Communications…Agile and the role of the Project Manager

As organizations increasingly deploy Agile for the delivery of projects there is often a misconception that Agile projects negate the need for any documentation, budget control and scope management. Having witnessed out of control Agile and experienced trying to recover Agile projects, the issues faced when trying to recover an Agile often have a different slant from those of Waterfall projects.

Fundamentally Agile projects alter the project structure and therefore the dynamics of relationships within the project and consequently the communication channels. Scrum Masters, who although primarily technically focused, nevertheless are essentially project managing their team, and in some cases the project management role can become blurred.

So how do Agile projects impact the role of the project manager, and in particular communications? Reporting should be easier as daily cybernetic real time reporting (burn down charts), during software development, which provides a much greater control on software progress. So with this information does the management of off-shore or distributed teams for the project manager become easier or communicating back to the business is any more straightforward?

Clearly communications whatever the product methodology approach remain essential but do they change to an extent that adopting one methodology over the other mitigates the communication issues frequently experienced on projects, and therefore reduce the risk of failure in this area?

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