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Understanding Roles on an Agile Project


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The ideal agile team is a self organizing, dedicated, cross functional group that has all the skills necessary to deliver a solution that solves their customer’s problem. As a result, the list of roles on an agile team is fairly short generally consisting of roles such as Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Team. Given all that, many project managers wonder where they fit in. They may act as the Product Owner if they have the skill set and decision making authority to determine what the product should contain. They may become the Scrum Master if they are able to practice servant leadership and act as a coach and facilitator. They may become part of the team and help develop or test. They may focus on coordinating the efforts of multiple agile teams to support the broader goals of a large program. They may not be a good fit for an agile environment at all. Join Kent McDonald as he describes the Product Owner and Scrum Master roles in an agile environment and discusses the various ways that project managers can assess their skill sets and project characteristics to determine where they fit into the picture.

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Understanding Roles on an Agile Project

  1. 1. Understanding Roles on an agileProject: Scrum Master, Product Owner, Project Manager Kent J. McDonald @beyondreqs
  2. 2. Agenda An ideal agile team Roles in agile projects Where does a PM fit in?
  3. 3. Nothing issacred in thispresentation.
  4. 4. An Ideal Agile Team
  5. 5. Self Organizing…
  6. 6. Focused…
  7. 7. Cross functional team Analysis DevelopmentTesting UX
  8. 8. That solves their customer’s problems
  9. 9. Four specialists become a team
  10. 10. Roles in agile projects
  11. 11. Few defined roles in agile approaches Stakeholders Product Owner Scrum Master The Team
  12. 12. Stakeholder Anyone who impacts or is impacted by the project, but is not helping to deliver. 12
  13. 13. Stakeholders of a system that tracks stakeholders
  14. 14. Product Owner Facilitates prioritizationBalances stakeholderneeds and wants Provides domain info
  15. 15. The “single wringable neck” is so last decade…
  16. 16. It often takes a village
  17. 17. Sponsor
  18. 18. Business Expert
  19. 19. Expert User
  20. 20. The many faces of product ownership
  21. 21. Scrum Master Carry water and remove boulders…. Or order pizza ovens as the case may be
  22. 22. “Scrum Master” is a silly name… Let’s call them “Coach”
  23. 23. Where Scrum Masters come from
  24. 24. The Team Everyone working together to deliver value
  25. 25. The New Project Org Chart
  26. 26. Project Integration Management ProductScrum The Team OwnerMaster Develop project DevelopClose management plan project charterProject or Execute Project Change ControlPhase Monitor Project work
  27. 27. Project Scope Management ProductScrum The Team OwnerMaster Collect Requirements Define Scope Create WBS Verify Scope Control Scope
  28. 28. Project Time Management ProductScrum The Team Define Activities OwnerMaster Sequence Activities Estimate Activity Resources People Estimate Activity Durations Develop Schedule Control Schedule
  29. 29. Project Cost Management ProductScrum The Team OwnerMaster Estimate Costs Determine Control Costs budgets
  30. 30. Project Quality Management ProductScrum The Team OwnerMaster Plan Quality Perform Quality Assurance Perform Quality Control
  31. 31. Project HR People Management Product Scrum The Team Owner Master Develop HumanManage Resource People PlanSupport Acquire Project TeamProject Team Develop Project Team
  32. 32. Project Communications Management ProductScrum The Team Identify Stakeholders OwnerMaster Plan Manage Communications Stakeholder Distribute Expectations Information Report Performance
  33. 33. Project Risk Management ProductScrum The Team OwnerMaster Plan Risk management Identify Risks Perform Risk Analysis Plan Risk Response Monitor and Control Risks
  34. 34. Project Procurement Management ProductScrum The Team OwnerMaster Plan procurements Conduct Procurements Administer Procurements Close Procurements
  35. 35. Where does a PM Fit in?
  36. 36. It Depends.
  37. 37. If your style is more collaborative…
  38. 38. If you prefer to dig into the “what”
  39. 39. If you are Dev/Tester in PM clothing…
  40. 40. Or if you really do enjoyProject Management…
  41. 41. Bring order to complexity
  42. 42. Context Leadership Model
  43. 43. Sheepdogs Get out of the team’s way.
  44. 44. Colts Minimal process, and strong understanding of source of uncertainty.
  45. 45. Cows May have multiple teams needing coordination May need to coordinate communication with multiple dependencies
  46. 46. Bulls Minimal process, and strong understanding of source of uncertainty. May have multiple teams needing coordination May need to coordinate communication with multiple dependencies
  47. 47. Project Managers in AgileProject ManagementCoaching and coachingneeded needed herehereNothingmuch Projectneeded Managementhere needed here
  48. 48. Skill areas exhibited by project leadersThe ability to coordinate and lead people Connecting to and comprehending the business drivers Understanding the appropriate Understanding the technology used to processes to get the job done develop the solutions
  49. 49. Skills required by project quadrant People Process Technology BusinessSheepdog Novice Novice Novice NoviceColt Novice Novice Practitioner PractitionerCow Practitioner Practitioner Novice NoviceBull Master Practitioner Practitioner Practitioner
  50. 50. Leadership Development 50
  51. 51. CaveatYou still need to be more collaborative thancommand and control.
  52. 52. If you remember nothing else…  Most project management is done by the team in agile  A Scrum Master is not a project manager  The best leadership style in agile is collaborative
  53. 53. Questions?Kent available from: