What project managers do

Brian Marick reports on his blog that he’s ducking out on a trip to the water park to attend ScrumMaster training. Here’s how he explains the difference between a conventional project manager and a ScrumMaster:

What’s a ScrumMaster? The closest analogue in conventional projects is the manager, but the ScrumMaster has very different goals:

“Removing the barriers between development and the customer so the customer directly drives development;

“Teaching the customer how to maximize ROI and reach their objectives through Scrum;

“Improving the lives of the development team by facilitating creativity and empowerment;

“Improving the productivity of the development team in any way possible; and

“Improving the engineering practices and tools so that each increment of functionality is potentially shippable.”

Actually, I think excellent project managers have always shared most if not all of the goals on this list.

BUT… I think they figured out on their own that the way to achieve results was to focus on the sort of goals Brian describes. They learned through observing other great project manager or through trial and error.

This certainly isn’t the stuff they emphasize in traditional project management training.

Ken is making these goals explicit and elevating their importance. I’m all for it! (I’m planning to attend ScrumMaster training in September.)