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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

May 3, 2024

This week, Dan Neumann and Justin Thatil are joined by Mike Guiler to discuss the journey of a Project Manager shifting to fill the Scrum Master accountability. This episode mainly focuses on those Scrum Masters who are newer to this accountability and have a Project Management background. In this episode, they explore what happens when a Project Manager is assigned Scrum Master’s accountabilities which can develop differently depending on the person’s expertise and ability to learn and embrace Agile principles.


Listen to this episode to learn about the main aspects of a successful transformation.


Key Takeaways

  • It is common for the Project Manager (PM) to assume the role of the Scrum Master.

    • Scrum Masters who come from Product Management can incorporate their expertise in the process of shifting to Agility.

    • Product Managers often know a lot about the business domain.

    • PMs often have good relationships with the Team, which are crucial to initiating a transformation towards Agile.

    • You can’t easily hire for the business domain knowledge or the relationships.

    • It is often easier to have current staff learn a new way of delivering value.

  • A plan must be set in order to manage expectations between the development Team and stakeholders.

    • Many non-Agile do not know who the stakeholders are

    • Effective Scrum Masters will connect the team to the Stakeholders

    • The Scrum Master must ensure that the entire Scrum Team is engaged with its stakeholders, showing the development of software and articulating the plan. 

    • The Scrum Master does not need to take ownership of the relationship with its stakeholders but should empower the Team

    • How do we create more and better channels of communication with stakeholders?

  • Project Managers often see success as being on time and on budget.

    • As a Scrum Master, being on time and on budget is not enough; the most important thing is delivering the business outcome.

  • Status reporting is another area where PMs must work in transitioning to Scrum Masters.

    • When an Agile Team operates well, progress should be transparent.

    • Even status reports could become less valuable if the entire Team works together and is aligned, working with Sprint Reviews and information radiators.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Silicon Valley Product Group), by Marty Cagan

Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews, by Norman L. Kerth


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