Becoming a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC)!

It is vital for businesses today to become agile at the enterprise level to cope with the disruptive marketplace.

However, implementing business agility requires the support of a certified professional. And, so we have SAFe Program Consultants who leverage the concepts of Scaled Agile Framework(SAFe) to empower agile transformation in organizations.

Who is a SAFe Program Consultant?

A SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) is a change agent who enables the implementation of SAFe in organizations.

To become an SPC consultant, you need to complete a SAFe Program Consultant Certification program from Scaled agile.

An SPC certification differs from a SAFe Agilist Certification because while the former enables one to become a change agent, the SAFe Agilist Certification teaches the participants the concepts of the SAFe framework.

Therefore, before registering for SPC training, you need to be clear about what you expect to learn from the training.

How to become an SPC consultant?

You will need to attend the certification program and pass an exam to become a certified SPC consultant.

The SAFe certification course is covered in two parts:

Part 1 focuses on what exactly SAFe implies and the purpose of implementing it at the enterprise level. It also educates you as to why business agility is important for organizations.

Part 2 focuses on how to implement SAFe. The importance of understanding the organizational context and finally mapping organizational context with the scaled agile framework. It also helps you understand the various options in SAFe to improve overall implementation.

What are your responsibilities as an SPC consultant?

It is your responsibility to empower the journey of the organization towards business agility by extending SAFe implementation in the organization.

You will need to effectively communicate with the leaders in the organization why they need SAFe implementation. As the change agent, it is your responsibility to propose the vision for change and the urgency for transformation.

The SAFe framework is based on certain standards and assumptions. As the SAFe consultant, it is your prerogative to choose the framework that supports the organization.

After this, you will need to identify a customized approach and roadmap for SAFe implementation in the context of the organization.

Once the roadmap is identified, you will have to prepare a SAFe implementation plan.

For the successful implementation of SAFe in the organization, it is imperative that different entities are trained effectively. As a SAFe trainer, your responsibilities will encompass training executives, managers, and leaders. Additionally, different teams within the organization will need to be coached on SAFe.

Hence we see that an SPC takes on different roles while implementing SAFe in the organization.

As an SPC you will function as:

  • SAFe Trainer who educates the organization on SAFe.
  • SAFe Consultant who configures SAFe suites according to organizational needs.
  • Change agent who drives and facilitates change.
  • Coach who coaches teams on adopting new ways of working. You will also coach executives on Lean Leadership and Business Agility.

If you are wondering how will fulfill so many responsibilities and take on multiple roles, don’t worry! Scaled agile provides you the necessary support to perform all your roles with aplomb!

Scaled agile offers you the necessary resources in the form of content and enablement videos for the enablement process. These resources provide you an overview of what exactly needs to be taught.

Scaled Agile also provides a toolkit for running workshops.

You can also connect with other SAFe members in the community for an enriching exchange of ideas and experiences.

When you are contemplating if you should embark on your journey as an SPC, you will have several questions bothering you.

Let us try to look at the answers to some pertinent questions:

Q. Is SAFe SPC Certification worth it?

The SAFe SPC Certification is an expensive course currently priced at around USD 3000/- with a renewal fee of around USD 900/-. This amount is surely going to make you think twice before going ahead with the course.

Here it is relevant to understand that unlike other certifications, SPC is designed to empower a participant to work as a coach. In addition to the knowledge you gain, as a certified SPC you also gain access to their Intellectual Property Content.

It is a good idea not to look at this amount in absolute terms. Instead, look at what you stand to gain from this certification? In other words, your ROI!

The returns you get from this certification is totally dependent on you. Hence, it is recommended that you do your ROI calculation before arriving at a decision.

Q. How Difficult is SPC Exam?

– The SPC exam is a moderately difficult exam.
– It takes about 30 hours of preparation.
– Practice Tests by Scaled Agile prepare you better to face the exam.

Q. Can I directly do SPC?

You can definitely do SPC without a background in SAFe. However, you need to have knowledge and experience in concepts of Agile, Lean, Kanban, and Scrum.

You will be better equipped to learn SPC concepts if you have some experience in program management, portfolio management, and system thinking.

It is also beneficial if you have an understanding of change management and business agility.

Approximately 5 years of agile experience and some agile certification will hold you in good for SPC certification.

Q. Can I directly do SPC?

You can definitely do SPC without a background in SAFe. However, you need to have knowledge and experience in concepts of Agile, Lean, Kanban, and Scrum.

You will be better equipped to learn SPC concepts if you have some experience in program management, portfolio management, and system thinking.

It is also beneficial if you have an understanding of change management and business agility.

Approximately 5 years of agile experience and some agile certification will hold you in good for SPC certification.

Q. How to Renew SPC?

After you complete the certification, you will have a login id using which you can login and renew your SPC by remitting the annual renewal fee. Currently, the renewal fee is around USD 900/-. You will need to verify the prevailing fee when your renewal is due.

Q. What happens when SAFe upgrades to a new version?

SAFe gets upgraded to new versions with time. For instance, 6 months ago we had SAFe 4.6 and now we have SAFe 5.0. You may wonder how you can cope up with these upgrades.

SAFe offers you a path to upgrade to the new version free of cost provided that SPC is in good standing. However, the price factor may not remain constant.

In the case of a major version upgrade, the upgrade path entails a study of new written and video content and passing an exam based on these learnings. However, if the upgrade is a minor one, you will have to learn the new concepts but you will not be required to appear for an exam.

Q. Which all SAFe training SPC can teach?

  • Leading SAFe
  • SAFe DevOps
  • SAFe Scrum Master
  • SAFe Advanced Scrum Master
  • SAFe Product Owner/Manager
  • SAFe for Teams
  • SAFe for Government
  • SAFe for Architects
  • SAFe Release Train Engineer
  • Agile Software Engineering
  • Lean Portfolio Management
  • Agile Product Management

You will be able to teach all of the above after the certification.

Q. How SPC gets started with delivering training?

As an SPC, you will be given access to training enablement to equip you to deliver training effectively.

The training enablement entails watching videos and reading content provided. After this, you will need to appear for an exam to test whether you have grasped the concepts sufficiently or not?

Once you pass the process, you are enabled to deliver training in a specific SAFe program.

Q. Is SPC good enough for getting a consultant role?

The SPC certificate qualifies you to work as a consultant. You get the authority to use the resources and work as a consultant.

But, how you leverage this qualification depends solely on your abilities.

To become an effective SPC, you need to integrate your communication skills, your coaching and training abilities, and any other relevant skills with your knowledge.

Summarizing

One thing constant in this world is- Change! Therefore, “change agents” who empower businesses to adapt seamlessly to changes in the marketplace surely have a great future. The SPC certification enables you to become an effective change agent/consultant. All you need is the SPC certificate and use it with your coaching skills to embark upon your journey as a “Change Agent” to steer businesses to a path of business agility.

Click on the following link for an in-depth understanding of how to become an SPC!