Lesson 11: Additional roles
Who’s the project manager in Scrum?
2020 update notes
A few things have changed in the latest version of the Scrum Guide (2020), and the ASF exam is updated based on those changes. However, our videos are not updated yet; so, please note the following changes:
- There’s no “development team” anymore, but only Developers.
- The recommended team size is now “10 people or less” for the whole Scrum Team.
- It’s now called “self-managing” instead of “self-organizing” (same concept, different name).
- There’s a Product Goal now, which is part of the Product Backlog, and sets the overall direction for the product.
- The Sprint Goal is now considered as part of the Sprint Backlog.
- The concept of commitments is introduced for the artifacts:
- Product Goal is the commitment for the Product Backlog.
- Sprint Goal is the commitment for the Sprint Backlog.
- Definition of Done is the commitment for the Increment.
- The Definition of Done is created by the whole Scrum Team now, and not only by the Developers.
- Now, any time you finish an item (based on the Definition of Done), a new Increment is formed. It’s not about having just one Increment at the end of the Sprint.
- The guide doesn’t suggest 10% as the ceiling for the amount of time Developers spend on Product Backlog refinement.
- Sprint Planning has three topics now:
- Why? -> Sprint Goal
- What? -> Items from the Product Backlog
- How? -> Tasks created by decomposing the items
- “Estimating” is now called “sizing”. So, it’s the responsibility of the Developers to size the Product Backlog items.
- “Value” is no longer one of the mandatory attributes of the Product Backlog items. The mandatory attributes are description, size, and order.
- Instead of calling the Increments “potentially releasable”, the new guide calls them “usable” (more or less the same concept).
- 00:05 – Okay. Do you remember one of the discussions that we had before about the titles in the Development Team?
- 00:13 – I told you that we are not supposed to have titles. For example, we don’t say that this person is a tester.
- 00:20 – We say that that person is a developer who is expert in testing.
- 00:26 – They are all developers and we do it because they are supposed to share accountability.
- 00:31 – If you say that this person is a tester, then that person won’t be responsible for other things.
- 00:37 – That’s one concept. The other concept that we have is about adding new roles to Scrum, and the question that I asked you before was, is it a good idea to have a Project Manager?
- 00:49 – What do you think?
- 00:53 – Okay. Based on Scrum, you are NOT allowed to have additional roles inside the project, including the Project Manager. That was simple.
- 01:07 – However, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have Project Management.
- 01:12 – We don’t have a central – centralized type of project management that is done by one person who is called the Project Manager. We still have the project management concept here.
- 01:24 – The things that the Product Owner does, many of those things are project management activities.
- 01:30 – Some of the things that the Scrum Master does, that’s also project management activities; and even some of the things that we expect from the developers are project management activities.
- 01:40 – We just don’t have one person with the title of Project Manager here.
- 01:47 – However, there is something important here. Some people think that Agile is against having Project Managers, which is not the case at all. Agile doesn’t have anything to do with that.
- 02:00 – It’s only Scrum that doesn’t allow having a Project Manager. Okay? Because it has a different approach.
- 02:07 – Alright. Now, the other thing that you may be asking yourself is if it’s a good idea to have a PMO.
- 02:15 – Do you know what a PMO is? Many people talk about it. Most people have heard about it.
- 02:20 – A PMO can be a Project Management Office, a Program Management Office, a Portfolio Management Office.
- 02:26 – No one knows what it is. It can refer to anything.
- 02:29 – It’s basically a unit office with a number of people doing things related to management of projects and programs and portfolios.
- 02:40 – So, in order to answer that question, we need to think about the structure that we have related to projects.
- 02:48 – We have portfolios and portfolios have programs and projects, and each project can be connected to the portfolio directly or through a program.
- 03:01 – I’m not going to go through details of what a project is, what a program is, and what a portfolio is, but really quickly, a Project is something that is initiated to change something else through creating a product. For example, you have your own business, you have multiple services and you decide to introduce a new service in your business.
- 03:30 – To do that, you need to create a new piece of software. Okay?
- 03:34 – The creation of that piece of software is a Project.
- 03:38 – So, that was the definition of a Project. What about a Program?
- 03:42 – A Program is about creating a result.
- 03:48 – For example, you realize that you’re not really good in handling your documents in your company, and the result that you really want to have is a better document management.
- 04:04 – That can be a Program. Now, how do you do that program?
- 04:10 – You start working and you think about different changes that can create that result, which means that you will create different projects within that program that can create that result, and finally, we have a Portfolio. A Portfolio is a set of programs, projects, and probably other things, and the idea is that the portfolio management system is where you decide about programs and projects.
- 04:38 – You decide which projects to do, which are the best, because you have a limited capacity and you cannot do every possible project, you have to pick the best ones, and also you balance your portfolio of projects, you resource them, and a few other things.
- 04:54 – Okay. Is it fine? Shall I go? Right.
- 04:58 – The question was about the PMO, and the point is that when you imagine your project, which may be connected to a program and a portfolio, then if your PMO is involved in portfolio management and program management and doesn’t get themselves involved directly in your project management system, then it’s fine.
- 05:23 – There’s no problem here.
- 05:25 – But if your PMO wants to be involved in the project directly, then it’s not compatible with Scrum.
- 05:32 – That’s it.
- 05:35 – And that’s the same with, for example, having a Program Manager.
- 05:40 – You’re not allowed to have a Project Manager in Scrum, but you can have a Program Manager who is involved in multiple projects that are using Scrum.
- 05:51 – There are two other things we need to talk about before I finish this lesson, which is still about the team, people involved in the project.
- 06:00 – There’s this concept of chicken versus pig, and the problem is that they were walking together one day and they started thinking about opening a restaurant, and the chicken suggests they serve ham and egg, and the pig replies, obviously, that “I’m not sure about it because I would be committed while you would be only involved.” The same thing happens inside a team.
- 06:29 – Some people are committed and some people are just involved, and when you’re just involved, you’re not supposed to have as much authority as when you’re committed.
- 06:41 – So, the idea is to distinguish these two and give more authority to people who are committed, which in our case is the project team members, not some other stakeholders.
- 06:56 – And the last thing is that normally we prefer to bring everyone together in the same room and have …
- 07:04 – remember one of the principles. What type of communication do we like?
- 07:08 – Face-to-face communication.
- 07:12 – We prefer to bring them all together in one room and call it the Project Room, for example, instead of having people in different departments, different buildings, different rooms.
- 07:23 – And it works very well.
- 07:27 – And what happens when you bring people together is that this concept of Osmotic Communication, which is a little bit strange, I don’t know.
- 07:40 – It’s about the fact that when you’re working together, you may not be communicating with someone.
- 07:45 – For example, two people are talking about something related to the project in another corner of the room, but you overhear them, you get an idea of what’s happening in the project, and those ideas may help you in the future, or maybe you can say that you can go there and join them in that conversation and help them a little bit.
- 08:06 – That’s the concept here.
- 08:09 – And still, what I told you doesn’t mean that we cannot work with virtual teams.
- 08:14 – We can. We can have Distributed Teams in different places, even different countries, different time zones. That’s fine, that’s possible, but it may not work as well as when we have people in the same room, and if you do it, you should be careful to facilitate communications, find different ways to create Osmotic Communication.
- 08:39 – For example, the way you communicate through emails.
- 08:43 – Maybe you can do it in a way that other people can see what’s happening.
- 08:48 – Okay. That was it about the people involved in the team, remember the three roles; the responsibilities that they have, which we will talk about more in the future lessons; the fact that we shouldn’t have titles, we want to have shared accountability; and we don’t add new roles in Scrum. Okay?
- 09:11 – In the next lesson, we will talk about … start talking about the events and the first one is Sprint Planning.
We’re done with the first part of the Scrum section, which was about the roles. Next, we’re going to talk about the events.
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