Many Challenge Managers develop into Scrum Masters. Listed below are a number of very important ideas for making the transition profitable.


Scrum Masters come from all types of backgrounds, from improvement to administration. From the responses I see in school, I’d guess that the biggest proportion of Scrum Masters had been as soon as in venture administration.

Many individuals who’ve been filling venture supervisor roles present as much as our CSM lessons a bit not sure the place to start. They’ve spent their careers establishing timelines and guaranteeing a crew meets them—however now their group’s transferring to an agile means of working, and meaning these venture managers could must do one thing completely completely different. Typically they develop into both a product proprietor or a Scrum Grasp.

Certification shouldn’t be new to those people. A few of them have already earned their venture administration certification (vs a Scrum Grasp certification) from the Challenge Administration Institute and are in search of a CSM to be taught whether or not ScrumMaster is the subsequent step for them or to higher perceive an agile means of working. Others have been requested by their organizations to fill a selected position and are in search of new abilities.

Recommendations on Transitioning to a Scrum Grasp Position

It’s formidable to tackle a brand new position, however it may be executed! Listed below are a number of key ideas for making that transition from venture supervisor to Scrum Grasp.

Understand the Variations in Challenge Supervisor vs Scrum Grasp Roles

Does the distinction between the 2 roles appear apparent to you? Many individuals assume these are simply two completely different phrases for a similar position—and an enormous variety of organizations additionally deal with them as synonyms.

Challenge managers are the drivers of their groups. They’re just like the coxswain (or coxs) of a rowing crew. The rowers face backward, trying on the coxswain who sits on the rear of the boat going through ahead. The coxswain steers the boat but additionally coordinates the facility and rhythm of the rowers. Like a venture supervisor, the coxswain is clearly in cost; they actually can see what the rowers can’t.

A venture supervisor is considerably outdoors the crew. They direct, encourage, create plans, and finally are accountable for the venture crew’s success. It’s proper there within the title: they’ve direct administration duty for his or her groups.

A Scrum Grasp follows a wholly completely different paradigm—extra like a coach. They neither drive nor handle their groups, however as a substitute assist them to be probably the most profitable model of themselves. They help, they’re servant leaders, they assist in any means potential. As well as, a Scrum Grasp is accountable for guaranteeing the crew understands the agile ideas and the Scrum framework.

A favourite phrase sums it up: “A Scrum Grasp leads via affect, not authority.” The alternative will be mentioned of a venture supervisor. Understanding this distinction is vital! When you attempt to tackle the Scrum Grasp position with the mentality of a venture supervisor, you’re setting your self up for failure earlier than you even start.

Shift Challenge Plan Language from Deadlines to Estimates

In a conventional venture administration surroundings, deadlines are set in stone and the extra usually your crew nails its deadlines, the higher you’ve executed as a venture supervisor. You might be accountable to push your crew to ship on time, on scope, and on finances—the dreaded iron triangle. In my expertise, these iron-clad deadlines not often aligned with the preliminary venture plan, whatever the venture supervisor, however maybe your expertise has been completely different.

In agile groups, we method the difficulty of timelines from a extra sincere perspective. We resist the truth that we will’t know for certain how lengthy it should take to do a fancy piece of labor, a lot much less a string of them.

So we attempt to venture into the long run and estimate when one thing may be executed based mostly on actual information from the crew, and never only a intestine assumption. If a crew constantly can ship three to 5 gadgets each few weeks, we will seemingly venture their future output by multiplying that very same vary over a time frame.

The important thing right here is that it’s an estimate, not a deadline. I’m not promising that the crew will full some large chunk of labor from the product backlog over the subsequent six months. I’m estimating, based mostly on their present burn charge (or velocity), the place they are going to be on a sure future date. If their tempo adjustments or the scope adjustments, I replace that projection and I at all times present probably the most correct present forecast to my stakeholders.

This isn’t to say that we will’t ever have a date set in stone. Each enterprise has dates that may’t transfer (possibly it needs to be executed by finish of yr or for the beginning of that large trade convention). When dates are mounted like that, we’ve to be versatile on the scope of our tasks, whereas staying true to the general product imaginative and prescient. Conventional venture administration doesn’t enable for it, however as a part of being agile, scrum groups usually commerce scope for schedule.

Concentrate on the Group

If I’m a venture supervisor, my focus is on schedules, deadlines, scope, and finances. I’m accountable for juggling my sources (bear in mind after we simply known as them folks?) and my important path to make sure the venture runs easily and in line with plan.

If I’m a Scrum Grasp, I’m centered on the crew. I spend my time considering of how to assist them enhance. I’m looking out for interpersonal conflicts inside the crew. I’m waiting for each inner and outward-facing miscommunications. I’m in perpetual search of how to assist us get higher.

You’ll have to shift your focus to shift your position. Challenge managers concentrate on output. Scrum Masters concentrate on outcomes.

A Scrum crew desires to ship probably the most worth every dash, realizing this isn’t at all times the identical as probably the most quantity. A Scrum Grasp helps the crew make the most important impression within the lives of their prospects, whatever the quantity. In truth, a Scrum Grasp would favor to make an even bigger impression with much less quantity in order that they’ve extra availability to deal with different areas. A venture supervisor merely desires to push as a lot quantity as potential via the crew.

This crew focus goes far past productiveness. Scrum Masters assist resolve conflicts, coach particular person crew members on their position on the crew, and assist your entire group to acknowledge and respect the advantages of a self-organizing crew. It’s a giant job and requires a far better ability set, for my part, than merely managing a venture plan. Because of this we spend a lot time within the Superior Licensed Scrum Grasp class discussing these matters.

I’ve seen many venture managers develop into profitable Scrum Masters. The secret is being crystal clear on the variations within the method to the position (Scrum Grasp vs venture supervisor vs product proprietor). If you’re a venture supervisor who enjoys organizing timelines and retaining groups on observe for deliverables or who’s extra all in favour of product proprietor duties reminiscent of serving to form what might be created, being a Scrum Grasp will not be the most effective match for you. If, nonetheless, the a part of your job you take pleasure in most is working alongside a crew of devoted professionals to collaboratively make a distinction in your buyer’s lives, you’ll seemingly excel at being a Scrum Grasp.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here