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. poojaakhanna

    Hi Michael,

    I have question, please if you can give your suggestions on this.
    What do we do in Sprint 0 ?

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

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

      –Mikhail

      1. poojaakhanna

        Thanks Mikhail for your reply.

  2. tipuhaque

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

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

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

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

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

      Thanks,
      –Mikhail

      1. tipuhaque

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

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

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

        1. mlapshin (Post author)

          Hi,

          Thanks for the donation.

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

          Best Regards,
          –Mikhail

          1. tipuhaque

            Thank you.

  3. tipuhaque

    Hello Mikhail,

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

    Thanks in advance.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

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

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  4. tipuhaque

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

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

    1. Softedge

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

      Thanks

    2. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi again,

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

      Good luck in your endeavor!
      –Mikhail

  5. Softedge

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

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

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

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

    Thanks for assisting.

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi,

      Thanks for the very straightforward questions!

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

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

      1. Softedge

        Thanks so much

  6. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi!

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

    The correct options are B and D.

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

    Best Regards,
    –Mikhail

    1. MLenique

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

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

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

      1. mlapshin (Post author)

        Hello,

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

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

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

  7. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi Tom,

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

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

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

    Best Regards,
    –Mikhail

  8. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi,

    Thanks for the question.

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

    Best Regards,
    –Mikhail

  9. mlapshin (Post author)

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

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

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

  10. mlapshin (Post author)

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

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

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

    Best Regards,
    –Mikhail

  11. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi Bra,

    Thanks for the interesting questions. Let’s start!

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

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

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

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

    1. brabrabra

      Hi Mikhail,

      thank you very much for your kind help!

      Best regards,
      Bra 🙂

  12. brabrabra

    Hi Mikhail,

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

  13. mlapshin (Post author)

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

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

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

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

  14. mlapshin (Post author)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  15. Aruna

    Hi,

    Please could you help to solve the below questions please
    1.The Scrum Master must facilitate the Daily Scrum. Correct?

    in your blog “http://mlapshin.com/index.php/blog/scrum-questions/”,I found a sentence “The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating Scrum events.”

    2.Scrum Team uses 2 weeks Sprints and time box their Sprint Planning to 6 hours. Does this break the rules of Scrum?

    Could you please help me to understand the above two questions and the correct answers for them.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Aruna

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi Aruna,

      Thanks for the questions.

      1.The Scrum Master must facilitate the Daily Scrum. Correct?

      Mikhail:
      Of course the answer is True. The Scrum Guide contains:
      The Scrum Master serves the Development Team in several ways, including: … Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed;

      It looks like the confusion here is in “facilitate” word. The Scrum Master has no duty to come to the Daily Scrum. So, how can the SM facilitate it?

      The answer is simple. Facilitating means the events should take place, be in the allowed time boxes and be effective.
      For example, if the SM finds out that Daily Scrums are not held, or some developer is constantly missing, this is the duty of the SM to explain importance of Daily Scrums to the Dev Team and make sure the meeting takes place with all the dev team members.

      2.Scrum Team uses 2 weeks Sprints and time box their Sprint Planning to 6 hours. Does this break the rules of Scrum?

      Mikhail:
      The Scrum Guide contains: Sprint Planning is time-boxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint.

      It means for a two week Sprint, planning should not take more than 4 hours.
      So, the correct answer is “True” because 6 hours more than allowed 4 hours.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

  16. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi Mike,

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

    1) After some small experiments with Scrum, your company decides to do a complete development project with Scrum. As Scrum Master you have been invited to the project kick-off meeting with IT and product management. The Product Owner asks how many Sprints IT will need to first figure out architecture and infra-structure issues. What are two options to explain how such work is handled in Scrum? Choose 2 answers.
    A) I You educate the Product Owner to add this work to Product Backlog to uphold transparency, have the Development Team estimate this and do this in early Sprints while also creating some business functionality in these early Sprints.
    Correct. However, the PO should be able to understand the value of these items to be able to order them correctly.
    B) You explain that product management should not worry about such typical IT work. You inform them that you will assure that the developers reach out to the right people within the IT organization when needed. During each Sprint Planning meeting they will keep the Product Owner updated about the additional effort it will take for that Sprint. That effort will come on top of the effort for the forecasted functional development.
    Wrong because this answer involves “reaching out to the right people”. It means the Dev Team is not cross-functional to work on the project. It has no enough competencies.
    C) You thank product management for understanding that these efforts indeed require effort and budget. You confirm that architecture and infrastructure are best handled before starting Scrum. but that the exact budget is difficult to calculate upfront. You say you will organize this work in time-boxed Sprints of no more than 30 days to limit risk and be transparent toward product management on the actual progress.
    Wrong because architecture and infrastructure should be handled in the same way as product functionality.
    D) You explain that technical risks are best controlled when architecture and infrastructure emerge alongside the development of functionality. The additional advantage is that business value is created faster and sooner.
    Correct.

    Best Regards,
    –Mikhail

    1. jhfk131

      Mikhail, I would like to leave my attempt at the rest of the questions above. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      2) You are the Scrum Master for four teams working from the same Product Backlog. Several of the developers come to you complaining that work identified for the upcoming two Sprints will require full time commitment from Phil. an external specialist. What should you 0010 solve this upcoming problem? Choose one answer
      A) Allocate Phil to one team per Sprint so that over four Sprints every team will have had the support it requires
      Incorrect. The SM should not let an impediment persist for 4 sprints.
      B) Ask Phil for a plan to hire and train additional people in his domain, and in the meantime work with the Product Owner and Development Teams to re-prioritzize the work so that tasks not depending on Phil can be done first
      Incorrect. The dev team themselves should have the skills and competencies required to resolve this issue. They should not have to rely on other external trainees.
      C) Consul with all Development Teams on how they want to handle this problem, and help them implement they preferred solution
      Correct. Scrum teams are self organizing and the SM support should support their decisions.
      D) Prepare the Sprint Backlogs each day for the teams so Phil can spend some time in each team
      Incorrect. This is not the duty of a SM
      E) Merge the multiple teams into one large team for the next Sprints. When the need for Phil is over, the teams can separate again
      Incorrect. This will increase complexity (not sure if this is the correct answer)

      3)The IT manager in your organization always stresses the importance of on-time delivery, in order for IT to be seen as a reliable supplier for the product management department. The IT manager has detected that your team’s progress is too slow. He has calculated that your team’s velocity needs to be 10% higher to live up to the commitment at management level he made for delivery of the project. He asks you, as the Scrum Master. to make it happen. What two things do you say? Bookmark this Question Choose 2 answers.
      A) You inform the IT manager of organizational impediments you are aware of that prevent the team from being more productive. You suggest collaborating with him on how to remove these Im-pediments
      Correct. Is it the job of the SM to solve impediments that are out of reach for the developers.
      B) You educate your IT manager how it is part of a team’s serf-organizing to improve velocity. You invite the IT manager to the next Sprint Retrospective to brainstorm on how they can improve
      Incorrect. Only the scrum team can participate or join the retrospective.
      C) You tell the IT manager that this is not your accountability in Scrum. You send him to the Prod-uct Owner to check whether the estimates on the Product Backlog are being respected during im-plementation
      Correct (Not sure why, but seems like a reasonable answer)
      D) You help the IT manager understand that it typically takes a few Sprints for a team to gradually increase the velocity up to the level expected. Meanwhile you present this to the team as a chal-lenge and a company goal leaving it however up to them to figure out exactly how to achieve this.
      Incorrect. There is no such thing as a “company goal” in scrum. (Not sure if this is the correct reasoning)
      E) You explain how a team uses the velocity of a Sprint primarily to forecast work for the next Sprint not to perfectly predict future productivity. You refer the IT manager to the Product Owner for all information concerning the progress of development
      Correct. Velocity is used to forecast work for the next sprint, but cannot perfectly predict future productivity.

      4) What are two ways in which technical debt relates to velocity? Choose 2 answers
      A) Velocity may unexpectedly drop when the Development Team runs into technical debt while at-tempting to complete new Product Backlog items
      Correct. Technical debt creates unexpected issues which can cause the velocity to drop.
      B) Adding technical debt items to the Product Backlog to get estimated and added to your velocity forecasts can guarantee predictability
      Incorrect. Technical debt increases uncertainty, especially when false assumptions are made.
      C) A Development Team can artificially increase its velocity by incurring technical debt
      Correct. Adding more product backlog items that involve technical debt can artificially increase velocity.
      D) They are not related because technical debt should be resolved by the support or operations de-partment not by the Development Team
      Incorrect. There is no “support” or “operations department” in scrum. The development team is accountable.

      5) Scrum advises having a definition of “Done”. Which three phrases describe the purpose of having a definition of “Done”? Choose 3 answers.
      A) It serves to track the percent completeness of a Product Backlog item during the Sprint.
      Incorrect. You cannot track the “percent” completeness of a PBI with the definition of done.
      B) It provides a template for the technical documentation of a produced Increment of Software
      Incorrect. The definition of “done” has nothing to do with a technical documentation.
      C) It is a checklist to inspect whether the developers have performed their tasks by the end of a Sprint
      Incorrect. The definition of “done” is not a checklist.
      D) It guides a Development Team in creating a forecast at the Sprint Planning.
      Correct
      E) It creates transparency over the state of the Increment when it is inspected at the Sprint Review
      Correct
      F) During the Sprint it helps the Development Team identify the work remaining for an Increment to be ready for release by the end of a Sprint.
      Correct (not sure about the reasoning)

      6) At a Sprint Review meeting, the Product Owner introduces the functionality that is likely to be done over the next Sprints. The Chief Security Officer reminds everyone that through the envisioned functionality, sensitive personal user data will be stored. This might be the subject of external securi-ty audits. He reminds everyone of important non-functional requirements with regards to security. These were not applicable and not considered previously.
      What are two good ways the Development Team can handle these high security concerns? Choose 2 answers.
      A) „. During the Sprint Retrospective, the Development Team assesses how to add these expecta-tions to the definition of ‘Done so every future Increment will live up to these requirements if needed they can work with external specialists to better understand the requirements.
      Incorrect. The purpose of the retrospective is to inspect how the last Sprint went with regards to people, relationships, process, and tools and identify potential improvements. Additionally, external specialists are not allowed to join.
      B) The impact of these security concerns on past AND future work needs to be determined before new Sprints can start. A fist of security-related Product Backlog items needs to be passed on to the Product Owner before starting the next Spent with the Development Team
      Incorrect. The next sprint starts regardless.
      C) They should be handled by a separate. specialist team in a parallel Sprint so they can be specifi-cally resolved through an improved application design without hindering functional development.
      Incorrect. Scrum teams are self organizing, so they should be able to resolve the issues themselves.
      D) They are added to the Product Backlog and addressed throughout the next Sprints, combined with creating the business functionality in those Sprints. No matter how small that business functionality.
      Correct (reasoning?)
      E) They are discussed, determined and documented in parallel Sprints to not disturb the actual fea-ture development. Once analysed, they should be applied to the work already done before further feature development can continue.
      Correct (reasoning? This seems like a contradiction to (D))

      7) You are a Scrum Master entering an organization that wants to “evolve” their product development to Scrum. The organization’s teams are organized into component learns. This means that teams address one single application layer only (for example, front end, middle tier, back end, and inter-faces). You introduce the concept of feature teams, where teams have the skills to work on multiple layers throughout a Sprint and deliver working software every Sprint. What are two things you take into consideration when moving away from component learns toward feature teams?
      Choose 2 answers.
      A) You cannot do Scrum without feature teams. Don’t continue adopting Scrum until teams are re-organized in feature teams
      Incorrect. You can do scrum with any team.
      B) With feature teams it is easier to calculate and compare the productivity per team. Incentives on productivity are likely to speed up the transition to feature teams, and therefore the adoption of Scrum
      Incorrect. (not sure why)
      C) Feature teams will require time to become productive as people from the different layers and components get to working and delivering unified functionality together as one Scrum Team
      Correct.
      D) Productivity, in terms of lines of code or story points, will probably suffer during the transition alt-hough even then delivery of business value is still likely to increase
      Correct.

      8) A Development Team has members working from globally distributed locations. Organizing the Scrum meetings requires conferencing tools that are not easily available within the organization. The learn therefore proposes doing a Daily Scrum only on Tuesdays.
      Which two are the most appropriate responses for the Scrum Master? Bookmark this question Choose 2 answers.
      A) Have the developers vote to make sure there is an overall consensus within he team.
      Incorrect. The daily scrum should be held everyday and the SM should be promoting this.)
      B) Help the Development Team understand that lowering the frequency of communication will only increase the feeling of disconnect between the team members.
      Correct
      C) Coach the team on why a daily frequency is important as an opportunity to update the Sprint plan and how it helps the team self-organize work toward achieving the Sprint Goat
      Correct
      D) Ask them to thoughtfully consider the impact of the decision, but be sure to acknowledge and support this self-organizing team’s decision
      Incorrect. SM should not support things that violate scrum.

      9)Which way of creating Development Teams is consistent with Scrums values? Choose one answer
      A) Managers collaborating across their respective areas of responsibly to assign individuals to specific teams
      Incorrect. Development teams are self organizing which means they should create teams themselves.
      B) Providing boundaries that help the developers organise themselves into Development Teams
      Correct
      C) The Chief Product Owner determining the team structures and assigning who is needed in which team based on shills, seniority and the business area in which each team will be developing.
      Incorrect. Same reason as A. Additionally, everyone is equal in a scrum team. There is no “seniority”

      Thanks!

      1. mlapshin (Post author)

        Hi jhfk131,

        Let me start to go through your answers:

        2) You are the Scrum Master for four teams working from the same Product Backlog. Several of the developers come to you complaining that work identified for the upcoming two Sprints will require full time commitment from Phil. an external specialist. What should you 0010 solve this upcoming problem? Choose one answer

        Correct. The answer is C.

        3)The IT manager in your organization always stresses the importance of on-time delivery, in order for IT to be seen as a reliable supplier for the product management department. The IT manager has detected that your team’s progress is too slow. He has calculated that your team’s velocity needs to be 10% higher to live up to the commitment at management level he made for delivery of the project. He asks you, as the Scrum Master. to make it happen. What two things do you say? Choose 2 answers.

        Note, you have chosen 3 correct answers.
        I would select A and E.

        B is wrong (your explanation is correct)
        C is incorrect because the Dev Team is responsible for estimates.
        I feel D is wrong because there is no expected velocity and company goals in Scrum.

      2. mlapshin (Post author)

        Hi guys,

        Let’s continue!

        4) What are two ways in which technical debt relates to velocity? Choose 2 answers
        A) Velocity may unexpectedly drop when the Development Team runs into technical debt while attempting to complete new Product Backlog items
        Correct. Technical debt creates unexpected issues which can cause the velocity to drop.
        Mikhail: agree, correct
        B) Adding technical debt items to the Product Backlog to get estimated and added to your velocity forecasts can guarantee predictability
        Incorrect. Technical debt increases uncertainty, especially when false assumptions are made.
        Mikhail: Agree, incorrect. I would notice that removing technical debt is usually included into the Sprint Backlog by the Dev Team as a sub-task for completion of some PBI. 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.
        C) A Development Team can artificially increase its velocity by incurring technical debt
        Correct. Adding more product backlog items that involve technical debt can artificially increase velocity.
        Mikhail: Agree. The Dev Team can have a higher velocity for a short term by incurring technical debt, but then velocity will be significantly decreased.
        D) They are not related because technical debt should be resolved by the support or operations de-partment not by the Development Team
        Incorrect. There is no “support” or “operations department” in scrum. The development team is accountable.
        Mikhail: agree, wrong

        5) Scrum advises having a definition of “Done”. Which three phrases describe the purpose of having a definition of “Done”?
        A) It serves to track the percent completeness of a Product Backlog item during the Sprint.
        Incorrect. You cannot track the “percent” completeness of a PBI with the definition of done.
        Mikhail: Incorrect. Theoretically, it is possible to do something like this, but it does not make much sense. There are better purposes for th DoD.
        B) It provides a template for the technical documentation of a produced Increment of Software
        Incorrect. The definition of “done” has nothing to do with a technical documentation.
        Mikhail: agree, incorrect.
        C) It is a checklist to inspect whether the developers have performed their tasks by the end of a Sprint
        Incorrect. The definition of “done” is not a checklist.
        Mikhail: Incorrect. I would say a DoD is a kind of checklist. However, developers should follow it for every Item during a whole Sprint. There is no duty for anyone from outside to check developers in the end of a Sprint.
        D) It guides a Development Team in creating a forecast at the Sprint Planning.
        Correct
        Mikhail: agree, correct (direct quotation from the Scrum Guide)
        E) It creates transparency over the state of the Increment when it is inspected at the Sprint Review
        Correct
        Mikhail: agree, correct (almost a direct quotation from the Scrum Guide)
        F) During the Sprint it helps the Development Team identify the work remaining for an Increment to be ready for release by the end of a Sprint.
        Correct (not sure about the reasoning)
        Mikhail: Agree. This is the correct version of C option.

  17. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi,

    Thanks for the question.

    Question:
    Another team’s scrum master seeks your advice. the development team’s daily scrum always run longer than 15 minutes. they suggest splitting the team into two teams.

    What’s your response? Choose one answer.

    A) You’re unsure – whether to split the team cannot be based on the information. You offer to observe.
    Wrong. This option assumes that when all the information collected, the Scrum Master can split the team. However, in Scrum all teams are self-organizing. The Scrum Master can only coach the team why having too many people is an impediment.
    B) You agree – Splitting the team into 2 is a good strategy to allow the teams to learn how to run the Daily Scrums fast and effectively. Once they’ve learned to limit the daily scrums to 15 minutes, you can combine the teams again.
    Wrong because of the same reason as A.
    C) You agree – this is an appropriate solution to this problem.
    Wrong because of the same reason as A.
    D) You disagree – as the root cause may not be that the team is too big
    Correct. Actually this option is incomplete. The next reasonable step is to observe and find the root cause of the issue.

    Best Regards,
    –Mikhail

    1. jhfk131

      Mikhail,

      The question says that the development teams themselves suggested splitting the team into two teams. Doesn’t this imply that they are making this decision themselves which makes (A) the correct choice? I feel like the assumption that the SM will split the team cannot be easily made because the SM can simply choose to support the team’s suggestions on splitting into two teams.

      Please let me know your thoughts!

      1. mlapshin (Post author)

        Oh, if the question assumes that the Dev Team suggested splitting, the correct option is A. Too many people in the team could be the root cause. However, another root cause of the issue could be spending too much time on topics not related to the Daily Scrum purpose.
        The Scrum Guide states: 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.

  18. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi Mike,

    Let’s continue with the next question:

    2) You are the Scrum Master for four teams working from the same Product Backlog. Several of the developers come to you complaining that work identified for the upcoming two Sprints will require full time commitment from Phil. an external specialist. What should you do to solve this upcoming problem? Choose one answer

    I answered a couple of questions about Phil above.

    A) Allocate Phil to one team per Sprint so that over four Sprints every team will have had the support it requires
    Wrong. Phil is an external specialist to the team. In Scrum teams should be cross-functional which means the team should have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team.
    B) Ask Phil for a plan to hire and train additional people in his domain, and in the meantime work with the Product Owner and Development Teams to re-prioritzize the work so that tasks not depending on Phil can be done first
    Wrong because the solution depends on Phil and his plan. The team should be self-organizing and decide what to do.
    C) Consult with all Development Teams on how they want to handle this problem, and help them implement they preferred solution
    Correct.
    D) Prepare the Sprint Backlogs each day for the teams so Phil can spend some time in each team
    Wrong because only the Dev Team can change the Sprint Backlog.
    E) Merge the multiple teams into one large team for the next Sprints. When the need for Phil is over, the teams can separate again
    Wrong because the Scrum Master cannot make the teams merge.

  19. tombln

    Hi,

    What’s the source of your questions, please? I find it very helpful if everyone writes down the source in the future, e.g. PSM I, PSM II, PSPO I, PSPO II Exam etc. or from another preparation website. I find some of these long questions (also from other users) sometimes more difficult than the “PSM 1 – Preparation Quiz” here on the website. This makes me uncertain if I am well prepared. I think that’s the way it goes for many readers who are about to take the exam. Thank you very much.

    Best Regards

    1. mlapshin (Post author)

      Hi tomblin,

      I hope none of these questions are from a real exam, because there is a policy prohibiting publishing such questions.

      The real PSM I exam is similar to my PSM quiz. People here usually ask more tough questions.

      Best Regards,
      –Mikhail

      1. tombln

        Thank you Michael for your quick answer. I did it directly today, after several weeks of preparation and first experience as Product Owner: I passed PSM 1 and PSPO 1 in the first round 🙂 Thank you very much for your questions, which are a very good preparation. I will also donate something for your work.

        Best regards from Berlin

  20. mlapshin (Post author)

    Hi Romil,

    1) Programmers and Testers should be included in product backlog refinement?

    Mikhail: Your understanding is correct. The answer should be False.

    2) What are three benefits of self-organization?
    A. Increased creativity
    B. Increased self-accountability
    C. Increased commitment
    D. Increased rule compliance
    E. Increased accuracy of estimates

    I think of options A, B and C.

    Mikhail: Agree. The Scrum Guide contains: The team model in Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity, and productivity.

    3) Which are the best three criteria to include in a development definition of “done”?
    A. The product is released at the end of the sprint
    B. Code review is done
    C. No impediment exists
    D. Regression test pass
    E. Acceptance test pass

    I think correct options may be A, D and E.

    Mikhail: I think, the answer is B, D and E. A option is wrong because there is no requirement to release Product every Sprint (though it is not prohibited).

    Best Regards,
    –Mikhail

    1. Romil Gandhi

      Thanks Mikhail.

      I still have 2 more questions,

      1) Which is most relaible form of technical documentation? (select anyone)
      A. UML Model
      B. A help file
      C. Release note
      D. A passing test harness ith clear naming and vocabulary
      E. Spreadheet of passing manual tests
      F. the devlopment team’s whiteboard

      I think the correct answer should be D.

      2) What is the role of modelling in scrum teams? (select anyone)
      A. Models are maintained along with the software as it emerges
      B. Models are not used by agile team
      C. Modelling may be useful to increase should understanding
      D. Models are assembly instructions for DT.

      I think about the option C but still not sure. I was not able to map in scrum guide. I think the modelling here refers to something like Logic architecture, domain models and use cases. Where we can document the core concepts (keep the useful and update it in future) and conclusion drawn from it (Use case diagram, class or component, etc) will be for temporary use and can be removed after its implementation.

      Please help me to clarify this.

      Thanks,
      Romil Gandhi.

      1. Romil Gandhi

        My bad, typo, The option C is “Modelling may be useful to increase shared understanding”.

      2. mlapshin (Post author)

        Hi Romil,

        It looks like these questions do not relate to PSM and PSPO subject areas.

        For #1, I would say, the most reliable source of knowledge about the code is the test harness. However, I won’t name it as a documentation.

        #2. Modeling is not mentioned in the Scrum Guide. So, I would select the C option (just common sense). Modelling may be useful to increase shared understanding.

        Thanks,
        –Mikhail

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