Secret ingredients to quality software


Agreements - Do you use an experienced Scrum Master (or Project Manager)?

Created on 24 May 2012 | Last updated by Tiago Araujo on 19 Feb 2021 12:33 AM (about 2 months ago)

Some clients think that a Project Manager is just a resource that increases the cost of a project. But a house does not get built if you leave the architect, carpenters, electricians, and plumbers to just work it out between themselves. The house *does* get built if the foreman is keeping everyone on their toes, making sure they are doing their job.

Software teams often come with a Project Manager. You can do better than that by getting a Scrum Master.

It's generally best for the Scrum Master *not* to be a member of the development team. This way they can stay objective and it creates more of a ceremony when they turn up.

Tip: If they are trying to be a member of the development team and a Scrum Master, call them a 'Semi Scrum Master" as they often don't do as good a job.

Here is a common way a project goes with a Scrum Master involved:

  • The sprint backlog is approved by the Product Owner (the customer)
  • The Development team works on the sprint backlog (usually 2 weeks)... The Scrum Master is ensuring the client is kept up-to-date (via the Review, Retro, and Planning meetings) #1
  • The Scrum Master is ensuring the client is kept up-to-date (via the 4 reports)
  • The Account Manager is booking in future sprints (after the Planning Meeting)
  • The Account Manager invoices (usually every week).

This is much better than the old waterfall method which goes like this:

  • The specification is approved by the customer
  • The Development team is working to the specifications for some months (but can be from anywhere from 2 months to 2 years)
  • The Project Manager is ensuring the client is kept up-to-date (via ad hoc meetings)
  • The Account Manager sends invoices when milestones are met.

Insist that your Scrum Master (aka Project Manager) maintains a strict project schedule.

#1 For Scrum Projects:

In Scrum projects, the role of a Project Manager is split into three roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Team. Each role is essential.

For more information go to Scrum Terms and Scrum Roles.

Adam CoganAdam Cogan

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