There is No Project Manager in Scrum

Ken Schwaber, creator of Scrum

A typical organization includes many roles not mentioned in Scrum, the project manager being one of them. The coexistence of roles outside of Scrum isn’t specified. This raises the question, what is the role of the project manager with Scrum? Furthermore, what was the role of the project manager before Scrum?

The legacy practices of the project manager were practiced in the context of Plan-Driven Development.

Success is measured according to how well development follows this plan.

-Martin Fowler

Scrum practices in the context of Value-Driven Development.

Success is based on value delivered by the software.

- Martin Fowler

Ken Schwaber, creator of Scrum

It was found that within a given budget or timeframe, the emergence of a product designed adaptively with Scrum correlated with a more valuable product than a product that was created by successfully following a plan. This was the case even if the plan-driven project checked all of the features off its list and Scrum did not.

Jeff Sutherland, creator of Scrum

Scrum was created in a world dominated by the plan-driven development model of the project manager. To enable Scrum the creators had to reorganize teams and the individuals on them. Individuals in roles of developers and project managers alike were moved to the Scrum team. The intent was clear, everybody is now responsible for creating value.

Ken Schwaber, creator of Scrum

The Scrum team self-manages. Product owners decide how to maximize value. Scrum Masters bridge the divide between development and stakeholders. Adding an additional in-between, such as the project manager, introduces unnecessary contradictions and antagonisms in Scrum. The needs of the product are fully met by the Scrum team.

This is why there is no project manager in Scrum. Scrum didn’t just ignore the role of the project manager. Scrum replaced the project manager altogether.

Ken Schwaber, creator of Scrum

Scrum has redefined how teams work. Barriers are removed, a shared responsibility for all work, individual specializations will be absorbed by the team. Nobody continues work as they used to. The whole team adapts to do whatever it takes to deliver value to the business.

Jeff Sutherland, creator of Scrum

Since the beginning Scrum has removed the role of the project manager and this has remained the case to this day. If an organization finds that it values the plan-driven approach of project manager then it would find Scrum incompatible with those values.

Ken Schwaber, creator of Scrum
Unlisted

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