Certification is Just a Start

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Two weeks ago I received my SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) certificate. I did a 4-day training and I passed an online questionnaire in order to receive it. Due to the training I gained a good understanding of the SAFe framework, most of my questions could be clarified, and it helped me to reduce my skepticism about SAFe (finally I believe that it is a quite good compromise for large enterprises with a long waterfall and command-and-control history). Further as SPC I am allowed to teach an official 2-day SAFe training and certify people as SAFe Practitioner and SAFe Agilist on my own. Cool!

Regarind SAFe I am in Shu now! Now it’s time to gain experience on applying SAFe in the real world, read Dean Leffingswell’s book (and many more – have a look at my reading list), be active in the LinkeIn group for SPC’s and other online communities, exchange opinions on local and global gatherings, etc to reach Ha and maybe someday I will be one of the few who reach Ri (cf. Shu-Ha-Ri). That is how I see certification – it’s a start.

I have met people, who believe that a certificate (CSM, CSPO, CSD, SAFe SPC, CSD, PSM I, PSM II,…) means they are already in Ri – at least they behave like that. What is the value of a CSM, who never led a scrum team? Well, I would say it is rather low, because without experience he would do (almost) everything wrong when applying his knowledge in practice for the first time. Experience is, what distinguishes someone in Ha or Ri to someone in Shu. While most certificates can be bought, experience can’t. It needs to be gained truth experiments that sometimes succeed and sometimes fail (according to D. Reinertsen we learn most at a 50% failing rate). Respectively it is up to you to find your way to Ha and Ri with or without certificate.

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Stefan Wunder

My name is Stefan Wunder and I am a passionate Agile coach from Graz, Austria. I have been working in the software industry since 2006, being an agile practitioner since 2011. I have experience with pioneering Agile, transitioning teams from waterfall to Agile, as well as working with established high performance teams within scaled agile enterprises. I worked with co-located as well as with dispersed teams, in start-ups, medium sized companies and big global enterprises in various industries. Currently I am working as enterprise Agile coach at AVL List GmbH.

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