The Project Management principle of “Tailoring” emphasizes adapting methods and processes to suit the unique context of a project. For professional Project Managers transitioning to Professional Scrum Masters, this concept requires a nuanced understanding. Scrum, by its nature, is a framework designed for adaptability and responsiveness, not tailored in the traditional sense. Scrum thrives on the collective intelligence and creativity of the team, encouraging the integration of practices that suit the context of the initiative, while keeping the framework as-is.

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

Tailoring Scrum: Project Managers might attempt to tailor Scrum, adding layers of processes and governance that could stifle its inherent flexibility and simplicity. Or changing artefacts, accountabilities and events, jeopardising the effectiveness of the framework. 

Misinterpreting Flexibility for Lack of Structure: While Scrum is flexible, it is not without structure. Misunderstanding this can lead to chaotic or ineffective practices that don’t align with Scrum Values and concepts.

Adapting to Context in Scrum

Embracing Empirical Processes: Scrum’s pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation are designed to respond effectively to any context. Rather than tailoring, Scrum relies on the empirical process to guide adaptation and evolution.

Adding Practices that Enhance Scrum: Within the Scrum framework, teams are encouraged to integrate techniques and practices that complement and enhance Scrum’s effectiveness, aligned with its values and goals.

Focus on Value Delivery: In Scrum, the focus is always on delivering value. The framework provides enough structure to foster consistency and effectiveness while remaining flexible to adapt to various contexts and complexities.

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

Understand the Scrum Framework Fully: Familiarize yourself with Scrum’s accountabilities, events, artifacts, and rules, and how together these allow for an empirical approach. Understanding these core elements is crucial before considering what additional practices might be beneficial.

Embrace the Mindset of Continuous Improvement: In Scrum, improvement and adaptation are ongoing. Cultivate a mindset of continuous learning, both for yourself and your team.

Experiment and Inspect: Integrate new practices into your Scrum process, but do so judiciously. Regularly inspect the effectiveness of these practices and adapt as necessary, always keeping the Scrum values at the forefront.


For Project Managers moving into Scrum roles, understanding how to adapt to context without tailoring is key. Scrum offers a robust yet flexible framework that, when understood and applied effectively, naturally accommodates different environments and challenges. Embrace Scrum’s empirical approach to maximize value, manage constraints, and enhance performance.

Next Steps

Start by deeply engaging with the Scrum Guide and understanding its fundamentals. Then, look at your current initiatives and identify what practices could complement Scrum in your specific context. Remember, the journey from Project Manager to Scrum Master is about enhancing your agility, not just adapting a framework. Let’s embark on this journey together.

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.






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