Scrum Questions

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

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.

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

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.

Who does create 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 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

  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!

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