1. Are so-called “agile” project managers merely a myth?
According to one school of thought, Agile project managers are a myth. After all, project managers aren’t mentioned in classic works like the Agile Manifesto or the Scrum Guide.
The argument is that the traditional project manager role of tracking team performance, efficiently allocating resources, and charting detailed project plans is incompatible with self-organizing teams that plan, manage, and follow their work.
While the logic behind Agile project management is that it eliminates the need for long-term planning—one year or more before projects begin—this does not mean that Agile projects can stop planning.
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If you’re a small business working with external clients, planning the project budget, task timelines, and promising key deliverables with Agile contracts is required. You’ll need project managers who can create the project plans that you’ll present to clients when they sign the contract in this case.
2. Do Agile project managers serve a practical purpose?
On the other hand, businesses still require project managers to manage budgets, allocate resources, and identify project risks, according to the opposing viewpoint.
They say that the assumption that Agile team members will take on those responsibilities automatically is flawed. In the “real world,” where projects must meet specific goals and businesses must work within tight deadlines, project managers are critical to ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
Overplanning is one thing that will sabotage an Agile team’s momentum. Scrum software teams, for example, hold sprint planning meetings to commit to tasks that the development team will complete in a time-limited event (one week to one month). However, when teams spend too much time in these meetings, it is one of the main reasons for sprint planning failures.
Traditional project managers, who emphasize the importance of planning, can waste hours debating the finer points and plotting out how to build them.