How to pass Leading SAFe or SAFe agilist
 

 

The SAFe (scaled agile framework) is getting lots of attention these days. Everyone is going for various certifications based on the role they are playing in the org. People aspire to get good job are opting for SAFe training and certification as well.

I get tons of questions from students, employees, trainers and career aspirants around how do they pass SAFe certification exam and what’s the way to get the maximum value out of it?

I would focus on various SAFe certifications and who should do in my next blog whilst I would focus on “Leading SAFe” or “SAFe Agilist” in this blog.

The Leading SAFe certification should be done by all the leaders and people aspire to play the leadership. I feel SAFe has lots of leadership content in addition to process and practices. I am sure what you learn post Leading SAFe would be must more powerful than many of the Leadership sessions to attend outside market. The leading SAFe focuses on basic building blocks of SAFe and how does leadership support in doing all the right things. Here are some points you must remember

  1. There are no shortcuts hence if you are thinking you would just pass the exam and you would get all the value, forget about it. The real value is in the knowledge you gain hence choose your trainer (SPC) wisely. Don’t go and pick any trainer. Although passing exam is an important activity since that makes you to force yourself and revise all the concepts.
  2. I would advise you to go with a trainer who has good technical background. In the midst for market value, many professional has become SPC certified. I have attended some of the sessions from non-technical trainers and I can tell you, they could not relate a lots of concepts to what we do day to day. Choosing competent, technical trainer is the half battle won.  A good coach, and if you know basics of Agile, a 3 days – 6-8 hours study can help you to score 90% plus. It may slightly differ based on how fast or slow learner you are.
  3. Once you are done with coaching, you should study the concepts in 1-2 weeks and go for a practice test. If your score is 85 plus, you can review the deck and go for the exam.
  4. All the students must review the Study PDF received from the SAFe (or Download from SAFe website post enrollment), at least three times. There is another slide which talks about specific links (Chapter Wise), which every student must go through at least twice.
  5. It’s good idea to write down the example given by trainer on each slide which would help you to revise the concepts
  6. Aim to score at least 90 percent, not to show people but ensuring that you truly understood each concept.
  7. You should attempt to do at least 400 to 500 sample quality questions to ensure you understood the concepts and you should be able to go for the exam
  8. Never search questions and answers over internet. A lots of answers are correct on internet and moreover it doesn’t give you a feeling that you are attempting an exam
  9. There is going to be approx. 10% repeat questions from pretest hence do ensure that you got answers for all the pretest questions

I am going to start community of practice on telegram. In case if anyone is willing to join to find

Who is the best trainer in your area?
Which certification I should opt for?
Should I do SPC certification and become trainer? What’s the step by step process to do that?
Any other question pertaining to SAFe?

You can click on the click below and join SAFe community of practice
https://t.me/joinchat/GVqVCQbIO5QK5JqB

 

The sample questions from scale agile are

1. What is the connection between feedback and optimum batch size?
A. Lack of feedback contributes to higher holding cost
B. Feedback and batch size are generally not connected
C. Small batch sizes enable faster feedback with lower transaction costs
D. Large batches reduce transaction cost and provide a higher return on investment
2. What is one key reason for keeping the test data for automated tests under version control?
A. For reporting and auditing purposes
B. Version control is required for quality standards
C. All enterprise assets must be under version control
D. If test data gets out of sync, automated tests may not properly execute
3. What is the primary goal of decentralized decision-making?
A. Reduce Cost of Delay
B. Resolve dependencies
C. Enable faster flow of value
D. Increase alignment
4. What does SAFe® Principle #3, “Assume variability; preserve options,” enable?
A. Better economic results
B. Specification traceability
C. Up front design of systems
D. Stronger Definition of Done
5. What is a result of shorter queue lengths?
A. Lower quality
B. Increased risk
C. Less variability
D. Longer cycle times
6. Which statement is most accurate about the Program Vision?
A. It expresses the strategic intent of the Program
B. It drives the allocation of budget for the Agile Release Train
C. It summarizes the team PI Objectives for the current Program Increment
D. It provides an outline of the Features for the next three Program Increments

7. What Definition of Done is required for the Iteration Review?
A. Release
B. Team Increment
C. System Increment
D. Solution Increment
8. What is the primary purpose of Strategic Themes?
A. Determine the order in which Epics should be executed
B. Drive incremental implementation across the enterprise
C. Connect the portfolio to the enterprise business strategy
D. Define the sequence of steps used to deliver value to the customer
9. An Epic spanning two PIs was approved for implementation. What is the optimum implementation path from a Lean-Agile perspective?
A. Implement the Epic across the same number of PIs as it took to develop
B. Report the percentage completed to the key stakeholders at every PI boundary
C. Demonstrate the progress to the key stakeholders after two PIs and have them accept the epic
D. Demonstrate the progress to key stakeholders after first PI and make a decision how to proceed
with the Epic in the second PI
10. What backlog items are part of the Solution Backlog?
A. Benefits
B. Features
C. Capabilities
D. User Stories

Answer Key:
1. C
2. D
3. C
4. A
5. C
6. A
7. B
8. C
9. D
10. C

The understanding of below concepts would help you to score high

  1. What is business Agility?
  2. What are 8 Kotter’s Principles?
  3. What is the benefit of Decentralize decision making? Delivering value in shortest sustainable lead time, better control, high morale, empowerment
  4. What is MVP? Minimal Viable Product which can prove benefit hypothesis
  5. Who has the content authority on Team Backlog or Program Backlog or Solution Backlog? Product Owner, Product Manger and Solution Manger Respectively
  6. What are two ART sync meetings? SOS and PO Sync
  7. House of Lean
    • What is the most important item? Value
    • What is the foundation of House of lean? Leadership
    • What are the four pillars of house of lean? Respect for people and culture, Flow, Innovation, Lean, Relentless Improvement
  8. Which of the core competencies of the Lean Enterprise helps align strategy and execution? – LPM
  9. What are types of  Guardrails – BO Engagement, Horizons, Capacity allocation, approve EPIC initiatives
  10. What are core values of SAFe – Transparency, Program Execution,  Built in quality, Alignment
  11. How do you achieve Cadence based synchronization in SAFe? PI Planning
  12. Who Facilitates ART – RTE, Who Facilitates Solution Train – STE
  13. What decisions you shouldn’t centralized?  Decisions with big economic impact and which are not likely to change
  14. ROAM full form – Resolved, Owned, Accepted, and Mitigated
  15. CALMR full form – Culture, Automation, Lean Flow, Measurement, and Recovery