Project Manager vs Scrum Master vs Project Owner

The Scrum Master role and the project manager role are very separate and distinct. For someone new to Agile, the project manager and scrum master roles might seem similar, or even identical. But it is so important to recognize the differences between the two, recognize where some tasks may overlap, and recognize how they complement one another in large-scale projects.

Role of Project Manager

The traditional Project Manager is a leader, a decision maker, a planner who manages the project and his team and is the person accountable to the business for accomplishing the project objectives. Project manager’s role is to manage the projects and ensure that the project meets the requirements.

Project Manager Roles
Project Manager Roles

The roles and responsibilities of the Project Manager are as follows:

  • Define project scope
  • Gather requirements
  • Identify activities, dependencies, sequencing, and time estimates.
  • Identify resources needed
  • Manages the budget
  • Reports to business leadership on project progress
  • Focuses on process
  • Allocates tasks
  • Prioritizes features
  • Ensure quality
  • Manage vendors
  • Manages risk

Best Scrum Software

Best Scrum Software Every Project Needs

A powerful scrum software that supports scrum project management. It features scrum tools like user story map, product backlog management, sprint backlog management, task management, daily scrum meeting, sprint planning tool, sprint review tool, sprint retrospective tool, burndown, impediment, stakeholder and team management.

Learn More

Role of Scrum Master

The Scrum Master doesn’t manage the team that produces the work, instead he supports the Product Owner, coaches the team and makes sure that Scrum processes are adhered to. The Scrum Master is responsible for the Scrum process, its correct implementation, and the maximization of its benefits.

Roles of Scrum Master
Roles of Scrum Master

The role of the Scrum Master is more a coaching and facilitation role, a role that sits between the project and the customer and the roles and mainly includes the followings:

  • Lead Sprint Planning
  • Lead / Organize the daily Scrum Meeting
  • Coaches the product owner
  • Monitoring the progress of the sprint
  • Helps team estimate and increase velocity
  • Promotes continuous communication
  • Reduce team disruptions
  • Monitors and helps improve team dynamics
  • Assist with Reporting
  • Motivates the team
  • Acts as the glue that holds the team together

Role of Product Owner

Product Owners have a huge responsibility for the project. They are responsible for maintaining a product backlog that describes the product that must continue to fit with the requirements of the business. During any project, as more becomes known about a product, about customers, or about changes in the market, a product often needs to change in order to meet these requirements. The Product Owner has to adjust and re-prioritise the backlog to fit these changes and to steer the project.

Product Owner with Other Scrum Roles
Product Owner with Other Scrum Roles

A Project Owner’s role are mainly includes as following:

  • Convey a clear vision of the project
  • Manage and prioritize product backlog
  • Ensure development team understand tasks and work on the right features in the prioritized order
  • Provide feedback and sign off work results

Difference between Project Manager and Scrum Master

In Waterfall, the Project Manager takes a leadership role in leading the team and developing and managing the plan. But what about all those project management activities if the team is Agile?

  • A project manager helps manage the project timeline, resources, and scope in order to meet business requirements. A Scrum Master, however, helps ensure the scrum team is successful.
  • A Product Owner works with the customer and team to set direction.
  • A Scrum Master is a coach and facilitator and coaches the development team in executing Agile practices to complete the work the Product Owner prioritizes.
  • The Scrum Master works with the Product Owner and the development team to ensure the team members can move forward with development with no impediments, and that the Scrum practices are carried out.
Scrum Master vs Project Manager
Scrum Master vs Project Manager

Note That:

There is a time or place for a project manager in the large projects. The Project manager can cover multiple teams and can work with other dependent teams as well. Project manager can coordinate with multiple teams, help them to meet project timelines and collaborate when resources are required.

About Visual Paradigm
Visual Paradigm help organizations stay competitive and responsive to change faster and better in today’s fast changing environment. Our award-winning products are trusted by over 320,000 users in companies ranging from small business, consultants, to blue chip organizations, universities and government units across the globe. It enables organizations to improve business and IT agility and foster innovation through popular open standards and process frameworks.Visual Paradigm, a killer Agile feature in 2018, introduced Scrum Process Canvas for automating the way a Scrum team to create, manage and deploy software application that empowers the team to continuously improve their performance at unprecedented speed and scale.

Manage the Entire Scrum Process in One Page

  • Automate the Scrum Framework in a fun and enjoyable dashboard with eye-catching updated status.
  • Manage Backlog, Multiple Sprints of different Scrum Roles with a single-page visually executable canvas
  • Allow instantly access, review and generate scrum artifacts and related documents to be archived in the Shared Cabinet
  • Automate the Scrum events and related activities with self-explanatory instructions, samples and required document templates.


Turn every software project into a successful one.

We use cookies to offer you a better experience. By visiting our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.