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How is the role of a Project Manager different from the role of Scrum Master

For teams that move from a other development methodology (such as Waterfall, Iterative, etc), the transition to moving to a Scrum based method comes with its own challenges, with one of the main challenges being the transition of roles. In the classical development methodology, the Project Manager is the person who runs the project, looking to ensure that the team is working towards its goals, and that the objectives of ensuring that the desired set of features is done (scope of the project as initially defined, is completed), within the defined cost allowed for the project, and within the desired schedule. So what happens when the team moves over to Scrum as a development methodology, and the team now has to select a ScrumMaster. The most immediate temptation is that the Project Manager takes over as the ScrumMaster; after all, this will allow the Project Manager to still drive the progress of the project and determine on a daily basis, the status of what is happening in the project.
This sounds right, but although there is no stipulation that the Project Manager cannot be the ScrumMaster, I am going to stick my neck out and recommend that the Project Manager should not be the Scrum Master, instead somebody from the team should be handling the role of the Scrum Master. Here are some differences between the role of the Scrum Master and the Project Manager:
– In Scrum, part of the role of project management (Project scheduling and tasks estimation) is distributed across the team members, with the Scrum Master there to ensure that progress is happening; this is in comparison to that of classical project management where the Project Manager is the main driver
– The Scrum meeting is not a way for the Project Manager to generate status of what is happening, it is primarily meant for the team to understand the progress that each of them is making
– The Scrum Master has a major task in terms of removing impediments that the team faces in getting their daily tasks done; something that the Project Manager would not have done at that granular level
– One of the key roles of a Scrum Master is to ensure that the team is following the Scrum principles and practices, while the classical Project Manager would have been more concerned about the schedule tracking
– The role of a Scrum Master is more of a facilitator, working with the various team members; the classical Project Manager role is more that of a driver who sets targets and others follow
– A Project Manager who has not got into the Scrum kind of way and becomes a Scrum Master is more likely to be an impediment to the team being a self-organizing responsible team, since the Scrum Master is more likely to want to lead the team and define next steps as well as targets
– The Scrum Master does not inherit the organizational roles of the Project Manager such as building the team, providing career feedback, etc; there needs to be somebody who can do this, and if the Project Manager / Scrum Master does this role as well, it makes the role of accepting the Scrum Master as a team member more difficult (you really don’t want a leader type of personality becoming a Scrum Master and seeking to rise above the team).

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