Are you or your employees adept at solving psychological problems within the group?
Scrum master isn’t a magical software development role, but it’s a different one. Scrum masters keep the agile development process running by leveraging a set of psychological principles that helps everyone be their best. Good scrum masters know the concepts behind the behaviors and those are at the heart of the ten questions every scrum master should know.
Q0: What are the three questions for a standup meeting?
A: What did you do? What will you do? What is in your way? Because these questions will start out a scrum master’s meetings, they need to be asked every day. A candidate who recognizes the importance of asking these questions will be more effective in keeping their team on the same page.
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Author: Drew Stephens
Q1: Why is “What will you do?” important?
A: Even though a scrum master is not the project leader, and is not necessarily held responsible for the project outcomes, the answers to “What will you do” become a commitment. A candidate will recognize that having a team discuss their goals out loud helps the team reach a consensus for the daily activities.
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Author: Jannis Blume
Q2: Why is “What did you do?” important?
A: The candidate should answer along the lines that this question keeps the team accountable to the commitment they made the last time. A candidate will be able to demonstrate understanding of how yesterday’s “What will you do?” and today’s “What did you do?” work together to keep the team making progress.
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Q3: Why is “What is in your way?” important?
A: The answer to this question should include more than just recognizing barriers for the team. A candidate should understand that, by discussing individual barriers, it creates an invitation for others to step in and help. Teams work well when they help each other, so the earlier that problems are revealed, the better.
Author: The U.S. Army
Q4: Who is responsible for solving the developer’s problem?
A: This question is to see how comfortable candidates are with the boundaries of their position. A candidate will know that, although the developer isn’t responsible for finding the solution to their problem—though it’s possible that they might—the scrum master isn’t, either. The candidate should recognize that they’re there to find the person who can help, not necessarily find all of the answers themselves.
Q5: What is a burn-down chart?
A: A burn-down chart is a graphical representation of the features or tasks that are yet to be completed. An effective candidate should also know it’s good to keep an “ideal” burn-down chart to compare estimated time and effort against actual time and effort in the project. They should also recognize the importance in terms of accountability of keeping the chart up-to-date and accurate.
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Author: Jacopo Romel
Q6: How should you estimate effort?
A: Individual answers will vary, but a good scrum master will be able to clearly articulate a strategy for estimating. It might be t-shirt sizes, a fixed set of numbers, or any other approach for estimating work, as long as it is consistent and understandable.
Author: jr0cket community developer
Q7: How do you decide when a conversation about a barrier should be deferred?
A: An effective scrum master understands why keeping standup meetings short is so important. An appropriate answer should refer to when a barrier conversation turns into a solution conversation. Candidates must understand that offers to help out a developer or other team member are crucial, but must also realize that “online” discussions can disrupt the focus of the team. Actual support and discussion of barrier solutions needs to be taken “offline,” after or outside of the standup meeting.
Author: Jennifer C.
Q8: How do you manage “Chickens” who talk during a standup meeting?
A: “Chickens and Pigs” refers to folks who are involved (chickens) or committed (pigs). Developers, and those who are a direct part of writing code, are the only ones who should be speaking in a standup meeting. Because chickens are often higher up in the organization, and may even be a customer, the candidate’s answer should include how difficult situations have been handled.
Author: Juan Lacruz
Q9: How do you work with remote workers?
A: Answers will vary, but a key candidate will understand the importance of keeping in line with the principle of co-location, while also understanding the difficulties in achieving this in today’s corporate environment. Strategies should include how to ensure that the remote workers are not long winded during standup meetings, and any answers should give insights on how the candidate facilitates teamwork between present and remote workers.
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