Add items to Sprint Backlog...

Last post 01:47 pm August 28, 2019
by Curtis Slough
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05:05 pm August 27, 2019

So I found this question:

Juan is a product owner for a scrum team. He decides each sprint what items will go into the sprint backlog during sprint planning. He is growing increasingly frustrated with the development team not able to complete the task items he has chosen for the sprint. What should Juan do to help the development team reach the sprint goal? *

a Juan should work to find more competent developers able to deliver what he decides for each sprint

b Juan should work with the scrum master to find a resolution to this issue

c Juan should encourage the development team to work more hours, spending weekends if necessary working towards completing the sprint goal

d Juan should work more closely with the development team; items should not be added to the sprint backlog unless the development team can commit to completing the items within the sprint

So, I guess the answer might be letter "d". But to me it should be none of them because "Juan is a product owner for a scrum team. He decides each sprint what items will go into the sprint backlog during sprint planning" is wrong, is it not the DT that decides what goes in the Sprint Backlog, they own it. I get the PO can influece what goes in it, but the questions says he decides.

 

What are your thoughts?

05:12 pm August 27, 2019

The input to this meeting is the Product Backlog, the latest product Increment, projected capacity of the Development Team during the Sprint, and past performance of the Development Team. The number of items selected from the Product Backlog for the Sprint is solely up to the Development Team. Only the Development Team can assess what it can accomplish over the upcoming Sprint.

The Product Owner can help to clarify the selected Product Backlog items and make trade-offs. If the Development Team determines it has too much or too little work, it may renegotiate the selected Product Backlog items with the Product Owner.

@Mike B, The above are excerpts from the Scrum guide. Hope that clarifies your question.

 

05:13 pm August 27, 2019

Where did this question come from? I ask because you are right - the Product Owner plays a role during Sprint Planning when the Sprint Backlog is initially formed, but once the Sprint starts, the Sprint Backlog is exclusively owned and managed by the Development Team. The Product Owner is not singularly responsible for selecting Product Backlog Items for the Sprint nor creating a Sprint Backlog from those Product Backlog Items - it's a collaborative effort.

That said, choice D is the most consistent with the values and principles of Agile Software Development and Scrum. However, I'd question the value in this scenario and context since it doesn't understand a good understanding of Scrum.

06:17 pm August 27, 2019

E. Juan should learn his role and stop deciding things for the team. 

06:21 pm August 27, 2019

@Thomas Owens I found this question here: https://agile-mercurial.com/practice-tests/scrum-knowledge-test/, I know I should be careful of external sources for testing other than Scrum.org, but Open Assessment is not challenging, I can answer them all correctly, and have gone through them selecting the wrong answers and why they're wrong.

I am glad I noticed it was a poorly written question, guess I could be nearly reading for the PSM 1 exam :)

Thanks!

10:11 pm August 27, 2019

@Mike B, I would take this as a sign that you are ready for the PSM I exam.  You called it out as a incorrect premise for a really bad question.  Go take the exam and come back here to tell us you passed.  I have no doubt that you will.

BTW, I really like @Curtis Slough's additional answer because it really is the only way to make that a valid question. 

12:00 pm August 28, 2019

..."Juan is a product owner for a scrum team. He decides each sprint what items will go into the sprint backlog during sprint planning" is wrong, is it not the DT that decides what goes in the Sprint Backlog, they own it. I get the PO can influece what goes in it, but the questions says he decides.

That's a reasonable assessment, and one that a Scrum Master might make. Perhaps the best answer is therefore B.

01:47 pm August 28, 2019

@Mike B, Another tip for using the Scrum.org open assessment that will help: Go through and make sure you that you know all the WRONG answers and WHY they are wrong. It is just as important to know the wrong answers and why they are wrong, as it is to know the right answers. This is especially true for the real exam as there are many questions with answers that have 2 options that both seem to be right.