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What is the best SAFe Agile Certification for Project Manager?
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a comprehensive system of patterns for organizing and streamlining workflows, designed to guide enterprises in expanding their lean and agile practices on a large scale. SAFe integrates a well-vetted knowledge base of proven principles and practices, fostering agility across the enterprise. Unlike conventional project-centric methodologies, SAFe embraces a more product- or solution-centric approach, marking a clear departure from traditional project management styles.
Although SAFe does not define a specific role as “Project Manager”, it does offer several certifications that can significantly benefit project managers who either desire to work within SAFe teams or are involved in supporting a SAFe implementation.
- Leading SAFe: This certification is primarily intended for managers and leaders expected to spearhead and guide the SAFe transformation within their organizations. The program provides an exhaustive overview of the Scaled Agile Framework, enabling project managers to gain a solid understanding of how SAFe operates.
- SAFe® 5 Product Owner/Product Manager (POPM): This certification equips project managers to liaise more effectively with the product development branch of the organization. Acting as a conduit between stakeholders, customers, and the development team, this role might be particularly fitting if your responsibilities involve significant engagement with customer requirement identification and facilitation of the requirements development process.
- SAFe® 5 Release Train Engineer (RTE): This advanced certification is ideally suited for project managers in charge of overseeing extensive, complex solutions that involve multiple teams. The RTE role is somewhat analogous to a program manager’s role, focusing on ensuring that various teams are synergistically aligned and functioning efficiently.
Given the variable nature of responsibilities, project size, and complexity, different certifications may be more appropriate for different project managers. It’s crucial for individuals to evaluate their role and the needs of their organization when selecting the most suitable certification. As a general recommendation, we suggest starting with the Leading SAFe certification to earn the SAFe Agilist credential.