What is a SAFe Agilist (SA)?

  • Scaling Agile
Created on :
May 11, 2023
Saket Bansal
Updated on :
June 22, 2023
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As the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) captivates an increasing number of professionals, the curiosity surrounding its roles, training options, and certification programs has seen a substantial boost. However, this escalated interest often triggers numerous questions and uncertainties, especially in relation to the SAFe Agilist (SA) role. In this comprehensive article, we will address these important questions:

What is a SAFe Agilist (SA)?

What does ‘Leading SAFe’ mean?

Why should one consider becoming a SAFe Agilist (SA)?

What part does a SAFe Agilist(SA) play in a SAFe Transformation?

What is the procedure to become a SAFe Agilist?

What is a SAFe Agilist (SA)

SAFe Agilist refers to a certified professional with expertise in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). SAFe is an approach that provides a set of principles, practices, and guidelines for scaling Agile to an enterprise level. This framework helps businesses to effectively deliver value and manage complex solutions resulting in business agility.

A person becomes a SAFe Agilist by completing the Leading SAFe training and passing the SAFe Agilist certification exam. This shows they understand and can use SAFe ways of working and strategies in a large enterprise. In addition, they’re good at working with teams to put SAFe into action, helping the whole organization work together better and deliver value. Scaled Agile Inc., the group that created and updates the SAFe framework, gives out this certification.

The SAFe Agilist certification is a good fit for people who work as leaders or managers in an organization considering using SAFe as an operating model. Becoming a SAFe Agilist lets individuals help their company switch to a Scaled Agile way of working. As a result, they can help keep improving things and ensure that the company consistently delivers value to its customers.

What does ‘Leading SAFe’ mean?

“Leading SAFe” is a specialized, 16-hour training program within the comprehensive Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). It’s specifically tailored for leaders and managers aiming to acquire proficiency in implementing and navigating SAFe in a large-scale enterprise context.

This course is crafted with a vision to equip these individuals with an all-inclusive understanding of SAFe principles and practices and to guide them on how to spearhead a Lean-Agile transformation at the enterprise level. It traverses many pertinent topics, including Business Agility Competencies, the Lean-Agile mindset, SAFe Principles, and the diverse roles within SAFe at both team and Agile Release Train levels. It also elucidates the SAFe approach for product or solution development, the deployment of SAFe at an enterprise level, the empowerment of a Lean Portfolio, the construction of a continuous delivery pipeline, and the encouragement of a DevOps culture.

Upon completing the “Leading SAFe” course, facilitated by a Scaled Agile Partner, participants become eligible to sit for the SAFe Agilist (SA) certification exam. A positive outcome validates their expertise and competency in applying SAFe within a large-scale enterprise, earning them the esteemed SAFe Agilist certification.

Why should one consider becoming a SAFe Agilist (SA)?

Becoming a SAFe Agilist (SA) can provide several benefits to professionals who work with Agile approach or who are involved in large-scale Agile transformations. Some of the reasons to become a SAFe Agilist include:

  • Improved knowledge and skills: Acquiring the SAFe Agilist certification demonstrates your understanding of the SAFe framework’s principles, practices, and techniques. This knowledge can help you scale Agile practices effectively and lead teams in a more efficient and coordinated way.
  • Career advancement: A SAFe Agilist certification can enhance your professional profile, making you more attractive to potential employers or clients. Many organizations are adopting SAFe Agile practices at scale, and certified professionals are in high demand to support these transformations.
  • Increased credibility: The certification validates your expertise in the SAFe framework, giving you credibility within your organization and the wider Agile community. This can open up new opportunities for collaboration, networking, and learning from other professionals.
  • Better alignment and collaboration: SAFe Agilists are equipped with the tools and techniques necessary to help organizations align their strategy with execution. This ensures that teams work together effectively, reducing silos and fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.
  • Enhanced value delivery: As a SAFe Agilist, you will have the skills to optimize value delivery to customers through efficient and effective planning, execution, and continuous improvement. This can result in better products and services, increased customer satisfaction, and higher organizational success.
  • Adaptability and resilience: By understanding the SAFe framework, you will be better equipped to navigate the challenges of large-scale Agile transformations and help your organization adapt to changing market conditions.

Overall, becoming a SAFe Agilist can provide significant benefits to both your career and your organization. It can help you become a more effective leader in Agile environments and contribute to the successful implementation of SAFe Agile practices at scale.

What part does a SAFe Agilist(SA) play in a SAFe Transformation?

Scaled Agile has devised an official roadmap known as the SAFe Implementation Roadmap for incorporating the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) in an enterprise. The journey begins with cultivating awareness about SAFe among leaders and managers by guiding them through the Leading SAFe training and ultimately certifying them as SAFe Agilists. These leaders and managers play a critical role in implementing the SAFe Agile approach, underscoring the significance of the SAFe Agilist community. A leader holding a SAFe Agilist Certification is instrumental in assuring that SAFe principles, practices, and techniques are effectively implemented across the organization.

Here are some vital responsibilities of a SAFe Agilist during a SAFe transformation:

  1. Championing SAFe Adoption: The SAFe Agilist, as a leader, spearheads the change by elucidating the mindset and practices of the SAFe framework. They promote the benefits of the framework and help stakeholders comprehend the value of implementing SAFe Agile practices on a large scale.
  2. Facilitating Organization around Value: SAFe Agilists work collaboratively to align teams into Development Value Streams and Agile Release Trains. They stimulate discussions across various organizational levels to ensure that the structure encourages innovation and a customer-centric approach.
  3. Coaching and Mentoring: SAFe Agilists provide coaching and mentoring to individuals and teams across the organization. They aid in developing people and help them understand and apply SAFe principles and practices effectively.
  4. Promoting Agile Mindset: A significant role of a SAFe Agilist as a leader is to instill and educate others about the agile mindset. They set an example by leading through practice.
  5. Identifying and Addressing Barriers: SAFe Agilist Leaders proactively identify potential obstacles to the successful implementation of SAFe and work towards resolving them. This could involve conflict resolution, removing impediments, or instigating cultural changes to support Agile practices at scale.
  6. Supporting Continuous Improvement: SAFe Agilists nurture a culture of continuous improvement within the organization, assisting teams in iterative learning, adaptation, and enhancement of their processes and practices.
  7. Measuring Success: SAFe Agilists help establish metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the success of the SAFe transformation and pinpoint areas for improvement. They are expected to participate in various competency assessments to learn and discover better ways of operating.

In summary, a SAFe Agilist holds a central role in guiding and supporting an organization during a SAFe transformation. They help create alignment, drive cultural changes, and ensure successful adoption of Agile practices at scale, ultimately contributing to improved value delivery and organizational performance.

What is the procedure to become a SAFe Agilist?

Embarking on the journey to become a SAFe Agilist entails a sequence of steps, including training, exam preparation, and ultimately acing the certification exam. Here’s an enhanced step-by-step guide to becoming a SAFe Agilist:

  1. Acquaint Yourself with SAFe: Before plunging into the certification course, it’s beneficial to gain a fundamental understanding of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). We recommend exploring our comprehensive playlist of over 50 SAFe videos to get you started.
  2. Enroll in the Leading SAFe Training Course: The first formal step towards becoming a certified SAFe Agilist is enrolling in a Leading SAFe training course. Our courses are conducted in a Live Online Format and are also available in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad.
  3. Complete the Training: Dedicate time to attending the Leading SAFe course, where you will delve into the SAFe framework, its guiding principles, effective practices, and practical techniques.
  4. Prepare for the Certification Exam: Post-training, you’ll gain access to the SAFe Agilist certification exam. Utilize the course materials, practice exam questions, and study resources we provide for comprehensive preparation. We ensure you are well-equipped to excel in the exam with less than 10 hours of additional study post-class.
  5. Attempt the Certification Exam: The SAFe Agilist certification exam comprises 45 multiple-choice questions, with a 90-minute time limit. This web-based, non-proctored exam requires a passing score of 80% or higher to earn the certification. For further details on the exam format, refer to our detailed article titled “What is the format of the Leading SAFe / SAFe Agilist Exam?
  6. Receive Your Certification: Upon successful completion of the exam, you’ll be awarded your SAFe Agilist certification by Scaled Agile Inc. This certification is valid for a year, post which annual renewal is required to maintain your credentials.
  7. Stay Engaged with the Community: To continually hone your knowledge and skills in SAFe, join the Scaled Agile online Community, also known as the SAFe Studio. It’s a treasure trove of resources and communities. Engage with the SAFe community by attending conferences, participating in online forums, and networking with fellow SAFe practitioners.

By diligently following these steps, you’re well on your way to becoming a certified SAFe Agilist, poised to play an instrumental role in leading Agile transformations within your organization.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the role of a SAFe Agilist is becoming increasingly vital as more organizations embrace the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). This article aimed to shed light on what it means to be a SAFe Agilist, the benefits of becoming one, and the pathway to achieving this certification. The journey to becoming a certified SAFe Agilist requires commitment and effort, but the rewards are significant, contributing to both personal growth and organizational success. The journey doesn’t end with certification; continuous learning and active participation in the SAFe community are key for long-term success. By following this guide, you are equipping yourself to become not just a certified SAFe Agilist but an effective Agile leader.

Name Date Place
SAFe Certification and Training 10 & 11 August 2024 India More Details
SAFe Certification and Training 31 Aug & 1 Sept 2024 Bangalore More Details

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