At a recent Project Manager meetup group in Sydney, I wanted to spend some time covering the difference between the Scrum Master versus the Project Manager role. I figured what better way to do this than to have the group themselves collaborate in an Agile way to guide the answers?
So I created the Behaviours And Responsiblities Game, or BARG for short.
Let’s go into how it works:
- Setup enough voting cards for everyone in the room. There are four voting cards for each person: Team, Other, Scrum Master and Project Manager
- Round 1 kicks off with only using the Team, Other and Project Manager voting cards. Headers match these cards on a wall. Preset cards are read out of behaviours and responsibilities that are commonly encountered in project teams and the voters are encouraged to nominate which role predominantly performs the role or exhibits the behaviour. Round 1’s key context is that of an environment that is not Agile. It could be waterfall, it could be RUP, it could be pure common sense.
- As each behaviour/responsibility is called out the card is placed against the role with the highest number of votes. If you have more than 40 minutes than feel free to use additional time to discuss variances where they are quite opposed. Cards can sit between two roles to show the varying opinion.
- Round 2 is kicked off with exactly the same set of behaviours and responsibilities. New headers are placed for all four roles which now includes the Scrum Master. It is also recommended to include a Product Owner role. Round 2’s key context is that of an environment that is Agile.
- Step 3 is repeated again.
- Take time now to compare the results between the non Agile environment and the Agile environment. Walk through any placements you disagree with but take care not to move any placements.
The cards that I included:
- Facilitates meetings
- Primary stakeholder is Sponsor
- Sustainable pace focussed
- Coaches issues
- Manages ability to deliver outcomes
- Primary stakeholder is the team
- Removes roadblocks
- Trains approach
- Resolves issues
- Enables rather than controls
- Makes decisions
- Handles people issues
- Directive, provides answers now
- Has budgetary control
- Primary stakeholder is customer
- Ensures benefits realisation
- Delivery focussed
- Is 100% allocated (full time role)
- Deliver the right work
- Challenges the norm
- Quality focussed
- Deliver the work right
- Delivers value
- Mentors team
- Encourages learning culture
- Supports approach
Bring along a few blank cards and feel free before starting round 2 to ask if any key behaviours or responsiblities for the Project Manager have been missed. I found that I had missed in retrospect two:
- Plans timeline
- Reports to steering committee
So what were the results? Stay tuned, I will post in a week or so. But in the meantime, predict what you think occurred – what shifted where? What didn’t have anyone accountable for it? What was no longer needed?