Comparison between SAFe Scrum Master and SAFe Advanced Scrum Master

Author : agile scrum | Published On : 17 Apr 2023

“Every great Product Owner needs a great Scrum Master” – Roman Pichler, Agile trainer.

As an agile professional, it is easy to get confused with the job roles of a SAFe Scrum Master and a SAFe Advanced Scrum Master in an organization as they share similar responsibilities. Though they share similar roles, each role serves a specific purpose in agile development. The process of dealing with challenges could be different as the Advanced scrum master role in SAFe is an enhanced version of the scrum master role. And also considered superior to the SAFe scrum master role.

Here are some challenges faced by SAFe Scrum Master and a SAFe advanced Scrum Master in an organization:

SAFe scrum master

  1. Managing teams: SAFe scrum masters are responsible for managing multiple teams simultaneously. This can be challenging, as each team has unique needs and requirements.
  2. Communication: Communicating complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders can be challenging.
  3.  Stakeholders’ expectations: Managing stakeholders’ expectations can be difficult as they have different priorities and objectives.
  4. Handling conflicts: they need to resolve conflicts within agile teams to maintain a positive team dynamic.
  5. Balancing priorities: With a proper understanding of both the agile process and the organization’s strategic objectives, they must be able to balance the needs of their agile teams with the broader organization.
  6. Being flexible: They must adapt to changing business needs and pivot quickly in response to changing circumstances.
  7. Maintaining continuous improvement: SAFe scrum masters must possess the ability to identify areas for improvement and implement changes that improve outcomes.

SAFe advanced scrum master

  1. Complex program management: Managing large and complex agile programs can be challenging.
  2. Scaling agile processes: They must be able to scale agile methodologies across multiple teams and stakeholders with the proper understanding of the SAFe framework.
  3. Agile coaching: SAFe advanced scrum master is responsible for coaching other agile coaches to improve their agile processes. They also guide them to identify and remove impediments and facilitate collaboration and communication.
  4. Leadership duties: They help agile teams to stay focused on the goals and objectives of the sprint and the program increment. Advanced scrum masters also promote a culture of innovation and creativity.
  5. Continuous improvement: SAFe advanced scrum masters facilitate regular retrospectives and encourage agile teams to experiment with new approaches.

Comparison between SAFe scrum master and SAFe advanced scrum master

SAFe scrum master is responsible for facilitating agile processes and promoting collaboration. On the other hand, the SAFe advanced scrum master role involves more complex responsibilities like leading and coaching multiple agile teams and leaders to drive organizational change.

The SAFe advanced scrum master has more experience than the SAFe scrum master. Advanced scrum masters are among the most experienced scrum masters with significant expertise in coaching and mentoring other teams.

Furthermore, advanced scrum masters can motivate and inspire agile teams to drive continuous improvement.

Thus, the SAFe advanced scrum master role requires a higher level of experience, management skills, and coaching skills.

The importance of SAFe scrum master (SSM) and SAFe advanced scrum master (SASM) certification

  1. Showing expertise: By earning a SAFe certification, individuals demonstrate their expertise in the SAFe methodology and agile practices. It helps them stand out in a crowded job market and demonstrate their commitment to professional development.
  2. Validating skills: SAFe certification for scrum master and advanced scrum master validates an individual’s ability to work effectively in a SAFe environment.
  3. Enhancing efficiency: Scrum Masters improving performance can lead to more effective agile teams, improved product and service delivery, and organizational success.
  4. Improving business value: Both certification helps individuals understand how to drive business value through the agile delivery of products and services.
  5. Networking opportunities: SSM and SASM certifications help obtain opportunities to connect with other agile professionals and build a network of like-minded professionals. It also helps to stay updated on the latest agile practices and provide a way for collaboration and knowledge sharing.