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Answers to Last Week's Scrum Mastery Challenge - Quiz #1



Last Tuesday I provided you with three challenging Scrum Mastery questions. As promised I'm updating the quiz with the correct answers, along with an explanation. I've bolded the correct answers in blue. I will be posting quiz #2 tomorrow, which you may find more challenging.


Thank you to all who felt courageous enough to add your answers in the comment section of the blog. So how did you do?


Question 1


You are the Scrum Master for a Scrum Team that has been together for 3 months.  Several of the Development Team members approach you after the Daily Scrum, and mention that they are frustrated with one particular developer and ask you to take action.  They complain that they are having a hard time getting timely updates from her, because she either fails to show up to the Daily Scrum several days a week, and when she does is writing software on her laptop.  As Scrum Master, what is the next best action to take?

  1. Take over facilitation of the Daily Scrum, require everyone to close their computers for 15 minutes, and call on her for a status.  Advise anyone who is not going to be in attendance that it is mandatory to email updates to the Scrum Master right by the start of the Daily Scrum.

  2. Meet with the developer before the next Daily Scrum and respectfully yet firmly ask for her participation.  Try to find out why she isn't participating, and teach her why it is important for the Development Team to get timely updates on progress towards and impediments blocking the Sprint Goal.

  3. Coach the Development Team members to resolve this situation directly with the their teammate.  Remind them about Scrum values, and to use courage, openness and respect when discussing the situation with her.  In the near future facilitate team building exercises to build up trust within the team.

  4. Schedule a meeting with the developer and her manager to escalate the situation, because the lack of communication and collaboration has turned into an impediment. If the situation does not improve in the next Sprint, ask her manager to have her removed from the Scrum Team.

Notes: This was a question around coaching and self organization. The Scrum Master should coach the Development Team to solve this problem. Teams need to learn how to resolve problems within. As Scrum Master, if you solve their problem directly, it will be a missed opportunity for self organization. Since the Scrum Team is fairly new, facilitating sessions to build up trust to be able to resolve conflict is needed as well.


Why the other answers are incorrect: 1 is incorrect because the Scrum Master is moving into a command and control stance (e.g. “require”, “mandatory”), calling for a status, asking for emails rather than encouraging face to face, etc. 2 is incorrect because the Scrum Master is directly resolving the issue, rather than coaching the team to learn how to resolve the conflict. How will they learn to resolve the next conflict of the Scrum Master always steps in? 4 is incorrect because this situation needs to be solved by the Development Team, not a manager.


Question 2


Who creates the Sprint Goal, and when is the Sprint Goal created?

  1. The Product Owner creates the Sprint Goals ahead of Sprint Planning, and shares it with the Development Team in Sprint Planning.

  2. The Product Owner determines and creates the Sprint Goal in Sprint Planning,  and shares it with the Scrum Team in Sprint Planning.

  3. The Scrum Team collaboratively works together to create the Sprint Goal in Sprint Planning.

  4. The Product Owner collaborates with the Development Team to create the Sprint Goal in Product Backlog refinement.

Notes: This is one of the easier Scrum questions, and you just had to read the Scrum Guide to know the answer. Here's what the guide tells us:

  • The Sprint Goal is an objective set for the Sprint that can be met through the implementation of Product Backlog. It provides guidance to the Development Team on why it is building the Increment. It is created during the Sprint Planning meeting. The Sprint Goal gives the Development Team some flexibility regarding the functionality implemented within the Sprint. The selected Product Backlog items deliver one coherent function, which can be the Sprint Goal. The Sprint Goal can be any other coherence that causes the Development Team to work together rather than on separate initiatives.


Question 3


Choose the one best answer which describes velocity.

  1. Velocity is an indication of the number of story points completed during the Sprint by the Development Team, on average, and tracked by the Scrum Master, generally for use in Sprint Planning to determine how many points the Development Team should commit to.

  2. Velocity measures the productivity and the amount of value delivered by the Scrum Team, on average, every Sprint.

  3. Velocity is an an optional, but often used, indication of the average amount of Product Backlog turned into an Increment of product during a Sprint by a Scrum Team, tracked by the Development Team for use within the Scrum Team.

  4. Velocity is an indication of the average number of task hours completed during the Sprint by the Development Team for use within the Scrum Team.

Notes: This question threw some folks. You won't actually find velocity in the Scrum Guide, as it is a complimentary practice. Answer three is correct as velocity is optional, and what really counts in Scrum is delivering a "Done" Increment by the end of the Sprint. If you completed several PBIs but didn't have your Increment in a "Done" state, then you missed a crucial part of Sprint execution. And that definition comes straight from the Scrum glossary . Tip: review the glossary before taking the PSM I exam.


Why are the other answers incorrect? Answer 1 is wrong because story points are not required in Scrum. Velocity could be the number of PBIs turned into a "Done" Increment. In addition to the the Scrum Master should not be tracking velocity, it should be tracked by the Development Team. Answer 2 is wrong because velocity is not a measure of productivity or value. Option 4 is incorrect because velocity isn't about tracking task hours.

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