Free Ebook: 38+9 Scrum Master Interview Questions to Avoid Hiring Agile Imposters

Scrum Master Interview: Demand Creates Supply and the Job Market for Agile Practitioners is No Exception

Scrum has proven time and again to be the most popular framework for software development. Given that software is eating the world, a seasoned Scrum Master is nowadays in high demand. And that demand causes the market-entry of new professionals from other project management branches, probably believing that reading one or two Scrum books will be sufficient. Which makes any Scrum Master interview a challenging task.

If you are looking to fill a position for a Scrum Master (or agile coach) in your organization, you may find the following 38+9 interview questions useful to identify the right candidate. They are derived from my thirteen years of practical experience with XP as well as Scrum, serving both as product owner and Scrum Master as well as interviewing dozens of Scrum Master candidates on behalf of my clients.

So far, this Scrum Master interview guide has been downloaded more than 15,000 times.

38+9 Scrum Master Interview Questions to Avoid Hiring Agile Imposters

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Faking Agile Metrics or Cooking the Agile Books

TL; DR: Faking Agile Metrics — An Eye-Opening Exercise

Imagine you’re a Scrum Master and the line manager of your team believes that the best sign for a successful agile transformation is a steady increase in the Scrum Team’s velocity. Moreover, if the team fails to deliver on that metric something is wrong with the Scrum Team. Alternatively, something is wrong with you as you are the Scrum Master and hence responsible for the team’s performance. (Apparently, not faking agile metrics, or being transparent in this case, does not seem to be valued here.)

Learn more about how to coach these kinds of line managers and help them overcome their preference for the industrial past with a simple exercise on how to cook the agile books.

Faking Agile Metrics or Cooking the Agile Books — Age-of-Product.com

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Agile Metrics Survey 2020 Design — I Need Your Help

The Agile Metrics — Who Is Using what Metrics?

The Agile Metrics Survey 2020 Design: Usually, we start an initiative or project by defining what success would look like and how we would learn that we are successful. Which immediately points at metrics of all kinds. This approach is not different for any attempt to become agile, to turn into a learning organization—at least it should not be.

The question is which metrics have been proven to be successful in the past to support that approach. In other words: is there life beyond velocity?

Support the design of the Agile Metrics Survey 2020 by submitting your suggestions here.

Agile Metrics Survey 2020 — I Need Your Help — Age-of-Product.com

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Scrum Master Engagement Patterns: The Development Team

TL; DR: Scrum Master Engagement Patterns

Last year, I ran a (non-representative) survey on how Scrum Masters are allocating their time when working with a single Scrum Team. Much to the surprise of many readers, the direct Scrum Master engagement with a single Scrum Team of average size and a typical 2-week Sprint turned out to be about 12 hours per week.

This result immediately prompted two additional questions: What are Scrum Masters doing during the rest of the week, and in what way does a Scrum Master’s work manifest itself over time? While answering the above question requires additional research and data collection, the latter can be answered to a certain grade by focusing on a few common scenarios.

The first article of this series will address the Scrum Master engagement with the Development Team.

Scrum Master Engagement Patterns: The Development Team — Age-of-Product.com

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Hiring: 42 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Agile Imposters

TL; DR: 42+5 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions That Will Benefit Your Organization

This second publication in the Hands-on Agile Fieldnotes series provides 42+5 questions and answers for the Scrum Product Owner interview.

Scrum Product Owner Interview: this free ebook provides 42+5 questions w/ answers to help you to avoid hiring Imposters.

Co-authored with Andreea Tomoiaga, 42+5 Scrum Product Owner Interview Questions to Avoid Hiring Agile Imposters represents the most important learnings of our more than 20 years combined hands-on experience with Kanban, Scrum, XP, and several product discovery frameworks. We have worked as Scrum Product Owners, Scrum Masters, agile coaches, and developers in agile teams and organizations of all sizes and levels of maturity.

We have each participated in interviewing dozens of Scrum Product Owner candidates on behalf of our clients or employers. The questions and answers herein are what we have learned.

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Scrum Accountability

TL; DR: Scrum Accountability

‘Autonomy without accountability equals anarchy’ summarizes an essential design element of any agile organization. Without these checks and balances in place any aspiration to transform an organization is likely to fail. (Or at best level out at a mechanistic level.) Learn more about how Scrum deals with accountability.

Scrum Accountability: The Boss imposes Scrum upon the Team — Age-of-Product.com

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