Breaking the SAFe: Why Did SAFe Redefine the Scrum Master?

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11 thoughts on “Breaking the SAFe: Why Did SAFe Redefine the Scrum Master?

  1. Ryan, hands down. Thank so, so much you altered the broadcast to that format. Both – that and the debate about story points – are brilliant for more advanced agile/lean folks. As an IT industry, we need exactly that kind of content, less bro-agile science on youtube where we harm our young colleagues by teaching them bad practices. You debunk the myths, and your series brake bro-agile science. Thank you

  2. A difficult thing is separating patterns from popular antipatterns. Apparently 47% of agile transformation fail, and certainly there have been lessons learned along the way.

  3. Definitely a good episode. It helped clarify some things for me. If I had known about EBM and the differences between SAFe ScrumMaster and Professional ScrumMaster earlier, I think I would have gone with the Professional ScrumMaster. It’s more of a preference than one is better than the other. Professional ScrumMaster falls more into line with how I was trained and developed in classes I took outside of work for several years.

    However, I get the evolutionary approach.

    I believe Capital One calls SAFe ScrumMasters Agile Delivery Lead which makes more sense to me as SAFe ScrumMasters are sometimes just using Kanban. I personally thought it was weird that I was called a SAFe ScrumMaster when all I was doing was some coordination, using flow metrics sometimes, and other times attempting to distill Kanban-like practices even if working on what I consider to be a super small project that is more complicated than complex.

    I do miss working on a large, complex project where I was able to see a the system end to end and get real customer feedback.

  4. There’s always a crunch of resources. I’m both a developer and a SAFe scrum master. In the environment where the team does not want to do all the ‘bureaucracy’ associated with SAFe, there’s a lot of burden on a scrum master. Also, SAFe removes initiative from the team. We get pre-defined priorities and tasks to spread throughout the PI. We no longer have a say on what we want to do. So the team is simply waiting for me to go through the list and talk through the issues to tackle. I have to ask when they are available, when they are taking leaves… This is a pure secretary’s/accountant’s work of putting plans together and counting story points…

  5. How on earth do you find a person who can actually fill out the SM then? It’s like looking for a unicorn. They should do all that a professional SM should do, which is hard enough already. So loads of EQ, facilitation skills and on top of that. Be able to represent the developers hence have an above average understanding of coding etc. That’s a tall order in my opinion.

  6. I think it would have been very interesting to talk about who the people are in the teams and where they come from. The fact is that many, many teams are from other cultures or global service delivery organisations. The result of this is that organisations feel that the team lead focal point is needed, as they are not seeking to develop teams that are supplied in from other organisationss. Maybe this reality was the elephant that did not even get into the room.

  7. This entire SAFe looks to me as some salesy managers got together, put up a bunch of stuff together, which all kinda look like agile (but are not) with the only goal being keeping the s… same as before and so that nothing must change for them. Yet they can say „we do advanced agile“. A bunch of BS if you ask me.

  8. Very nice. SAFe is something that I want to learn in the future. Ryan, you mentioned that you will provide the links used in this video somewhere, but I couldn’t find. Could you please share with me?

  9. As a SAFe long time hater, I approve this episode. Regarding hierarchy, scrum master’s role withing the organization, working beyond the team and so on – so if I understood Yuval correctly, in SAFe there are multiple Scrum Master roles with different horizons/reach. For one the team are developers and PO, and for another Scrum Master the team he/she works with are, i.e. managers. This makes sense for a legacy company that is not in a position to undergo a big scale transformation. And also this does not have to be a hierarchy of Scrum Master or the Agile Coach to Scrum Master situation. All can work in a community alike way, with different domains.

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