Where Does a Project Manager Fit in Scrum? part 1
There is an exercise that I like to do in my ScrumMaster course to answer a frequently asked question: Where does the Project Manager fit in Scrum? Project Manager is not one of the Scrum roles so there is some confusion, especially among PMs who start using Scrum. Some people assume that the PM role still exists somewhere outside of Scrum. Others assume that PM just maps to the ScrumMaster role.
The job market has conflated Project Manager and ScrumMaster – we have seen a lot of openings for PMP with CSM in the past year. Either may be correct to some extent, but in either case there are adjustments to be made in the position or in the organization.
I offer the following exercise in my Scrum classes for groups who are interested in discovering what happens to the Project Manager role. The exercise first emerged at a joint APLN/PMI event in San Francisco last winter.
The exercise is pretty simple. First we identify a list of things that the PM does in a traditional project. Then we make 4 columns marked PO, SM, Team and ?. Then we put a mark in the column that shows which Scrum role or roles take care of the traditional PM activity. If none are appropriate, we mark the ? column. Figures 1 and 2 are the results created by a recent class. Table 1 is a composite from several classes plus the APLN/PMI event.
|Table 1: Project Management Duties|
|Monitor and Control||X (monitor)|
|Police Process||X (in a nice way)|
|Communicate with Execs||X||X|
|Manage Integration||X (project)||X (technology)|
|Follow up relentlessly||X|
|Interface with PMO||X|
|Yell & Panic|
The table has three patterns to note. The first is that most of the traditional PM duties are taken care of by one or more Scrum roles. The second is that the Product Owner picks up more of them than most people expect. The third is that there are still a few things for the PM to do.
This raises the question: Is there still enough left to justify a Project Manager? If not, what is the PM to do? We will take a look at that question in the next post. Stay tuned…