In any organization, the business decisions made by leaders play an integral role in determining its future. Their mindset, actions and strategies influence the functioning of the organization and workforce. True leaders continuously learn and upskill themselves to be on par with the changing times and stay ahead of the competition. This is where adoption of a Lean-Agile Mindset becomes crucial. It serves as an intellectual and leadership foundation for applying SAFe® principles and practices. A Lean Agile Mindset is undoubtedly the need of the hour for everyone and especially for professionals who oversee a company’s destiny.
This article briefly looks at SAFe® 5.0’s main offering – “Business Agility”, dwells on the foundational competency – “Lean Agile Leadership” and finally talks about how Scaled Agile Inc’s “Leading SAFe®“ course is one of the front runners in providing knowledge and guidance for building SAFe’s foundational competency in an Enterprise.
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What is SAFe®?
Enterprises span across multiple geographical locations, cultures and time zones. External stakeholders like Suppliers and Partners further add on to the organizational milieu. In spite of the scale, the enterprise has to be nimble and agile to keep up with ever changing customer needs and tough competition.
Practicing Agile in an Enterprise has its very own challenges because of the scale at which it operates and the high stakes involved.
SAFe® is an Agile Framework that recommends ways and methods for enterprises to implement, sustain and improve Lean and Agile Practices. SAFe®1.0 was introduced in 2011 and has evolved into the SAFe®5.0 version which was released in Jan 2020.
What is new in SAFe®5
SAFe®5.0 introduces quite a few things, of which we look at two important ones- Business Agility and the Dual Operating System.
John Kotter , thought leader of Change Management, famously describes the need for a Dual Operating System that combines the entrepreneurial capability of a network with the organisational efficiency of traditional hierarchy. SAFe® 5 recommends organizing a network around value streams, in addition to the traditional hierarchy, to create a dual operating system to achieve Business Agility.
Image source: Kotter’s Dual Operating System
Image source: SAFe as a second organizational operating system
Bringing agility within Engineering teams may not be enough to create products and solutions that are viable and saleable. Everyone who is involved in building solutions and products – Executives, Senior Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Engineering, Support, IT, Legal, Compliance, HR- has to be brought into the ambit of Lean and Agile Practices to achieve true Business Agility.
The responsibility of making “Business Agility” a reality lies largely with the Leaders of the Organizations.
Lean Agile Leadership Competency
SAFe® recommends seven core competencies to become a Lean Enterprise and achieve Business Agility. “Lean Agile Leadership” is one of the foundational competencies of great significance.
Without the buy-in, support and complete conviction from leaders in the organization, the SAFe® implementation cannot happen effectively. Lean Agile Leaders play a key role in introducing, nurturing and sustaining the SAFe® transformation within the organization.
What is required of a Lean Agile Leader?
- Growth Mindset: Leaders should have a realistic bent of mind to acknowledge a need for change within themselves as well as the organization. The leaders with the right outlook believe in the SAFe Core Values, the Lean-Agile Mindset, and SAFe Principles.
- Leading By Example: As the famous saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words”. So by walking the talk, leaders can influence scores of people to start adopting the Lean Agile practices, Values and Principles exhibited by themselves.
- Leading Change: Organizational transformation and change is a very difficult and rocky road to take. There are many thought leaders and researchers producing dedicated models, theories and books for bringing about change and sustaining it. A leader who sets himself on this path is aware of the challenges and is ready to lead the change successfully.
Image Source: Lean Agile Leadership Competency
One of the tools for leaders at the helm of bringing about change is having deep rooted knowledge, understanding and purpose about the practices they have to exhibit, and thereby influence the other employees in their organizations.
Obtaining the Scaled Agile Framework’s “Leading SAFe®” Certification is the perfect way to start for Lean Agile Leaders. By getting themselves trained, leaders can begin the transformation journey armed with the necessary information.
Leading SAFe® Course and Certification
The 2 day long Leading SAFe® course results in the following learning outcomes:
- The knowledge and principles of Lean, Agile, DevOps, Lean Product Development
- Insights into achieving Business Agility through organizing around value
- Understanding of Lean Portfolio Management which emphasizes the need for Lean principles and Lean Budgeting
- The importance of PI Planning events, co-ordinating Multiple Agile Release Trains, establishing team and technical agility
- Customer-centric mindset and design thinking approach to Agile product delivery
- The importance of sustaining SAFe® transformation by creating Communities of Practice and fully empowered employees and teams.
In short, the SAFe® Implementation Roadmap helps the leaders to chalk out their organization’s transformation journey.
Who should take the Leading SAFe® Course?
This course is just right for leaders who are in a position to influence employees, organizational structure and the future of products / solutions.
- Executives of the organization that decide on the future course of business
- Business Unit Heads who are responsible for a Portfolio
- Heads of functions like Marketing/Sales/Product/IT/Engineering etc
- Agile Program Managers and Project Managers who steer programs and projects, Managers of teams
- Technology leaders like Enterprise and Solution Architects/ Distinguished Engineers/ Fellows who command a large sphere of influence on teams
Leading SAFe® Certification
Attending the 2 day Leading SAFe® course is a requirement to write the exam, and participants will get access to all the study materials and the exam. Once the exam is successfully completed, the candidate gets the below privileges as per Scaled Agile, Inc.
- Certified SAFe® Agilist PDF certificate
- Certified SAFe® Agilist digital badge to promote your accomplishment online
- One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform, which includes access to the SA Community of Practice
- Access to Meetup groups and events that connect you with other SAFe certified professionals
- A variety of learning resources to support you during your SAFe journey
Benefits of taking Leading SAFe®5 training
Every change starts with – what is in it for me? The Leading SAFe® course outlines a generic framework that is applicable to any enterprise. For an individual employee it is a learning for life and can be applied to any organization he/she is associated with.
The SAFe® Agilist Course and Certification is one of the prestigious achievements in the individual’s professional life earning him/her respect and recognition within the Agile Community.
A SAFe®5 certified professional is eligible for better prospects within their own organization or in other organizations, if and when there is a need for job change.
According to Forrester’s Q2 2015 Global Agile Software Application Development Online Survey-“The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) is the most widely adopted enterprise Agile approach according to most survey data, with 33% using it”. With more than 70% of US Fortune 100 companies actively employing SAFe®, it is clear that the demand for Leading SAFe® is on a constant rise.
Benefits of Leading SAFe®5 Training for the organization:
Leadership is the foundation on which the “House of Lean” is built. A strong foundation of Lean Agile leaders, Managers and Executives help to create a learning culture for the organization by exhibiting the Lean Agile Mindset. This, in turn, paves the way for enterprise-wide transformation. Having a strong army of Agilists that are trained and certified helps the organization to sustain the principles of Lean and Agile.
Corporate training for the leaders of the organization from a reputed Training provider like Knowledge Hut will ensure that all leaders are on the same page, hearing the same message at the same time. The training will become an opportunity for collaboration and the discussions during the training facilitated by the trainer can be tailored to suit organizational needs.
Why KnowledgeHut for Leading SAFe®5 Course?
- KnowledgeHut is a leading training provider offering a variety of accredited training programs for Corporates and Individuals.
- KnowledgeHut is a preferred training partner for various corporates.
- KnowledgeHut offers training across 70 countries in over 250 industry-recognized courses. This includes a wide range of Courses in Agile and SAFe®.
- Scaled Agile, Inc is the only certifying authority for SAFe® and KnowledgeHut is a Silver Partner of Scaled Agile, having trained more than 4000 professionals in various SAFe® certifications.
- The Trainers for Leading SAFe® courses are an elite panel of accredited SPCs who also have years of experience as active SAFe® practitioners.
- Learning happens through experiential workshops by accredited industry experts who bring in vast real-world experience imparting knowledge through in-class activities and simulations.
Please refer here for all the details and the value-added services offered by KnowledgeHut for the Leading SAFe® 5 course.
In conclusion, Scaled Agile Inc’s Leading SAFe®5 from KnowledgeHut will be a unique learning experience that will set the stage for success in one’s professional life. This credential benefits equally the individual, the organization and the larger cause of increasing the number of Agilists and improving the Agile Community at large.