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I'm a PM and I want to train as a Scrum Master!


I'm a PM and I want to train as a Scrum Master!

How many of us have heard that statement? I remember on my Scrum Master training course being surrounded by Project Managers who after spotting the increase in demand for Agile and Scrum Masters thought they needed to retrain! But why as a Scrum Master?

What does a Scrum Master Do?

I intend to write an article about the roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master soon so I won't delve too deeply into the subject here... but what I will say is that a Scrum Master is not a Project Manager - the roles are not the same!

A Scrum Master should not have direct management over the team (not always true) - they need to be a trusted member of the team with the confidence of all - but very importantly somebody who the team can trust to discuss problems with!

The Scum Master might do the burn down chart and facilitate the team day to day and resolve issues - but the Scrum Master is also an agile coach! somebody well versed in all things agile, a good communicator and good trainer - somebody to help the team, clients, stakeholders and product owners to work together! to facilitate the ceremonies! and often somebody well grounded in the technical side of the team. 

So does that mean that all of our PM friends with their Prince 2 certificates are out of a job? I have a few techie friends who probably hope they are! but jokes aside the answer is No!

But where should a PM go who wants to get involved in the world of Agile?

Have you thought about being a Product Owner?

Agile is still deeply misunderstood.... I know of several organisations who do a stand-up everyday and think their doing a form of Agile (Scrum) the roles within an Agile team are even less understood!

So who is the Product Owner and what do they do? 

Well a good Product Owner should represent the stakeholders - you should be enforcing the definition of 'Done' within the team, you should be working with the client(s) to help them understand their requirements, needs and define their MMP (Minimum Marketable Product). You should be responsible for converting the road map into a back log and grooming the back log, attending the various Agile meetings (ceremonies) setting the 'Sprint Goal' and helping the team to be focused on delivering the next story. A product owner should be present in the demo and take a lead role in demonstrating the product to the client each Sprint.

Any of this sounding like the role of a good Project Manager yet?