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Top 9 SAFe Certifications in 2024

top safe agile certifications to pursue

In today’s fast-paced world of business, things are always changing, and traditional project management just isn’t cutting it anymore. That’s where Lean and Agile come in, a way of working that promotes flexibility, collaboration, and faster results. One of the leading frameworks for implementing Lean Agile is called the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®). It’s a powerful framework that helps companies scale Agile practices across their entire organization.

If you’re looking to boost your career and stay ahead of the game, getting a SAFe certification could be a game-changer. With so many certifications out there claiming to be the best, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is right for you. 50+% of the enterprises needing Scaling Agility are using SAFe as a framework. Hence, SAFe certification is very useful to have. In this Blog, let’s explore the top SAFe certifications and see how they can supercharge your personal and professional growth. Get ready to embrace the Lean-Agile mindset and watch as it propels you toward success in everything you do!

Top SAFe Certifications

Implementing SAFe or SAFe Practice Consultant (SPC):

The SAFe Practice Consultant (SPC) certification is for professionals who want to become certified trainers and consultants for SAFe. It covers advanced topics and equips individuals to lead the implementation of SAFe in organizations, including coaching teams, launching Agile Release Trains (ARTs), and facilitating program-level execution.

Here are some key areas covered by the SPC certification:

  • SAFe knowledge: In-depth understanding of the SAFe framework, principles, values, and practices across all levels, including Essential SAFe, Portfolio SAFe, Large Solution SAFe, and Full SAFe.
  • Leading SAFe: Mastery of the Leading SAFe course content, which focuses on the role of leaders in driving organizational agility, implementing the Lean-Agile mindset, and enabling transformation.
  • SAFe implementation: Expertise in implementing SAFe in complex environments, including knowledge of the SAFe Implementation Roadmap, coaching practices, and change management techniques.
  • Lean-Agile leadership: Knowledge of leadership behaviors, styles, and practices required to support Agile transformations, foster innovation, and create a culture of continuous improvement.
  • SAFe adoption metrics and measurement: Understanding of metrics and measurement techniques to assess the progress, effectiveness, and business outcomes of SAFe implementations.
  • Agile Release Trains (ARTs): Expertise in facilitating and coaching ARTs, including ART synchronization, PI Planning, Inspect and Adapting workshops, and Agile team ceremonies.

Leading SAFe with SAFe Agilist (SA):

This certification is often considered the foundational certification for SAFe. It’s a certification for the leadership team to understand the SAFe framework. It provides an understanding of the principles and practices of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and is suitable for individuals who want to lead Agile transformations in their organizations.
The SAFe Agile certification course provides participants with an understanding of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) principles and practices, as well as the skills needed to lead Agile transformations at the enterprise level.

The course covers the following key topics:

  • Introduction to SAFe: Overview of the Scaled Agile Framework, its benefits, and how it enables organizations to achieve business agility.
  • Lean-Agile Mindset: Understanding the Agile mindset and Lean-Agile principles that underpin SAFe, including customer-centricity, value delivery, and continuous improvement.
  • SAFe Principles: Exploring the core principles of SAFe, such as taking an economic view, applying systems thinking, and fostering decentralized decision-making.
  • Agile Release Trains (ARTs): Understanding the concept of ARTs, which are long-lived, self-organizing teams that deliver value through Agile iterations (Program Increments)
  • Planning and Executing a PI: Learning about Program Increment (PI) Planning, including how to coordinate multiple teams, align business and technology, and create a PI plan for successful execution.
  • Agile Portfolio Management: Exploring Lean portfolio management practices in SAFe, including investment funding, portfolio prioritization, and managing the flow of value.
  • Scaling Leadership: Developing the necessary leadership skills to lead Agile transformations, inspire and motivate teams, and foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Implementing SAFe: Understanding the SAFe Implementation Roadmap, including the steps and considerations for successful SAFe adoption and transformation.
  • Leading Change: Exploring change management techniques and strategies to drive organizational change and overcome resistance during the Agile transformation.
  • Becoming a SAFe Agilist: Insights into the role of the SAFe Agilist, including responsibilities, skills, and mindset required to lead Agile initiatives and drive business agility.

The Leading SAFe certification course is typically delivered over two days and includes a combination of presentations, group discussions, interactive exercises, and case studies to provide a comprehensive understanding of SAFe principles and practices. Please note that my information might be outdated, and it’s always best to refer to the official SAFe website for the most up-to-date course content details.

The SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE) 

SAFe Release Train Engineer certification is designed for individuals who take on the critical role of facilitating the Agile Release Train (ART) within the SAFe framework. The RTE serves as a servant leader and coach for the ART, ensuring smooth execution, coordination, and alignment of multiple Agile teams to deliver value.

The certification covers various aspects of the RTE role, including:

  • Leading Agile Release Trains: Understanding the responsibilities of the RTE in guiding and facilitating the ART, managing interdependencies, and ensuring successful ART execution.
  • ART processes and events: Facilitating key ART events, such as Program Increment (PI) Planning, ART sync-ups, Inspection and Adapt workshops, and Scrum of Scrums, to drive collaboration, alignment, and continuous improvement.
  • Agile and Lean principles: Embracing and applying Agile and Lean principles to foster a culture of continuous improvement, delivery excellence, and value creation within the ART.
  • Coaching and facilitating teams: Building coaching and facilitation skills to support Agile teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and other roles in their Agile journey, providing guidance and removing impediments.
  • Collaboration and communication: Developing effective communication and collaboration skills to foster collaboration between teams, stakeholders, and other Agile release trains within the organization.

The SAFe RTE certification equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform the RTE role and ensure the smooth functioning of Agile Release Trains within the SAFe framework.

SAFe POPM (SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager)

SAFe POPM refers to the role of a Product Owner or Product Manager within the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). SAFe POPMs are responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog, collaborating with stakeholders, and guiding the development team to deliver value. They work closely with Agile teams to ensure alignment with business objectives and maximize the value of the product or solution being developed.

SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (POPM) certification course covers the following key content areas:

  • Introduction to SAFe: Overview of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and its benefits in achieving business agility.
  • Lean-Agile Mindset: Understanding the Agile mindset and Lean-Agile principles that underpin SAFe, including customer-centricity, value delivery, and continuous improvement.
  • Agile Product Management: Exploring the role of the Product Owner/Product Manager in Agile environments, including defining the product vision, managing the product backlog, and prioritizing features.
  • Creating and Managing Epics, Features, and Stories: Learning how to effectively capture requirements, break them down into manageable features and stories, and maintain a healthy product backlog.
  • Agile Requirements Management: Understanding techniques for eliciting, documenting, and managing requirements in Agile environments, including user stories, acceptance criteria, and story mapping.
  • Agile Release Planning: Participating in Agile release planning and understanding how to create a release plan that aligns with business objectives and prioritizes value delivery.
  • Value Delivery and Stakeholder Engagement: Learning how to engage with stakeholders, elicit feedback, and ensure continuous value delivery throughout the product development lifecycle.
  • Scaling Agile Product Management: Exploring strategies for managing multiple products, dependencies, and prioritization across Agile teams and programs

SSM (SAFe Scrum Master)

SAFe Scrum Master is a credential that validates the knowledge and skills required to effectively perform the role of a Scrum Master in a SAFe environment. It equips professionals with the understanding of Agile principles, Scrum practices, and their application in a scaled Agile context. SAFe SMs play a vital role in enabling successful agile transformations and facilitating high-performing teams within large organizations using the Scaled Agile Framework.

SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) certification course covers the following key content areas:

  • Introduction to SAFe: Overview of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and its benefits in achieving business agility.
  • Scrum in SAFe: Understanding the Scrum framework and its application within the SAFe context, including roles, artifacts, and events.
  • Facilitating Team and Program Execution: Learning the skills and techniques to facilitate effective Agile team and program execution, including backlog refinement, iteration planning, and daily stand-ups.
  • Coaching Agile Teams: Developing coaching skills to support and empower Agile teams, including facilitating retrospectives, addressing impediments, and promoting a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Building High-Performing Teams: Exploring strategies for fostering collaboration, trust, and high performance within Agile teams.
  • Planning with Agile Release Trains (ARTs): Understanding the role of the Scrum Master in coordinating and aligning Agile teams within the context of the Agile Release Train (ART), including Program Increment (PI) Planning and ART sync-up events.
  • Continuous Improvement and Inspect and Adapt: Learning how to facilitate the Inspect and Adapt (I&A) workshop, which is a key event for identifying systemic issues, reviewing program performance, and driving continuous improvement.

SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)

The SAFe Advanced Scrum Master certification is designed for Scrum Masters, who have advanced their skills and knowledge beyond the foundational level. SASMs are equipped with a deeper understanding of Agile and Scrum practices, as well as the ability to facilitate successful Agile transformations at the enterprise level.

They play a critical role in coaching teams, ensuring alignment with Agile principles, and driving continuous improvement within the SAFe framework. Please note that my information might be outdated, and it’s always best to refer to the official SAFe website for the most up-to-date certification details.

SAFe Practitioner (SP):

The SAFe Practitioner certification is designed for Agile team members and developers who want to learn the fundamentals of SAFe and Agile development practices. It covers the application of SAFe in a team context and is a good choice if you’re primarily focused on team-level Agile practices.

SAFe Lean Portfolio Management (LPM)

SAFe LPM certification is designed for individuals involved in managing portfolios of projects, programs, and initiatives in a lean and Agile manner within the SAFe framework. It provides knowledge and skills to implement Lean-Agile portfolio management practices and align portfolio strategy with execution.

The certification covers various aspects of Lean Portfolio Management, including:

  • Aligning strategy with execution: Ensuring that the portfolio investments and initiatives are in line with the organization’s strategic objectives and priorities.
  • Implementing Lean-Agile budgeting and forecasting: Adopting more dynamic and responsive approaches to budgeting and funding, such as incremental funding and rolling-wave budgeting.
  • Agile portfolio operations: Establishing lean governance processes, decision-making structures, and metrics to track progress, measure outcomes, and manage risks and dependencies across the portfolio.
  • Lean portfolio leadership: Developing a leadership mindset that promotes lean thinking, fosters innovation, and enables Agile teams and programs.

The SAFe Lean Portfolio Management certification helps individuals gain a deeper understanding of portfolio management in an Agile context and equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to drive lean and effective portfolio practices within organizations implementing the SAFe framework.

Please note that my information might be outdated, and it’s always best to refer to the official SAFe website for the most up-to-date certification details.

SAFe DevOps Practitioner

SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification is designed to provide knowledge and skills for implementing DevOps practices within the context of the SAFe framework. It covers principles, practices, and tools that enable organizations to achieve a culture of collaboration, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and faster time-to-market.

The certification covers various topics related to DevOps, including:

  • Understanding DevOps principles: Learning the core principles and values of DevOps and how they align with the SAFe mindset and principles.
  • Building a DevOps culture: Developing a culture of collaboration, shared responsibility, and continuous improvement to enable effective DevOps implementation.
  • Applying DevOps practices: Implementing practices such as continuous integration, continuous delivery, automated testing, infrastructure as code, and monitoring to improve software quality, speed up release cycles, and reduce time-to-market.
  • SAFe DevOps in the context of SAFe: Understanding how DevOps practices fit within the SAFe framework, including the roles and responsibilities of Agile teams, Release Train Engineers (RTEs), and Product Owners.

By earning the SAFe DevOps Practitioner certification, individuals gain a deeper understanding of DevOps principles and practices within the SAFe framework, enabling them to contribute to the successful implementation of DevOps in organizations adopting SAFe. Please note that my information might be outdated, and it’s always best to refer to the official SAFe website for the most up-to-date certification details.

Ultimately, the best SAFe certification for you depends on your role, experience level, and career aspirations. Consider your goals, current knowledge, and the level at which you want to operate within the SAFe framework when choosing the right certification. Additionally, it can be beneficial to research the latest information and reviews on each certification to ensure you’re selecting the one that aligns with your objectives.
For any specific queries on any of these certifications, you can always reach out to your expert consultants.