Certification is Just a Start


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.


Published by

Stefan Wunder

My name is Stefan Wunder and I am a passionate Lean & Agile Coach from Graz, Austria. I have been applying Lean & Agile methodologies in various industries and contexts since 2006. Since 2014 I am working as Agile Coach at AVL List GmbH, the world’s largest independent company for development, simulation and testing technology of powertrains (hybrid, combustion engines, transmission, electric drive, batteries and software) for passenger cars, trucks and large engines. I have a Master of Science in software development and business economics. I am Certified Systemic Coach, Certified Scrum Professional (CSP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) and Certified LeSS Practitioner. I am speaker at conferences, and moderator of the Scrum User Group Graz.

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