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Topics: Agile, Organizational Project Management, Scrum
How will the Project Manager role survive the Agile hype?
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Some organisations are replacing the PM with Scrum Masters or are pushing the PM in a financial reporting corner.
Is there a place for the traditional PM responsible for scope, time, budget in the Agile world?
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Stelian,
I think there is and will be very much a need for years to come, particularly at the senior level where the projects with the most complexity get assigned, and where you have project managers leading project managers.

In many engineering technologies, the very long lead times, high part costs, and cost of change mean you really need to get certain major decisions right the first time. A supplier of a component might be able to employ a more agile process in the development of their part, but the project manager integrating many new things coming in from multiple sources needs to understand the timing of when they have to come together and often can't afford much iteration.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Dec 18, 2018 3:44 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Keith. I have the same view based on the fact that Agile doesn't work everywhere and every time. The initial research, which was far more scientific than the current hype, identified situations when Agile/Scrum is not recommended. Most Agile frameworks are product development/delivery approaches not project focused.
Maybe my response on your post give you some answers
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Dec 18, 2018 3:33 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Which post? or which response?
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Definitely PM role will continue atleast for another decade or so.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Dec 18, 2018 3:41 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Why only a decade? In mid 90's everyone was predicting the disappearance of COBOL. It is still alive.
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Hi Stelian, I look at project management as a broad discipline that require multiple skill set. Scrum master is a specific role designed for particular method of delivering mostly software projects (though we have discussions that scrum can be applied also for other types of projects and I agree with that)
I think we will more and more shift focus of agile methods from the software development only, we will talk about enterprise agility, because going with agile transformation to only one part of company does not work in whole picture. But enterprise agility is not about Scrum, it is much more complex. So overall, project managers will be still needed because projects are in fact about delivering changes. And changes will need to be delivered within budget, in certain time frame and are having at least basic scope. The questions is if the future project managers will be able to adopt agile mindset, lean execution methods and work efficiently so that they will be seen as natural part of the agile enterprise.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Dec 18, 2018 3:39 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Lenka. I don't share the believe that PM role is obsolete but I do believe that it will/should change from a command and control to a leadership role. As a side note the Agile Enterprise concept is not new, is not software development related and precedes the Agile Manifesto. Lean is also something much older than AM and it's even older than software development. But Agile/Lean it s a different topic. My question was about the replacement of PM with SM.
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This topic has been beaten to death in past discussion threads. See:

https://www.projectmanagement.com/discussi...ll-kill-the-PM-

https://www.projectmanagement.com/discussi...roject-manager-

Kiron
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Dec 18, 2018 4:16 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thanks.
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Dec 18, 2018 2:25 AM
Replying to Mounir Ajam
...
Maybe my response on your post give you some answers
Which post? or which response?
Network:683



Dec 18, 2018 2:58 PM
Replying to Lenka Pincot
...
Hi Stelian, I look at project management as a broad discipline that require multiple skill set. Scrum master is a specific role designed for particular method of delivering mostly software projects (though we have discussions that scrum can be applied also for other types of projects and I agree with that)
I think we will more and more shift focus of agile methods from the software development only, we will talk about enterprise agility, because going with agile transformation to only one part of company does not work in whole picture. But enterprise agility is not about Scrum, it is much more complex. So overall, project managers will be still needed because projects are in fact about delivering changes. And changes will need to be delivered within budget, in certain time frame and are having at least basic scope. The questions is if the future project managers will be able to adopt agile mindset, lean execution methods and work efficiently so that they will be seen as natural part of the agile enterprise.
Thank you Lenka. I don't share the believe that PM role is obsolete but I do believe that it will/should change from a command and control to a leadership role. As a side note the Agile Enterprise concept is not new, is not software development related and precedes the Agile Manifesto. Lean is also something much older than AM and it's even older than software development. But Agile/Lean it s a different topic. My question was about the replacement of PM with SM.
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1 reply by Lenka Pincot
Dec 18, 2018 3:52 PM
Lenka Pincot
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Thanks for your reply Stelian. I think you can’t separete discussion about agile methods from discussion about PM vs Scrum master. I understood what you were asking but for me these topics are connected. Because PM or Scrum master roles are related to methods of work.
Thanks for the side note though, I’ve learned AM SW methods while studying computer sciences more than 16 years ago. As for the agile enterprise concept, we just used different names, but there’s no change either. Some concepts get more attention due to marketing and that’s fair enough, I’m ok with that.
Network:683



Dec 18, 2018 3:04 AM
Replying to RAJESH K L
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Definitely PM role will continue atleast for another decade or so.
Why only a decade? In mid 90's everyone was predicting the disappearance of COBOL. It is still alive.
Network:683



Dec 18, 2018 12:10 AM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
Stelian,
I think there is and will be very much a need for years to come, particularly at the senior level where the projects with the most complexity get assigned, and where you have project managers leading project managers.

In many engineering technologies, the very long lead times, high part costs, and cost of change mean you really need to get certain major decisions right the first time. A supplier of a component might be able to employ a more agile process in the development of their part, but the project manager integrating many new things coming in from multiple sources needs to understand the timing of when they have to come together and often can't afford much iteration.
Thank you Keith. I have the same view based on the fact that Agile doesn't work everywhere and every time. The initial research, which was far more scientific than the current hype, identified situations when Agile/Scrum is not recommended. Most Agile frameworks are product development/delivery approaches not project focused.
Network:710



Dec 18, 2018 3:39 PM
Replying to Stelian ROMAN
...
Thank you Lenka. I don't share the believe that PM role is obsolete but I do believe that it will/should change from a command and control to a leadership role. As a side note the Agile Enterprise concept is not new, is not software development related and precedes the Agile Manifesto. Lean is also something much older than AM and it's even older than software development. But Agile/Lean it s a different topic. My question was about the replacement of PM with SM.
Thanks for your reply Stelian. I think you can’t separete discussion about agile methods from discussion about PM vs Scrum master. I understood what you were asking but for me these topics are connected. Because PM or Scrum master roles are related to methods of work.
Thanks for the side note though, I’ve learned AM SW methods while studying computer sciences more than 16 years ago. As for the agile enterprise concept, we just used different names, but there’s no change either. Some concepts get more attention due to marketing and that’s fair enough, I’m ok with that.
...
2 replies by Stelian ROMAN
Dec 18, 2018 4:25 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Lenka. Agile is older than AM. In early 90s DoD was looking for a new way to address change and established a team to create a new concept called Agile. Scrum originated from a paper written by Harward academics. Software development embraced those ideas faster than other domains. As a side note the Agile Enterprise concept was also defined in early 90s in manufacturing, where the kanban techniques is used since 1950s. About the same time incremental and iterative approach was used in software development. All the Agile (AM) frameworks were (software development) team oriented, not Enterprise frameworks.
More than 16 years ago I was a Development Manager implementing XP and Scrum :)
Dec 18, 2018 10:02 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Lenka, some Agile frameworks (XP) still have the PM role. IMHO any framework can be Agile, including PMBoK because Agile is a set of values not a methodology. The Scrum Master role is also in other frameworks, not only in Scrum. I think that the Agile Guide allows the SM in the project team. I don't see why the 2 roles can't coexist.
Unlike the Agile in the AM, focused on better ways f developing software the Agile Enterprise concept was defined as a response to the need for rapid change. Similar but not the same :)
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