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 Scrum Guide says that everyone in the Scrum Team must understand what “Done” means. So, the PO should be definitely aware of the DoD.
However, only the Development Team is in a position to define the DoD, because it asserts the quality of the work that *they* must perform.
The quality asserted must be appropriate for the Product, which implies that the PO must be consulted. Failure to consult the PO may result in an Increment not being accepted, as the DoD would not then be shared.
So, the answer is a kind of “yes”. Formally the approval is not required, but practically the DT and the PO should agree on the DoD. Otherwise the PO may not accept the Increment. For example, the PO can find that the Product is too buggy, slow, hard to use, etc.

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.

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 writing user stories.

It is a Product Backlog managing activity. 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.
So, ordering PB is the solely responsibility of the PO.

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 says “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.” So, Sprint Backlog is items + plan.
Another definition from the Scrum Guide: “The Sprint Backlog is a forecast by the Development Team about what functionality will be in the next Increment and the work needed to deliver that functionality into a “Done” Increment.” So, it is a forecast about functionality and work.
The suggested answers do not contain the full definition of the Sprint Backlog. B and D contain only a half of every definition (work without functionality and plan without items).
Both B and D answers are equal and are not the best option. It looks like the question could be improved.

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.

82 Comments

  1. Anu

    Hi Mikhail,
    I recently took the PSPO – 1 exam and failed with a 80%. I have a few questions which I think might have been the cause for missing the passing score. I wanted to get your opinion on what might be the correct answers for them.
    1. During the Sprint Review it is up to the stakeholders to reorder the Product Backlog. T or F (my answer – FALSE)
    2. The items selected from the Product Backlog for the Sprint Backlog should be “ready”. T or F (my answer – TRUE)
    3. Product Owners must specify complete acceptance criteria for a Product Backlog item before the team can select the item in Sprint Planning (T or F)- my answer – TRUE)
    4. Which of the following is a reason for the Product Owner to pay attention to technical debt? I selected this choice: To have a better understanding of the total-cost-of-ownership, as affected by the maintenance cost. but I don’t remember the choices
    5. A product’s success is measured by:
    A) The impact on customer satisfaction.
    B) The delivery of upfront defined scope compared to the upfront planned time.
    C) The impact on revenue.
    D) The impact on cost.
    E) The impact on my performance rating.
    F) The impact on my boss’s mood.
    6. What should the Product Owner do in the middle of the Sprint, when the Development Team realizes they are not able to finish all the Sprint Backlog items?
    A) Adjust the developers work to make sure they will meet the Sprint Goal
    B) Help the developers adjust their work and meet the Sprint Goal
    C) Remove some of the Product Backlog items from the Sprint Backlog
    D) Cancel the Sprint
    7. You are a product manager with a proven track record in your company. Your management has asked you to take the lead in the development of a new product. Six teams new to Scrum will build this product. You have gathered a number of requirements and ideas into an early form of a Product Backlog. How would you minimize dependencies between the Scrum Teams?

    A) You create an independent Product Backlog per Scrum Team.
    B) You identify the dependencies and re-order the Product Backlog for them.
    C) You work with the Development Teams on how to best parse the work.
    D) You divide Product Backlog items among the six Product Owners.
    E) You raise this as an impediment with the Scrum Master.
    I selected E but I think it should have been B. Not sure.
    8. 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 matter how small.
    C)They are built by a separate team through the creation of an architectural runway.
    D)They are implemented along with functional development of the product.
    Not sure what might be the correct answer.
    9. When should the Product Backlog be refined? (Choose 2 answers)
    A)The Product Owner and the Development Team do it in the 1-2 preceding Sprints.
    B)The Product Owner takes the time between the Sprints to do it.
    C)The Product Owner must do this as essential work in Sprint 0.
    D)The Product Owner and the Development Team do it in the actual Sprint if they haven’t been able to do it in preceding Sprints.
    E)Business analysts in the organization should do this work for the Scrum Team 1-2 Sprints ahead of the development Sprints.
    I marked A and D

    Let me know your thoughts.

    I thank you for helping me with the preparation for this certification by providing the mock quizzes. I did see many questions from your list.
    Thank you,
    Anu

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Anu,

      Thanks for using my quizzes.
      I am sorry that you did not pass the PSPO exam.
      Let me try to answer your questions.

      Q: During the Sprint Review it is up to the stakeholders to reorder the Product Backlog.
      A: False. Only PO can reorder Product Backlog items.

      Q: The items selected from the Product Backlog for the Sprint Backlog should be “ready”.
      A: True. “Ready” here means that all higher ordered Product Backlog items are refined so that any one item can reasonably be “Done” within the Sprint time-box.

      Q: Product Owners must specify complete acceptance criteria for a Product Backlog item before the team can select the item in Sprint Planning.
      A: It is a very strange question. There is only one Product Owner for a Product. What does the acceptance criteria mean here? Is it Definition of Done? If yes, the Development team is responsible for it.

      Q: Which of the following is a reason for the Product Owner to pay attention to technical debt?
      A: Just read something about technical debt, for example here.
      If the technical debt grows, it becomes harder to make changes in the code. In an extreme case at some point no new changes can be made without breaking existing functionality.
      Any answers correlating with this idea are correct.
      Definitely if the technical debt grows, it increases maintenance cost and the total cost of ownership.

      Q: A product’s success is measured by: …
      A: Product success or value, as defined in a Scrum context, is the financial benefit an organization receives or might receive by creating and releasing the product under development. Also it could be
      “societal benefit” instead.
      From your list of options I see the following suitable choices:
      * The impact on customer satisfaction. (it indirectly affects revenue)
      * The impact on revenue.
      * The impact on cost.

      Q: What should the Product Owner do in the middle of the Sprint, when the Development Team realizes they are not able to finish all the Sprint Backlog items?
      A: The Scrum Guide says: If the work turns out to be different than the Development Team expected, they collaborate with the Product Owner to negotiate the scope of Sprint Backlog within the Sprint.
      So, the correct answer is “Help the developers adjust their work and meet the Sprint Goal”.

      Q: How to minimize dependencies between the Scrum Teams?
      A: C. You work with the Development Teams on how to best parse the work.
      B is wrong because the PO has not enough qualities to identify all dependencies himself.
      E is wrong because it is not an impediment, but just normal work process.

      Q: What are two ways that architecture and infrastructure are handled in Scrum?
      A: B and D. Early sprints and implementation along with functional development of the product.

      Q: When should the Product Backlog be refined? (Choose 2 answers)
      A: You are right, A and D

      1. beni

        I think the solution on question 2 is false.
        „Product Backlog items that can be “Done” by the Development Team within one Sprint are deemed “Ready” for selection in a Sprint Planning. Product Backlog items usually acquire this degree of transparency through the above described refining activities.“

        From my point of view it is recommended that these are ready but not demanded. In other words what is if all your items are not „ready“, then according to yes you would postpone until they are ready and this definitely wrong because there is no reason why a sprint should not start immediately after conclusion of the previous Sprint.

        Question 5
        I agree to the three, but if only one answer is correct. I would not choose revenue, but customer satisfaction as the customer is the most important steakholder. Revenue is not enough to measure the value.

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi Beni,

          Thanks for the valuable comments!

          I completely agree with your point that the next Sprint should start immediately after the previous one is finished, even if there are not enough items in “ready” state.
          However, at the Spring Planning the team should decide which items they will deliver in the Sprint. It requires understanding of the available items in the Product Backlog and doing at least rough estimation (the selected items should be doable within the Sprint). It means that after the Sprint Planning all the selected items for the Sprint will be “ready”.
          The question is: The items selected from the Product Backlog for the Sprint Backlog should be “ready”. And it looks like “yes” answer does not contradict your point of view.

          The question about product success is a tricky one. There are multiple measures. In different circumstances different measures work best. For example, consider following products:
          * Traditional service or product sold for money
          * Information system for a public library
          * Government agency web site
          * A company does an internal project to compare different technologies and choose the best set allowing minimal time-to-market for new ideas.

          Best regards,
          –Mikhail

      2. Om

        For Ques 3 : Answer should be True

        Explanation : The Definition of Done (DoD) is a clear and concise list of requirements that the user story must satisfy for the team to call it complete. The DoD must apply to all items in the backlog.
        User story acceptance criteria will be separate for each story. The Definition of Done is often confused with acceptance criteria because, like acceptance criteria, it is used to prove that a story is complete.

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi Om,

          Thanks for the comment!

          Le me remind the question: 3. Product Owners must specify complete acceptance criteria for a Product Backlog item before the team can select the item in Sprint Planning.

          I agree that the Team should understand what should be achieved in the bounds of every Item selected for the upcoming Sprint. So, the Team and PO should agree on this beforehand. The answer is “yes”.

          –Mikhail

  2. Anu

    Thanks Mikhail for your input. Need a few clarification on these two items.
    For this question 3: Product Owners must specify complete acceptance criteria for a Product Backlog item before the team can select the item in Sprint Planning.
    It never said DoD. So, I think the answer should be YES, as the User story should have the acceptance criteria(AC) before it can be groomed. How can the Development team be responsible for completing the AC.

    Question 5: A product’s success is measured by: why can’t the answer be choice B (The delivery of upfront defined scope compared to the upfront planned time). As only one answer is correct how can you mark three answers?
    Thank you,
    Anu

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Anu,

      The Scrum Guide says nothing about acceptance criteria for Product Backlog items. From my experience and from other sources it is a good practice to have some Product Backlog items in the form of User Stories. In this case every User Story should have acceptance criteria defined. Acceptance criteria are specific for every story, whereas Definition of Done is a general criteria for any Product Backlog item.
      Acceptance criteria are not the Product Owner’s sole responsibility. They are best defined while having a conversation with the entire team during the Sprint Planning or Product Backlog refinement.

      The question is: Product Owners must specify complete acceptance criteria for a Product Backlog item before the team can select the item in Sprint Planning. True or false.
      I would answer “False” because:

      1. It is not the sole responsibility of the Product Owner to specify complete list of acceptance criteria
      2. Frequently the full list of acceptance criteria is produced only at the Sprint Planning when the whole team collaborates on it

      Anu, you did not write for the question 5 that it is a single choice question. So, I suggested all the variants that could work. If only one option can be selected, I would select “C” (the impact on revenue).
      “B” is not a measure of a product success because if you created a product and delivered it in time, but no one needs it and it does not generate revenue in any form, there is no success.

      –Mikhail

  3. Anu

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. It is really appreciated!

  4. johnsharp123

    Hi Mikhail – I passed the PSM I exam!

    Score: 75 points scored (or 93.8%) out of 80 maximum points

    I could not have done it without your help & guidance. Thank you so so so much!! 🙂

    Sincerely,
    John Sharp

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      John, I am glad I helped you.

      –Mikhail

  5. Anu

    Hi John,
    Congratulations! Can you share some details of your success story, like how long you have been preparing, how many years of experience you have as a PO, any other tips are also welcome.
    TIA,
    Anu

  6. Tigran

    Hi Mikhail,

    saw sample question in books PSM/PSPO I Cert preparation:

    during sprint review stakeholders notice that the product development progress is not very clearly visible and lacked transparency. Moreover, thery are not able to understand the next steps. Who is responsible for this?
    a) Dev team
    b) PO
    c) SM
    d) Scrum Team

    I would like to get your feedback on this question please.

    Thanks,
    T

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      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.

      1. Tigran

        thanks Mikhail!
        my hesitation here was related to the following :

        The Scrum Master must work with the Product Owner, Development Team, and other involved
        parties to understand if the artifacts are completely transparent. There are practices for coping
        with incomplete transparency; the Scrum Master must help everyone apply the most
        appropriate practices in the absence of complete transparency. A Scrum Master can detect
        incomplete transparency by inspecting the artifacts, sensing patterns, listening closely to what is
        being said, and detecting differences between expected and real results.

        making me think that maybe ScrumMaster is also appropriate answer here..

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Tigran,it is a good point. I completely agree that the Scrum Master helps to improve transparency.

          From my side I would add the following about Sprint Review:
          * The Development Team demonstrates the work that it has “Done” and answers questions about the Increment;

          So, the Development Team also participates in demonstrating the development progress to the Key Stakeholders.

          If your question is a single-choice question, the answer is PO. If more answers are possible, they are PO, SM and maybe DT.

  7. coolnik

    Hi Mikhail! I have a question:
    What happens when the done items of current and previous sprints when the definition of done is updated/changed to include some more criteria for calling something as “done”?
    Are they taken up in subsequent sprint?
    Another product backlog or sprint backlog item is created for them?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi coolink,

      Thanks for a good question.

      If you change the DoD, all the Items in the upcoming Sprints should comply with it.

      The Scrum Guide says the following about finished Items: “New definitions, as used, may uncover work to be done in previously “Done” increments.”

      So, all the Items completed in the previous Sprints need to be evaluated. Is there something extra to be done? If yes, all the remaining work should be placed in the Product Backlog and processed accordingly.
      For example, your team decided that the Product should follow to some stricter security rules. All the new Items should be designed, developed and tested with respect to the new rules.
      All the implemented functionality needs to be evaluated. If something is found that does not comply with the new rules, it needs to be described and placed in the Product Back log, probably with a high priority.

  8. Tigran

    Hi , Mikhail

    sorry for bothering you again. Just want to get your suggestion/advice.

    I’m preparing myself to pass PSPO, and test my knowledge mainly on your quiz and in tests inside book “The professional scrum product owner guide to pass pspo 1 certification” (by Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali) + open assesments on scrum.org.

    While I find answers and explanations to your questions very clear and mainly straight forward sticking really close to what is said and mentioned in oficial SCRUM GUIDE, I see a lot of “added interpretation” in answers in the book’s test mentioned above. That is really kind of frustraiting me in my preparation process and I need to get a “right path” in my thinking model before I really loose my mind 🙂

    Just a few samples for understanding:

    1) Scrum Guide says that all what is needed to describe Product and its requirements (It is the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product.) should be in PBL. Question: 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?

    2) PO can invite stakeholders to PBL refinement sessions? I would say why not?, of course, however SCRUM GUIDE says that it is only PO + DEV TEAM who does product backlog refinement.

    3) ProdBaclkog contains only functional reqs for product. I would say yes, because: by saying functional it can be meant (bugs, features, enhancements, etc ) and non-functional are added to DoD .
    He says PBL can contain initiatives, fnctional and non-functional product needs, enhancements, fixes, ideas and other product needs.

    4) DoD is defined either by Dev Org or if not – by Dev Team. It shouldn’t be formally approved with PO right? but should definetely be agreed on/so PO is aware/consent.

    5) Scrum Master can author an Product Backlog item for PO’s consideration?

    6) Where can be placed product’s non-func reqs such as security, performance?

    Thanks in advance

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Tigran,

      PSPO I exam is a bit harder than PSM I because some of its questions involve “added interpretation”. However, a rule of thumb here is any added interpretation should be in accordance with the Scrum Guide. For me the following two sources of added interpretation were enough to pass the PSPO I exam with just one mistake: The New New Product Owner and Evidence-Based Management Guide brochure. So, I based my PSPO quiz on the same articles and of course on the Scrum Guide.

      I will try to answer your questions one by one below:

      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.

      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.

      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.

      Q: Should the PO approve the DoD?
      Mikhail: The Scrum Guide says that everyone in the Scrum Team must understand what “Done” means. So, the PO should be definitely aware of the DoD.
      However, only the Development Team is in a position to define the DoD, because it asserts the quality of the work that *they* must perform.
      The quality asserted must be appropriate for the Product, which implies that the PO must be consulted. Failure to consult the PO may result in an Increment not being accepted, as the DoD would not then be shared.
      So, the answer is a kind of “yes”. Formally the approval is not required, but practically the DT and the PO should agree on the DoD. Otherwise the PO may not accept the Increment. For example, the PO can find that the Product is too buggy, slow, hard to use, etc.

      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.”

      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.

  9. Tigran

    Thanks a lot Mikhail for your assitance!

    I’ve just completed PSPO I certification a few moments ago with 92.5%.

    Assessment: PSPO I
    Date: January 20, 2018 8:47:26 AM EST

    PASS
    Score: 74 points scored (or 92.5%) out of 80 maximum points

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Well done, Tigran!

  10. beni

    Hi,
    First of all, thank you for the questions they are really helpful. I appreciate it!
    I think the solution of the following question is not a clear yes or no.

    „All the Scrum Teams working on the same
    product should have the same Sprint length.“
    Your answer is no, but it can also be yes, since at every end of sprint a potentially releaseabe increment should be the outcome. So it is needed that before a sprint end every team merged it work in order to achieve that. Which implicit means they should have start and end at the same time. Imagine one is making only GUI adjustments and another team the business logic. At tuesday the GUI is ready and on Thursday the logic is implented. As a PO can I deliver on Tuesday ? I don’t think so.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Beni,

      I agree with your point. Synchronized Sprints are better. However, there are several possible ways how to handle different Sprint lengths. First of all, if two teams are completely independent on each other, they can have any Sprint schedule. Then, if there are some dependencies that are not of high priority and could wait a couple of Sprints, unsynchronized Sprints are also do not matter. If high priority dependencies arise frequently, one team could have 4-week Sprints, another 2-week Sprints.

      Thanks,
      –Mikhail

  11. Om

    Hi Mikhail
    Please help me for gettign correct answers for following questions

    Q1) The Scrum Master is not responsible for
    1) Ensuring that Scrum is enacted
    2) Running the Daily Scrum
    3) Ensuring that the Development Team is Managed
    4) Tracking Development Team status
    5) Ensuring that Scrum is understood

    My anser will be option 4, because Scrum master is not leading the team so how should he track the status of team.
    but little bit confusing answer may be option 3 also. Which one is correct.

    Q2) The result of Sprint Review is:
    1) Critique on the development Product Increment
    2) A completed Sprint Backlog
    3) Critique on the Development Team
    4) A revised Product Backlog

    My anser will be option 4, but at some places the correct anser is option 1.

    Q3) The Product Backlog management includes
    A) Clearly expressing the different Product Backlog items
    B) Authoring the various Product Backlog items
    C) Ordering the Product Backlog items by size and risk only

    Options
    1) 1 and 3 only
    2) 2 only
    3) 1 and 2 only
    4) 1,2 and 3
    5) 1 only

    My answer will be option 5 , 1 only. But at some places the correct answer is option 3, 1 and 2 only.

    Thanks
    Om

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Interesting questions. Thanks Om.

      Q1) The Scrum Master is not responsible for…

      The answers are:
      2. Running the Daily Scrum. Because “The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum.”
      3. Ensuring that the Development Team is Managed. Because the SM is a servant-leader of the Scrum Team, not a manager. Teams in Scrum are self-organizing and do not need any external management.
      4. Tracking Development Team status. Again because Teams are self-organizing they track own status by themselves.

      Q2) The result of Sprint Review is…
      The Scrum Guide says: “The result of the Sprint Review is a revised Product Backlog that defines the probable Product Backlog items for the next Sprint. ”

      So, you are right, the answer is 4) A revised Product Backlog

      What about other “critique” answers, the Scrum way is not concentrating on critique, but rather on analysis and improvement of the process.

      Q3) The Product Backlog management includes …

      The Scrum Guide says:
      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.

      So, the answer definitely includes A. Clearly expressing the different Product Backlog items
      Definitely the C. answer is wrong: Ordering the Product Backlog items by size and risk only
      because the main goal of ordering is to achieve goals and missions (maximize the value).

      B. answer about creation of new PB items seems good to me. It is just a part of low-level PB management that even is not explicitly mentioned: creating and updating PB items which is a part of “Clearly expressing Product Backlog items.”

      So, my answer is 3) 1 and 2

      1. Carlos

        Hi Mikhail,

        Could you please help me to know when the sprint length will be determined? thanks a lot

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi Carlos,

          This is a very good question. It has no direct answer in the Scrum Guide.

          I would say 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 (adopted).
          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.

          –Mikhail

      2. Om

        Thanks for Explanation… I have just passed PSM1. This blog helped me so much..

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          I am glad I helped you. 🙂

  12. Carlos

    your answer makes sense to me 🙂
    thanks a lot Mikhail
    Carlos

  13. sana

    Hi,

    To begin with, I found the mock up exams on your site really helpful to clear PSM1 and now am trying to clear PSPO1.
    My first attempt to PSPO 1 was failure i was lacking some expertise in Maximizing value and Product Backlog Management.

    In the meanwhile i remember some questions that might have gone wrong:

    1.To get started in terms of what to build, Scrum requires no more than a Product Owner with enough ideas for a first Sprint, a Development Team to implement those ideas and a Scrum Master to help guide the process.

    My answer was True as per the scrum guide “A first Sprint requires no more than a Product Owner, a team, and enough ideas to potentially complete a full Sprint.”

    2.A Project Manager working with your Scrum Team has raised concerns about progress and money spent. What are the two best responses?
    Don’t remember the options here but what would be best response?

    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?
    Don’t remember the options, can value be calculated in terms of Profits?

    4.What is Product Owner work that a Product Owner might delegate? choose one
    Ordering Product backlog
    Writing user stories
    Facilitating meeting

    5.What three things might a Scrum Product Owner focus on to ensure his product delivers value?

    6.The Product Owner must 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?

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Sana,

      Thanks for using my quiz and your questions. It is sad to hear you did not pass the exam.
      I will try to answer your questions one by one.

      1. What is enough to start a first Sprint?
      Mikhail: I completely agree that “A first Sprint requires no more than a Product Owner, a team, and enough ideas to potentially complete a full Sprint.”

      2. A Project Manager working with your Scrum Team has raised concerns about progress and money spent. What are the two best responses?
      Mikhail: There is no Project Manager role in Scrum. So, the manager from the question is an external person for the team. So, I would:
      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.

      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?

      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.

      4.What is Product Owner work that a Product Owner might delegate? Choose one.

      Mikhail: The PO can delegate writing user stories.

      It is a Product Backlog managing activity. 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.
      So, ordering PB is the solely responsibility of the PO.

      The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating Scrum events.

      5. What three things might a Scrum Product Owner focus on to ensure his product delivers value?

      Mikhail: There are several possible answers. It depends on the options available in the question. 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.

      6. The Product Owner must 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 #4 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.

      Best regards,
      –Mikhail

  14. romil.gandhi@gmail.com

    Hi Mikhail,

    I passed PSM 1 today with 93.8% in first attempt.

    I am really grateful for your quizzes . It was really useful and your explanation was building concrete concepts for scrum for me.

    Thank you once again for your efforts.

    Thanking you,
    Romil Gandhi.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Romil,

      Congrats, welcome to certified Scrum Masters!

      I am glad that I helped you on your way to Scrum.

      –Mikhail

      1. Romil Gandhi

        Hi Mikhail,

        I am planning now for PSPO 1 Exam, Could you please provide me with some book or some study materials?

        Thanking you,
        Romil Gandhi.

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi Romil,

          The PSPO I exam shares a large portion of questions with PSM I. So, you are already almost prepared. You just need to learn a bit more about Product Owner responsibilities.
          For me the following two sources were enough to pass the PSPO I exam with just one mistake: The New New Product Owner and Evidence-Based Management Guide brochure.

          Best regards,
          –Mikhail

          1. Romil Gandhi

            Hi Mikhail,

            Thank you for your references, I cleared my PSPO-1 exam with 93.8%.
            Really appreciate your help and motivation.

            Thanking you,
            Romil Gandhi.

          2. mlapshin (Post author)

            Hi Romil,

            I am glad I helped you. Thanks for sharing your success!

            –Mikhail

  15. Carlos

    Hi Mikhail,

    Could you pls tell which is the correct answer to the question below:

    You are the scrum master of a scrum team that is new to scrum. The product owner come to you halfway through the sprint and says: I do not feel like the development team will be able to meet their commitment to deliver the product back backlog items selected during the sprint planning. What should you do in this situation?

    a) advise the PO that DT owns the spring backlog and it is up to them to meet their commitments . No one tells the DT how to turn product backlog into increments.

    b) Coach the PO that with complex SW development, you cannot promise the entire scope that was forecast during spring planning. As more is learned during the sprint, work may emerge that affects the spring backlog

    Many thanks!

  16. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi Carlos,

    Thanks for the question. For me the both options seem correct. However, I do not see the best answer.

    The A option is completely correct from the Scrum Guide perspective: No one (not even the Scrum Master) tells the Development Team how to turn Product Backlog into Increments of potentially releasable functionality;

    The B option is also possible. The Scrum Guide says: Sprint Scope may be clarified and re-negotiated between the Product Owner and Development Team as more is learned.
    However, the wording does not contain the main part – the PO and the Team should have a talk if more work was revealed during the Sprint and re-negotiate the Sprint Scope.

    So, if the option B was fully explained, it would be the best choice. In this wording the option A seems better.

  17. Carlos

    Hi Mikhail,

    it makes sense! in fact, I had a large discussion with fellows undertaking the PSM II and the conclusion was very similar to your explanation stated above.

    Many thanks,

    Best

  18. Enrique

    Hi Mikhail

    I’ve just got my PSM I and my PSPO I. I took the two exams one inmediately after the other. Like a Sprint that starts inmediately the preceeding one finishes. Well, to be exact, I smoked a cigarette between the exams.

    I would like to share my opinion about the exams and give some advices:

    The texts I’ve used are the recommended here: The Scrum Guide, the New New Product Owner and Evidence-Based Management Guide brochure. There is no contradictions in these texts and they have practically all the information needed. In the New New PO page there is a reference to other page which explains who are the key stakeholders. This page (found in scrum.org too) is important as well.

    I think that these texts and the quizzes of this page and the open assesments of scrum.org are all the necessary items for both exams (Mikhail, thank you very very much for your quizzes).

    I found the two exams more or less equally difficult, although my punctuation was a little bigger in PSM (92/89). It’s a pity that I can’t inspect the exam and I can get only statistics. I’d like to know what questions I failed. Many questions are common and, in my opinion, PSPO has the same type of questions. I’ve read here that questions PSPO are more based in practical cases. I think they aren’t.

    and now a couple of advices:

    – As well as read carefully and understand the texts, read this blog slowly; from the first post to the last one (last one will be mine now :-). At least two questions have appeared here as doubts. For example, one I rmember now is the question number 5 in the post written by Anu: A product’s success is measured by …

    Many questions are the same in the exam and in the assesments so make the assesments again and again,

    – My second advice is for non native english speakers. As you know, it’s important to understand the question perfectly. As I was doing the exam I had open wordreference.com. I’m spanish and, although I consider myself “fluent” in english, I don’t know the Webster dictionary from the first word to the last one. There were at least two questions that I answered (I think correctly) after reading the meaning of one word (disregard for example. I knew ignore but I didn’t know disregard. 15 seconds in wordreference and problem solved.) Don’t worry about time. 60 minutes is enough for 80 questions. Have in mind that many questions are referred to Scrum theory and they are obvious (for example the questions related to time boxes. Who doesn’t know that a Planning lasts at least 13 hours? :-)))))

    I hope these post be useful, Mikhail, thank you again.

    Best regards

    Enrique

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Enrique,

      Thank you very much for sharing the experience.
      You are the first one I know who made two exams in a row. Perfect achievement!

      I completely agree – wording is very important. I also had a dictionary open during the exam.

      –Mikhail

  19. Priti

    Hi Mikhali, With your quicz help, I could pass PSM-1 with 96%. Thank you very much. I am preparing for PSPO-1 and have following doubts-
    1.My job as a Product Owner focuses on the following: (Choose 2 answers) – I believe answer should be A and B. Please let me know your input.
    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

    2. All work to be done by the Development Team must ultimately originate from the Product Backlog? – I think its True.
    A. True
    B. False
    3. Which technique is the best way the Scrum Master can ensure that the Development Team communicates effectively with the product owner?
    4. A Product Owner can measure success by an increase in the team’s velocity
    5. The Sprint Review is mainly an inspect and adapt opportunity for which group?

    Thanks for your help.

  20. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi Priti,

    Thanks for using my quizzes and your questions.

    1. PO responsibilities

    • 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.

    2. All work to be done by the Development Team must ultimately originate from the Product Backlog?
    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.

    3. Which technique is the best way the Scrum Master can ensure that the Development Team communicates effectively with the product owner?
    I remember someone already asked me this question. Among all the suggested options the best one was “Monitor communications between them and facilitate direct collaboration”.

    4. A Product Owner can measure success by an increase in the team’s velocity?
    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.

    5. The Sprint Review is mainly an inspect and adapt opportunity for which group?
    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”.

  21. manadi007

    HI Mikhail,

    Please review these questions and their explanations. I got the 1st question wrong but the 2nd one correct. Why is it so?

    1) Who participates in the Sprint Review? Select all applicable variants. (MY ANSWER – PRODUCT OWNER, SCRUM MASTER, DEV. TEAM, KEY STAKEHOLDERS)

    The Product Owner
    The Scrum Master
    The Development Team
    The Key Stakeholders
    The Organization CEO

    Incorrect
    During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint. Based on that and any changes to the Product Backlog during the Sprint, attendees collaborate on the next things that could be done to optimize value.

    Q2) Select the two meetings in which people outside the Scrum Team are allowed to participate. (MY ANSWER – SPRINT PLANNING, SPRINT REVIEW )

    The Sprint Planning
    The Sprint Review
    The Sprint Retrospective
    The Daily Scrum

    Correct
    The Development Team may invite other people to attend the Sprint Planning in order to provide technical or domain advice.
    The Product Owner is responsible for inviting the Key Stakeholders to the Sprint Review meeting

    Thanks,
    manadi007

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi manadi007,

      I verified the question #1 (Participants of Sprint Review) in all my quizzes. The explanation is correct. The answer you gave is correct (all except CEO).
      Are you completely sure you selected all the options? If yes, it looks like a quiz engine bug. If you see something similar one more time, let me know.

      1. manadi007

        Hi,

        I retook the PSM 1 assessment & got the question correct this time. So it seems there is no quiz engine bug.
        I must have overlooked something in the previous attempt.

        I also took the PSPO 1 assessment and this question is from the PSPO 1 assessment :

        In which meetings the Key Stakeholders are allowed to participate?
        The Daily Scrum
        The Sprint Retrospective
        The Sprint Review
        The Sprint Planning

        Incorrect
        The Key Stakeholders are allowed to participate only in the Sprint Review meeting. However, any member of the Scrum Team can interact with them any time.

        ( I SELECTED SPRINT REVIEW & SPRINT PLANNING – BUT MY ANSWER WAS INCORRECT, i double checked my selections ). This seems contradictory.

        Thanks,
        manadi007

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          The Key Stakeholders participate only in the Sprint Review.

          The Development Team may invite other people to attend the Sprint Planning in order to provide technical or domain advice. However, these people are usually not stakeholders, but rather experts in some field.

  22. marinojmichael

    Thank you so much for your information on this page it has been extremely helpful! I am taking the test tomorrow and feel I prepared well. However, I have some questions regarding these questions.
    1) 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

    I chose C.

    2) 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 similiar 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.

    I chose B, D, and E.

    Thanks for the help!

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi marinojmichael,

      Thanks for using my quizzes and your questions.

      You correctly answered the first question. 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.

      For the second question I would choose C instead of B (D and E are correct).
      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.

  23. marinojmichael

    Thank you for the feedback and clarification. I hope to pass it tomorrow morning!

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Good luck!
      Let us know your result.

  24. manadi007

    Hello,

    While attempting the PSM1 exam, did anyone encounter questions on Velocity or burn down charts or estimation?

    Thanks

    1. Archana

      Yes, there was a question like what does trend line in burn down chart represent ?

  25. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi,

    Definitely, the exam contains questions on burn down charts and the cone of uncertainty.
    I remember some questions on Velocity, but maybe it was like “Dev Team productivity”. For example, what will happen with Dev Team productivity if several new developers are added in the middle of a Sprint?

    –Mikhail

  26. Archana

    I am so glad that I found this blog before attempting PSM 1. Thank you so much Mikhail for setting up the quizzes and all the discussions on this blog, they were extremely helpful and I felt well prepared in two weeks. I cleared the exam on 14th march with 78 points (97.5%). Here was my experience for those 60 minutes – I was done with all 80 questions within 40 mins but I marked around 20 questions for review. Used 20 mins to go through them with patience.

    There were some multiple choice questions with answers too alike. Especially questions like
    1) How would an organization with 100 developers divide into teams ? with options somewhat like
    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.

    I chose B, D , E here (Not sure if correct) . I felt whichever options supported developers self organizing would be correct. I got another two questions with similar gist but different wordings, of course, (100 developers in an organization, how would they be organized in teams? ). These were single choice answers, used strategy to remove incorrect ones worked well for them.
    I am confident I lost those two points around above questions only.

    2) Sprint goal is the result of sprint planning, just as Sprint backlog ? True or False?
    Although I selected True, I had to ponder over this one for over a minute since sprint goal is formed during the sprint.

    3) 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.

    I chose C for above.
    There was a similar question for Sprint Retrospective as well.

    Plenty of twisted questions around “Who participates in daily scrum? ” and “ordering of backlog items”.
    Key stakeholders can only interact with developers during sprint review etc.
    Those will all look easy once prepared for the exam.

    Hope this helps anyone planning to give exam next !

    Looking forward to go for PSPO 1 now.
    Thanks,
    Archana

    1. Archana

      Although I selected True, I had to ponder over this one for over a minute since sprint goal is formed during the “Sprint Planning” . A typo above.

    2. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Archana,

      Congrats with passing the exam!
      Thanks for your feedback. I believe it will be very useful for all Scrum learners.

      Q: How would an organization with 100 developers divide into teams ?

      I completely agree with your point that all the answers related to self-organization are correct. So, I also would choose the same B, D and E.

      Q: Sprint goal is the result of sprint planning, just as Sprint backlog ? True or False?

      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.

      Q: Which topics should be discussed in the Sprint Review?

      Your answer D. is the best one for the Sprint Retrospective, but it is wrong for this question. At the Sprint Review the Scrum Team inspects the Increment and adapts the Product Backlog if needed.
      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.

      Best regards,
      –Mikhail

  27. ashishgrwll3

    HI Mike,

    Thanks for this blog, I Passed the PSPO exam yesterday with 95%, This was the only blog apart from Scrum Guide and Scrum.org which was helpful.
    Appreciate your stuffs.

    Will be viewing this again and referring it whenever any doubts.

    Thanks Again.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Thank you for using my quizzes and your words.
      –Mikhail

  28. Om

    HI Mikhail,

    Thanks for your blog, I Passed the PSM1 exam on 25/03/2018 with 98.80%, this blog has played very important role in passing PSM1 exam. Now planning for PSPO1.
    Appreciate your stuffs.

    Will be viewing this whenever any doubts.

    Thanks Again.

  29. Om

    Hi Mikhail,

    In this blog there is one spell mistake. Check Scrum Question “12. How does DoD help in Spring Planning?”
    I think it should be “Sprint” instead of “Spring”

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Om,

      Thanks for finding the typo!
      Fixed.

      –Mikhail

  30. Om

    Hi Mikhail,

    I am preparing for PSPO1, got some question and ans from net, but some are ambiguous.

    Q1) 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

    My Ans : A, B

    Q2) A done Increment is valuable if: (Choose 2 answers)

    A) It is delivered when the Product Owner expected it
    B) It reduces long-term operational costs
    C) It meets the business analyst’s specications
    D) It has all the features that the Product Owner wanted in that Sprint
    E) It is likely to increase customer satisfaction

    Right as per Test : A, D

    Question Q1 and Q2 are same but answers are different. I think ans of Q2 are wrong.

    Q3) A Product Backlog is: (Choose 3 answers)

    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.

    My Ans : A,B,C

    Right as per Test : A,B,D

    Q4) 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

    My Ans : A, C

    Right as per Test : A,B

    Q5) 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.

    My Ans : D

    Right as per Test : B

    Q6) 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.

    My Ans: C

    Right as per Test : D

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Om,

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

      Q1) 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

      I agree with you. 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.

      Q2) A done Increment is valuable if: (Choose 2 answers)
      A) It is delivered when the Product Owner expected it
      B) It reduces long-term operational costs
      C) It meets the business analyst’s specifications
      D) It has all the features that the Product Owner wanted in that Sprint
      E) It is likely to increase customer satisfaction

      Om: Right as per Test : A, D

      Mikhail: in accordance with the first question the answers, I think, should be B and E.
      The Scrum Guide says “The Increment is the sum of all the Product Backlog items completed during a Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints. At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be “Done.”
      The previous question and this question talk about “Done” Increment vs Increment. I think the Increment is always “Done”. It means it contains results only of “Done” PB items. If an item is not finished, it can’t be a part of the Increment. So, “Undone” Increment is nonsense.
      Let’s consider all the options:
      A) It is delivered when the Product Owner expected it
      Increment is a result of “Done” PB items. The items become “Done” during a Sprint. The PO participates in the Sprint Planning. So, the PO is always completely aware of the items in a Sprint. So, every time when the increment becomes “Done”, the PO expects it.
      B) It reduces long-term operational costs
      It is a good choice. It is in accordance with “Value” definition in a Scrum context.
      C) It meets the business analyst’s specifications
      There is no “Business Analyst” role in Scrum.
      D) It has all the features that the Product Owner wanted in that Sprint
      Some items could be unfinished in a Sprint. So, they won’t be a part of the Increment. I agree that an Increment that contains more features, probably will be more valuable. But there are better choices.
      E) It is likely to increase customer satisfaction
      It is a good option because the more satisfied customers, the bigger benefit an organization receives or might receive by creating and releasing the product under development.

      1. Om

        Thanks Mikhail..

        Can you please write something on Questions Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Q3) A Product Backlog is: (Choose 3 answers)
          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.

          Om : A,B,C
          Right as per Test : A,B,D

          Mikhail: I agree with you. 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.

          Q4) 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

          Om : A, C
          Right as per Test : A, B

          Mikhail: I again agree with you that 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.

          Q5) 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.

          Om: D
          Right as per Test : B

          Mikhail: The Scrum Guide says “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.” So, Sprint Backlog is items + plan.
          Another definition from the Scrum Guide: “The Sprint Backlog is a forecast by the Development Team about what functionality will be in the next Increment and the work needed to deliver that functionality into a “Done” Increment.” So, it is a forecast about functionality and work.
          The suggested answers do not contain the full definition of the Sprint Backlog. B and D contain only a half of every definition (work without functionality and plan without items).
          Both B and D answers are equal and are not the best option. It looks like the question could be improved.

          Q6) 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.

          Om: C
          Right as per Test : D

          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.

          1. Om

            Thank u Mikhail to clear my doubts..

  31. tps@scientexlc.com

    General Questions:

    1) Communications between the development team and stakeholder during a Sprint. : 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.

    2) Backlog size : 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 .

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Thanks for the very interesting questions.

      Q: Communications between the development team and stakeholders.
      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.

      Q: Optimal backlog size.
      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 divided into epics.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  32. tps@scientexlc.com

    1st, thanks for this valuable blog. I took one of the sample quizzes and have some comments on a couple of questions. I guess picky semantics.

    Q: Who creates the increment ?
    A: The development team.

    For me the development team implements PBI that are part of the increment but the actual creation to me includes the product owner that put forward PBI’s that are important. So even though I selected the development team I would also argue that the product owner + development team create the increment.

    Q.Who participates in the Sprint Reviews.

    You indicate stakeholders are included but the CEO is not. In which company is the CEO not the kingpin of all stakeholders. i.e. The CEO is a stakeholder and should be a participant in the sprint review if he/she so desires.

    Q. What are product backlog features.

    As long as the product exists the product backlog exists – 100% agree
    It is Never complete – This is ambiguous . If product is officially placed on end of life cycle, has been obsoleted (i.e. does not really exist per say) . I understand the point they are trying to make but the use of the word NEVER can be confusing.

    1. Om

      As per my point of view

      Q: Who creates the increment ?

      Only Product Owner (PO) is responsible to manage PBI. But Development Team(DT) is responsible for implementation or increment (Design, codding, testing) of those PBI.
      So role of PO and DT are different.

      Q.Who participates in the Sprint Reviews.

      I agree with u for “You indicate stakeholders are included but the CEO is not”. PO can invite CEO alos. difference is in PARTICIPATE (like only Development Team can PARTICIPATE in Daily Scrum but PO can attend)

      Q. What are product backlog features.

      I do agree with you for “It is Never complete – This is ambiguous”. It should be “As long as the product exists the product backlog exists”

      — Om

    2. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Thanks for the questions.

      Q: Who creates the Increment?
      The Scrum Guide answers: “Only members of the Development Team create the Increment.” The question asks about the direct work. Indirectly many people participate in increment creation. For example, the SM helps to the Dev Team to organize work. The IT department provides equipment. Even the chef in the company cafeteria helps by providing tasty food for the Dev Team.

      Q: Who participates in the Sprint Reviews?
      The Key stakeholders are typically customers, purchasers, users, and the people that fund the product’s development. It looks like the CEO could be included into the last category. So, the CEO can be legally invited to the Sprint Review by the PO and participate.
      It looks like I need to update the question with a lower management role to avoid confusion.

      Q:… Product Backlog is never complete.
      The Scrum Guide contains: “A Product Backlog is never complete.” I understand this as in the real world products are not ideal. It is always possible to suggest an idea how to improve any product.

      Best regards,
      –Mikhail

  33. rt

    I came across this question “who tracks remaining work in Product backlog?” with answer “PO”

    As per guide ” The Development Team tracks this total work remaining at least for every Daily Scrum to project the likelihood of achieving the Sprint Goal. By tracking the remaining work throughout the Sprint, the Development Team can manage its progress.

    Can you please clarify

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      You are right the Dev Team tracks work remaining for the Sprint. The PO tracks work remaining for the Product.

      The Scrum Guide clarifies this:
      “At any point in time, the total work remaining to reach a goal can be summed. The Product Owner tracks this total work remaining at least every Sprint Review. The Product Owner compares this amount with work remaining at previous Sprint Reviews to assess progress toward completing projected work by the desired time for the goal.”

  34. rt

    Hi Mikhail,
    I attempted PSM and failed . Now i am going through your site. Thanks for building this site and helping everyone.

    who starts daily scrum
    1. Scrum master
    2. any one in development team

    my answer is 2.

    please clarify

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Only members of the Development Team participate in the Daily Scrum. So, the Scrum Master cannot start it.

      1. rt

        Thank you Mikhail

  35. rt

    Can you please clarify on these questions:
    Who will clarify conflicts with in Scrum team?
    Who will resolve the conflicts with in Development team?

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Teams in Scrum are self-organizing. So, ideally the teams should do it. The Scrum Master can help in explaining this point and in removing impediments.

      Thanks,
      –Mikhail

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