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What the future holds for the role of project manager in Agile

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Want a challenging, responsibility-laden job in 2019? The role of project manager in Agile development and test organizations could be for you. While software development trends change some of the particulars of the role over time, constants remain.

On an Agile development team, a Scrum master and a project manager or product manager typically take on large roles. These team leaders perform the same class or business function; they organize project pieces and people for productivity.

The role of project manager in Agile often absorbs that of the Scrum master once a team is familiar with the methodology. You don't need a separate person to reinforce Agile principles on a long-term basis. In fact, the project manager can also absorb other roles, such as product manager. After all, project management usually involves the creation of a product, so it makes business sense to combine those roles into one.

Adaptability, flexibility and the ability to make quick, reliable business decisions are always valuable in a project manager. How effective the person is depends on the business climate, such as a large corporation or smaller organization. The role of project manager in Agile development shops on the smaller side can also encompass the responsibilities typically held by a development manager. If the organization creates project teams as units, a project manager with exceptional people and organizational skills could take on the general personnel management role often performed by the development manager.

Agile project management is not a job for the faint of heart -- and that won't change in the near future. Project managers must make decisions and have opinions based on factual reality. After all, it's project managers who build a case for their decision or opinion and must aggressively, yet professionally, pursue it through to product implementation. The role of project manager in Agile will continue to require daily management of people, issues, complications and changes from all directions -- even as the methodology blurs the lines between traditional team divisions.

Amy E. Reichert is a certified QA engineer at RxMx, with experience in Agile development practices.

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Thanks for describing the role of a project manager in Agile. I think it's also important to be aware of what makes you a good and a bad agile project manager. I found an article about it. Hopefully, you'll like it: https://kanbantool.com/blog/good-and-bad-agile-project-management
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