SCRUM Master Interview Question Answer

SCRUM Master is a very crucial role in Agile SCRUM software development and best way to understand the role and responsibility of a scrum master is educate yourself by reading these SCRUM Master Interview Question Answers article.

As per SCRUM guide, development team is defined as “a self-organising team and no one, not even the Scrum Master, tells the Development Team how to turn Product Backlog into Increments of potentially releasable functionality”.  If you refer 2 figures from scrum guide, you could clearly see that a SCRUM Master can also be a part of development team if he/she is executing sprint backlog. Now by knowing these 2 facts, you can very well answer all the questions which are tricky and consider these 2 facts.

Power & Limitation of Scrum Master
Scrum Master Part Of Development Team

Now I would start my listing question answers which you should read through and try to attempt them before you see the explanation. I recommend you to refer SCRUM Guide if you do not know and answer.

“The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules. ”  and this is just one line definition (from scrum.org) but it also indirectly says that you must be master of Agile SCRUM and make sure that all other stack holders in your project should understand what is Agile SCRUM and if not then that GAP need to be filled. Now if you are a scrum master and if you don’t know how to drive such things, you would end up messing the execution. So each interview question falls under certain category and if you can correlated it with role, artefacts, event & rule, then your chances are very high to answer them correctly with supporting facts from your past experience.

Questions : What we should do in Sprint-0?

There is nothing called sprint-0 and if we call it a sprint, we must have some usable function delivered as per Definition of Done which is agreed.

Read the full article on “Concept of Zero Sprint

Questions : How do you bring effectiveness in stand-ups when you have distributed & remote teams?

SCRUM does not explicitly talks about distributed team but it says that team should meet every day at the same time and if your team is distributed in different time zone, then you execution certainly has an additional complexity and this increases communication overhead which SCRUM does not encourage. However there are different arrangements can be agreed with distributed team to achieve sprint goal.

If you are working in same time zone and you are distributed, such things are easy to manage as we all are in same timezone, however it still brings some complexity over face to face discussion.

If team is distributed in different time zone, then it hinders the communication effectiveness and a better planning and agreement need to be done before the sprint events are designed.

 

Questions : What are key indicators that “Agile SCRUM” is working in your project, and outcome is aligned with objective?

Reference: SCRUM Guide, Page 14, Section Monitoring Progress Toward a Goal

If following indicators are showing a positive sign, across all the SCRUM team or for all the projects, that means the project is moving towards goal and we are aligned

  1. Burn Down Charts
  2. Burn Up Charts
  3. Total work remaining to reach a goal
  4. Team Velocity (Sprint Over Sprint)
  5. Scope Change Trend

However, SCRUM guide does not talk about any specific KPI

Question :  Any critical metrics that you would pay attention to? And if so, list them with purpose?

Reference: SCRUM Guide, Page 14, Section Monitoring Progress Toward a Goal

  1. Burn Down Chart (You can add a widget in JIRA and you can follow it up on daily basis)
  2. Total Work Remaining to Reach Goal (JIRA Agile has a health widget which shows a nice color plot)
  3. Team Velocity Chart
  4. Control Chart

Question : Sprint Deliverable not meeting commitments and its velocity is very unstable. Explain Possible reason and remedy?

Reference: SCRUM Guide, Page 8, Section The Sprint

Many thing can happen during the Sprint execution as listed below:
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.

Question : The Product Owner (PO) is a bottleneck by design. How can you support the Product owner so the role bring maximum value?

Scrum Master and Development team’s collaboration with Product Owner (PO) makes the overall execution smoother. PO is the key decision maker and represent business and also try to align that overall execution brings value to business and if that value is not delivered sprint over sprint, we could surely see problem. Development team must ensure that technical and functional delivery should have a good balance on each sprint and regular demo and value delivery is done to PO. Scrum Master must support PO with respect to Agile SCRUM process and remove all impediments and let PO focus on his core role and responsibilities.

 

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