Answers to Last Week's Scrum Mastery Challenge - Quiz #3

Updated: Aug 13, 2019



Please note that I have intentionally made these quizzes challenging, and if you struggled with any of the answers, a Professional Scrum Master course can help. Don't let these quizzes discourage you from a PSM I or II course.


Thank you to all who felt courageous enough to add your answers in the comment section of the blog. I read all emails, don't be shy if you have a question.


I will be posting quiz #4 tomorrow.


Question 1


The #no-estimates movement has taken off in your IT department, with four other Scrum Teams having done away with estimating Product Backlog items recently.  Your Development Team brings this up in the Sprint Retrospective as a way to save time and make Product Backlog refinement go smoother. What may be the most likely outcomes for a Scrum Team not estimating Product Backlog items (pick two)?

  1. The Product Owner may have difficulty forecasting likely target and delivery dates, and some transparency will be lost.

  2. Management of the organization requires Scrum Teams to report velocity each Sprint, which may result in a loss of transparency and the inability to understand how much customer value is being delivered each Sprint.

  3. During Sprint Planning, the Development Team may have difficulty forecasting what can be developed during the Sprint.  Due to the loss of transparency, it may be challenging to understand if some Product Backlog items may be too large to complete within a Sprint.

  4. The Scrum Team can get started with delivering value much earlier, rather than spending several weeks of upfront effort to estimate the entire Product Backlog.

Why answers 1 and 2 are correct. The Scrum Guide tells us that the Product Owner forecasts likely target dates, and if they didn't haver an estimate it would be extremely difficult to forecast when a PBI or group of PBIs might be delivered.

The Product Owner discusses the Product Backlog as it stands. He or she projects likely target and delivery dates based on progress to date (if needed);

The Development Team also uses past empirical data, such as throughput or velocity, as one input into Sprint Planning.

The input to [Sprint Planning] is the Product Backlog, the latest product Increment, projected capacity of the Development Team during the Sprint, and past performance of the Development Team.

Scrum does require estimates, yet it does not state how to estimate. Many teams use story points. Some T-shirt sizes. Other may use ideal hours, and yet some may just right size every PBI to an average of a day. And other ways may be used! A Development Team's throughput may be 10 PBIs per Sprint, and that is what they use since they right size PBIs to roughly one day. From the Scrum Guide:

Product Backlog items have the attributes of a description, order, estimate, and value.

Answer 2 is wrong because velocity is not part of Scrum, but more important, managers should not be requiring a team to report velocity. This would be an anti pattern. Answer 4 is wrong because estimating the entire Product Backlog upfront would most likely be wasted effort and not a good use of a Development Team's time.


Question 2


When may a Scrum Team release a product Increment to production? Select the best answer(s).

  1. As often as the Scrum Team has a done increment that the Product Owner wants to release. Released Increments must meet the Definition of "Done".

  2. Only at the end of the Sprint, once the stakeholders provide the Product Owner with approval at the Sprint Review.

  3. Releases usually happen in between Sprints, after the Sprint Review but before Sprint Planning.

  4. As soon as the testing team finishes and signs off on testing, the Scrum Master works with the Product Owner to set a production release date.

Answer 1 is the correct answer. If the product Increment is "Done", the Product Owner may release anytime he or she wants to. Some Scrum Teams release an Increment every few minutes to Production.


Answer 2 is wrong because the Product Owner does not need stakeholder permission, or have to wait until the end. Answer 3 is incorrect for similar reason, nut another hint is that the next Sprint immediately starts after the current one ends, there is no in between. By now hopefully you see why 4 is wrong, and also the Scrum Master is not involved in setting a release date, it is solely the decision of the Product Owner (as long as there is a "Done" Increment).


Question 3


How are non-functional requirements (NFRs) such as security, performance and availability handled in Scrum? Choose the one best answer.

  1. NFRs may be described in the Product Backlog.

  2. NFRs may be described as Acceptance Criteria

  3. NFRs may be described as part of the definition of "Done"

  4. All of the above

Answer 4 is correct. If this question tripped you up, please read my NFR article.

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