Quote of the Month June 2020 – Creating Roles

It never ceases to amuse us that many organizations behave in the same way. For example, organizations attempt to solve problems by creating new roles and assigning the problem to that role. If there is a “coordination” problem, then they create a “coordination role” and assign it the responsibility for “doing the coordination”. The person in this role might be called “coordination” manager, but is often called “program manager” or “project manager”. Some organizations were told that Scrum does not have a project manager role, but instead of their behavior, they merely renamed the role! We have encountered “feature manager”, “item owner”, “feature coordinator”, “project coordinator”, and similar variations.

Why avoid such a role? Is creating a role with clear responsibilities not a good thing? Sometimes. However, a problem is that making one person responsible for something often leads to other people (the Team) not being responsible for it. So, a project manager doing the coordination leads to the team not doing it – resulting in handoff of knowledge and delay.

Source: Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development – Large, Multisite, and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, Addison Wesley