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Scrum Master vs. Project Manager - How are these roles differnet from each other?

Karteek Jada
Product @ TYNYBAY
Feb 16th, 2022
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There is a lot of confusion about the role of a scrum master and a project manager. Some people think that they are the same thing, while others believe that they are completely different roles. In this blog post, we will clear up the confusion and discuss the differences between these two roles. We will also explore which one might be a better fit for you, depending on your needs and goals.

Let's get back to basics and get to know the difference between SM & PM by understanding each term in brief.

What is SCRUM?

Def: Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. (Read “The Scrum Guide” to know more)

So, what does a Scrum Master do?

The Scrum Master is the facilitator of the Scrum team and works to ensure that the team follows Scrum values, practices, and rules. The Scrum Master also helps to remove any impediments that may be preventing the team from achieving its goals.

Scrum Masters are proactive in removing impediments to the Scrum Teams' progress. They do this in many ways. For example, by providing information, or facilitating communication between all of the people involved with the project and the product owner(s). It is important that everyone understand the process and the best way to do this is by creating an environment where people can ask questions and get feedback. This normally involves conducting training, coaching, and empowerment of the Scrum Team.

The Scrum Master also takes action when needed. If a team member is not performing well or someone obstructs progress then the Scrum Master must resolve the issue. If this fails, the Scrum Master should escalate the issue to management or someone who can take action. This aspect is normally seen as a negative part of the role but it is absolutely critical that impediments are removed.

And, what does a Project Manager do?

Project managers are responsible for planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. They typically have a wide range of skills and experience, which allows them to oversee all aspects of a project from start to finish.

Unlike other designers or programmers, they are responsible for helping their clients to reach certain goals and accomplish the results that have been set up in advance.

The Project Manager strives to bring the vision of the project he works to life. They lead their team in achieving this goal while ensuring that each member knows what they are supposed to do and when it should be done by.

Now that we have a better understanding of each term, let's explore the differences between Scrum Masters and Project Managers.

The main difference between these two roles is their focus. The Scrum Master is focused on the team and helping them to be successful. The Project Manager is focused on the project and ensuring that it is completed successfully.

Another difference is their level of experience. Scrum Masters are typically more experienced in Scrum, while Project Managers may have a wider range of experience in different areas of project management.

Lastly, Scrum Masters typically work with smaller teams, while Project Managers typically work with larger teams.

Challenges of a Scrum Master

  • Maintaining Scrum practices and values while removing impediments.
  • Facilitating the team's progress and helping them to be successful.
  • Team resisting change.
  • Misunderstanding Scrum Framework.

Challenges of a Project Manager

  • Planning, organizing, and managing resources.
  • Ensuring that the project is completed successfully.
  • Scope Creep
  • Lack of clear scope and success criteria
  • The limited engagement of Stakeholders

So, which role is right for you?

If you are looking for a role that is focused on the team and helping them to be successful, then Scrum Master is the right role for you. If you are looking for a role that is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of a project are completed on time and within budget, then Project Manager is the right role for you.

We hope that this blog post has been helpful in clearing up some of your confusion about Scrum Masters vs. Project Managers.

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