Geekus Con Livus

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"Scrum Master" is not the agile term for "Project Manager"

I've seen a disturbing, yet understandable trend out in the software development market.  Companies are starting to ask for PMP Scrum Masters.  It's understandable because if you can just substitute one term for the other, then no one has to change their thinking on how software is delivered.  It's also understandable, because if you describe the role of Scrum Master to anyone who has had the privilige to work for a great project manager, they can see that great project manager's work in the Scrum Master description. 

Sadly though, many organizations burden their Project Managers with so much voodoo paperwork that the PMs don't get to do much of the fun stuff, like help their teams focus on the work at hand.  It's called voodoo paperwork because there is a belief that "if we collect enough data, then we can start to predict how long it will take to build." 

No you won't.  You will just add one more unhappy person to your organization doing mindless paper work accomplishing nothing productive.

 

You may ask, what does a Scrum Master do if it isn't making sure that the gantt chart daily updates are sent out.

 

I'm glad you asked that.

I stumbled across this great defnition at Agile in Action:

"A SCRUM Master is like a conductor coordinating the efforts of musicians, helping them to play together. Some teams are like jazz bands, so they need a leader who encourages improvisation. Some teams are like symphony orchestras, so they need a leader who keeps everyone on the same sheet of music. Conductors have to be deeply familiar with each instrument and with the music, yet they don't play in the band or tell the musicians what to do. They let the music provide detailed guidance; their job is to bring out the best in the musicians, both individually and as a group."

Print | posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 2:32 AM |

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