For professional Project Managers transitioning to a Scrum Master role, the project management principle of creating a collaborative project team environment, takes on a nuanced and vital role. In Scrum, the concept of a collaborative team is central, not just as a functional unit but as a self-managing and cross-functional entity. This principle dovetails with Scrum’s emphasis on the empiricism pillars (transparency, inspection, and adaptation) and its values (commitment, focus, openness, respect, and courage).


Potential dangers for project managers, just picking out two from my experiences

Directive Leadership: Traditional project managers often leans towards directive leadership. In Scrum, this could stifle the self-managing nature of teams, hindering collaboration.

Undervaluing Team Diversity: project managers might not fully leverage the diverse skills and knowledge of team members. Scrum thrives on this diversity, using it to enhance creativity and problem-solving.


Collaborative Teams in Scrum

Cross-Functional Synergy: Scrum teams comprise diverse skills and perspectives, which, when harmonized, lead to more effective and efficient outcomes. This diversity is not just respected but is seen as a cornerstone of a successful initiative.

Cultivating a Scrum Culture: Unlike traditional project teams which are temporary in nature, Scrum teams over time develop their own culture within the broader organizational context, guided by Scrum values. This culture fosters both individual and team growth, aligning with organizational goals.

Empowered Teams for Optimal Outcomes: In Scrum, teams are given more autonomy and are empowered to make decisions within agree boundaries. This leads to greater ownership and accountability, driving the team towards delivering high-value outcomes.


Steps you can take as Project Manager to transition to a professional use of the Scrum framework:

Embrace Servant Leadership: shift from a directive approach to a facilitative one. As a Scrum Master, focus on enabling the team’s success by providing support, removing impediments, and coaching.

Foster an Environment of Openness and Respect: encourage open communication and mutual respect within the team. This creates a safe space for sharing ideas and constructive feedback, crucial for collaborative problem-solving.

Promote Self-Management and Cross-Functionality: guide your team towards becoming self-managing and cross-functional. Facilitate workshops and retrospectives that reinforce these aspects, helping the team grow in effectiveness and adaptability.



For a Project Manager transitioning to a Scrum Master role, fostering a collaborative team environment is not just about bringing people together; it’s about nurturing a space where diverse skills and perspectives converge to create something greater than the sum of its parts. This shift requires adopting new mindsets and practices centered on facilitation, empowerment, and respect.


Next Steps

Begin by evaluating your current approach to team collaboration. Engage in Professional Scrum Training to deepen your understanding of creating and nurturing collaborative teams. Remember, your journey to Scrum mastery is as much about facilitating team success as it is about personal growth in leadership. Let’s start building those collaborative bridges today.

Exploring this project management aspect within Scrum reveals a complex relationship between project management skills and agile practices which we only just touched upon. Project Managers can bring valuable expertise to a Scrum team, but realizing its full potential only happens when the skills are adapted and applied to each unique Scrum Team’s context.

I hope you find value in these short articles and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.


If you want to take a deeper dive into the concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.


Don’t want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the “From PM to PSM” series weekly in your mailbox.


Wishing you an inspiring read and a wonderful journey.
Scrum on.





Leave a Reply