SAFe

Last post 07:51 pm October 7, 2019
by John Varela
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06:01 pm October 5, 2019

I am a Scrum Master with PSM I and PSPO I  certifications. My company wants to adapt SAFe. There are much more than team level. I should know Lean, Kanban, portfolio ect. 

I think that, in order to get deep understanding and adapt SAFe i need to follow this pathway: SPS, PSM II, PSK and after these all PMI-ACP and then SAFe agilist.

what is your opinion?

10:59 pm October 5, 2019

Why do you think that all of these certifications will help you? Particularly, if your company has chosen to adapt SAFe, what is wrong with primarily considering the SAFe training and certifications? I'm not advocating for avoiding other programs, but training can be time consuming and costly, and I (personally) weigh experience over training. Is there a need for so much formal training and certification over self-education, study, and engagement on the other topics.

02:50 pm October 7, 2019

I am SAFE Angilist (SA) certified and also have the SPS certification. In my personal opinion i think you can go straight to SAFe without doing the SPS certification. SAFe focusses on making the enterprise agile while the SPS certification introduces the Nexus framework and various practices that support it. The SAFe Angilist training teaches you from the ground up so no previous experience in agile is required. Personally i feel SAFe could benefit from some of the Nexus's practices in the way it reduces complexity and dependencies. Nexus and SAFE are different in the way they handle scrum at scale. If the end goal is SAFe, focus on that.   

07:37 pm October 7, 2019

You should keep in mind that SAFe is not Scrum.   There are even some that argue SAFe isn't even Agile, given its PI structure reminiscent of waterfall planning.

07:51 pm October 7, 2019

SAFe is its own thing. It's not Agile nor Traditional mindset. It created a marriage between Agile Values/Principles and the House of Lean and the product of that marriage was the creation of its own set of principles and applies a Customer Value approach to all levels of an organization. It intentionally lives beyond the team level.

At the team level, it will apply and be the most Agile including Scrum/Kanban/etc. As it goes up the chain, it teaches the various concepts of their principles to visualize the organization as a system. There is a ton to unpack but it requires leadership play a part (not just idly rely on metrics) and brings business owners into the team level with their PO's, and the PI structure evolves Sprint Goals to a Quarter by Quarter set of goals. That last part is where something like Scrum at Scale lives, as an alternate to the PI structure.

If you want to know how to bring SAFe to the organization, than the SPC is the role you need but as someone who took that course, the expectation is you be in a place where you can teach SAFe to the various roles that live within the organization. If you intend on staying in the team level, then this role isn't for you as it's more the scrum master for the system and focuses less on teaching teams how to pick and choose the right framework for them.