Scrum Master instead of project manager

Scrum is a product development framework and does not include the role of project manager. Instead of a manager, Scrum shares his responsibilities with the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Development team.

Some stakeholders in companies may not understand this concept and may be willing to take control of projects as project managers. In summary, first of all, I will congratulate such a colleague for his impressive biography, I will show respect for his experience and skills.

Immediately afterward, however, I will express my desire (in a little more detail) to draw their attention to some of the key requirements for the work environment that the Scrum method places. In this sense, the compatibility of the project manager with the Scrum framework; for the effect of using similar as claimed management. Reference: “Why do you want to be a Scrum Master?“,

After explaining to me my views and forecasts from my position as Agile coach, I will not fail to make my recommendations to consider whether a possible project manager will not be more useful to us in the finance department or to join our teams, but in very another role, such as “business analyst”, if it can be useful in another way (after approval by the team’s team lead, as well as after justifying the need for a new member with such functions to the team itself).

Scrum Master role

It is important to make my statement calm, tolerant, and logically justified. Such absurd suggestions can lead to more emotional reactions, especially if they are overly insistent. My role as Scrum Master (or Agile expert in general) presupposes composure, common sense, and adequate reactions at such moments. Moreover, not all people are obliged to be familiar with the peculiarities and requirements of the applied methods. This is my task and in this sense, as patiently but firmly as possible, I will explain to them that the proposal cannot be supported in this form. As you know, I am a certified Scrum Master with excellent certification exams. I have been preparing for my certification exam for more than four months. (Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification exam“, That is why I hope you fully understand my opinion.

The inspection in Scrum

First of all, I will explain what the Scrum inspection means, as colleagues have been misled into thinking that this is an economic term. On the contrary, inspection is an important value, a goal, and a mandatory stage of every work cycle. More on the topic: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification exam on Sprint event“,

Inspection is a critical and continuous assessment of the current state of the product and its characteristics to eliminate problems and improve (through adaptation). I will explain the logical dependence and sequence of the three pillars: transparency/inspection/adaptation. I will present it as part of the philosophy, the attitude to work, the value core of the method and I will connect it with the most important advantages it gives us, namely – flexibility/adaptability/fast results/dealing with complex projects. Reference: “Lessons for Scrum Master certification and practicing professionals“,

The inspection, in addition to being an important task during the scrum review and scrum retrospective, is the very attitude of each team member to monitor the current state of the product and to take into account all improvements/problems/ambiguities. This cannot be entrusted to one person… This is everyone’s task, and the rules of scrum make this task easier. Only after I was convinced that I had understood correctly the meaning of the word and its place in the framework, I would move on. More Scrum Master certifications: “Best Scrum Master certification online in 2022″,

Agile culture

Secondly, I will remind you that the teams have an immature Agile culture, which requires us to strictly adhere to the already relatively small number of requirements of the framework (I mean the roles, time cycles, and events). In this sense, Scrum provides enough freedom and scope for creativity, outside of these basic conditions.

Ie the minimum requirements that define the framework should not be compromised and any abrupt changes in the way of working should be assessed very critically (especially in such an inexperienced agile team). Reference: “The certified Scrum Master manages projects wisely and professionally”,

The project manager is a useful figure when it comes to the Kanban frame, for example. At Scrum, however, things are different, with an emphasis on team spirit, self-organization, close coordination between team members.

There is no micromanagement in Scrum

The Scrum Master itself, as we know, does not have managerial, control, or other similar “micro-managerial” functions. The purpose of his work is to teach teams to work alone. Reference: “Why do you want to be a certified Scrum Master?“,

However, if we add a figure to “manage and inspect the teams daily”, it would mean that there are 2 figures who oppose each other and make each other’s efforts meaningless. If I did not find understanding, I would not back down from my position, and I would add that the appointment of the project manager in its own right is a refusal to fully implement the Scrum framework. Related articles:

The latter… I naturally would not support as a reasonable decision for several reasons:
The teams are enthusiastic, they asked for this method.
It works better and better.
It is extremely suitable for our production process.
Also, changing the method will completely confuse and discourage teams.

There is no project manager in the Scrum framework

In short, the highlights I will bring out are:

There is no role as a project manager in the scrum framework, and it is no coincidence. Direct guidance on the work of the teams is not necessary, on the contrary – creative freedom, team spirit, and support.

Additional inspection, even less daily, is even more harmful. It will disrupt the entire work cycle. There are specific events (scrum review, retrospective), which can be attended by representatives of senior management and clients… They will give a good chance to accurately and regularly monitor the progress of teams.

As a Scrum Master, I commit to protecting the interests of the development team from distractions, overloading with unnecessary tasks and considerations, as well as from any additional obstruction of the work process with additional requirements and interference in their work. Reference: “How to become a Scrum Master“,

Once defined in the scrum plan, their tasks should not be changed until the end of the respective sprint. This is one of the reasons why scrum is so effective and so widely recommended and used by successful companies.

Thirdly, as for the person who wants to become a project manager, if his biography and personality have made a strong impression, I would recommend that he consider the option of including him in the financial department of the company, where it will probably be very useful. He could also take part in scrum retrospective meetings if he thinks and convinces us that it can be useful, but control or management daily in our teams is not just unnecessary, it is harmful. More articles about the Scrum framework:

On the other hand, if the project manager has relevant analytical skills, he could become part of the development team. As we know, the latter often includes people with different functions: programmers, QA specialists, business analysts, creators of technical documentation. However, this should happen after a conversation with the team leader, as well as with the team itself. The Scrum Master cannot and should not make such a decision alone.

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