SAFe certification: Launch your Scaled Agile Framework career

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What is SAFe certification?

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) certifications are becoming valuable in larger organizations that are looking for efficient project delivery, ensuring reduced time-to-market, and developing ways to provide better stakeholder value. These certifications provide a valid, reliable means of assessing skills, knowledge, and mindset of those seeking career advancement working with the framework. Earning a SAFe certification demonstrates that you possess the skills and knowledge needed to help your organization manage projects with a higher degree of agility. Numerous SAFe certifications are on offer, grouped at the foundational, intermediate, and advanced levels. Each is targeted for a specific role.

SAFe certification training

Deciding on the right path and certifications rests on knowing what your organization needs, its maturity with SAFe, identifying gaps, and understanding the role you will be playing. Then you’ll need to meet the prerequisites for the certification(s) you have chosen.

Once you’ve identified the SAFe training and certification providers that meet your goals, you’ll need to review their materials, study guides, and take any practice tests that are available. SAFe training and certification are available online or through in-person training through these and other education providers:

Agile Center: Agile Center is a consultancy and training services provider focused on Lean-agile transformation, agile strategy audit and implementation, and agile program/portfolio management. Their team is composed of highly experienced consultants and trainers.

Agilest: Agilest provides SAFe certification training for larger teams to keep pace with the demand of various industries and to enable career advancement.

Scaled Agile: Scaled Agile is a key provider of agile training, courses, and certification, including SAFe. Scaled Agile also has a SAFe business agility podcast that provides the latest news, experiences, and answers to questions about SAFe.

SAFe certifications

There are currently 13 SAFe certifications on offer — five foundational, five intermediate, and three advanced. Some work best for engineers and architects, and others for coaches, trainers, or those in more senior roles.

Foundational:

  • SAFe Agile Product Manager
  • SAFe Agilist
  • SAFe DevOps Practitioner
  • SAFe Government Practitioner
  • SAFe Product Owner / Product Manager

Intermediate:

  • SAFe Agile Software Engineer
  • SAFe Architect
  • SAFe Lean Portfolio Manager
  • SAFe Practitioner
  • SAFe Scrum Master

Advanced:

  • SAFe Advanced Scrum Master
  • SAFe Program Consultant
  • SAFe Release Train Engineer

SAFe Agile Product Manager

The SAFe Agile Product Manager certification is best suited to those in roles such as agile coach, consultant, agile trainer, or product manager, with a focus on design thinking with Lean values and principles. The 60-question exam requires familiarity with agile principles and practices and is geared toward testing candidates’ ability to:

  • Use design thinking
  • Explore market needs
  • Manage value stream economics
  • Apply product strategy and vision
  • Develop and maintain roadmaps
  • Execute and deliver value using SAFe
  • Explore value stream innovation

Candidates must have attended at least one SAFe certification training session, have a background in product or solution management, and have experience as a product manager, product marketer, product owner, business owner, or in bringing products to market.

SAFe Agilist

The SAFe Agilist certification works best for a program or project manager, Scrum master, team lead, release train engineer, change agent, or others who are part of a Lean transformation. The 45-question exam tests candidates’ ability to:

  • Apply SAFe to scale Lean and agile development
  • Apply Lean-agile mindset and principles
  • Plan and execute program increments
  • Execute and release value through agile release trains (ARTs)
  • Build an agile portfolio with Lean-agile budgeting

Candidates need 5-plus years of experience in software development, testing, business analysis, or product or project management, as well as experience in Scrum.

SAFe DevOps Practitioner

The SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification is best suited for a Scrum master, team lead, release train engineer, business analyst, SAFe program consultant, architect engineer, developer, or similar roles responsible for improving the flow of value through the delivery pipeline. The 45-question exam tests candidates’ ability to:

  • Build a culture of shared responsibility
  • Explore user needs
  • Describe architectural considerations
  • Build and integrate the system continuously
  • Improve system quality with testing
  • Deploy systems to stage and production
  • Release systems to customers and manage recovery
  • Maintain security
  • Support SAFe DevOps transformation

Candidates should have experience working in a development and/or operations environment before pursuing the SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification.

SAFe Government Practitioner

The SAFe Government Practitioner certification is aimed at business analysts, agile coaches, SAFe program consultants, or practice leads who are looking to use SAFe principles and practices to execute and release value through ARTs inside a government agency. The 45-question exam tests candidates’ ability to:

  • Adapt technology to flow-based practices
  • Organize government programs into ARTs
  • Explore large solution coordination
  • Follow government-based success patterns for SAFe implementations
  • Accelerate the SAFe implementation in program or agency

Candidates need to understand the Agile Manifesto, SAFe House of Lean, and SAFe principles, as well as the full lifecycle of government technology programs.

SAFe Product Owner / Product Manager

The SAFe Production Owner / Product Manager certification is best suited for program or project managers, Scrum masters, release train engineers, business analysts, development managers, CTOs, and others who are SAFe professionals working with customers and development organizations. The 45-question exam tests candidates’ ability to:

  • Apply Lean-agile mindset and SAFe principles
  • Identify customer needs
  • Write epics, capabilities, features, and stories
  • Prioritize work to deliver value

Candidates should be experienced in agile and Lean.

SAFe Agile Software Engineer

The SAFe Agile Software Engineer certification works best for a Scrum master, agile coach, software developer, software engineer, or senior manager who is applying test-first principles to create alignment between tests and requirements and optimizing the flow of value. The 60-question exam is geared toward testing a candidates’ ability to:

  • Define agile software engineering and the underlying principles
  • Create tests with Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)
  • Outline models for communication
  • Build applications with code/design quality
  • Collaborate on intentional architecture and emergent design
  • Create an agile software engineering plan

Candidates should understand SAFe for teams and have a background in engineering, development, managing development, or quality assurance.

SAFe Architect

The SAFe Architect certification is aimed at Scrum masters, agile coaches, architects, agile trainers, solution architects, or system architects looking to become effective leaders and change agents. The 60-question exam tests candidates’ ability to:

  • Apply SAFe principles to manage trade-offs between functionality, cost, risk, and sustainability
  • Ensure designs can be implemented in small batches
  • Communicate solution context and intent
  • Establish intentional architecture guidelines
  • Prepare architectural runway
  • Ensure technology decisions are made within an ART
  • Ensure solutions comply with portfolio technology strategy

SAFe Lean Portfolio Manager

The SAFe Lean Portfolio Manager certification is best suited for a program or project manager, release train engineer, business owner, solution manager, agile coach, or other senior roles assisting with understanding strategy and investment funding, how to apply agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance, and how to build a plan for implementing Lean portfolio management. The 45-question exam tests candidates’ ability to:

  • Establish a Lean portfolio vision and connect it to enterprise strategy
  • Implement Lean budgeting and guardrails
  • Establish strategy and investment funding
  • Apply agile portfolio operations and Lean governance
  • Coordinate value streams and measure performance

Candidates should be familiar with agile concepts and principles, value…

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