There are some companies that already have their role names established and because of this, they usually want to keep them the same in Applied SAFe. There are also organizations that want to create their own roles based out of their experience and then mix those with SAFe roles.

Therefore, it can be relevant to keep the existing role name and then rename the SAFe role name within Applied SAFe. 

This can be easily done in 2 steps:

Step 1: Changing the name in the model

  • This would mean that the name role name would be reflected in all the activities, practices, processes, and responsibilities of the model.  

Step 2: Changing the name in the texts

  • We have a special tool, called Method Composer, where we can change all the content in the model with a ‘replace all’ functionality.

Both of these steps are very easily done. Usually, when a role name change has been decided, it can be done within 10-15 minutes.

Some of the top questions we get asked are:

Will the new role name still take on the full responsibilities of that specific SAFe role?

This is the biggest risk and why we don’t recommend changing the role names, even though there are several cases where it is appropriate to change the role name. But, as mentioned, this is exactly one of the risks. 

If you change the name of the Scrum Master, a new hire may not recognize the Scrum Master, even if they know and understand the SAFe role from previous experience. Let’s say an organization changes the ‘Scrum Master’ role name to a ‘Team Manager’, this minor change alone can have big consequences. People already have their own ideas of what a ‘Team Manager’ is, which also creates an assumption of an ‘old school mentality’ within the organization. This happens in a lot of organizations and can turn into a big problem. The Scrum Master should be the master of ceremonies and a helping hand, not the person who is deciding the career of the team members, project budgets, evaluations, etc.  

What about just changing the role name because of language barriers in depending on the country? 

This is an easy case. If it’s just a simple renaming of the role and there is no additional meaning in that, then it’s fine and very acceptable. For example, a lot of organizations don’t want ‘Solution Managers’ but ‘Product Managers’. Then all we would have to do is just replace anything that is called ‘Solution’ into ‘Product’. This is a very typical case that we see and it is very acceptable.