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As most of you know, at least on a professional level, I am a huge Scrum advocate. I might even take a step back and say that I’m an Agile advocate with a concentration specifically in Scrum. I recently had the opportunity to attend a SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) training course entitled, “Leading SAFe“.

The intent of this course is to train thought leaders in the area who can then go out and work with teams to help adopt the framework. After two full days of training, you are asked to take a 50 point exam (open book/web) to obtain your certification.

Let me start out by saying that most of these certification tests are fairly straight forward. If you paid attention in class, took some notes based on the instructor’s ad-hoc conversation, you could typically pass without blinking an eye.

Definitely not the mindset to have going into this particular exam. I’d say after the first couple of questions, I was nervous. The answers were more along the lines of choose the best answer instead of the right answer jumping off the page. The exam took me about 3-3.5 hours of actual time to complete and when I hit submit after completing the exam, I had no inkling to what the result would be.

When I did receive the passing result, a huge relief flowed over me. Then I thought, man that was one of the hardest exams I’d ever taken. The content isn’t extremely difficult to grasp necessarily during the training class, but the questions were just intentionally tricky. I felt like the test maker was laughing as he created some of the pitfalls.

Alas, I am now a certified “SAFe Agilist“. Although I will say that I’m not completely sold on some of the concepts as a whole, I did feel it addressed some of the issues that companies struggle with after adopting Scrum at the lower levels.