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Who is a SAFe Scrum Master (SSM)?

who is a SAFe scrum master
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) provides an extensive set of roles, events, and practices for scaling Agile across the enterprise. Within this framework, the Scrum Master plays a crucial facilitative and servant leadership role at the team level. But as organizations grow, the traditional Scrum Master must expand their skills and mindset to the SAFe Scrum Master.

Who is a SAFe Scrum Master?

A SAFe Scrum Master is an Agile team coach and facilitator within a SAFe environment. They enable business agility at the enterprise scale by helping multiple teams deliver value and continuously improve.

What Will the SAFe Scrum Master do?

Facilitating Events

The SAFe Scrum Master facilitates important team events, including iteration planning, backlog grooming, daily standups, iteration reviews, and retrospectives.

They ensure these events occur with appropriate cadence, participation, and outcomes.

The Scrum Master also participates in program-level events like PI planning, System Demo, and integrated team sync. They help connect team efforts to the broader Agile Release Train (ART) mission.

Coaching Teams

SAFe Scrum Masters take a coaching mindset to teams and team members.

They observe behaviors and challenges and then provide feedback to improve team dynamics, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and Agile practices.

The Scrum Master promotes continuous improvement through inspection, adaptation, and learning. Their coaching develops empowered, high-performing teams capable of self-organization.

Supporting Program Execution

While traditional Scrum Masters focus on one team, the SAFe Scrum Master must support the execution of the entire Agile Release Train.

They collaborate with other teams to integrate work across value streams. The Scrum Master identifies dependencies and impediments at the program level, working to remove obstacles and enable flow.

Enabling Continuous Delivery

The SAFe Scrum Master promotes building quality, productivity mindsets, and DevOps capabilities.

This enables continuous integration, testing, and deployment—allowing teams to deliver value faster.

They help shift teams from project mindsets to releasing value in a flow-based system.

Applying Servant Leadership

Underpinning their work, the SAFe Scrum Master practices the tenets of servant leadership.

They put the needs of teams and ARTs before their own, helping develop people for the present and the future.

The Scrum Master resolves issues through collaboration rather than command-and-control tactics.

Who Makes a Good SAFe Scrum Master?

To be an effective SAFe Scrum Master, some important skills and qualities include:

– Coaching and mentoring skills to develop teams and team members

– Facilitation abilities to guide teams through Agile processes and events

– Organizational awareness and ability to collaborate across value streams

– Change management skills to enable Agile adoption and mindset shift

– Servant leadership behaviors that put team needs first

– Technical expertise to understand team challenges and goals

– Problem-solving, conflict resolution, and team-building capabilities

– Passion for continuous improvement and learning mindsets

In essence, the SAFe Scrum Master acts as an Agile guide connecting teams to the business mission. They play a crucial role in SAFe implementation by facilitating events, coaching teams, supporting program flow, and applying servant leadership principles across the enterprise.


Note
: To become a SAFe Scrum Master, you need to attend the SAFe Scrum Master certification training.

Also read: SAFe Scrum master certification cost

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