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Do I need to have completed a Leading SAFe® class before taking an Implementing SAFe® class?

Do I need to have completed a Leading SAFe® class before taking an Implementing SAFe® class

This is a question that gets frequently asked and is worthy of a quick article to answer not only for now but for future enquires too 😀

In the first instance, let’s look at the Scaled Agile, Inc pre-requisites:

 “All stakeholders in a Lean-Agile transformation are welcome to attend the course, regardless of experience.

However, the following prerequisites are highly recommended for those who intend to take the SAFe® 4 Program Consultant exam and practice as a Certified SAFe® 4 Program Consultant (SPC):

  • 5+ years of experience in software development, testing, business analysis, product, or project management
  • 3+ years of experience in Agile
  • One or more relevant Agile certifications”

So, you can see that Leading SAFe®  is not a pre-requisite to attending an Implementing SAFe® class. In fact, when I took my Implementing SAFe® class I had not previously attended a Leading SAFe® class.

In addition, I tend to find only about a third of Implementing SAFe® class delegates have attended a Leading SAFe® course.

What is more important is that you do have a background and experience in Agile because the Scaled Agile Framework is based on this body of work.

However, there is a BUT!

Essentially Implementing SAFe® is a class of two halves; the first half we teach how to teach SAFe® and the second half you learn how to implement SAFe®.

Therefore, if you have not done Leading SAFe® before, in the first half you are having to operate in two modes; understanding SAFe® AND also learning how to teach SAFe®. There is a lot to take in – you are trying to absorb the concepts AND also think about the narrative for teaching it.

It is demanding and you just need to be aware but the vast majority will be in the same boat as you including me when I did it in October 2013!

An ancillary question, I have done Leading SAFe® do I need to attend for the first 2 days? Easy answer – yes!

The certification to become a SAFe® Program Consultant (SPC) demands a 4-day attendance plus you have to operate in ‘how do I teach this’ mode.

Plus, with SAFe® v4.6 only released last November many will not have seen the updates included in this latest version. Even if you have attended the latest version I still find new learnings every time I teach the class.

Explore Leading SAFe courses      Explore Implementing SAFe courses 

Hope this helps and we look forward to seeing you soon on a Leading SAFe or Implementing SAFe course soon 👍👍 


Darren Wilmshurst

Darren Wilmshurst

With his strategic C-suite-oriented approach to IT leadership – and his infectious energy – Darren has successfully delivered multi-million pound business transformations for e-commerce sites, ERP implementations, outsourcing and offshoring, including multiple Agile transformations. Read more