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Ask Mr. Agile®: Where does a project manager fit in agile projects?

Interviewer:  Where does a project manager fit in agile projects?

Mr. Agile®'s Answer: Well they don't. Keep in mind, there are three roles under a scrum model; you have a product owner, you have a development team, you have a ScrumMaster. If you're finding that as an organization you also need a project manager, most likely what that means is you've tried to carry over a lot of the administration and bureaucracy of traditional waterfall types of projects themselves. So for us, that's always going to be a red flag right. This is an organization that wants to say that they're agile, but is still trying to hold on to the overhead that was associated with traditional techniques.
 
The analogy that I often give is a sports analogy -- Imagine that you are playing the game of baseball and as an organization you decide you want to start playing the game of basketball. What should you do with your pitchers? Well, I don't know what you should do with your pitcher, but I do know that if you build a dirt mound in the middle of the basketball court and have everybody come out in cleats (because that's how you've always done it), you're not going to perform very well.

Similarly, if I see that you're an organization claiming to be agile but then you have a bunch of project managers, you've already told me you're really not.
 

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