Functional Manager as ScrumMaster

I’m about to embark on another project next week, an intranet portal, where I have self volunteered to be the ScrumMaster. A few fears about this:

  • This is a big project, typical high-profile deal. On top of that it wandered seriously off course, so in a way I’m being asked to get it back on course.
  • I have at least 2 other projects underway so I’ll be paying less attention to them. I put a lot of trust in my staff so I’m not actually that worried about this effect.
  • I have other priorities which are going to conflict to some extent from finally launching weekly one-on-one sessions to attending architecture meetings about our SOA plans.
  • I’m the sheepdog for the team, but I’m also the functional manager for many of them, so when I make suggestions am really letting the team self-organize?
  • Many on the team including the product owner have never truly experienced anything like Scrum.
  • No one on the team has done much with Websphere Portal, and like any enterprise software it appears to have a lot of gotchas.
  • I’m taking away some creative editing for our companies content authors and giving them more defined authoring templates. Today they have full control of static HTML pages they can author in FrontPage. It’s right think to do, but never much fun to deliver the news.
  • By default being a functional manager, this is a sub-optimal situation because I’m not 100% focused on this project.

Given all these fears I’m still pretty confident everything will turn out OK on this one, for pretty much one simple reason. I really trust the team I have on this. They are talented, dedicated, tenacious at solving configuration problems, and they really want to deliver. In the end I always trust the people on a project as the best predictor of success. (People over Process)

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