Project Management

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Topics: Agile, Scrum
Agile Project Manager vs. Scrum Master.
I've been looking for specific content that outlines the difference in tasks & responsibilities between these two roles. I am a CSM and my role is changing to an Agile Project Manager, and I just don't see the difference in my day to day activities. What am I missing?

I have my CAPM as well. If more traditional project management is what they feel is missing from the scrum master role, I don't know that the Agile PM position would fill that need, as it appears to be a scrum master position.
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There is no one set of terminology. What is a Scrum Master in Scrum, is a Team Lead in DA, a Coach in XP, and an Agile Coach in Spotify.

What I might think of as an "Agile Project Manager" is a broader position than a Scrum Master. You can have multiple lower level teams working in a scrum fashion to execute parts of a larger product, coordinated by a PM. The PM could be more like a Senior Scrum Master, but the SM role itself can be much more limited in scope.

Since any company can define new job titles any way they want, focus on the responsibility, not the title. I became a "senior engineer" after 1 year in my first job. Sounded good. Didn't mean more than Level 2.

If you get to define your own job description and priorities in your performance reviews, I would advise defining your position in a way that you feels describes it best. Then your functional manager is signing onto the fact that is your formal job description.
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1 reply by Cassandra Medley
Aug 24, 2022 6:46 PM
Cassandra Medley
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Thank you Keith! In referring to the job titles I was in essence referring to the responsibilities those titles “contain” I guess. As I’m not seeing very many traditional “project managmernt” tasks in those role description, and I’m fairly certain that is what they are wanting/missing. In the job description I was given for this new role, it was missing PM work and seemed like just changing the name of the job instead of addresses the issue. Which is what has left me confused. But thank you for the advice. I like that. I’ll try writing my own and see what i come up with.
Aug 24, 2022 6:37 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
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There is no one set of terminology. What is a Scrum Master in Scrum, is a Team Lead in DA, a Coach in XP, and an Agile Coach in Spotify.

What I might think of as an "Agile Project Manager" is a broader position than a Scrum Master. You can have multiple lower level teams working in a scrum fashion to execute parts of a larger product, coordinated by a PM. The PM could be more like a Senior Scrum Master, but the SM role itself can be much more limited in scope.

Since any company can define new job titles any way they want, focus on the responsibility, not the title. I became a "senior engineer" after 1 year in my first job. Sounded good. Didn't mean more than Level 2.

If you get to define your own job description and priorities in your performance reviews, I would advise defining your position in a way that you feels describes it best. Then your functional manager is signing onto the fact that is your formal job description.
Thank you Keith! In referring to the job titles I was in essence referring to the responsibilities those titles “contain” I guess. As I’m not seeing very many traditional “project managmernt” tasks in those role description, and I’m fairly certain that is what they are wanting/missing. In the job description I was given for this new role, it was missing PM work and seemed like just changing the name of the job instead of addresses the issue. Which is what has left me confused. But thank you for the advice. I like that. I’ll try writing my own and see what i come up with.
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1 reply by David Kemper
Aug 28, 2022 4:41 PM
David Kemper
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Hi Cassandra - I like your idea of co-creating the job description. In my non-consulting career, I have had 12 job titles and 9 of them weren't on the org chart before I filled them! I'm thinking that in these times there should be a discipline of agile job development...
First thing is to understand that something project management does not exists. With that said, I understand that English is not my native language and I see lot of people using something project manager. Both are different things. Mainly if you add things like project governance and other methods/frameworks to be used except Scrum. For example, in my actual work place where I was in charge to define all related to project management (I am writting this just to pointed out my level of accountability on this matter) we are using Scrum and SAFe plus 3 more methods which depends on five selection criteria to select what to use. Unfortunatelly some people outside there make a relation between iterative or iterative-incremental life cycles and Agile which is not correct. That´s could impact on the definition of "agile project management". The same because some people use Scrum as a synonim of agile or when they think that Agile is only applied to software products or was born in the software field. So, the point is: which is the definition that it will be good for you to follow based on your current situation and the environment where you will perform the role? If you ask me, that is not the way I followed from years. But just because it was my decision to work in change things which was a differentiation point for me. If you ask me, the best piece of work I read on the matter is the book "Agile Project Management" written by Jim Highsmith.
Cassandra -

The responsibilities of these titles vary widely from company to company and it has a lot to do with where they are on their journey to becoming more agile.

I'd use this as an opportunity to sit down with key stakeholders to get their assumptions on the table so that you can avoid expectation gaps.

Kiron
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Aug 25, 2022 2:54 PM
Rami Kaibni
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Kiron, spot on. Couldn't agree with you more.
Aug 25, 2022 9:09 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Cassandra -

The responsibilities of these titles vary widely from company to company and it has a lot to do with where they are on their journey to becoming more agile.

I'd use this as an opportunity to sit down with key stakeholders to get their assumptions on the table so that you can avoid expectation gaps.

Kiron
Kiron, spot on. Couldn't agree with you more.
Aug 24, 2022 6:46 PM
Replying to Cassandra Medley
...
Thank you Keith! In referring to the job titles I was in essence referring to the responsibilities those titles “contain” I guess. As I’m not seeing very many traditional “project managmernt” tasks in those role description, and I’m fairly certain that is what they are wanting/missing. In the job description I was given for this new role, it was missing PM work and seemed like just changing the name of the job instead of addresses the issue. Which is what has left me confused. But thank you for the advice. I like that. I’ll try writing my own and see what i come up with.
Hi Cassandra - I like your idea of co-creating the job description. In my non-consulting career, I have had 12 job titles and 9 of them weren't on the org chart before I filled them! I'm thinking that in these times there should be a discipline of agile job development...
Dear Cassandra

You can only obtain the PMI-ACP certification if you have:
- Experience in agile projects
- Attended training in agile project management
- Conducted an exam with 120 situational questions and obtained more than 60% correct answers

It seems that no other agile certification has this level of requirement.
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1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Aug 29, 2022 9:00 AM
Kiron Bondale
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Luis -

Some of the higher level Scrum certifications do require an experiential component - the entry-level ones don't. This is why PMI has positioned DASM as an entry-level cert and the ACP as a higher-level one in their agile certifications positioning model.

Kiron
Aug 29, 2022 8:18 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Cassandra

You can only obtain the PMI-ACP certification if you have:
- Experience in agile projects
- Attended training in agile project management
- Conducted an exam with 120 situational questions and obtained more than 60% correct answers

It seems that no other agile certification has this level of requirement.
Luis -

Some of the higher level Scrum certifications do require an experiential component - the entry-level ones don't. This is why PMI has positioned DASM as an entry-level cert and the ACP as a higher-level one in their agile certifications positioning model.

Kiron

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