The roles of Product Owner (PO) and especially of Scrum Master (SM) can be quite difficult to define when you are first approaching Agile and assigning this position or searching someone for the role.
Notably many companies just tend to copy&paste the descriptions for classic PMs or even re-assigning people with these roles to the new Scrum titles.
Nothing is written in stone and of course every company can tailor its processes but if you are going to use Scrum as a framework to be agile, you need to be aware of the differences and nuances.
Especially converting Project Managers (PjM) to Scrum Masters is filled with problems. They are all different roles, are not even superficially similar and they all require different skills but notably different mindsets; as such any “automatic conversion” will not always work.
Moreover, SM is a role not a job title. A team member of a cross-functional team can have multiple roles, being sometime a developer, some time an architect and a tester and also acting as a SM. Not easy for a classically trained PjM to immerse in such a team.
Agile shift all responsibility from a project manager to a team, in such case many organisations ponder how best they can make their project managers useful enough.
Converting PjM to PO might be easier than PjM to SM, there is more overlap between the former two than between the latter two.
PjM can become PO if they have domain knowledge.
But if an organisation is Agile and still need a PjM with title “Agile PjM” then it is a big question mark on their Agile correct adoption and mindset.
The same reasoning applies to a Business Analyst (BA) or Product Manager (PdM) though that’s an easier transition.
Let’s first have a look at the Scrum Master transition and in the next post at the Product Owner transition. Continue reading “Scrum Master skills conversion from other roles”