Scrum Roles in Construction - dummies

Scrum Roles in Construction

By Mark C. Layton

The uses for scrum within the vast world of tangible goods are enormous. The speed-to-market increase and cost savings can be achieved here as in software and other areas. Construction and scrum are an excellent example.

In traditional project management, the project manager role carries huge responsibilities. They’re broad and all inclusive, and all too often, too much for one person to effectively bear alone. The project manager wears so many hats — coordinating between everyone involved — that efficiency and ­quality can bear the consequences.

Scrum provides different, clearly designated roles, to shoulder the burden. Balance is restored as scrum team members take on different responsibilities:

  • The project manager role disappears.

  • The product owner represents the funding customer and the stakeholders. This could be the person who was traditionally the project manager, or could be the project architect or engineer, depending on how those roles are implemented in each organization. The role is the same: the “what” and the “when” of the product being built.

  • The scrum master role facilitates communication and interactions, removes impediments for the development team, makes sure that each person involved understands the process, and makes sure that the team environment is set up for them to succeed at their jobs. This sounds a lot like a foreman or superintendent, doesn’t it?

  • The development team consists of the subcontractors, engineers, architects, and individual tradesmen.

You can see that the scrum roles that make this framework so effective easily morph into new project types.