Scrum Master Interview Questions and Answers

Q1. What is the scrum process?
Scrum is an agile way to manage a project, usually software development. Agile software development with Scrum is often perceived as a methodology; but rather than viewing Scrum as methodology, think of it as a framework for managing a process.

Q2. What kind of job is a Scrum Master?
Scrum Master Job Descriptions and Responsibilities In Agile Methodology. …Scrum master is a challenging role and needs to understood according to priority set by the product owner. Scrum Master must execute the backlog as wished by product owner, making sure that deliverables are on time with production quality.

Q3. How is scrum different from waterfall?
The major differences are:

  • The feedback from customer is received at an early stage in Scrum than waterfall, where the feedback from customer is received towards the end of development cycle.
  • To accommodate the new or changed requirement in scrum is easier than waterfall.
  • Scrum focuses on collaborative development than waterfall where the entire development cycle is divided into phases.
  • At any point of time we can roll back the changes in scrum than in waterfall.
  • Test is considered as phase in waterfall unlike scrum.

Q4. How do you ensure that the scrum team has access to a project’s stakeholders?
The candidate should understand that there is no way to ensure access to stakeholders. All that can be done is to encourage stakeholders to engage in meaningful communication by being transparent and helpful. Sprint demos are a useful mechanism for this, often promoting better relationships between different departments and business units — improving a scrum team’s access to their projects’ stakeholders.

 Q5. How is scrum different from Iterative model?
Scrum is a type of iterative model only but it is iterative + incremental.

Q6. Who should be writing user stories?
Writing user stories should be a joint effort made by the entire scrum team. If it’s not, the team might not feel that they have ownership of the stories — inevitably leading to less or no buy-in, reduced motivation… and ultimately a lower-quality product.

Q7. What are the ceremonies you perform in scrum
There are 3 major ceremonies performed in Scrum:-

  1. Planning Meeting – Where the entire scrum teams along with the scrum master and product owner meets and discuss each item from the product backlog that they can work on the sprint. When the story is estimated and is well understood by the team, the story then moves into the Sprint Backlog.
  2. Review Meeting – Where the scrum team demonstrates their work done to the stake holders
  3. Retrospective meeting – Where the scrum teams along with the scrum master and product owner meets and retrospect the last sprint they worked on. They majorly discuss about 3 things:
  • What went well?
  • What could be done better?
  • Action Items

Q8. What do you discuss in Daily stand up meeting?
We discuss three things:-

  • What did I do today?
  • What I plan to do tomorrow?
  • Any impediments / roadblock

Q9. What are the different artifacts in scrum?
There are two artifacts maintained in Scrum:

  • Product Backlog – Containing the prioritized list of business requirements
  • Sprint Backlog – Contains the user stories to be done by the scrum team for a sprint.

 Q10. How do you measure the work done in a sprint?
It’s measured by Velocity.

Q11. What is Velocity?
Velocity is the sum of story points that a scrum team completes (meets the definition of done) over a sprint.

Q12. So in scrum which entity is responsible for deliverable? Scrum master or Product owner
Neither the scrum master, not the product owner. It’s the responsibility of the team who owns the deliverable.

Q12. How do you measure the complexity or effort in a sprint? Is there a way to determine and represent it?
Complexity and effort is measured through “Story Points”. In scrum it’s recommended to use Fibonacci series to represent it.

Q13. How do you track your progress in a sprint?
The progress is tracked by a “Burn-Down chart”.

Q14. How do you create the burn down chart?
Burn down chart is a graph which shows the estimated v/s actual effort of the scrum tasks.
It is a tracking mechanism by which for a particular sprint; day to day tasks are tracked to check whether the stories are progressing towards the completion of the committed story points or not. Here we should remember that the efforts are measured in terms of user stories and not hours.

Q15. What do you do in a sprint review and retrospective?
During Sprint review we walkthrough and demonstrate the feature or story implemented by the scrum team to the stake holders.
During retrospective, we try to identify in a collaborative way what went well, what could be done better and action items to have continuous improvement.

Q16. What does a good user story look like? What is its structure?
A good user story:

  •  has a description,
  • defines acceptance criteria,
  • can be delivered within a single sprint, has all UI deliverables available,
  • has all (probable) dependencies identified,
  • defines performance criteria,
  • defines tracking criteria, and
  • is estimated by the team.

Q17. How do you deal with a product owner that assigns user stories or tasks to individual team members?
Assigning tasks to individual team members does not work at all and needs to be stopped. The assignment of user stories is the scrum team’s prerogative. Preventing individual task assignment, if likely to occur, should be one of the Scrum Master’s most pressing concerns

Q18. Where does automation fit into scrum?
Automation plays a vital role in Scrum. In order to have continuous feedback and ensure a quality deliverable we should try to implement TDD, BDD and ATDD approach during our development. Automation in scrum is not only related to testing but it is for all aspect of software development. As I said before introducing TDD, BDD and ATDD will speed up our development process along with maintaining the quality standards; automating the build and deployment process will also speed up the feature availability in different environment – QA to production. As far as testing is concerned, regression testing should be the one that will have most attention. With progress of every sprint, the regression suit keeps on increasing and it becomes practically very challenging to execute the regression suit manually for every sprint. Because we have the sprint duration of 2 – 4 weeks, automating it would be imperial.

Q19. Apart from planning, review and retrospective, do you know any other ceremony in scrum?
We have the Product backlog refinement meeting (backlog grooming meeting) where the team, scrum master and product owner meets to understand the business requirements, splits it into user stories, and estimating it.

Q20. What is DoD? How is this achieved?
DoD stands for Definition of done. It is achieved when

  • the story is development complete,
  • QA complete,
  • The story meets and satisfy the acceptance criteria
  • regression around the story is complete
  • The feature is eligible to be shipped / deployed in production.

Q21. What is MVP in scrum?
A Minimum Viable Product is a product which has just the bare minimum required feature which can be demonstrated to the stakeholders and is eligible to be shipped to production.

Q22. What are Epics?
Epics are equivocal user stories or we can say these are the user stories which are not defined and are kept for future sprints.

Q23. How do you calculate a story point?
A Story point is calculated by taking into the consideration the development effort+ testing effort + resolving dependencies and other factors that would require to complete a story.

Q24. Is it possible that you come across different story point for development and testing efforts? In that case how do you resolve this conflict?
Yes, this is a very common scenario. There may be a chance that the story point given by the development team is, say 3 but the tester gives it 5. In that case both the developer and tester have to justify their story point, have discussion in the meeting and collaborate to conclude a common story point.

Q25. You are in the middle of a sprint and suddenly the product owner comes with a new requirement, what will you do?
In ideal case, the requirement becomes a story and moves to the backlog. Then based on the priority, team can take it up in the next sprint. But if the priority of the requirement is really high, then the team will have to accommodate it in the sprint but it has to very well communicated to the stakeholder that incorporating a story in the middle of the sprint may result in spilling over few stories to the next sprint.

Q26. In case you receive a story at the last day of the sprint to test and you find there are defects, what will you do? Will you mark the story to done?
A story is done only when it is development complete + QA complete + acceptance criteria is met + it is eligible to be shipped into production. In this case if there are defects, the story is partially done and not completely done, so I will spill it over to next sprint.

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