30+ Agile Scrum Master Interview Questions
The world we are living in is very fast-paced. The focus today is on the results, and nobody has time for things that are not so fast. It is the case of our personal lives as well as our professional lives. All of us want to run fast, regardless of what we are leaving behind. Being fast is not the only requirement of today's world, as being efficient is a must-have thing as well.
When we talk about a project, be it an industry project or any other. These things apply there as well. The requirements are the same over there as well. We need better results in less time with a limited amount of resources. If you work in an IT industry or any other industry, you must have experienced it. You must have seen how things happen in industries, how software development projects are very different than engineering and other projects. In software development projects, we need to treat them with extra care, and the team itself is adaptable and flexible. Teams of software development projects work day and night without even saying a word if there is an overnight demand of the client. It leads us to a methodology that is called Agile.
It is a terminology used in management processes. In agile methodology, collaborative efforts within the organization and cross-organizational collaboration are enforced to evolving demands and solutions. In this collaborative way, things become manageable, and goals become achievable. Before the agile method, there used to be traditional methods of development in organizations that had their flaws. Especially in the IT industry, the market is very competitive, so this methodology works better there, plus software is something that necessitates an update after some time.
There are some principles of agile development that are following.
- There should be early and continuous software delivery for customer satisfaction.
- All changing requirements should be accommodated immediately throughout the complete development process.
- There will be no compromise on the delivery of working software.
- There should be a collaborative environment between the project team and stakeholders.
- The working environment should be supportive and full of trust.
- The focus should be on face to face interactions.
- The successful result is the only criteria to measure the progress.
- The team should follow all the agile rules to run the project at a consistent pace.
- There should be a regular feedback system to ensure the team is becoming more efficient.
Agile Project Management
The literal meaning of agility is to keep in movement. The agility method is exactly like that, and by applying it to a project, we can keep the project moving quickly in the right direction. There are five attributes of agility when it comes to project management. Let us look at those five attributes.
When it comes to agile project management, the main attribute to focus on is transparency. It is the process of sharing all the information and useful insights with all the concerned parties. This transparent environment helps a lot in teams to communicate unhesitantly.
In an agile environment, all the members of the team share their progress with the team by some means. That keeps the team updated about where they are standing right now. Through this sharing, all the members are encouraged to share their ideas and concerns about other's ideas. The chief purpose is to build an environment where there is a united team.
- Customer Focus
There is this saying that, customers do not even care about what your solution is, all they focus on is their problems. So, even if you are offering the most reliable solutions in the world and there is no one better than you in the market, but until and unless customers do not see those solutions solving their problems, they will not use it.
That is why the main focus of agile project management is on understanding the requirements of customers through proper collaboration. In agile we not only fulfill customers' requirements but provide them what they really need. Also with continuous collaboration with customers, agile has an objective of increased efficiency. As there is continuous customer feedback about the project, the time and resources will not be wasted in the rework.
There is another thing agile project management focuses on, that is adaptability. The main idea behind this is to make teams capable enough to respond to anything that comes up. By having the adaptability, teams ensure frequent delivery of the product and direct feedback from the market. That is the reason why have the project divided into small chunks is always better than doing the complete project at once. The focus is to connect directly to the end-user and work in synchronization.
- Sense of Ownership
Another attribute that works well for agile project management is the sense of ownership. As the main focus of agile is the teamwork, every member is valued the same in the team. In traditional project management ventures, there is a project manager who passes the tasks to different team members, but, in agile tasks are given to the team and everyone has a sense of ownership for the project, so they deliver the same way.
- Continuous Improvement
The environment that we create using agile project management encourages continuous improvement within the team. There is a frequent learning experience for the team members as they engage in the learning cycle of agile. As the team members improve their skills with each going project, things start becoming a piece of cake for them.
Methodologies of Agile Project Management
Project management has not always been the way it is right now. There used to be no agile methodologies for project management. There was a time when there was not even a methodology for managing a project or something. People used to just keep doing things without keeping a check on them.
Then, there was a traditional way of doing a project. It was nothing but a sequential way of doing things. People used to start from a part of the project and then move on to the next element after the first one is executed. It used to take a lot of time, as there was no management of assignments and no check and balance.
When things started getting heated up and people realized how much time they are wasting, they started their march towards the agile way of project management. They started working in teams, and every team had different jobs, multiple jobs started getting completed in parallel that saved a lot of time. In agile, teamwork, flexibility, and collaboration is the key. Let us look at some of the agile project management methodologies.
- Dynamic System Development Model (DSDM)
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Disciplined Agile Delivery
- Lean (LN)
- Crystal Clear Methods
These are the methodologies of agile project management that we are using in today's time. But the most popular and effective technique is the Scrum agile methodology. In most critical projects, managers use Scrum methodology to get efficient results. Let's look into this popular project management methodology in detail.
The best agile technique to manage a project is Scrum. Most of the time companies use it for software development projects. It has become so popular now that this methodology is being used in all kinds of projects. We can also think of it as a framework that we use to manage a process.
In scrum project management, there are no thorough details and descriptions about how to do this and that. Most of the things are left up to the agile scrum team because when they face a problem, no one but they will know how to solve that problem. In an agile scrum, the focus is on a sprint. In a sprint meeting, they decide the output product of that sprint and the work starts from there. There is no criteria or long description meetings to decide how to do things. It is the major difference between agile scrum and other agile methodologies. A scrum team has no leader whatsoever, and they self-organize the team and the resources, to achieve the desired output by the given time. As a sprint is only two to four weeks long and there is a chain of sprints until the project is finished. There are supporting ends available for scrum teams if they need any help regarding the project.
- Main Roles of Agile Scrum Project
In every Scrum project, there is a scrum team and two significant roles. There is a product owner that tells the team about the product, which helps the team to decide their sprints. And there is another vital role that is of a coach. This role is called scum master, which accommodates the scrum team in achieving their goals. The role of a scrum master is very different than a traditional project manager. A scrum master never gives day to day directions to the team and does not assign any task to any individual. The scrum master is kind of a roof for the scrum that works as a shelter and saves the team from every distraction, that helps the team focus completely on the project. This role is not easy to get, as one has to go through a lot to get to this point. There is an agile scrum master certification that can prepare anyone for the challenge, but it will take some projects for the person to adjust himself with the routine of agile scrum.
It is not an easy task to get appointed as a scrum master, as it is a crucial role, and all the team depends on this person. That is the reason why organizations have very hard criteria when it comes to the selection of a scrum master. Even after experience as a manager and doing the agile scrum master certification, it becomes hard for a person to pass the interview and get selected for the job. Let us mention the questions and their answers that can possibly be asked during an interview for the scrum master's position so that you have an idea about what to expect.
Agile Scrum Master Questions and Answers
Here we will mention some thirty-plus questions and answers that you can expect during an interview for an agile scrum master.
- What do you know about agile? Explain briefly?
- Agile is an approach that focuses on keep moving. By applying it in a project means we keep the project going rapidly and in the right direction. Agile teams work collaboratively and make sure of the on-time delivery of the product.
- How is agile development different from other traditional project management methodologies?
- In agile development, a little bit of everything happens in parallel. So, multiple things are done at the same time. Whereas in traditional project management, things used to happen in series, one after another. You cannot start another process until the current one is done.
- Define all the roles of the agile scrum methodology?
- In agile scrum methodology, there are a total of three roles. There is a role pf product owner, scrum master, and the team that delivers the product. The product owner is the person who tells about the end product that is required, so the delivery team converts it into some sprints and work towards achieving that product, whereas the scrum master helps them achieve these goals by playing a coach there.
- What is the purpose of daily stand-up meetings in an agile scrum project?
- There is a routine in every scrum project that we call the daily stand-up meeting. In this routine, the team conducts a meeting at a specific of the day where everyone shares their progress regarding the sprint. In this meeting, there are generally three questions that are addressed.What are the tasks that team has completed since the last meeting? What is on the agenda to complete by the next meeting? What are the hurdles you are facing while doing your jobs?
- How do you think scrum is better than waterfall the traditional project management technique?
- The agile scrum technique is better than the waterfall technique in many ways. For example, in the scrum, we receive customer feedback at a very early stage, which helps to improve the product. Whereas in the waterfall, we receive customer feedback at the end of the project. It is also easy to accommodate the changes in scrum whereas, in the waterfall, it is a very hard thing to do. In the waterfall, they separately test the product to see if the customer likes it nor not. Whereas in the scrum, we do not need this phase due to continuous customer feedback.
- Is there any difference in the scrum technique and the iterative model?
- Agile scrum itself is an iterative technique, but it adds the incremental model with iterations.
- State some other agile methodologies for project management other than scrum?
- There are multiple agile methodologies other than scrum. It includes Extreme Programming (XP), Lean (LN), Kanban, and many more.
- What is a sprint? And how does it work?
- A sprint is a chunk of the project that is of two to four weeks. In a sprint, the scrum team sets a goal and achieves it within the sprint time. And just like that, there a sprint after sprint until the project is completed.
- Is there any time we should prefer the waterfall approach over the scrum technique?
- It depends on the project. If the project is simple, fully understood, and predictable, you can choose the waterfall technique. You just need to make sure of one thing that nothing changes during the project.
- What does it mean by the product backlog in the agile scrum technique?
- At the start of a project, when the team is deciding about the sprints, there is the features list that the product owner reviews. All the enhancements, change requests, and everything else is reviewed by the owner, and he sets the priority list. They refer to this new features list as the product backlog. All the items that the team keeps on the sprint, they call it a sprint backlog.
- How many types of meetings are there in the scrum? And what are they arranged for?
- There are a total of three types of meetings in the agile scrum.
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The first meeting is the planning meeting, in which the entire team meets up, including the product owner and the scrum master. In this meeting, they decide the items on the product backlog, to start working on the sprint. After the product backlog, they move forward to the sprint backlog. The second meeting is the review meeting, in this meeting the teams demonstrate all the work they have done by now, in front of the stakeholders. The third type of meeting is the retrospective meeting, in which they meet to discuss their progress, regarding the ongoing sprint, and if there are any problems regarding that.
- What does it mean by three amigos in the agile scrum?
- The three amigos in the scrum are the scrum master, the scrum team, and the product owner.
- How many members should be there in an ideal team of scrum?
- When it comes to the number of members, there should be 7 to 9 members in an ideal scrum team.
- S State all the most essential components of agile?
- The essential components of agile development are.
Daily meetings that we also call Stand-up meetings.
Timeboxed Card Boards
Class responsibility collaborator cards
Meetings to plan the iterative model and iterative development
- State some of the project management tools we use in agile development?
- There are a variety of tools used in the agile development that includes, XPlanner, EasyBacklog, VersionOne, IceScrum, Agilo, and many more. These tools are different than the waterfall project management tools.
- How much time the scrum master activities usually take?
- As we know, the scrum master is like the shelter of the scrum team that saves them from all kinds of distractions, so this job should be the top priority of a scrum master. The job load of a scrum master keeps varying as there are more difficulties in some sprints, and some sprints so not even have any problems. When the scrum master well experienced with a good team, it is a sense of relief for the scrum master as well.
- What does it mean by the user story in an agile scrum project?
- A user story is a tool that we use in the scrum. It describes the user's perspective from a customer's point of view. By using this tool, the scrum team gets a clue about what are the requirements of a user.
- Define what a scrum master does for the scrum team? And how it benefits the organization in the long run?
- The first and the main thing a scrum master does is, helps the organization in the adoption of the scrum technique. Throughout the project, he works as an agile change agent. During the project he helps the team big time to increase productivity. He is the one who ensures that the incremental process is running properly, and there is a continuous improvement.
These are some thirty-plus questions and their answers that can be asked during a scrum master interview. If someone has a look at all the mentioned questions, he can easily answer the questions in the interview. That will lead him to land the job of the scrum master.
As we have discussed throughout this post how valuable the scrum methodology is when it comes to project management. According to research, there are more than 50% of the companies in the world that use the scrum technique to manage their projects. If you want to integrate the scrum technique for project management in your organization, this post will help you a lot in understanding agile and the scrum. That is all from us. All the best!
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