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Why you should become a SAFe Agilist

Interview with Joost Cammaert

QRP International - 10/06/2022

Leading SAFe is a certification from Scaled Agile that is starting to take off in the market. However, we also hear from many of our clients that the SAFe framework is still quite unknown. Therefore we invited Joost Cammaert from Smals, who recently took the SAFe Agilist certification, to share his experience with us.

What is your role and what is it that you actually do?

I am currently an IT project manager. Six years ago, I started to build a product with my team. In the meantime, four IT development teams and one test and support team are working on this product. Our product consists of many different components, mainly microservices. Each development team manages a set of components. I am responsible for one of these teams and I also lead a project to introduce a set of functionalities in our product. Finally, I coordinate changes to the management of our teams and projects to improve the way we work.

How did you arrive at your current position?

After my studies "Master of Science in Computer Science Engineering", I worked for more than 8 years as a functional analyst for various projects and applications. After that experience, I became an IT project manager.

Why did you decide to take the Leading SAFe course?

The number of people and teams involved in the development of our product has grown in recent years. As project leader, I base my approach on PRINCE2 and AgilePM. In our teams, we have been applying Agile/Scrum for several years. Last year, I took a DevOps course with two colleagues and we are using these insights to adapt our organisation step by step, but we felt we were missing a framework to improve the functioning of our teams and to respond faster to customer needs.

How did you experience the exam?

It is not an easy exam. SAFe is a very broad framework. Consequently, there is a lot of study material for the exam. As with other certification exams, the devil is in the details, so you sometimes have to take an educated guess. Fortunately, you get a generous amount of time for the exam.

Do you plan to introduce the SAFe framework within your organisation? If so, how?

I would like to introduce the framework. For this purpose, I am in contact with a small group of people that have followed this training so far. We want to get more people to follow the Leading SAFe training and convince senior management of the added value of the SAFe framework. In addition, we have started to introduce a number of practices from SAFe.

What advice can you give to professionals who want to become a SAFe Agilist?

To apply the SAFe framework, you need a minimum size. Small organisations or small teams in a large organisation that can work very independently will probably not benefit from SAFe.

Is there a certain certification track you would advise to organisations? If not, is there another certification that you would like to take? Which one and why?

For SAFe, I cannot recommend a certification track at the moment. When SAFe has become established in the organisation in a few years' time, I will be able to. Apart from SAFe, I would advise everyone who is active in IT to take the DevOps course.

On a more personal note, how do you see your professional growth in the coming years? What can we expect from you?

I hope to gain a lot of experience in applying SAFe and in the transformation of our organisation through trial and error. I want to contribute to the growth of our organisation and play an important role in this.

QRP is organising a free webinar on Understanding SAFe in 30 minutes. You can find the webinar recording and all our other videos in our video library:

The SAFe® framework offers an original approach to retain the benefits of the agile approach at the level of project management. QRP offers Leading SAFe courses both on-site and virtual. If you would like to receive more information, please don’t hesitate to write to us!

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