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.