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Scrum – Feedback from team members over having a PM officer associated with the team – Part 2

The previous post (Allowing a person from the PMO organization to be associated with the Scrum team – Part 1) focused on a Scrum team being told that they could have a Project/Program Management Officer who would help out in their team. For many teams in the organization, there was a recent move to move them towards a Scrum based development methodology, and at the same time, there was a move to setup a PMO group within the company to provide more focus on metrics and the like, but there was no mandate that every team needs to use them. So when there was an offer for the Scrum team to use members of the team, the team was considering this and decided to take input from other teams about their experiences with the already existing Project Management organization. The stated goal of using this team was meant to be good, in the sense that the PM Officer would have helped in doing notes, seeing metrics within the team, and so on, but not everybody wanted to believe such a rosy picture. Part of the feedback we got about using members from the PMO team (not only from within the organization, but from other organizations) was:
– This one was from another organization, and painted a much more negative picture to the team members. As per the feedback from a friend in another company, a large one, the PM Organization was essentially portraying a role which was more geared towards quality systems, towards metrics, and ensuring that groups in the company were moving towards a more metrics based approach. However, this was contrasted with the Scrum teams that were more self-correcting and empowered, and did not employ the same system of metrics as those used by the PM Organization. This was recognized as a problem, but like many other problems that companies tend to have which continue to occur, there was no real resolution of this issue. Further, there was also a clash of ambitions, since the PM organization believed that it the super-group of Project Managers, and hence was not accustomed to those teams where there was no real concept of somebody like the Project Manager or even the Scrum Master trying to drive the team. There were some efforts made in this direction for the person from the PM Organization trying to drive the team to achieve metrics, but this was causing real problems within the team. Concepts such as having checklists that every team should follow, including the Scrum teams, was causing a huge amount of tension within the Scrum teams. This is not to say that the Scrum team did not have metrics, but they did not believe in following all those metrics that the PM Organization was trying to push through, and you can guess the result. Metrics were not calculated, more tension, and if there was any new metric introduced, the Scrum team members would roll their eyes and look to their Scrum master to push back, and so on.
The same situation caused even more problems during the appraisal time since the PM Organization pushed for a rank for teams based on their observations of all the metrics, and even though the stakeholders of the Scrum team was satisfied with how their work was progressing, this concept of trying to determine a rank for the observation of the metrics made a few members of the Scrum team see red. The net result of all this was that members of the Scrum team from this organization did not at all have a high opinion of the PM organization, and in fact, felt them to be a handicap.

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