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Failed exam - need help

Last post 07:29 pm October 7, 2014 by Graham Jones
5 replies
03:40 am October 2, 2014

I failed the exam and am struggling with certain types of questions that just dont seem to be in the guide or books I have purchased.

For example (and the question is coming from memory) -
If the development team have an issue delivering their increment then what can they do? i.e can they move the work to another sprint or do they get advice with the product owner? Are they allowed to change the team to bring in someone who can help ? Can they just to best efforts and bring it up in the sprint review?

The guides seems to cover the definitions pretty well, but does not provide any clarity on exceptions or when things dont go to plan and the assessment seems to throw these types of scenarios.

From reading the guide I can only say that:
1) The development team are self managing so they should be able to bring in help if they choose.
2)The scrum master can help removes impediments - but that wasnt an option
3) The product owner can possibly help re-prioritise - but not sure why the product owner would need to be involved - possibly unless it was relating to reprioritising. Not sure who drives this decision and where accountability is.
4) Not sure how this situation is supposed to even happen because if the increment can be delivered then it wont meet the sprint goal.

I think I am confused coming from years of enterprise waterfall development. I cant seem to make sense of the situation.

My best guess at it would be that faced with not being able to deliver the increment they would do what ever it took i,e getting external advice or bringing in a specialist. This implies that they are self managing and accountable.

03:08 pm October 2, 2014

Hi Graham,

If the development team cannot deliver an increment than it could be dependent on various factors, such as over estimation, some one in the team has fallen sick, something taking more than expected, change in sprint plan. For all these issues, tge scrum master should be aware as part of the daily standup. But its upto PO who can decide if he thinks that all the items in sprint to be done, in which case he can ask external help by bringing more people. So i feel PO owns the product backlog, so i would have gone with that option.

Can you please tell me how many such question did you find which were not explained in scrum guide/ open assessment. This will tell you what other resources you should consider for preparing the exam.


07:10 pm October 2, 2014

Hi Manju
Thanks for your detailed response..
What your saying is logical - but then I could argue that so many other things are logical based on my experience in waterfall. For example, the scrum master could intervene is equally as logical as there is an impediment.
Can you support any of what you have said by referencing the scrum guide?
The scrum guide says that the product owner
Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;
 Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions;
 Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs;
 Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what
the Scrum Team will work on next; and,
 Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level

So if the product owner is accountable for setting the priority and the scrum team commit to the priority in the sprint planning session then end up being unable to deliver it in the sprint (which they are accountable for deliverying) - are you saying that the product owner will accept that position (presumable in the daily scrum meeting) and then find a new priority to work on ? This would imply that there is a higher business value story sitting in the backlog that cant be worked on until the impedement is removed.

I'm just still not clear on who is making decisions here and who has accountability. Maybe a better way to look at it, would be to tell me why its not other options leaving the default 2 options as the winner.


05:23 am October 3, 2014

Hi Graham,

You will crack this next run, it takes time to get your head around certain aspects of scrum.
The guide is what is its, its a guide only and you can see why the reading list is comprehensive.
It also stems to more than one book, you can see why when you sit the exam (PSPO is the same format).…
Which book did you buy for the study?

Lets see if we can help you with the study and technique first.
Ask for feedback from on the area's you need work on this should be the first thing.
You wont know that until you ask, so mail and use your registration details you got.
This will help them to identify you (You could just fwd the mail you got on the result).
May take a week or so but they will help, no Q&A but areas you should concentrate on.

It may be one area or it may be several areas, lets narrow the point to be able to work on your scrum.
Lets chip a bit off at a time, unless its one area then its going to be a rockfall when we hit it.
Don't be put off by people saying cracked exam first time, smashed it etc.
This exam is ranked at "Comprehensive" vs its counterpart of "Easy". ;-)
These exams are not easy if it was then everyone would pass first time 100% and its not the case.
However the journey to that certification is well worth it, even more so once you achieve it, and you will.



06:03 am October 3, 2014

> My best guess at it would be that faced with
> not being able to deliver the increment they
> would do what ever it took i,e getting external
> advice or bringing in a specialist. This implies
> that they are self managing and accountable.

I think that's a sensible analysis. Of the options you recollect:

- the Development Team do not have the authority to defer work to another Sprint
- keeping the PO informed is good practice but in this case does not necessarily resolve the problem of meeting the Sprint Goal
- the team can indeed self-organize, including making adjustments to its own composition
- "best efforts" is arguably not pro-active enough in preserving the Sprint Goal

Note that adjustments to team composition should be done in a timely and managed fashion. A reactive adjustment, as implied by the context of the question, may be necessary at times but would also suggest a shortcoming to be addressed in the Sprint Retrospective.

07:29 pm October 7, 2014

Thanks for the response and support.

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