The Critical Role of the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC)

The Critical Role of the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC)

Implementation Roadmap SAFe Updates


The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social skills.
—Malcom Gladwell, The Tipping Point

Outside of an SPC class we probably don’t emphasize this enough, so let me state it here. SPCs are as essential to a successful SAFe implementation as your lungs are to breathing. They are that important when it comes to the transformation.

If you read this blog, you’ve probably noticed that we like to share our SAFe case studies which report some impressive results. On the surface, we’re showcasing improvement metrics. But what we’re actually demonstrating is what can be accomplished when some truly dedicated people work together toward a common vision, following the principles and practices of SAFe. Behind each case study is a coalition of SPCs—sometimes as few as one or two, sometimes many more—who are driving and communicating that vision. Even more importantly, they have the knowledge needed to actually implement the change.

If you’ve been reading our recent SAFe Implementation Roadmap article series, you’ll notice that we often refer to John P. Kotter’s “sufficiently powerful guiding coalition” as the force behind achieving meaningful and lasting change, and the role that the SPC plays in establishing that coalition.

To help you understand more about what it means to be an SPC, we’ve created a new guidance article that takes a deeper dive into their responsibilities in SAFe, a short discussion on how many SPCs are needed to drive and sustain an implementation, and what’s involved in training an SPC.

Read the SPC article here. You can also find out more about SPC certification, and the calendar of public classes here.

A personal thanks to the 4,000+ certified SPCs who are in the field, working hard to improve developers and end users lives, every day. You continue to be an inspiration to all of us at Scaled Agile, and drive us to do our best to relentlessly improve the Framework. After all, without you, SAFe is just a website.

Stay SAFe!

Author Info

Dean Leffingwell

Recognized as the one of the world’s foremost authorities on Lean-Agile best practices, Dean Leffingwell is an author, entrepreneur, and software development methodologist.

comment (2)

  1. Michael Poulin

    08 Apr 2018 - 4:51 am

    Dear Dean,
    I share some fundamental ideas with SAFe and have read through the published materials. It is a great work done. However, I’d like to ask – is it possible to change the wording of some of your terms while keeping the explanations during the SAFe adoption in the company, e.g. “Shared Services” (some of your terms are terribly wrong and ignore the meaning of terms settled in the industry already)?
    – Michael Poulin
    21 year of working with services
    Member of OASIS RM & RAF for SOA Technical Committee

    • Dean Leffingwell

      Dean Leffingwell

      08 Apr 2018 - 6:30 am

      I’d guess ‘terribly wrong’ or ‘terribly right’ and ‘settled’ depends on local language, industry context and point of view. Using different terms in an implementation might help in a local context, but those won’t be reflected in SAFe, the Glossary, or the relevant trainings, so whether that creates more or less confusion is the question.

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