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Advantages of becoming a SAFe Program Consultant

advantages of becoming an spc
Many people asked me what is SPC, and what is the advantages of doing SPC certification. Why not only Leading SAFe? etc. Hence, thought of writing a blow on the advantages of becoming SPC based on my own experience.
Who is the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC)?
A SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) is a change agent who leads all levels of an organization through a Lean-Agile transformation at scale by training, coaching, facilitating, and mentoring.
An SPC is a change agent, a specialist who is well versed in leading all levels of an organization through a Lean-Agile transformation at scale. They are the torchbearers in the transformation journey, training, coaching, facilitating, and mentoring the teams and individuals at various levels within an organization.
SAFe Program Consultant is now called as SAFe Practice Consultant from the SAFe 6.0 version.
I, as a SAFe Practice Consultant, have these advantages of being an SPC, thought of sharing them with you. This also means, that when you become an SPC, you will go through a similar experience that I did.

Advantages of becoming a SAFe Program Consultant / SAFe Practice Consultant
Becoming a SAFe Program Consultant / SAFe Practice Consultant (SPC) offers a wealth of opportunities and advantages that professionals in Agile environments can benefit from. Here are the top 10 advantages that I see in being an SPC.
1. Depth of expertise and knowledge
One of the most notable advantages of becoming an SPC is the depth of expertise and knowledge that the certification process offers and the opportunity that it provides you to experience during the implementation.
A SAFe Program Consultant is well-versed in the nuances of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Lean principles, Agile practices, and product development flow principles.
They are equipped with the knowledge to implement and support program increment planning, Agile Release Trains (ARTs), Lean-Agile portfolio management, and large solution coordination.
This knowledge does not only provide an edge over others but it can also significantly contribute to the value and growth of the organization.
advantages of becoming an safe program consultant
Remember, it is not just knowledge, but it’s an experience that helps you to be a very successful SPC. I became SPC in 2015. This enabled me to get exposed to Lean-Agile world, which is an ocean of knowledge.
I had 1000’s of learning in the last 8 years or so in every SAFe transformation that I was part of. My knowledge goes up every day based on continuous learnings that I go through as part of SAFe implementation.
SPC certification formally allows you to drive SAFe transformation and gain experience as well.

2. Professional development
Professional development is another major advantage that comes with becoming a SAFe Program Consultant. Pursuing the certification is a clear demonstration of one’s commitment to personal growth and continuous learning within the Agile community.
By upskilling and reskilling, you keep yourself updated with industry trends and maintain your relevance in the evolving business landscape.
professional development

I am part of the SPC community and it helped me to learn from the community continuously. I learned and shared with my community and that helped me to have professional development.

3. Career Opportunities
The value of a SAFe Program Consultant is well recognized in the industry which makes the role quite sought-after. There are a plethora of career opportunities that open up for an SPC, especially in large organizations and businesses that are working on complex projects.
The certification could potentially open doors to higher-level job opportunities and the potential for a higher earning capacity.
career opportunity
I implemented SAFe in many organizations in the last 8-10 years. Here are a few to name – Siemens Healthineers, Siemens Technologies, Intel Security, Robert Bosch India Limited, Bosch Global Software (BGSW), GreyOrange, IBM, eBay, Allscripts, Mphasis, etc.
I am continuing to implement SAFe in large enterprises. I see a great opportunity for SPCs to implement SAFe across all large enterprises. When you become SPC, you get a chance to officially implement SAFe in your enterprise.

4. Networking opportunities
Another significant advantage is the networking opportunities that come with becoming an SPC. Upon receiving the certification, you become part of a unique community of SAFe and Agile experts. This offers you a golden chance to network, collaborate, and share insights with leading SAFe practitioners and Agile professionals from around the world.
networking opportunities
SAFe community helps you connect with the right community of people. Also, since the SPC community is small compared to other communities (like CSM certified OR SAFe Agilist), I got to meet great SPCs across the globe and create a better business network.

5. Leadership and influence role
As an SPC, you’ll have a unique leadership and influence role within your organization. You are equipped to spearhead a Lean-Agile transformation, bringing about meaningful change in your organization.
The role usually involves coaching and influencing teams and leaders across the enterprise, which significantly enhances your leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, and strategic thinking capacity.
In my experience, SAFe transformation starts with Leadership. As SPC, I got an opportunity to transform the Leadership teams first and then the next level leaders and the teams. This allows the SPCs to directly connect with the top leadership and coach or train them.

teaching rights& ability
img Courtesy: Scaled Agile Inc.

6. Teaching rights & ability
One of the key differentiators of a SAFe Program Consultant is the teaching rights that come with the certification. SPCs are authorized to teach SAFe courses like Leading SAFe, SAFe for Teams, SAFe Scrum Master, SAFe Advanced Scrum Master, and others.
This not only provides a fulfilling experience by shaping the Agile journeys of others but can also be a lucrative undertaking.

SPC certification is very powerful in terms of training. SPCs are allowed to conduct all the certifications like Leading SAFe (SA), SAFe Product Owner Product Manager (POPM), SAFe Scrum Master (SAFe SM), SAFe for Teams (SFT), SAFe for Architects, SAFe Agile Product Management (APM), SAFe Lean Portfolio Management (LPM), SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM), SAFe DevOps, Agile Software Engineering. In short, SPCs can conduct all the courses within their organization except the SPC course.
By becoming an SPC and conducting training for your Enterprise, you save a lot of money for your Enterprise in the long run.

7. Stay Updated
SAFe is a framework that keeps changing every 2-3 years and comes up with a newer version. This is a great thing that I see in this framework. If I look back and observe the new concepts brought in the last 5 years, there are many concepts that have been introduced.
Here are a few – Large Solutions, Team topology implementation for the right team structure, Customer Centricity and design Thinking, Business Agility value stream, Flow enablement, Measure and growth, Value Stream optimization, Participatory Budgeting, Value Stream Management, Continuous Learning Culture and many more. SPCs will be ensured that they learn each of these concepts when it is introduced.

six primary themes of safe
img Courtesy: Scaled Agile Inc.

What’s new in SAFe 6.0?

Being a SAFe Program Consultant also offers the advantage of staying updated with the industry. Scaled Agile Inc. provides resources, updates, and continuous learning opportunities to SPCs, which helps them stay abreast with the latest trends and best practices in SAFe and Agile methodologies. Continuous learning is the cornerstone of any Agile environment, and being an SPC helps you to stay true to this principle.

agile release train
img Courtesy: Scaled Agile Inc.

8. Ability to Launch Agile Release Trains (ARTs)
The certification also empowers you with the ability to launch Agile Release Trains (ARTs). Launching ARTs is one of the key components of SAFe implementation. It involves aligning teams to a common mission, and as an SPC, you are authorized to take on this important responsibility. This can be a significant step in driving large-scale Agile transformations.

I launched many Agile Release Trains (ARTs) in every company where I implemented SAFe. In my view, ART Launch is a very powerful way to kick off SAFe in an Enterprise.
It gives the confidence to the Enterprise that SAFe brings business results in a short term.
9. Optimize the whole through Value Stream Thinking
This is one of the key topics in SPC. One of the activities we conduct during the early stage of SAFe implementation is the identification of value streams and ARTs. Identification of Value Stream is a lean way of having a systemic view of the organization and identifying the bottlenecks in the systems.
This helps leaders identify the right area to focus on and improve the system. It’s a 6-step process to identify the right ART and start the SAFe implementation.
value stream thinking
I have conducted many value stream workshops and identified the gaps in the system. This helped bring very effective optimization in the system in a short span and brought visible business agility results.
10. Empower Others
Lastly, as an SPC, you have the opportunity to empower others. By training other individuals in SAFe, you pass on the baton of knowledge and skills they need to succeed in an Agile environment.
It’s an opportunity to inspire, motivate, and help others see the value in Agile and SAFe practices, making a profound impact on their careers and the overall success of the organization.
The SAFe implementation enables and empowers many leaders like RTE, Scrum Masters, Product Managers, Product Owners, Architects, and teams with clear roles and responsibilities.
When I implement SAFe, I streamline the roles and responsibilities from the beginning. After 2-3 PIs, the roles get streamlined well and that empowers every role to be effective.
Every time I implemented SAFe, I ensured that I moved out of the ART and Value Stream over a period, so they could manage it by themselves. I always enter with an exit in mind. This helped the enterprise build next-level change agents as well as me to take the next complex implementation to help the enterprise.

In conclusion, while the benefits of becoming a SAFe Program Consultant are evident, it’s essential to remember that certification does not replace hands-on experience and practical skills in facilitating, coaching, and managing Agile and SAFe transformations.
However, it’s a significant step in the right direction, offering the knowledge, recognition, and authority that can help in creating an effective, Lean-Agile enterprise.
If you are looking for a great career and you are aligned to be a change agent of a large organizational transformation, SPC certification will definitely be the first step towards your journey.

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