Project Management

Being a ScrumMaster and Project Manager in an Agile World

PMI Houston Chapter

Sally is an experienced project manager who works in the Oil & Gas Industry. She has worked on global change management projects, global implementation projects, software development projects and a building-and-data center renovation project.

Topics: Agile, Estimating, Governance, Scrum

In 2015, I started my role as an IT project manager on a new project, and I was encouraged to use an agile software development methodology by the PMO and my steering committee. Since I wasn’t familiar with agile, I took the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course to find out more.

One of the key points expressed in the class was that there was no way a ScrumMaster and a project manager could be the same person. Since “project manager” is my job title and I knew we wanted to work in an agile way and I was the only option as ScrumMaster, I remember feeling a sense of panic because it seemed like they were incompatible roles. I knew I had to make it work.

These are the facts I knew about my project and the basics of Scrum:

  • Project managers commit to timelines and budgets, staffing and resourcing, project scope management, risk management, governance requirements and change requests. In addition to these items, I am accountable to deliver specific deliverables at specified release dates.
  • Product owners set the content and priority of the stories for the team. Product owners can’t definitively say when specific functionality is going to be released, but they can quantitatively guess about specific timing based on their priorities. In my project, I have a very …

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