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Scrum Master Vs Project Manager: How Are They Different?

This is an age-old question that plagues every professional with a “Scrum Master certification” title. “Am I a Scrum Master or a Project Manager?” or “Will my responsibilities change, now that I am a Scrum Master?”  While in many organizations that are still in the process of Agile adoption, these two roles might seem to be mutually inclusive, the truth is, they are as different as apples and oranges. Who is a Scrum Master?  The role of a Scrum Master has become among the most critical roles for organizations that are on the path to Agile adoption.  A Scrum Master is a servant leader, motivator, agile coach, facilitator, problem-solver, thinker and mentor all rolled into one, whose primary responsibility is to serve the team, product owner and stakeholders.Scrum Master vs Project Manager Here are some key differences between the responsibilities of a Scrum Master and a Project Manager.  A Scrum Master: Drives results the Scrum way Improves teams, helps them self-organize Uses a bottom-up, decentralized approach to software development Focuses on innovation Breaks down tasks, focuses on iterations Resolves barriers and controls the Scrum processes Facilitates the Scrum ceremonies Uses Scrum tools to makes sure the project is on track Executes the Product Backlog as per the Product Owner prioritization Solves team conflicts with good communication skills Motivates the team Coaches the team and eventually the organization towards Scrum practices and adoption ….while a Project Manager: Focuses on project completion, on time and within budget Is the authority on the project Follows the traditional command and control, top-down approach Focuses on product development rather than people and processes Sticks to the project plan Works with upper management to ensure a scope and direction of a project. These responsibilities highlight the fact that a Scrum Master is essentially a facilitation role, while a Project Manager is more of a management position.  Project Manager vs Scrum Master vs Product OwnerWhile the project manager and scrum master are distinctly different, project managers still exist in Agile development teams. Research suggests that this not only hampers the progress of the agile project but also the overall Agile transformation.  Experts suggest that project managers can drive better results being product owners, as the scope of these two roles are more aligned.What is Scrum Project Management?In simple words, it is project management the Scrum way! A part of Agile project management, Scrum project management endorses an iterative and incremental approach to software development.  Sprint is the keyword in Scrum Project Management and focuses on frequent delivery of working software.  Scrum Project Management involves 3 roles: Product Owner Scrum Master Development team Correctly done, Scrum Project Management can help the organization achieve quality end results and deliver business value while using few artefacts.Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities The Scrum Master plays a key role in Scrum Project Management.  Armed with a Scrum Master certification, a professional can perform the role of: Delivery Lead Agile Scrum Master Program Manager Project Manager Agile Coach Automation Engineer Project Lead A Scrum Master’s responsibilities include: Clearing obstacles that may stop the work of the development team Facilitating adoption of Scrum processes Sprint planning and review Working on product backlog prioritization Working on story point estimation Coaching the team on Scrum and Agile practices Facilitating communication Ensuring delivery of quality products Liaising with Product Owner and StakeholdersWhat is the role of the Project Manager? The project manager’s role is all encompassing; it extends over the entire scope of the project, right from successful initiation, planning and design to closure.  The Project Manager plans, organizes, and directs the completion of defined projects for an organization, and makes sure that the work is completed on time, within the allocated budget, and in line with the scope.Responsibilities of a Project Manager These include: Planning, organizing, completing a project Financial reporting Developing project charter Resource management Risk Management Change Management Scheduling Time and Budget management Controlling quality Documentation Tracking performance indicators Vendor management Scrum Master & Project Manager: Are they similar? There are certain areas where both the Scrum Master and the Project Manager must excel. Both should be good communicators, effective leaders, and systematic when it comes to balancing work and activities.  Scrum Master & Project Manager: What are the differences? The differences between the roles becomes apparent in the style of functioning of the two. While a Scrum Master is more of a facilitator, a Project Manager can have an autocratic style of functioning.  The Scrum Master facilitates the development process while the project manager owns it. The adoption of Scrum processes is the main responsibility of a Scrum Master’s role while a Project Manager focuses more on getting things done.  A project manager’s role has a very broad scope. As opposed to that, a Scrum Master’s role is more focused on being a servant leader and helping people understand Scrum.Scrum master vs Project Manager Salary. Who earns more? Both roles are equally rewarding, especially for professionals who are certified.  A certified Scrum Master can earn a salary of up to $118,353 a year while a Project Management Professional can earn up to $111,000 on an average. Conclusion Both the Scrum Master and Project Manager roles are indispensable in their own scope. What individuals, teams and organizations need to realise is that the roles are not interchangeable.  While there may be some overlap between the skills of these two roles, they are accountable for different goals and need to remain separate for the benefit of the team, and the long-term progress of the organization.
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Scrum Master Vs Project Manager: How Are They Different?

Susan May
Blog
23rd Mar, 2021
Scrum Master Vs Project Manager: How Are They Different?

This is an age-old question that plagues every professional with a “Scrum Master certification” title. “Am I a Scrum Master or a Project Manager?” or “Will my responsibilities change, now that I am a Scrum Master?”  

While in many organizations that are still in the process of Agile adoption, these two roles might seem to be mutually inclusive, the truth is, they are as different as apples and oranges. 

Who is a Scrum Master?  

The role of a Scrum Master has become among the most critical roles for organizations that are on the path to Agile adoption.  

A Scrum Master is a servant leader, motivator, agile coach, facilitator, problem-solver, thinker and mentor all rolled into one, whose primary responsibility is to serve the team, product owner and stakeholders.

Scrum Master vs Project Manager 

Here are some key differences between the responsibilities of a Scrum Master and a Project Manager.  

A Scrum Master: 

  • Drives results the Scrum way 
  • Improves teams, helps them self-organize 
  • Uses a bottom-up, decentralized approach to software development 
  • Focuses on innovation 
  • Breaks down tasks, focuses on iterations 
  • Resolves barriers and controls the Scrum processes 
  • Facilitates the Scrum ceremonies 
  • Uses Scrum tools to makes sure the project is on track 
  • Executes the Product Backlog as per the Product Owner prioritization 
  • Solves team conflicts with good communication skills 
  • Motivates the team 
  • Coaches the team and eventually the organization towards Scrum practices and adoption 

….while a Project Manager: 

  • Focuses on project completion, on time and within budget 
  • Is the authority on the project 
  • Follows the traditional command and control, top-down approach 
  • Focuses on product development rather than people and processes 
  • Sticks to the project plan 
  • Works with upper management to ensure a scope and direction of a project. 

These responsibilities highlight the fact that a Scrum Master is essentially a facilitation role, while a Project Manager is more of a management position.  

Project Manager vs Scrum Master vs Product Owner

While the project manager and scrum master are distinctly different, project managers still exist in Agile development teams. Research suggests that this not only hampers the progress of the agile project but also the overall Agile transformation.  

Experts suggest that project managers can drive better results being product owners, as the scope of these two roles are more aligned.

What is Scrum Project Management?

In simple words, it is project management the Scrum way! A part of Agile project management, Scrum project management endorses an iterative and incremental approach to software development.  

Sprint is the keyword in Scrum Project Management and focuses on frequent delivery of working software.  

Scrum Project Management involves 3 roles: 

  • Product Owner 
  • Scrum Master 
  • Development team 

Correctly done, Scrum Project Management can help the organization achieve quality end results and deliver business value while using few artefacts.

Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities 

The Scrum Master plays a key role in Scrum Project Management.  

Armed with a Scrum Master certification, a professional can perform the role of: 

  • Delivery Lead 
  • Agile Scrum Master 
  • Program Manager 
  • Project Manager 
  • Agile Coach 
  • Automation Engineer 
  • Project Lead 

A Scrum Master’s responsibilities include: 

  1. Clearing obstacles that may stop the work of the development team 
  2. Facilitating adoption of Scrum processes 
  3. Sprint planning and review 
  4. Working on product backlog prioritization 
  5. Working on story point estimation 
  6. Coaching the team on Scrum and Agile practices 
  7. Facilitating communication 
  8. Ensuring delivery of quality products 
  9. Liaising with Product Owner and Stakeholders

What is the role of the Project Manager? 

The project manager’s role is all encompassing; it extends over the entire scope of the project, right from successful initiation, planning and design to closure.  

The Project Manager plans, organizes, and directs the completion of definedprojects for an organization, and makes sure that the work is completed on time, within the allocated budget, and in line with the scope.

Responsibilities of a Project Manager 

These include: 

  • Planning, organizing, completing a project 
  • Financial reporting 
  • Developing project charter 
  • Resource management 
  • Risk Management 
  • Change Management 
  • Scheduling 
  • Time and Budget management 
  • Controlling quality 
  • Documentation 
  • Tracking performance indicators 
  • Vendor management 

Scrum Master & Project Manager: Are they similar? 

There are certain areas where both the Scrum Master and the Project Manager must excel. Both should be good communicators, effective leaders, and systematic when it comes to balancing work and activities.  

Scrum Master & Project Manager: What are the differences? 

The differences between the roles becomes apparent in the style of functioning of the two. While a Scrum Master is more of a facilitator, a Project Manager can have an autocratic style of functioning.  

The Scrum Master facilitates the development process while the project manager owns it. The adoption of Scrum processes is the main responsibility of a Scrum Master’s role while a Project Manager focuses more on getting things done.  

A project manager’s role has a very broad scope. As opposed to that, a Scrum Master’s role is more focused on being a servant leader and helping people understand Scrum.

Scrum master vs Project Manager Salary. Who earns more? 

Both roles are equally rewarding, especially for professionals who are certified 

A certified Scrum Master can earn a salary of up to $118,353 a year while a Project Management Professional can earn up to $111,000 on an average. 

Conclusion 

Both the Scrum Master and Project Manager roles are indispensable in their own scope. What individuals, teams and organizations need to realise is that the roles are not interchangeable.  

While there may be some overlap between the skills of these two roles, they are accountable for different goals and need to remain separate for the benefit of the team, and the long-term progress of the organization.

Susan

Susan May

Writer, Developer, Explorer

Susan is a gamer, internet scholar and an entrepreneur, specialising in Big Data, Hadoop, Web Development and many other technologies. She is the author of several articles published on Zeolearn and KnowledgeHut blogs. She has gained a lot of experience by working as a freelancer and is now working as a trainer. As a developer, she has spoken at various international tech conferences around the globe about Big Data.


Website : https://www.zeolearn.com

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