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Topics: Agile, Organizational Project Management, Scrum
What role will be predominant in 2030?
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In recent years some organisations took the decision to replace Project Managers with Scrum Masters. Then the Scrum Master is more and more asked to take responsibilities that were done by PMs, like budgeting, reporting, procurement, risk management and even planning.
In theory how long there are projects there will be a need to manage budget/scope/time therefore it is expected that, at least in projects that don't have an IT component, the PM role will 'survive'.
Another recent trend is the resurrection of Lean, organisations looking at cost/benefit rather than just agility.

Which role do you think that will be predominat in 2030?
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Even the IT projects need budget/scope/time follow up. I agree Lean is rising, but I m not sure how can this be mixed with Agile (I was part of such an experiment once). I believe all 3 roles will continue to exist. How predominant each of them will be, I believe it really depends where you re looking (execution / planning / benefits ).
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Mar 19, 2019 3:39 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Anca. I agree with you that IT projects are still projects and there is a need for governance. Unfortunately development teams especially in small companies, don't understand the need for governance and that leads many time to the demise of the company.
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Thank you for the feedback Anca. SAFe, the most successful Agile at scale framework is defined as Lean Agile and it has a lot of references to Lean practices that preceded Agile.
The other example is kanban, a Lean practice that is more than 60 years old.

In principle is pretty simple to combine them: embrace change but be as efficient as possible.
ROI is one area where Scrum Masters have a lot to learn...
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Very hard question.
You may be able to see a trend of increase in # of Scrum masters but it does not necessarily mean that the # of PM would decrease.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Mar 19, 2019 3:40 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thanks.
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I don't see project management going away. I don't see Scrum or Lean going away, either.

Actually, I enjoy reading older books from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and I've noticed that many of the business and process related problems we continue to deal with today were solved decades ago. With that perspective, I'm not sure anything will be different in 2030. I suspect many organizations will still be struggling with the same basic issues they have today, but hiding it under new buzzwords.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Mar 19, 2019 3:46 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Wade. I don't see the PM going away either, nor Lean but I have doubts that the Scrum Master role will survive. I started my formal Agile experience using XP in 2001. Now XP as a framework is almost extinct, although some concepts (like user story and story points) survived. In my opinion the decline of XP was caused by the fact that it was ahead of time. Also, unlike Scrum it was complex, too disruptive and software oriented.
I also enjoy reading books and articles from 70s and how they addressed the technology transformations. I have a couple of webinars on the history of the Agile Enterprise, I will be very interested in your feedback.
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Old wine in New bottle
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Mar 19, 2019 3:51 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Not really. The role are different. The people are different.
In the 'old days' the path to a manager role, PM included, took roughly 10 years with hands on experience in the whole product life cycle. I know many PMs from my generation that were Development Managers before moving to project management. That experience gave a lot of useful skills and knowledge.
Nowadays, same in the DotCom boom, the market needs many PMs/SMs annd there is no time to acquire skills and knowledge. Many learn on the job, many don't.
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Project manager will be the role more predominant. Scrum masters fit well in IT, software development, specially mobile software development. Lean a mindset to decrease waste, goes hand by hand with Agile.

PMs are individuals who will never stop adapting and learning new ways and techniques to deliver what is expected from them.

Scrum, Lean, Agile, should be on every PM toolbox.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Mar 19, 2019 3:52 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Tiago. I Agree with you. Lean is already in the PM books and Agile is also coming strong (see the Agile Guide).
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It is almost impossible to predict the future, but I'm positive AI will have a dominant role in project management as systems become more and more complex and intertwined. There is no reason AI couldn't play a larger role right now, but that requires a transformational shift from today's traditionalist approach to PM.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Mar 19, 2019 3:58 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Steve. For my generation is not that hard :)
It is a cycle. I used many Agile practices in mid 80's and then when we scale up and left the Business and the software development become part of the IT department we felt the need for a more structured approach. Many Tem Leads and Development Managers become PMs, managing not only the deign and development but also budgets, procurement etc.
I don't share your optimistic view on AI. AI is not new, I had AI projects in mid 80s and there was a dream that by the year 2000 everything will be automated. AI can't handle many challenges that a PM faces like organisation culture. Creativity will remain for long time human.
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The pendulum is definitely swinging toward Agile Frameworks such as Lean, Scrum and Kanban. Like any pendulum, I think it is already started to swing to far in that direction. Everyone it seems is going through an Agile Transformation. Agile is not going away, but there will be failures and the pendulum will swing back. The core set of Project Management skills will not go away but, in fact, be even more in demand. So I believe Project Manager will still be the predominant role in 2030.
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2 replies by Andrew Mitchell and Stelian ROMAN
Mar 19, 2019 4:02 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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Thank you Andrew. Interesting comment. I agree with the pendulum going towards Agile but slower than 5 years ago and it will swing back to Lean. Lean and kanban are not Agile frameworks, kanban is part of Lean Six Sigma (one discipline at the publication of the AM) and was already a mature technique when the first Scrum paper was published.
Mar 20, 2019 11:02 AM
Andrew Mitchell
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I believe the pendulum will swing back to more traditional Project Managers. There will also be a need for someone to manage the Iron Triangle of Scope, Cost and Time.
Network:1237



Mar 19, 2019 4:46 AM
Replying to anca stefanescu
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Even the IT projects need budget/scope/time follow up. I agree Lean is rising, but I m not sure how can this be mixed with Agile (I was part of such an experiment once). I believe all 3 roles will continue to exist. How predominant each of them will be, I believe it really depends where you re looking (execution / planning / benefits ).
Thank you Anca. I agree with you that IT projects are still projects and there is a need for governance. Unfortunately development teams especially in small companies, don't understand the need for governance and that leads many time to the demise of the company.
Network:1237



Mar 19, 2019 8:24 AM
Replying to Abolfazl Yousefi Darestani
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Very hard question.
You may be able to see a trend of increase in # of Scrum masters but it does not necessarily mean that the # of PM would decrease.
Thanks.
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