Scrum Master vs Project Manager: What’s the Difference?
Robb: Greg, let's talk about Scrum Masters and how they're not actually considered Project Managers in Scrum. Scrum done right there is no Project Manager because the team manages the project or manages the work that gets done collectively. So I know that can be a hot button issue. There are a lot of Project Managers who end up Scrum Masters and it says Scrum Masters aren't Project Managers. So how do we reconcile these two things?
Greg: Oh, man, I remember the first time I was asked the question like, do Scrum Masters manage anything? And I remember being kind of caught off guard because I thought I was quick to answer. And I was like, Wait, do they? You're right. There's a lot of confusion between isn't a Scrum Master just really a Project Manager. What about that? They do manage something. It's just the project, isn't it? The project is managed by the team, the individuals and they determine how to best do their work. So what they're managing, I think, is the effectiveness of that team. But in no way are they Project Managers. They may have some experience as Project Managers, they could bring to the table. So that could be helpful, but it isn't really their responsibility. I don't know. What do you think?
Robb: Well, I think there's a lot of Project Managers that get into this space because they like to see projects come to a successful place. They like to be part of it. They like to educate themselves and oftentimes they like to get certifications and we talked about that in another video about certifications. Are they useful? But the Project Managers who still want to be Project Managers on a Scrum Team can actually serve to destroy self-management, which is one of the core elements of a Scrum Team. So a Project Manager who wants to manage the project probably should work on a waterfall team. A Project Manager that wants to serve and lead and to teach and to coach might make a fine Scrum Master. But um, yeah, Project Management on a Scrum Team. I see it happen all the time. And immediately you turn your developers into a bunch of status reporting robots. Just cranking out the code…
Greg: (robot voice) I am a robot…
Robb: (robot voice) What are my requirements?
Greg: And that's right.
Robb: Anyway, so yeah, it's a tough one. I know there's gonna be a lot of people commenting on this one and if you have an opinion, leave it down in the comments. Yeah, Project Managers and Scrum Masters are not the same thing. And I think you know, we both get that. We both run into this a lot in teaching and the questions that we get asked. So all right, well, I guess we settled that one pretty quick.
Greg: I'm sure there will be more to come.