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The value of an Agile Project Manager in a Scrum Project

An Agile Project Manager has added value in a one Scrum team or multi team project. First off all scrum teams have a tendency to focus on the short term; the goal of a sprint. User stories not finished will be moved to next sprints and inflow of bugs from acceptance testing can have a great impact on the planning. Agile Project Manager are good on monitoring the (release) planning and the impact on the budget. I write monitoring because the Agile Project Manager will try not interfere with the self organizing process in the Scrum Team.

Second Agile Project Managers are great for client side facing. The team, Scrum Master and Product Owner can focus on the building the sofware. The Agile Project Manager can help address impediments in the organization or prepare the organization for implementing the system. In one of my projects I had a very good team with experienced developers and a very involved Product Owner. My added value was reporting to the project board, risk management and acceptance testing.After two sprints of two weeks I reported the budget would exceed by 20 %. We looked in to all the user stories with high scores (13 to 20 points) and looked for potential budgetrisks. In the end the client stated he was very pleased. The team build double the planned functionality in time. The budget overrun was a minor issue because off the early reporting.

Third Agile Project Managers can report great metrics. Traditional Project Manager claim Agile Projects are difficult to manage because they are not in control. I found the opposite is true. Issue tracking systems like Trac, Jira and other Scrum tools can produce a lot of metrics. Depending on the client you can select the appropriate metrics.

– release planning (baseline story points)
– velocity team(s)
– quality (bugs, running tested features)
– risks
– budget

In multi team scrum projects with multiple stakeholders the Agile Project Manager can help the business defining their role and manage dependencies. Managing the pipeline of userstories, components, testing and deployment to Test, Acceptance testing and Production can be challenging. Next reporting a questioning is an important role. Because of the short term focus of the teams it is essential to have the integrated planning in place.

And last but not least Scrum and Prince II work together great. But like the Agile Manifesto:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools ๐Ÿ™‚

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