A Scrum Master is not another name for Project Manager

There’s a difference, a BIG difference, between a Project Manager and a Scrum Master.  Project Managers know this.  So do Scrum Masters.  The people who seem to have the hardest time grasping and embracing the differences are team members (if your organization is transitioning) and middle management.  Here’s what I have noticed (so far):

  • Team Members want the Scrum Master to make decisions for them.
  • Team Members want to be directed.
  • Managers want a six month plan for the team.
  • Managers want a weekly review of risk/issues, schedule, budget and you get the idea.
  • Managers and Team Members want change control.

In a transitioning environment the Scrum Master needs to be prepared to also be a change agent.  Being a new Scrum Master is challenging enough as it is.  How would you advise any Scrum Master on going about changing the perception of the role?  What have you seen work and what hasn’t worked at all?

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2 thoughts on “A Scrum Master is not another name for Project Manager

  1. The salient point here is that they are not the same job. That’s for sure. In the coaching I’ve done, I do find it is the naturally-assumed transition, for an enterprise that has an established project management function. But I heed your warning that it really shouldn’t be assumed!

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