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Difference Between Project Manager And Scrum Master?

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 16th December 2010

For a couple of months I have seen a rising interest on Twitter in Agile approaches to project management, but what is Agile and how is it relevant to project management? My interest was further sparked by a blog post at “The Project Management Hut”, which said that in Agile projects “the Scrum Master is analogous to the project manager“. So what is a Scrum Master and to what extent is it comparable, complementary or different to a project manager? I decided to post this question on a couple of discussion forums including the APM community and The response on iTTool box was pronominal with 46 replies to the question. The best summary came from Aaron Porter, from the Utah Health Information Network, when he said “That is a tough question. Everyone has different levels of knowledge and different perspectives. However, I do feel that all Project Managers can learn from the agile perspective. The Scrum Master is more of a facilitator than a driver. Part of the daily Scrum meeting is to discuss obstacles individual team members are facing and what can be done to help”. I also identified an excellent video which explains in 8 minutes what is scrum and scrum master. In summary a scrum is a short term tactical project (6 to 8 weeks) to achieve a specific target objective; typical a new software product release. In this way it is analogous to a rolling wave approach to projects and could be a useful approach to many projects.

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