SAFe® Certification: What Course Is Best for You?

If you're into the development and delivery of frameworks for agile scaling, then you've likely considered SAFe(R) certification.

A SAFe certification has always been part of this industry but competition is increasing as this industry grows. You may be wondering: Is SAFe(R) certification worth it to help my career grow? Will I learn anything I don't already know? And, what course should I take for the certification? These are all great questions especially when it comes to picking an appropriate SAFe(R) certification course.

There are dozens of great opportunities but not all of them are fit for your goals and needs. This video will help clarify which courses are out there. And, hopefully, provide you with enough insight to find the right course in your journey for SAFe(R) certification.

Want to learn more about SAFe(R)? This industry? Or, want information about agile development and more?

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Agile Planning: Tips for Scaling Agile in a Large Organization

Agile Planning: Tips for Scaling Agile in a Large Organization

Agile Planning: Tips for Scaling Agile in a Large Organization

Agile planning becomes even more complex when you're scaling up across a large organization. We take a look at some practical tips to make it work.

Keyword(s): agile planning

If there was one project management method for the 21st century, it's agile. 97 per cent of organisations now use a form of agile in their development cycles.

The whole point of agile is its frequent testing. Delivery is continuous, not a 'one-off' drop at the end of a project.

Can that co-exist peacefully with the kind of long-term planning your business needs? Is it possible to build continual change into your ongoing strategy?

It is - and in many cases, you should. How?

Use agile planning to scale the framework for a large organisation. Read on to learn more.

Use Agile Principles in Your Agile Planning

It might sound obvious, but the best way to scale agile is to use an agile framework. Choose a framework to start with. Decide which teams you're going to use agile with.

Run an iteration and see how it works. Evaluate how it went. What needs to change?

Make these changes and then run another iteration. Once agile works for these teams, apply the same processes to the next part of your business.

Keep testing until you're using the scaled agile framework across the enterprise.

The benefit of taking this approach is it recognises business needs change over time. By using a system that's open to evolution, you can pivot to suit what your market needs.

Learn the Principles of the SAFe Framework

The SAFe framework provides a structured method for scaling agile across a business.

SAFe divides your business into three layers: team, program, and portfolio. This tiered approach makes it easier to deliver the product.

You'll bundle up related projects into 'themes' based on what they're for.

On one hand, you have the business tasks you need to do at the customer-facing side of the business. Product launches would be an example.

On the other hand, you have the architectural things you do related to the technology you use. That might be upgrading servers or switching to cloud computing.

Those business or architectural tasks become a separate program. Several teams might work on a program.

Put together, these programs become your portfolio. Project managers and technical experts create the priorities for each portfolio.

Put the Right Staff in Place

Your employees need to work in the right part of the framework for it to be successful.

'Big picture' thinkers work best overseeing the portfolio. They can see all the moving parts and how they need to work together.

Developers work better in smaller teams clustered around an architectural program. Freed of having to think about unnecessary tasks, they can place their focus where it's needed.

Meanwhile, other parts of your business can focus on their role. They don't need to worry about the bigger picture, just their part in it.

Figuring out who works best where is part of the initial agile planning process.

Make sure you also work on the mindset of your employees. One team's definition of 'done' might not be the same as another. You don't want a team to pass work onto the next link in the chain if it's not ready.

Get everyone into the habit of thinking of themselves as part of a 'we', not an 'I'. That means a developer doesn't pass something on and say they're done. It means they're done when it's signed off.

Keep Things Aligned With Your Big Picture

Everyone in the business needs to know the long-term vision. But only those in charge of the bigger picture need to create it.

In the SAFe framework, you'll come up with themes that guide what you focus on. Divide the priorities so you know what you'll dive into in this quarter, the next six months, or the next year.

This way, you know where to put your resources. It's better to do one or two things very well instead of many things half-halfheartedly.

Air France-KLM dropped the waterfall method for the SAFe framework. These SAFe teams release 20 per cent more effectively than they did using waterfall.

Break the Big Picture Down

Now you know what your core priorities are.

Take each priority at a time. Break down what you want to achieve into smaller projects. Work backwards if you need to.

Start with what milestone you'd need to hit before you reached your goal. What milestone would you need to reach before that?

You'll end up with a series of steps that you must take to achieve the goal. Make sure these are steps that take you to your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This lets you get feedback early on.

These milestones make it easier to use agile for projects with longer lead-times. It keeps motivation and energy up. But it also breaks up the release cycle to keep everyone on task.

Check Your Estimates

Having this mapped out means you can start estimating how long each step might take.

This is where agile planning comes into its own for scaled work. Instead of teams working in isolation, you can align these steps.

Make sure you pass this plan to your team since they have the expert knowledge. They can confirm if your estimate is accurate.

Bundle any items that make sense to work together. This makes it easier for testers to work on larger versions, instead of small iterations.

Test the Plan

You won't know if the plan works until you test it. Which takes us back to our first point. Use the agile framework to deliver a scaled framework!

Run iterations. Test the estimates. Did a team take longer than planned, or less time?

Adjust the plan for the next period accordingly. This is where agile fits into the scaled framework for your whole enterprise.

You plug each program into the wider portfolio and see what works.

Make Agile Work For You

This might sound like a lot of work to use a new framework in your business. But doing this agile planning at the start of a project makes it easier to put in place.

You'll be able to get buy-in from employees much sooner. They can get on with the work and you can manage the process more smoothly.

If you're not sure where to start with scaling agile, check out our range of courses. Getting certified in the SAFe framework gives you the confidence to put it into practice.

The Benefits of Adopting the SAFe Framework for Your Team

The Benefits of Adopting the SAFe Framework for Your Team

The Benefits of Adopting the SAFe Framework for Your Team

The Scaled Agile Framework can help you cope with the challenges of developing software and systems. We look at the key benefits of the SAFe framework.

Keyword(s): SAFe framework

Many people date the birth of the agile framework to 2001. It radically overhauled how software companies generated, developed, and shipped their products.

Enterprise soon switched on to these shortened project times. Businesses adopt agile practices once they saw the benefits.

But agile better suited smaller teams. It wasn't practical for a whole company at first. These challenges led to the development of the scaled agile framework (SAFe).

Innovators like LEGO and Spotify now use SAFe to faster develop and deliver new products.

Are you wondering about the benefits of the SAFe framework for your team? Read on to learn more.

Be Agile and Lean

The SAFe framework allows you to be both agile and lean.

Using the agile framework, you'll work in short cycles. You keep testing and evaluating work in small increments.

Lean project management means giving workers what they need and when they need it. But you use the least amount of space, equipment, materials and workers to do it.

SAFe gives you the benefit of the agile framework. You can spot what's not working and fix it early in the process.

But you can do this by using staff where they're needed the most, keeping things lean.

You don't have to do it all at once either. LEGO switched to using SAFe in 2015. They did so team-by-team.

Centralise Your Decision-Making

Agile works well for the project management of in small teams. But when you're scaling it up, you need centralised decision-making. That's because you're thinking at the level of the business as a whole - not just the team.

SAFe brings a sense of strategy into the process. Think of SAFe as the 'big picture' viewpoint.

It doesn't matter how complicated your project is. Run as many teams as you want underneath this centralised umbrella.

Having that central decision-making speeds up your processes by keeping everyone coordinated.

Encourage Top-Down Thinking

Agile can sometimes tend towards bottom-up working.

The results of tests pass upward, dictating the direction in future. Because SAFe uses a centralised system, this doesn't happen.

The top-down approach lets developers keep strategy and goals in mind.

This also leads to faster decision-making. Teams can make decisions based on the objectives, without having to stop for approval.

Standardised Processes

You may already have several teams using the agile framework. Chances are, they're all running a slightly different version.

Because they use agile in a different way, you run into delays whenever the teams have to work together. Or they're all using different software.

Maybe it's not compatible. Perhaps the tools have different requirements.

A benefit of using SAFe is you standardise your processes across your teams. Everyone uses the exact same version of the framework. You know everyone is using the same software and tools to do their job.

That's helpful if you take on new developers to help with a project. Training them is easy as you have a 'manual' for them to follow.

You can even swap developers between teams. Or hand tasks across teams as necessary. Whatever you need to do, SAFe gives you the flexibility to do it.

Better Business Alignment

Think of your projects in a vertical fashion. You've got management at the top and your development teams and testers below.

Getting staff on board in a chain from management downwards isn't always difficult. Share the strategy with teams down the ladder to clarify their goals and objectives.

What is more challenging is sharing that vision or strategy in a horizontal fashion. What we mean here is getting departments across your business into alignment.

Why isolate development teams from the rest of your business? Using SAFe means you can bring all your teams into alignment. That's whether they're marketing, finance, or even HR.

Motivate Your Employees

Top-down decision making doesn't only mean that top management makes all the decisions. Assemble a team to handle each project which represents the sub-teams working on it.

That way, IT technicians have a say in which hardware they may need to upgrade or replace. They're not wasting time working with equipment that's forced upon them.

Give teams a stake in the process. It's a great way to ensure your employees take responsibility for their part in the project. It helps improve their motivation and productivity at the same time.

Agile naturally requires a higher degree of productivity. Teams only work as fast as the slowest member. Use SAFe to enjoy these greater levels of productivity across your whole enterprise.

Enjoy Faster Delivery Times

We've touched on this already but using the SAFe gets your products to market much faster. Using agile for one or two teams will already speed up your production cycle.

But using agile at scale brings the value of incremental working to your entire company.

You can better plan marketing campaigns using the iteration-based focus of agile. These iterations give you a series of dates to plan around. That works well for launches or rolling digital marketing content.

Improve Research and Development

A good way to improve a person's performance is to let them work up to your expectations. Give them a chance to live up to your perception of them.

Let your development teams tell you what they can achieve in each iteration. Then let them do it. Once they deliver what they say they can deliver, it'll become common practice.

In addition, each iteration helps the team to understand their own workflow better. They'll be able to provide better estimates as to how long work will take. Which means you can make better plans for your centralised decision-making.

Adopt the SAFe Framework

We hope by now that you're convinced of the benefits of the SAFe framework. Better business alignment, higher productivity, and increased delivery times are all within reach.

Every enterprise adopts SAFe differently. So you can tailor the framework to meet your needs.

You can also undertake training in the framework to learn how to apply it. Check out our range of courses for both groups and individuals.

SAFe® Agilist: What Does It Take?

Lean-Agile ventures hold a high demand for trained and certified SAFe Agilist. These individuals, with their ability to leverage and apply lean, agile, and robust development principles are critical for modern businesses.
Their work directly improves productivity, product quality, employee satisfaction, and more. One wonders: How do you become a SAFe Agilist? The answer to this question lies in SAFe Agilist certification. And, further refined, the answer is via the Leading Scaled Agile Framework Course.
Our video shares a complete look into what's needed to get SA certification and what to expect with the SAFe exam.
You'll also gain insight into the terms and conditions of this exam, how to best prepare, and other helpful tips before taking the plunge. Do you need training and consulting on your path to becoming a SAFe Agilist?
We can help! Get in touch with our experts. Or, use the live chat/contact to request information.
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What is Scaled Agile Framework?

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

Are you interested in implementing Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®)? Here, we discuss SAFe® and why you should incorporate it into your business.

Keyword(s): scaled agile framework

Want to know how Scaled Agile Framework can help your company?

The Agile management approach has proven to be far superior to other project management methods for several projects. This mindset keeps projects moving forward and provides clients with ongoing product delivery.

If you're ready to implement scaled Agile into your business, then read this guide to Scaled Agile Framework and get ready for your efficiency to skyrocket!

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

The Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe, is a particular method for scaling Agile into your business. It's a way for you to learn the Agile approach to project management as well as successfully implement it.

Switching to an Agile office isn't always accepted at all levels of a business. If upper management doesn't embrace the integration, it could cause Agile to fail. Having a professional framework outlining how to properly utilise it will benefit everyone in your company.

Agile Project Management

Scaling Agile might require a change of mindset. Frequently, agile management will fail in a company because the culture isn't able to accept the new approach.

It's important to make sure everyone in your office understands the benefits of Agile and why it works. When people understand how scaled agile framework helps them, they are more likely to embrace the changes.

Agile management is often used in software development, although it is gaining popularity in other business models as well. The idea of Agile management is to structure a project's framework into small intervals.

When the interval, or sprint, is completed, the project teams move on to the next stage of the project. This forces the project to continue to move forward and also motivates the team to complete one whole portion of a project in a set timeframe.

A sprint will include testing of the final product before it gets presented. After each sprint, the project team will share their work with the client through a demonstration. Each sprint should result in a working part of the software that a client can use.

This allows for the client to provide feedback and detect any bugs or defects in the software early on. It is also an opportunity for the project team to meet and go over what aspects of the sprint were successful and what areas need improvement.


One reason that Agile project management is so successful is that it allows for flexibility and the opportunity to change directions. This is because the teams can meet and reflect often on the direction of the project.

The shorter intervals for completing tasks allow teams to break up a project into smaller, more manageable projects. It also lets small teams take care of product development, which helps them focus on specific tasks together.

In more traditional project management approaches, the project is planned more specifically. This results in a rigid mindset and forces project members to stick to the timeframe without a chance to change. It also doesn't let the individual teams make their own decisions on the project to meet unexpected demands.

Process Improvement

When starting an Agile minded project, the project team enters the planning phase. The developers create a clear list of tasks to complete for the client. These are usually user-based and meet the client's process needs.

Some challenges to having developers working on a project are that they are so focused on development that the user experience falls short. This is why there is usually a product owner who makes sure to take the client's best interests into account.

Since the smaller intervals require daily meetings, there are many opportunities to improve development methods. Agile is more people-focused than process-centric. Each meeting allows the project team to collaborate on resolutions to problems and fix them as they progress.

It also allows the customer to weigh in often on how the project is doing. This further helps in the process improvement since adjustments happen early on. Rather than discovering a ton of problems at the final product delivery.

Meet Deadlines

A common challenge with failed projects is an inability to meet deadlines. When the project falls behind it not only affects results but it also increases costs quickly. That's something no client wants to hear.

With an incremental approach, Agile management helps to keep the project on task. There is typically a project leader or manager who will track the project and make sure that each of the sprint deliverables is being met.

At the end of the sprint, the software should be completed and tested. This forces the project teams to stay focused on a short timeframe and achievable goals. They can then move onto the next portion of the project without delays.

Become Certified in SAFe

If you want to successfully integrate SAFe or Scaled Agile Framework into your company, then you may want to get certified.

This particular training and certification can help you gain expert knowledge when planning out your company's next project. By becoming SAFe-certified as a software professional you'll be a valuable employee who can implement the Agile framework.

To obtain the certification, you need to go through the Agilist training. The required training is a Leading Scaled Agile Framework Course. Then you will need to pass the SAFe Agilist examination.

Take the Lead

Become a leader in your company and share the benefits of Scaled Agile Framework with your team. When you become certified, you'll be able to increase the productivity, customer satisfaction, and success of your projects.

Want to learn more about how Scaled Agile Framework can help you and your enterprise? Visit our blog for helpful advice on Agile and scaling it to your business.

Don't forget to check out our courses to learn more about implementing agile in your workplace!

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