Agile Project Management Q&A

Agile Project Management Q&A

Webinar-Q-and-A-You guys did it again! Our last webinar, Enterprise Agile Project Management, was an incredible success. There were many thoughtful questions asked that I unfortunately didn’t have the time to answer. The Webinar Q&A can now be downloaded alongside the rest of the webinar resources, including the recording and slide deck. Here are a few of the questions asked during the webinar:

Q: Today, the role of scrum master is the same as Project Manager in traditional projects, they just use different terminology and PDM process. Is this correct?

A: A Scrum Master and a Project Manager are not the same. Organizations that have made this assumption have seen disastrous results. The traditional Project Manager is a leader, a decision maker, and a planner who manages the project and his team, and is the person accountable to the business for accomplishing the project objectives. The role of the Scrum Master is more of a coaching and facilitation role, a role that sits between the project and the customer.

Q: Is Project Manager role the same as Product Manager role in this presentation? I’ve just submitted for a position that states the role as a PO and went on to state tasks as a PM. I personally don’t think this is a successful set up. Please advise.

A: No, the project manager and the product manager are not the same role. The project manager is responsible for managing releases and associated business change. The project manager also manages assignments among multiple teams when multiple teams are involved. The product manager is responsible for determining what new features are needed in the product. I also agree with you that what you described is not a successful setup.

Q: In reality, the self-managing and self-organized team is a very rare case. In addition, ramp-up and growing a team up to this level of cooperation and collaboration is expensive and toward to project end. So, how do you handle this ‘assumption’ that the team shall be ‘self-ready’?

A: Your point is accurate—you don’t make the switch to agile overnight. It requires a cultural change and training for teams.

Q: Can agile documentation have templates? For example in waterfall, we have templates for Scope Analysis, Business Requirements etc.

A: In agile, you can have templates, if it saves time and money. Generally the goal is to reduce the amount of documentation and this means eliminating many of the so-called templates that have been in place. If you do use templates, start from scratch—do not try to apply waterfall templates to an agile environment.

Q: What would you say are some cons of agile?

A: Agile has been proven to deliver higher quality products faster than traditional waterfall. Standish Group research shows that agile projects are three times more likely to be successful than traditional projects. The cons are dealing with organizational change and cultural issues to get there. For example, completely restructuring the role for BAs and PMs has not been easy for many organizations.

For more questions and answers, download the Enterprise Agile Project Management Webinar Q&A along with all of the other free webinar resources.

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