Who Owns Quality?

Last post 08:39 am August 9, 2018
by Eugene M
20 replies
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07:32 am August 2, 2018

I just wanted to get a better clarification of who owns quality? The Scrum guide says, "The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team." So is it correct to assume quality is built into the value of the product? Low quality products are not valuable to the end user.

The Scrum guide also says, “As Scrum Teams mature, it is expected that their definitions of “Done” will expand to include more stringent criteria for higher quality.” so I would assume that quality is built into the DoD? But since the development team is responsible for the DoD, Would the correct answer be the "Scrum Team" is responsible for Quality?  I believe this is on the exam as well.

08:46 am August 2, 2018

Low-quality products, its value is relatively low. low value. But the high quality, does not represent the value must be higher.

In other words, the value comes from the customer's needs and satisfaction. In addition to doing the thing right, you need to think about doing the right thing.

The pursuit of high quality means that things must be done right.

But the pursuit of high value, more important is to do the right thing.

Who is responsible for doing things right?

 

12:13 pm August 2, 2018

Try asking the question slightly differently. Would it be reasonable for anyone on a Scrum Team to believe he or she had no accountability for quality?

12:53 pm August 2, 2018

Would it be reasonable for anyone on a Scrum Team to believe he or she had no accountability for quality?

 Great!

I think there is no doubt that the entire Scrum team must be accountable for the quality of the product. 

However, the development team is responsible for the actual implementation of product development and quality control.

08:57 am August 5, 2018

@Ian Mitchell  I am asking this question because it came straight off a practice exam question from volkerdon.  Can you confirm that, "Who owns quality?" is not a question asked on the PSPO exam? @ Ching-Li I agree that the 'team' owns quality but the practice exam had an answer of 'PO' and I do not agree with this statement. 

11:17 am August 5, 2018

Jennifer, that is a terribly worded question. I've never taken the volkerdon practice exams, but I have taken PSPO I (plus a few others), and I can confirm I never encountered such a vague question as that on any Scrum.org exam.

Ching-Pei Li and Ian Mitchell both made useful comments, and from the logic you outlined in your original approach, it sounds like you were doing fine without the practice exam.

You're not the only person to post on this forum with a badly worded question from volkerdon. Maybe they contribute something positive, but it looks like they certainly cause confusion and hinder learning for many. I believe people would be better off avoiding third party practice exams, unless they have the confidence to challenge the often dodgy interpretation of Scrum.

11:39 am August 5, 2018

In waterflow based projects you have as fixed elements: time and scope, as variable elements: ressources and quality. With time fixed, time pressure often dictates elevated development speed, resulting in a more relaxed view on quality. Some years back I was in a project where the project-manager stated in a meeting: "The number of defects we have found is the maximum number we can possibly handle before the release date. We have to stop further testing activities and focus on delivering." In such situations quality is often "tested into the system" later. Some of the larger organizations I have worked with had a long tradition to put developers under time pressure. For such organizations it might be difficult to change this habit and focus on "delivering as fast as possible, not faster", i.e. no shortcuts like poorly tested functionality released.

Scrum's view is different, basing on stable Scrum Teams helps to result in fixed elements: ressources and quality, with variable elements: time and scope [here time does not refer to Sprint timing (cadence), but to the time until a feature is available to customers].

The DoD will contain quality aspects. It is preferrable to defer delivery than to reduce quality.
Everyone that is involved in the creation of  a deliverable (documentation, code, etc) is responsible to adhere to all quality standards. This also implies there is an organizational responsability to enable developers to have high quality standards defined and to adhere to those standards. One aspect of this is management support to ensure availability of tools and skills to allow for automated testing. Test cases should be defined as the user stories are refined. And last but not least DoD should include elements relating to testing being completed.

I would put the statement "quality is built into the DoD" slightly different. It is one of the aspects of a good DoD to include elements that ensure quality standards are adhered to. Quality standards have to be high enough to keep technical debt at a very low level.

Referring to exam questions: it is likely that "Scrum Team" is the correct answer.

07:42 am August 6, 2018

@Staffan Feldmann Thank you I really appreciate your perspective. This is without a doubt one of the best platforms to network and learn from community professionals. 

01:56 pm August 6, 2018

These tests are funny and tend to be trick questions. The real world is everyone is responsible for quality. 

02:29 pm August 6, 2018

Dear all,

My name is Tomasz and I am the member Volkerdon site.

Please be aware, we do not have question like "Who owns quality". I can provide access to our exam simulator, to anyone who wants to check it. 

We agree that there are some grammar mistakes on our simulators and we are planning to remove it till the end of the week. Furthermore we are very appreciate for any review (bad or good), especially here, but please be honest.

I really believe you will understand us.

03:18 pm August 6, 2018

Volkerdan!

I support you guys. I think you are better than most of the pre-test sites on the net and appreciate what you do.

Keep it up.

04:29 pm August 6, 2018

Tomasz,

If you believe anyone in this forum is not being honest in their discussion about your site, it would be better to cite specific examples instead of insinuating that posters here are not being honest.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the Volkerdon free PSM1 mock exam (40 questions), and there are numerous inconsistencies and points of confusion in the questions.   Just a few example questions:

  1. After Sprint Planning is finished, can a sprint start without a Sprint Goal or a complete Sprint Backlog?
  2. What is the most common sprint length for a 4-hour Sprint Planning session?
  3. When should PB refinement take place (select two of 4 options presented)
  4. What’s the maximum duration of the Sprint Planning when the Product Backlog is not clear?
  5. When does the Development Team prepare the tools and infrastructure for the development?
  6. What’s the vertical axis in a typical burn-down chart?

I should have stuck with my previous rule, to avoid any 3rd party exams and assessments that are not from either Mikhail Lapshin or Scrum.Org.

04:44 pm August 6, 2018

Timothy, 

I'm sorry to interfere, but honestly what is your point of view? In general absolute normal questions for PSM 1 (and this is free questions). Furthermore, as  I understood Tomaz didn't write about unfair and unhonest relationship, he has written they do not have such questions as was provided above. 

 

05:00 pm August 6, 2018

Dear Timothy,

Thanks for your review.

I am not sure about the question number 1 (honestly I didn't find it at our free practice) but anyway yes, all other questions are from our free PSM 1 simulator. We think questions are correct and may be at real exam (with a little bit different interpretation because of copyrights). As I understood you don't think so. It is abslutelly ok. We have different opinions :) and nothing else.

But above I talked about the question which is not in our simulator. Thanks again for your feedback.

06:26 pm August 6, 2018

Timothy Baffa

All these questions are good questions. Sounds like you have a bias against Volkerdon the same I feel Scrum master UK is confusing. The goal is not to give you the answer but make you think about the answer. Mikhail Lapshin and Scrum.org also make you think. just as Volkerdon does.

  1. After Sprint Planning is finished, can a sprint start without a Sprint Goal or a complete Sprint Backlog?
  2. What is the most common sprint length for a 4-hour Sprint Planning session?
  3. When should PB refinement take place (select two of 4 options presented)
  4. What’s the maximum duration of the Sprint Planning when the Product Backlog is not clear?
  5. When does the Development Team prepare the tools and infrastructure for the development?
  6. What’s the vertical axis in a typical burn-down chart?
07:18 pm August 6, 2018

I really don't want to make this against Volkerdon. I really have no specific objection, and I only see one perspective, and that's people posting on this forum when they've received confusing questions from various third-party practice exams. Perhaps the average customer benefits from these exams. 

Some of the questions Timothy posted sound fine, assuming that the answers are correct, and allowing for them not being of quite the same tone as a Scrum.org exam.

However, as an example:

What is the most common sprint length for a 4-hour Sprint Planning session?

IMO, this misses the point of a timebox, and how the Scrum Guide is worded. It is not mandatory (or even suggested) to proportionally reduce the timeboxes of events. Yes, planning will usually be shorter for a shorter sprint, but planning will also often be shorter for a team with a mature and well refined Product Backlog than for a team that is starting on a new product without a Product Backlog in place. I doubt the majority of 1 month sprints start with an 8 hour Sprint Planning, for instance. I presume the intended correct answer is 2 weeks, but I would consider it exceptional in the teams I've been part of, for a 2 week sprint to require so much planning.

09:46 pm August 6, 2018

+ 1 Simon, thank you for explaining my concern regarding that question, and how proposed PSM preparation exams exams should not include items that may be common practices but are not spelled out in the Scrum Guide.

I can also place the 6th question into that category, as burndown charts may be common information radiators among Scrum teams, but are not identified in the Scrum Guide.

Also, the 1st question is confusing because it suggests Sprint Planning can be finished without having a Sprint Backlog or Sprint Goal, but that the omission of these artifacts would prevent a sprint from starting.

 

10:14 pm August 6, 2018

 

  1. After Sprint Planning is finished, can a sprint start without a Sprint Goal or a complete Sprint Backlog?

You can finish Sprint planning without a sprint Goal. I have done it many times. I have had some very mature teams that the Sprint Goal was just inherent. New teams and new PO's I enforce the sprint goal to help them keep the eye on the prize. I don't always use a sprint Goal especially if it is clear what we are trying to build in a sprint. Depends on the team.

And you can start a Sprint without a complete Product backlog. However I don't like he threw the Sprint backlog part in I think it was a mistake.

Volkerdon is trying to get you to think and if your scrum knowledge is weak you will fall for these questions. 

6. What’s the vertical axis in a typical burn-down chart? Whether you think it is something to use or not there is a manager somewhere asking for a metric. You should know how to read Burn downs because you will be asked to explain progress.

 

 

02:46 am August 7, 2018

We think questions are correct and may be at real exam (with a little bit different interpretation because of copyrights).

 

Basically, this kind of simulation test supplier itself is a low-cost business.

Especially those who can't provide a complete explanation, but just imitate the real questions (brain dump).

Yes, these simulation questions can help you pass the scrum certification, but may be more harmful to your scrum learning.

09:54 am August 8, 2018

@ Everyone I am looking into where I got this question. In addition, I also saw this on the PDF given to me on the PSPO training course I took. This question is out there and it appears to be a question to make you really think about about how value is built into a product. 

First off Volkerdon is a great study guide. Please do not think I am putting them down in anyway. I think with some fixes on the grammar is one of the best study guides out there. Hats off to Volkerdon providing valuable help! I appreciate the work they are doing to help.

08:39 am August 9, 2018

/off

@ Jennifer - if it hasn't been recommended to you yet, I'd suggest "Product Mastery: From Good to Great Product Ownership" by Geoff Watts. I wouldn't say it's an absolute must to pass PSPO, but if it's knowledge you're after (and I think it is :) ), then the book's a definite must.