Scrum Questions

Scrum is not a simple thing. Many people ask me questions on different Scrum topics. I will publish my answers here.

1. Essential features of a Scrum Team
Q: It is regarding the question on psm-quiz on your site.
What are the two essential features a Scrum Team should possess?

  1. It should choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team
  2. It should have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team
  3. It should use tools, processes and techniques approved by the Organization
  4. It should be flexible enough to complete all the work planned for the Sprint even if some team members are on vacation

Though the explanation mentions 1 &2 as the answer for this but shouldn’t option 3 also be the answer for this question. Development team should be using tools, process and techniques approved by organization and if there is any hindrance the scrum master should notice this as impediment and talk to respective stakeholders?

Mikhail: For me #3 looks like a contradiction to #1. As long as the team creates increments according to the DoD, it can use any techniques, tools, etc.

2. Architecture type questions
Q: I noticed that the official Scaled Scrum open exam contains a few architecture type questions. There does not seem to be any reference material around this subject area and just wondered if you could point out some good learning material?

Mikhail: I think, Scaled Scrum does not prescribe any particular architecture. It only says the dependencies between teams should be minimized and we should inspect and adapt frequently. So, it is an ongoing process. Evaluating the current architecture and suggesting ways to improve it is a part of every Sprint.

As I remember, the open Scaled Scrum quiz contains only the following topics:

Q: A system is decomposed into elements like workflows, features, capabilities, etc. How it affects Scrum Teams on a scaled project?
A: It will be reflected in the implementation.

Q: Two ways how Dev Teams can ensure a good application architecture?
* Architecture is an ongoing discussion
* The DT should have a set of architecture principles and follow them

Q: How to start a big complex project?
A: Form 1-2 teams of best developers for implementing the core, add more teams later.

You see, there are no any specific architectural questions. So, nothing to read about this. 🙂
However, the exam contains references to SOA (service-oriented architecture). It is worth to get a high level view of SOA, or at least read its definition. For example at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service-oriented_architecture

3. Opportunities to inspect and adapt
Q: Your quiz contains a question that asks to check all the opportunities to inspect and adapt from a list. There is “Sprint” option. Why it is considered as incorrect?

Mikhail: The idea is simple. All the other options are Scrum Events. Any event in Scrum is an opportunity to inspect and adapt. Sprint is not an event. It is just a time frame.

4. Who creates DoD?
Q: Your quiz has the following question: Who is responsible for creation of the Definition of “Done”? The expected answer is the Development Team. However, some Scrum materials declare that the Scrum Team creates DoD. What is the correct answer?

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide says: “The Development Team of the Scrum Team must define a definition of “done” appropriate for the product.” So, the correct answer is the Development Team.
From my point of view, DT owns DoD on behalf of the whole Scrum Team. So, it is possible to say “Scrum Team creates DoD”, however “Development Team creates DoD” is more precise.

5. Stakeholders and PB transparency
Q: During sprint review stakeholders notice that the product development progress is not very clearly visible and lacked transparency. Moreover, they are not able to understand the next steps. Who is responsible for this?

Mikhail: The Product Owner is responsible for this.

In the Scrum Guide you can find that the PO is responsible for:
* Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next;

At the Sprint Review:
* The PO explains what Product Backlog items have been “Done” and what has not been “Done”;
* The entire group collaborates on what to do next, so that the Sprint Review provides valuable input to subsequent Sprint Planning;

The Product Owner is the Lead Facilitator of Key Stakeholder Involvement. The PO is responsible for identifying the key stakeholders for the product and involving them as necessary throughout the development effort.

6. UI markup to better understand a Product feature?
Q: Scrum Team decides they need to create one more artifact UI markup to better understand the product feature, can they proceed or not since Scrum Teams should capture product features/needs only in Product Backlog?

Mikhail: Of course, the team can proceed. Right, PB is the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product. If the Scrum Team does not understand what should be done next, it means the PB needs to be refined. The Product Owner should put his product vision as backlog items, maybe with help of the Development Team.
A product backlog item should contain everything necessary to be understood by any member of the Scrum Team. So, if a new UI markup needs to be developed, it should be a part (task) of some item (story) in the PB. When the markup is ready, it should be attached to the item.
So, the answer is not a simple “yes/no”. I would carefully look at the wording of the suggested answers to be maximally close to the point I described above.

7. Stakeholders at PBL refinement sessions?
Q: Can the PO invite stakeholders to PBL refinement sessions?

Mikhail: I would say the PO should not usually do this. The PO must be the arbiter of product value and how it is represented to the team. Frequently key stakeholders do not know exactly what they want and how it can be achieved. This is a job for the PO to understand their needs, decide how they can be fulfilled with the maximum value.
Probably, in rare cases a key stakeholder can be invited as a domain expert to a product refinement session. However, the PO should have the final word.

8. Does PB contain only functional requirements?
Q: Does the Product Backlog contain only functional requirements for the Product?

Mikhail: No. The Scrum Glossary gives the following definition for Product Backlog: “It is an ordered list of the work to be done in order to create, maintain and sustain a product.” So, Scrum is not specific about exactly what a Product Backlog Item is or how it should be expressed. It is just “work to be done”.
The Scrum Guide gives a bit more details about a PBI: it should have the attributes of a description, order, estimate, and value. However, it does not change the “work to be done” definition much. For example, a Product Backlog can contain knowledge acquisition tasks, prototyping, technical chores etc.
However, there is one important moment: a Product Backlog should contain items that the Product Owner cares about, in the sense that they add clear business value and can be ordered by him or her. If there are some “Developer Stories”, i.e. removing technical debt, they can be introduced by the Development Team into their own Sprint Backlog, if they think such stories are necessary in order to help mitigate a technical risk.

9. Should the PO approve the DoD?
Q: Should the PO approve the DoD?

Mikhail: The following points should be taken into the account:
1. The Development Team is responsible for the Definition of Done.
2. There is no direct requirement in the Scrum Guide for a formal approval of the DoD by the PO.
3. The PO as a member of the Scrum Team participates in the Sprint Retrospective where the DoD is revised and adapted.

‘No’ answer is more comfortable for the question. However, the PO can affect the DoD at the Sprint Retrospective by making suggestions for the Dev Team how to improve it. Also the PO can bring some non-functional requirements for the product and the Dev Team usually applies them via DoD. See 11. How to address non-functional requirements? and 46. Non-functional requirements, PO and DoD

10. Can the SM create a PBI?
Q: Who can create a Product Backlog item? Can the Scrum Master do it?

Mikhail: The Scrum guide says:
The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog… The Product Owner may do the above work, or have the Development Team do it. However, the Product Owner remains accountable.

Creation of a PBI relates to PB management. So, certainly the PO is responsible for this. However, he can delegate this work to the Development Team.
If the Scrum Master combines his role with the Developer role (the most common situation), he is a part of the Development Team and can create PBIs when it is agreed with the PO. Otherwise, I think, he should not do it.

In my quizzes I have a similar question: who can change the PB? The answer is “The PO and the DT with permission of the PO.”

11. How to address non-functional requirements?
Q: How to address non-functional requirements such as security, performance?

Mikhail: Non-functional requirements describe qualities of the system being developed. E.g. the system should be secure, extensible and have acceptable performance. The only way to meet such requirements is to have them as a part of the DoD and check every Increment against these criteria.
From my side I would mention that if some non-functional requirements relate only to a part of the Product (i.e. to some feature), most likely the requirements should be processed as a sub-task within this feature instead of the DoD.

12. How does DoD help in Sprint Planning?
Q: How does DoD guide the DT in knowing how many PBL items it can select during Sprint planning?

Mikhail: The DoD helps to reveal the work necessary to complete a PB item. So, it helps to estimate how much time it will take. With better estimations the Development Team can better plan which items can be completed in the upcoming Sprint.

13. When the Sprint length is determined?
Q: When the Sprint length is determined and who decides on it?

Mikhail: The whole Scrum Team should come to a solution about the first Sprint length before starting it. The length of the following Sprints can be changed (adapted).
There is no a formal event for this purpose. The Scrum Guide limits only the maximum length by one month. However, the following points can be taken into account:

  • The pace at which the PO wants to have increments (new features implemented), demonstrate them to the Key Stakeholders and get feedback.
  • Experience of the SM. What was the optimal length for teams doing a similar work.
  • Experience of the DT. Too long Sprints make planning difficult. Too short Sprints do not allow to implement bigger features in one chunk, but give faster feedback.

From my experience, the optimal Spring length is 2 weeks.

14. What is enough to start a first Sprint?
Q: What is enough to start a first Sprint?

Mikhail: A first Sprint requires no more than a Product Owner, a team, and enough ideas to potentially complete a full Sprint.

15. Concerns about progress and budget
Q: A Project Manager working with your Scrum Team has raised concerns about progress and money spent. What are the two best responses?

Mikhail: First of all, there is no Project Manager role in Scrum. So, the manager from the question is an external person for the team.

My best options are below:
a. Invite the manager to the next Sprint Review. There the manager will see what was completed in the Sprint, what is the feedback from the Key Stakeholders, what are the priorities for the next Sprint, get some review of the timeline and budget.
b. In agile practices the duty of all participants is to be transparent. Those who need information are responsible for getting it. They have a duty to ensure that the information they act on is obtained in a timely fashion and with minimal filtering.
So, the manager can investigate the artifacts of the Scrum Team: the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, the Increment. The team is responsible for sharing these artifacts and any information radiators that can help to make the artifacts more transparent (e.g. burn down charts, story boards, etc.)

One more point is that proper use of Scrum makes sure that the most valuable features are implemented first and the proof of success lies in ongoing delivery and not in reporting.

Update: I got the suggested options for the question:
1) Scrum doesn’t have PMs
2) Share the PB and forecast for the sprint
3) Share the current roadblocks
4) Share the last stakeholder report by PO

I see the options fit well with my answer:

1) Scrum doesn’t have PMs
* Correct
2) Share the PB and forecast for the sprint
* Correct. Scrum Team artifacts should be transparent.
3) Share the current roadblocks
* Wrong. Sharing artifacts is much better.
4) Share the last stakeholder report by PO
* Wrong. The PO does not have duty to prepare a special report for the Key Stakeholders.

16. Individuals to consult with for PO to maximize value
Q: Who are the individuals the PO should consult with when considering the value of a Product?

Mikhail: The most important individuals for maximizing value for the Product are the Key Stakeholders. The PO should identify and involve them as necessary throughout the development effort. The Key Stakeholders are typically customers, purchasers, users, and the people that fund the product’s development. These people may be internal or external to the Organization.

17. Which work can PO delegate?
Q: What is Product Owner work that a Product Owner might delegate? Choose one from (a. Ordering PB, b. Writing user stories, c. Facilitating meetings).

Mikhail: The PO can delegate Ordering PB.

The Scrum Guide contains:

The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:

* Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;
* Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions;

The Product Owner may do the above work, or have the Development Team do it.

There is nothing about user stories. So, the correct answer is “Ordering Product backlog”

The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating Scrum events.

18. Three things to focus on for the PO?
Q: What three things might a Scrum Product Owner focus on to ensure his product delivers value?

Mikhail: There are several possible good answers. I would suggest the PO should focus on:
* Key Stakeholder Involvement
In order to maximize value, the PO should identify the key stakeholders for the product, and involve them as necessary throughout the development effort.
* Product Marketplace
The Product Owner should be expertly aware of the marketplace for the product. They should constantly be gathering and re-gathering information and data regarding the marketplace, so that the product value is maximized.
* Product Release Decisions
The PO is the one and only person who can decide whether to release the latest increment of the Product. In order for value to actually be captured, a release of the product must occur.

19. Must the PO write all PBIs?
Q: Must the Product Owner write all of the Product Backlog items (e.g. user stories, non-functional requirements, etc.) on the Product Backlog before handing them over to the Development Team?

Mikhail: Of course not. This question is very similar to the question #17 above.
Who does the work of updating and managing the Product Backlog is a collaboration between the Product Owner and the Development Team. However, the Product Owner is solely responsible and accountable for the decisions in the Product Backlog.
For example, the PO can write nothing, but explain everything in detail to the Development Team. Then the team will create the required PB items and write down all the details.

20. PO responsibilities
Q: My job as a Product Owner focuses on the following (Choose 2 answers):

  • A. Writing clear, transparent User Stories
  • B. Working with customers and stakeholders to identify the most important product requirements
  • C. Being with the Scrum team all the time, just in case they need me to clarify a requirement
  • D. Clearly communicating project or release status and strategies to customers and stakeholders

Mikhail:

  • C is wrong because the PO does not have to spend all the time with the DT. The PO has other things to do. For example, communicating with Key Stakeholders. The main PO commitment is product value delivery. So, he or she should spend enough time (but not all the time) with the DT to meet that commitment.
  • A is just partially right. Writing clear user stories is important, but the Product Backlog also contains many other things like features, functions, requirements, enhancements, etc. The PO is responsible for the whole management of the Product Backlog. Also the PO can ask the DT to write the stories.
  • D is partially correct because the PO should communicate his product vision not only to the Key Stakeholders, but also to the Scrum Team.
  • B is correct. Identifying the most valuable Product features one of the most important PO responsibilities.
  • So, I would answer B and D.
21. All DT work originates from PB
Q: All work to be done by the Development Team must ultimately originate from the Product Backlog?

Mikhail:
I think, in the broad sense the answer is “yes”. The PB is the source for the Sprint Backlog. The Sprint Backlog is the source of the Dev Team work. However, only the Dev Team knows how to implement Sprint Backlog Items. It can involve technical tasks, for example, removing some technical debt or even installing a development environment for a new developer.

22. How does SM help DT and PO in communication?
Q: Which technique is the best way the Scrum Master can ensure that the Development Team communicates effectively with the product owner?

Mikhail:
The Scrum Guide says: the SM helps the PO to understand and practice agility. Agility means using the most effective ways to collaborate. Direct collaboration between the PO and the DT is the most effective one. So, the best technique for SM is to monitor communications between the DT and the PO and facilitate direct collaboration.

23. Can the PO measure success by team velocity?
Q: A Product Owner can measure success by an increase in the team’s velocity?

Mikhail:
No. It is just one of the first steps to success. Success in Scrum is getting maximum value with the existing resources. Value, as defined in a Scrum context, is the financial (or social) benefit an organization receives or might receive by creating and releasing the product under development. In order for value to actually be captured, a release of the product must occur. The sooner you release, the sooner you can start capturing the value created by the product.
Increase in team’s velocity shows that the Dev Team became more mature and can do more in the same time frame.

24. Who are the participants of Sprint Review?
Q: The Sprint Review is mainly an inspect and adapt opportunity for which group?

Mikhail:
The Scrum Guide says: During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint.
So, the answer is “the Scrum Team and stakeholders”.

25. New DTs and productivity
Q: If two Scrum Teams are added to the development of a product that previously only had one Scrum Team, what will be the immediate impact on productivity of the original Scrum Team?
A) Its productivity is likely to stay the same
B) Its productivity is likely to increase
C) Its productivity is likely to decrease

Mikhail: C.
In a short term the productivity will decrease because the new teams will spend time to get up to speed with the Product. The old team will spend a lot of time for communications with the new teams.

26. Factors affecting the Sprint length
Q: What three factors are best considered when establishing the sprint length? Choose 3 answers.
A) The frequency at which team formation can be changed
B) The organization has mandated similar length sprints
C) The risk of being disconnected from the stakeholders
D) The level of uncertainty over the technology to be used
E) The ability to go to market with a product release.

Mikhail: C, D, E.
A. is wrong because Development Teams in Scrum are self-organizing and can decide to change at any time.
B. is bad because Organization is not responsible for the Sprint length. It is determined by the Scrum Team. The PO and the Dev Team should agree on this. The SM may have some coaching duties to perform in that regard.
C. is good because the bigger part of interaction with the Key Stakeholders happens at the Sprint Review meeting. If the Sprint length is bigger, this feedback loop becomes longer.
D. Shorter Sprints is an effective way to hone in on the requirements or try out the technology before committing to a solution.
E. Shorter Sprints suppose that the Dev Team produces “done” increments more frequently. It allows the PO to release the increments more frequently too.

27. How to divide 100 developers?
Q: How would an organization with 100 developers divide into teams?
A) Manger would divide them depending on location, bonding between members and xyz…
B) Developers will form teams themselves.
C) Scrum master will assign them according to budget.
D) Understanding scrum encourage self organization, developers will organize themselves into teams based on skills.
E) Product owner brings all developer working on same product together for planning and depending on functionalities , developer with self organize themselves into teams.

Mikhail: All the options related to self-organization are correct: B, D and E.

28. When the Sprint Goal is crafted?
Q:The Sprint Goal is the result of the Sprint Planning, just as the Sprint backlog. True or False?

Mikhail: Of course the answer is “True”. The PO comes to the Sprint Planning with an idea for the Sprint Goal and then all the Scrum Team crafts the final version of the Goal.

29. Sprint Review topics?
Q: Which topics should be discussed in the Sprint Review?
A) The scrum process and how it was used during the Sprint
B) Coding and Engineering practices
C) Sprint Results
D) All of the above

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide says “A Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the Increment and adapt the Product Backlog if needed.”
So, D. option would be great for the Sprint Retrospective meeting, but it is wrong for this question. All the topics related to the development process are discussed at the Sprint Retrospective.
So, the correct answer for this question is C. Sprint Results.

30. Participate vs Attend
Q: I noticed an error in your questions. It looks like there are two similar questions with different answers:

  1. In which meetings the Key Stakeholders are allowed to participate? The correct answer is “The Sprint Review”. The Sprint Planning was evaluated as wrong in this question.
  2. Select the two meetings in which people outside the Scrum Team are allowed to participate. The correct answers are “The Sprint Planning” and “The Sprint Review.”

The Key Stakeholders are people outside of the Scrum Team, so in the second question they are allowed to participate in the Sprint Planning, in the question #1 they are not. Is there an error in one of the questions?

Mikhail: The difference between “participate” (come to the meeting and speak) and “attend” (come to the meeting, but not speak) is a bit difficult. However, the real exam uses it for sure.

The question #1 is correct. The Sprint Review is the only formal Scrum event where the Key Stakeholders are allowed to take part in. They are invited by the Product Owner and actively give their feedback on the Product.

The question #2 is also correct. It looks like your confusion comes from mixing together concepts of “Key Stakeholders” and “technical experts”. The Key Stakeholders are typically customers, purchasers, users, and the people that fund the product’s development.

In “Sprint Planning” chapter the Scrum Guide says: “The Development Team may also invite other people to attend to provide technical or domain advice.” So, these people are not the Key Stakeholders. They are technical and domain experts. And these people give technical advice. It obviously means they can speak at the meeting. Using the word “attend” here looks like a little inconsistency between the Scrum Guide and the questions.

I hope, now you see the Key Stakeholders go to the Sprint Review and technical domain experts could go to the Sprint Planning. So, there are two meetings when people outside of the Scrum Team can come and speak.

31. Characteristics of a valuable Increment?
Q: In which cases an Increment is valuable? (choose 2 answers)
A) It reduces long-term operational costs
B) It increases customer satisfaction
C) It is delivered on time
D) It has all the features that the Product Owner expected

Mikhail: The answers are A and B.
If you take a look at the Evidence Management Guide, you will find A and B among the Key Value Measures in Current Value section. C and D are absent in this list.

32. Product Backlog is...
Q: A Product Backlog is (choose 3):
A) Managed by the Product Owner.
B) Ordered based on priority, value, dependencies, and risk.
C) An inventory of things to be done for the Product.
D) An exhaustive list of upfront approved requirements to be implemented for the system.
E) Only visible to the Product Owner and stakeholders.

Mikhail: I would choose A, B and C.
E is wrong because all the Scrum Team members can see the Product Backlog.
C and D answers are similar. I like C better because a Product Backlog is never complete, so it cannot be exhaustive. From the other side, if a requirement is in the Product Backlog, it is approved by the PO. So, “an exhaustive list of upfront approved requirements” could be also valid. I do not like this question much because of the ambiguous wording.

33. Metrics for value delivery?
Q: Which two (2) metrics will help a Product Owner establish that value is being delivered?
A) Customer satisfaction
B) Velocity
C) Time to market
D) Budget spent
E) Productivity

Mikhail: A and C are correct. If you take a look inside the EBM guide, you will find “Customer Satisfaction” KVM and “Time to Market” KVA. Budget, velocity and productivity do not contribute directly to capturing Product value.

34. What is Sprint Backlog?
Q: Which statement best describes the Sprint Backlog as outcome of the Sprint Planning?
A) Each task is estimated in hours.
B) It is a complete list of all work to be done in a Sprint.
C) Every item has a designated owner.
D) It is the Development Team’s plan for the Sprint.
E) It is ordered by the Product Owner.

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide contains
“The Sprint Backlog is the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus a plan for delivering the product Increment and realizing the Sprint Goal.”
“The Development Team modifies the Sprint Backlog throughout the Sprint, and the Sprint Backlog emerges during the Sprint. This emergence occurs as the Development Team works through the plan and learns more about the work needed to achieve the Sprint Goal.”

A) Wrong because there is no requirement to have estimation in hours
B) Wrong because the team cannot foresee all the work in the beginning of a Sprint
C) Scrum does not require a designated owner for items
D) The best option here
E) Wrong because the Dev Team owns the Sprint Backlog

35. Cross-functional team?
Q: What does it mean for a Development Team to be cross-functional?
A) Developers on the Development Team work closely with business analysts, architects, developers and testers who are not on the team.
B) The Development Team is a virtual team drawing from separate team of business analysts, architects, developers and testers.
C) The Development Team includes not only developers but also business analysts, architects,developers and testers.
D) The Development Team includes cross-skilled individuals who are able to contribute to do what is necessary to deliver an increment of software.

Mikhail: The best option is D. Scrum recognizes just one role “Developer” within the Development Team. The Scrum Guide tells:
– Development Teams are cross-functional, with all the skills as a team necessary to create a product Increment;
– Scrum recognizes no titles for Development Team members, regardless of the work being performed by the person;
– Individual Development Team members may have specialized skills and areas of focus, but accountability belongs to the Development Team as a whole.

36. Scrum value affected by lack of trust
Q: Which Scrum value is affected by lack of trust in the Scrum team?

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide says: “When the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone.”
So, the answer will be: commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect.

37. Which Scrum values are exhibited?
Q: Which Scrum values are exhibited by not building product backlog items that have low business value?

Mikhail: The same as in question #36, the answer will include some of these: commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect. For me the most suitable answer looks like focus (focusing on the most important things) and openness (the PB items and their values are transparent to everyone).

38. The same Sprint length for all teams
Q: There is the following question in your quiz: All the Scrum Teams working on the same Product should have the same Sprint length and the expected answer is “False”.
I would disagree because the Teams must do integrated increment in the end of the Sprint. It means Sprint length of all the Teams must be the same.

Mikhail: The Scrum framework does not require the same Sprint length or aligned Sprints for all teams. The Nexus framework is built on top of the Scrum and also has no requirements regarding this.

However, if several teams work together using the Nexus Framework, they work in the same Nexus Sprint, have common Nexus Sprint Planning and other events. You are right, the teams should use (but do not have to) the same Sprint length and all Sprints should start and finish together to avoid inefficiency.

Usually the emphasis is placed on having a shared Definition of Done. Another option could be when one team has 2 week sprint length, whereas another teams use 4 weeks.

One of the best things about Nexus – it is less prescriptive when compared to SAFe & LeSS. Usually there are many ways to solve the inefficiencies. But definitely not by making something prescriptive.

39. Communications between the DT and Stakeholders
Q: In my opinion the stakeholders should never initiate communications during the sprint however I do think under the proper conditions that the development team should have access to the stakeholders for clarifications during the sprint. Is this an anti scrum pattern? I am not a big fan of gong up and down ladders for communications such has the product owner having to be an tweener.

Mikhail: The PO is the lead facilitator of Key Stakeholder involvement. The PO should involve them as necessary throughout the development effort. The PO is responsible for making sure that the Key Stakeholders attend and interact in the Sprint Reviews, but really the Stakeholders can be involved with the Scrum Team any time where it’s valuable to have the stakeholder input.
Product ownership is not a committee. The PO is responsible for the product value and how it is represented to the team. So, in the case of any contradiction, the issue must be explained to the PO as soon as possible. Then the PO will communicate with the Stakeholders, resolve it and communicate solution back to the team.
It is an anti-pattern if someone does the PO work for the Dev Team.

40. Product Backlog size
Q: I have seen articles stating the backlog should not grow excessively large. Never above a hundred or so items. Here I do not agree. I believe once a piece of information that has value is identified that it should be added to the backlog even if the item will not be worked on in the near future. I do agree that you would never have many items in the backlog that are groomed to the level to being sprint ready. What is the consensus of backlog size in Scrum.

Mikhail: I completely agree that any valuable idea how to make the product better should be added to the backlog. However, only the top items for one or two next Sprints should be refined enough (be in “ready” state).
With bigger backlogs it becomes harder to order the items and find dependencies. However, there are helping techniques. For example, the stories could be grouped into epics.

41. Why is the Increment the sum of all previous Increments?
Q: I am a bit confused by this definition: “The Increment is the sum of all the Product Backlog items completed during the Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints.” Can you elaborate?

Mikhail: It is because of two reasons:
1. All the previous work is required for the Increment done in this Sprint to have value and to be potentially releasable
2. An Increment must be tested adequately. This includes regression testing.

42. What is the result of the Sprint Review?
Q: Why the answer to “What is the result of the Sprint Review?” is ” A revised Product Backlog that defines the probable Product Backlog items for the next Sprint” and not “Common understanding of progress toward the Sprint Goal and how progress is trending toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog”?

Mikhail: First of all, the Scrum Guide tells: “The result of the Sprint Review is a revised Product Backlog that defines the probable Product Backlog items for the next Sprint. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted overall to meet new opportunities.”

The second option relates to the Daily Scrum: “The Development Team uses the Daily Scrum to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and to inspect how progress is trending toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog.”

I agree, at the Sprint Review the PO explains what Product Backlog items have been “Done” and what has not been “Done”. However, what is more important, the whole group collaborates on what to do next, so that the Sprint Review provides valuable input to subsequent Sprint Planning.

43. What belongs solely to the DT?
Q: I have a question regarding two questions in the PSM I quiz at your website:
1. Who is responsible for creation of ‘Definition of Done’?
– Answer is mentioned as ‘Development Team’
2. What belongs solely to the Development Team?
– Answer is only “The Sprint Backlog” and it didn’t include ‘Definition of Done’

If the answer for #1 is Development Team, the answer for #2 should also include “Definition of Done” as per my understanding. Can you please throw some light on the answers to these questions?

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide contains: “Only the Development Team can change its Sprint Backlog during a Sprint. The Sprint Backlog is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the Development Team plans to accomplish during the Sprint, and it belongs solely to the Development Team.”
and
“the Development Team of the Scrum Team must define a definition of “Done” appropriate for the product.”, “This is the definition of “Done” for the Scrum Team and is used to assess when work is complete on the product Increment.”
So, the DoD is for the whole Scrum Team. However, the DT is responsible for it (on behalf of the Scrum Team).
There is no any contradiction.

44. Does PO change Sprint Backlog?
Q: The Product Owner has the authority to replace an item in the Sprint Backlog. True or false?

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide contains: “Only the Development Team can change its Sprint Backlog during a Sprint.
So, the answer is “False”.

45. Is Sprint Backlog frozen after Sprint Planning?
Q: Is the Sprint Backlog frozen after the Sprint Planning?

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide clarifies it: “The Development Team modifies the Sprint Backlog throughout the Sprint, and the Sprint Backlog emerges during the Sprint. This emergence occurs as the Development Team works through the plan and learns more about the work needed to achieve the Sprint Goal.
As new work is required, the Development Team adds it to the Sprint Backlog. As work is performed or completed, the estimated remaining work is updated. When elements of the plan are deemed unnecessary, they are removed.

So, the answer is “No”, not frozen.

46. Non-functional requirements, PO and DoD
Q: It looks like two of your questions have a contradiction in the answers:
Q1: The Product Owner wants to apply some non-functional requirements to the Product. What is the best way to proceed?
A1: Add the non-functional requirements to the DoD and check every Increment against these criteria
Q2: Who is responsible for creation of the Definition of “Done”?
A2: The Development Team

Mikhail: It looks like your confusion is like this:
The Product Owner wants to apply some non-functional requirements… The best way is to add the non-functional requirements to the DoD… The Dev Team is responsible for the DoD. How the PO can add the requirements into the DoD?

Well, there is no any contradiction.
Non-functional requirements describe qualities of the system being developed. E.g. the system should be secure, extensible and have acceptable performance.
The PO explains the requirements to the Dev Team. The team has two options how to handle these requirements:
1. Add a new sub-task for every Product Backlog Item to make sure the non-functional requirements are met for this particular item (feature)
2. Add the non-functional requirements to the DoD. So, every Increment will be validated against these requirements.

The second way looks more robust because having the requirements as part of the DoD won’t allow the team to forget about them when working on new items. It also will increase transparency.

So, the PO does not change the DoD. He asks the Dev Team to produce Increments that meet the non-functional requirements. The Dev Team adds the new requirements to the DoD because it is more robust way of doing the work.

You can also check my answer for 9. Should the PO approve the DoD?

47. Angry stakeholders. What led to this?
Q: At the fifth Sprint Review, the stakeholders seem disappointed and angry. When asked about it, they say the product or system as being built will not meet their needs and will cost more than they anticipated spending, What led to this?
A) The stakeholders haven’t been using the Sprint Reviews to actively engage , and inspect and evaluate progress
B) Changes to the project plan were not adequately documented and shared. The change request procedure was not diligently followed
C) The PMO and its project managers have not been engaged adequately causing the project plan to become inaccurate
D) The Product Owner has not been interacting frequently with stakeholders keeping them aware of the progress.
E) The stakeholders were not allowed to attend daily scrum
F) The scrum master has not ensured transparency

Mikhail: Let’s go through all the options:
A) Looks good except that the PO is responsible for Key Stakeholder engagement. Probably there are better answers.
B) Wrong because Scrum does not have a “change request procedure”.
C) Wrong. Scrum does not have a Project Manager role.
D) The best option.
E) Wrong. Stakeholders have nothing to do at Daily Scrums.
F) Wrong. The whole Scrum Team is responsible for transparency. The question asks about Key Stakeholder involvement.

48. How to do a perfect Sprint Planning?
Q: Creating a forecast for a sprint tends to run smoothly when the Product Backlog items that are discussed are well understood and actionable. Which approach would you recommend to ensure this state of Product Backlog at Sprint Planning?
A) The Development Team uses some time in each Sprint to analyse, estimate and design high ordered Product Backlog items.
B) A separate Scrum Team of business analysts and functional testers analyse high-ordered requirements one sprint ahead of development.
C) The Product Owner works with the stakeholders to prepare Product Backlog items outside of the sprint so the development team will not be disrupted.
D) The analysts on the Development Team document high ordered Product Backlog items during a Sprint when they are not busy working on the forecast.

Mikhail: A) Correct. The name of this activity is Product Backlog Refinement. However, why the PO is not mentioned here? The Scrum Guide says “Product Backlog refinement is the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the Product Backlog. This is an ongoing process in which the Product Owner and the Development Team collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items.”
B) Wrong. Scrum does not have separate teams for business analysts.
C) This is a good option, but it won’t get enough clarity at the Sprint Planning. When the PO is ready with a new PB item, the PO should discuss it with the DT to make sure it is understood well before taking it into the next Sprint.
D) Wrong. Scrum recognizes only Developer role in the Development Team.

It looks like the correct answer is A. However, if it were my question, I would mention the PO in this option.

49. PM asks for a status report
Q: The Project Manager has asked for a status report to the Scrum Master about the progress. What should he do ?
A. Prepare it by himself
B. Tell the PO to prepare and submit to the Manager
C. Ask the DT to include the report into their Sprint Backlog
D. Tell the Manager that status will be visible during the Sprint Review

Mikhail: The best option is D (status will be visible at the Sprint Review).
A duty of the Scrum Team is to be transparent. Those who need information are responsible for getting it. So, the manager can investigate the artifacts of the Scrum Team (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog) and visit the next Sprint Review.

50. All Scrum Teams must have a PO and SM
Q: All scrum teams must have a PO and SM. True or False?
A. False
B. True and they should be available 100% dedicated to the Scrum Team
C. True and the productivity and progress depends on their availability

Mikhail: C is correct. PO, SM and even Dev Team members can work on more than one Product at the same time, but productivity will suffer because of switching focus.

51. DT is unclear how to plan work for the Sprint
Q: The DT approaches the SM for advice as they are unclear about how to plan work for the Product Backlog Items selected for the Sprint. What should the SM do?
(not sure about other options)

A. tell the DT to figure out themselves
B. Ask the PO to adjust the PB items according to the technical expertise of the DT, so they can plan the work.

Mikhail: A is correct. The Scrum Guide says: Teams in Scrum are self-organizing and cross-functional. Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team. Cross-functional teams have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team.

52. The same Sprint start date for all teams
Q: Multiple Scrum Teams working on the same Product must have the same Sprint start date. Is this statement correct?

Mikhail: No, the statement is incorrect.
The Scrum framework does not require the same Sprint length or aligned Sprints for all teams. So, the start date can be different.

53. What may be delivered at the end of a Sprint?
Q: Which of these may a Development Team deliver at the end of a Sprint?
a. An increment of working software that is done
b. An increment of software with minor known bugs in it
c. Some sort of documentation
d. Failing unit test, to identify acceptance tests

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide contains:

“At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be “Done,” which means it must be in useable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s definition of “Done”.

a. Perfectly suits to this definition
b. Wrong because we do not know the DoD of the team in the question. So, we cannot tell are the minor bugs acceptable for a “Done” Increment.
c. and d. are wrong because the Scrum Guide says:

“Development Teams deliver an Increment of product functionality every Sprint.”

They cannot deliver only documentation or an unit test.

54. The customer wants a new feature
Q: In the middle of a Sprint, the customer decides that there are 2 new features they want. What should PO do? Select 2 answers.
a. Ask the Development Team to think about whether they can add these features to the current Sprint
b. The Scrum Master add these features to the current Sprint
c. Add it to the Product Backlog
d. Introduce these features at the next Daily Scrum

Mikhail: c. is definitely correct because the Product Backlog is the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product.
b. is wrong because the Scrum Guide says: “Only the Development Team can change its Sprint Backlog during a Sprint.”
d. is wrong because the PO cannot introduce the features at the Daily Scrum because he or she does not participate in it
a. is correct because the Sprint scope can be re-negotiated if the Sprint Goal and quality are out of danger (see a quote from the Scrum Guide below)

During the Sprint:
* No changes are made that would endanger the Sprint Goal;
* Quality goals do not decrease; and,
* Scope may be clarified and re-negotiated between the Product Owner and Development Team as more is learned.

55. PO thinks the team cannot deliver a story
Q: You are the scrum master that is new to scrum. PO comes to you halfway through the Sprint and says “I don’t feel like the development team will be able to meet the commitment to deliver the Product backlog item selected during Sprint Planning”. What you should do here?

a) Talk to the Dev team, challenge and inspire them to complete all the work so that they meet their commitment to the PO and have the forecasted velocity.
b) Advise the product owner that the dev team owns the Sprint Backlog and it is up to them to meet the commitment. No one tell the Dev team how to turn Product backlog into increment of potentially releasable functionality.
c) Add more people to Dev team to meet the commitment to PO.
d) Coach the PO that with complex software development you cannot promise the entire scope that was forecasted during Sprint planning. As more is learned during the sprint, work may emerge that affects the Sprint backlog.

Mikhail:
a) is not a good option. The Dev Team has no commitments to the PO. There is no goal in Scrum to meet the forecasted velocity by any price.
b) is correct. The Scrum Guide says: “No one (not even the Scrum Master) tells the Development Team how to turn Product Backlog into Increments of potentially releasable functionality;” So, it up to the Dev Team to meet the commitment.
c) is definitely wrong because adding more people to a team decreases productivity in a short term and won’t help to meet the commitment.
d) is not a good option because it is only partially correct. If Scrum is practiced for a while and implemented on a good level, usually teams deliver the scope forecasted during the Sprint Planning. However, rarely something happens during a Sprint (e.g. new completely unpredicted work discovered, a developer got a cold, etc.) and the team cannot deliver all the stories.

56. PO and ordering items with external dependencies
Q: One of the top PB items depends on a component provided by another team (still in development). Should the DT take it into the next Sprint? Is it a better option to ask the PO to reorder the PB?

Mikhail: This question is about handling external dependencies in Scrum. The rule of thumb here is not to take any work into a Sprint if there are some unresolved external dependencies. The reason is the Dev team cannot take a commitment to finish the item in this case.
Another point to keep in mind is a piece of functionality should be delivered in every Sprint.

In real life I would ask the following questions at the Sprint Planning in this situation:
* Will the external component be delivered during this Sprint? Rarely the answer is “yes” if there is a person representing the external team and making the commitment.
* If the component is not delivered, will work on this item produce some valuable functionality for customers?

If the answers to the both questions are “no”, the dev team will take the next items from the Backlog into the Sprint.

The primary concern of the PO is the flow of value reflected in the ordering of product backlog. Timeline of the flow might be affected by such dependencies but doesn’t necessarily change the ordering.

57. Risks addressed in Scrum
Q: Which risks to software development are addressed by Scrum?

Mikhail: Scrum addresses the most of the risks involved in software development.
For example, Scrum addresses timescale of the planned work via Sprint Planning and fixed Sprint length. Scrum guarantees the best possible value will be delivered in the specified time frame.
Scrum addresses the risks related to the Team: missing skills or bad relationships. The Scrum Guide tells: “Development Teams are cross-functional, with all the skills as a team necessary to create a product Increment;” and “teams are self-organizing”. It means if some skills are missing, the team can organize itself to gain them. The same is with bad relationships. Teams can overcome them by ourselves with a help from the Scrum Master.
Scrum allows to mitigate the risk of an unstable or complex technology through Product Backlog management. The most risky items will be identified and put close to the top. They will be addressed early that guarantees minimal loses in the case if something goes wrong with the technology.
Complexity and unpredictability of requirements are addressed by Scrum via constant work of the PO with the Key Stakeholders and the Development Team (Sprint Reviews, Backlog refinement sessions, etc.)

58. Bad behavior of a developer
Q: A team practices pair programming. Jason is one team member about who everyone has come to you to complain about him. Anyone who pairs with him gets caught in design and architecture decision discussion.
As the Scrum Master what will your do (choose two)?

a) Raise a concern to HR and get Jason removed from the team.
b) Take Jason aside and express your concern over this behavior. Tell him to act as team player and comply to team decision.
c) You suggest to open it up with full team now so that is does not further worsen. You propose to help initiate this discussion but not being the one to start it.
d) You observe this in Retrospective whether discussion on design and architecture is initiated, if not then check how comfortable is everyone with the way it is handled in project.

Mikhail: This question relates to the group of questions where a team member behaves in a wrong way. There are following ideas for the Scrum Master how to handle this:
* As the Scrum Master you are responsible for supporting Scrum, facilitating Scrum events as requested and removing impediments. So, you definitely should take an action.
* Do not immediately suspect lack of commitment. It can be unfair and even harmful. Try to understand what’s going on. Find it out by asking the individual (privately) or someone who knows the individual (discreetly).
* Scrum Teams are self-organizing, so they can handle this for themselves. You should bring it up in the next Retrospective and try to come to a solution that everyone is happy with.

So, the correct answers are c and d.
Definitely, it needs to be discussed with the team. However, it is worth to understand what’s going on before this. Sometimes the root cause of the bad behavior is very different than it seems. In many questions about harmful developer behavior B would be a good option if it was formulated like “Take Jason aside and ask why does he behave in this way”.
As usually, there is no need to wait for a formal event to inspect and adapt. This can be done as soon as the issue is identified.

59. DoD is changed in the middle of a Sprint
Q: After the last release in the production the Key Stakeholders started complain on performance issues. Even the PO agrees, he comes to the Scrum Master. What should the Scrum Master do? (choose one)

a) Tell the PO that dev team owns the DoD and it is their duty to decide on acceptable performance standard
b) Encourage the PO to bring this up to the team so that team can come up with improved DoD, with strong SLA requirements for performance issues
c) Wait till retrospective because this is the appropriate time for dev team to re-consider the DoD

Mikhail: Of course, the PO needs to bring up the concerns to the team. I think it is better to do as early as possible.
However, changing the DoD during a Sprint seems not a good practice because of 2 reasons:
* If the DoD is strengthen in a middle of a Sprint, it could affect the Sprint Goal because items from the Sprint Backlog will require more time to be completed.
* Sometimes a Dev Team could desire to weaken the DoD in a middle of a Sprint to make some unfinished items “complete”. In my opinion it could endanger quality.

So, the best time to change the DoD is at the Retrospective right before the next Sprint.

60. Developer's opinion is not heard
Q: A dev team member complains at the Retrospective that his comments and suggestions were ignored throughout the Sprint. Which three values are we touching here?
a. Focus
b. Commitment
c. Courage
d. Respect
e. Openness

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide itself does not contain details about the Scrum Values. However, I found a very good series of articles on this topic at Scrum.org that explains every value:
Focus
Openness
Courage
Commitment
Rspect

I think the following values were touched in the question: openness, courage and respect (c, d, e):

Openness:
Openness enables team members to share their perspectives, feel heard by their peers, and be able to support team decisions.

Courage:
It takes courage to share a dissenting opinion with a team member and engage in productive conflict.
It takes courage to admit our mistakes. This could apply to our technical work, our decisions, or how we conduct ourselves.

Respect:
When there is respect for all opinions and perspectives, we can ensure everyone has the opportunity to be heard. When we feel we have been heard, it is possible to fully support team decisions even if the decision was not our preference.

61. Sources of Value for PO
Q: As a Product Owner, if you had access to the following individuals, what sources might you consult with when considering the value of a product?
A. Sales Executive or Sales Leader
B. CEO
C. Customers and Prospects
D. Market research results and analyst reports
E. Development Team

Mikhail: Actually, the Product Owner can work with anyone any time (possibly during Product Backlog Refinement and other activities) who can supply good ideas to capture more value for the Product.
In order to maximize value, the PO should identify the Key Stakeholders for the Product, and involve them as necessary throughout the development effort.

There is a good article at Scrum.org that explains everything about the Key Stakeholders. It divides the Key Stakeholders into three broad categories:

  • The Users – The human people who actually use the Product. Sometimes the Development team acts as a “Production Support Engineer” user
  • The External Customers – The people responsible for paying to use the Product
  • The Internal Customers – The people responsible for making the funding decisions for the Product development effort

The Scrum Glossary gives a definition:

A Key Stakeholder is a person external to the Scrum Team with a specific interest in and knowledge of a product that is required for incremental discovery. Represented by the Product Owner and actively engaged with the Scrum Team at Sprint Review.

So, the PO might consider all the suggested options. However, we can try to arrange them:
C. Customers and Prospects (The Users)
B. CEO (The Internal Customers)
A. Sales Executive or Sales Leader (specific interest in and knowledge of the Product)
E. Development Team (sometimes acts as a “Production Support Engineer” user, can give useful feedback during Product Backlog Refinement and other activities)
D. Market research results and analyst reports

62. Who identifies dependencies between the teams?
Q: You’re a product lead with a good track record and the organization has asked you to take the lead of a new product. The product will have 6 teams working on it but they are all new to Scrum. You’re starting to form a Product Backlog. How would you minimize dependencies between Scrum Teams?
(A): You identify the dependencies and re-order the Product Backlog for them.
(B): You work with the Development Teams on how to best parse the work.

Mikhail: Actually, it is easy to answer using the Nexus Guide. It has special events for identifying and minimizing dependencies between the teams and forecasting which team will deliver which Product Backlog items: Refinement and Nexus Sprint Planning. Both meetings involve representatives from all the teams.
So, the correct answer is B.

There is a good paper describing this process in detail: Cross-Team Refinement in Nexus™

63. What to do with process improvements after Retro?
Q: Q. After a Retrospective there are few high priority action items identified by the team. What would be the next course of action?
A. Add at least one high priority item into the Product Backlog
B. Add at least one high priority item into the Sprint Backlog
C. Aim for highest priority item to be implemented in the next Sprint
D. Add the highest priority item into the Product Backlog

Mikhail: A and D are wrong because they suggest adding a team process improvement directly into the Product Backlog. Remember, the Product Backlog lists all features, functions, requirements, enhancements, and fixes that constitute the changes to be made to the product in future releases.

B (add a process improvement into the Sprint Backlog) looks good. However, the current Sprint is almost over at the time of Retrospective. The scope of the next Sprint will be defined at the following Sprint Planning. So, B is not the best choice.

The Scrum Guide contains: The Sprint Backlog makes visible all the work that the Development Team identifies as necessary to meet the Sprint Goal. To ensure continuous improvement, it includes at least one high priority process improvement identified in the previous Retrospective meeting.

So, C option is the best.

64. Responsibilities of Dev Team
Q: Choose three responsibilities of a self-organizing Development Team:
A. Report daily progress to stakeholders
B. Do the work planned in the Sprint Backlog
C. Increase velocity
D. Pull Product Backlog items for the Sprint
E. Reorder the Product Backlog
F. Set the time for the Daily Scrum

Mikhail: A. Wrong. There is no such a duty.
B. Correct
C. Wrong. There is no a formal commitment for this.
D. Correct. The Guide states: “The number of items selected from the Product Backlog for the Sprint is solely up to the Development Team.” I would rephrase it as the DT pulls items from the PB until it feels it is enough.
E. Wrong. This is a PO responsibility.
F. Correct

65. Productivity after adding a new team
Q: There was one Scrum Team working on a product. According to the last decision, a new Scrum team was added to work on the same product. What does happen with the productivity of the first team?”

Check 1 Answer:
A. The productivity of the first team decreases
B. The productivity of the first team increases
C. The productivity of the first team remains unchanged

Mikhail: The correct answer is A. Productivity will decrease because the first team should spend time on interaction with the other team and resolve dependencies. In the very beginning the productivity will drop even more because members of the first team will have to do some knowledge transfer to the new team.

66. Responsibility of SM at Retro
Q: During a Sprint Retrospective, for what is the Scrum Master responsible?
A. Facilitating and also participating as a Scrum team member.
B. Summarizing and reporting the discussions to management.
C. Acting as a scribe to capture the Development Team’s answers.
D. Prioritizing the resulting action items.

Mikhail: A. Correct. The Scrum Guide states: “The Scrum Master ensures that the meeting is positive and productive. The Scrum Master participates as a peer team member in the Retrospective from the accountability over the Scrum process.”
B. Wrong because management is not part of Scrum
C. Wrong because there is no Scribe role in Scrum
D. Wrong because the whole team should do it

67. When to adjust practices?
Q: When does a Development Team make adjustments to its engineering practices?
A. During Sprint Planning.
B. After they have been discussed and agreed to at the Sprint Retrospective.
C. Whenever needed.
D. Before a Sprint begins.
E. Prior to starting a project.

Mikhail: The correct answer is C. Teams in Scrum are self-organized. There is no need to wait until a formal event. Scrum events give formal opportunities to inspect and adapt. However, any adjustments to practices or processes can be made whenever it is needed.

68. When is discovered work added to SB?
Q: During a Sprint, when is new work or further decomposition of work added to the Sprint Backlog?
A. When the Product Owner identities a new work.
B. When the Scrum Master has time to enter them.
C. As soon as possible after they are identified.
D. During the Daily Scrum after the Development Team approves them

Mikhail: The correct answer is C “as soon as possible”. The Scrum Guide clarifies it:
“As new work is required, the Development Team adds it to the Sprint Backlog.”
“The Sprint Backlog is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the Development Team plans to accomplish during the Sprint”
There is no need to wait for the Daily Scrum to approve it.

69. Max time for PB Refinement?
Q: How much time should be spent carrying out Product Backlog Refinement?
A. As much as the Product Owner and Development Team agree is necessary to create enough ready Product Backlog Items
B. Up to 10% of the capacity of the Development Team
C. As much as the Product Owner deems necessary to create enough ready Product Backlog Items
D. Up to 10% of the capacity of the Development Team in a typical Sprint, but as much as 90% in early Sprints

Mikhail: At first glance it seems that answer should be B. However, it is A. The Scrum Guide states:
“This is an ongoing process in which the Product Owner and the Development Team collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items.”
“Refinement usually consumes no more than 10% of the capacity of the Development Team.”

So, Refinement takes as much time as the PO and the DT agree. Usually, it takes not more than 10% of the total Sprint time.

70. 10 people in a team?
Q: A new Developer joins the Development Team taking the total number to 10 people. As a Scrum Master, What should you do?
A. Instruct the Development Team to split into 2 teams with 5 Developers in each
B. Instruct the Development Team to split into 2 teams, they should decide the appropriate sizes
C. Raise the increased team size as a potential impediment and help the Development Team decide what to do about it
D. Do nothing, the Development Team must fix its own issues

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide advises optimal team size of 3 to 9 people. A and B are wrong because teams are self-organizing. C is better than D because the Dev Team can be not aware of the potential risks. Your job as the Scrum Master is to clarify it and facilitate coming to a solution.

71. What happens at Daily Scrum?
Q: What happens in Daily Scrum?
A. Development team plans work for next 24 hours
B. Inspect work since last daily scrum
C. Forecast upcoming sprint work

My confusion: A and B looks correct. C is not clear to me, do they mean upcoming work of the current sprint or the work of upcoming sprint?

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide contains “The Daily Scrum is held every day of the Sprint. At it, the Development Team plans work for the next 24 hours.”
So, the best option is A.

B is wrong because there is no such a goal as “inspect work” for the Daily Scrum. The Guide says: “The Development Team uses the Daily Scrum to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and to inspect how progress is trending toward completing the work in the Sprint Backlog.”

C is wrong because A is a more precise version of it.

72. Should many DTs integrate their increments?
Q:When many Scrum Teams are working on the same Product, should all of their Increments be integrated every Sprint?
A. No, that is far too hard and must be done in a hardening Sprint.
B. No, each Scrum Team stands alone.
C. Yes, but only for Scrum Teams whose work has dependencies.
D. Yes, otherwise the Product Owners (and stakeholders) may not be able to accurately inspect what is done.

Mikhail: In my opinion, the answer should be “Yes” without any other conditions. The Nexus Guide states: “A Nexus consists of multiple cross-functional Scrum Teams working together to deliver a potentially releasable Integrated Increment at least by the end of each Sprint.”
So, all teams should integrate their increments by the end of each Sprint.

C is the correct answer here because D contains “Product Owners” which assumes several POs are working on the same project which is wrong.

73. Purpose of a Sprint
Q:The purpose of a Sprint is to produce a done Increment of Product.
A. True
B. False

Mikhail: True (A). The Scrum Guide states: “The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-box of one month or less during which a “Done”, useable, and potentially releasable product Increment is created.”

74. SM responsibilities @ Retro
Q: During a Sprint Retrospective, for what is the Scrum Master responsible?
A. Facilitating and also participating as a Scrum team member.
B. Summarizing and reporting the discussions to management.
C. Acting as a scribe to capture the Development Team’s answers.
D. Prioritizing the resulting action items.

Mikhail: A. Correct. The Scrum Guide states: “The Scrum Master ensures that the meeting is positive and productive. The Scrum Master participates as a peer team member in the Retrospective from the accountability over the Scrum process.”
B. Wrong because management is not part of Scrum
C. Wrong because there is no Scribe role in Scrum
D. Wrong because the whole team should do it

75. Responsibilities of DT
Q: Choose three responsibilities of a self-organizing Development Team.
A. Report daily progress to stakeholders
B. Do the work planned in the Sprint Backlog.
C. Increase velocity.
D. Pull Product Backlog items for the Sprint.
E. Reorder the Product Backlog.
F. Set the time for the Daily Scrum.

Mikhail: A. Wrong. There is no such a duty.
B. Correct
C. Wrong. There is no a formal commitment for velocity increase.
D. Correct. However, I would note, the whole Scrum Team does it at the Sprint Planning (not only the DT).
E. Wrong. This is a PO responsibility.
F. Correct.

275 Comments

  1. Steve

    Hello Mikhail,
    I finally passed PSM-I with 97,5% on the first attempt 🙂

    Though passing all Open Assessments from scrum.org and all your scrum quizzes and though you told me you think I am ready (can’t find my older post, that’s why I am starting a new one) I was still unsure. Additionally I did the training by volkerdon.com and after it I finally felt ready.

    However: without your scrum quiz I doubt I would have come so far. So I was happy to donate so you can keep on the good work!

    Thanks a lot!
    Steve

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Steve,

      I am glad I helped you to pass the exam.
      Thanks for the donation!

      –Mikhail

      1. theotenis

        Hello Mikhail,

        I’ve read last week the comment from Steve and I decided to have a look on the questions form Volkerdon as well. However, I find many of the questions, answers & explanations a bit confusing. For example on the following question there are 2 options, Yes or No:

        Is Sprint Review a formal meeting ?

        I answered with “Yes”, but the answer marked as correct is “No”, with the following explanation: “Sprint Review is a formal event, but informal meeting”. I know that in the Scrum terminology we have the notion of events, but since the event is formal how come that the meeting is not considered as formal too ?

        Thank you,
        Adrian

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi Adrian,

          I agree with your point. The Sprint Review is a formal meeting (event). The Scrum Guide contains the following:
          Scrum prescribes four formal events for inspection and adaptation:
          * Sprint Planning
          * Daily Scrum
          * Sprint Review
          * Sprint Retrospective

          I think, this question is not good. As I remember, Scrum.org exams use “event” and “meeting” as synonyms.

          Thanks,
          –Mikhail

          1. amit

            Hi Mikhail,
            I agree with you that this is not a good question. The question is probably composed by referring to the following statement from Scrum guide.

            “Sprint Review is an informal meeting, not a status meeting, and the presentation of the Increment is intended to elicit feedback and foster collaboration.”

            Regards,
            Amit

          2. mlapshin (Post author)

            Hey, Amit,

            Thanks for finding this phrase in the Guide.
            Now I see the point of the question. However, I still not like it.

            –Mikhail

        2. oleg

          It looks like it was the hidden advertisement of Volkerdon from the Steve.
          I was thinking to buy the test from them too. But now I am confused. Do you advise to do it or no? I am afraid to get the wrong knowledge which reduce my exam result instead of improving it.
          And what Mikhail and you, Adrian, think about the Mplaza preparation quiz? May be there are some other recommended tests to buy?

          Thank you!

          1. mlapshin (Post author)

            Hi Oleg,

            From my point of view, Scrum.org open quizzes and my PSM and PSPO quizzes should be enough.

            I have not tried Volkerdon.

            I’ve seen Mplaza quizzes. They are good enough. As far as I know, they are introducing a question generation engine that allows to create thousands of slightly different questions.

            Thanks,
            –Mikhail

          2. theotenis

            Hi Oleg,

            Although I bought the Volkerdon tests package, I agree with Mikhail that Scrum.org quizzes and his PSM & PSPO quizzes are enough. For example another confusing question from Volkerdon here:

            “The Product Owner can invite the stakeholders to the Backlog Refinement session?” Yes / No

            I answered with No based on the fact that it’s not mentioned anything in the Scrum guide that the PO could invite the stakeholders to the refinement meetings, just this:

            “Product Backlog refinement is the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the Product Backlog. This is an ongoing process in which the Product Owner and the Development Team collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items. During Product Backlog refinement, items are reviewed and revised. The Scrum Team decides how and when refinement is done. Refinement usually consumes no more than 10% of the capacity of the Development Team. However, Product Backlog items can be updated at any time by the Product Owner or at the Product Owner’s discretion”.

            But in the explanation provided by Volkerdon to this question they use a sentence which is not entirely accurate from the Scrum Guide:

            “Product Backlog refinement is the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the Product Backlog. This is an ongoing process in which the Product Owner, the Development Team and if it is required, stakeholders, collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items. During Product Backlog refinement, items are reviewed and revised.”

            As you may notice they added the stakeholders in the explanation with no reason, which might be really confusing for someone.

            Best regards,
            Adrian

          3. theotenis

            Hello again,

            As an extra explanation to my previous reply I found this post from the scrum.org blog which explains in details the Product Backlog Refinement meeting: https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/product-backlog-refinement-explained-13

            As statde here it seems that indeed the correct answer is yes, the stakeholders can be invited to the Product Backlog Refinement meeting: “The goal of Product Backlog refinement is to work with the Scrum Team and stakeholders (when relevant), to get Product Backlog items in a ‘ready state’.”

            Best regards,
            Adrian

  2. ska

    Hello Mikhail,

    Brilliant work to provide a wide range of information. I took your quiz yesterday and the PSPO today and it went well!
    The current way we practice scrum did throw some bouncers to me.

    There were some tricky questions ( I might have mis-read them ), and I do remember options vaguely

    1. What outcome of sprint planning helps the DT with a plan and direction.
    – Sprint backlog, Sprint goal.
    Considering the sprint backlog as an artefact I marked it but later changed it to Sprint goal. What do you think?

    2. You are a new PO to a team. What are you responsibilities?
    – Provide clearer items at the top and get them done since they are more important – marked
    – Discuss with stakeholders – marked
    – Interact with SM …
    – Interact with DT…

    I only took your quiz and read the articles you had mentioned (I could have done with the scrum questions here, they provide a lot of information too!)

    So, Thank You!
    Cheers
    Sumanth

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi ska,

      Thanks for the questions.

      1. What outcome of sprint planning helps the DT with a plan and direction.
      – Sprint backlog, Sprint goal.

      Mikhail: The outcome of a Sprint Planning includes:
      * A Sprint Goal. It provides guidance to the Development Team on why it is building the Increment.
      * Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint
      * A plan how to to accomplish the Sprint Goal and create the anticipated Increment.

      The Scrum Guide contains the following definition: “The Product Backlog items selected for this Sprint plus the plan for delivering them is called the Sprint Backlog.”

      So, the Sprint Backlog cannot help the DT with a plan because it contains the plan.
      Answer to your question is “Sprint Gioal”.

      2. You are a new PO to a team. What are you responsibilities?
      – Provide clearer items at the top and get them done since they are more important
      Wrong because only the Dev Team can get PB items done
      – Discuss with stakeholders
      Correct. The PO is the Lead Facilitator of Key Stakeholder Involvement.
      – Interact with SM …
      Wrong. Definitely, PO and SM interact from time to time, but this is not a PO responsibility.
      – Interact with DT…
      Correct. The PO should interact with the Dev Team. The Scrum Guide states the PO is responsible for “Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.”

      Thanks,
      –Mikhail

      1. ska

        Thank you for your views Mikhail.

        – Sumanth

  3. Troy

    Hey Mikhail 🙂

    thank you so much for your page. I just passed the PSPO I and the PSM I. Your Page helped me very much. But now i got a Question how can i prepare myself for the PSM II and for the PSPO II?

    One the one side I have heard the Questions are much more Difficult and the second ist in the PSPO I have to write an essay. What kind of Questions are there for writing an essay?

    best wishes
    Troy

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Troy,

      I have not tried PSPO II certification. What I found about it:
      * Scrum.org: The PSPO II assessment is very difficult, and consists of multiple-choice questions, case study questions, and essays.
      * Feedback 1: When I passed the PSPO II, in 2014, I had 40 questions with 36 multiple choice + 4 open questions. Questions about “pur” Scrum were not too hard, but questions about “pur” product management or business/strategy/organization agility where hard enough for me.
      * Feedback 2: I passed PSPO II in March 2017. There were around 36-37 questions, most of them essay based. Of course I already had several years of experience as a Scrum Master and Developer. The business oriented questions were the hardest ones.

      * Preparation tips 1: For reading, I suggest “Agile Product Management with Scrum” from Roman Pichler and “Scrum Product Ownership” from Robert Calen.
      * Preparation tips 2: The book list provided by Scrum.org is more than enough, especially the Lean Startup, Software in 30 days, Agile Estimating and planning, Pichler’s Agile Product Management with Scrum.

      A sample question from Scrum.org:
      One of the Scrum events is the Sprint Review. How does the Sprint Review enable empiricism? What would the impact be if some members of the development team were not present?

      Bad Answer:
      The Sprint Review enables empiricism, because people talk about what was done during the Sprint.

      Why this is a bad answer:
      It does not address the second part of the question, and does not explain how the Sprint Review enables empiricism. It only vaguely describes what is done during the Sprint Review, which should be considered common knowledge for this higher level assessment.

      Good Answer:
      The Sprint Review enables empiricism by providing an opportunity for the Scrum Team and the interested stakeholders to inspect the increment and adapt the backlog. The Sprint Review supports transparency, because everyone can see what has been produced.

      If only part of development team was present, there would be less transparency. The development team members who were not present lose the opportunity to directly hear the feedback provided during the review. Directly hearing from stakeholders increases their understanding of what the stakeholders want.

      Why this is a good answer:
      It answers both of the points being raised in the question. It doesn’t include a lot of unnecessary supporting information like describing what a Sprint Review is.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  4. bolatkhan

    Hi Mikhail!

    Thanks for your exams, I am preparing to PSM I.

    I met this confusing question in PSPO test:

    Category: Scrum Theory

    Product Backlog Refinement practice focuses on Items for upcoming Sprints, not the current Sprint in progress. True or false?

    True. Product Backlog refinement is the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the Product Backlog. The Items in the current Sprint are no longer on the Product Backlog, because they are now on the Sprint Backlog.
    However, it is certainly fine for the Product Owner to add detail and clarification to the current Sprint’s work as well.

    Because you made clarification ” it is certainly fine for the Product Owner to add detail and clarification to the current Sprint’s work as well” PBR is possible to do for current Sprint in progress?

    Best regards,
    Askhat

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Askhat,

      Thanks for the good question.

      PB Refinement is a planned activity. For example, the Scrum Team can decide Refinement meeting happens every Thursday in the morning. It is all about items for the upcoming Sprints.

      Before taking items into the Sprint, the Dev Team should understand the items enough to be able to estimate work and be sure to finish the items within the Sprint. So, PB Refinement does not involve items from the current Sprint because they should be already refined enough.

      So, clarification on an item in the current Sprint could be asked only in these cases:
      * Small clarification about some minor feature (e.g. system behavior in some corner case)
      * During the work some missing piece of functionality was discovered. For example, the Scrum Team thought Operation A can be done using Feature 1 and Feature 2, however they discovered that in some corner cases it requires Feature 3. So, it needs to be re-negotiated and clarified with the PO. It is a kind of emergency situation. It is not PB Refinement.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  5. poojaakhanna

    Hi Michael,

    I have question, please if you can give your suggestions on this.
    What do we do in Sprint 0 ?
    1. creating the dev. environment, 
    2. design groundwork
    3. There is no sprint 0

    As per scrum guide I think option 3 is correct but as per scumalliance it should be option 1. what are your thoughts

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Sprint 0 does not exists. Development always starts with Sprint 1.
      If you need to spend a significant time on setting up a dev environment, you should include it as a task in your first PB item (story).

      –Mikhail

      1. poojaakhanna

        Thanks Mikhail for your reply.

  6. tipuhaque

    Regarding “Question 71: Who is ALLOWED to participate in the Daily Scrum?” I chose Scrum Master, Product Owner and the Development Team. You flagged it as ‘incorrect’. According to you, the correct answer is The Development Team. I need clarification. I think anyone in the performing organization is ‘allowed’ to attend a Daily Scrum as an spectator (perhaps out of curiosity or inquisitiveness) as long as they don’t disrupt the proceedings. It’s the Scrum Master’s responsibility to make sure that no ‘outsider’ interrupts or disrupts or disturbs the flow of the Daily Scrum. Now, if you phrase your question as “Who is REQUIRED to participate in the Daily Scrum?” — maybe that would be more appropriate. Please share your remark/thought. Thanks.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Your understanding is correct. Maybe wording is a bit different. I am sure, the real exam also uses the difference between ‘attend’ (come and be quiet) and ‘participate’ (come and speak).

      The Daily Scrum is for the Dev Team only. The Scrum Master has no duty to attend it. The SM only teaches the Dev Team to keep the meeting within 15min time-box and do not allow an ‘outsider’ to interrupt it.

      The Scrum Guide contains: “If others are present, the Scrum Master ensures that they do not disrupt the meeting.”
      I think, it means that from time to time the SM can attend the meeting if he suspects that it is conducted improperly.

      Thanks,
      –Mikhail

      1. tipuhaque

        Thanks. You are right — the devil is always in the detail… in this case in the wording.

        Quick question — I’m trying to figure out which set of additional questions should I buy? Questionnaire from mplaza.pm or from scrumstar.com? Do you care to share your opinion please?

        (BTW, I did make a small donation to your cause;-))

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi,

          Thanks for the donation.

          You can learn by yourself. Many people pass the exam using just the Scrum Guide, the open Scrum.org quizzes and my web site.
          If you decided to buy some questionnaire, I would recommend MPlaza. They have a question generation engine which can produce several thousands of unique questions.

          Best Regards,
          –Mikhail

          1. tipuhaque

            Thank you.

  7. MLenique

    Hello Mikail !
    First of all, thank you very much for your site, your quizzes I’m using together with Scrum.org and techagilist.com ones in order to be prepared 🙂
    I have been able to retrieve a Scrum PSPO question related to your Question 2: “2. Architecture type questions” :
    “What are two ways that architecture and infrastructure are handled in Scrum ?

    A) They are discussed, determined, and documented before the actual feature development Sprints.
    B) They are added to the Product Backlog and addressed in early Sprints, while always requiring at least some business functionality, no mater how small.
    C) They are built by a separate team through the creation of an architecture runway.
    D) They are implemented along with functional development of the product.”

    After reading your useful comments regarding architecture and infrastructure questions, I think that correct answers should be A and D. B seems to be wrong because I don’t think reasonable to “ALWAYS” require “AT LEAST” some business functionality. C seems to be wrong because the Scrum Team should be self-organized and autonomous.
    What answers would you choose and why ?

    Thank you for your help !

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi!

      Thanks for the question.
      I just returned from a camping where we had no Internet connection. Let me start answering questions.

      The correct options are B and D.

      A. is wrong because by the end of every Sprint the Dev Team should deliver an Increment of product functionality, no mater how small.
      C. is wrong because it mentions some separate team.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

      1. MLenique

        Good afternoon Mikhaïl ! (Here in Toulouse, it’s afternoon, with sunny & hot time ! I hope you enjoy also this weather :))

        Thank you very much for your answer. Now that I see your comments, I see the correct answers as immediate !
        I think your blog is so useful than the tests and contain a lot of information. I will therefore provide large distribution of your helpful site here in Toulouse.

        I will continue to work hard to get 100% on the answers with all the questions. Nevertheless, you have been asked a lot these last days, and I fear you didn’t answer my next question (August 31, 2018 at 5:23 pm). Could you be so kind to give your opinion on this question regarding Non Functional Requirements ?
        Thanks a lot for your help.

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hello,

          Here in San Francisco it is cloudy and a bit chilly now in the morning, however it should be sunny and much warmer in the evening.
          Thanks for promoting my web site.

          Yes, I missed your question yesterday and answered it today.

          I hope it helps,
          Good luck in passing the exam!
          –Mikhail

  8. MLenique

    Hello again Mikhail !
    Another question I kept from PSPO Quizz which answers are quite confusing. This subject is interesting because it is related to the sensitive Non Functional Requirements topic and DoD topic (your blog’s questions 9, 11, 46).

    “Q: A Scrum Team has been working on a product for 9 Sprints. A new PO comes in, understanding he is accountable for PB. However, he is unsure about the purpose of the PB. He’s read that the PB should be a list of all user features for the product. He goes to the Scrum Master asking where to put the other types of requirements that are going to be taken into account. Are all of the following types of requirements acceptable on a PB ?
    – Stability requirements
    – Performance requirements
    – Product Functionality
    – Documentation
    – Fixes

    Choose one answer:
    A) yes, they all belong on the PB. PB is suposed to be the ‘single source of truth’ for all the work for the product.
    B) No. PB is a tool for the PO. The PO represents the users and stakeholders. Other types of requirements should be managed separately by the Development Team. They are not the PO’s concern.”

    Personaly, I should answer A) because the Scrum guide informs effectively that the PB is all the work to be done for the product. But after reading the answers to the questions raised in the blog, it seems to be that most of those requirements (stability, performance,…) should be effectively integrated in the DoD and not in the PB…
    So what is your choice to this question and why ?

    Thank for your help !

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Thanks for the question.

      I also would choose A option here. Any of the listed items can be in the Product Backlog (at least be mentioned in a PB item).
      However, some types of this requirements (e.g. stability or performance) could also go into the DoD and be managed by the Development Team.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  9. tipuhaque

    Hello Mikhail,

    On PSM Quiz, regarding the question “What belongs solely to the Development Team?”. The correct answer, of course, is Spring Backlog. You are expecting only one answer, but instead of using radio button (meaning a single answer) you are using square button (meaning more than one answer). Is my observation wrong — should you not use radio buttons for the answers?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Check boxes are chosen on purpose. Otherwise the question would be too easy.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  10. tipuhaque

    Hey Mikhail, I just got my certification. Thanks, pal. Keep up the good work. I’ll donate a few more pennies today as well:-)

    Next, I want to go for PSM II and III. Ultimately, I want to become a Trainer/Coach. Any help in that regard would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Softedge

      Hello,
      If you don’t mind me asking , how long did you take to prepare for the certification and what materials did you use. Was it easy for you.

      Thanks

    2. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi again,

      Thanks for your words and the donation. I am glad I helped you.
      Unfortunately, I have no any special materials for PSM II. However, I feel it is not much more harder than PSM I.

      Good luck in your endeavor!
      –Mikhail

  11. tom

    Hi Mikhail, I really like your blog, quizzes and explanations…I have some questions from the exam on which I not sure what the correct answers is/are. As I’m preparing for the exam again, may you please help me to find out the right answer:

    1) Eight months ago, your company stare development of a new platform consisting of several technical components and systems. You are the Product Owner of the core application of the plat-form. Your part interconnects all other systems.
    You work in monthly sprints. You are expected to deliver all functionality in three sprints. Recently, your progress was slowed down because of changes to interfaces of other components, as well as unavailability of the program’s testing infrastructure. The program manager responds extremely up-set and angry when you deliver the new that you will need two more sprints. The project managers of the other components confirm their adherence to the expected date.
    A) You suggest working with the project managers of the other system on the ordering and the value of your open Product Backlog items to redefine the possible delivery date
    B) You calculate how many additional developers it would take to increase velocity in order to make the original date. You inform the program manager of the additional budget for these developers. This would then allow making the expected date.
    C) You inform the program manager that there is a way. You remove all items form the Prod-uct Backlog for which development is forecasted to be beyond the expected date. These are likely to be low value anyhow
    D) You shorten your Sprints to be ready sooner

    2) You are the Scrum Master for four teams working from the same Product Backlog. Several of the developers come to you complaining that work identified for the upcoming two sprints will re-quire full time commitment from Phil, an external specialist. What would you consider three ac-ceptable solutions for the problem?
    A) People from Development Teams with an interest in Phil’s domain stepping up to take on this work in their respective teams
    B) Since you have multiple Scrum Teams working on the same product, with dependencies be-tween the teams; you might investigate whether the Nexus Framework would be appropriate for this product team in the future
    C) Organizing a release Sprint in which Phil can thoroughly check and complete all the work done in his domain before considering the work releasable.
    Create a team with Phil and people from the teams to temporarily work in Phil’s domain to serve the existing teams.
    E) Having the development Team re-order the PB so Phil can serve one team full-time in a Sprint

    3) During a Sprint Review, the product owner determines that she is going to release the current in-crement to production. The stakeholders ask to stop sprinting in order to react more quickly to the user feedback that is expected after this release. The product owner prefers to continue sprinting in order to make progress with the next release. You facilitate a discussion on how to proceed. What are two acceptable results of this discussion?
    A) Continue sprinting and include the customer feedback in the product backlog
    B) Stop sprinting and let the development team work on new customer requests as they arise
    C) Continue sprinting but shorten the Sprint length to allow for shorter feedback loops
    D) Continue sprinting but allow customer feedback to change the Sprint Goal within the Sprint

    4) At the ninth Sprint Retrospective, the PO is very disappointed and angry. She has determined that the technical debt has increased, and the product is not meeting her expectations. The product will need a few more sprints to meet the scalability requirements. Which of the following could be true? Select the best response (Choose 1 answer):
    A) The DT and the PO are not having conversations around technical debt.
    B) The SM has not ensured that the Scrum Team is transparent
    C) The DT has not been paying enough attention to technical quality
    D) The Scrum Team has not used the past Sprint Retrospectives effectively to insepct and adapt
    E) All of the above
    F) None of the above

    5) You are the SM for four teams working from the same PB. Several of the developers come to you complaining that work identified for the upcoming two Sprints will require full time commitment from Phil, an external specialist. What is the action that you should take? (Choose one)
    A) Ask another developer to pair with Phil and lean his skills
    B) Ask the developers to work with Phil directly, with guidance from you as needed
    C) Look for additional specialists so that each team has one for themselves
    D) Remind Phil that he has to spend time on each team

    6) Your organization has announced a release to its use base three Sprints from now. To be able to include all functionality in the release, development needs to accelerate. The Prodcut Owner puts some testing from the definition of “Done” on hold for the next three Sprints, while adding a generic item to the PB to resolve this in a future release. The DT objects that this will lead to technical debt. Select two ways that explain the impact of technical debt to the PO:
    A) Release the version creates false assumptions about the actual state of the system. This is likely to distress users resulting in many interruptions during development of the next release in order to quick-fix the problems now caused.
    B) Feature development of a next release is not allowed to start as long as there is a technical debt from the current release. The PO should first accept this impact before the definition of done can be reduced
    C) A generic PBI is not good enough. The amount of technical debt will have to be calculated and estimated much more precisely, so the total amount of extra work that needs to be budgeted is well known.
    D)As development progresses and functionality is added upon the reduced definition of Done, un-known errors will creep in. The system becomes more difficult to stabilize. Development for the ac-tual release as well as future release will be slowed down in unpredictable ways.

    7) Towards the end of the Sprint Planning meeting, the PO and the DT haven’t been able to reach a clear, mutual understanding about the highest order PBI. Because of this, the DT couldn’t figure out how many of them it could forecast for the upcoming Sprint. The PO did make clear what business objective he is hoping to achieve with this Sprint.
    Which of the following two actions would you support?
    A) If all agree they can continue the Sprint Planning meeting as a team past its time-box, until an adequate number of PBI are well enough understood for the DT to make a complete forecast. Then start the Sprint.
    B)The DT forecasts the most likely PB to meet the business objective and create a Sprint Backlog based on a likely initial design and plan. Once the time-box for the Sprint Planning meeting is over, they start the Sprint and continue to analyse, decompose, and create additional functionality during the Sprint
    C)They discuss in the upcoming Sprint Retro why this happened and what changes will make it less likely to reoccur
    D) The team splits up and everybody takes as much time as they need to study the PB first. The PO should be available to answer individual questions. The group reconvenes when all team mem-bers are better prepared and restart the Sprint Planning meeting before the Sprint can start.

    Thanks and regards
    Tom

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the interesting questions!
      I will answer them one by one when I have time.

      1) Eight months ago, your company stare development of a new platform consisting of several technical components and systems. You are the Product Owner of the core application of the plat-form. Your part interconnects all other systems.
      You work in monthly sprints. You are expected to deliver all functionality in three sprints. Recently, your progress was slowed down because of changes to interfaces of other components, as well as unavailability of the program’s testing infrastructure. The program manager responds extremely up-set and angry when you deliver the new that you will need two more sprints. The project managers of the other components confirm their adherence to the expected date.
      A) You suggest working with the project managers of the other system on the ordering and the value of your open Product Backlog items to redefine the possible delivery date
      Correct. The project managers of the other systems are the Key Stakeholders because they are the users our product (platform). It will work if there are some low-priority items that can be postponed in the first release. Note, the PO is the only person responsible for ordering and assigning values to the PB items. It looks like the other systems are developed without Scrum, because there are “project managers”
      B) You calculate how many additional developers it would take to increase velocity in order to make the original date. You inform the program manager of the additional budget for these developers. This would then allow making the expected date.
      Theoretically it could work, but not practically. We know that adding new developers to a team slows it down in a short term. We have 3 months before the deadline and we need doing 5 months work. It means we need a new team of the same size that will start working right now. Hiring process will take some time, the new developers will have to get up to the speed of the existing team, etc. So, practically it seems impossible unless there is a ready-to-use team of developers.
      C) You inform the program manager that there is a way. You remove all items form the Prod-uct Backlog for which development is forecasted to be beyond the expected date. These are likely to be low value anyhow
      Wrong because there is no need to remove items from the Product Backlog. The low priority items should be moved to the bottom, but not removed completely.
      D) You shorten your Sprints to be ready sooner
      Wrong. Shorter sprints won’t allow doing 5 months work in 3 months.

      2) You are the Scrum Master for four teams working from the same Product Backlog. Several of the developers come to you complaining that work identified for the upcoming two sprints will re-quire full time commitment from Phil, an external specialist. What would you consider three ac-ceptable solutions for the problem?
      Mikhail: So, Phil does not belong to any team and this is the issue?
      A) People from Development Teams with an interest in Phil’s domain stepping up to take on this work in their respective teams
      Correct.
      B) Since you have multiple Scrum Teams working on the same product, with dependencies be-tween the teams; you might investigate whether the Nexus Framework would be appropriate for this product team in the future
      It is always a good option to investigate Nexus if there are several teams working on a product. However, how it will help to resolve the issue?
      C) Organizing a release Sprint in which Phil can thoroughly check and complete all the work done in his domain before considering the work releasable.
      Wrong because Scrum does not have a “release Sprint”
      E) Create a team with Phil and people from the teams to temporarily work in Phil’s domain to serve the existing teams.
      Sounds good to me, but only if the teams decide it on their own because they are self-organizing. It could be a part of the solution suggested in A.
      D) Having the development Team re-order the PB so Phil can serve one team full-time in a Sprint
      Wrong because the DT cannot re-order items in the PB (without PO permission).

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

    2. mlapshin (Post author)

      3) During a Sprint Review, the product owner determines that she is going to release the current in-crement to production. The stakeholders ask to stop sprinting in order to react more quickly to the user feedback that is expected after this release. The product owner prefers to continue sprinting in order to make progress with the next release. You facilitate a discussion on how to proceed. What are two acceptable results of this discussion?
      A) Continue sprinting and include the customer feedback in the product backlog
      Correct. This describes the result of Sprint Review.
      B) Stop sprinting and let the development team work on new customer requests as they arise
      Wrong. This is against the Scrum rules. The next Sprint should start immediately when the previous Sprint is finished.
      C) Continue sprinting but shorten the Sprint length to allow for shorter feedback loops
      Correct. Shorter Sprints allow to react on the feedback from the Key Stakeholders faster.
      D) Continue sprinting but allow customer feedback to change the Sprint Goal within the Sprint
      Wrong. Customer feedback cannot change the Sprint Goal.

      4) At the ninth Sprint Retrospective, the PO is very disappointed and angry. She has determined that the technical debt has increased, and the product is not meeting her expectations. The product will need a few more sprints to meet the scalability requirements. Which of the following could be true? Select the best response (Choose 1 answer):
      A) The DT and the PO are not having conversations around technical debt.
      B) The SM has not ensured that the Scrum Team is transparent
      C) The DT has not been paying enough attention to technical quality
      D) The Scrum Team has not used the past Sprint Retrospectives effectively to insepct and adapt
      E) All of the above
      F) None of the above

      Mikhail: I think, the correct option is E. All of the above

    3. mlapshin (Post author)

      5) You are the SM for four teams working from the same PB. Several of the developers come to you complaining that work identified for the upcoming two Sprints will require full time commitment from Phil, an external specialist. What is the action that you should take? (Choose one)
      A) Ask another developer to pair with Phil and learn his skills
      This is the only correct option because in Scrum teams should be cross-functional. It means the team should have all the skills necessary to work on the Product without depending on others.
      B) Ask the developers to work with Phil directly, with guidance from you as needed
      C) Look for additional specialists so that each team has one for themselves
      D) Remind Phil that he has to spend time on each team

      6) Your organization has announced a release to its user base three Sprints from now. To be able to include all functionality in the release, development needs to accelerate. The Product Owner puts some testing from the definition of “Done” on hold for the next three Sprints, while adding a generic item to the PB to resolve this in a future release. The DT objects that this will lead to technical debt. Select two ways that explain the impact of technical debt to the PO:
      A) Release the version creates false assumptions about the actual state of the system. This is likely to distress users resulting in many interruptions during development of the next release in order to quick-fix the problems now caused.
      Correct.
      B) Feature development of a next release is not allowed to start as long as there is a technical debt from the current release. The PO should first accept this impact before the definition of done can be reduced
      Wrong. Development of a next release can start even with technical debt, but it will be slowed down in unpredictable ways.
      C) A generic PBI is not good enough. The amount of technical debt will have to be calculated and estimated much more precisely, so the total amount of extra work that needs to be budgeted is well known.
      Wrong. It is a bad practice to sacrifice quality for a sooner release. Because the testing is postponed, it is not possible to estimate all the errors that could be found. So, it is not possible to estimate the total amount of extra work.
      D)As development progresses and functionality is added upon the reduced definition of Done, un-known errors will creep in. The system becomes more difficult to stabilize. Development for the actual release as well as future release will be slowed down in unpredictable ways.
      Correct.

      7) Towards the end of the Sprint Planning meeting, the PO and the DT haven’t been able to reach a clear, mutual understanding about the highest order PBI. Because of this, the DT couldn’t figure out how many of them it could forecast for the upcoming Sprint. The PO did make clear what business objective he is hoping to achieve with this Sprint.
      Which of the following two actions would you support?
      A) If all agree they can continue the Sprint Planning meeting as a team past its time-box, until an adequate number of PBI are well enough understood for the DT to make a complete forecast. Then start the Sprint.
      Wrong. The time-box should not be extended.
      B)The DT forecasts the most likely PB to meet the business objective and create a Sprint Backlog based on a likely initial design and plan. Once the time-box for the Sprint Planning meeting is over, they start the Sprint and continue to analyse, decompose, and create additional functionality during the Sprint
      Correct.
      C)They discuss in the upcoming Sprint Retro why this happened and what changes will make it less likely to reoccur
      Correct.
      D) The team splits up and everybody takes as much time as they need to study the PB first. The PO should be available to answer individual questions. The group reconvenes when all team mem-bers are better prepared and restart the Sprint Planning meeting before the Sprint can start.
      Wrong. The Sprint Planning should not be held twice.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  12. Softedge

    Hello Mikhail
    Thanks so much for coming up with the site, and your continuous help. I have questions about PSM 1 and PSPO 1. I have to sit for the 2 exams by end of September 2018 , and I am new to scrum, but the certification is required for my job. My questions are listed below.

    1. Which of the scrum.org assessment listed above should I do first(PSM1orPSPO1)

    2. Do I need other materials apart from Scrum guide, open assessments, your websites and quizzes. Or will studying these be enough.

    3. If I study 4 hours a day for 6 days a week, will thes be sufficient

    Thanks for assisting.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Thanks for the very straightforward questions!

      1. Definitely, do PSM I first because PSPO I contains the same + some extra.
      2. For PSM I it should be enough if you master it. For PSPO I you need some additional reading. I recommend the following article The New New Product Owner and Evidence-Based Management Guide brochure.
      3. Yes, 2-3 weeks seem enough to me.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

      1. Softedge

        Thanks so much

  13. brabrabra

    Hi Mikhail,

    Thank you so much for your good quizzes. I passed the Scrum Master I without any issues. I am working as a Product Owner and need a PO Cert and tried the PO assessment, but I failed. Could you please help me by answering the new questions? I did not find answers anywhere, and I hope your great community will profit from them.
    Thank you so much.
    Best regards,
    Bra

    [1] At the end of a Sprint a Product Backlog item worked on during the Sprint does not meet the definition of “Done”. What two things should happen with the undone Product Backlog item?
    Choose 2 answers.
    A) Put it on the Product Backlog for the Product Owner to decide what to do with it
    B) If the stakeholders agree, the Product Owner can accept it and release it to the users.
    C) Do not include the item in the Increment this Sprint.
    D) Review the item, add the “Done” part of the estimate to the velocity and create a Story for the remaining work.

    [2] My job as a Product Owner focuses on the following:
    Choose 2 answers.
    A) Writing clear, transparent User Stories.
    B) Working with customers and stakeholders to identify the most important product requirements.
    C) Being with the Scrum team all the time, just in case they need me to clarify a requirement.
    0) Clearly communicating project or release status and strategies to customers and stakeholders.

    [3] As a Product Owner, if you had access to the following individuals, what sources might you consult with when considering the value of a product?
    Choose all that apply.
    A) Sales Executive or Sales Leader
    B) CEO
    C) Customers and Prospects
    D) Market research results and analyst reports
    E) Development Team

    [4] The Product Owner is accountable for the functionality included in each Increment. Does he or she have the final say over the definition of “Done”?
    Choose one answer.
    A) Yes, the Product Owner is responsible for the definition of “Done”. The Development
    Team may be consulted.
    B) No, the Development Team is responsible for the definition of “Done”. The Product Owner
    may be consulted.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Bra,

      Thanks for the interesting questions. Let’s start!

      [1] At the end of a Sprint a Product Backlog item worked on during the Sprint does not meet the definition of “Done”. What two things should happen with the undone Product Backlog item?
      Choose 2 answers.

      Mikhail: It is a pretty common situation. The Scrum Guide has some directives in Cancelling a Sprint section:
      “When a Sprint is cancelled, any completed and “Done” Product Backlog items are reviewed. If part of the work is potentially releasable, the Product Owner typically accepts it. All incomplete Product Backlog Items are re-estimated and put back on the Product Backlog. The work done on them depreciates quickly and must be frequently re-estimated.”

      A) Put it on the Product Backlog for the Product Owner to decide what to do with it
      Correct. The PO could decide not working on it in the next Sprint.
      B) If the stakeholders agree, the Product Owner can accept it and release it to the users.
      Wrong because the item is not “Done”.
      C) Do not include the item in the Increment this Sprint.
      Correct. The Increment contains only “Done” items.
      D) Review the item, add the “Done” part of the estimate to the velocity and create a Story for the remaining work.
      Wrong because velocity should include only “Done” items. Velocity is a reflection of the rate of completion, not the effort expended.

      [2] My job as a Product Owner focuses on the following:
      Choose 2 answers.
      A) Writing clear, transparent User Stories.
      Correct because the Scrum Guide states: “The PO is responsible for … Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;”
      B) Working with customers and stakeholders to identify the most important product requirements.
      Correct.
      C) Being with the Scrum team all the time, just in case they need me to clarify a requirement.
      No, it is not required. However, the PO should spend enough time with the team.
      D) Clearly communicating project or release status and strategies to customers and stakeholders.
      This option has a smell because of “project” instead of Product. The PO is not required to communicate release status to the key stakeholders. Instead, the PO collaborates with the Key Stakeholders (who include customers) at the Sprint Review meeting about what was done in the Sprint and about what to do next.
      The New New Product Owner article contains the following (note, it is about product vision, but not product status): The Product Owner is the chief product visionary. The PO should be able to clearly articulate the product vision to the Scrum Team and key stakeholders, and how that vision aims to maximize the value of the product and of the work the Scrum Team performs.

      1. brabrabra

        Hi Mikhail,

        thank you very much for your kind help!

        Best regards,
        Bra 🙂

    2. mlapshin (Post author)

      [3] As a Product Owner, if you had access to the following individuals, what sources might you consult with when considering the value of a product?
      Choose all that apply.
      A) Sales Executive or Sales Leader
      B) CEO
      C) Customers and Prospects
      D) Market research results and analyst reports
      E) Development Team

      The Key Stakeholders are people who has interest in the Product. These are typically customers, purchasers, users, and the people that fund the product’s development.
      So, formally I would select everything except E) Dev Team.
      However, I think, the PO can take into the account any reasonable point of view from any person aware of the Product.

      [4] The Product Owner is accountable for the functionality included in each Increment. Does he or she have the final say over the definition of “Done”?
      Choose one answer.
      A) Yes, the Product Owner is responsible for the definition of “Done”. The Development
      Team may be consulted.
      B) No, the Development Team is responsible for the definition of “Done”. The Product Owner
      may be consulted.

      The answer is B) for sure because the Guide tells us: If “Done” for an increment is not a convention of the development organization, the Development Team of the Scrum Team must define a definition of “Done” appropriate for the product.

  14. brabrabra

    [5] When should the Product Owner update the project plan?
    A) The Product Backlog is the plan in Scrum. It is updated as new information and insights emerge.
    B) Before the Sprint Planning to know how much work will have to be done in the Sprint.
    C) After the Daily Scrum to ensure an accurate daily overview of project progress.
    D) Scrum forbids having a project plan.
    E) The Product Owner shouldn’t be occupied by that. It is work for the Project Manager.

    [6] Which of the following practices might help the Product Owner minimize waste in developing and sustaining the Product Backlog? (Choose 2 answers)
    Choose 2 answers.
    A) Let others manage the Product Backlog.
    B) Only fully describe Product Backlog items when it seems sure that they are likely to be implemented.
    C) Write or cause Product Backlog items to be written clearly, and with as little ambiguity as possible.
    D) Always virile the Product Backlog items as computer code that will later just be tested by developers.

    [7] The top priority items of the Product Backlog should be analyzed, estimated, and prioritized adequately to begin a Sprint. This is referred to as an actionable, or “Ready”, Product Backlo.g. At the start of the Sprint Planning meeting, select the best description of the Product Backlog items that the Product Owner wants to have done.
    Choose one answer.
    A) They are stated as User Stories and cannot be epics.
    B) They are stated as User Stories or use cases and test cases must have been identified for acceptance.
    C) They are clearly stated, refined, and understood by the Product Owner and the Development Team such that a forecast of items can be made to implement the Sprint Goal.
    D) They are fully described as User Stories or use cases already decomposed into tasks that will require no more than one-person day to complete by the Development Team.

    1. brabrabra

      Hi Mikhail,

      my answers:
      [5] When should the Product Owner update the project plan?
      A) The Product Backlog is the plan in Scrum. It is updated as new information and insights emerge.
      Correct, New insights will be added by the Product Owner to the Product Backlog.
      B) Before the Sprint Planning to know how much work will have to be done in the Sprint.
      Wrong, it is not possible to know before Sprint Planning starts.
      C) After the Daily Scrum to ensure an accurate daily overview of project progress.
      Wrong, because the PO is not a member of the Daily Scrum.
      D) Scrum forbids having a project plan.
      Wrong, it is not forbidden to have a project plan.
      E) The Product Owner shouldn’t be occupied by that. It is work for the Project Manager.
      Wrong, because there is not Project Manager at Scrum.

    2. mlapshin (Post author)

      [5] When should the Product Owner update the project plan?
      A) The Product Backlog is the plan in Scrum. It is updated as new information and insights emerge.
      B) Before the Sprint Planning to know how much work will have to be done in the Sprint.
      C) After the Daily Scrum to ensure an accurate daily overview of project progress.
      D) Scrum forbids having a project plan.
      E) The Product Owner shouldn’t be occupied by that. It is work for the Project Manager.

      Hi brabrabra, I agree with your analysis here. A is the correct option.

      [6] Which of the following practices might help the Product Owner minimize waste in developing and sustaining the Product Backlog? Choose 2 answers.
      A) Let others manage the Product Backlog.
      Correct. The Scrum Guide allows this, but the PO remains accountable.
      B) Only fully describe Product Backlog items when it seems sure that they are likely to be implemented.
      Correct. There is no need to waste time fully describing PB items that are not intended to be implemented in the next 2-3 Sprints.
      C) Write or cause Product Backlog items to be written clearly, and with as little ambiguity as possible.
      Wrong. It won’t help to reduce amount of work on PB much. B option is better.
      D) Always virile the Product Backlog items as computer code that will later just be tested by developers.
      Wrong. It sounds funny. 🙂

      [7] The top priority items of the Product Backlog should be analyzed, estimated, and prioritized adequately to begin a Sprint. This is referred to as an actionable, or “Ready”, Product Backlog. At the start of the Sprint Planning meeting, select the best description of the Product Backlog items that the Product Owner wants to have done.
      Choose one answer.

      Mikhail: I agree with your analysis. C option is the best one.

      There are two points to take into account:
      1. The questions asks for the best PB items from the PO point of view
      2. The Scrum Guide does not give any preference how to describe PB items. It only states: The Product Backlog lists all features, functions, requirements, enhancements, and fixes that constitute the changes to be made to the product in future releases. Product Backlog items have the attributes of a description, order, estimate, and value. Product Backlog items often include test descriptions that will prove its completeness when “Done”.

      A) They are stated as User Stories and cannot be epics.
      Wrong. The Guide does not tell which one is more preferable.
      B) They are stated as User Stories or use cases and test cases must have been identified for acceptance.
      Wrong again because of the same reason.
      C) They are clearly stated, refined, and understood by the Product Owner and the Development Team such that a forecast of items can be made to implement the Sprint Goal.
      Correct. This is exactly the goal of the PO at the Sprint Planning – provide clear PB items and craft a Sprint Goal together with the DT.
      D) They are fully described as User Stories or use cases already decomposed into tasks that will require no more than one-person day to complete by the Development Team.
      Sounds good, however C is better. This option is too specific about user stories and use cases. Also it sounds good from the Dev Team perspective rather than from the PO perspective.

  15. brabrabra

    [6] Which of the following practices might help the Product Owner minimize waste in developing and sustaining the Product Backlog? (Choose 2 answers)
    Choose 2 answers.
    A) Let others manage the Product Backlog.

    B) Only fully describe Product Backlog items when it seems sure that they are likely to be implemented.

    C) Write or cause Product Backlog items to be written clearly, and with as little ambiguity as possible.
    D) Always virile the Product Backlog items as computer code that will later just be tested by developers.

  16. brabrabra

    [7] The top priority items of the Product Backlog should be analyzed, estimated, and prioritized adequately to begin a Sprint. This is referred to as an actionable, or “Ready”, Product Backlog. At the start of the Sprint Planning meeting, select the best description of the Product Backlog items that the Product Owner wants to have done.
    Choose one answer.
    A) They are stated as User Stories and cannot be epics.
    Wrong, it could be an epic or a user story and it does not matter how the product backlog item is described.
    B) They are stated as User Stories or use cases and test cases must have been identified for acceptance.
    Wrong, it does not matter how the product backlog item is described. it could be a very wide range of possibilities.

    C) They are clearly stated, refined, and understood by the Product Owner and the Development Team such that a forecast of items can be made to implement the Sprint Goal.
    Correct, “The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:
    • Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;
    • Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions;
    • Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs;
    • Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next; and,
    • Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.”

    D) They are fully described as User Stories or use cases already decomposed into tasks that will require no more than one-person day to complete by the Development Team.
    Wrong, it does not matter how the product backlog item is described and don’t have to be done in one day or by one-person.

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