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SAFe® Agilist Vs SAFe® Scrum Master

In the present competitive business world, most organizations wish to achieve Business Agility. When they strive to do this, most businesses find that they are able to quickly outgrow small Agile teams. So, due to the fruitful benefits they get from the Agile Approach, they think about scaling Agile to all teams so that overall Business Agility can be achieved. At this stage, they are forced to decide on the approach to follow to achieve Business Agility. It will not be an overstatement to say that Scaled Agile Framework for Lean enterprises is a knowledge base. It has been proven to have the best competency to help businesses achieve agility using DevOps, Agile and Lean principles. As organizations wish to scale, they look for their employees to be trained not only in SAFe® but also get the certifications.

When talking about SAFe® certifications, most professionals doubt whether they should enroll themselves in the Leading SAFe® course or the SAFe® Scrum Master course. To help them with the decision, let us do a comparison of SAFe® Agilist vs SAFe® Scrum Master here:

Who is a SAFe® Agilist:

A SAFe® Agilist is an individual, who has taken the Leading SAFe® course from a Scaled Agile partnered institution and successfully completed the SAFe® Agilist certification examination conducted by the Scaled Agile Inc.

A SAFe® Agilist is a professional, who can apply Product Development Flow, Agile and Lean principles in a constructive manner. These professionals do this with a view to improving quality, time-to-market, employee satisfaction, and productivity in an organization. A SAFe® Agilist is a person who is well aware of the ways to introduce and apply the Scaled Agile Framework in an organization and how to benefit from it so that the organization or the team can achieve the desired goals. When you become a SAFe® Agilist, you will be in a position to understand the communication between Agile Portfolio Management, Agile programs, and Agile Teams.

Who is a SAFe® Scrum Master:

A SAFe® Scrum Master is an individual, who has taken the SAFe® Scrum Master course from a  Scaled Agile partnered institution and successfully completed the SAFe® Scrum Master certification examination conducted by the Scaled Agile Inc.

A SAFe® Scrum Master is a person, who functions as a servant leader,  and leads the team by helping the team members work towards achieving their goals. They do it through constant mentoring and coaching along with the smooth facilitation of processes. 

Scrum Masters in a SAFe® organization makes sure that the team is focused. They will have to make sure that the team members are aware of the tasks they will have to complete within a specific time frame. Also, the Scrum Masters will communicate with different teams like portfolio and product management teams. These professionals do this to make sure of proper alignment between teams. Also, people working in this role will be responsible for facilitation of program and team level events for the effective execution of the program.

Difference Between SAFe® Agilist and SAFe® Scrum Master Courses:

Are you wondering whether you are eligible to take up the SAFe® Agilist course or SAFe® Scrum Master? If so, a comparison table that shows the comparison of these two courses in different aspects will help:

Point of ComparisonSAFe® AgilistSAFe® Scrum Master
Possible Job Roles after completing the course
  • Release Train Engineer
  • Team Lead
  • Project Manager
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Consultant
  • Product Owner
  • Release Train Engineer
  • Team Lead
  • Scrum Master
  • Project Manager
Course Content
  • Lean Portfolio Management
  • Agile Product Delivery
  • Technical Agility and How to Build Teams
  • How to become a Lean Agile Leader
  • Importance of business agility in Digital World.
  • How to Coach an Agile Team
  • Program Increment Finish
  • Iteration Execution
  • Program Increment Planning
  • Role of a Scrum Master
  • Importance of Scrum in SAFe®
Eligibility Requirement
  • To take up the SAFe® Agilist course, a basic knowledge of Agile Concepts is recommended
  • More than 5 years of experience in business analysis, project management, testing or software development is recommended

Recommended to have:

  • Software development experience
  • Familiarity with Kanban and Scrum
  • Fundamental Knowledge of Scrum
Exam PatternThe examination for SAFe® Agilist Certification is conducted as a 90-minute test. Within these 90 minutes, you will have to answer 45 questions and should get at least 35 correct out of 45 for a pass. In other words, you should score 77%.The test for SAFe® Scrum Master certification is also a 90-minute test with 45 questions. You will have to get 33 answers correct out of 45. In other words, the pass percentage required is 73% to get the SAFe® Scrum Master Certification.

With this knowledge, you can choose a course based on the position you are aiming at in your career. Otherwise, you can choose one based on the type of job role you wish to do in your career.

Why Get SAFe® Agilist Certification?

It is better to know why SAFe® Agilist Certification can be a valuable asset to you:

  • SAFe® Agilist certification is globally recognized. So, you will get the chance to work anywhere in the world.
  • This certification will increase your value in the job market. You will get high-paying jobs as compared to your friends without this certification.
  • During your training sessions for the Leading SAFe® course from a reputed institution, you will get training from SAFe® Program Consultants. So, you will experience an improvement in your decision-making skills with the SAFe® Agilist course.
  • You will get better job opportunities in top companies that have adopted Scaled Agile Framework Methodology.
  • The Leading SAFe® course will act as the foundation if you wish to learn more about Scaled Agile Frameworks.
  • You will get a one-year membership with Scaled Agile Community on successful completion of the  SAFe® Agilist exam. So, you will get the opportunity to network with SAFe® Experts.

If you are already employed, this certification will add value to your organization. Your colleagues and your top management will start seeing you as an expert in Scaled Agile Framework.

Why Get SAFe® Scrum Master Certification?

The basic responsibility of a Scrum Master in a SAFe enterprise is to make sure of the smooth running of projects that need multiple teams involved. If you are wondering why you should get SSM certification, you should understand that it can bring you immense benefits. Here are some benefits that this certification can bring both to you as an individual and to your organization:

  • On the successful completion of the SAFe® Scrum Master course, you can take up the role of a Scrum Master not only at the team but also at enterprise levels.
  • You will get one-year membership along with access to the Scaled Agile Inc. Community platform.
  • Through membership, you can continue to learn. Also, you can continue to contribute to the SAFe® Community.
  • You will gain the knowledge to Scale Scrum across the enterprise level
  • You will get the knowledge on solving real-world issues using SAFe® principles
  • Further, with this certification, you can help your organization drive the utmost outputs using Scaled Agile Framework
  • As a SAFe® Scrum Master, you will have the competence needed for managing large teams. You can manage teams across many departments in your organization.
  • You can develop an Agile mindset so that you can effectively implement Lean-Agile methods in your organization
  • You will get the opportunity to expand your career opportunities considerably.
Responsibilities of a SAFe® Agilist:

As a SAFe® Agilist, you will guide the adoption and ongoing development of the Scaled Agile Framework in your organization. Further, you will help teams with defining the goals and perceptions so that strategic agreements can be communicated successfully. You will also be responsible for responding to the need for innovation of both internal teams and stakeholders. Even, you will help employees in your organization establish their expertise and careers by encouraging them in a way that improves their capability. You will also help with developing their obligation to their own goals and perceptions and also the organizational goals and perceptions.

Responsibilities of SAFe® Scrum Master:
Help with Achieving Sprint and Release Goals:

As a SAFe® Scrum Master, you will be responsible for helping the teams with the creation of increments that apart from adding value can improve productivity. They help the teams turn more foreseeable. With effective backing, the teams that you guide in your organization turn out with productive outputs at the close of every session. 

You will also help teams with planning iterations and scaling them to the release planning level. You will help with organizing PI Events. Organizing PI events is an endeavor that needs some pre-work so that better output can be achieved. Teams will rely on you for these pre-works.

  1. https://scaledagile.com/training/leading-safe/
  2. https://scaledagile.com/training/safe-scrum-master/



Is a passionate learner and blogger on Agile, Scrum and Scaling areas. She has been following and practicing these areas for several years and now converting those experiences into useful articles for your continuous learning.