Project Management

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Topics: Agile, Financial Services, Scrum
Professional Scrum Master
I'd like to start a discussion with my fellow Project Managers about Agile/Scrum, specifically the fact that there's no role for Project Managers in Scrum. Given this, what/how are my fellow PM's adjusting their skill set to better fit into corporations/companies that are moving full on to SCRUM, away from traditional waterfall even iterative methodologies and are 'lightening their load' of PM's....?
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AgilePM or DSDM identifies the role of the Project Manager in Agile Projects . I would recommend that you look at the documentation or do the course . DSDM also incorporates the best of breed of all different frameworks like scrum, XP , Lean , Kanban.
Scrum define something called "Developing Team". You can take a role here close to PM. On the other side you can take the Scrum Master role too.
William -

This question has come up a few times in this discussion group so you may wish to search the archives to get a fulsome list of responses.

In very small contexts, introduction of Scrum might recast the role of the PM into an SM or PO role, but project management as a discipline is required regardless until the organization moves to a purely product-centric model.

In anything larger than a simple context, a PM will still be needed to address financial management, risk management, stakeholder management as well as coordinating the work of multiple agile teams working on a single product or project. Team-level activities and development will become the responsibility of the team and their supporting SM, but the PM still needs to cover everything else...

With my current client (a large Canadian bank), PMs are part of our "umbrella layer" providing support to the delivery pods who will be supported by an SM.

William, if I understand your question correctly, you're looking for personal accounts of how we're adapting.

For my part, I've moved from a PM role to a ScrumMaster role, and I do not consider the two to be related. They are wildly different career paths, as I'm sure you know, but I repeat that as often as I can because far too many people believe they are connected.

My self-development efforts are currently focused on becoming a better scrum master, but I maintain my PMP and I try to keep my PM skills sharp. I like to think I could transition back to a PM role should I find the right opportunity, and project management skills are useful in many areas of my life besides my professional career.

I do not consider myself an "Agile Project Manager," and I'm not even sure what that term means. Instead, I consider myself to be someone who can work in an Agile organization as well as a more traditional organization. In the Frederic Laloux model, I can work comfortably in an Amber, Orange, or Green organization.
Scrum is actually intended to be a Product Management framework and not a Project Management framework. It is used in Project Management because the goal of a Project is to produce a Product but it often requires considerations not included in Scrum.
Since Projects are temporary, If you only took Scrum and came in to work on a project you would miss some things. Scrum was designed more to go into an organization with ongoing product development that had the support already present.

Deepesh suggested DSDM as an alternative. I would agree. Especially since modifying Scrum to work with projects often makes it look like DSDM anyway. DSDM is aimed at complex projects and considers the support structure needed for projects. DSDM also defines processes at a program level and a portfolio level.

The skills for a Scrum Master and Project Manager do have some differences to consider. The major difference is to recognize that you aren't supposed to be in charge, although in some organizations they give the power to the Scrum Master to be more like a Project Manager. The Product Owner is responsible for bringing in the required work and often developing the general plan and priority of that work, a task that a lot of Project Managers within a Project do. (Who is the Project Manager in Scrum?
I fully agree with Kiron’s feedback. Scrum does not look at the whole lifecycle but only at the development phase. If you look at other frameworks like DSDM, you will certainly see the role of PM still existing.
In one organization I worked for they moved the PMs to a Scrum Master role without a place for the use of the skills sets the more experienced PMs had gained over the years. They simply wanted text book SMs. My question on a regular basis to their management was what are we suppose to do with the first 35 years of my career? If they had asked us or had a place to make use of a wide range of expertise the transition to SM would have at the least gone a lot less stressful.
I am a Scrum Master who used to be a PM. The road from PM to SM was a rocky one. There are certainly things that are common to both roles, like leadership and communication. But there are other skills and competencies that a PM must leave behind. Scrum Master are Servant Leaders, but they do not lead or manage the team. They are not responsible for scope or delivery dates, that is the Product Owner. The path to becoming a good Scrum Master is bumpy but worth it.

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