Leading a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe Agilist Certification)

Course Details
Code: SC-AGILE-FRMWK
Tuition (USD): $1,495.00 • Classroom (2 days)

For years now, Agile teams have been able to develop higher-quality software at a faster rate by utilizing techniques that help them respond to change. This works great in smaller organizations where individual teams can focus on individual pieces of software, but it can be hard to scale these benefits across a portfolio of products because different teams are focused solely on their own goals. This misalignment of team, program and portfolio is often the obstacle that keeps organizations from fully harnessing the power of Agile. Defining an overall organizational portfolio vision and aligning each team's goals can help you further enhance the value of Agile practices. Through Lean Software Development and Product Development Flow, this SAFe certification course will show you how to create longer programs, called Agile Release Trains, where groups of Agile teams work together to optimize quality and velocity to deliver even greater value for their stakeholders.

Skills Gained

  • How to lead an enterprise Agile transformation
  • To apply Lean thinking techniques at the Team, Program and Portfolio levels
  • To apply Lean, Agile and Product Development Flow principles to improve productivity, employee engagement, time to market and quality
  • How to infuse Agile into your entire organization – not just your IT department
  • How to create Agile Release Trains that align the efforts of Agile and non-Agile teams to create greater stakeholder value
  • To encourage collaboration across all the layers of your organization to enable teams to deliver complex cross-functional features in 10-12 week increment
  • To improve the communication and focus of your organization’s Agile implementation

Who Can Benefit

This SAFe certification course is beneficial to all members on an Agile team, but it is primarily oriented towards those leading the efforts to adopt and scale Lean and Agile principles and practices via the Scaled Agile Framework™. This course is ideally suited for:

  • Executives
  • Managers
  • Change Agents
  • Program Managers
  • Coaches
  • Anyone helping lead the SAFe implementation

Course Details

What is the Scaled Agile Framework?

The Scaled Agile Framework (or SAFe) is a guide to aligning Agile development throughout an organization. Most organizations focus their Agile development efforts at the team level, first starting with a pilot team and later transitioning individual teams one at a time. Unfortunately, this method fails to fully integrate each team's efforts with the larger stakeholder need. The Scaled Agile Framework gives you proven techniques to align these teams to work at the larger program level, and ultimately how to align multiple programs into a portfolio that maximizes shareholder value.

Become a Certified Scaled Agile Framework Agilist

The Leading Scaled Agile Framework course is your first step towards earning your Scaled Agile Framework Agilist (SA) certification. Upon learning to explain and implement the principles and practices of the framework you are eligible to complete the SAFe certification exam to earn your SAFe Agilist (SA) certification. SAFe certification exam questions center around:

  • Lean Thinking
  • Agile Development principles
  • SAFe ScrumXP
  • Agile Release Trains
  • Agile Portfolio Management
  • Agile Architecture
  • Scaling Leadership

What is SAFe?

An introduction to the Scaled Agile Framework™

  • SAFe Implementation Strategy
  • History of SAFe
  • SAFe Core Values

Lean Thinking

An overview of Lean Software Development and Product Development Flow

  • Lean Tools
  • House of Quality
  • Optimal Batch Size
  • Product Development Flow
  • Controlling Flow Under Uncertainty
  • Decentralized Control
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Pass the Pennies: In groups of five, pass and process pennies according to exercise instructions in order to learn about the effects of large and small batch sizes on cycle time, variability, and risk.
  • Work-In-Progress (WIP) Constraints: Analyze the given team story board to assess the effects of increasing and decreasing WIP limits on the team’s delivery rate.
  • Decentralizing Decisions: Consider two problems you are currently facing and use the given decision criteria matrix to help determine if you should centralize or decentralize the decision
  • Identifying Value Streams: Differentiating your enterprise in its market.

Agile Development

How to apply Agile development principles and practices across the enterprise. An overview of Business Benefits that can be realized from such enterprise transformation.

  • Accelerating Value Delivery
  • Brief Agile Overview
  • Business Benefits
  • Case Studies
  • Accelerating Value Delivery: Given the projects and constraints provided in the exercise, plot value delivery curves for three projects done serially and done in parallel (simultaneously).

SAFe at the Team Level

An experiential walkthrough of SAFe practices for teams including the utilization of Scrum and XP methods. Focus is on the technical, project management and economic prioritization practices that will enable scaling across teams and up to the program and portfolio levels.

  • Overview of Scrum plus XP in SAFe
  • Roles in ScrumXP
  • The Power of “Ba”
  • Backlog Sizing and Estimating
  • Estimating and Planning
  • Code Quality and Continuous Integration
  • The Ball Point Game: An exercise to introduce Scrum and the concepts of Self-Organization, Flow and Continuous Learning & Improvement to teams.
  • Relative Estimation: As a team, using the example backlog, use relative estimating techniques to size the backlog items.
  • Sprint Goals: Discuss as a team what the goal of the sprint excercise is.
  • Sprint Planning: As a team, plan how you will execute the sprint exercise given to you with teammates self-organizing to take responsibility for backlog items.
  • Sprint Execution: As a team, execute the sprint, completing as many backlog items as possible and gain acceptance from the Product Owner so you can learn from the experience.
  • Sprint Retrospective: As a team, reflect on the results of your sprint and determine three improvements you will make next time.

SAFe at the Program Level

How to identify, implement and execute an Agile Release Train (ART) in your organization. An ART is a long-lived program whereby teams-of-agile-teams optimize quality and velocity delivery for the enterprise’s larger value streams.

  • What is an ART?
  • What are the Rules of an ART?
  • What new Roles are added?
  • Identifying ART opportunities
  • Program Vision and Roadmap
  • Optimal ROI and the Economics of the Cost of Delay
  • ART Duration Estimating
  • Release Planning and Managing the Train
  • Program Backlog: Define ten program backlog items based on your own project or personal business context
  • Prioritize the Program Backlog: Prioritize three of your program backlog items based on the Weighted Shortest Job First economic prioritization method.

SAFe at the Portfolio Level

Defining Agile Portfolio Management and the associated Agile transformational patterns. Topics covered include Strategy and Investment Funding, Program Management and Governance.

  • What is Portfolio Program Management (PPM)?
  • What is PPM’s role in Strategy and Investment Funding?
  • What is PPM’s role in Governance?
  • Dealing with Legacy Mindsets
  • 8 Transformational Patterns for Agile PPM

Agile Architecture

The principles of Agile Architecture, the role of Enterprise and System Architects within SAFe, and how to architect in an evolutionary, continual-flow model of development.

  • Architecture in SAFe
  • ART and System Architecture
  • 7 Principles of Agile Architecture
  • SAFe’s Architectural Runway
  • Agile Architecture Discussion: Breakout, small group discussions on the meaning and potential applications of Agile Architecture Principles in your organization.

Scaling Leadership

How to scale Lean and Agile leadership across the enterprise.

  • Becoming a Lean|Agile Leader
  • Managing your Knowledge Workers
  • Creating Purpose and Articulating
  • Product Vision
  • Analyzing the Value Stream
  • Assessing Agile Teams
  • Coaching with Powerful Questions
  • Coaching with Powerful Questions: Pair up with another attendee to practice Reflective Listening and asking Powerful Questions.