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It is not possible to directly apply for the exam on Scaled Agile Academy. You need to identify a SAFe® training institute which is authorized to give you training. These institutes will send a confirmation mail to the academy to create a login for you. Only then you will receive an email link from Scaled Agile.
So there are no individual exam fees mentioned in the Scaled Agile website. You must check with the training institute to provide you training and help you register with Scaled Agile. The nominal SAFe® fee for training, SAFe® exam, SAFe® certificate, and SAFe study materials charged by StarAgile is INR 50000.
Note: The questions may be direct and also role-based. Therefore you need to attend the SAFe® training and get as many sample questions possible to master the SAFe® test pattern before you appear for the test.
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SEUs is an abbreviation for Scrum Educational Units offered by Scrum Alliance. They can be obtained by completing the training. It helps to validate the participation in principles and practices of Scrum framework. Every two years it is required to earn SEUs credit to retain the certification. You can obtain 16 SEUs by clearing SAFe® Agilist certification after attending 2 days training program.
PDUs are offered by the Project Management Institute and its stands for Professional Development Unit. Again the SAFE certification offers you with 16 PDU credits. This will help you to apply for PMP – Project Management Professional and ACP – Agile Certified Professional certifications.
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Contemporary work culture and requirement involves extensive collaborative work among cross-functional and even cross-location teams, leading to increased complexity in the work system. Agile methodology, however, was built to suit smaller and simpler work systems and teams. Hence, to be able to reap the full benefits of Agile, it needs alterations to be applicable at-scale and enterprise-wide. Agile is a popular tool for optimizing a value chain, allowing for speed, quality control, and effective communication with customers.
The transformation of Agile requires improved structures and processes. Additionally, the transformation itself has to be as seamless as possible. Such a transformation has resulted in the development of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). This is applicable on an enterprise-wide large scale. Firstly, Agile or even Lean approaches need to be applied independently within each level or sub-system within an organization. This allows a smoother transformation. The framework then focuses on aligning each of these independently agile teams and creating systems of collaboration among them for an enterprise-wide impact.
Most recently, version 5 of SAFe has been introduced, and this offers improved mechanisms for strategy development, its implementation, and management. Effective tapping into this tool will give an edge to an organization over the competition.
SAFe is a tool and guideline for the implementation of Agile-Lean principles at a whole-enterprise scale. Being Lean, it is an inherently simplified and lightweight mechanism. As a guideline, it is to be used by the process development team of the organization, to build in and integrate the suggested mechanisms and principles into the organization’s management software. The framework is an opensource kit, available online for all.
The SAFe framework has three segments and three key features. The segments are –
The features are –
Being an openly available tool, any organization may implement it. However, some guidance and training may be required for two reasons. Firstly, organizations may need some suggestions and practical strategies for implementing the guiding principles of scaled agile framework training. Secondly, the reputation of the creators of the framework would be at-stake and hence, it would be preferable for them if organizations implement it as effectively as possible to reap maximum benefit and provide positive feedback.
Hence, the implementation of Agile SAFe is preceded by a two-day SAFe agilest certification training program. This program is relevant for organizational leaders and those who have been given the responsibility of implementing Agile in their enterprises. The training covers the key principles of Lean and Agile, systems approach, strategy development, and operations flow.
The training is centered on practical approaches and discussions based on experiences, beliefs, and knowledge of participants. Nuances of agility are discussed for all aspects of running an organization, such as agility in teams, technology usage, and workflow within the value-chain. Customer satisfaction is one of the key goals of businesses and is also a reason for movement towards Agile business. Hence, this aspect is also covered deeply in the training, with practical and experiential activities. Participants are oriented towards PI Planning, Agile Release Trains (ARTs), and Lean portfolio management.
The training is a stepping-stone towards successfully clearing the scaled agile certification examination, to become a certified SA. Such individuals may also act as consultants for a different organization, giving ideas to them, in turn, for introducing SAFe in their enterprise.
Being a popular and in-demand tool, certified SAFe Agilists too are in-demand. Since the tool is freely available online, authenticity may be an issue and unauthorized certifications may also be available, hence hampering the quality and reputation of the original. The original and registered Scaled Agile Framework thus has authorized a specific body to provide and approve certifications. This certifying body is Scaled Agile, Inc. Thus, training, as well as the certificate provided by Scaled Agile, Inc., have the authentic quality, reliability, and acceptability in the business world. Professionals certified by this authorizing body are accepted world over, by organizations for implementing SAFe and have a reputation for their in-depth knowledge of Lean-Agile principles and skills for customized practical approaches. Scaled agile training is thus the leading SAFe training.
The Scaled Agile Professional Certification Program maintains the following three features –
The SAFe certification training aims and learning goals for participants include –
The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) is widely used and this usage is increasing exponentially. It is the most commonly used method for Agile implementation. Data suggests that, out of 100 Fortune companies of the US, at least 70 use SAFe. Hence, there is an ever-increasing demand for SAFe professionals. Professionals certified by the authentic certifying agency only are accepted and relied upon, as business owners would not jeopardize their enterprise by leaving such an important task to a less able person.
Since the demand is high, professionals with certification may take this up as full-time work, being engaged with a SAFe-implementing agency, or establishing own consultancy. Such work may provide continuous learning opportunities and experience of workings of different organizations, as well as a chance of establishing contact with several companies.
Packages and offerings are available in case an organization chooses to send all its employees for certification. This setup is advantageous for both, Scaled Agile, Inc. as well as the enterprise seeking certifications. On the one hand, the certifying agency needs to understand the specifics of processes and needs of just that one organization, but gain several participants for its training program and examination, making the program cost-effective and less labor-intensive. On the other hand, the enterprise seeking certification for all employees will be able to ensure that all employees understand the new framework of the organization’s functioning and work with a similar mindset, ensuring smoother and more collaborative functioning, requiring lesser handholding.
Communities of Practice (CoPs) are established based on the usage of similar frameworks and mindsets for working. Hence, SAFe too has such a community or platform. Being a certified SAFe professional automatically includes one in this community. Thus, it is like being a member of an exclusive worldwide prestigious club, which is accompanied with a reputation of quality of business.
SAFe certified professionals are all provided with a digital badge, mentioning that the concerned person has successfully cleared the training and exam. These badges are recognized and coveted globally and can be used as signatures in e-mails, included in soft copies of resumes, business cards, and even social media profiles. Hence, it is a good tool to communicate this skill to others and generate possible business opportunities, especially for those looking to establish SAFe consultancy as their independent business.
It begins with enrolling in the program by Scaled Agile, Inc., and taking their exam, passing which is the final requirement for getting the certification.
5+ years’ experience in the software industry, having participated in both, development and testing; experience of working in an organization to have knowledge of business analysis and project as well as value-chain management.
A two-day SAFe Agilist course followed by a SAFe Agilist certification examination are the two steps of the course for obtaining certification as SAFe Agilist professional.
After the completion of the two-day training and before sitting for the actual certification exam, it is possible and highly recommended, that one practices some mock tests online since this facility is available for all. These mock tests are prepared with the knowledge of the actual test in mind, and hence provide a fair idea of the kinds of questions that would appear in the actual certification. Hence, the possibility of a successful attempt will increase drastically. Once ready to sit for the exam, a simple process of registration for the exam takes place, which too is fully online, and then the exam.
It contains 45 multiple choice questions only, which have to be answered within a given time limit of 90 minutes, without any assistance. These 90 minutes may be broken down for a maximum of 30 days. Beyond this period, it is possible to give the exam, but these will be registered as second, third, or fourth attempts and will have an additional cost each. The exam portal is accessible through the SAFe Community Platform, access to which will be gained after the successful completion of the two-day training.
SAFe 4 has 45 questions and you need to get at least 34 right and in SAFe 5 minimum 35 correct answers required to pass the examination.
The SAFe Agilist training cost is set at 50,000 INR with additional GST. This cost includes the cost for the first attempt at the certification examination. The training is essential to access the exam portal and hence it is not possible to directly attempt the exam or just pay for the examination. Hence, the SAFe agilest certification cost is 50,000 INR plus taxes. As mentioned, further attempts of the exam will increase the SAFe certification cost by 50 USD, and then another further attempt will cost a further 50 USD.
The SAFe Agile training is quite useful and customized towards the exam and practical applications of the developed knowledge. It is suggested that, if one is not attempting the exam immediately after the training, then one should surely revise the content of the training and follow other suggestions –
There is also a facility for attending a virtual live session, which is an online add-on training. It is advised to make the most of this facility as well, to have maximum possible preparation for the exam. 20 hours of preparation, over and above the two-day training are essential to be sufficiently prepared for the exam and perform well enough. Such rigorous training is essential since the course and exam have become quite popular given the increasing popularity of SAFe Agile Framework.
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