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Scrum is a popular Agile framework that incorporates the best principles that Agile has to offer. Thanks to this, Scrum has found widespread acceptance and usage by several organizations across the world. In this article on Scrum Master interview questions, we’re going to help you learn everything you need to know to ace your next Scrum Interview.

Scrum is an Agile framework that can help teams work together. Scrum can enable teams to learn from experiences, self-organize while working on problems, to reflect on their victories and failures, to make improvements. This Agile Scrum interview question is often used as a starter question to get the interview moving.Â

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The Scrum Team is one that’s self-organizing and involves five to seven members. The following are their responsibilities:

The difference between Agile and Scrum is a very fundamental and common Agile Scrum interview question asked in an interview.

There is no leader. Issues are handled by the scrum master and the team

Sprints provide workable builds of the final product to the user for feedback

It is a list of items that need to be completed for developing the product

The backlog is collected from the customer by the product owner and assigned to the team

The team collects the backlog from the product owner and sets up the time frame for the sprint

A Scrum Master is someone who promotes and supports the usage of Scrum within the team.

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Stand-up sessions are daily discussions that take place and are usually 15 minutes long. Daily Stand-up sessions help understand:

The meeting helps in understanding the overall scope and status of the project. Further discussions can take place after the stand-up sessions.

The sprint retrospective takes place after the sprint review. During this meeting, past mistakes, potential issues, and new methods to handle them are discussed. This data is incorporated into the planning of a new sprint.

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Velocity is a metric used to measure the amount of work completed by a team during a sprint. It refers to the number of user stories completed in a sprint.Â

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Managing risks involves identifying, assessing, analyzing, defining, and implementing risk responses, monitoring, and managing them. These are done on a continual basis right from the starting of the project until completion. It is essential to understand that the impact of the risk is based on the proximity of the actual occurrence of the risk.

Score creep refers to a change that’s uncontrolled and added without checking its impact on scope, time, cost, etc.Â

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Scrum masters can create openness by being honest with their teams. Giving honest feedback at daily Scrum meetings inspires team members to be open and honest in return and is important for making necessary modifications.

Giving individual coaching to team members is one of the most effective strategies to resolve a problem. It is imperative for a Scrum Master to maintain positive relationships with team members and provide guidance when they face challenges.

For a Scrum Master, paying attention to the source of the problem and listening and acting accordingly would go a long way. Any disagreements should be shared with other team members in a manner that they would be open to suggestions for resolving the issue. When a conflict arises, the Scrum Master must intervene so that the process runs smoothly and without hiccups.

First, we must determine the source of the team’s quarrel. Before taking any action, it is necessary to understand the discrepancy between two groups or two persons. In times of dispute, Scrum Masters typically react aggressively against team members in the hopes of resolving the conflict on their own. However, while this may temporarily cure the problem, it does not address any underlying concerns. The Scrum Master must lead the team and teach them that disagreement is a regular occurrence in the workplace and it can be resolved with assertiveness. It is the leader’s responsibility to guarantee that team members’ concerns are acknowledged and addressed.

Gathering facts about the conflict is usually crucial before coming to a conclusion about a certain individual or suppressing the topic. This could be accomplished by listening to each party separately and comprehending the situation from their point of view. The Scrum Master should also consider other team members’ perspectives and also respect every team member’s decisions. As a result, the Scrum Master must elicit everyone’s assistance in order to gain a picture of the workplace conflict.

It is often impossible for the leader to resolve problems on his or her own. Furthermore, several members of the Scrum Team would have better answers that would quickly remedy the problem. Organizing spontaneous group talks and sharing opinions on various activities would stimulate good discourse between the two people or groups in these situations. This would urge both sides to see things from the other’s perspective. This also provides opportunities for superior ideas to be pushed and for the disparity to be bridged.

Listing all of the possible answers to an issue would only be useful if those solutions were put into action. Scrum Master removes the team’s roadblocks by implementing the solution in this step. Throughout the conflict resolution process, remembering to stay calm and respectful will aid in a speedier and more efficient resolution.

The four strategies by which we can deal with difficult stakeholders are:

Adaption: The method being processed must be changed if an inspector determines that one or more aspects of a process are outside of permitted limits. A correction must be made as quickly as possible to avoid future deviation.

Transparency: Transparency mandates that those elements be specified by a consistent standard in order for viewers to understand what they are viewing. For example, while referring to the process, all participants must use the same terminology. Those reviewing as well as those executing the job and the resulting addition must have the same definition of “done.”

Inspection: Scrum users must check Scrum artifacts and progress toward a Sprint Goal on a regular basis to discover unwanted deviations. Inspections should not be carried out so frequently that they constitute a burden to their work. Inspections are most successful when skilled inspectors do them attentively at the point of work.

A good user narrative includes both a description and acceptance criteria. It should be completed in a sprint with the fewest possible dependencies. The team should be able to develop and test while still delivering estimations within the sprint’s constraints. In short, good user stories adhere to the INVEST concept.

I → Independent: The user story should be written in such a way that team members are less dependent on one another.

N → Negotiable: it should define the functionality of the user story and is subject to the Product Owner and the Team’s approval.

E → Estimable: This lets us be able to roughly approximate in terms of time.

S → Small: The user story should be tiny enough for the team to finish in a sprint.

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Risk Identification: To identify the risks that your company is exposed to in its current operating environment. There are several types of risks, such as market risks, legal risks, regulatory risks, environmental risks, etc. It’s crucial to be aware of as many risk factors as possible.

Risk Analysis: Once a risk has been identified, it must be investigated. The scope of the danger must be determined. It’s also important to understand the connection between other internal factors and risk. It’s critical to determine the risk’s severity and importance by examining how it affects the business operations.

Ranking the risk: Risks must be ranked and prioritized. Most risk management solutions include numerous risk categories based on the severity of the danger. Risks that may cause minor discomfort are prioritized the least, but risks that can result in significant loss are prioritized the highest.

Treating the risk: As much as possible, all risks should be avoided or reduced by contacting experts in the field in question. In a manual environment, this would include contacting each and every stakeholder and setting up meetings for everyone to discuss the issues.

Risk review: To ensure that it has been entirely eradicated, the risk evaluation is done.

Timeboxing is the practice of devoting a set amount of time to a single activity. A timebox is a unit of time measurement. A timebox should not exceed 15 minutes in length. A Sprint can be canceled before the Sprint timebox limit ends. Only a Product Owner can cancel the sprint.

Scope creep is used to describe how a project’s requirements tend to grow over time, like – a single deliverable product becomes five when a product with three essential features becomes ten, or when the customer’s needs change midway through a project, requiring a reassessment of the project requirements. Changes in project needs from internal miscommunication and disagreements, and key stakeholders are some of the common causes of scope creep.

To manage scope creep, we need to use the change control mechanism to keep it under control. This includes the following –

A workshop facilitator must be objective when it comes to the topics being discussed and should avoid contributing facts or opinions to the conversation. Even though a Scrum Master’s job is to assist the team in achieving the best possible results, workshop facilitation can be challenging at times. Most of the general product development workshops can be facilitated by the Scrum Master if someone has the required knowledge. The Scrum Master should not facilitate a workshop about modifying the Scrum process.

The coordination of business people and developers defines the success of a project. The scrum master should conduct the daily standup meetings and encourage all stakeholders to be a part of the call by explaining the impact it will have on the project. The motive of the daily scrum is to know whether or not they will reach the sprint goal. If all stakeholders are present on the call, they can see a clear picture of the product development and change their priorities to meet the set expectations. Problems faced by different parties are also discussed here to bring everyone together.Â

Well-formed stories will meet the criteria of Bill Wake’s INVEST acronym:

The scrum master in sprint retrospective inspects the progress of previous improvements. With the help of team discussion, new improvements are also inspected and adapted. Scrum Master plays the role of a facilitator for the team.Â

Regular scrum retrospective ensures timely delivery of action items. An effective retrospective makes sure that the team has identified the action items. Some organizations use a retrospective tracker to monitor action items. Here are the targeted categories: priority, ownership, status, description, identified on, and type. Working on the action items gives the team a boost that they are moving towards improvement and enhances the sense of ownership.

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A Sprint is at the heart of Scrum. An incremental product is released every two weeks or every month. After the previous Sprint gets completed, a new Sprint begins. It breaks down large projects into smaller, more manageable chunks. It allows companies to produce high-quality work more frequently and quickly, making project management easy. Sprints have made them more adaptable to changes. Daily scrums, Sprint planning, sprint review, development work, and sprint retrospectives are part of a sprint.

The Confidence Vote gets held at the Program Increment Planning session following the risk analysis. It is when all team members assemble and voice their opinions and vote with their fingers on their confidence level in completing the PI Targets. The confidence vote can be used only once all the features and user stories get adequately estimated and prioritized. All work must be clear to all parties involved, with all dependencies and risks clearly defined.

A vote of confidence can help to create an environment in which people feel comfortable sharing and expressing their ideas. It boosts team morale because members should feel that their opinions are valued.

A team can evaluate its progress in sticking to the sprint goal during the daily meeting. To ensure that all are on the same page, all agile teams should meet frequently. They can conduct the meeting in different ways depending on the size as well as the level of experience.Â

It is advantageous to involve the scrum team in the discovery phase stage of the product development lifecycle. Agile teams collaborate with stakeholders early in the development cycle to ensure that both parties are on the same page.Â

A user story is an informal, generic description of a software feature written from the end user’s perspective. Its purpose is to explain how a software feature could benefit the customer. Putting people first is a critical element of agile software development, and a user story accomplishes this by putting end-users at the center of the discussion. These anecdotes use non-technical language to describe the development team and their efforts. After reading a user story, the team understands why they are developing, what they are building, and what value it adds.

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Estimating clock-in-hours is one among the most popular methods for evaluating teamwork. Some significant disadvantages are:

The following are some of the advantages of estimating user stories in points:Â

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a Lean Startup concept emphasizing the value of learning while developing a product. It allows the idea to be tested and understood by exposing target consumers and users to the initial version. To do so, one must first collect all relevant data and then learn from it. The MVP concept is to create a product, give it to consumers, and then watch how the product gets used, perceived, and understood. It will also provide a clear understanding of your clients’ or users’ needs.

Successful products get gradually introduced into the market, with each “significant” deployment referred to as a release. An MMR (Minimum Marketable Release) is a product release with the fewest features possible that address your customers’ current new needs. MMRs are used to reduce the time it takes to market between releases by condensing each release’s coherent feature set to the smallest increment that provides new value to customers.

There are other frameworks in addition to Scrum, such as Kanban, Test Driven Development, and Feature-Driven Development. Mention frameworks you have followed and provide scenarios.

Use waterfall if the requirements are simple, predictable, fully defined and understood, and will not change.

Scrum encourages the use of automated performance or regression testing so that you can continuously deliver software as quickly as possible. Offer examples of any automated testing tools that your team may have used.

An ideal sprint length is between one and four weeks, with a two-week sprint being the most widely used.

Yes. Agile encourages frequent feedback from customers and stakeholders so that the product can be improved. We need to be able to embrace change.

Sprint, release burn-down and burn-up charts are standard reports. Most companies also want to understand how many stories were committed versus completed per sprint and the number of defects identified post-release to production.

A burn-down chart displays the amount of work a team has burned through—such as hours during the sprint. Discuss how you have used these in the past.

This is a popular question. Don’t offer that Scrum guidelines state only one Scrum Master per team as your answer! In this new role, you may be required to lead more than one team. Notice the use of the word “managed” versus “led.”  Scrum Masters do not manage, they lead teams—so be sure to use this word in your response. Your interviewer is likely to be listening very closely!

Requirements in Scrum are written as user stories using a standard, “As a ___, I want___ so that I can ___.” As a Scrum Master, you don’t necessarily write user stories, but you would assist the Product Owner to ensure that user stories are written, prioritized, and ready for the sprint.

A little bit of conflict is always good, but your interviewer is looking for your ability to be an effective leader. Reflect on a time where you had a few team members that just never seemed to be able to work things out. How did you encourage those team members to work together? Was it a team-building exercise? Did you make sure they had a common goal? State the problem you had, how you addressed it, and the outcome.

Research Scrum framework and Agile principles, study Agile ceremonies, practice situational questions, showcase soft skills like communication and coaching, and understand the organization’s Agile practices. Be confident and enthusiastic during the interview.

The most commonly asked scrum master interview questions are – What is Scrum? Define the roles in Scrum. What are the responsibilities of the Scrum Team? Differentiate Between Agile and Scrum. What are the Artifacts of the Scrum Process?Â

Scrum Master’s primary responsibility is to keep the team organized and focused. They serve as a bridge between the product management and development teams. They must know how to tackle obstacles and distractions faced by the team.Â

In this article on Scrum Master Interview Questions, we covered some important questions that’ll get you the dream job you’re looking for. Think you need more advanced upskilling? You can check out Simplilearn’s Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) course. In this course, we cover how Agile can be implemented, different Agile methodologies, Scrum concepts, and much more in detail. The course will also enhance your ability to develop and deliver quality products to customers.Â

And in case you have any questions, let us know in the comment section of this ‘Agile Scrum Interview Questions’ article, and our experts will get back to you at the earliest.

Rahul is a Senior Research Analyst at Simplilearn. Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning are some of his favorite topics of discussion. Rahul can be found listening to music, doodling, and gaming.

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