Do the skills required by each function make it almost impossible to be a successful PM and ScrumMaster? Our writer had one theory as he started his musings...and ended up somewhere else entirely.
What is the difference between a PM and a ScrumMaster?
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You've probably read many articles on the difference between traditional project management and agile (specifically, Scrum). One practitioner has been surprised with how established agile practitioners don’t want to let project managers into their “club”. Why can’t project managers become agile?
How do these two roles stack up against one another? Can a project manager adapt to being a ScrumMaster? Given the opportunity and environment, people can be successful in a number of different roles--provided that there is some degree of connection.
While it is their own personal goal to maximize team productivity and minimize any stumbling blocks along the way, it is also sometimes necessary for a ScrumMaster to act as a guardian and help protect their team members. Just don't get too aggressive on the field...
Question: I’ve just been chosen as ScrumMaster for my agile team. I know I “remove obstacles”, but I’m concerned about what I can do on a daily basis and what is overstepping my role and moving back to traditional project management. How can I make this a better team?
|A.||The ScrumMaster role is non-technical, which is a reward for outstanding technical performance in the past. In essence, you retire at full salary.|
|B.||The ScrumMaster has a key role in improving team performance, so find your own way to structure the team processes and to facilitate team development.|
|C.||Since the team is self-directed, wait until team members present obstacles at daily scrum meetings and then tell a manager to remove them.|
|D.||Find an experienced ScrumMaster in the organization and ask if you can shadow them for two days a week. Then, follow their directions so that all the agile teams are working alike.|
In a pure Scrum environment, the project manager's responsibilities are reallocated to the newly introduced roles of Development Team, ScrumMaster and Product Owner. In a hybrid Scrum environment, the project manager role may still exist--but likely in a significantly altered form. PMs need to take the impact of this change on their role and responsibilities into consideration…and plan accordingly.
We've covered certain challenges a project manager is likely to face when a Scrum transition is first being evaluated, and a comparison between Waterfall and Scrum methodologies. Part 2 of this article covers the ScrumMaster and Product Owner roles in the Scrum environment--and also addresses the project manager’s role during and after an organization's transition to Scrum.
There’s been a lot of discussion in social media forums about whether or not the Project Manager has a role in Agile environments. Some of the talk is related to specific agile frameworks such as Scrum and its three prescribed roles (which does not include one for Project Manager), while other talk is more about the Project Manager’s responsibilities in general and where those responsibilities now lie in Agile. Add to this the news that the Project Management Institute (PMI) has introduced a new Agile certification for its membership, and we’ve got quite a conversation going—and with it, a lot of disturbing misconceptions and misinformed assumptions.