Agreements - Do you use an experienced Scrum Master (or Project Manager)?

Last updated by Brady Stroud [SSW] about 1 month ago.See history

Some clients think that a Project Manager is just a resource that increases the cost of a project. But a house does not get built if you leave the architect, carpenters, electricians, and plumbers to just work it out between themselves. The house does get built if the foreman is keeping everyone on their toes, making sure they are doing their job.

Software teams often come with a Project Manager. You can do better than that by getting a Scrum Master.

It's generally best for the Scrum Master not to be a member of the development team. This way they can stay objective and it creates more of a ceremony when they turn up.

Tip: If they are trying to be a member of the development team and a Scrum Master, call them a 'Semi Scrum Master" as they often don't do as good a job.

Here is a common way a project goes with a Scrum Master involved:

  • The Sprint Backlog is approved by the Product Owner (the customer)
  • The development team works on the Sprint Backlog (usually 2 weeks)... The Scrum Master is ensuring the client is kept up-to-date (via the Review, Retro, and Planning meetings) #1
  • The Scrum Master is ensuring the client is kept up-to-date (via the 4 reports)
  • The Account Manager is booking in future Sprints (after the Planning Meeting)
  • The Account Manager invoices (usually every week).

This is much better than the old waterfall method which goes like this:

  • The specification is approved by the customer
  • The development team is working to the specifications for some months (but can be from anywhere from 2 months to 2 years)
  • The Project Manager is ensuring the client is kept up-to-date (via ad hoc meetings)
  • The Account Manager sends invoices when milestones are met.

Insist that your Scrum Master (aka Project Manager) maintains a strict project schedule.

For Scrum Projects: In Scrum projects, the role of a Project Manager is split into three roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the team. Each role is essential.

For more information go to Scrum Terms and Scrum Roles.

Adam Cogan
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