Scrum Questions

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

Please, do not post questions with answer options. I got several complaints about copyright violations. Just ask the question in your own words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mikhail: The Product Owner is responsible for this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I see the options fit well with my answer:

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

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

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

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

Mikhail: The PO can delegate Ordering PB.

The Scrum Guide contains:

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

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

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

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

The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating Scrum events.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mikhail:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, the answer is “No”, not frozen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide contains:

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

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

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

They cannot deliver only documentation or an unit test.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scrum Glossary gives a definition:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, C option is the best.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mikhail: The Scrum Guide contains “The Daily Scrum is held every day of the Sprint. At it, the Development Team plans work for the next 24 hours. This optimizes team collaboration and performance by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting upcoming Sprint work.”

So, all the options are correct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

75. What belongs to the DT?
Q: I think, these two questions from your quiz contradict each other:

Q1 :Who creates the Increment?
A1: Only members of the Development Team create the Increment.

Q2: What belongs solely to the Development Team?
I think, the answer here should include “Increment”, but the answer was : The Sprint Backlog

Mikhail: I think, there is no any contradiction between the questions. The Scrum Guide contains:
“Only members of the Development Team create the Increment.”
“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.”

So, according to the Scrum Guide, the both answers are correct.

It is not written in the Guide, but in fact, when the Increment is created, it does not belong to the Dev Team anymore. For example, someone hired a dev team to create a product. When the job is done, the product belongs to the person who funded the project.

309 Comments

  1. mlapshin (Post author)

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

    My Ans: A is correct, not sure about other options

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

  2. mlapshin (Post author)

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

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

    1. Sanaa

      Hi Mikhail,

      Thanks for confirming the answers!
      I attempted PSPO-I today and cleared with 98.98% (79/80).

      1. mlapshin (Post author)

        Congrats!!!

  3. mlapshin (Post author)

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

    My confusion: Only DT can add work in sprint backlog, or work can be added after DT approves of it. Considering this point only D seems an ok option.

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

  4. mlapshin (Post author)

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

    My Confusion: At first glance it seems that answer should be B. But it was wrong in some mock quiz. Scrum guide says: “usually” up to 10% of the capacity of development team, so if it is just a recommendation and not a prescription then the answer could be A.

    Mikhail: I completely share your point. The Scrum Guide states:
    “This is an ongoing process in which the Product Owner and the Development Team collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items.”
    “Refinement usually consumes no more than 10% of the capacity of the Development Team.”

  5. mlapshin (Post author)

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

    My Ans: A and B are definitely wrong because the DT is self organizing and need not be instructed. Between C and D, I am not sure.

    It is a good question. The Scrum Guide advises optimal team size of 3 to 9 people. I agree with the point that A and B are wrong (because teams are self-organizing). C is better than D because the Dev Team can be not aware of the potential risks. Your job as the Scrum Master is to clarify it and facilitate coming to a solution.

  6. mlapshin (Post author)

    11. The Development Team must be no smaller than 3 and no larger than 9 members
    A. True
    B. False

    My confusion: In scrum guide the recommended team size is 3-9. The use of must in the question indicates that development team size can never be less that 3 or greater than 9, is it true?

    Mikhail: I agree with your confusion. The Guide tells about optimal team size. It means the number of developers can be not optimal, but everyone should realize the drawbacks of it. In a quiz I would answer this question as “True”.

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

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

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

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

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

  7. alexsarc

    Hi Mikhail! Thank you so much for your website. Your quizzes and blogs are very useful. I passed the PSM1 and now I am looking for Pspo1. I have a question, I hope you could help me, thanks

    How Scrum Teams should handle technical debt?

  8. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi alexarc,

    I answered a similar question here: Does PB contain only functional requirements?

    In short, If the PO can understand the value of resolving a technical debt item and prioritize it, it can go into the PB. If not, the Dev Team should consider it as a sub-task of some other Item that depends on removing this debt.

  9. mlapshin (Post author)

    13. Which of the following are correct:
    A. Technical debt must be added to the product backlog
    B. Technical debt may or may not be added to the product backlog
    C. Technical debt should never be added to the product backlog
    D. Separate PBIs should be created for technical debt
    E. Technical debt can be added as a task in relevant PBI
    F. Technical debt should always be added as a task in relevant PBI

    Mikhail: If the PO can understand the value of resolving a technical debt item and prioritize it, it can go into the PB. If not, the Dev Team should consider it as a sub-task of some other Item that depends on removing this debt.
    So, the correct answers are B and E.

    14. After several Sprints into a project, increment got release in the production and key stakeholders complains on performance issues. Even the PO agrees, he comes to Scrum Master. What should the scrum master do(choose one)
    A. Tell PO that dev team own DoD and it is their duty to decide acceptable performance standard
    B. Encourage the PO to bring this up to the team so that team can come up with improved DoD, with strong SLA requirements for performance issues
    C. Wait till retrospective , as this is the appropriate time for dev team to re-consider the DoD

    Mikhail: OK, I share your confusion and I mentioned this in my previous answer. I would combine B and C options as below:
    * Bring it up to the team as soon as possible
    * The team will start thinking how to improve the DoD
    * The new DoD should be effective starting the next Sprint

  10. Amany

    Hi Mikhail,

    Thank you so much for your website. Your quizzes are really very useful. It is a great help to passed the PSM1 (97.5%)

    Now looking for Pspo1, do you have any recommendations? (your quizzes will be for sure considered 🙂 )

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Amany,

      Thanks for using my quizzes.

      PSPO I shares a big part of the questions with PSM I. So, you already have a good base to start with.

      You need to learn more about product owner role responsibilities. The Scrum Guide does not contain all the details how to maximize the product value. So, some additional reading is necessary. I found very useful the following article: The New New Product Owner and Evidence-Based Management Guide brochure.

      Also you can check books at the Scrum.org PSPO suggested reading page.

      Best regards,
      –Mikhail

  11. mlapshin (Post author)

    15. The Development Team does not have any testing specialists in the team. They should…
    A. Request for a specialist tester to join the team and queue testing for them to do when they arrive in a later Sprint
    B. Produce an Increment that will be tested by a dedicated test team after the Sprint to guarantee the quality
    C. Raise this as an impediment which may require the assistance of the Scrum Master to resolve
    D. Quality is the responsibility of the Development team and they should undertake testing themselves to the best of their abilities

    My Ans: A and B are definitely wrong. Between C and D, I am not sure what to choose

    A. Wrong because the team should be cross-functional
    B. Wrong because Scrum does not have test teams
    C. It is actually the first step. And it will lead to D.
    D. Correct. The SM will explain to the team that quality is their responsibility.

    16. The Sprint Goal is selected before the Sprint Backlog is created.
    A. True
    B. False

    My Ans: A

    I agree. The Scrum Guide contains the following definition:
    The Sprint Backlog is the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus a plan for delivering the product Increment and realizing the Sprint Goal.
    The section about Sprint Planning says there are 2 parts of the meeting:
    1. What can be done in a Sprint. The Sprint Goal is crafted here.
    2. How it can be achieved.

    17. The Product Owner must ship or implement each Sprint increment.
    A. When it makes sense.
    B. To make sure the Development Team is done every Sprint.
    C. Without exception.
    D. Whenever the increment is free of defects

    My Ans: A

    Agree. Answer is A.
    B. Wrong because the Increment is always “Done” by definition.
    C. There is no such a requirement to release every Sprint.
    D. Wrong because the Increment is free of defects by definition.

  12. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi theotenis,

    Thanks for the interesting questions!

    Let’s start.

    1. Which two options describe how project budgeting and financial forecasting work in Scrum?

    A) Scrum does not align with traditional accounting practices. The financial department needs to be given a fixed cost per Sprint per Team.
    I think, this option is wrong because Scrum is compatible enough with traditional accounting practices. For example, when Scrum is introduced for some product that is already in development, there is no need to re-budget it completely.
    Also fixed cost per Sprint per Team does not take into the account other expenses. For example, product sustaining, customer services, etc.

    B) It is ideally revisited as frequently as each Sprint to ensure value is being delivered for the investment spent.
    Correct.

    C) Several sprints may be funded as a single release, with the result of each Sprint being releasable software.
    Correct. It sounds completely in accordance with Scrum rules.

    D) The only funding is for the run cost (time and materials) of the Scrum Teams, so no budgeting process is needed.
    Wrong. Budgeting is a key process for most projects. There are other expenses than time and materials of the Scrum Teams.

    2. Creating a forecast for a Sprint tends to run more smoothly when the Product Backlog items that are discussed are well understood and actionable.
    Which approach would you recommend to ensure this state of Product Backlog at Sprint Planning ?

    A) The Development Team uses some time in each Sprint to analyze, estimate and design high-ordered Product Backlog Items.
    Correct. This is Product Backlog refinement activity.

    B) The analysts on the Development Team document high-ordered Product Backlog items during a Sprint when they are not busy working on the forecast.
    Wrong. There are no analysts in Scrum. There is only “Developer” role.

    C) A separate Scrum Team of business analysts and functional testers analyze high-ordered requirements one Sprint ahead of the Development.
    Wrong. Teams in Scrum are cross-functional. No analytics and testers. No need to ask another team about this.

    D) The Product Owner works with the stakeholders to prepare Product Backlog items outside of the Sprint so the Development Team will not be disrupted.
    Wrong. The PO should work with the Dev Team too.

    I will answer more questions when I have time.

    –Mikhail

  13. mlapshin (Post author)

    3. One of the Development Team members is always missing the Daily Scrum. He feels that as long as he is doing his job well it doesn’t matter whether he attends or not.
    The Development Team is not doing anything about it. You are the Scrum Master of this team, how would you respond to this situation.

    A) Teach the Development Team how to deal with this situation by attending the Daily Scrum.
    Wrong because the SM cannot participate in the Daily Scrum.

    B) You do not intervene. The Development Team owns the Daily Scrum, so they should handle any issues with the Development Team member’s attendance.
    Wrong. Because the DT already knows about the issue and does nothing.

    C) Talk to the Development Team member who is missing Daily Scrum and ask him to be present without fail.
    This won’t help.

    D) Ask the Development Team what value they will achieve by having the Daily Scrum with all team members present and what might go wrong if Development Team members don’t attend.
    This is the best option.

  14. Steve

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

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

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

    Thanks a lot!
    Steve

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Steve,

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

      –Mikhail

      1. theotenis

        Hello Mikhail,

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

        Is Sprint Review a formal meeting ?

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

        Thank you,
        Adrian

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi Adrian,

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

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

          Thanks,
          –Mikhail

          1. amit

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

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

            Regards,
            Amit

          2. mlapshin (Post author)

            Hey, Amit,

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

            –Mikhail

        2. oleg

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

          Thank you!

          1. mlapshin (Post author)

            Hi Oleg,

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

            I have not tried Volkerdon.

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

            Thanks,
            –Mikhail

          2. theotenis

            Hi Oleg,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Best regards,
            Adrian

          3. theotenis

            Hello again,

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

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

            Best regards,
            Adrian

  15. mlapshin (Post author)

    4. Which of the following affect the outcome of a Sprint?

    A) The skills and working relationships of the people on the Scrum Team(s)
    Correct.

    B) The stability and complexity of the technology
    Correct.

    C) The complexity of the requirements
    Correct.

    5. Which are three acceptable ways a Scrum Master may work to ensure Scrum is understood and enacted?

    A) Arranging formal group training
    Correct.

    B) Arranging one-to-one coaching sessions where issues the Scrum Master has identified can be discussed
    Correct.

    C) Require that senior management issues a formal mandate to follow and enact Scrum to all Scrum Masters
    Wrong because this is the duty of the Scrum Master to promote and support Scrum, but not the duty of senior management.

    D) Teaching clients and customers about Scrum
    Wrong because Scrum is for the Scrum Team which does not include all clients and customers.

    E) Hand out yellow cards as tokens of “foul play” when Scrum Team members fail to enact Scrum values, theory, practices or rules
    Wrong. It looks like a bad and offensive practice. There are better ways of explaining Scrum.

    F) Hold longer, more in-depth retrospectives with formal learning as part of the retrospective.
    Correct. But no longer than 3 hours.

  16. mlapshin (Post author)

    6. In the Sprint Review, one of the stakeholders highlights the money spent this year, and that due to market changes, the funding may run out.
    An argument follows this statement, with raised voices and strong emotional statements. As a Scrum Master, what are your two best options ?

    A) Encourage the stakeholders to focus on delivering the highest value items for the next Sprint
    Correct.

    B) Defend the budget, asking the stakeholders to support the funding of the work.
    Wrong. This is not a duty of Scrum Master.

    C) It is the Product Owner’s meeting, so do nothing.
    Wrong because the Scrum Master should facilitate meetings.

    D) Argue that the team needs to be kept busy while the funding is confirmed.
    Wrong. Keeping the Dev Team busy is not a goal.

    E) Ask for a short break for people to calm down and be objective.
    Correct. It is a good option to let people to calm down.

    7. A multi-national company is using Scrum for product development of their five major products.
    What are two good alternatives for how many Product Owners the company should use for these five products?

    D) There are as many Product Owners as are needed to analyze, document and explain expectations and requirements with all Development teams.
    This is wrong. It is not possible to have several POs on the same Product.

    So, we need to choose two answers from the three options below. Only two of them are consistent with each other: A and C (may delegate work). So, these are the correct answers.
    For me the answers sound a bit weird. What does it mean: “delegate work to others for specific value, capabilities and functionality within each product”? How does this correspond to the idea of one PO per Product?

    I found the same question is answered by Ian Mitchell who works for Scrum.org and usually gives good advice: https://www.scrum.org/forum/scrum-forum/6161/senior-product-owner-confused
    Hi explains:
    The correct answers (A and C) show that while there is only a Product Owner role and with no notion of seniority between PO’s, it is reasonable for the responsibility of owning specific products to be delegated.

    A) There is one Product Owner responsible for all five products. This person may delegate work to others for specific value, capabilities and functionality within each product in order to scale his role.

    B) There is one Product Owner for all five products. This person may not delegate work to others for specific value, capabilities and functionality, given these eare all the Product Owner’s respnsibility.

    C) There is one Product Owner for each product (so five in total). Each Product Owner may delegate to others for specific value, capabilities and functionality within their product. The five Product Owners share and align work via Product Backlog.

  17. theotenis

    Thank you Mikhail for the answers & explanations!
    Happy to use the donate button and I encourage others to do the same, as you’re putting together an amazing job here.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Thanks, theotenis.

      I am glad you find my job useful!

      –Mikhail

  18. ska

    Hello Mikhail,

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

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

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

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

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

    So, Thank You!
    Cheers
    Sumanth

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi ska,

      Thanks for the questions.

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

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

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

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

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

      Thanks,
      –Mikhail

      1. ska

        Thank you for your views Mikhail.

        – Sumanth

  19. Troy

    Hey Mikhail 🙂

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

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

    best wishes
    Troy

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Troy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  20. bolatkhan

    Hi Mikhail!

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

    I met this confusing question in your quiz:

    Category: Scrum Theory

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

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

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

    Best regards,
    Askhat

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Askhat,

      Thanks for the good question.

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

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

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

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

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