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Embracing Stakeholder Performance in Your Transition to a Scrum Master (From PM to PSM 15)

April 16, 2024

Transitioning from a traditional project manager to a Scrum Master requires a shift in mindset, especially in how you engage with stakeholders. Stakeholder "Performance", while traditionally viewed through a project management lens, offers valuable insights for this journey. In Scrum, the focus shifts from managing stakeholders in a project to fostering collaboration and alignment in a product or initiative environment.

Potential dangers for project Managers, just picking out two from my experiences

  • Misalignment with Empiricism: Traditional stakeholder management often seeks to establish a fixed agreement on project objectives upfront. However, in a Scrum context, this can conflict with the empirical pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation, where objectives evolve based on continuous learning.

  • Control vs. Collaboration: Project managers often control stakeholder engagement, which can be counterproductive in Scrum. Scrum emphasizes openness and respect, requiring a collaborative approach where the Scrum Team and stakeholders share insights and feedback openly.

Useful Experiences and Skills:

  • Facilitation Skills: Your experience in facilitating stakeholder meetings can be an asset in conducting effective Scrum routines, ensuring active participation and engagement.

  • Conflict Resolution: Your skills in navigating stakeholder conflicts are invaluable in fostering a team environment of respect and courage, ensuring that disagreements lead to constructive outcomes.

  • Relationship Building: Your ability to build productive working relationships is crucial for creating an environment of trust and openness among Scrum Team members and stakeholders.

Steps you can take as Project Manager to transition to a professional use of the Scrum framework:

  • Shift Focus from Control to Facilitation: Start viewing your role as a facilitator of stakeholder collaboration, not as a controller of stakeholder interactions.

  • Embrace Empiricism: Engage stakeholders in regular Sprint Reviews. Use these opportunities for inspection and adaptation, aligning product development with evolving stakeholder needs.

  • Promote Scrum Values: Actively promote the Scrum values of commitment, focus, openness, respect, and courage among stakeholders, encouraging their active participation in the Scrum process.


Transitioning to a Scrum Master role requires rethinking how you engage with stakeholders. It's about moving from a control-based approach to one that fosters collaboration, embraces change, and upholds Scrum values. Your existing skills as a project manager, when adapted to the Scrum framework, can be powerful tools in this journey.

Next step:

Reflect on your current stakeholder engagement approach and consider how you can align it more closely with Scrum values and practices.


Exploring this project management aspect within Scrum reveals a complex relationship between project management skills and agile practices which we only just touched upon. Project Managers can bring valuable expertise to a Scrum team, but realizing its full potential only happens when the skills are adapted and applied to each unique Scrum Team’s context.

I hope you find value in these short articles and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.


If you want to take a deeper dive into the concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop.


Don't want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the “From PM to PSM” series weekly in your mailbox.


Wishing you an inspiring read and a wonderful journey.
Scrum on.





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