Why should I become certified in SAFe®?

The reasons why people choose to become certified in any certification are as varied as the people themselves.  That said, those interested in SAFe® certification can typically be divided into two camps:  Current and aspiring Agile coaches and consultants who are sharpening their skills and staying at the leading edge of Agile methodologies; and those embarking in a SAFe® transformation who need training to effectively play their role.  If you are not familiar with SAFe®, please take a few moments to read through a brief explanation here.  Regardless of which camp you fall in, here are some of the reasons you should become certified in SAFe®:

  • For large-scale software efforts, team-level Agile is insufficient.  Agility at Scale is the future of Agile adoption.  Regardless of approach (e.g., Agile Scrum, XP, kanban) Agile adoption over the last twenty years has focused primarily on the work performed by software development teams with significantly less attention paid to how multiple teams can work together to implement large-scale software-intensive systems.  As Agile adoption accelerates, organizations worldwide are realizing that scaling Agile requires changes in IT program management and governance as well as changes in how software development efforts are conceived, funded, and staffed.  Along with ever greater system complexity, organizations are shouldering increasing statutory, regulatory, and policy compliance burdens.  SAFe® addresses these concerns better than other Agile scaling methodologies because systems thinking is a core philosophical underpinning of the framework.  Team-level Agile, while foundational to any Agile scaling approach, is often not sufficient.
  • You’ll learn an Agile scaling methodology in use worldwide that is rapidly gaining in popularity across industries and governments.  According to the latest (11th annual) version of VersionOne’s respected “State of Agile” report, SAFe® is the most popular Agile scaling method today.  Since the publication of the precursor version to SAFe® in 2011, SAFe® has overtaken older, more established Agile scaling approaches in popularity and use.
  • The U.S. Federal Government is embracing Agile and SAFe®.  Many of the people I train work for the Federal Government either as government employees or contractors.
    • Government Employees:  Government leaders involved in Agile transformations across program/functional management offices (PMOs/FMOs) and the acquisitions community will benefit from SAFe® training.  Interest in SAFe® is skyrocketing within the Federal Government and a number of Federal agencies have embarked in SAFe® transformations or are planning to do so, including:  FAA, USPS, GAO, USCIS. 
    • Contractors:  As is currently the case with Agile Scrum services, I expect the Federal Government, within the next three years, to not just request consultants and coaches with SAFe® certifications but to also require past performance references of previous SAFe® implementations in Requests for Proposals (RFPs).  Currently, a relatively small number of federal contractors provide SAFe® consulting services to the Federal Government including, Vencore, BAH, and SAIC.  Now is the time to enter this new service niche.