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Mastering Development Approach and Life Cycle: From Project Management to Scrum Mastery (From PM to PSM 17)

April 30, 2024

The Development Approach and Life Cycle Performance Domain is pivotal for project managers transitioning to Scrum Masters. This domain covers the methodologies and life cycle phases of project management, offering a perspective that's crucial when moving to the iterative and incremental world of Scrum. Understanding how to adapt these principles to the Scrum framework can significantly impact your effectiveness in your new role.

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

  • Over-Reliance on Predictive Models: Traditional project management often leans towards predictive models, which can be less effective in complex, adaptive scenarios where agile methodologies excel. The Cynefin framework illustrates this, showing that complex environments require an empirical approach, which is at the heart of Scrum.
  • Impediment of Short Feedback Cycles: Phases and stage gates, common in traditional project management, can hinder the agility and adaptability of a team. They often slow down the feedback loop, which is essential for the inspect-and-adapt principle in Scrum.

Useful Experiences and Skills:

  • Collaboration Across Disciplines: Your background in coordinating various aspects of a project lifecycle has likely honed your skills in fostering collaboration across different disciplines. In Scrum, this skill is vital for building a cross-functional team where members work together seamlessly, sharing knowledge and skills to achieve the Sprint Goals.
  • Leveraging Phase Gate Expectations: Your knowledge of phase gate requirements can be used to enhance Scrum events involving stakeholders. By incorporating relevant information into Scrum events like Sprint Reviews, you can ensure that stakeholder communications are comprehensive and align with their needs.

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

  • Embrace Empirical Process Control: Transition from a predictive to an empirical mindset, focusing on transparency, inspection, and adaptation – the core pillars of Scrum.
  • Adopt Iterative Development: Shift from phase-based planning to iterative development, organizing work in Sprints that allow for frequent inspection and adaptation.
  • Facilitate Continuous Feedback: Replace stage gates with continuous stakeholder engagement throughout the Sprint, fostering a collaborative environment for regular feedback and adjustment.



The journey from a traditional project manager to a Scrum Master involves rethinking your approach to development and life cycle management. It requires embracing the empirical nature of Scrum, fostering short feedback cycles, and adapting your planning and management skills to a more iterative and incremental approach. Your existing experience, combined with an understanding of agile methodologies, will be a valuable asset in this transition.

Next step:

Consider how you can apply your knowledge of development approaches and life cycle management in a Scrum context.


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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