and Supportive approach for the team members of the organization. Agile teams are motivated when having a shared vision with a collaborative approach that delivers value to the end-user. This mostly helps the SAFe Agilist as being the team member and makes themselves fully dedicated to the Agile Team which embraces and supports the common goals.

About Leading SAFe Exam

Having 5+ years of experience in software development, testing, product or project management, and business analysis are the main prerequisite skills for Leading SAFe exam. Moreover, experience in Scrum is also wanted. The first step toward becoming a Certified SAFe professional is to attend one of Leading SAFe coursed. This is a requirement because attending the course provides access to the study materials and the exam. However, we should keep in mind that attending the leading SAFe course does not guarantee to pass the exam.

Other information required for the SAFe 5 Agilist Exam is below:

  • Format: Multiple Choice
  • Delivery: Web-based (single-browser), closed book, no outside assistance, timed
  • Number of Questions: 45
  • Passing Score: 34 out of 45 (75% passing score)
  • Exam language: English
  • Access: Candidates can access the exam within the SAFe Community Platform upon completion of the Leading SAFe course
  • Duration: Once the exam begins, candidates have ninety minutes to complete the exam

We are also pleased to offer a new price for Leading SAFe Live Online training courses. Now, you can enroll in Leading SAFe course even cheaper. Check our training calendar and join our next Leading SAFe training courses.

How to Get Scaled Agile Certification: Everything You Need to Know

How to Get Scaled Agile Certification: Everything You Need to Know

How to Get Scaled Agile Certification: Everything You Need to Know

Scaled Agile professionals can make big moves in their career with Scaled Agile certification. Learn how to get your SAFe certification here!

Keyword(s): scaled agile certification

So you’ve taken the plunge and decided that you’re ready to take your scaled agile certification- congratulations! It’s a big step and one that will help you grow both professionally and personally.

Roles that require agile development skills will increase by an incredible 7.3% over the next 10 years, so by investing in yourself, you’re also investing in a career that can last a lifetime. Plus, with the average agile project manager salary being $103,000, you’ll soon recoup those course fees.

In this post, we’re going to explain everything your need to know about your scaled agile certification. Grab a pen and paper and keep reading for tips on prep, the course and the exam itself!

First Up: Find a Respected Course Provider

Becoming a scaled agile expert is no mean feat and your success will depend on your willingness to work hard and the support you have from your SAFe accredited training provider.

Choosing an accredited provider is essential. It guarantees that teaching is of the highest standard, covers the correct course material in their entirety and is firmly rooted in the Scaled Agile Framework, which is the fundamental basis of the entire course.

At the Agile Center, we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the leading providers of SAFe training in Europe. Having trained over 4000 individuals in 70 locations, we’ve got the knowledge and the tools to get you through your scaled agile certification. With live and online courses available, there’s an option for everyone. Check out our latest courses.

Once you’ve found a course provider that you can trust, it’s time to start prepping for the exam!

Ready, Set, Prep: Before the Course Starts

Everyone wants to be the teacher’s pet and with a little work beforehand, you’re guaranteed to be showered in gold stars once class begins. Here are our top tips for getting in shape before starting your course:

Work Experience

Course providers recommend that to take the Scaled Agile Certification, candidates have been working within a related field for around 5 years. The course focuses on applying theoretical agile concepts to real-life scenarios. A task that is considerably easier if you have prior experience within a lean, agile environment.

As you prepare for your certification, try to expose yourself to a variety of agile projects so that you have a wealth of practical knowledge to use during the training.

Read Up Before the Course

Your learning can begin before the course so be proactive and start your research early. There are plenty of free resources regarding Scaled Agile principles available online. By familiarizing yourself with key concepts and terminology, you’ll absorb the course content faster, meaning it’s easier to prepare as the exam drawers near.

Reading the Agile Manifesto and checking out the resources available directly from SAFe are great places to start.

Find a Mentor

Reading is important but so are real-life experiences. Ask a colleague who has already passed their scaled agile certification to mentor you in the run-up to the exam (and beyond ideally!). A mentor can help you apply your learning to real-life scenarios you face on a daily basis.

Stay Focused: Revising After the Course

Once you’ve done the prep work and attended your training course, it’s time to focus on revising for the exam. We recommend you do the following to get yourself in shape.

Take Mock Tests

Practice the exam under test conditions. Mock exams are available online and they are one of the most effective methods of self-preparation. By mirroring exam conditions, you will easily be able to spot any weaknesses you may have and then target your revision accordingly.

At the same time, you’ll be training yourself to manage your time effectively and tackle unexpected questions that pop up.

Get Creative with Studying

Try to mix up your revision. Rather than writing and rewriting notes (which can get extremely tiring) consider recreating key diagrams, creating flashcards with condensed information, or even speaking your notes aloud.

Apply Your Learning to Real-life Scenarios

Find it difficult to recall information from your notes? Try applying it to real-life scenarios instead. You will find that your recall improves, along with your understanding of the course material.

You can do this in two ways, the first is to try to reflect on your own work and apply agile principles to it. How could you have improved the experience of the team and your outputs by using lean, agile techniques? Alternatively, creating case studies can help with visualizing agile methodology in practice.

Take the Scaled Agile Certification

You’ve done the hard work, now it’s time to take the exam. To become a SAFe expert, you will need to sit a 90-minute multiple choice exam.

Make sure to read each question carefully and review your answers before submitting. If you’re unsure of an answer, try to use a process of elimination. Eliminate the answers that you know are false so that you can focus on narrowing down the remaining choices. With fewer options, it will become easier to focus.

We recommend checking out Skills You Need for more exam tips and advice on managing stress during examinations.

Embark on Your New Career

Your prep, course attendance, and revision have paid off and you’ve passed the exam: congratulations! Mastering scaled agile principles will provide your organization with the agility needed to respond to changing customer demands and new technologies.

As a certified SAFe expert, you’ll be right in the thick of the scrum, tackling these challenges head-on. Your reward? A high paid, engaging career that’s set to be high in demand for years to come.

For more information regarding the Scaled Agile Certification and tips for the exam, check out our other blog posts.

How to Get an Agile Certification: Step by Step Walkthrough

How to Get an Agile Certification: Step by Step Walkthrough

How to Get an Agile Certification: Step by Step Walkthrough

Are you ready to get an Agile certification? There's a step by step process you need to follow. Make sure you keep reading below to learn more.

Many misconceptions about Agile software development and Agile project management exist. We have news for those who think that being Agile means being quick, with an innate ability to work off the seat of your pants. Or being faster and more effective than your competitors.

Those qualities are admirable in any organisation. Yet they do not adequately describe full accreditation to Agile certifying bodies. Nor do they do justice to the skills possessed by those with SAFe® Agile certification.

We're going to take you step-by-step through the process of how to become Agile certified. There are various levels of certification involving training courses and exams. Read on to find out how to begin your Agile certification journey.

Background

In 2001, seventeen software developers got together at a ski resort in Utah, USA to discuss software development. The upshot was that they created the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. They also set down the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto.

You might think that these are lofty ideals, but Agile approaches are widely used in the software development industry. Some people think that in contrast to the Waterfall approach, there is no planning in Agile methods. Quite the opposite is true: detailed planning is ongoing in any Agile project.

Agile's incremental planning allows rapid adaptation to changes in the scope, priorities, and requirements of any project. Since 2001, much has been done to scale up the Agile approach. It has gone from being effective in small teams only to being viable at more complex, larger levels too.

The Agile approach has now become a Scaled Agile Framework. This framework prescribes a disciplined and repeatable approach when implementing software. It's a development management approach that gets better with each iteration.

Are You Ready for Agile Certification?

At the Agile Centre, we provide training services using standards that are recognised internationally, using the proven Agile methodology. We offer a series of courses.

All our courses are licensed by Scaled Agile Inc. , who created SAFe®. We are an Silver Partner of Scaled Agile.

There are several courses that we would like to highlight here. The first is the Agile Product Management course.

SAFe® Agile Product Manager

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) helps you deal with the challenges of developing and delivering enterprise-class software and systems that have short lead times that are also sustainable. In this three-day course, you'll learn how to implement Lean-Agile software and systems at enterprise scale.

As Certified SAFe® Agile Product Manager you'll combine Design Thinking with Lean-Agile values and principles. This will enable you to create products and solutions that follow the Manifesto for Agile Software Development by being:

  • Desirable
  • Viable
  • Feasible
  • Sustainable

You will gain an understanding of how Continuous Exploration promotes innovation and defines ways to tap into new markets. You will also see how this methodology accelerates the product lifecycle so that you get fast feedback enabling you to deliver exceptional products and solutions.

Attending the course will prepare you to sit the exam and become a certified SAFe® Agile Product Manager (APM) - read more about it here. The course is online, so you don't need to worry about where you are in the world. All you have to do is get connected and get registered.

SAFe® 5 Scrum Master (SSM)

Attending this two-day course gives you the necessary preparation for the SAFe® 5 Scrum Master exam and become a certified SAFe® 5 Scrum Master (SSM).

While each level of the SAFe® methodology is aligned to the same goals, some courses are more advanced than others and deal with different aspects of software development and management. Browse through all our courses to identify where your particular talents lie and capitalize on those.

A SAFe® Scrum Master (SSM) is a team-based servant leader. As such, they help teams self-organize, self-manage, and deliver value using Agile practices. The Scrum Master supports and coaches the Scrum process and any other processes agreed by the team.

Essentially, the Scrum Master plays a coordinating role with other teams on the Agile Release Train (ART) and communicates status to management as needed.

You learn how to be the primary enabler of alignment at all levels of a SAFe® organization. This course covers the key components of Agile at scale development, ways in which Scrum is facilitated throughout the enterprise, and how you can execute Iteration Planning.

Building Agile teams by becoming a servant leader and coach is central to this course. By achieving SAFe® 5 Scrum Master (SSM) certification you will be able to increase your value to teams and organizations during SAFe® implementation.

Check out the basic differences between Scrum and SAFe® here.

Lean-Agile Is a Good Place to Start

A good place to start if you're just embarking on the Agile journey is to look at the possibilities offered by the course on Lean Portfolio Management.

The concept of Lean originated in the Japanese auto industry. There, production centres around the idea of kaizen, or continual improvement. Many countries and private and public organisations have adopted kaizen and Lean methods to beneficial effect.

Lean-Agile takes the mindset of Lean and applies it to software development. At the same time, it incorporates those elements of Agile that are useful. Lean-Agile does not need to confine itself to workflows involving software.

The Lean Portfolio Management course provides a good introduction to the discipline involved in all Agile-related approaches.

Certification Every Step of the Way

Each course offered by Agile Centre offers certification in that module if you pass the examination you take on completion of the course. Companies gain far-reaching benefits from sending their employees on courses either to learn Agile methods or advance their knowledge of the Scaled Agile Framework.

You can chat with us live at any time from any page on our website to gain clarification on the courses we offer. We also welcome your phone calls or e-mails either at our London Head Office or many Regional Offices around the world. Waste no time: get in touch today!

Agile Center

Agile Center provides consultancy and training services in the following areas: Lean-Agile Transformation, Agile Strategy audit & implementation and Agile Program/Portfolio management.

Agile Center is a brand of Architecture Center Ltd.

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