Project Management

Will the Scrum Master Evolve?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Scrum masters are an essential part of agile project delivery. While they are the champions of applying the approach appropriately, that’s a responsibility that is generally achieved early in an initiative, after which it becomes a maintenance function. More important is the role that scrum masters play in promoting team effectiveness and acting as leaders and coaches.

Understandably, there is sometimes friction between scrum masters and project managers, especially if organizations have failed to clearly define each function to avoid duplication of accountabilities. But when roles are understood, project managers and scrum masters can combine to form a formidable leadership team for agile work. Will that continue to hold true?

There is an evolution away from formal, independent delivery methodologies. We’re already seeing that hybrid project approaches that combine elements of agile and waterfall are becoming more common. Teams are becoming more empowered and being given greater autonomy to deliver how they see fit, within defined boundaries.

In this environment, where the focus is more on flexibility and adaptability to align with needs, the need for a specialist in a particular approach is reduced. However, the need for someone who can support a team in an environment that is less prescribed and predictable, who can coach and guide them through challenges and …

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