When Scaled Agile (SAFe) says “Advanced”, They are Not Kidding!

When Scaled Agile (SAFe) says “Advanced”, They are Not Kidding!

To prepare myself to give the SAFe Advanced Scrum Master training classes, it took a good amount of prep time prior to class, much more than any other course I have taught.  To prepare myself as a trainer I used the Scaled Agile offered materials.  They offer us a great array of tools for delivering the training (both in-person and remote) such as videos, prepared courseware, PI Planning tooling workbooks and more.  After putting myself in the shoes of the learner, I realized some additional materials (links with more details on some of the topics as well as a couple videos) would be useful to really help the content sink in.  

I tracked down the information I felt that I would need and added them to my course delivery plan.  Combining these new materials with the materials Scaled Agile provides would provide the students the right foundation to take the learning back to the real world and apply it to their current roles

As for the course itself, if you’re wondering if you should take it, do you fit into one of these roles?

  • Existing Scrum Master
  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM, PSM I, PSM II, and so forth)
  • Team leader, project manager, or Agile Team facilitator in a SAFe or enterprise Agile context
  • Engineering or development manager who are responsible for Agile execution and coaching teams, including teams of teams
  • Agile coach
  • Agile Program Manager
  • Prospective RTE (Release Train Engineer)

If you do, great!  If not, feel free to reach out to me (michael@lurnagile.com) and I can certainly help you track down the learning that would fit you the best.

The course itself is advanced to say the least.  It’s a 2 day course (8 hours per day) and is packed with content.  On day 1, it’s mostly a review of the SAFe framework.  Day 2 has a lot of XP / Lean / Kanban content that is new to many learners such as : Cumulative Flow Diagrams, PI burn-down charts, and Pair Work .  The learning objectives show just how advanced this course is

  • Apply SAFe principles to facilitation, enablement, and coaching in a multi-team environment
  • Build a high-performing team and foster relentless improvement at scale
  • Address Agile and Scrum anti-patterns
  • Support the adoption of engineering practices, DevOps, and Agile architecture
  • Learn to apply Kanban eXtreme Programming (XP) frameworks to optimize flow and improve the team’s work
  • Facilitate program planning, execution, and delivery of end-to-end systems value
  • Support learning through participation in Communities of Practice and innovation cycles

So glad you asked!  Beyond the time with a certified instructor to guide them through the learning and entertain you (such as yours truly), students also will receive the following:

  • Shared experiences with your peers
  • Digital workbook with links to all videos and copies of all of the slides presented
  • A study guide for the exam
  • A practice test that is scored, but not recorded anywhere.  So you can take it as many times as you like!
  • One-year membership to the SAFe Community Platform
  • Once you pass the exam (NOT IF, let’s be positive!), you’ll receive a SAFe digital badge you can share on social media
  • Up to 15 PDUs to renew PMI certifications
  • Up to 15 SEUs to renew Scrum Alliance certifications

The exam is online, and time boxed to 2 hours.  The test consists of 60 questions, which gives you an average of 2 minutes per question.  The passing score is 44 out of 60 (73%) so it’s achievable.  However, don’t let the 73% fool you.  The exam is challenging, but it’s fair.  You need to pay attention during the course, actively participate in the activities, and digest (not just read) the course materials.  

As you can see this is definitely much more than you will find in the SAFe Scrum Master (SSM), Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Scrum.org Professional Scrum Master (PSM I) or any other Scrum Master course.  The extra knowledge and the classroom experience will greatly grow your skill set as Scrum Master, especially if part of a Scaled Agile enterprise.