What’s the Difference Between SAFe Scrum Master And Scrum Master?

Do any of these thoughts cross your mind?

Are the responsibilities of a SAFe Scrum Master and a Scrum Master the same or different?

Is it a combination of two separate names in different frameworks?

Is a SAFe Scrum Master simply a Scrum Master with added scaling responsibilities?

Let’s compare and contrast a SAFe Scrum Master and a Scrum Master ( a Scrum Master within Scrum framework).

Difference between scrum master and SAFe Scrum Master

Scrum Master in SAFe is more than just “Scrum” Master.

The Scrum Master, according to SAFe, is a servant-leader for the agile team who helps educate the team on various frameworks and methods, such as Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming, and SAFe, while also ensuring that the agreed-upon agile process is followed properly. As a result, a Scrum Master in SAFe must have a toolkit that includes more than simply Scrum.

Scrum Master is responsible for establishing Scrum as described in the Scrum Guide in Scrum Framework, hence no other tools are required. It’s usually a nice-to-have characteristic or skill, and Scrum Masters pick it up along the way. In my personal experience, not all Scrum Masters go through the same journey, and not all Scrum Masters see the importance of having these additional abilities in their toolkit. Scrum Masters frequently struggle to improve the Scrum Team’s effectiveness.

Lean and Agile concepts are well-understood.

SAFe embraces and makes Lean and Agile ideas very obvious. As a result, while working in a SAFe context, a SAFe Scrum Master must also accept the concepts. The SAFe Scrum Master is responsible for assisting the agile team in adopting SAFe, as well as learning a number of Lean methodologies and technologies to optimize the flow of value in their agile teams.

Only the Scrum framework has been the focus of a Scrum Master. They make Scrum events, artefacts, and accountabilities more accessible to teams. Based on their familiarity with the Scrum guide and the manifesto for agile software development, they may or may not be aware of the underlying ideas and concepts. 80% of people in my recent Scrum workshop were unaware of the “agile manifesto,” and 50% had never read the Scrum handbook before.

Prioritize Quality

“Built-In Quality” is a core value of SAFe. When developing a large-scale application, quality cannot and should not be disregarded. SAFe provides code quality help through a variety of forums, including CoPs, System Architect/Engineer support, and even an architectural runway. A SAFe Scrum Master must support technical excellence and enable teams to focus on quality at all times.

Quality is established in the Scrum framework via the “Definition of Done,” which is frequently created by developers. A Scrum Master didn’t usually have a say in the DoD until the 2020 Scrum Guide. Although the Scrum Master may advise the team on how to improve the DoD, the developers’ final decision is theirs to make. Crafting DoD is now the duty of the entire Scrum Team, thanks to the 2020 Scrum Guide, but it will take some time before it becomes a reality on the ground.

Responsibilities in Relation to the Teams

A SAFe Scrum Master is a member of an Agile Team and a member of an ART, which is a collection of teams. In such a situation, the Scrum Master’s responsibilities are now split between the agile team and the ART. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Working with RTE to ensure that the ART’s PI objectives are met
  • Identifying and resolving dependencies, risks, and barriers on the ART with other Scrum Masters.
  • Being a part of the Scrum of Scrum event
  • Providing teams with architectural and portfolio governance direction.
  • Providing teams with the tools they need to embrace SAFe.
  • The Scrum Master’s focus in the Scrum framework is on the team that the Scrum Master is a part of. If numerous teams are working on the same project, it does not explain or prescribe what a Scrum Master should or should not do.

Organizing Events

Many activities in SAFe take place at the programme level and involve all of the ART teams, such as PI Planning. With many teams, a SAFe Scrum Master now has to manage timeboxes, dependencies, and other ambiguities. Although the agile team is in charge of resolving interdependencies, the Scrum Master is in charge of managing them. In addition, the SAFe Scrum Master must assist the agile team in preparing for other programme events such as System Demo, Inspect and Adapt, Problem Solving Workshops, and so forth.

Facilitation is defined as follows in the Scrum framework:

  • Assuring that all Scrum events happen, and that they are positive, productive, and on time.
  • The Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective are all Scrum events. These are the main areas of facilitation for a typical Scrum Master. Any further discussions or meetings that are needed or requested may be facilitated by the Scrum Master.
  • To summarize, whether you’re a SAFe Scrum Master or just a Scrum Master, you’ll need a variety of talents, qualities, and knowledge to be successful. In essence, both accountabilities are concerned with empowering and increasing the effectiveness of their respective teams. Unlike the Scrum framework, which leaves the “HOW” aspect to individual investigation, SAFe lays out some basic recommendations for getting started on the trip.

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