I messed up my last reply and some of it was not submitted. I meant to
follow up on your comment about PMs making the transition to ScrumMaster.
Not everyone agrees that this is the normal path for PMs. Some of us
think the PM still has an important role to play in support of agile
teams. The nature of the work changes, but the role remains important
and distinct from that of the ScrumMaster.
Everyone has had different experiences, of course, but I personally
have not seen an organization completely transform into an "agile
organization". Where agile methods have been successfully adopted, the
agile group operates within the context of a larger IT organization
that remains traditional in its thinking and processes. The
ScrumMaster must stay focused on the team and the Product Owner.
The PM, meanwhile, has a role to play in "running interference" with
the rest of the organization, which may or may not understand how the
agile teams function. He/she may also have to prepare reports to be
consumed by people who don't understand Scrum-style project reporting,
and possibly for consumption by Six Sigma analysts or internal
auditors. The ScrumMaster should not be burdened with these tasks.
OTOH, many companies don't see a need to staff two roles on projects,
and the layer of management just above the PMs doesn't "get" the
ScrumMaster role. I think it is for this reason that many individuals
have to try and function as both ScrumMaster and PM, and not because
that is really the most effective team structure.
This may change going forward, as agile crosses the chasm and as more
companies adopt lean thinking organization-wide. They will begin to
recognize the low value of pure-overhead management reporting and the
high value of process facilitators and teach coaches. For the moment,
though, I'm not so sure PMs need to transform into ScrumMasters,
unless they happen to be attracted to that type of work as an
individual choice. Transforming them from Theory X to Theory Y
managers may be sufficient.
--- In email@example.com
, "dnicolet99" <dnicolet@...>
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "michele_sliger"
> <michele_sliger@> wrote:
> > As a consultant, I see this in an area that has special meaning for
> > me: project managers. They are concerned that since the teams are
> > self-organizing that they will no longer be needed. They don't
> > understand what their new duties will be if they're not asking
> > coders "is it done yet?" and updating the Gantt chart. Granted,
> > that's a stereotype, but I'm not usually called in to help teams that
> > already "get it" so I have a warped view of reality around the
> > adoption of agile by traditional project managers.
> I think you're right that this is an area of special interest for agile
> adoption. PMI-trained PMs find agile development to be counterintuitive.
> I've encountered misunderstandings from PMs many times, and mentioned a
> couple of those experiences in PMs coming to grips with agile project
> <http://www.davenicolette.net/agile/index.blog?entry_id=1583372> and
> > My role is to help them see what their jobs could become, as
> > ScrumMasters. I try to relate their current duties to what they would
> > do in the Scrum framework, using their language (PMI). This helps
> > them to see how their role will change, and the opportunities this
> > affords them. i.e., Understanding can help alleviate fear, then
> > adoption is more likely.
> > It's a change some can't accept, or won't. Some try with trepidation
> > and become very successful; some try with excitement and zeal and
> > fail completely.
> > -Michele