1 Hi, To assist people that we work with in Scrum/Agile courses and coaching assignments, I have developed some Scrum study-questions. The questions can be used to further improve your understanding of what Scrum is and how it can be used. The questions have also been designed to be of use to those preparing to take the PSM I or PSM II assessments. After about a year of occasional internal use, I am now happy to be releasing these to the broader Scrum/agile community. Hopefully you will get some new insights by working through these questions. Also, if you have attended a course, or perhaps read a book, brain research has shown that trying to remember information and work on applying it is actually the best way to actually make that information stick for the future, and make it useful to you in your work. Perhaps you don t have the time to answer all these questions, but perhaps you can create time to answer one or two each day? If you want till enter your answers directly in the document, get the word version at: Every now and then we organize on-site as well as virtual sessions to discuss people s answers to these questions and to provide feedback. If you would be interested in that, and/or interested in updates to the questions, send an to License: Feel free to share these questions with anyone, but please do not modify them or remove this message. Enjoy the questions! Henrik Berglund, Cedur AB References: Scrum Guide, the official Scrum definition: Scrum Update 2011: Scrum guide translations:
2 Cedur Scrum Study Questions, v What is a time box in Scrum? 2. What is the purpose of time boxes in Scrum? (You may be able to identify several different purposes/advantages) 3. In one development project, everything is changing from day to day. This makes Planning hard. Is Scrum still appropriate? Why/why not? 4. You start as ScrumMaster in a Scrum Team already using Scrum. The Development Team has taken on the responsibility to optimize and adapt their work process. You find that after each Sprint they have a few days for cleanup and preparations before next Sprint starts. They say that this works very well for them. What are your thoughts on this? 5. What roles are there in Scrum? 6. Who is on the Scrum Team? 7. What are the reporting relationships and who manages what in Scrum? E.g. what does the Scrum Master manage? Who does the Scrum Master report to? Who is the manager of the ScrumMaster etc? 8. Is Scrum based on empiric or defined process control theory? 9. What is wrong with the traditional goal of delivering a software development project according to initial requirements, on time and on budget? 10. You have been the ScrumMaster, helping a Scrum Team getting started with Scrum for about 6 months. They feel it is now working fine. They have few problems, and suggests that maybe the role of ScrumMaster might be cut to 25% position now that everything is in place. What are your thoughts on that? 11. What role does transparency play in Scrum? 12. For each meeting and artifact in the Scrum Framework: How does it relate to transparency, how can we know that transparency is present? 13. List as many ways that you can in which Scrum supports the idea of inspect/adapt. 14. A company is having some serious problems with their development process. They ask you if adopting Scrum will solve their problems. What is your response?
3 15. Your company has started using Scrum to manage their projects. Resources are assigned to Scrum teams working on projects exactly in the same way as before the Scrum adoption. Most people work on several Scrum Teams/projects and some people only work 10% in several projects. As a ScrumMaster, what are your thoughts on this? 16. At the start of a development project, how many Sprints would be appropriate for the prestudy/requirements analysis phase? 17. What is contained in the product backlog? When is it created/updated? Who does this? 18. Who is responsible for ordering the Product backlog in Scrum? What are some criteria that can be used to order the backlog? What is the purpose of ordering the backlog? 19. Explain the concept definition of done 20. A Scrum Team does not have a well-defined definition of done, list three or more problems caused by this. 21. Scrum says that the increment must be potentially shippable after each Sprint. What does this mean? 22. Although not mandatory, a common practice in Scrum is to use a Sprint Burndown chart. What does this show? Who updates it? When? 23. Although not mandatory, one practice commonly used with Scrum is a Release Burndown chart. What does this show? Who updates it? When? When would it be used in the Scrum framework and for what purpose? 24. When is the Sprint length set? Can it change for each Sprint? What factors should be considered when setting the Sprint length? 25. Assuming we want to develop a system with three components, GUI, business logic and data storage. Our best guess is that the complete job will take about three months. Which approach below do you think is fastest? Why? a) First specify the interfaces between the components. Let three Development Teams each develop one component each (A, B and C ) in parallel. Integrate at the end of development. b) Development Teams still develop one component each, but integrate every two weeks. 26. Compared this scenario to the approach you selected above (in question 25): Assume we still have three Development Teams. Each Development Team develops complete features from the product backlog and each team makes all changes to all components that were affected by their features. All
4 Development Teams work on the same code base and integrate several times a day. Do you think this approach is faster or slower? Why? 27. What is backlog grooming in Scrum? Why is it done? Who does it? When? How much time should be spent on this? 28. How can we know that Product Backlog Items have been broken down to the right level of detail? 29. What is the time box for Sprint Planning if the Sprint is 30 days? What if the Sprint is two weeks? 30. At Sprint Planning, The Product Owner shows the Development Team the stories that need to be done at the next release in three Sprints. To know how much that the Development Team should do each Sprint, they simple divide the total amount of work in three chunks of equal size. You are the Scrum Master. What are your thoughts on this situation? Will you do anything? If so, what? 31. After the Sprint Planning meeting, the Development Team have committed to building a number of PBIs/stories. They are still very unsure about what some of these actually mean though. Thus, they also do not really know it they will be able to complete all in the Sprint. You are the Scrum Master. What are your thoughts on this situation? Will you do anything? If so, what? 32. A Development Team is heavily dependent on the help of a person outside of the team to be able to complete the Sprint. How can they make a credible forecast and plan the work during the sprint planning meeting? 33. At the Sprint Planning meeting, one Development Team member signs up as owner for each story/pbi. Is this in accordance with Scrum rules? What are some advantages/disadvantages of this practice? 34. What is the Sprint backlog? What does it contain? 35. When is the Sprint backlog created/modified. Who does this? 36. At Sprint Planning part 2 the Development Team cannot agree on what technical solution would be most appropriate. You have previous experience with both suggested ideas and you strongly prefer one of them. As a ScrumMaster, what do you do? 37. What is the time box for Daily Scrum? 38. What is the purpose of the Daily Scrum? 39. Who runs the Daily Scrum?
5 40. You are the Scrum Master of a Scrum Team that has been using Scrum for 6 month. You are also a Development Team member, writing code and testing. The Development Team is swamped with work and feels constantly pressured to meet really challenging deadlines. You feel that the other team members most of all appreciate when you dig in and code. How would you balance coding vs Scrum Master duties? 41. Impediments are rarely reported at the Daily Scrum. You are the Scrum Master. What are your thoughts on this situation? Would you do anything? If so, what? 42. As a Scrum Master, list some things you would expect to see at the Daily Scrum of a well-functioning Development Team? 43. Most of the impediments that are reported at the Daily Scrum are the same things that have blocked the Development Team before and all of the issues are outside the power of the Development Team to fix. As a Scrum Master, what are your thoughts on this situation and what, if anything, would you do? 44. During the Sprint, the Development Team argues about the interpretation of some requirements. How is this resolved? Who does this? 45. As a Scrum Master, what would you like to see in a well-functioning Sprint Review meeting? 46. What is the time box for Sprint Review if the Sprint is 30 days? What if the Sprint is two weeks? 47. The product backlog contains about 100 PBI s. The PBI s are a mix of small and large ones. Stakeholders are complaining that this format is too detailed and hard to work with. They cannot get the information they need from it to work on their own plans. They propose using GANT charts like before. You are the ScrumMaster. What are your thoughts on this situation? Would you do anything? If so, what? 48. A Development Team does not have access to the tools and test equipment needed to actually integrate, build and show a complete system running with their newly built increment included. Instead they deliver their increment to an integration and quality assurance team. This team will report back with results in 3-18 months. At the Sprint Review the team instead demonstrates the unit tests running their increment in a test environment. What are your thoughts on this? 49. What is the purpose of Scrum of Scrums? 50. Is the definition of done for a Scrum Team affected by if many Scrum Teams are working on the same product? If so, how? 51. Who should represent the Development Team at the Scrum of Scrums? Why?
6 52. In one organization, a Scrum Team builds product increments that are delivered to multiple projects. In addition to the Scrum meetings, there are additional meetings every Sprint where various project managers inform the Development Team about long term plans and recent events in their projects. Development Teams are complaining about the extra overhead/meetings added by Scrum. You are the ScrumMaster. What are your thoughts on this situation? Would you do anything? If so, what? 53. As a Scrum Master, what would you like to see in a well-functioning Sprint retrospective meeting? 54. What is the time box for Sprint Retrospective if the Sprint is 30 days? What if the Sprint is two weeks? 55. You are the ScrumMaster on a Scrum Team. You notice that some people on the Development Teams tend to always grab the most fun parts of work and cleverly avoid picking up tasks that most tem members consider boring and/or painful to work on. Some other Development Team members are getting irritated over this and you can feel the environment getting more hostile with people talking about other Development Team members, complaining behind their backs. You are the Scrum Master. What do you do? Why? 56. Line managers often have responsibilities ranging from hiring Scrum Team members, determining salaries and making sure Development Teams /individuals are working as effective as possible. Can line managers be present at the Sprint retrospective? What role would they have at the retrospective? 57. At the Sprint retrospective, the team is discussing the fact that they are swamped by trouble reports and fixing defects. They are focusing on ways to manage all these trouble reports effectively. You feel that it may be effective if they focused on reducing the defects. How do you handle this as a Scrum Master? 58. At the Sprint Review the Development Team and the Product Owner do not agree whether a story is complete or not. The Product Owner says that it is not implemented as agreed. The Development Team says that they checked with customers and this is what they want. How do you handle this as a Scrum Master? What happens with the story? 59. In an organization that has started using Scrum, there are no longer any project managers. Instead they have a Product owner and a ScrumMaster. Previously, every second week project managers used to report project status to a steering group consisting of company executives. Who attends this meeting now? 60. In 2011, the Scrum guide was changed. Team no longer commit to work after the sprint planning meeting. What do they do instead? This was a very important change, what problems seen in many teams/organizations is this change trying to address? 61. Why was the word Team changed to Development Team in Scrum in 2011?
7 62. When talking about the Product Backlog, why was the word prioritized changed to ordered in Scrum in 2011? 63. After the Scrum update in 2011, the Development Team is no longer required to break down PBI s into tasks during part 2 of the sprint planning meeting. What is the current more general requirement that replaced this? 64. Why was sprint burndown charts removed from Scrum in 2011? 65. Sprint burndown charts were replaced with a more general requirement. What is it? 66. Name one way a team can comply with Scrum without using burndown charts? Can burndown charts still be used if the Development Team wants to? 67. Name some drawbacks of using a computer based tool to manage the sprint backlog. 68. In one organization, the product backlog is stored in a computer based tool. What drawbacks could this cause in grooming and sprint planning meetings? How can this be avoided? 69. A team had problems completing the task breakdown during part 2 of the sprint planning meeting. They solved this by breaking down the tasks and writing them into a spreadsheet as background work during the preceding sprint instead. What are your thoughts on this? 70. A management team is spending significant time on developing the blueprint for how the organization will work after changing to agile. The blueprint covers organization and work processes. After having completed the blueprint they will roll out the change using a change project lead by one of the project managers in the organization. What are your thoughts on this? 71. In one organization, people had bonuses based on the percentage of failed vs successful sprints. What are your thoughts on this? What are some consequences that can be expected? 72. In one organization, testers had bonuses based on the number of defects found during testing. What are your thoughts on this? What are some consequences that can be expected? 73. Describe some ways in which creativity and innovation are supported by the Scrum Framework. Describe some ways to organize work within the Scrum framework to focus on supporting creativity and innovation. Revision History First version Updated to match latest Scrum Guide. Added questions
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