Top SAFe Agile Interview Questions - Must Know for 2023
Are you considering a career in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)? That is a financially secure and forward-thinking decision. Among agile specialists, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has gained popularity. SAFe offers teams measurable gains by minimising delays, unnecessary effort, and ensuring they are producing the appropriate things; as a result, it has generated thousands of jobs around the world over the years. Therefore, obtaining the necessary certifications in this field might greatly improve your employment possibilities. The SAFe Agile interview questions that are asked typically to depend on whether you are a beginner or a professional in the area.
Here is a comprehensive guide with the Top Scaled Agile Interview Questions and Answers for 2023.
Table of Contents
1) SAFe Agile Interview Questions and Answers
2) Beginner Level SAFe Interview Questions
3) Intermediate Level SAFe Interview Questions
4) Advanced Level SAFe Interview Questions
SAFe Agile Interview Questions and Answers
Although many organisations are implementing Agile these days, a typical issue is that agile development does not scale well. SAFe is a rapidly expanding field of Agile itself. Scaling agile concepts and practices might provide certain difficulties for an organisation. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is one of the many agile frameworks that are currently available for large-scale enterprise projects. It should come as no surprise given the growing popularity of the Scaled Agile Framework that this prominence is also causing an increased demand for Agile Certifications. Consequently, holding a relevant certification in this field, can result in unprecedented professional growth.
Below are the top 24 Scaled Agile interview questions that would assist you to get a step closer to your ideal Agile job role.
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Beginner Level SAFe Interview Questions
1) What do you mean by Agile? Name some Agile frameworks.
Agile is an approach that encourages ongoing testing and development for the duration of a project. It promotes an immediate and adaptable reaction to any change. Extreme Programming (XP), Kanban, Lean Development, Scrum, and SAFe are a few examples of popular Agile frameworks.
2) What is Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)?
The Scaled Agile Framework, sometimes known as SAFe, was developed by software industry veteran Dean Leffingwell as a large-scale enterprise framework for projects involving numerous large teams from diverse departments. Three fundamental building blocks—Agile Development, Lean Product Development, and Systems Thinking—form the basis of this methodology.
3) What are the 4 major values of SAFe?
SAFe is focused on the concepts of lean and agile. The four major values of SAFe are as follows:
a) Alignment- Continual improvement depends on staying current with change and competition.
b) Built-In Quality- Consistent testing and analysis based on consumer feedback to guarantee high-quality products and services.
c) Transparency- The two main forces behind an organisation's excellence are trust and transparency.
d) Program Execution- For improved business results, the working system must be the primary focus.
4) Differentiate between Agile and SAFe Framework.
Agile refers to a method of thinking, a philosophy, or more accurately, a set of guiding principles for tasks that keep a software development team productive and organised. It is a general phrase that encompasses many frameworks, including Scrum, Kanban, and others.
SAFe, on the other hand, stands for the Scaled Agile Framework, a flexible framework for large-scale enterprise projects. It includes the usage of agile frameworks (like Scrum) with exceptionally large groups adding layers of communication and controls.
5) What are the various configurations of SAFe?
With four different configurations, SAFe supports the entire range of development environments which are as follows:
a) Essential SAFe
b) Large Solution SAFe
c) Portfolio SAFe
d) Full SAFe
This question appears frequently on the list of SAFe Agile exam questions and answers. Team Level, Program Level, Value Stream Level, and Portfolio Level are the four levels in the most recent SAFe version. With SAFe, you may create a variety of development environments, including the Essential SAFe, Large Solution SAFe, Portfolio SAFe, and Full SAFe.
6) State the difference between Capability and Features.
A feature is a service that the system offers to meet the needs of stakeholders. A benefit hypothesis and acceptance criteria are the two fundamental ideas behind each feature. It is prepared for delivery by a single Agile Release Train (ART) in a Program Increment (PI) and sized as appropriate.
Similar to features, capabilities characterise higher-level solution behaviours and frequently require the implementation of numerous ARTs. To facilitate their integration into a single PI, they are scaled and divided into several features.
7) What do you mean by Stories?
Stories are brief descriptions in the user's language about a specific aspect of the intended functionality and feature. They are the main artefacts used in Agile to specify system behaviour.
8) What is the difference between User Stories and Enabler Stories?
User stories are stories that provide functionality to the user directly. These are typically expressed in clear, user-friendly language that also enables the Agile team to grasp what the user wants.
The work items required to support exploration, architecture, infrastructure, and compliance are revealed by enabler stories. These are frequently written in technical terminology and might never be read by the end user.
9) Define Agile Release Train (ART).
Agile Release Train, often known as ART, is a self-managing and self-operating group of high-performing agile teams that develops and delivers a continuous flow of releases in a value stream.
Program Increment, or PI, is the period in which ARTs offer incremental outcomes via operational systems and routine testing. PIs typically last 8 to 12 weeks and include one planning and innovation cycle and four iterations of the development process.
10) What is meant by Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration in SAFe?
Continuous improvement is a key component of SAFe, which is accomplished through recurring Innovation and Planning sprints. Teams have a regular, cadence-based opportunity to work on tasks that are challenging to incorporate into a continuous, incremental value delivery pattern because of IP iteration. These may consist of:
1) Time for innovation and discovering beyond the iterations devoted entirely to the delivery
2) working on overcoming tools, technical infrastructure, and other obstacles
3) Education and public awareness to promote ongoing learning and development
11) What do you know about Iteration Review in SAFe?
Every team analyses the increment at the end of each iteration (the typical fixed-length time window) and depending on feedback from stakeholders and the product owner, changes the team's backlog, as necessary. It provides an opportunity for the Agile teams to present their work and for the stakeholders to keep track of the development.
Intermediate Level SAFe Interview Questions
12) When should one apply the SAFe framework?
You can apply SAFe in the following scenarios:
1) The company is eager to use agile to bring about change across larger, multi-team programmes and portfolios
2) Many teams use one or more Agile frameworks, although they frequently experience delays, setbacks, and failures
3) Teams want to operate autonomously in a decentralised decision-making environment
4) The organisation urgently needs to scale agile, but it is unclear how to create new roles or modify existing responsibilities
5) An organisation wants to know how businesses in the same industry have scaled agile using SAFe and needs to reduce the lead time for product development
13) How are Essential SAFe and Portfolio SAFe different?
The foundation of the framework and the easiest place to start when implementing SAFe is the Essential SAFe configuration. Despite being the first level for organisations choosing to apply SAFe, it contains the most important components required to realise the advantages for a majority of frameworks.
Speaking about Portfolio SAFe, it offers the fundamental building blocks for structuring the Lean-Agile Enterprise around the flow of value and aids in coordinating portfolio execution with enterprise strategy.
14) What are the roles of Product Managers in SAFe?
The Product Manager oversees the Program Backlog and Program Vision and has content authority at the programme level. The main roles of a product manager within the framework of a single Agile Release Train are listed below-
1) Recognise the requirements of the client and take part in the verification of the suggested remedies
2) Owes it to portfolio work to comprehend and support it
3) Create the programme vision, share it with the development teams, and create the road plan
4) Control how workflows through the program's Kanban and into its backlog
5) Attend PI meetings and training on Inspec & Adapt workshops
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15) How is the Continuous Delivery Pipeline related to the Agile Release Train (ART)?
The Continuous Delivery Pipeline, sometimes known as the "pipeline" or "CDP," is a term that refers to the workflows, activities, and automation required to create a new piece of functionality from conception to an on-demand distribution of value to the end user. The pipeline consists of the following four components:
1) Continuous Exploration (CE)
2) Continuous Integration (CI)
3) Continuous Deployment (CD)
4) Release on Demand
16) Name the final element of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline.
The Continuous Delivery Pipeline's final component is Release on Demand. Release on Demand is the procedure for putting new capability into use and giving it to clients right away. Through Release on Demand, the release is separated from deployment and made available to the end user when it is most practical for the business or when they need it.
17) What is the relationship between Value Stream and Agile Release Train?
A value stream is a prolonged sequence of actions that continuously delivers value to the client.
Agile Release Train (ART)
A long-lasting, self-organising team of Agile Teams that generates a continuous flow of incremental releases of value in a Value Stream is known as an Agile Release Train.
18) What do you mean by Architectural Runway in SAFe?
The Architectural Runway is made up of the existing code, elements, and technical foundation required to facilitate the installation of priority, near-term innovations without undue redesign & delay. It enables the constant flow of value, offers the technical framework required for creating business initiatives and adds new features.
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Advanced Level SAFe Interview Questions
19) SAFe is based on Lean Product Development. What is the goal of Lean thinking?
Lean aims to give the highest possible value to the customer and society at large while decreasing waste and increasing customer value. To achieve this outcome-
1) Lean thinking enhances the flow of goods and services
2) The system development process is better understood using the lean-agile principles
3) It includes new tools and methods that managers and teams can utilise to produce the greatest outcomes
4) Places a stronger emphasis on respecting people and cultures
20) Does SAFe follow Agile Architecture or does it have its own model?
Agile Architecture, which is applicable to all SAFe levels, is the foundation of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). It is based on nine fundamental, unchangeable Lean-Agile principles:
1) Take an economic view
2) Apply system thinking
3) Assume variability; preserve options
4) Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles
5) Base milestones on the objective evaluation of working systems
6) Visualise & limit WIP, reduce batch sizes, & manage queue length
7) Apply cadence; synchronise with cross-domain planning
8) Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers
9) Decentralise decision-making
21) What is meant by Value Stream Level of SAFe?
As part of SAFe 4.0, the value stream layer was added between the ART and Portfolio levels. It is designed for developers of substantial and intricate solutions, which frequently ask for the involvement of several ARTs and Suppliers. The main goal of the Value Stream Level, which is optional, is to employ Lean-Agile methodologies to identify, develop, and deploy substantial, mission-critical solutions. Coordination, new constructs, and artefacts are needed to build such solutions. This level includes-
1) A financial framework that establishes limits for value stream decision-making
2) A solution intent serves as a database to record anticipated and actual solution behaviour
3) An explanation of the solution's placement inside the deployment environment is provided by the solution context
4) Capabilities that describe the solution's more significant behaviours
22) Explain the responsibilities of a System Team
A specialised Agile Team called the System Team is in charge of overseeing and assisting with the development environment. The technologies that support the continuous delivery pipeline are typically developed and maintained by the System Team. By carrying out end-to-end testing, the System Team may also assist the Agile teams in integrating their work, enabling them to deploy the code and release it as needed. The System team's specific roles include-
1) Constructing a development infrastructure that allows for high ART pace
2) Teams participate in meetings to design integration, test backlog items, and run solution-level integration scripts as part of system integration
3) Test the performance of the solution from beginning to end
4) Integrate and gradually improve the system and solution demo
23) How does SAFe support alignment?
Rapid change, disruptive competitive dynamics, and geographically dispersed teams all require alignment. Enterprise business objectives should be prioritised over team goals. In SAFe, alignment is supported in the following ways:
1) There are distinct lines of content authority that support it
2) Expectations and commitments are communicated via PI Objectives and iteration goals
3) To keep everything in alignment, cadence and synchronisation are used
4) The entire process is open, transparent, and debatable
5) Rolling-wave prioritising is a continual, agreed-upon process that Lean prioritisation keeps the stakeholders involved in
6) The Solution is technologically sound, resilient, and scalable primarily due to architectures and user input
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24) What are the program level roles in SAFe?
The new redefined role structure at the program level is as stated below:
System Team is a unique Agile Team that helps with continuous integration, build environments, testing platforms, testing automation frameworks, and integrating code from Agile Teams.
The tasks that fall within the scope of product managers include determining customer needs, prioritising features, directing work via the programme Kanban, and creating the program's vision and roadmap.
A system architect is someone who establishes the overall design of the system, aids in the definition of non-functional requirements, chooses the main components and subsystems, and aids in the definition of collaborations and interfaces between them.
Release Train Engineer (RTE)
The Release Train Engineer is indeed the Chief Scrum Master, who enables program-level processes and programme execution, escalates impediments, controls risk, and enhances program-level continuous improvement.
Release Management Team
The process of managing, planning, scheduling, and controlling a software build across many environments and phases, including testing and deploying software releases, is handled by the release team.
The above-mentioned 24 Scaled Agile Interview Questions and Answers can prepare you for the interview. This article covered some of the popular SAFe Agile certification questions and answers. Since most industries use this framework, it is essential to know how this model would apply to that particular industry and where it falls short, so that you can voice your decisions and answers clearly in the interview and later at the job.