The Scrum master and Project manager… Are they one and the same?

It is easy to assume it is a scrum master’s responsibility to “manage” a project from start to finish. If not all, most believe; being a scrum master = being a project manager.

I started working at Dreamoval a year ago as a scrum master.

Knowing very little about agile then, apart from what I studied in college , made the role a nightmare. “What do I do?” “Product who!?” Facing developers, a move I dreaded (You know what I mean). We’ll talk about it another day.

Let’s start with Agile Methodology.

What is it?

It is simply a process of  splitting  huge projects into smaller chunks ,working on those chunks one at a time, within a short period and ensuring that the completed chunk is usable. And then repeating the process all over again till the whole project is completed.

Why Agile?

It is cost-effective and guarantees quick product releases. The process of splitting projects in Agile is managed through a process called Scrum. Scrum handles project management bit within the Agile methodology. We’ll talk about scrum in my next post.

I mentioned earlier that a Scrum master is not  a traditional project manager. Here’s why;

Agile moves the responsibility of project management to every individual on the team. The Agile team is made up of:

  • The product owner : Manages the project scope and product backlog
  • The Scrum master:
    • Provide a conducive environment for developers [Shield them from external noise business and clients]
    • Facilitate sprint planning meetings
    • Keep an eye on tasks and features – upgrading progress constantly
  • The team : Manages the assignment of tasks to each other and the amount of work to be done within the sprint

Where the traditional project manager manges time , cost, risk, quality, plans resources e.t.c , the Scrum master together with the team are responsible for ensuring the project is done and timelines are met.