Why Building Credibility is Important to SAFe Trainers - American Technology Consulting

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Why Building Credibility is Important to SAFe Trainers

Kelsey Davis

Published September 25, 2019

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Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and its web of wisdom has an expansive influence, including internationally. It has a reach and impact that stretches beyond normal metrics. Its spider-like abilities include an intricate network of SAFe-dominated enterprises stemming from their highly valued and implemented methodology. 

As SAFe now enters the mainstream and is more widely accepted and utilized by businesses of varying sizes, those fulfilling SAFE training certifications face fierce competition.

So how does a business differentiate itself from other training companies offering the same solutions?

It’s all in the delivery and those who deliver it. One of the best hopes a business has is standing out against similar competitors is through competent trainers. 

Check out our SAFe training!

How to Improve Credibility as a SAFe Trainer

Learning SAFe isn’t an easy task, whether becoming accredited from one course or across the entire curriculum. However, as a trainer, gaining credibility is an important avenue to explore. Here’s how:

Proper Accreditation: Some trainings require little skill level to teach others. However, to properly teach SAFe courses, trainers need to be accredited in the subject matter. SAFe requires its reputable trainers to complete a program called Implementing SAFe.

To achieve this certification, participants are required to attend a four-day course where they learn how to lead a Lean-Agile transformation by leveraging the practices and principles of SAFe, as well as the five core competencies of the Lean Enterprise. Other amenities include gaining perspective and practice on coaching programs, releasing Agile Release Trains (ARTs), building Continuous Delivery Pipelines with DevOps culture, and constructing a Lean Portfolio.

The first few days of the training focus on teaching SAFe to leaders, while the final two days detail specifics needed to successfully implement SAFe in a company. Upon completion of the course, attendees must sit for and pass an exam that earns them the title of a Certified SAFe 4 Program Consultant (SPC).

Once you’ve gained this designation as a trainer, you can teach other courses outlined by SAFe. You can also take additional SAFe coursework and exams to expand your resume and build up your training course variety.

Aiming for the Best: Highly motivated SAFe trainers are referred to as change agents, so you might be looking to go gangbusters across the SAFe academy. The highest level of SAFe certification is as a SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT). It requires stringent requirement and expertise, all of which are outlined here: SPCT Certification.

Focus on Behavioral Change. Smart trainers recognize training is more than learning new skills, it’s about creating lasting behavioral change. This goes hand-in-hand with SAFe methodology as it focuses on a scaling approach, which requires a new mindset for most organizations. A strategic trainer frames the material in a way that emphasizes employee productivity and effectiveness rather than purely professional development.

Training Implementation. This is a no-brainer. The easiest way a trainer can improve a reputation is through training implementation. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” Has your trainer led many teachings? Focus on experience-based learning that adapts to a SAFe environment. Involve and encourage activities that promote the subject matter and encourage lively discussion and participation.

Real-World Connections. A great trainer has real-life examples that showcases training methodology and results. Also, a trainer maintains credit via supplemental content that is thoughtfully prepared and distributed, whether directly from the trainer or other reputable sources.

Additional Factors to Building a Good Reputation

There’s more to credibility than experience and expertise. A lot of a trainer’s credibility is built on reputation, or people’s perception. To curate your reputation focus on finessing some of the following:

Building a Community. Marketing #101 states that growing and retaining an audience (or client base) nowadays requires direct involvement with your potential and current customers. If you don’t already have a social media presence, establish one. Market yourself and also send out a few high value posts a week that educate and speak directly to those searching for SAFe trainings and trainers, telling them what they need and how you can help. Differentiating yourself, or at least getting your name out among the masses, is essential amongst a sea of other reputable choices. 

Remember that building up a community takes time and patience, so don’t just give up if the results are minimal at first. Think of the buying process as a step ladder, and apply it to SAFe trainings. Each step requires a behavior and decision as it leads into the next phase. Ultimately, during the consideration phase, all the work you’ve put into branding yourself and establishing your credibility will pay off.

Appearance. As superficial as it might sound, people want to learn from someone with charisma, charm, and who comes across successfully. The term “dress the part” particularly applies when you’re in the public eye. Remember that first impressions matter, especially when in direct competition and when engaging a wide audience. This applies to in-person and online personas, as each is judged accordingly.

Engagement. This was briefly touched on under community building and goes hand in hand with an online presence, yet also is most relevant during a training session. As mentioned under training implementation, trainers that engage their audience rather than droning on about an exhausting topic get better feedback on post-training surveys. 

Change up your training methods. Feel free to lecture, but also encourage debate and activities that promote team building and appreciate new ways of thinking. Switching up styles of learning ensures you engage all trainees and they get the most bang for their buck, if you will.

Where to Turn

If you are a qualified trainer, but looking for courses to pad your resume or extend your knowledge, ATC is here to help. We are a SAFe Transformation Partner and offer a variety of SAFe courses. While we use qualified trainers, we are also open to new partners. Visit our training page to see our current offerings.

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