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Scrum Master V/s Project Manager: Are they similar?

Published on Wed 6, 2021
Scrum Master V/s Project Manager: Are they similar?


We often get to hear this question in the IT sector. Is scrum master a project manager? Is scrum master a project manager in an agile environment? Is the Scrum master called an agile project manager? Are they similar, or are they different?

To conclude this, we need to understand the defined roles and responsibilities of a scrum master and a project manager. Before that, let us know why this question arises? These questions are quite common when the organization transitions from traditional waterfall project management methodology to agile project management methodology.

Although the project manager's skills and scrum master overlap to some extent, they are not the same. However, before introducing the scrum master role, the current scrum master might have worked as a project manager.

According to’s 2019 Scrum Master Trends Survey,

“31% of respondents stated that they were titled as project managers before becoming a scrum master.”

It is quite common to compare scrum master and project manager roles as they ideally possess similar characteristics such as leadership skills, communication skills, and organizational skills but are different. In simple terms,

Scrum Master is the one who follows the Scrum Guide. According to the Scrum Guide,

‘The Scrum Master is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. Scrum Masters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values.’

The project manager, according to the PMBOK®? Is,

‘The person assigned by the performing organization to lead the team responsible for achieving the project objectives.’

Who is a Scrum Master?