SAFe stands for Scaled Agile Framework and is basically a set of workflow patterns that guide companies in scaling lean and agile practices. The framework was introduced in the year 2011 by Dean Leffingwell. It leverages Agile software development, lean product development and system thinking in order to promote alignment, collaboration and delivery across a large number of agile teams. It centres on essential principles that include:-
- Taking an economic approach
- Applying systems thinking
- Assuming variability and preserving options
- Building incrementally with fast learning cycles
- Basing benchmarks on an objective assessment of working systems
- Visualizing and limiting WIP (Work-in-Progress)
- Applying measures and synchronizing with cross-domain planning
- Motivating skilled workers
- Decentralizing decision-making process.
SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) Certification is a professional program that provides a consistent and valid method of evaluating and using SAFe skills, knowledge and mindset. Certified SAFe professionals are reckoned for their expertise to support the successful transformation of companies into Lean-Agile organizations.
Eligibility for Enrolling in a SAFe Training Course
To acquire a SAFe certification, professionals must complete the two-day training course. However, in order to be eligible for the SAFe certification exam, a candidate must have at least 5 years of working experience in the field of software development, business analysis, testing, or product or project management.
Who Will Benefit from SAFe Agilist Certification?
Following professionals are will gain high career benefits from this certification:-
- Executives, directors, VPs, and CIOs
- Program and project managers
- Enterprise, system, and solution architects
- PMO and process leads
- Development, QA, and infrastructure managers
Types of SAFe Certifications
There are three types of SAFe Certification programs that professionals can acquire based on their expertise and preferences. These certifications include:-
- SAFe Practitioner (SP) Certification
SAFe Practitioner Certification offers a comprehensive knowledge of every aspect of the Agile framework. It is also the most basic form of SAFe certification. Obtaining this certificate ensures that the professionals possess a high-level of skills to work or lead a process-centric development model based on an Agile framework. This demonstration of skills increases the chances of acquiring the positions of manager, training specialist or coach within an enterprise.
- SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) Certification
Acquiring SPC certification validates the qualification of Agile professionals to launch an Agile Release Train (Agile team) and educate the members who want to become Agilist or SAFe practitioners. Additionally, it trains professionals to identify and use the right technique to execute various Agile programs. To obtain SPC certification, professionals are recommended to first gain SP certification along with three years of working experience in an Agile environment.
- SAFe Product Manager or Product Owner (PM/PO) Certification
This certification program is designed specifically to facilitate better Agile management as it emphasizes on the importance of SAFe framework for the product manager or product owner. It covers important scaling agile aspects such as enterprise backlog management, stakeholder management, and delivering features.
Opportunities for SAFe Professionals
Scaled Agile Certification promotes the personal growth of the professionals by extending a catalogue of role-based training programs. It allows professionals to strengthen their Agile knowledge and offers the following opportunities:-
- Competitive Edge in the Global Job Market
Presently over 70% of the US Fortune 100 companies are using SAFe framework, making it the most popular method used for scaling Agile. Evidently, the demand for skilled SAFe certified professionals is increasing at a tremendous pace. The role-based curriculum within the Scaled Agile training program allows professionals an advancement from entry-level SAFe practitioner to SAFe specialist.
Additionally, employers are looking out for professional candidates who hold SAFe certification as it demonstrates their expertise and proficiency in working within a SAFe environment. Presently, the average salary of leading SAFe certified professionals is USD 68.667 annually. Therefore a SAFe certification can prove highly beneficial for professionals who wish to boost their career opportunities.
- Access to Digital Badge
SAFe certified professionals acquire a digital badge, which is a convenient and shareable version of the certification that allows them to display their accomplishments in digital resumes, email signatures, and social media networks, etc. This digital badge provides better visibility and ensures that the professionals have been verified, manifesting their expertise and qualifications as a SAFe certified professional.
- Membership in the SAFe Community Platform
A SAFe certification also allows professionals to be a member of the SAFe Community platform that manages their credentials and provides access to a wide range of resources, keeping them updated with SAFe knowledge and SAFe Communities of Practice (CoPs).
Additionally, certified SAFe professionals can also grant access to a specific CoP that can be viewed by all members of the SAFe Community Platform. This privilege offers them with numerous networking opportunities with experienced professionals.
SAFe Certification – A Step Towards Professional Advancement
The business domain is increasingly adopting an Agile framework in order to optimize the workflow and sustainability in this ever-evolving and competitive marketplace. While a highly productive framework, implementing agile in the development process can be complicated. Scaled Agile Framework offers a streamlined roadmap to companies that strengthen the Agile methodology and allows the team to constantly deliver high-value results.
Evidently, the prominence of Scaled Agile framework is growing and so is the demand for skilled and certified Scaled Agile professionals. A SAFe Agilist certification can allow professionals to verify their expertise of working in an Agile environment and pave way for career opportunities, that hold higher monetary, as well as professional benefits.