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Scrum PSM I Pre-Test Question

Last post 06:53 pm November 6, 2022 by Mario De Caerlé
10 replies
08:55 pm November 2, 2022

For the following practice test question, the answer indicated was B:

"Which of the following services is appropriate for a Scrum Master in regard to the Daily Scrum?"

A. Lead the discussions of the Developers.
B. Teach the Developers to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15 minute timebox.
C. Ensure that all 3 questions have been answered.
D. Facilitate in a way that ensures each team member has a chance to speak.
E. All answers apply.

Why? A Scrum Master's role is to ensure Scrum is followed. If they don't hit the 3 questions but are under 15 minutes, that seems worse than if they do answer the 3 questions but go over 15 minutes. 

09:55 pm November 2, 2022

What 3 questions are you referring to?  And can you point out where in the Scrum Guide that those 3 questions are listed?  

Yeah, those are not serious questions because there is not such thing as "the 3 questions" in the Scrum Guide.  In the section that describes the Daily Scrum, the guide states

The Developers can select whatever structure and techniques they want, as long as their Daily Scrum focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal and produces an actionable plan for the next day of work. This creates focus and improves self-management.

So given that information, do you see why Answer B is the actually the only correct answer in the list?

11:11 pm November 2, 2022

I was assuming the questions meant about yesterday, today, and impediments. Given the possible answers, that seemed much more important than the time block.

11:12 pm November 2, 2022

Old versions of the Scrum Guide - before the 2020 version - did offer a suggestion of three questions to consider during the Daily Scrum. However, the purpose of the Daily Scrum was never to answer those three questions - they were just an example of one way the Developers could think about how to plan their day to move closer to the Sprint Goal. One of the reasons they were removed was because too many people interpreted them as a mandatory element.

06:49 am November 3, 2022

Why? A Scrum Master's role is to ensure Scrum is followed.

That's correct, and so which of the available answers would not require the Scrum Master to be there?

The Scrum Guide says: "The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute event for the Developers of the Scrum Team".

01:10 pm November 3, 2022

I get the point, it just seems like out of the 4 possible answers, a 15 minute time constraint is far less valuable than answering 3 questions. If it's more important to have a 15 minute time constraint, they could spend 15 minutes watching cat videos and meet the criteria for answer B. I know it's a ridiculous example, but it illustrates my point. If they did go over the recommended 15 minutes but did answer 3 questions (answer C), at least that would hopefully be progress towards the Sprint Goal. Still, I get your point and appreciate the feedback.

02:08 pm November 3, 2022

Part of the "teaching" is to also educate them on the importance and purpose of the Daily Scrum.  As Scrum Master you have the responsibility to educate the entire organization on how to enact an empirical approach to complex work.  So you would not be teaching them to be together for no more than 15 minutes, you would be teaching them why it is important to be together for 15 minutes and how to make the most of those 15 minutes.

I will say that in practice, many of the teams I have worked with usually stay together for longer than 15 minutes.  However, they spend the first 15 minutes focused on the purpose of the Daily Scrum.  Then they will spend extra time with more in depth discussions on specific topics that are related to the plan they put in place during the Daily Scrum. 

03:02 pm November 3, 2022

Michael, I'd suggest thinking of the sprint timeboxes not as minimums but as maximums, and  it might help how you approach it. 

"The developers could spend 15 minutes watching cat videos" 

Yep, they could, and they'd only lose 15 minutes which in the scheme of things is fine. Perhaps they only needed a minute to plan for the day but felt like using some time to unwind. That's up to them. 

The reason the only thing the SM is accountable for is keeping the timebox is because preventing the team OVER running the timebox ensures they don't form bad habits, holding on to things they should discuss during the day until the daily scrum. 

but using the full 15 minutes, or using it in a particular way, is not mandatory. It's up to the developers to figure out how to best plan their day, and if you're a SM who doesn't also fulfil the developer accountability, then your input into how best to plan the work is not needed. 

Hope that helps. 

03:05 pm November 3, 2022

And just to add another thought as I re;read your post; 

You seem to be looking at the role of the SM being to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the Daily Scrum, but the Daily Scrum is just one event. 

Your primary concern is coaching the team in Self-management and cross functionality. 

A perfectly run Scrum event that relies on you to manage it is not a good, self-managing Scrum team. The best thing you can do is be invisible. 

10:49 am November 5, 2022

Dear Michael, answer B is also about the ‘teach’ in the phrase, less about the 15 minutes constraint. Teaching a Scrum Team to self-manage had more value in the long run. (As Michael Lloyd said in huis last post).

I’ve worked with teams that run on auto-pilot and with teams that sit and wait until asked to do something. In a world of complex work, no commander can beat a self-managing team. I see the role of a Scrum Master as a facilitator to make that shift happen.

From the moment you read these MCQs with a ‘Scrum’ mindset it will become much easier to find  the best answer.

Hope this helps.

06:53 pm November 6, 2022

A. Lead the discussions of the Developers.
What is the Daily Scrum? Who is required to attend? Who can be there, and when? Is the Scrum Master attending?

B. Teach the Developers to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15 minute timebox.
What does the Scrum Guide say about 15 minutes? What is the role of the Scrum Master concerning the timebox?

C. Ensure that all 3 questions have been answered.
What happens when the Developers answer the 3 questions? Who do they answer the questions to?

D. Facilitate in a way that ensures each team member has a chance to speak.
Does each team member need to speak during Daily Scrum?

E. All answers apply.
Evidently: no.

You don't just need the correct answer, you need to know why that's the correct answer, and why the other answers are wrong.

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