How To Convince Your Bosses To Let You Attend SAFe Training - American Technology Consulting

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How To Convince Your Bosses To Let You Attend SAFe Training

Kelsey Davis

Published August 9, 2019

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Competent and engaged professionals are highly valued in all industries. After all, you have probably padded the profits to your employer’s bottom line while trying in earnest to exceed at your position while also building your skills. 

As an employee, focused on company and self-improvement while maintaining your organization’s status quo, it makes sense that you continually want to expand your knowledge base and add another notch to your toolbelt of capabilities.

One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing this is through professional development. There are endless ways nowadays to continue your education, bolster your credentials, and widen your areas of expertise. 

Many of these opportunities come from personal choice as a way to drive yourself up the career ladder. Yet, there are others that are purely for the benefit of the job you’re in, or for the company you’re dedicated to. Finding a balance between the two and being able to fill that gap with much-deserved and well-earned options is hard.

Why you may ask? Because personal development versus professional development, while working in tandem is ideal, often don’t align with your goals compared to your company’s goals.

However, since you’re in an industry that appreciates change and is accustomed to tech shifts and ideology movements, you can pivot the mindset of your superiors to actively be on board with a training certification course. It’s all about how you present it.

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Why Is A SAFe Designation Important?

Agile methodology is well-known and widespread in the tech industry. While this project management method has been the go-to across the industry for some time, other more practical, scalable solutions have emerged too. 

One such methodology is Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe, which utilizes a “best practices approach” of several other methods, mainly Lean, Agile, and DevOps, to scale value delivery.

SAFe training courses provide certification and ongoing learning of SAFe methodology across multiple levels. Since its inception, it has developed into the leading framework for enterprise agility.

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Its ideology has transitioned from a set of Lean and Agile practices and principles being applied to the Team, Program, and Portfolio levels into a mission and vision. Now, SAFe includes a highly regarded corporate home, large public knowledge base, and training solutions that enable teams and organizations to fully scale and adopt a new way of working. 

Becoming SAFe Certified ensures you the opportunity to overhaul your company’s current thinking patterns and replace it with a more effective PM scheme that wholly embraces agile and scalable mindsets. You also have the authority to teach others your expertise, expanding your network and establishing yourself as a thought leader on SAFe subject matter.

Preparation Is Key

Before broaching the subject of SAFe training with your superiors, consider it another item on your to-do list. Not in the way that you can easily cross it off, but that it is a valid task that requires time and attention, aka prep. 

You don’t approach your boss with an idea without having concrete information to back up your opinion. Apply that same logic to a SAFe certification. Look up case studies, white papers, and articles that support and acknowledge the benefits of SAFe. 

Write down key touchpoints of the methodology and be able to field questions doubting its usefulness and effectiveness. Provide concrete examples, including feedback from other attendees if possible, that showcase your findings. 

Going into a situation professionally and prepared tends to put give you more clout than casually bringing up the matter. It shows you’re serious about your inquiry and put adequate time and effort into your proposal.

Explain How The Company Benefits

While you’re undoubtedly interested in your company’s growth and success, you can’t help but be invested in your own professional development as well. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, a strong employee should always advocate for expanding their skill set as it benefits the employee AND the company.

However, while a SAFe training opportunity provides professional AND company enhancement, during the solicitation stage you should only focus on benefits to the company. A few to note include:

  • Faster time-to-market
  • Greater productivity
  • Improved quality
  • Increased employee engagement

Keep emphasizing how the implementation of SAFe isn’t a one-shot deal sort of thing. It’s an ongoing continuum that reliably supplies value-oriented techniques on a predictable schedule to ensure consistency across your business spectrum. 

Another key component to highlight is how SAFe also promotes leadership engagement across your organization. SAFe emphasizes its role in unlocking an organization’s success via training and education. The facilitation of SAFe can serve as a bedrock to other potential company-wide improvements championed by leadership and, eventually, the entire organization.

Provide Ways You'll Benefit as A Valued Employee

Your company influence might hold more merit than you think. Before, we focused on how the company benefits from SAFe training, but this also applies at a personal level. And though this is seen as personal/professional development, in the long run, it benefits the company as you work for them. Benefits include:

Improved Employee Performance

Not only will training broaden your skill set, it will allow you to leverage and expand your newly acquired knowledge in ways that can improve your performance and provide greater guidance in a collaborative environment.

Confidence Booster

Skills can get stagnant, so it’s always good to refresh them periodically and develop new ones. Additionally, learning new areas of competency can bolster your confidence as you feel more secure in your abilities and position. This can lead to greater productivity, boldness to be proactive, and more engaged employees eager to demonstrate their newly updated professional repertoire.

Employee Satisfaction

A happy employee is a productive employee. If you enjoy performing your job duties, you’re likely to be a greater asset to your organization. A company that supports continued learning for its employees shows it holds its employees in high regard and not only endorses their success, but actively seeks it out.

Employee Retention

Employers are all about holding on to talent. It is a vital resource that directly impacts a company’s current and future goals. Providing development opportunities makes an organization more attractive to potential job candidates and current employees. It shows a commitment often overlooked by organizations nowadays.

It's All About The Presentation

Being prepared is one thing, but it’s all about the presentation when trying to “sell” not only a training opportunity, but yourself.

Part of the upsell is knowing the right time and way to approach your boss(es). Bombarding them or constantly hounding them about the opportunity is a surefire way to get dismissed.

Schedule a meeting with your superiors rather than approaching them spontaneously to ensure their attention is focused on you and your proposal. Have answers prepared in advance pertaining to their follow up questions. 

For example, have the logistics worked out, responses to budget concerns, reassurance that your work will be covered, and reiteration of the training’s relevance. Have a plan in place for reporting back key details of the training and some suggestions to implement the ideas you’ll learn.

Be confident with your pitch and respectful of the decision, whether you agree with it or not. Above all, follow through with your objectives so the training is successful for you and your organization.

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