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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!

What to Look for in a Scaled Agile Online Course

What to Look for in a Scaled Agile Online Course

What to Look for in a Scaled Agile Online Course

Online courses are a smart and flexible choice, especially during COVID. Take a look at this guide to learn what to look for in a Scaled Agile online course.

Keyword(s): scaled agile

When it comes to project management, does your team have a dialled-in workflow? Or do you find yourselves winging it more often than not?

If so, then you could benefit from the popular scaled agile methodology. Don't worry if you don't know what that means, we've got you covered. Keep reading to learn all about agile and how to scale it for your growing team.

What Is Scaled Agile?

The agile process is a favourite amongst startup companies around the world. However, what can you do if your team is much larger than that? How can you scale the agile framework? With SAFe (the Scaled Agile Framework) you can do just by engaging in the agile methodology for large teams.

Scaled agile uses systems thinking for large teams to collaborate and deliver products quickly and continually. You won't be reliant any longer on the outdated waterfall method. Or wait until after you've completed months of creating before getting any client feedback.

As your team grows in size you will need a more structured framework for the popular agile method. By learning more about it you and your team can deliver quality products to happy and included clients that better meets the needs of a changing marketplace.

The scaled agile community is growing every day. And once you see the many great features of courses everywhere, you'll soon see why. Now its time to see how certification can help your team take on this amazing system for product development and increased efficiency at your office.

So if you're ready to see an increase in productivity and a decrease in getting your product to market, then you need to invest in scaled agile training for your team.

What to Look for in Your Courses?

When it comes to investing in your agile education for your team, not all courses are created equal. You need to find out what their experience is and what successes their previous students have had.

As you research various courses for your team, be sure to compare these five features to ensure that you choose the best one for you and your organization.

Virtual Options

In today's society, you need virtual options. Even outside of the current pandemic people are busy and teams are internationally based. You need to be able to offer your team a way to continue their education from home.

Scaled Agile online courses are a great way to learn this valuable system for your business without the expense and hassle of travelling or missing days at the office. Your team can learn from the comfort of home and use this valuable training immediately.

Easy to Implement

Your teams are busy, you can't pile on another item on their never-ending to-do list. This is why you need to find a course everyone can implement even when time is limited.

An online course with videos and worksheets will help your team to learn quickly and then implement it immediately.

Cost

While scaled agile training is an investment in your company, you still need to be aware of the cost. Many business owners don't want to think about money or budgets. It is too common to splurge in the name of writing it off later.

However, no matter how big or small your business is, you need a budget. And then you can decide how much you will invest in education each year. Once you know this information you can find a great course for your team without breaking the bank.

Team Focused

A quality course will focus on helping your team work together. It will give them examples and exercises to look at your current workflows and systems to see what is working and what can be improved.

You will soon see the challenges of your current system and the benefits of adopting a scaled agile framework. Additionally, case studies will be used so that you're not left guessing about how to implement this new system in your organization.

Your team will learn how to manage themselves and run sprints successfully. Building a culture of autonomous teams is an added benefit of the agile system.

Offer Multiple Options

No team is alike, and no scaled agile implementation is exactly alike. You need to be able to implement your scaled agile methodology based on your team needs.

Here at The Agile Center, we have dozens of courses available for every size team around the globe. Whether you're interested in live events or you're more comfortable with socially distanced virtual courses, you can find what you need for your organization.

Additionally, regardless of the type of framework you choose to follow, we've got you covered there as well. From Scrum to DevOps to Kanban you and your team can learn the best framework for your situation.

Now you know the five features to look for when researching online courses for your team. With their new scaled agile certification, you and your team will be ready to tackle your next project with increased efficiency and productivity.

Stay Flexible From a Distance With Online Courses

Being able to pivot quickly in today's market is a valuable skill for your production team. And the scaled agile framework is the key to bringing new products to market faster and with more flexibility.

Don't waste any more time with outdated project management workflows. Instead, harness the power of agility to increase your efficiency and decrease your costs and redundancy.

To learn more about how The Agile Center can benefit your team with our advanced online training, contact us today. We're here to help take your team to the next level while still maintaining our distance.

What You Can Do With Scaled Agile Certification

What Does It Mean to Be an Agile Project Manager?

What You Can Do With Scaled Agile Certification

Want a change in careers? If you are thinking about becoming Scaled Agile Certified read about what you can do with certification.

Keyword(s): safe agile certification

You can enhance your existing skillset with SAFe Agile certification.

Agile has revolutionized project management. It has also increased the demand for professionals certified in understanding its practices.

There are many variants of Agile. These variants include scrum, Kanban, and scaled Agile.

Agile emphasizes cross-functional teams and incremental collaboration on project iterations. Certification tests professionals’ knowledge and competence of the framework.

At its name suggests, scaled Agile enables organizations to leverage Agile practices on a larger level. However, PMs who earn SAFe Agile certification can take their careers to the next level.

To learn what you can do with scaled Agile certification, read on.

What Is SAFe Agile?

Scaled Agile is also known as SAFe. The practice lessens the risk of implementing the Agile framework. In other words, it’s a safe way to scale Agile.

Professionals created the Agile method as an effective project management framework. However, they designed it for small teams. As Agile gained popularity, organizations attempted to adapt the practices for large teams.

However, the tactics required to accomplish this feat were not Agile practices. Unsurprisingly, these methods failed to yield successful results.

Many Agile experts worked toward adapting the method for larger groups. However, most organizations continued using their version of a revised Agile process.

Unfortunately, their efforts were often an underwhelming failure. As a result, organizations started to turn away from Agile.

SAFe overcomes the problems of scaling Agile for larger groups. It’s a supporting framework that allows Agile to work in the context of a larger organization.

With SAFe, project managers and stakeholders can connect essential Agile pathways. Accordingly, SAFe project management methods are important to many organizations. Also, SAFe Agile certification careers are on the rise.

Earning SAFe Agile Certification

SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager is a popular course for PMs. It’s for professionals who are familiar with Agile.

It helps project managers make the shift to Agile from other methods. The training offers an understanding of the various subgroups of Agile. These subgroups include Kanban, scrum, and lean.

Scrum Master Certification demonstrates knowledge of the practices of Agile management. This training is helpful for project managers that work in software.

The Certified Scrum Professional accreditation shows advanced skill in the scrum framework. It also shows the ability to manage advanced practices and artifacts. Furthermore, it provides an understanding of the roles and procedures for the scrum framework.

Professional Scrum Master Certification highlights a PM’s knowledge in scrum methods. It also shows that person’s ability to apply scrum to the real-world. There’s different training for scrum product owners, scrum masters, and scrum developers.

Finally, SAFe Scaled Agilist Certification is for PMs with five or more years in software. It displays expertise in testing and project management. It also provides skills in business analysis and scrum.

SAFe Scaled Agilist Certification offers detailed lessons about Lean-Agile leadership. It also shows the ability to launch SAFe in Agile practices.

The certification shows the ability to oversee value-added Agile projects. It also shows a PM’s ability to manage continuous delivery.

Taking the SAFe Route: How to Get SAFe Certified

The Agile management field has matured. As with other project management subspecialties, organizations need experienced SAFe Agile experts. For this reason, many project management professionals choose to pursue SAFe Agile certification.

Whether changing roles or changing jobs, many PM experts aspire to work with Agile. Certifications help them reach their goals in several ways.

As an example, a SAFe Agile certification can help a project manager stand out among competitors. It can also help them to land a job with a better salary.

Furthermore, SAFe Agile certification gives a project manager credibility. It also helps them to make the most of the latest trends in project management.

Before you can get started with SAFe Agile certification, however, you need a foundation in scrum methods.

Think of this scenario in terms of your education. For example, you need a high school degree before you can go to college.

In the same way, you need to master and demonstrate skills in scrum before you can pursue SAFe Agile certification. If you want to pursue SAFe Agile certification, scrum certification is the launching point that can make it happen.

Best of all, scaled Agile certification cost is minimal. Certification only costs a fraction compared to what you’ll earn throughout your career.

Choosing a SAFe Agile Training Center

When choosing scaled Agile certification training, it’s important to choose the right school. For instance, look for a provider that maintains world-class standards.

Today, we operate in a global marketplace. As a result, it’s important to train with an organization that can help you meet that standard.

You’ll want to choose a training center that supports you in achieving your goals. Accordingly, look for an organization with highly experienced consultants and trainers. Furthermore, it’s best to look for an organization with trainers who have real-world experience.

Finally, look for a training program with extensive training sessions. It’s also helpful to choose a school that offers ongoing coaching.

Earn Your Credentials With a Field Leader

Now that you know more about SAFe Agile certification, you need a training center that can help you take the next step.

Agile Center is your solution for consultancy and training. We offer training in lean-Agile transformation as well as Agile strategy and deployment. We also offer accredited and licensed training in SAFe. Students can also earn credentials in AgilePM, ArchiMate, and other professional certifications.

At Agile Center, you can gain the skills needed to support a full transition to an Agile enterprise. If you desire, we can provide you with a turnkey solution for your organization’s scrum-Agile process.

Contact Agile Center at (929) 255-1300 or visit us online to learn more about how we can help you prepare a roadmap to close the distance between your current PM knowledge base and the skills that you desire.

What is the Scaled Agile Exam?

What Does It Mean to Be an Agile Project Manager?

What is the Scaled Agile Exam?

Before you decide to take the Scaled Agile Exam, it's best to understand what it is and if you qualify first. For those details and more continue reading below.

Did you know that Agile has now become common in many software development companies? What’s more, taking the scaled agile exam to get certified has many benefits.

It’s not a straightforward certification, and you need to know the challenges before you sit for the exam.

When you decide to take the Scaled Agile Exam, it's best to understand what it is and if you qualify first. Keep reading to learn more about the details below.

About the Scaled Agile Exam

The Agile methodology is used by cross-functional teams that need to work more responsively and flexibly. They need to collaborate incrementally, and this makes traditional methods of project management outdated and ineffective. It’s one reason many organizations are now looking towards Agile certification when it comes to hiring new employees.

What’s more, companies have gained various advantages by adopting Agile. For example, team morale increases, projects become more predictable, and there is a marked reduction in project risks.

Why Get Agile Certified?

Today, companies seek candidates with agile experience and certification, which has led agile professionals to aspire for them. Besides, they can get many benefits like career growth and promotions. Some of the advantages include:

Managers have noted positive changes when employees go for the SAFe classes that lead up to the exam. These positive changes are reflected in how they think about their work and come with other benefits that make many managers firm advocates for Agile training and certification.

Agile Exam Types

There are many kinds of certifications in Agile available. When there are so many options available, it is a challenge to know which one to take and when.

The top Agile certifications that many seek out when they working on building their career with the Agile methods are:

  • PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Professional)
  • SAFe® Scrum Master
  • SAFe Scaled Agilists
  • Leading SAFe
  • Agile Software Engineering
  • Scrum.org (Professional Scrum Master/Professional Scrum Product Owner/Professional Scrum Developer -1)

There’s no doubt that when it comes down to investing time and money, everyone must do extensive research about which certification is appropriate to take. Doing this helps employees to get the best value out of it.

How to Choose the Right Agile Certification?

Did you know that Scrum is the most used form of Agile? It’s the reason most Agile certifications are Scrum-based. If you have a year or more of Scrum Agile experience, you are set to choose your SAFe course. If not, you’ll need a foundation in Scrum first.

Scaled Agile has made its classes straightforward to make the choices simple. Here are a few tips that can help you select the right certification:

Make Sure Your Priorities Are Clear

Do you know what you’re looking to achieve from the certification? Define your goals now. There’s tons of information on Agile certifications, and it will be easy to get overloaded without them.

Review Your Project Environment

Depending on your situation, it can be where you are working now or where you want to be. Are the projects in small, self-led teams, or do you see yourself as the leader across multiple teams on a project? Are you at the leadership level seeking to implement Agile in your business culture?

The answers to these and other questions will help frame the type of certification and training you choose.

Focus on Practical Skills

Almost every Agile certification includes practical skills training. Still, it’s good advice to ask the provider about this.

When implementing Scrum or Agile, it’s the practical training the lets you be confident in your decisions.

Credibility of the Certification

If certification is essential, then look for a provider that gives respected credentials valued internationally.

With certification, your skills’ integrity is solid, and you are identified as having a substantial standard of capabilities.

Choosing the Best Provider

Making a list like this can help weed out the weak ones and help you get to the shortlist of providers you need.

  • They have training consultants that offer Agile advice tailored to your situation and goals
  • They give detailed information on all their courses and will support you in your decision making and research
  • They provide guarantees about their training and are a Registered Education Provider (REP) with leading bodies, like Project Management Insitute (PMI)®, and an Approved Training Partner (ATP) with SCRUMstudy
  • Certifications are awarded by reputable organizations and are internationally recognized (SAFe®)
  • Only experienced training professionals provide their training
  • They provide comprehensive study materials for all training courses on Agile and Scrum

Passing Your Exam

Are you ready for the exam? It’s essential to know how to take an exam with the goal of passing. Here are a few tips to get you ready:

Know Your Exam

Know the exam style, how many questions it will have, the time allotted to complete the whole exam, the time per question on average, the score needed to pass, and the rules governing the exam.

The Exam Content

When you have “the skills, knowledge, and experience required to successfully perform the job in a SAFe working environment.” you are ready to be Certified SAFe. If you pass the exam, you are qualified to perform the role you trained and did all the preparation. There are a few methods to learn the exam content in addition to being an engaged student during your course.

  • Study the materials
  • Focus on your weak areas
  • Engage using out of the box methods - for example, explain the SAFe big picture to someone else, make a case study, review your work from a SAFe perspective

Now you should be ready to move on to the next step, the exam. Make sure you are well-rested and have set up in a quiet area of your home to take the exam.

Exam day is here, and you know you’re ready scaled agile exam. Read each question carefully, and review before you submit your answer. Only change an answer you know with certainty is wrong.

What’s Next for the Scaled Agile Exam

Preparing for the scaled agile exam is a challenge that can only be met with the right training provider. Agile Center provides consultancy and training services that include it all. If you have questions, contact their experienced staff to get the answers you need.

What Does It Mean to Be an Agile Project Manager?

What Does It Mean to Be an Agile Project Manager?

The Agile framework is very different than traditional project management. So what does it mean to be an Agile project manager?

Have you ever wondered if your expertise as a project manager can transfer to an Agile environment? Fundamentally, the approach to an Agile project is very different from other methodologies such as waterfall. As such, an Agile project manager will play a different role then they're traditionally used to.

Instead of directing team members, you'll act as a guide, facilitator, mentor, change expert, coach, and trainer. If you've wondered what's involved in becoming an Agile project manager, read on to learn more about what it takes to be exceptional in this role.

Agile vs. Traditional Project Management

A traditional project management approach is linear, where each phase of the process occurs in a particular sequence. It follows a set sequence which is:

  • Feasibility
  • Planning
  • Designing
  • Building
  • Testing
  • Production
  • Support

Everything about the project is planned up upfront, and there is no scope for changes once it's up and running. It assumes that time and cost are variables, but the requirements are fixed.

Agile project management focusses on teamwork, customer collaboration, and flexibility. It takes an iterative approach by incorporating customer feedback and continuous releases. Rather than focusing on a predefined process, it delves into evolving changes and adapts to suit the user needs.

The two most widely used frameworks are Scrum and Kanban. They encourage decision-making and give less attention to variables that are certain to change. Customer satisfaction is a top priority, and teams will fast-track development to meet user demands.

The Role of an Agile Project Manager

There are some similarities between a traditional project manager and an Agile project manager. Some of the qualities that they should possess:

  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Ability to prioritise
  • Can thrive under pressure
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Able to work well with others
  • Fantastic critical thinking capabilities
  • The ability to think on their feet
  • Are comfortable with rapid changes to priorities
  • Have a high level of adaptability and flexibility

The Agile project manager will still work with upper management for strategic decision making. They're also the sole person responsible for the successful delivery of the project. However, they won't work closely with the team responsible for producing the results.

Instead, the project manager will work directly with the Scrum Master. All communication will flow to the Scrum Manager, who then manages the team's performance and impediments. This partnership allows the Agile project manager to focus on delivery timelines and the Scrum Master to utilise their energies on the quality of the product.

The Agile project manager is also in charge of managing risks and addressing them with the management teams. The Scrum Master will work with the project manager to ensure that any roadblocks are removed so that the delivery team has a clear runway to achieve their goals.

Agile Project Management Tools

Project management tools can vary between teams, but their purpose is to plan, execute, and manage projects in one centralised virtual location. Most project management software can be used for:

  • Project planning
  • Project scheduling
  • Resource allocation and capacity planning
  • Project budgets
  • Quality management
  • Storing and sharing documents and records
  • Creation and publishing project reports
  • Tracking the time spent on project tasks versus the plan
  • Analysing trends
  • Forecasting

Managing a project without project management tools is possible, but there is an increased risk of errors and additional inefficiencies that come in doing so. The most common alternative to software is spreadsheets. However, this requires a lot of effort to get set up and manual updates, which comes with a risk of errors occurring.

Choosing the Right Agile Framework

There are more than six popular Agile frameworks to choose from, so it's important to assess the needs of the project to determine the right one for the job. There are some best practices that Agile project managers use to identify the right framework.

Begin by assessing the project size and scope. If it's a large project, it can be challenging to break it down into two-week sprints. But if it is still being defined, then Agile is always a better fit than a traditional framework.

Next, determine the project drivers. It's imperative to understand the business case and the value of the project to the organisation. You should also learn what it means to the customer and the outcomes they should expect.

Once you've identified the project drivers, you should learn about the priorities that can impact each of the frameworks. When you have this, you can make a list of the methodologies and rank how suitable they are.

When you've decided on a framework, then you can start working. You have to remember that the key concept of Agile is to be flexible and adaptable. If the methodology that you've chosen isn't producing the results that you're expecting, then you should modify it to suit the needs of the project or change frameworks altogether.

How Do You Become an Agile Project Manager?

If you want to learn how to succeed as a project manager, Agile Center can help you achieve this goal. We provide consultancy and training services in Lean-Agile transformation, strategy audit and implementation, and program management and portfolio.

Our team has over 400 highly experienced consultants and trainers over 70 locations. We can train and coach you to become an effective Agile project manager by providing you with process guidelines, templates, process improvement techniques, and team composition. Get in contact with our team to learn how we can help you and your business deliver successful Agile projects.

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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