Kanban Interview Questions and Answers
Last updated on 18th Nov 2021, Blog, Interview Questions
These Kanban Interview Questions have been designed specially to get you acquainted with the nature of questions you may encounter during your interview for the subject of Kanban . As per my experience good interviewers hardly plan to ask any particular question during your interview, normally questions start with some basic concept of the subject and later they continue based on further discussion and what you answer. we are going to cover top 100 Kanban Interview questions along with their detailed answers. We will be covering Kanban scenario based interview questions, interview questions for freshers as well as Kanban interview questions and answers for experienced.
1.How does Kanban differ from other Agile methodologies like Scrum?
Kanban is an Agile methodology that focuses on continuous delivery and optimizing flow. Unlike Scrum, Kanban does not prescribe fixed iterations or timeboxed sprints. Instead, it allows for a continuous flow of work, enabling teams to release software or products as soon as they are ready. Kanban also emphasizes limiting work in progress (WIP) to improve efficiency and minimize multitasking.
2.How do you measure the performance of a Kanban team?
The performance of a Kanban team is typically measured using key metrics such as lead time (the time it takes for a work item to move from request to completion), cycle time (the time it takes to complete one item), and throughput (the number of items completed per unit of time). These metrics provide insights into the team’s efficiency, predictability, and overall flow of work.
3.What are the primary principles of the Kanban method?
The core principles of the Kanban method include visualizing the work, limiting work in progress, managing flow, making process policies explicit, using feedback loops to improve, and encouraging collaborative improvement. These principles collectively help teams optimize their workflow and continuously improve their processes.
4.How do you handle bottlenecks in a Kanban system?
Identifying and addressing bottlenecks is crucial in Kanban. When a bottleneck is identified, the team can focus on resolving it by redistributing tasks, providing additional resources, or reevaluating the process. Kanban emphasizes continuous improvement, so teams regularly review their workflow to identify and eliminate bottlenecks.
5.How do you prioritize work in a Kanban system?
In Kanban, work items are typically pulled into the system based on their priority and capacity. High-priority items are placed at the top of the backlog and are pulled into the workflow as soon as there is available capacity. The team continuously reprioritizes the backlog based on changing requirements and business needs.
6.What are service-level agreements (SLAs) in Kanban?
Service-level agreements (SLAs) in Kanban are agreements between the team and stakeholders regarding the expected time to complete work items. SLAs help set expectations and improve predictability. For example, an SLA might specify that a certain percentage of items must be completed within a specific time frame.
7.How does Kanban handle unexpected work or urgent requests?
Kanban enables flexibility in dealing with unexpected work or urgent requests. When such work happens, the team can include it into the process while ensuring that it does not break the flow. However, in order to keep the system reliable and predictable, teams may commit a certain percentage of their capacity to addressing urgent requests.
8.What role does the Kanban board play in visualizing work?
The Kanban board is a visual representation of the team’s workflow. It typically consists of columns representing different stages of work (e.g., to-do, in progress, done) and cards representing individual work items. The board provides a clear and real-time view of the status of each task, making it easier for team members and stakeholders to understand the flow of work.
9.How can Kanban be used outside of software development?
Kanban principles can be applied to various industries and processes beyond software development. It has been successfully adopted in fields like manufacturing, marketing, human resources, and healthcare. Any process with a flow of work can benefit from using Kanban to improve efficiency and visibility.
10.How can a Kanban system encourage collaboration and team communication?
Kanban promotes collaboration by encouraging teams to work together to continuously optimize their workflow. Daily stand-up meetings and regular retrospectives provide opportunities for communication and feedback. Additionally, the visual nature of the Kanban board makes it easier for team members to see each other’s progress and understand dependencies, fostering better collaboration.
11.How does the concept of “Pull” in Kanban help improve workflow efficiency?
In Kanban, the “Pull” system allows team members to pull work items into their workflow only when they have the capacity to handle them. This helps prevent overloading team members and ensures a steady flow of work. By using a “Pull” approach, teams can avoid bottlenecks caused by pushing work onto team members who may already be busy, leading to a more efficient workflow.
12.What is the significance of Work In Progress (WIP) limits in Kanban, and how do they impact productivity?
WIP limits in Kanban define the maximum number of work items allowed in a particular stage of the workflow at any given time. WIP limits help prevent teams from taking on too much work simultaneously, which can lead to reduced productivity due to task switching and decreased focus. By setting WIP limits, Kanban teams can maintain a balanced workflow, improve quality, and reduce lead times.
13.How is Throughput time calculated?
The throughput time of a product formula is calculated by adding the four steps of the manufacturing process: process time, inspection time, move time, and wait time. Process time is the amount of time it takes the company to actually produce the product. After the product is produced, it must be inspected.
14.What are queues in kanban?
Kanban boards are meant to reflect the value stream. Value streams map activities and the queues between activities. … It distinguishes between the step, the activity and the queue. “Development” is the step, “Development In Progress” is the activity, and “Development Done” is the queue before the next step.
15.How does Kanban promote continuous improvement and evolutionary change in processes?
Kanban promotes continuous improvement through regular retrospective meetings. During retrospectives, teams reflect on their workflow, identify areas for improvement, and experiment with changes to their process. This iterative approach allows teams to adapt and evolve their processes incrementally, leading to ongoing improvements and optimized efficiency.
16.In Kanban, what is the purpose of cumulative flow diagrams (CFDs) and how can they be utilized by teams?
Cumulative flow diagrams (CFDs) visualize the flow of work items throughout different stages of the workflow over time. They provide valuable insights into the team’s performance, bottlenecks, and overall work progress. By analyzing CFDs, teams can identify areas for optimization, track process changes’ impact, and make data-driven decisions to enhance their workflow.
17.How can Kanban facilitate collaboration between development and operations teams (DevOps)?
Kanban’s emphasis on cross-functional collaboration and visibility makes it suitable for facilitating DevOps practices. By visualizing both development and operations work on the same Kanban board, teams can coordinate efforts, identify dependencies, and streamline the delivery process. This helps break down silos and promotes a shared responsibility for delivering high-quality products or services.
18.How does Kanban handle work items with varying levels of complexity and effort?
Kanban allows for the explicit representation of work item types with different levels of complexity and effort estimates. Teams can use different classes of service on the Kanban board to differentiate items based on complexity or urgency. This enables teams to prioritize and manage work items effectively, giving visibility to high-priority or high-complexity items.
19.What do cycle time and throughput mean?
- Cycle Time: The amount of time it takes to complete one unit of work from beginning to end.
- Throughput: The pace at which work items are done in a certain time frame.
Cycle time is used to calculate productivity:-
The rate at which team progresses sprint by sprint.
21.How are Agile and Lean different from each other?
Agile focuses on making software development more flexible by delivering smaller chunks of work frequently and lean focusses on making the entire process sustainable through continuous improvements.Lean operates on the model of build-measure-learn. Lean prefers to use Kanban as its way of working.
22.What is a waste in the lean way of development?
Anything that does not add value to the customer is considered waste. It could be extra inventory, additional checks, extra code, frills and features that are not used etc.
23.How does Kanban improve visibility?
Kanban uses digital or physical boards to represent the team’s unique process. The work represented by cards move from left to right representing the progress. So at any given point of time, the organization can view the progress, capacity, productivity, and efficiency.
24.How does Kanban support Lean’s continuous improvement?
To, achieve continuous improvement, it is important to track metrics or KPIs. Kanban boards provide enough data on this aspect. Such as how many work items are delivering in 1 sprint; how many works in progress items are we able to handle without impacting velocity and what could be ways to improve the capacity.
25.Name 7 lean principles?
- Eliminate waste.
- Build quality in the process.
- Fast delivery.
- Knowledge management.
- Commit late or defer commitment.
- Respect people.
26.Mention 8 different types of wastes as per Lean?
- Excess processing.
- Non-Utilized Talent.
27.Any work items that exists between “Backlog” stage and “Live or In Production” stage can be considered as WIP? True or false?
True. Yes, all the work items that have moved past backlog and not yet shipped to Production are WIP [Work in progress]
28.Ideally, How WIP factor is calculated with respect to team size?
It is generally 1 to 1.5 times of the total team count. So, if team size is 4, max 6 items can be in progress at any given time.
29.What are Swim lanes?
The horizontal division on a Kanban board to represent various stages of the pipeline is known as swim lane.
30.Define throughput and what is the formula to calculate it?
Throughput is the number of items passing through a system or process at any given time. So the formula is WIP average multiplied by the average cycle time of the pipeline.
31.What is lead time?
Lead time is the time between the start of processing of the order until delivery. For example, Release 1 happened on 1st Jan and release 2 started on 2nd Jan and got released on 15th Jan. so lead time is 13 days.
32.What is the difference between cycle time and lead time?
Cycle time is the total time including waiting time and lead time. Whereas lead time is the time when processing started and finished.
Lead time + wait time = cycle time.
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33.Why is Kanban famous than others? How to make sure we are using it properly?
Kanban’s basic strength lies in its simplicity and ability to visualize. That is why it is most famous. However, we should leverage concepts of KPIs and flow to make sure we are utilizing the full power of this concept.
34.If I have a team using Kanban and they are saying that they can take up more work than what is allowed by WIP then what should I do?
If the team is asking for more work because they think they can do more then obvious choice is to allow them, but it should be done in a proper manner. This means this should be discussed with the team first on why they think they are able to take up more tasks and if that discussion is positive then arrive at a consensus on the revised upwards value of WIP limit. That limit should be approved by the project manager, product owner, and sponsors. Then it should be implemented.
35.How Kanban is an important factor in Lean software development model?
Lean focuses on reducing waste to almost zero. This is where Kanban comes into the picture with its visualization focus. With the focus on limiting work in progress items, visualizing the work pipeline to bring focus on velocity, KPIs etc. it helps reduce waste and hence it is an important factor in Lean.
36.How does Kanban enable reduced wastage in the Lean development through improved focus?
Kanban has the power to transform the focus of the team. First and foremost, the work items are arranged in the order of priority. This ensures ad-hoc work item assignment is reduced and hence, productivity and quality are maintained by reducing context switching. Lean understands that going out of the way to deliver work items are often appreciated by higher management, but it is not sustainable. So, such practices are discouraged.
37.Explain Value stream mapping?
A lot of time is wasted in the processing pipeline due to hand-offs or waiting for the right resources or allocation. This adds to the overall processing time. So, value stream mapping concept requires you to create a visual flow of order from a customer at initiation stage to final delivery through all stages.
38.Which of the following is the key concept leveraged in Value stream mapping? Visualization, Work in progress limits, velocity calculations?
Visualization is the right answer because value stream mapping relies on creating a diagrammatic representation of the entire processing line from start to finish with wait times, lead times, processing times and aims at reducing the wastage.
39.List down some of the benefits of Value stream mapping?
- Helps find bottlenecks in the system
- Help generate a feeling of togetherness in the team to improve the system as a whole
- Helps in the visualization of problems
- Helps understand the inefficiencies, where they exist and how to fix them
40.What type of Kanban board is used in gaming projects?
Heijunka board is the answer. Heijunka board, unlike a simple scrum design board, allows all staffs to work independently. This reduces redundancy among the team, and the team does not have to wait for another person to finish their task.
41.How does Lean and Six sigma differ from each other or are they same or do they complement each other?
Even though, both Lean and Six Sigma focus on waste reduction and improving efficiency, they key difference lies in the fact that Six Sigma is more inclined towards reducing the wastage margin towards 99.9999% whereas Lean is focused on setting up the right processes, the efficient pipeline, the culture and mindset of waste reduction.So overall, it can be said that once we have matured Lean production in the organization then Six Sigma can be put on top of it.
42.Mention some of the tools of Lean that can be used?
- JIT [Just in Time]
43.Have you worked on 5-S? Do you know what 5-S is?
- Sort: Eliminate what is not needed.
- Set in order: organize the remaining items.
- Shine: Inspect and clean the work area.
- Standardize: Use either industry standards or create your own but follow them.
- Sustain: Make sure you maintain it that way.
5-S is one of the tools of implementing Lean in the project or organization. It organizes the work in the following manner:-
44.Can you briefly tell us about Open Kanban? As in, what it is? What are the benefits etc.?
Open Kanban can be considered as a movement based on the principles of Kanban and Agile to bring people from different backgrounds, domains, certifications together in a coherent manner. Because even though, people might come from manufacturing, construction, software etc. and they might have different certifications for their skills. But in the end, their goal is the same.So Open Kanban comes into the picture wherever open source is involved.So open Kanban is based on the freedom to change, adopt, modify as per need. And simplicity, where you just as much as you need and put it any shape as you want.
45.Can you explain pull systems, flow and queuing theory with respect to Kanban?
The systems can be of 2 types. Push systems or Pull systems.Push systems mean we the owners, keep pushing work into the pipeline as much as possible with the hope that it would get processed and it would lead to maximum utilization. Whereas in Pull system, we design the system in such a way that it pulls the material from outside as and when the bandwidth frees up. So, velocity or efficiency is consistent.
46.What are the implications of Little’s law?
Essentially, the implications of Little’s law are that we can reduce the wait time by improving the processing time and by controlling the queue length.For example: if our capacity is of managing 4 requests per minute but we have an inflow of 8 requests per minute then obviously we have a wait time of 1 minute for first 4 items in the queue. So this is going to lead to a bottleneck and add to the queue.
47.What are the Kanban Cadences i.e. the meeting that should happen and at what frequency?
- Risk review at Monthly grain.
- Strategy review at quarterly grain.
- Service delivery review on a weekly basis.
- Operations review every month.
- Stand up meetings daily.
- Replenishment meetings on weekly grain.
- Delivery planning meeting for each delivery cycle.
48.What is blocker clustering?
Blocker clustering is a technique to group the blockers into clusters on the graph then analyze them. The graph lists down all the reasons on X axis and Y axis is the impact.Using this data, the blockers and blockages are denoted by a DOT on the chart then we are able to understand the reasons that are primary reasons for blockers in the order of intensity. So, it makes sense to solve them first. This is blocker clustering.
49.What is cumulative flow diagram?
Cumulative flow diagram is a graphical representation of flow in the system over a period. The red color shows the amount of work that is not yet started, green shows delivered and yellow shows in progress.Over a period, red should constantly decrease and green should constantly increase with yellow being steady until the end.
50.How does CFD [Cumulative flow diagram] help in identifying bottlenecks?
CFD diagram shows the flow in the system over a period. So, if, at a time, there no increase in green but red is not decreasing either and at the same time, yellow is constant or increasing then it means. The pipeline is stuck because it shows processing is full, but requests are not getting completed.
51.Explain little’s law?
- Little’s law states that the average number of work items in a stable environment is equal to their average completion rate multiplied by their average time in the system.
- Average wait time (Wq) = Average Queue length (Lq) x Average Processing rate (λ – Lamda)
- Work in Progress (WIP) = Throughput x Cycle Time (Average Time in the System)
52.What is Little’s law in Kanban?
Little’s law states that the average number of items within a system is equal to the average arrival rate of items into and out of the system multiplied by the average amount of time an item spends in the system
53.Where should you put the Kanban-items that fails the test?
It is very important to differentiate the developers about the test case that is failed and returned and the test case that is ready or fresh to test. To differentiate this to the developer, you can split READY option in Kanban into two categories a) Re-open b) Ready. Re-open option status will have test-cases that are failed while ready option should have a new test case that is yet to be tested.
54.Value stream mapping applies to which of the lean principle?
It applies to Optimize principle of Lean by creating value streams and hence finding ways to cut down on wastage occurring in the entire pipeline.
55.What information does time tracker give in Kanban?
- Time reports by project, user or task.
- Detailed reports about the work done.
- Manageable time entries.
- Easy time tracking.
Time Tracker provides a detailed summary of the work done at that instant of time. It is useful in many ways like:-
56.Explain how you can link a card together in Kanban?
- You can use tags to link two cards: First, you have to create cards and have to link cards using the same tag and then you can search all tasks linked using the search option.
- Using unique URL: Each card in Kanban has unique URL, and you can copy this URL and paste it to another card’s external link fields.
To link card together in Kanban, there are two ways:-
57.What is Scrum?
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.
58.Define the roles in Scrum?
- Product Owner: The product owner is an individual who is responsible for increasing the ROI by determining product features, prioritizing these features into a list, what needs to be focused on the upcoming sprint, and much more. These are constantly re-prioritized and refined.
- Scrum Master: This individual helps the team in learning to apply Scrum to ensure optimum business value. The scrum master removes impediments, shields the team from distractions, and enables them to adopt agile practices.
- Scrum Team: They are a collection of individuals who work together to ensure that the requirements of the stakeholders are delivered.
59.What are the responsibilities of the Scrum Team?
- Working products must be developed and delivered during each sprint.
- Ownership and transparency must be ensured for the work assigned to the team members.
- Correct and crisp information must be provided to ensure a successful daily scrum meeting.
- They must collaborate with the team and themselves.
The Scrum Team is one that’s self-organizing and involves five to seven members. The following are their responsibilities:
60.Differentiate Between Agile and Scrum.
|It is a set of principles that’s iterative and incremental in nature.||It is an implementation of the Agile methodology.|
|It is suited for projects involving a small team of experts.||It is used in teams that need to handle constant changing requirements.|
|The project head takes care of all tasks and is vital to the project.||There is no leader. Issues are handled by the scrum master and the team.|
|Changes cannot be handled frequently.||Teams can react to changes quickly.|
|It requires frequent delivery to the end-user.||Sprints provide workable builds of the final product to the user for feedback.|
61.What are the Artifacts of the Scrum Process?
- Product Backlog: It is a list that consists of new features, changes to features, bug fixes, changes to the infrastructure, and other activities to ensure a particular output can be obtained.
- Sprint Backlog: It is a subset of the product backlog that contains tasks focused on by the team to satisfy the sprint goal. Teams first identify the tasks to be completed from the product backlog. These are then added to the sprint backlog.
62.How are the Product and Sprint Backlog different from One Another?
|It is a list of items that need to be completed for developing the product.||It is a list of items to be completed during each sprint.|
|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.|
|It has a specific end goal.||It is specific to a sprint.|
|Based on customer vision.||Can vary based on product vision defined by the product owner.|
|It’s independent of the sprint backlog.||It’s dependant on the product backlog.|
63.Who is a Scrum Master? And what does he/she do?
- A Scrum Master is someone who promotes and supports the usage of Scrum within the team.
- He/She understands the theory, practices, rules and, values of Scrum.
- He/She ensures that the team follows the values, principles and, practices of Scrum.
64.What happens in Daily Stand-up sessions?
- What tasks went well.
- What tasks were completed.
- What tasks are pending, and
- The obstacles the team is facing.
Stand-up sessions are daily discussions that take place and are usually 15 minutes long. Daily Stand-up sessions help understand:-
65.What is Scrum-ban?
Scrum-ban is a methodology that’s a combination of Scrum and Kanban. Scrum-ban can be used to meet the needs of the team, and to minimize the batching of work, and to adopt a pull-based system.
It ingeniously includes the structure of Scrum and the flexibility and visualization of Kanban.
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66.What is Sprint 0 and Spike?
- Creating the project skeleton, along with research spikes.
- Keeping minimal design.
- Developing some stories completely.
Sprint 0 refers to the small amount of effort put in to create a rough skeleton of the product backlog. It also includes insights towards estimating the release of products. Sprint 0 is required for:-
67.What is ‘Scrum of Scrums’?
- It is a terminology used for scaled agile technologies, which is required to control and collaborate with multiple scrum teams. It is best used in situations where teams are collaborating on complex assignments.
- It is also used to ensure that the required transparency, collaboration, adaption, and adoption are established and to ensure that the products are deployed and delivered.
68.What is User-Story Mapping?
User story mapping represents and arranges user stories that help with understanding system functionalities, system backlog, planning releases, and providing value to customers.They arrange user stories based on their priority on the horizontal axis. On the vertical axis, they are represented based on the increasing levels of sophistication.
69.What happens in a Sprint Retrospective?
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.
70.What is Empirical Process Control in Scrum?
Empiricism refers to work that’s based on facts, experiences, evidence, observations, and experimentation. It is established and followed in Scrum to ensure project progress and interpretation is based on facts of observations.
It relies on transparency, observation, and adaption.
71.What are Some drawbacks to using Scrum?
Scrum requires individuals with experience.Teams need to be collaborative and committed to ensuring results.A scrum master with lesser experience can cause the collapse of the project.
72.What are the key skills of a Scrum Master?
A strong understanding of Scrum and Agile concepts.Fine-tuned organizational skills.Familiarity with the technology used by the team.To be able to coach and teach the team to follow Scrum practices.
73.How can discord be dealt with within the Scrum Team?
The issue’s root cause needs to be identified and addressed.Complete ownership needs to be established.Try to diffuse the disagreement.Emphasize on focus areas that complement the project.
74.What is a User Story?
A user story is an agile software development/ project management tool that provides teams with simple, natural language explanations of one or more features of the project that’s written from the perspective of the end-user.The user story doesn’t go into detail but only mentions how certain types of work will bring value to the end-user. The end-user, in this case, could be an external component or an internal customer/colleague within the organization.
75.How are user stories, epics, and tasks different?
- User Stories: They provide the team with simple explanations of the business’ requirements created from the end user’s perspective.
- Epics: An epic is a collection of related user stories. They are usually large and complex.
- Tasks: Tasks are used to break down user stories further. They’re the smallest unit in Scrum that is used to track work. A person or a team of two people usually work on a task.
76.What is a Sprint?
Sprint is a terminology used in Scrum, used to describe a time-boxed iteration.During a sprint, a specific module or feature of the product is created.The duration of a sprint can vary between a week or two.
77.What are the responsibilities of a Product Owner?
Defines the vision for the project.Anticipates the needs of the customer and creates appropriate user stories.Evaluates project progress.Acts as a liaison for all product-related questions.
78.What is a Burnup and Burndown Chart?
- A burnup chart is a tool that’s used to track the amount of work that’s been completed and to represent the total amount of work that needs to be done for a sprint/project.
- A burndown chart represents how fast working through user stories is. It shows total effort against the amount of work for each iteration.
79.How is Estimation Done in a Scrum Project?
- Numeric Sizing (1 – 10)
- T-shirt Sizes (S, M, L, XL…)
- Fibonacci Series (1, 2, 3, 5, 8…)
- Dog breeds (Great Dane, Chihuahua…)
The estimation of user stories is done based on their difficulty. particular scale is used to assess the difficulty of the user stories. Some type of scales are:-
80.What are some risks in Scrum? How are they handled?
- Budget: The risk of exceeding budgets.
- People (team): Team members need to be of appropriate skill and capability.
- Sprint (duration and deliverables): Exceeding the duration, addition of the scope of work.
- Product (user stories, epics): Having ill-defined user stories and epics.
Some types of risks in Scrum are:-
81.How does a Scrum Master track Sprint progress?
- Daily Scrum meetings.
- Scrum retrospectives.
- Sprint planning.
- Escaped defects.
- Defect density.
- Sprint burndown.
- Team velocity.
82.How to deal with Score Creep?
Score creep refers to a change that’s uncontrolled and added without checking its impact on scope, time, cost, etc.
83.What are MVP and MMP?
- Minimum viable product (MVP) is a Lean Startup concept that stresses the impact of learning while performing product development. This allows one to test and understand the idea by getting exposed to the initial version for target customers & users.
- The MMP (Minimal Marketable Product) refers to the description of the product, which will have a minimal number of features that address the requirement of the users. The MMP would help also help the organization reduce the time to market.
84.What does DoD mean?
Definition of Done (DoD) refers to the collection of deliverables, which includes written codes, comments on coding, unit tests, integration testing, design documents, release notes, etc. This adds verifiable and demonstrable values to project development. DoD is very helpful to scrum while identifying the deliverables to achieve the objective of the projects.
85.How can a Scrum Master be a Servant Leader?
The term “servant leader” mainly focuses on the service orientation which a leader should demonstrate.The Scrum Master needs to be a facilitator, a guide, a mentor, etc.This helps the team have increased involvement, empowerment, etc.
86.How can you coordinate between multiple teams?
- One of the most common approaches for this is the Scrum of Scrums (SoS) meeting, where members representing each scrum team discuss the progress, performance, issues, risks, etc. together.
- The frequency of these meetings must be pre-defined. Generally, scrum masters would represent a particular scrum team, besides having the Chief Scrum Master (whose responsibility is coordination & collaboration among all the scrums) who facilitates these meetings.
87.How much capacity would you consider to refactor, fix important bugs, explore new technologies or ideas?
When the sprint is being planned, the team commits the sprint items as per the available capacity. To target the optimum execution, the team should ideally commit between 80% – 90% of the team’s total capacity, anything beyond that percentage will hinder the team’s performance. Bugs, refactoring, and research requires consistent attention in order to escape building-up technical debt.
88.How do you make the Stakeholders attend the daily Scrum?
One of the Agile Principles states “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project”. The stakeholders can join the daily scrum meeting but they can be mute spectators till the time scrum is not complete. The Scrum Master should encourage the stakeholders to join the meeting by making them understand that it will be worth their time.
89.Who can participate in the retrospective meeting- only the Scrum team or the Product owner also?
The sprint retrospective is an opportunity to inspect and adapt the process as it is a time to reflect on the process. It is needed that the full Scrum team attends. This includes all members of the development team (includes everyone who is designing, building, and testing the product), the Scrum Master, and the product owner. Since the Scrum Guide also states that the Scrum team = product owner + Scrum Master + development team, we can deduce that (officially at least) the product owner is allowed to attend the retrospective. This is the ideal scenario.
90.How do you recommend following up on action items?
Retrospectives don’t finish when they’re concluded. In fact, the toughest part has now been initiated: Following-up on your retrospective action plan. In a retrospective, one of the outcomes is the action items which the teams have identified to make their process or work environment much better (retrospective can touch base at different levels). If the action items identified during the last retrospective is not worked upon or gets lost during the course of the sprint, the team will start refraining from coming up with the points as they will not see any closure on the items. Hence, the Scrum Master should present the action items from the last retrospective and discuss the status of progress.
91.The Product Owner of the team turns stakeholder’s requirement documents into tickets and asks to estimate them. Are you fine with that process?
As a Scrum Master, I will not accept this process as it is its sugar coating Waterfall in the name of Agile. Just converting the requirements into tickets will not suffice for the entry criteria of the user stories. The requirements should be finely broken down into finer pieces so that it can be consumed in sprint time. The conversion of stakeholder requirement into tickets should also follow the best practices in the industry like INVEST, 3Cs, etc. to help teams gain confidence into what is to be built.The focus should always be on delivering value to the customers, which requires keeping a health prioritized backlog. The organization adopting Agile use tools like Rally, Version 1, etc. to manage the product backlog and sprint backlog. Hence the requirements should be entered in the tools for the teams to pick.
92.How do you choose the most valuable user story?
The Product Owner is invested to conclude the value that the user story will deliver, enabling him or her to set the backlog as per the highest priority. When a user story is created, it carries some value (we have also learned about it in the INVEST model where V stands for Value). When the sprint is being planned, the team pulls up the highest priority item from the pile for commitment. If the team members are picking up tasks as per their comfort, the scrum master has to come in picture and coach the team. Even the product owner might pick up stories which are not adding value to the customers.
93.During the Daily Scrum, what exactly is the Scrum Master’s role?
The Scrum Master arranges the Scrum meeting for the Development team. The Development team is the main player in the meeting. But, the Scrum Master guides the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box. The Scrum Master enforces the rule that only the Development Team members participate in the Daily Scrum.
94.What are the two primary ways a Scrum Master keeps a Development Team working at its highest level of productivity?
By facilitating Development Team decisions and by removing impediments that hinder the Development Team. A Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Development Team. Facilitation and removing impediments serves a team in achieving the best productivity possible. The Scrum Master within the Scrum Team facilitates the development of working software and help the development team in delivering the Product Increment. The Scrum Master does everything possible to help the development team to work at their highest level.
95.What are the roles of a Scrum Master related to the Daily Scrum?
The role of the Scrum Master majorly includes the facilitation. The SM facilitates the Daily Scrum for the development team to discuss the daily tasks and to increase team collaboration. The Scrum Master also ensures that the team is strictly adhering to the Daily Scrum meeting rule that the meeting should be time-boxed to 15 minutes only.
96.As a Scrum Master, when should I not act as a facilitator?
Although a Scrum Master is said to facilitate the team to produce the best results, workshop facilitation is sometimes a different matter.A workshop facilitator must be independent of the topics being discussed and should not contribute facts or opinions to the conversation.
97.Can you draw a draft of an offline Kanban board for a Scrum team right now?
- The scrum master has to help the team in a smooth flow of sprint items through continuous collaboration, discussion, and focused approach.
- The additional information to cover-up the Kanban can be:
- Sprint timeline – Start date and the end date.
- Sprint Cadence – Pulse or rhythmical flow of scrum events.
- Definition of Ready – Entry criteria for the user stories.
- Definition of Done – Exit criteria for the user stories.
98.One of the Agile Manifesto values says “People over processes”. Isn’t the Scrum master role which enforces “the process” a contradiction?
Though Scrum mentions the Scrum Master role as the person enforcing the process, it is important to understand what exactly does the enforcement mean and what its boundaries are.Enforcement does NOT mean forcing the team to follow the process, but it implies putting in practice the core entities of the Scrum to help the teams be successful. The Scrum Master is the facilitator helping the teams reach their goal. During facilitation, the Scrum Master will use Scrum practices and would encourage the team to follow the scrum values.
99.Are there any typical metrics involved that you can track? And if so, which metrics would you track and for what purpose?
Every organization opting for Agile creates a model to assess the maturity at different levels. It helps them stay focused and goal-oriented. It is an assessment of an organization’s suitability for agile practices, providing an idea of the necessary steps for an organization that decided to become a learning organization. The metric is based on the initial collection of data as to what the current situation is and what is the desired level. Hence, the parameters involving the assessment can be different for different organizations.
100.What should a “Definition of Ready” consist of?
The product backlog contains a list of items to be worked upon by the team but it is important to check if the items are in a ready state to be picked up in a sprint. The Team must be able to determine what needs to be done and the amount of work required to complete the User Story or PBI.