1.9 - SAFe is SCRUM on Steriods



Alex Patterson


Last Updated: 3/23/2021

Elizabeth Wilson, SPC




Executive Agility Consultant | Agile Coach | Facilitator at Open Systems Technologies

Brett Fitzgerald




Delivery Practice Team Lead and Agile Coach at OST – Open Systems Technologies, Inc.

What is SCRUM

Scrum is a framework for project management that emphasizes teamwork, accountability and iterative progress toward a well-defined goal. … The three pillars of Scrum are transparency, inspection and adaptation. The framework, which is often part of Agile software development, is named for a rugby formation.

SAFe is SCRUM on Steroids



  • What is Agile development?

  • Agils is a way to do things.

  • What is a good definition of SCRUM and when should it be used?

  • SCRUM is a way to get things done

  • Do you always have 2 week cycles?

  • Is Agile’s goal to move faster?

  • Why is a daily stand up necessary?

  • What did you do today?

  • What needs to be done?

  • Blockers?

  • Sprint planning

  • Testing

  • Demo

  • How do you pass acceptance criteria

  • What is SAFe?

  • What is PI Planning?

  • Why would you use SAFe?

  • Does SAFe slow a project down?

  • What is the benefit of using SAFe?

  • Is SAFe anti Agile?

  • Once a company adopts SAFe what do they complain about?

  • How long does it take a company to work through the growing pains?

  • There are too many meetings! Why?!?

  • Is SAFe a good methodology to adapt within a startup?

  • What size company is a good fit for SAFe?

  • How do you go about doing an assessment if someone is a good fit for SAFe?

  • If they are not a great fit for SAFe as a whole, can they use any part of it?

  • Small batches of work

  • Consistency

  • What are the different levels of SAFe

  • Essential

  • Large Solution

  • Portfolio

  • Full

  • What occurs to make you decide you need to switch from SCRUM to SAFe?

  • Multiple Teams working together, but on different products?

  • Different Timelines?

  • Will SAFe give me more visibility?

  • Is SAFe only a single vision, or can you make it fit your requirements?

  • Framework?

  • What are the key roles within SAFe?

  • Release Train Engineer

  • System Architect

  • Product Manager

  • SCRUM Master

  • Product Owner

  • Agile Team

  • Cross Functional Developers

  • QA

  • Does Design Fit within this team?

  • Do you need to fill roles that are T shaped?

  • Should you only fill with E shaped individuals?

  • How do you get better participation in Sprint Planning?

  • SCRUM Master

  • Everyone should weigh in on pointing (Other than SCRUM Master/PO)

“SAFe is SCRUM on Steriods” ~ Elizabeth Wilson

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