Organizations that are new to Agile and Scrum commit some deadly blunders. The most common and overlooked one is the lack of clarity of the roles of the Scrum Master and the Project Manager. This is more often seen in smaller Scrum teams, where these two discrete roles overlap.
There are of course similarities between Scrum Master and Project Manager roles. But that does not give way to ignoring the distinct differences between an Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master.
We have spaced out this article into various sections-
Scrum Master vs. Project Manager roles and responsibilities
- Scrum Master roles and responsibilities:
Scrum Master is referred as a facilitator, who manages the teams that are implementing the Agile methodology. Scrum framework is the best framework for smaller teams of developers, who can break their work into a Sprint in order to get your project done at the end of every sprint.
The roles and responsibilities of the Scrum Master includes-
- Sprint planning
- Scheduling the daily Scrum meeting
- Managing Scrum process responsibly
- Helping the Scrum teams to follow Scrum practices
- Removing barriers so the team can focus on their work
- Assisting with the Product Backlog
- Co-operating with Product Owner in designing Product Backlog items for the next Sprint
- Protecting the team from external distractions
- Recording and assisting to improve team dynamics
*Project Manager roles and responsibilities:
Project manager’s role is to manage the projects and ensure that the project meets the requirements. The roles and responsibilities of the Project Manager are as follows-
- Defining project scope to the team
- Planning project target
- Preparing the work schedule for the team members
- Gathering requirements
- Defining the resource requirements for the project
- Preparing the budget for a project
- Assuring quality
- Mitigating the risks
- Monitoring the plans
- Getting user feedback
- Managing relationships with the client and the stakeholders
- Ending the project
Similarities between the Scrum Master and the Project Manager
- Project Manager and Scrum Master both are humans and they both make mistakes. But they both debug and learn from the mistakes. They both can communicate, receive feedback, mitigate the risks, and enable a great bonding within a team.
- Actually, neither the Project Manager nor the Scrum Master is the supreme authority. The Project Manager has to report to the client and the stakeholders, whereas the Scrum Master has to report to the Product Owner alongside the stakeholders and clients.
- Both Project Manager and the Scrum Master fail when they ignore the basic principles that are supposed to be adhered to. They fail when they not only neglect being professionals, but also when they are any less than skilled professionals. Sometimes, they may also fail when they disrespect the team members’ opinions.
Differences between the Agile Project manager and Scrum Master
While noting down the differences between the Project Manager and the Scrum Master, you will find out that the Project Manager plays the leadership role by leading a planning for the execution of the project. Scrum Master plays a support role for the team members, by working closely with the team and assuring that they are following Agile principles properly. Let’s look at the major differences between the PM and SM:
|Project Manager(PM) vs.Scrum Master(SM)|
|Goals||Has defined goals like-
||Makes sure that the team members are well trained to follow Agile practices appropriately. Also, SM coaches the Scrum teams and mentions the timeline to finish the project.|
|Quality Assurance||PM also knows the importance of quality, but doesn’t know how to achieve this. Usually, a consultant is hired to fix the errors.||SM assures the quality and very well knows the importance of it.|
|Team Size||Project Managers like to make the things large. PM works with more people and a huge budget. In this way, they improve to Program Manager||Scrum Master always tries to keep things smaller. They like to work in small teams irrespective of budget.|
|Average Salary||Rs.1,351,403 per year||Rs 1,036,017 per year|
|Job Description||The job description of the Project Manager includes-
||The job description for Scrum Master includes-
Scrum Master vs. Project Manager certification
The Scrum Master and the Project Manager certifications are the two most popular certifications of the Agile and Waterfall methodologies.
Scrum.org report as of 30th April 2017 states that around 110,000+ people are Scrum certified.
Only 56% of the Project Management Specialists are holding a Project Manager Certificate, even in Big IT companies. This was revealed in a survey conducted by IBM.
Deciding between the Scrum Master and Project Manager certification is indeed a tough choice and entails a careful consideration of the prospects of each. Eventually, the role of a Scrum Master is proved as a ‘deciding factor’ of the successful projects. The Scrum Master and the Project Manager both have distinct roles. Both need particular skill-sets and a right person to make the work happen.