SPC, Your Questions Answered About Implementing SAFe

What is SPC?

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 SPC stands for SAFe Program Consultant. Unofficially, it’s simultaneous problem-solving individuals. SPC is the second to the highest certification you can get within the scaled agile framework. The highest being what Ramesh has, the safe program consultant trainer, SPCT, which means Ramesh can train and mint new SPCs. The SPC, Safe Program Consultant, is a certification that allows you access to all of Scaled Agile’s toolkits and workshops. You can get enabled to train others. For example, as an SPC, I can prepare Scrum Masters, product owners. I can do lean portfolio management, agile project management, safe for teams. I have access to all the workshops like the “Grow and Measure Workshop,” the “Program Increment Implementation Workshop,” a SAFe Executive Overview. You name it! There are 20 to 30 workshops and things that I have access to plus 12 or 13 classes. There is a lot at your disposal when you get your SPC certification.

The SPC class is really about implementing the transformation

Who should take the training, and should they get certified?

There isn’t any limitation as long as somebody has the right way of thinking, who can develop into the people that solve problems and help with the transformation of an organization. There is no role, no title. We love that diversity. However, we need to identify those people who only get the SPC certification from a profit motive. You can teach 12 to 15 classes. Some people want to become an SPC so that they can teach courses and make money. Those are not the cream of the crop. Those individuals who understand the situational issues in an enterprise, be it at the team level, the program level, or even a high level. These should get certified to gain insight into the theory’s content part of handling the problems. Then comes the essential aspect of practicing the content, so they rise and shine in solving the issues. It’s a journey. SPC is a kind of a ticket you purchase to travel on a train, a transformation train. You get the hands-on opportunity to help the enterprise. Otherwise, you are a free passenger, and as long as the ticket collector doesn’t check, you are brilliant. But if somebody checks, you’re out of the train. There is no bias about who should get certified, but there is a recommendation for people who have that intrinsic mindset or ability. Some people, when they see the problem, they get into solving mode. Those are the guys that are best suited for SPC.

 The other characters that we love to see are the folks that are those lean agile champions within their organization, those change agents. The people who will be part of a guiding coalition within their organization or will be coaching agile teams, or maybe they’re part of the leadership. They’re part of the lean-agile leadership, but those are the ones that can leverage the content. Otherwise, they might be better suited for what we call Leading Safe Class, which is more of an overview than implementing. The SPC class is really about implementing the transformation, really getting it in your organization. So those lean agile champions are fantastic. They’re the ones that are very passionate and excited about it, and they’re eager to learn. They have lots of great questions, and they’re trying to solve real problems. They’re trying to solve real problems within their organization.

Any reasons not to take the training and get certified?

We use this funny analogy in the class most of the time. Monkey see monkey do. Don’t do that. Oh, Ian has a certificate, so Ramesh has to get a certificate. That’s an incorrect way. Go back to the core fundamental, “why am I?” Start with the why. I want to get certified because I want to start my scaled agile transformation journey. It’s not a certification journey. It is not a change agent journey. Nothing because of change; everybody does it. Are we going to change houses every 13 months, or change cars? Is that normal? It’s the uncertainty with the final product or final situation that we are going to begin. That’s what comes in the way of a change for inhibited people if you envision that in your purview, be it at the program level or portfolio level, whatever level. If you foresee yourself that there is change happening, but you cannot handle that with the unknown. Dude, that’s when it is ideal! If you get into the SPC certification, that’s brutal. I’m telling you that the core that runs in that mindset of the people who really care for the enterprise, care for the transformation, everybody else. We see almost like twenty eighty. Twenty percent of the people are passionate, for that remaining 80 percent come because the company’s paying for it because I’m sitting here. The thought at the end, only 20% of the people, help with the transformations. This 20% is out of all the 10,000 plus SPCs that are certified by SAFe so far.

It is not a certification journey.

Some people will get the SPC class or the SPC certification. They’ll take the course to get the certificate because they think they will go out next week and start immediately. Put up a training, putting up public classes on a calendar or floating them, and that they’re going to be wildly successful, and it just is not the case. It’s super competitive. You’re not going to be able to get your SPC and retire next year because you wow these people in your class. That’s one of the things that happen. So we do want people that want to be trainers, but it’s more like they’re going to be trainers within their organizations. They’re going to be training and empowering others within their organization. But the ones that are just trying to make a buck they’re unfortunately probably misled.

Who should be SPC trainers?

From an SPC point of view again. We want to have people with a passion for solving for blank. Okay, fill in the blank. The first one is: solve for training impediments in an enterprise. That’s good. Internal SPCs solve outstanding transformation issues. We’re going to teach them how to handle it. Solve for Team level issues. Solve for leadership, understanding of scaling up. Solve for Conflict Management. These are most of the attributes you can put on but again solve for I want to become x y z. If people cannot answer that question, those are the people that are not right.

Ideally, I always want to see that humanness in people when in the class. When they are passionate about solving blank, that blank should be within their purview because I don’t want to solve the world’s political system problems. The SPC’s not going to solve it. It’s essential. I have seen people from all spectrums coming in. Do we want students? Of course, we never know who it is. We’re not going to do an interview saying if you do not qualify for this, don’t come for us for SPC. The intent is maybe we can resonate with them in that four-day or maybe five-day remote training. In that class, who knows, at least allow them to have a sneak peek into the various issues that happen. Once they have that, they can engage us for a quick chat to help them understand their purpose; this is for the other 80%. The people who are here with a purpose who know the answer to why they are taking with us is evident. You cannot change the other people who are on the fence, that’s the idea. In general, those are the attributes for the correct SPC candidates, SPC students, and our attendees.