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Leading SAFe 4.5 - SA Certification (2 day)

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. Other pre-requisites include more than five years of experience in software development, testing, business analysis, product or project management as well as experience in Scrum. Upon taking the two-day Scaled Agile Framework Course, you are eligible to complete the SAFe certification exam to earn your SAFe Agilist (SA) certification. The cost of the exam is included in your course tuition.

As more and more organizations look to scale Agile, be one of the select group of professionals who have a SAFe certification to back-up their hands-on experience.

This course is designed for version 4.5.

  • 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

  • Prepare to take the SAFe Agilist Certification Exam

Course Outline

1. What is SAFe?

An introduction to the Scaled Agile Framework™

  • SAFe Implementation Strategy

  • History of SAFe

  • SAFe Core Values


2. 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

Real-World Exercises:
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.

3. 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

Real-World Exercises:
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).

4. 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

Real-World Exercises:
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.


5. 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

Real-World Exercises:
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.


6. 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


7. 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

Real-World Exercises:
Agile Architecture Discussion: Breakout, small group discussions on the meaning and potential applications of Agile Architecture Principles in your organization.


8. 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

Real-World Exercises:
Coaching with Powerful Questions: Pair up with another attendee to practice Reflective Listening and asking Powerful Questions.

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