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Basic Scrum Agile Interview Questions

Typically asked Interview Questions during Agile/Scrum interviews are presented on this page.

Sr.No.Interview QuestionAnswers
1What is difference between Agile and Scrum?Agile is a broad philosophy defined by values and principles. Its an umbrella of methods and framework which comply to the values and principles. This philosophy was defined in 2001 where a Agile Manifesto was written by 17 contributors from various methods and frameworks.
Scrum is a framework for handling complex-adaptive problems. That means, if the problems have unknown nature of requirements or technology, Scrum is used.
2Can Scrum work for every type of work?Scrum is for complex adaptive problems. That means there is an unknown nature of what and how. Scrum is based on Empirical Process control theory. Empiricism means you have to constantly inspect and adapt so that you can address unknownness of the problems.
3What is Velocity?

At the end of each iteration, the team adds up effort estimates associated with user stories that were completed during that iteration. This total is called velocity.

Knowing velocity, the team can compute (or revise) an estimate of how long the project will take to complete, based on the estimates associated with remaining user stories and assuming that velocity over the remaining iterations will remain approximately the same. This is generally an accurate prediction, even though rarely a precise one.

4What is Product Backlog Refinement?Backlog Refinement is when the product owner and some, or all, of the rest of the team refine the backlog on a regular basis to ensure the backlog contains the appropriate items, that they are prioritized, and that the items at the top of the backlog are ready for delivery.
5What is the difference between Product Backlog Refinement and Product Backlog Grooming?They are the same. The word Grooming is replaced by the word Refinement since Grooming has negative meaning in some parts of the world.
6What is a Burndown chart?Burndown charts and burnup charts track the amount of output (in terms of hours, story points, or backlog items) a team has completed across an iteration or a project.
7What is Definition of Ready?Definition of Ready involves creating clear criteria that a user story must meet before being accepted into an upcoming iteration.
8What is an Epic?Epic is a large user story.
9Is Facilitation same as coordination?No. Coordination is just a small aspect of the facilitation. Facilitation is a process of getting a group to conclusions. Facile as a word means making it easy.
10What is Coaching?Coaching is a way of unlocking potential of a coachee. In a coaching model, the coach keeps in mind that coachees may know the answers. Coach tries not to give direct answers and helps the coachees get to the answers. One of the most powerful tool that a coach uses is ask powerful questions.
11Have you heard about Given-When-Then?Given-When-Then comes from Behaviour Driven Development and is from a business language called Gherkins. The Given-When-Then is a template intended to guide the writing of acceptance tests for a User Story: (Given) some context, (When) some action is carried out, (Then) a particular set of observable consequences should obtain.
12Is the word Incremental and Iterative same?No. Incremental means breaking down the work into smaller pieces of work. Iterative means repetitive to get feedback.
13What is Information Radiator?“Information radiator” is the term for any of a number of visual displays which a team places in a highly visible location, so that all team members can see the latest information at a glance. Examples of Information Radiator includes Burndown chart, scrum board, kanban board, burnup chart, cumulative flow diagrams etc.
14Can you use Kanban Board in Scrum?Yes. A Kanban Board is a visual workflow tool consisting of multiple columns. Each column represents a different stage in the workflow process. scrum believes in transparency and Sprint Backlog is transparently represented by development teams. Kanban Board is a very effective way of representing the Sprint Backlog.
15What is Lead Time?Lead Time is the time between a customer order and delivery. In software development, it can also be the time between a requirement made and its fulfillment.
16What is MMF?A Minimum Marketable Feature is a small, self-contained feature that can be developed quickly and that delivers significant value to the user. The main difference with a Minimum Viable Feature is that MMF is associated with "usefulness to the market". Viability is associated with feedback.
17What is MVP?A Minimum Viable Product is, a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of feedback or validated learning about customers with the least effort. MVP does not necessarily mean its marketable.
18Have you heard about Planning Poker?Planning Poker is an way of estimation generally used for Story Point Estimation or Relative Estimation. This approach to estimation is used by Agile teams. Each team member “plays” a card bearing a numerical value corresponding to a point estimation for a user story.
19What is a Persona?Persona is a fictitious characters used to describe different type of users.

Personas are concise and visual; a common layout is a single page including a photograph (from stock shots or magazine cutouts), a name and social or professional details: “Amanda Jones, 34, press officer at a major food retailing organization, etc.”

As a software product is generally intended for use by more than one category of person, with potentially different preferences and expectations of the product, the team creates one persona for each category it deems important to serve well.

20What is Refactoring?Refactoring is code cleanup activity. A way of making the code maintainable. Clean up the code, comment the code, document inside the code etc.
21What is Scrum of Scrums?Scrum of Scrums is a coordination meeting between multiple scrum teams. Generally the scrum team sends the person in the team to attend the Scrum of Scrums. The main topic is to discuss the technical dependencies in this meeting.
22What is Continuous Integration?Continuous Integration is the practice of merging code changes into a shared repository several times a day in order to release a product version at any moment. This requires an integration procedure which is reproducible and automated.
23What is ATDD?Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) involves team members with different perspectives (customer, development, testing) collaborating to write acceptance tests in advance of implementing the corresponding functionality.
24What is TDD?TDD stands for Test Driven development. In TDD approach, the tests are written first. Then code is written to pass the test case.
25Is Cross functionality same as each person having all skills and he/she is expert on everything?NO. A crossfunctional team is a "team" which has all skills necessary to do the job. It does not mean that each person is expert on everything.
26Is Self-organization mean that team does what they want?No. A Self organizing team organizes the work themselves. That does not mean this is a chaotic way of working. The team decides its own rules. however, once the rules are decided by team members, everyone respects the rules.
27What is a Tester called in Scrum?Development Team. The Development team does not mean its "programmers". Development team means anyone required to deliver the product.
28What is the meaning of Emergence?The process of the coming into existence or prominence of new facts or new knowledge of a fact, or knowledge of a fact becoming visible unexpectedly. Product Backlog therefore is emergent. New things always keep coming as more is known on the product.
29What is Empiricism?Process control type in which only the past is accepted as certain and in which decisions are based on observation, experience and experimentation. So you try things and find out if what you tried is correct or not. Empiricism has three pillars: transparency, inspection and adaptation.
30What are the Scrum Values and why are they required?Scrum Values are set of fundamental values and qualities underpinning the Scrum framework; commitment, focus, openness, respect and courage. These are behavioral aspects in Scrum and without them executing scrum implementations might be a challenge.
31Is Scrum only for IT industry?NO. Scrum is a process framework. It is used to solve complex problems - that means the problems which have unknownness. Generally IT problems have unknown requirements. Non-IT problems have unknown solutions.
32Is Sprint Goal necessary in Scrum?YES. Sprint Goal a short expression of the purpose of a Sprint, often a business problem that is addressed. Functionality might be adjusted during the Sprint in order to achieve the Sprint Goal. Sprint Goal is a central aspect of Scrum and it is necessary element of Scrum.
33What is a Technical Debt?The typically unpredictable overhead of maintaining the product, often caused by less than ideal design decisions, contributing to the total cost of ownership. May exist unintentionally in the Increment or introduced purposefully to realize value earlier.
34What is a stakeholder in scrum?Stakeholder is a person external to the Scrum Team with a specific interest in and knowledge of a product that is required for incremental discovery. Represented by the Product Owner and actively engaged with the Scrum Team at Sprint Review. Development Team is not called a stakeholder in Scrum.
35What is Cadence?Cadence means heartbeat. Cadence is the approach to achieving commitment and reliability with a system. It is a measure of balance and the rhythmic flow of the process. Sprints of regular time interval or duration establish a cadence for a development effort.
36What is MOSCOW principle?A technique used to categorize the importance of different attributes in a product from Customer point of view to enable the development team to place importance on the delivery of each requirement. This teaching is useful in defining the 'Acceptance Criteria' of a product by specifying 'Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, and Won't Have' requirements.
37Is Product Owner necessary in a Retrospective?YES. It is essential to have a Product Owner in a Retrospective.
38What is a Spike?Spike is an experiment. Agile teams use Spikes to know more about a technical problem. They try technical spikes to find out if a particular solution might work or not. Generally a spike is a throwaway prototype which gives a chance to development team a chance to check if the solution works.
39Have you heard about Dot Voting?This technique is used for identifying items with higher priority. Participants have to cast their vote by placing a colored dot against one item among the listed, and the item with most dots is considered an item of higher priority. This technique is frequently used during the sprint retrospective.
40Have you heard about Fist of Five?Fist of five is a facilitation technique used by agile software development teams to poll team members and help achieve consensus.

Closed fist  -   No.  A closed fist is a way to block consensus.

1 finger - I have major concerns.

2 fingers - I would like to discuss some minor issues.

3 fingers - I’m not in total agreement but I feel comfortable enough to let this proposal pass without further discussion.

4 fingers - I think it’s a good idea and will work for it.

5 fingers - It’s a great idea and would like to take the lead when we implement it. 

41Do you know what is Continuous Delivery?Continuous Delivery is the ability to get changes of all types—including new features, configuration changes, bug fixes and experiments—into production, or into the hands of users, safely and quickly in a sustainable way.
42Have you heard about JIRA?JIRA is a project management tool used in Scrum or Agile software development. This is a visual management tool and sprint backlogs can be effectively represented in JIRA tool.
43Can DevOps be used with Scrum?Absolutely. DevOps is a philosophy where Dev and Ops work together towards creating Increment. DevOps does not have any framework. Infact Scrum works beautifully along with Scrum.
43What is Docker?Docker is a container management DevOps tool. Virtual Machines and Container Management are two effective ways of managing the shared infrastructure effectively.
44Is Cloud necessary in DevOps way of working?Cloud has nothing to do with DevOps. Cloud is way of managing shared infrastructure. DevOps is a philosophy to manage Dev and Ops work and creating really usable increments every Sprint.
45Have you heard about AWS?Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform.
46What is Github?GitHub brings together the world's largest community of developers to discover, share, and build better software. GitHub is a code hosting platform for collaboration and version control. GitHub lets you (and others) work together on projects
47What is Jenkins?Jenkins is an open source automation tool for Continuous Integration purpose. Jenkins is used to build and test your software projects continuously making it easier for developers to integrate changes to the project, and making it easier for users to obtain a fresh build.
48Name a few project management tools used in Agile Software Development?JIRA, TFS, REDMINE, TRELLO
49Since Agile requires face-to-face, do you think Agile can be used in distributed environment?Agile does not talk about co-location. its about face-to-face. You can achieve face-to-face via various ways - travel, videocons, telecons, onsite-offshore rotation etc. There are thousands of teams using Agile in a distributed environment.
50What is the maximum sprint length in Scrum?One month.
51What are burn-up and burn-down charts in scrum?The sprint burn down chart is a publicly displayed chart showing remaining work in the sprint backlog. Updated every day, it gives a simple view of the sprint progress. It also provides quick visualizations for reference
A burn up chart tracks progress towards a projects completion. At each day you can see the amount of work completed and the total amount of work.
This is a powerful measure of how close you are to completion of the project, similar to a burn down chart.
52What is empirical process control?In defined process each piece of work is understood and executed. But in empirical process control you expect the unexpected. In Scrum, decisions are made based on observation and experimentation rather than on detailed upfront planning. So Empirical process control relies mainly on the three main ideas of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
53What are the three main artifacts of Scrum Process?The term “artifact” refers to an object that was made by a human.
Scrum describes three primary artifacts:
The Product Backlog: The product backlog is an ordered list of requirements that is maintained for a product.
The Sprint Backlog: The list of the tasks to be executed by the Scrum Team in upcoming Sprint is called the “Sprint Backlog”.
The Product Increment: The Increment is the sum of all Product Backlog Items completed during a Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints.
54What is Scrum? How is it different from Waterfall?Scrum is an iterative and incremental Agile development framework for managing projects and product or application development. Its focus is on “a flexible, holistic product development strategy where a development team works on activities concurrently as opposed to a “traditional, sequential approach”.
Waterfall Model is sequential order of doing work. In this project development team moves to next phase or work only if the previous step is completed successfully.
55What is the scrum sprint? That is the ideal duration of a Sprint?Scrum break work into small increments with minimal planning and do not directly involve long-term planning. In Scrum Sprints are short time frames (timeboxes) that are typically less than 30 days. Each Sprint involves a cross-functional team working in all functions: planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, unit testing, and acceptance testing. At the end of the Sprint a working product is demonstrated to stakeholders.
The ideal duration of a Sprint is 1 Month.
56Is it required to release the increment at the end of each Sprint?No.
It’s required to create an increment ready to release at the end of each Sprint but it’s not required to release the increment.
Product Owner decides whether to release or not.
57Should there be a Release Sprint?No. There is no Release Sprint in Scrum.
58Should there be a Hardening Sprint to remove technical debts?No. There should be no Hardening Sprint just for the purpose of resolving technical debts.
In each Sprint it’s required to deliver an increment. Techical debts can be removed regularly during Sprints.
59Is it required to deliver an increment in the first Sprint?Yes. First Sprint isn’t different from other Sprints. In each Sprint it’s required to deliver an increment.
60What do burn down charts show?It shows the work remaining over time within the sprint.
61What should be done in Sprint 0?There is no Sprint 0 in Scrum.
62Can one person do the Product Owner and Scrum Master role?Scrum Master is a process/scrum/service perspective role and Product Owner is a product perspective role. Scrum Master services the development team, product owner and the organization by facilitating, coaching and providing guidance. Product Owner is a product perspective role that is supposed to manage the product backlog (what needs to be done) and meet business needs. therefore, they are conflicting responsibilities. It is not appropriate to have the same person do both roles since the person will be overworked and will have a conflict of responsibilities.
63What is your suggestion if Scrum Master is not fully utilized? Should you still have a dedicated Scrum Master?Scrum Master should be focussed on servicing the development team, product owner and the organization. This is a facilitation and coaching role. Hence, my suggestion would be to have a Scrum Master work as Scrum Master on multiple teams if he/she is not fully utilized. Having a scrum master do a development team role or a product owner causes conflict of responsibilities and may not work as per what the role is intended to do.
64Is the product owner a member of the Scrum Team?Yes, Product Owner is considered to be a member of the Scrum Team.
65What is the difference between the development team and the Scrum team? The Scrum team consists of the product owner, Scrum Master, and the team. The development team is a set of members within the Scrum Team who are responsible for creating a product increment.
66What justifies canceling a sprint?Sprint Canceling can be done only when there’s a major change in objectives. Only a product owner can take a call to cancel the sprint. Cancellation is very rare and should be done carefully since it causes a lot of wastage.
67If a sprint is cancelled, what should be done on cancellation?If a sprint does get cancelled, 1. First thing is to review if there is any viable and done product increment. The decision then may be taken if the done increment be a part of the increment or not. 2. The next is to conduct a retrospective and find out if this situation can be avoided going further. 3. Product backlog refinement may be necessary at this point to consider the sudden change of business objective due to which the cancellation happened in the first place 4. Sprint planning for the next sprint should follow
68What is velocity ? How is it measured?Velocity indicates how much work can be completed in a sprint and Also how much time will it take to complete a project. Velocity is obtained by adding all the story points from the last sprint’s stories.
69What are the characteristics of a good Product Backlog Item?Product Backlog documents the list of tasks and requirements that the final product needs. A good acronym which describes a good Product backlog is the DEEP acronym. DEEP means: D – Detailed Appropriately E – Emergent E – Estimated P – Prioritized