SAFe Scrum Master role can be shared between the teams?

October 28, 2022
Vishnupriya Venkataraman
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  • SAFe Scrum Master
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Scrum Master is the significant role in Agile and drives whole team in right direction to reach the goal. This role needs set of skill set and competencies to make the team self-organized and  productive. 

When it comes to Scaled Agile Scrum Master, roles and responsibilities are little more heavier  than agile. As SAFe SM belongs to the larger teams, they have to interact with the other SMs  and RTE to make the things happen. Before going to their “beyond work” activities, let see high  level activities of a Scrum Master : 

• Organizing and facilitating the important events like Daily Stand Ups(DSU), Product  Backlog Refinement(PBR), Iteration Planning, Iteration Review and Retrospective. • Supports Product owner in the product backlog refinement 

• Supports Agile teams in their impediments and dependencies with in/out their teams • Facilitates team with estimation process and help them to have healthy conflict with the  team members 

• Supports RTE during PI Planning and execution. Sometimes, they have to play the role of  RTE when required 

• Coordinate with other teams’ Scrum Master on their requests and dependencies • Helps the team(s) in Agile standards, practices and principles to follow • Trains the team and Product Owner in tools and techniques to make them self organized 

Apart from these day-to-day activities, SAFe Scrum Master plays an additional roles and  responsibilities to make life better for the teams: 

• Connect with Product Owner before Backlog refinement and Iteration planning to make  sure that stories are ready for refinement for discussion with the Agile teams.  • Co-ordinate with other teams’ SMs on dependencies on regular interval and also, setup  a call with the required teams when required 

• Connect with the RTE on changes of scope or requirements which affects the objectives  and intimate as when required 

• Collaborate with the System teams on integrated testing, NFR testing and communicate  the progress during the DSU. If required, meeting can be scheduled if there are any  impediments/delays from the system team

• Acts as a Release Management team to take care of release activities as and when  necessary 

• Co-ordinates with the Dev Ops teams to setup the continuous pipeline based on the  technology that they are developing 

• Help the teams to get the required support from platform team for their  environmental/configurational setup and challenges 

• Co-ordinate with enabling team in the organization to support the team in the new  technologies 

• Supports team to coordinate with Complicated subsystem teams if any specialized skill  or expertise required 

• Co-ordinates with other train RTEs/SMs if there are any dependencies present for the  team 

• Also, acts like backup RTE to improve their career path in the SAFe agile • Contribute the Agile community within the Organization/Business Unit on their  experience/challenges – CoP contribution 

• Develop skillset on all tools and techniques to upgrade themselves periodically – Ex. Collaborative tools like Mural, Miro, etc… 

• Connect with Organization Quality best practices and help the product to meet the  quality standards 

SAFe Scrum Master is a full time role by doing all these above activities for min of 1 to 2 teams  in a train. If the Scrum Master is new to the Organization, they have to be observed for min 6  months. Based on teams feedback, they can be leveraged for second team. 

It would be easy to work with Product Owner if same PO is assigned to those 2 teams. Quality  of the Scrum Master work will get affected if they are assigned more than 2 teams.  

In next article, how they schedule events and their work if they were assigned to two teams in a  train.