Jonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray

Agile Enthusiast | Certified Scrum Master | Agile Coach


  • Years as a PM0

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As a Scrum Master I believe emotional intelligence to be considered a critical attribute for any role within an Agile environment, but I believe project managers require this in order to succeed in a project environment. For instance, having self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation behaviors will create a sense of ownership, respect, moral value and aspiration to the work in the project and add a sense of personal dedication and personal commitment to the successful completion of the project. These behaviors also signify the importance of emotional intelligence and the value of developing a comfortable environment for project teams.

Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation are a few examples of the soft skills that project managers should exercise to create a more productive working environment that can lead to the success of the project.

Some common factors to consider when electing a strategy for the upcoming project. • Size of the project • Duration • Complexity • Clients or stakeholders, external and internal Projects suited for a Waterfall methodology • Projects that need direct designing and in-depth documentation • Projects with a fixed scope, time and budget • Best for straightforward, unchanging projects (legacy) • Sequential/linear stages • Projects with an absent client Projects suited for an Agile methodology • Projects where your organization is responsible for the whole process • Continuous cycles • Projects with flexible evolution • Larger, undefined, complex projects • Projects with client involvement (customer focus) When determining the methodology to use, an organization should initially address the points above in order to know the proper approach that may match the legacy system(s), and upcoming projects. From my personal experience, I even have seen that the toughest challenges in transitioning from Waterfall to an Agile methodology is that the Product Owner will have a tough time changing his/her mindset of “owning” a specific deliverable till it's handed off, as opposed to working on each deliverable conjointly. As a Scrum Master, I am always going to say that the true strength lies in people working together towards a common goal regardless of the chosen methodology.
I do not have any experience per say as a Project Manager, however I can give my perspective as a Scrum Master and what I have seen throughout my time helping in leading teams. There are 2 main areas when it comes to my current and past relationships between the Project Manager and Scrum Master role. Team Issues: When working on a project you will be working with people and with that you will have lots of personalities. All teams need someone to help lead, and that may require some amount of management. This is especially true if issues are causing a high amount of incompatibility among the team. These disagreements, and difference of opinions, could end up having a high impact on the progress of the project. Facilitation is key here! Scope Creep: This may seem obvious, but sometimes the simplest things to solve can be the most complex. However, this is probably one of the biggest challenges that a Project Manager will face during a project (Scrum Masters included). It is extremely important to act on this when it does happen and take the appropriate steps in order to refocus to the new direction. This is from an outside looking in perspective.