0

I had short experience in construction industry, then I completed MBA in Project management. I am equipped with MS project Primavera P6. Now I am thinking of switching into IT industry. Will Agile scrum master certification be enough ?

1
  • 2
    Having an MBA in PM and a Scrum certification can help, but they don't guarantee anything. It depends on the jobs you apply for, on your knowledge and skills, on your motivation, and on the person who interviews you. Nobody is going to hire you just because you have two pieces of paper. People will test you at the interview to determine if you are a match for their position. And if by IT you mean software development, then you need to understand how software gets built. It's not the same as the construction industry. – Bogdan Jan 29 at 8:35
1

No, it isn't. A Scrum certification from any of the major certifying bodies mostly just teaches you the core concepts of Scrum. It is very valuable, but it's also just a start.

Simply switching industries isn't a big problem - it all comes down to how well you can map the concepts from one industry to another in your own mind. Core concepts like communications, risk management, enabling people on the project, and clearing away impediments aren't much different between the industries. It's just what's on the surface that looks different.

Realize though that you may also be switching mindsets from a more water-fall big-delivery approach to an iterative approach. To put it in construction terms, imagine I'm building a new wing of a school. Our school is overloaded and kids are literally having classes on the lawn. Your task is to help us get kids in classrooms as fast as possible. If we have to wait until the whole wing is done, we'll have to close the school and cancel everything. So you have to deliver the ability to move kids into classes in pieces - that's become the norm for IT projects in many companies, so that's can be a pretty big shift - the scrum cert will start unpacking that change.

1

I think you will find it difficult. In my experience, IT people don't just hire PMs who know the PM processes and practices: they expect proven PM experience within either their own business domain (so that you can talk to the business in knowledgeable terms) or the IT domain (so you can talk to the technical people in their own terms). You also need to be sure of what the role encompasses, given the fact that there is not a formal PM role within Scrum, as others have stated.

Be aware that IT can also mean a wide range of different things to different people - I worked as a PM for several years without ever being directly involved in software development projects, while many of my colleagues had no involvement in building IT infrastructure (which was my area of activity). Others built and populated data centres, while still others worked exclusively on application and data migration projects.

Scrum is not always used in all circumstances: My observation is that it's probably most widely used in software development, occasionally in smaller infrastructure projects, and less commonly in larger infrastructure projects such as data centre builds (although I'm happy to be contradicted on this).

A further point I would make is that some organisations try to use agile processes, but don't actually manage to do so for all sorts of internal and external reasons. So I would suggest that you might want to be very sure that you know what an organisation expects from you if they are taking you on as a PM in IT - so be prepared to ask searching questions when in an interview situation, to be sure that you know what you might be getting into.

0

In Scrum it is the Product Owner, not a Project Manager, who decides what gets done and when; the team as a whole then plan how to do it and the PO is responsible for optimising the value of what is delivered by the team. Many software development teams prefer to operate without a PM and it seems to be a trend that former software development PMs either transition to become agile coaches or prefer to move into product management.

Product management requires domain knowledge. You don't necessarily need software development experience to be a PO but you do need to understand your customers, your product, and the business context.

To be a Scrum Master or agile coach on the other hand doesn't necessarily require a lot of domain knowledge or software development experience but it definitely helps if you understand how software teams operate and the kinds of problem they encounter. You could aim to get some experience as an agile coach or "floating" SM first. Some Scrum teams have part-time SMs shared between multiple teams and that can be a good way to gain some experience. A SM cert may help you get a SM or agile coach role but emphasizing your experience of business organization, managing people and helping teams solve problems is more valuable than the cert itself.

(Since you mentioned Scrum I'm guessing you might be interested in software projects. "IT industry" could mean a lot of other things as well however)

0

The toughest part will be getting your first job. You may want to try some non-profit or charity organisations as they can be a bit more flexible around your experience.

Is it enough?

I think if you have the right mind-set, then it will be:

  • Servant-leader
  • Highly collaborative

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.