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AGILE PROJECT MANAGER VS SCRUM MASTER

Tuesday 4th August 2015

Amongst many there is some confusion between the difference between an Agile Project Manager and a Scrum Master, granted amongst my network this may not be an issue, but I thought I would still write something to clarify for my sake the similarities and differences between these two roles.A Scrum Master and an Agile Project Manager think differently, of course they do, they are two different roles, but in a working environment can you act as both or does it have to be one or the other?

SCRUM MASTER
A Scrum Master is a core member of the scrum team. They are responsible for ensuring that all the scrum process are followed. A Scrum Master doesn’t manage a team they facilitate or coach teams as scrum relies on support from the whole team. The whole team is responsible in Agile projects, but in a true scrum environment accountability lies solely with the product owner. The Scrum Master is indispensable in this team as they are the glue that holds the team and the various roles together.

AGILE PROJECT MANAGER
A Project Manager is responsible for the project delivery; they are responsible for the time, cost, scope and quality of the project. The Project Manager needs to have a solid business background, people management skills, even though the project team doesn’t necessary report into the Project Manager. The Project Manager monitors risk, issues and project quality.

CAN AN AGILE PROJECT MANAGER  BE A SCRUM MASTER AS WELL?
An Agile Project Manager, manages projects, they don’t necessarily need to be brought into a true scrum environment, and from what I understand this is where many companies are going wrong.  The principles of a Project Manager are similar to that of a Scrum Master is the way that both involve planning  and both measure performance, granted in different ways, as a Scrum Master uses velocity and burn rate to measure progress, where as a Project Manager uses a performance index.

YOUR THOUGHTS?
Yes, there are notable differences between the two roles, there are a few key areas of responsibility that overlap between the two roles. A competent Project Manager might be able to act in both their Project Management role and Scrum Master, if they can adapt to an evolving, ever changing environment. However a Scrum Master does not take over the role as a Project Manager.I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this? Can you act as both a Scrum Master and a Project Manager?  

Tweet us your thoughts @amsourcetech.

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