Sunday, March 18, 2018

Scrum Master - The Questions to ask | Supreme Agile



A truly great professional Scrum Master can make the difference in the creation of any successful Scrum team. I have written many articles about the SM role, including the responsibilities, characteristics, and checklists that can help to any professional. One thing that I still haven’t published is some of the key questions that a scrum master should ask to promote the process of continues improvement and most importantly to implement the agile mindset. 

Product Owner (PO)

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪product owner‬‏
  • Does the product owner get the information from the team about newly added stories?
  • What are the expectations of the team when adding "Non-Functional" stories?
  • How do you handle changed requirements and how do you reflect it to the team? 
  • Does the product owner need help to create the functional stories?
  • Does the product owner have clear and direct access to the team?
  • Does the product owner understand the non-functional stories? 
  • Does the product owner understand the purpose of each item? 
  • Can the product owner explain the product vision?
  • Does the product owner have a product roadmap?
  • Does the product owner committed to the team?
  • Does the product owner have the knowledge and experience to prioritize the product backlog?

Scrum Events

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪Scrum ceremonies‬‏
  • Are there any major delays or absences that can reflect major problems?
  • Do team members come prepared to these meetings?
  • Do the meetings start and end at the scheduled time?
  • Do all meetings meets the preliminary set time-box?
  • Do all mandatory stakeholders attend the meeting?  
  • Is there a clear goal and Agenda? 


Product Backlog

תמונה קשורה
  • What is the amount of stories that modified after they originally written? 
  • Is there an Acceptance criteria defined per each product backlog story?
  • Does the product backlog contain stories that can fit a single iteration?
  • Is there user stories that are not relevant and should be removed? 
  • Is the product backlog prioritized (Top Items at the top of the list)?
  • Are the product backlog stories have Definition of Ready (DoR)?
  • Are the product backlog stories have Definition of Done (DoD)?
  • Does the product backlog contain stories that are informative?
  • What factors are used as part of the prioritization process?  
  • Does the product backlog contain stories that add value?
  • Is the product backlog transparent all stakeholders?
  • Is the product backlog visible to all stakeholders?
  • Are top items estimated (Rough Estimation)?
  • Is the product backlog consistently updated?
  • How large the product backlog really is?
  • Does the product backlog contain the "Non-Functional" stories that requested by the development team? 
  • Is there an agreed form between the PO and the team on how write and Add stories to the product backlog?
  • Is the product backlog exceeds a reasonable threshold  (Usually stories that are available for the 3-5 iterations)? 


Sprint Backlog

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪Sprint backlog‬‏
  • Does the sprint backlog contain stories agreed by the team?
  • Does the sprint backlog contain stories with relevant tasks?
  • Is the sprint backlog visible to all stakeholders?
  • Does the sprint backlog stories are estimated?
  • Is the sprint backlog owned by the team?
  • Is the sprint backlog update daily? 


Daily Scrum

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪Daily Scrum‬‏
  • Are there follow-ups for any issues that were not addressed during the meeting?
  • Is the meeting occurring without active promotion by the scrum master?
  • Are there any technical discussions that encounter the meeting agenda?
  • Is there a follow-up for technical issues that arise during the meeting?
  • Is the meeting is occurring at the same time and at the same location?
  • Are team members reporting impediments that affect their progress?
  • Does the team conduct a meeting when the SM is not present?
  • Is the "Burn-Down" chart updated at the end of the meeting?
  • Are there any external interruptions during the meeting?
  • Is the sprint backlog reflect the work for the next 24H?
  • Are there any "Reporting" symptoms to one authority?
  • Are all team members participating in the meetings?
  • Is there any discussion about the iteration goal?
  • Does the meeting occur in a safe environment?
  • Do all team members share their insights?
  • Is the team focused on the iteration goal?
  • Do all team members come prepared?
  • Is the team progressing as they forecasted (are there any risks identified to prevent meeting the iteration goal)?


Refinement (Grooming) Meeting

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪backlog grooming meeting‬‏ 

  • Are all stories small enough so they can be completed within a single iteration?
  • Are there any team members want to take an active role in this meeting? 
  • What is the average amount of stories that refrained per session? 
  • How effective this meeting for the product owner and the team? 
  • How much does it take to approve the readiness of a user story? 
  • Are all changes made by the PO communicated to the team? 
  • Is there any open issue that should be addressed to the PO?
  • Is there any open issue that should be clarified by the PO?
  • Is the PO can explain stories from a business perspective?
  • Do you involve the team during the refinement sessions?
  • Do all Stories have the mandatory information? 
  • How often the team performs this meeting (Should be at least once a week and even more for new teams)?


Review (Demo) Meeting

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪scrum demo meeting‬‏
  • Does team members come prepared with a working example of their work?
  • Are all presented stories meet the preliminary "Definition of Done"?
  • Is there a room with the relevant hardware to support the meeting? 
  • Is the product backlog updated based on the feedback? 
  • Does the team have the information (Metrics, KPI's, Impediments Etc.) that can increase the transparency between the team and stakeholders? 
  • Does the meeting occur at the end of each iteration?
  • Does the team demonstrate only completed stories?
  • Is constructive feedback provided by the PO?


Sprint Planning

תמונה קשורה
  • Do all candidate stories have all the relevant information (Acceptance, DoD, and DoR)?
  • Are all the stories explained and understood by the team prior to the estimation process?
  • Are there any experts that need to participate to help the team with their estimations?
  • Is there collaboration between the PO and the team regarding the iteration goal?
  • Is there a calculated velocity for the team (SM Responsibility to calculate it)?
  • Are all team members agreed to take the commitments for the next iteration?
  • Is the team took commitments to more work than they can deliver?
  • Is there an agreement between the team regarding the work effort?
  • Is the estimation process efficient to predict the real work effort? 
  • Is the product owner happy with the expected deliverables?
  • Can the team answer what is included in the iteration goal?
  • Are all team members committed to the next iteration? 
  • Did the entire scrum team attend the planning session? 
  • Are all questions answered by the product owner?


Retrospective Meeting

תמונה קשורה
  • Decide with the team if they want to invite any external stakeholder that can contribute to the meeting (Very rear but sometimes can help the team to increase their insights)?
  • Decide with the team if they want to invite the product owner to the meeting?
  • Is the impediments board updated at the end of the meeting?
  • Does the retrospective occur at the end of each iteration?
  • Is there real continues improvement from the last retro?
  • Is the retrospective occurring in a safe environment?
  • Is there real collaboration between team members?
  • What is the focus of the upcoming retrospective? 
  • Is there a real process for impediments removal?
  • What impediments are more urgent to resolve?
  • Is the meeting owned by the team?

Team Velocity 

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪scrum team Velocity‬‏

  • How team velocity can be used as a leverage to increase team motivation?
  • What is the unit used to measure velocity(Hours, Days or story points)?
  • What activities that made during the sprint included in velocity?
  • Is the team velocity used to determine the team commitments?
  • Is the team velocity reflect the true capabilities of the team?
  • What is the trend of the team velocity (Positive/Negative)?
  • Is team velocity transparent to the relevant stakeholders?
  • What is the module that is used to calculate velocity?
  • What can be done to improve team velocity? 
  • What is the average team velocity?


Questions to ask the Development team

תמונה קשורה
  • Do we all agree with the quality of the PBI as they currently written by the PO?
  • What is the team expectations from the project and what they hope to achieve?
  • Is there anything that we can do to improve the precision of our estimations?
  • Do they agree with the DoD of the stories and can they achieve them?
  • How should we handle internal conflicts that arise during the project?
  • What are the Key factors that will help us to meet the project goals?
  • How should we celebrate success in achieving the iteration goal?
  • Is there any team member who is disrupted by external forces?
  • What should we do if we do not succeed to meet our goals? 
  • What obstacles do we have as a team to achieve our goals? 
  • Are there any personal issues that affect team members?
  • What dependencies do we have with other teams? 
  • What is our velocity? How can we improve it?
  • Is there an improvement in the agile mindset?
  • Are they agree with the DoR set for stories?
  • Is the team show progress in their velocity?
  • What is our preferred estimation technique (Relative Vs Absolute) to estimate the stories during the planning meeting?
  • What is the team CI (Continuous Improvement) that we want to achieve at the end of the project?

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