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Some PSMI material clarification

Last post 07:03 pm June 18, 2013 by Jenny Aldrin
5 replies
06:15 pm April 27, 2013

I have taken the PSM I exam and have some clarification needed on some topics. I asked and it was recommended to use this forum to gain clarification on these topics. I greatly appreciate your insight and expertise from this forum. I think I know the material well but there are some topics that seem to have specific nuances to that are just not clear to me or any of the training and text I came across.

These are topics for clarification and the numbering below is my nomenclature for ordering the topics for responses versus any specific numbering on an assessment.

1. I know the dev team is self-managing. I also know the scrum master needs to remove impediments. If a person is disruptive to the team is it the self-managing team that removes the individual or is it the scrum master. I believe it’s the dev team.

2. I understand the product backlog created by product owner. At the sprint planning meeting the scrum team develops the goal then dev team creates the spring back log. Is it the spring goal or the actual spring backlog that provides the overall target and direction to the team? I think the goal is the overall target and the sprint backlog are the specifics.

3. I know the scrum master insures the scrum process is followed for the daily scrum and insures the dev team keeps it to <= 15minutes. There are times he/she can do this without being present all the time therefore I don’t think the scrum master is REQUIRED to attend the daily scrum. What are your thoughts?

4. I understand how a single scrum team works off the product backlog via sprints. I am not clear how I can implement a project with multiple scrum teams. Do you recommend that even with multiple scrum teams we all work off the same sprint backlog and same sprint with same sprint time box / timing or can I have multiple teams working on different spring backlogs with different start dates for the sprints?

5. Want to clarify who makes the product burn down charts and sprint burn down charts. I don’t believe it’s the scrum master since creating anytype of status / progress chart is a type of management and this position is process focused and doesn’t manage the effort. For the product log burn down chart I believe it’s the product owner. Now it gets more confusing for the spring burn down chart for me. I have read that the product owner tracks the sprint burndown chart for the “sprint review” but the dev team tracks the sprint burn down chart during the sprint. Any thoughts?

6. My understanding is that the dev team selects the sprint log and estimates to implement. The dev team then works toward completing the sprint log within the time box. Not sure what to do if before we start the sprint if the tools needed are ALL not ready for us to use. Does the dev team just do what it can within the time box or reiterate sprints focused on getting the tools ready before working off the product backlog items selected for the sprint backlog? One can just not start the sprint until all tools are ready to start the sprints. Need some help clarifying this idea.

7. I understand if QA testing is not done during the actual sprint that more bugs will be added to the next sprint. Also we run the risk of not delivering working software. If I am looking for the benefit lost rather than results of not conducting QA test during the sprint I think its not delivering working software but not sure.

8. I know I need to keep the dev team members constant during the sprint. For the assessments do we mean the ideal goal of scrum (ie constant) or literally. I can’t control if someone quits the company, gets ill, etc. So literally I can’t guarantee constant team but I think for scrum the ideal goal is to keep it constant.

9. Need to clarify that the product owner can provide feedback and respond to questions during both the sprint planning meeting and the entire sprint. I believe feedback and response from dev team clarification questions is fine. Direction is not fine. Not sure for exam purposes feedback is non-requested feedback offered by product owner which I don’t think is fine during sprint planning meeting versus feedback from dev team questions.

10. My understanding is that product owner creates product backlog with user stories which the dev team selects for sprint backlog and breaks down to tasks. Product backlog has more user stories than the subset selected for the sprint backlog. From an exam perspective if we are asked to determine product back.log is the same size of the sprint back log not sure of the definition of size? Clearly it has a subset of user stories selected to implement therefore from a user story perspective sprint is smaller. But the sprint backlog can breakdown the subset user stories into many many tasks in theory that the list of items on the sprint backlog is more than the product backlog. Can some help with the actual intent of this type of question?

11. I understand the dev team does what it can to accomplish the sprint goal. When planning we use “ideal days” which only considers actual productive time coding / testing. From a scrum framework perspective is there a maximum amount of time a developer should work for a given day? I have always worked as much time it takes to get the job done but I see some documentation referring the max time should be the “ideal day” to maintain a consistent pace for the long term. I thought I also read to sustain the consistent pace for the long term developers shouldn’t work more than 40 hours per week which is 7-8 hours per day.

12. I believe the scrum team (po, scm, and dev team) together develop the sprint goal during the sprint planning meeting. But if the dev team is self-managing then the dev team should create their sprint goal. I can also see though the product owner develops the release plan (releases gone away with current scrum) then product owner sets overall goal for which the dev team creates the product backlog it can handle that supports it.

13. Are there any other reasons to keep sprints <= 1 month besides a) reduces risk, b) reduces complexity of what to build, 3) reduces cost risk/waste to no more than a month? I have not come across anything that says it allows team time to synchronize with other business initiatives.


10:42 pm April 27, 2013

Ok. After taking open exam again 4 times scoring 100% I can remove items 3, 4, 5,8, and 13. All the others I can not find in my training material, training notes, downloaded training slides, study guide, text book, and this forum.

The open tests just repeat the same small subset of questions rather than drawing from a large pool unfortunately.

Any scrum experts that can lend a hand would be helpful. Trying to take my last exam tomorrow.


3. scrum master does not need to attend. just insure process and time is followed.

4. multi teams use single product backlog BUT still not clear if they can run different sprints with different times/time boxes. Any experts understand this?

8. keep team constant best you can, adjust when needed understanding productivity loss.

13. it actually is all 3 reasons. I can't find the business sync option in any of my training material, study guide, etc. though but the practice test says its so.

11:53 pm April 27, 2013

Hello jbeek,

Allow me to share my understanding and interpretation....

Do forgive me if I don't answer directly, but get you thinking or point you
where you may get these answers...

1. What if its neither?
i.e. what if its in the domain of the company's Human Resources?

The Scrum Master should allow the Dev Team to resolve any issues themselves.

2. The Dev Team first pulls items into the Sprint backlog and THEN crafts a sprint goal.
this is explicitly outlined in the scrum Guide.

*3. You are right. The Scrum Master is not required and the daily Scrum is for the
Dev Team.

*4. Yes, I think this is possible. Each team would have a unique Sprint backlog.
May not be what you asked, but also think about how the DoD across multiple teams fit in.

*5. Think about who has the ability to know what has been complete or what remains?
i.e. would this be in the realm of the Dev Team or someone else?

6. I would look at what Part II of the Scrum Guide says about Sprint Planning.

7. Think of the 3 Roles in Scrum, and what the Scrum Guide mentions on domain experts such as QA, Business Analysts, etc.
Also, examine the DoD

*8.i think the underlying idea is to keep a constant to get people into a rhythm of things.
Things do happen as you indicate.

9. I think the key distinction is the "What" Vs. "how" as outlined in the Sprint Planning.
We do want to collaborate as a team.

10.I believe the formal definition is "Product Backlog Item" and the Scrum Guide doesn't
mention "User Stories."

what' you're describing seems to be a hypothetical scenario which can be true. However,
I would look at how th Product backlog is described -- i.e. as a living, emergent artifact
that grows as more is discovered.

11. think of why any overtime may hurt, rather than help.
Also, what if a corporation has designated a 9hr. day for everyone?

12.Similar comments in #2. Check in the scrum Guide as to who crafts the goal, and when.

*13 How about market conditions / competition

good luck to you.

09:01 am April 28, 2013

thank you!

09:07 am April 29, 2013

The product owner himself creates the burn down chart

07:03 pm June 18, 2013

#2. To create a Sprint Backlog, you do these three things, in order:

1. Select PBI’s for the Sprint
2. Devise the Sprint Goal
3. Create a plan for how you will build this functionality into a “Done” product increment

The Sprint Goal is defined before the Sprint Backlog is defined.

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