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Agile vs. Traditional Project Manager Responsibilities

Two separate approaches, one thing held in common. Depending on your company’s IT management philosophy, you may already prefer a specific form of project management.  Yet consider that differing PM methodologies hold in common a required skill. In a post to PM Hut, PM expert Keith Mathis frames the project manager’s roles and responsibilities in the context of both Traditional and Agile Project Management.  

Traditional PM

Mathis summarizes the role of a traditional PM as a link between the strategy of the project and the team. As dictated by the project charter, the manager of traditional PM is the sole person at the helm of the project, calling the shots, navigating in a centralized, top-down fashion. The three competencies of traditional PM, as outlined by Mathis, are: knowledge, performance, and personal. In sum, the traditional project PM needs strong knowledge of how to run a project, how to apply/communicate knowledge to a team, and how to motivate that team.

Agile PM

Per the Agile Manifesto, the PM is directed to value team members over processes and tools – an approach in stark contrast with traditional PM, which focuses almost exclusively on those two categories. Developing people and skills is the way of Agile PM, with its four core values of Trust, Collaboration, Learning, and Courage.

A Common Competency

Communication is the common thread that ties together both traditional and Agile PM methodologies. Mathis sums it well:

Regardless of the project management methodology your project is using, communication is the glue that holds it all together. Effective communication not only requires delivering the information you want to communicate, but to also do it in such a way that you get the other person to have the desired response.

To bring together team members, stakeholders, and other project participants, this single skill cannot be overstated.

Read the full article at:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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