The three Scrum musketeers and d’Artagnan as Project Manager

Everyone knows that the three musketeers were actually four. If the three musketeers are the Product Owner, Scrum Master and Delivery Team, then the fourth one is the Project Manager.

Next, I will present the role of the Project Manager within a project that uses Scrum and how he collaborates with the Scrum team.

The Scrum team or the three Scrum musketeers
According to the "8th Annual State of Agile Survey", VersionOne 2013, Scrum and Scrum variants (73%) remain the most popular Agile methodologies being used.

The Scrum team consists of a Product Owner, a Scrum Master and the Delivery Team. Scrum teams are self-organizing and cross-functional and deliver products iteratively and incrementally.

The Product Owner represents the client/user and is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog (an ordered list of everything that might be needed in the product and the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product).

The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the Scrum team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules, and is a servant-leader for the Scrum team.

The Delivery Team does the work of delivering a potentially releasable increment of the product at the end of each Sprint (a time-box of one month or less during which a useable and potentially releasable product increment is created).

Why d’Artagnan joins the Scrum team as Project Manager?

If the Scrum team self-organizes and selects their own work from the prioritized feature list, what is doing the Project Manager in Scrum projects? Why d’Artagnan become Scrum musketeer and Project Manager?

When using a methodology as Scrum, the Project Management cannot be discarded. There are many reasons: costs, risks, other stakeholders than the Product Owner, quality, team development, interfaces with other systems, etc. In many organizations there is a true need to combine the Project Management practices and Agile frameworks.

What about the leadership? The leadership model is different in Scrum projects, compared with conventional projects (because team members create value). The emphasis is on:
• Modeling desired behavior
• Willingness to challenge the status quo
• Empowering and encouraging the team

In this case, the Project Manager d’Artagnan will give his full support for the three Scrum musketeers, encouraging them to deliver the expected outcomes, during each Sprint.

In every project there are stakeholders as Cardinal Richelieu and Milady who use their influence to change the project scope, time or budget.  So we need d’Artagnan as Project Manager to manage all these issues and not alone, but together with the three Scrum musketeers.

Also, he can coordinate multiple teams and manage external stakeholders, because ensuring effective communication within the project remains a core responsibility of a Project Manager.

What should he do more exactly?

The Project Manager in a Scrum project:
• Instills trust and openness
• Acts for the simultaneous welfare of the team and the project
• Creates an environment of functional accountability
• Manages the team members’ needs
• Resists meddling and recognize team conflict as a positive step
• Makes budget and cost projections
• Manages risks
• Owns issues and removes obstacles
• Coordinates multiple teams
• (Re)Communicates the project vision
• Is responsible for contract management
• Manages external stakeholders
• Challenges the processes

Some people say that in reality, the Project Manager acts as Product Owner interface to the Delivery Team and as Project Manager to the organization. The reason is that the functional staff usually does not have time to do it. Most of the people say that the Project Manager cannot be Scrum Master because they have highly different roles. In my opinion, the four musketeers must remain four musketeers, no more, no less. Each of them has specific activities that must be performed.

The young d’Artagnan can easily find his role as Project Manager in a Scrum project, even his name is not mentioned in the last "novel": The Scrum Guide, July 2013, by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. And the best arguments are his desire for project success and how he shapes behaviors to achieve project objectives.

The Project Manager does not take over the responsibilities of the Scrum Master, even some of the mentioned activities seem common. In a future article, I will present the relationship between the Project Manager and the Scrum Master and the tasks that differentiate them.

The four musketeers and inseparable friends were guided by the well-known motto: "all for one, one for all". For the success of a Scrum project, the collaboration between the Project Manager, Product Owner, Scrum Master and Delivery Team must be based on the same principle (which is known in Agile as ''shared responsibility for team effectiveness'').

The Project Management process implemented in Kepler, allow us to adapt the Agile frameworks (as Scrum, Kanban, etc) to the specifics of each project. Thus, d’Artagnan as Project Manager will be able to maximize the project business value without fighting with the Cardinal Richelieu team.


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