Scrum Master vs Project Manager, The Role

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Presented in August 2013 at the Sydney Project Managers meetup group, this was a presentation to highlight the key differences between these two roles and the place that Project Managers may have in the future of Agile organisations.

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  • It won’t be today, or tomorrow. It’s unlikely to be five years from now. But the software development industry IS changing and given this change – will the role of the Project Manager survive?
  • Part 1 of the behaviours and responsiblities game. Gamers are provided three tokens and given the set of behaviours and responsibilties are encouraged to choose which role they believe belongs to the card shouted at the time. The highest voted response is the general area the cards gets placed into but affinity mapping is used.
  • Part 2. The exact same behaviours and responsiblities are re-walked through but there is now the additional role of the “Scrum Master”.A debrief is then conducted to compare the contrasts and walk through any perceived errors. Care should be taken to not move any perceived errors and instead discuss them further.Any roles or behaviours no longer relevant are moved off to the side.
  • There is a good chance that people in the room are the sort of people that care about being better and are consequently more likely to be Theory Y. Scrum Masters are more likely to have a closer affinity to the Theory Y movement. The test can be found easily enough on the internet, is solo completable or better yet done by your team.
  • SM role is also akin to Servant Leadership. Note how both of these predate Agile.
  • My model for the Scrum Master over time, not necessarily shared commonly amongst the community but somewhat stronger in Australia. As you work within a team you should be striving to shift from the left to the right. As you do this your time as a SM decreases and the team’s self autonomy increases. So what do you do with all your spare time? You deliver value along with the rest of the team! Go back to testing, to developing, to doing requirements… whatever is needed. This is why the Upton Sinclair reference is so important because the thought of working to deliver stories seems to many Project Managers very foreign and unacceptable. It is seen as a step down and it shouldn’t be, it is an indicator of success in empowerment.
  • Scrum Master AND Project Manager in one person – unless you like having a split personality I would not recommend this. It takes a very strong person to do this and one will ALWAYS suffer – the important thing is that it is not the team that suffers. Scrum Master AND Project Manager in two people – the more common implementation in Australia but whilst there is healthy conflict the Scrum Master and consequently team generally looses the fight. Scrum Master of the Scrum of Scrums – if you aren’t the right person to be a Scrum Master then you would be even worse as the SM of the Scrum of Scrums.Portfolio/Project Office – the more we shift towards Beyond Budgeting the less importance will be placed on this area. That said, kicking off a project that doesn’t have high value is the biggest waste in software development these days.
  • Interested in becoming a Scrum Master? These are the books that I would recommend.Drive – because understanding what motivates people is critical. Traditional Theory X PMs believe that extrinsic motivation (money) works, but the reality is intrinsic motivation is more powerful. A highly motivated team is a high performing team.Radical Management – if you need to be sold more on the world changing and why now is the time to change.Implementing Beyond Budgeting – how to move away from yearly budget controls to a more flexible, fluid solution.Servant Leadership – the original book by GreenleafScrum Shortcuts – newly released, lots of good tips and tricks for new Scrum MastersEssential Scrum – Feature teams and Agile Portfolio Management, critical for the new age of IT.
  • Scrum Master vs Project Manager, The Role

    1. 1. Scrum Master vs. Project Manager Renee Troughton 1
    2. 2. Upton Sinclair’s dictum “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 2
    3. 3. Gartner “Quite simply, waterfall methods, when used in the traditional, project-based manner, are inconsistent and risky. Since there are other choices available that have the potential to be more consistent and less risky, it's time to begin the transition to these methods.” The End of Waterfall as We Know It, 2012 “The breadth of penetration into our client base (of Agile) is fairly high, but the depth is fairly low. Upwards of 50% of Gartner’s client base is using Agile, but less than 10% of work being done is actually being done in an Agile way.” Matthew Hotle, vice president Gartner Research. Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 3
    4. 4. An exercise in responsibilities Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 4 Project Manager Team Other Round 1: In a non Agile environment
    5. 5. An exercise in responsibilities Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 5 Project Manager Team Other Round 2: In an Agile environment Scrum Master
    6. 6. Theory X vs Theory Y Leadership Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 6 Employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties. They will learn to seek out and accept responsibility and to exercise self-control and self-direction in accomplishing objectives to which they are committed. Workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. Employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise, 1960 .
    7. 7. Servant Leadership Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 7 “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.” Robert Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader, 1970 .
    8. 8. The Scrum Master 8 Directive Facilitative and Advisory Cross Facilitative Coaching and Supportive Double Loop Learning 100% Scrum Master’s day to day involvement Scrum Team’s Self Autonomy The Scrum Master role is like a hat. When the Scrum Team is functioning they take off that hat and help out to deliver the Sprint’s goals Copyright Renee Troughton 2013
    9. 9. Options Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 9 Scrum Master AND Project Manager Scrum Master AND Project Manager Scrum of Scrums Scrum Master Program/Portfolio Office
    10. 10. References 10Copyright Renee Troughton 2013
    11. 11. Questions? 11 @AgileReneehttp://www.theagilerevolution.com http://www.agileforest.com Copyright Renee Troughton 2013 http://www.unbounddna.com

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