The Number One question I get from those who are thinking about a certification program is this: "Is it worth it?" If you want to know what the SAFe Program Consultant certification can do for you, it’s quite simple. For those working in the field of Lean/Agile on a daily basis, this course brings a deeper, more robust understanding of the Lean/Agile principles and practices. And, the certification is a formal recognition, supporting you in the next step of your professional development as a Lean/Agile coach, as it enables and supports you in training others.
There is also a lot of market value in this certification, as SAFe is becoming the leading way to adopt and professionalize Agile practices on a larger scale. For some individuals – for example, consultants – the SPC certification is a prerequisite to even apply for certain assignments. And, as a note, this certification is recognized internationally, which makes it even more relevant and interesting for those working in international companies or environments. It’s great proof of your skills and competence, because not everyone passes the SPC exam.
The Number Two question I get from people thinking about following a program is: "What background do I need to take part in this course?" To answer that question, I always begin by saying that it would be good if you have at least some experience with the Agile way of working. For example, if you have worked with Scrum or Kanban, or if you have some experience working with multiple teams, then that's already a great start. And the best, of course, is if you work in an environment where SAFe has already been adopted, and you have hands-on experience and insight into the practices, rituals, and roles of the framework. For individuals with that sort of background is where the value of this 4-day training really soars.
One of the most interesting options open to those with the SPC certification is that they can actually become consultants (as the name itself implies), capable of supporting and training others about the Scaled Agile Framework and helping them to adopt Lean/Agile practices within their own environment. As an SPC, you are allowed to give most SAFe trainings by yourself. That means you can conduct a lot of trainings internally – a great and economical way to upskill your organization. What’s better than training and guiding your own pool of consultants? It leads to a more robust change, and you have internal people who can help you with the next steps. When you start to adopt and professionalize Agile practices, you will discover more and more things to improve. The reality of the situation is that there are always more opportunities to be found once you understand the Lean/Agile mindset. But you need companions along the way.
One of the great things about the SPC course is that you find yourself in a room with up to 30 other participants, all of whom are eager and willing to learn to take the next step. It’s really inspiring. What could be better than being with so many peers from all around the world, all of whom possess a considerable level of experience? Such a setting creates a lot of enthusiasm, bonding, and creativity during the four training days.
And, this environment is self-selecting, meaning that those who attend really want to be there. All of the participants have either requested it from their organization or, in some cases, even paid for the training themselves. It’s something people want to go to out of their own initiative. They are keen to learn. This desire to be there creates a special atmosphere -- one that is incredibly unique and generally difficult to encounter in the world of training.
The same is true of trainers from Gladwell Academy. It’s a big advantage that we have: our organization is home to inspiring trainers who are experienced consultants in daily life as well. They actually practice the lessons they preach in real life, thus delivering world class examples. And, because of that, they know from their own experience just how difficult it can be to change. Gladwell Academy trainers aren’t just professional trainers or coaches, who are hired to deliver information. They are all very active in the field. This means that they work with organizations like Air France/KLM, ASML, Achmea, and many others in order to support the adoption of SAFe. So, every Gladwell Academy training, including the SAFe Program Consultant 4-Day Certification training, comes with a lot of practical and relevant examples of how things do and don’t work.