Preparation for the Certified Scrum Master exam (PSM, CSM, BVOSM)
Preparing for the Certified Scrum Master exam is a slow process. You need to learn many topics to successfully pass your certification exam. The Scrum Master role is an essential part of the Scrum team. This specialist and a new type of manager has special responsibilities.
In this article, we describe important features of the Scrum Master role and present various examples of situations that may be useful to you in preparation for the exam for the Scrum Master certificate. Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification exam“, https://managerspost.com/preparation-for-scrum-master-certification-exam/
What is Certified Scrum Master exam preparation?
In the different courses in which we consider the Scrum framework, we take into account different points of view as starting points. After each next lecture in the Scrum Certified Master exam preparation courses, your idea of Scrum will become more complete. Reference: Preparation for BVOP Scrum Master certification exam: sample questions.
Preparing for the Certified Scrum Master exam is a long and slow process that involves learning both the entire Scrum Guide and all possible side-derived topics. The guide is a short book, but the exam questions are many and difficult. That’s why you need to learn all the side information you come across on the Internet.
What is a Scrum Master?
If you need to give a presentation on the Scrum Master role in your work, follow these tips. First, the presentation needs to be cleared of any unnecessary and specialized terminology. This will make it difficult to absorb, at the same time it can be annoying and stressful for the reader. Reference: MuzoNet, Management and Business, https://www.muzonet.com/
Second, it should be as concise, clear, and easy to understand as possible. Whether it will be a presentation – .ppt, whether it will be like a brochure with pictures and key moments or just a text in the style of a plan-summary with only the main accents – a matter of creativity. People who work in dynamic business conditions and are flooded with information all day, due to the nature of their activities, tend to be impatient and value every second of their time. In this sense, time should not be abused.
Thirdly, the angle from which we will look at Scrum is very important, namely in terms of its benefits, achievements, and potential. However, the latter without a brief and conceptual justification has the value of… good wishes. If we strengthen them with organizational guarantees and procedures, they will already look reliable and impressive. If we include (easy to check) an example of good achievements, success is almost guaranteed.
Apart from the above, I would personally try to avoid the “advertising” sound that creates the feeling that the TV is on and ad units are running. On the contrary, tight, purposeful, and difficult – the message is that these are the facts, and if they want (we are not desperately looking for investors). Now I think that in addition to Product Owner, it is not bad to have Scrum Master to have the product knowledge and training – one because it can more effectively support Product Owner in its work, another because Scrum framework is a kind of product from a certain point of view, which he must present in a different way to each country, taking into account its peculiarities. Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification exam on Sprint event“, https://medfd.org/preparation-for-scrum-master-certification-exam-on-sprint-event/
Thanks to the most modern, innovative, and flexible agile methods, organizations achieve significant results in all areas. In today’s increasingly digital and dynamic world, Scrum teams must be ready to adapt to new market requirements, the production process, and increasingly demanding users.
Experienced and multifunctional teams work in close collaboration and strong team spirit to achieve the highest results. Creative approach and proactivity, inspired by frequent and effective communication with the client, are an integral part of the work process. Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification and tips for Scrum professionals”, https://www.kievpress.info/preparation-for-scrum-master-certification/
Agile organizations provide the unique opportunity for the client to participate directly through regular, pre-scheduled results evaluation meetings. The latter is an indisputable guarantor of transparency and at the same time a condition for rapid and adequate adaptation. The word “waste” does not exist in the Agile dictionary. Every working day and hour; every resource and every effort is maximized. All these rules, applied daily and woven into our overall organization and work rhythm, ensure the high quality of the final product. The guarantor and “guardian” of the Scrum framework – your Scrum Master – takes care of their strict observance, modern working conditions, education, and upholding of our fundamental values. He or she is:
- Experienced mediator;
- A skilled facilitator;
- Dedicated “teacher”;
- Service Leader;
- Cold-blooded “discoverer” of solutions in crises;
- Protector and guardian of the Scrum temple of values and rules, thanks to which we achieve our high goals.
He/she is responsible for the organization and adequate conduct of all meetings in a spirit of the team and shared responsibility; open dialogue and focused efforts. The Scrum Master ensures that teams are always focused, calm, and have all the necessary conditions to achieve maximum results. Reference: “A Management Educational Library”, https://customessaysonline.net/ He is responsible for all modern training and practices for improving the communicative and organizational skills of the teams. Helps to clarify all inaccuracies; to remove all obstacles to the smooth work process and protect the team from unproductive external influences and pressure.
Sample questions for the Certified Scrum Master preparation exam
The Development team shares your idea that they want to nominate you for a Product Owner appointment and take over its functions, and for the Product Owner assigned to your team to go to another team and have no contact with it. Read more: “Preparation with sample questions for Scrum Master certification exam CSM & PSMI”, https://wikipedia-lab.org/preparation-sample-questions-scrummaster-certification-exam/
Such an act shows trust in me as a proven leader whom colleagues are willing to trust and at the same time a desperate request for assistance. The team does not work well with the Product Owner once it has resorted to such extreme measures. I will share the measures I would take from the position of a dedicated Scrum Master, not an ambitious employee who is looking for a promotion at any cost.
Naturally, first of all, I will clarify in a conversation with the team what exactly is the problem with the Product Owner. As part of the team, I should already have some ideas and observations. First, I would think about how I can keep the team in this lineup and, in collaboration with the current Product Owner, stabilize the situation. It is possible that the conflict is temporary, casuistic, prosaic and a quick solution is found.
I will do my best. Based on the concept of good leadership, in a conflict situation, I like the popular comparison of the workplace with the family (in conflict and misunderstanding we do not automatically fire our children or family members to replace them with others – on the contrary, we find a way to communicate). I think this should always be tried in the workplace. If the cost of this experience becomes too high or turns out to be causa perduta, then already drastic measures and possible castlings become inevitable. Anyway, my decision, in this case, is to keep the team in this state, restoring understanding and a calm rhythm of work. Read more: “Free preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam (CSM, PSMI, PSMII, BVOP)”, https://brightonbot.com/preparation-scrum-master-certification-exam/
As for the proposal to be a Product Owner. In any case, I will say that I appreciate the trust that my colleagues place in me, but I think I will be more useful to them in this role. Whether from the current or some future Product Owner, they will need me as support; facilitator; mediator; defender. I will explain to them why these are two separate roles and I will convince them that this is the function that makes me respected, I will not be able to perform optimally if I am a Product Owner. (With a sense of humor, no matter how universal the referee X is when we give him the position of a player in one of the teams on the field,… then we will hardly trust him to be impartial, even when he is!)
In 2 days you have a meeting to present the current progress of the product. Your Product Owner role and most of the Development team are on leave for another 5 days.
I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to do. However, I know what is not an option – to interrupt the leave of the listed colleagues. Depending on the case, I will decide whether with unobtrusive, remote communication to ask for the assistance I may need from colleagues (maximum 1-2 phone calls) and if I can, albeit at my own expense, deal with available colleagues. If not, I will try to postpone the meeting for a few days, if possible.
In any case, for such a situation to arise, we have a serious organizational problem. It is not right and normal for the team to be naked at key moments when its presence is required. Important events should be included in the calendar and it should be established that everyone is aware of them and does not rest at the same time, much less on the eve of important events (in this case, by assignment, I guess this meeting can be sprint review). Read more: “Free training to prepare for the Scrum Master Certification exam”, https://www.islandjournal.net/scrum-master-certification-exam/
Business stakeholders share the view that the product is not progressing as expected.
This seems to be more within the competence of the Product Owner, which does not mean that I would not take action if the note was made to me and I have a clear position on the matter. Communicate with business stakeholders with patience, respect, and understanding. In this spirit and view of the specific circumstances, I will decide what to say to them. Several hypotheses come to mind:
If their expectations have not been stated in advance and clearly (and they take them away on their initiative), then I will explain to them that the team is doing everything possible and this is our optimal pace. Such ambitious acts of pressure cannot change the course of work, disrupting the productive work of teams. Ie I will defend the team if they are not to blame for the “broken” expectations.
If the cause is a specific problem, I will mention it together with the measures we have taken. (Honestly, even if the team is to blame, I will try to focus on correcting the effort rather than blaming colleagues. I will shift the focus as much as I can so as not to discredit them – both colleagues and the organization to outsiders. If we are made a gross or unacceptable mistake, but will immediately put it on the agenda in front of all team members, including Product Owner)
If they are completely unfoundedly dissatisfied, I will emphasize that we are even overfulfilling the original plan or following it steadily. I will certainly defend the team, but I show understanding for the stakeholders.
You notice that the team spends more and more time in the games and entertainment hall in your office.
If the work is going well and you are productive I don’t think it’s a problem to take advantage of the bonuses in the workplace. However, if they overdo it, there should be no problem – were funny, where serious to note that the depreciation of gaming equipment should not exceed many times that of tools. Not for anything else, just at some point they will have only work left. In any case, I will not take on the role of the annoying powder.
If I have done my job to establish myself as a trusted, friendly servant leader and part of the team, I should have no problem communicating everything openly with colleagues. However, I am neither their “boss” nor their “micromanager”. Read more: “Best Scrum Master Certifications for 2022 and 2023“, https://eduwiki.me/best-scrum-master-certifications-for-2021-and-2022/
Product Owner role in your team goes on a business trip for 2 months in one of your customer support centers. No one has made any plans, no comments. The client has not shared anything more, the Development team does not know what they will work on and your colleagues are worried about the future of the project.
An important decision may be made for the future of the project since everything is so suspiciously dead, and the Product Owner has not approved any tasks and has not given guidelines. The event may be extraordinary, not planned.
I will contact the Product Owner and ask what is expected from the team in the next 2 months, as there has been obvious confusion and confusion among colleagues. However, the Product Owner is part of the team and he will be the first person I will contact. In any case, he must have at least a general idea of what is happening.
Whatever information I receive from the Product Owner, I will then make an effort to restore peace of mind to the team and share with members this information that is currently valid and reliable. If there are potential but uncertain serious problems, at this stage I will not worry my colleagues if they can’t do anything anyway.
One of the programmers in the team asks the designer for regular adjustments to the visual concepts he offers.
Without claiming to understand in-depth exactly where the tangent between the programmer and the designer is, it seems to me that in this case, the programmer is interfering in the work of the designer.
They should be equal colleagues, specialists each in their field, and their common goal is to put together a puzzle of 2 compatible parts. The programmer can’t decide which design is good and which isn’t, I just imagine that it has to be technically compatible. If in this case, it requires a conceptual change in its design, the risks of the profession – the designer must cooperate. It is possible that some feature of the design requires the use of another programming language or some visual feature may cause long hours of work for the Scrum development team. Read more: “Best Scrum Master certification online”, https://scrumtime.org/best-scrum-master-certification-online/
The latter will be a problem if it is unforeseen or will slow down the whole sprint/project, which is not an option. But why do I guess the problem here is not with the designer? Because of the wording “regular” – it sounds kind of biased and disturbing to the designer. If something is conceptually wrong, it could be clarified may be in one or two meetings, but if it is several times a day, the programmer probably makes a mistake.
Even if we say that the designer has provided poor quality, unfeasible or difficult to implement a design, this can again be clarified more conceptually with one or two meetings. Here, however, there is a feeling of a “tendentious” attitude, if I understood the task correctly. In case there is a problem with the communication, it is right for Scrum Master to intervene.
The QA specialists on your product testing team plan to integrate additional technologies, tools, and testing procedures. According to the product owner, this will double the work and the progress after the sprints will decrease.
After all, the last word on the priority of tasks and what to work on is Product Owner. I would suggest a meeting of the whole team to comment on the problem. However, it is good to hear the arguments of the technicians, as they are the best prepared and can best assess how long it will take.
It is possible that the Product Owner is wrong and QA specialists do not offer anything superfluous. Conversely, if the Product Owner is right, this will be easily clarified in the discussion. If the idea is not bad but prolongs the time significantly, then the Product Owner will be the word whether it is worth the delay or not (from the point of view of the priority-strategic development of the project).
I imagine that the solution would be more of a business solution – we need higher quality and we can afford delays or time is of the essence, and quality in a certain aspect can be a reasonable compromise (depending on the specific project). Often for projects of different nature, priorities can be very different.
The designer and the programmer have decided to exchange part of their work on their initiative. The designer will take on some of the easy programming tasks, and the programmer will make parts of the interface.
This seems like an effort to achieve cross-functional teams. The only thing that worries me is the word “self-initiative” … It is also true that teams must be “self-organizing” and have the right to distribute tasks among themselves.
However, our task (for me – as a facilitator and “optimizer” of the work process, and for the Product Owner as a strategic manager) is to ensure the most productive results that the team is capable of. In this sense, in such an event, the issue will certainly be raised in good faith at the latest at the next “daily”, which everyone shares how far they have come.
We will put this idea of theirs up for discussion and assess whether it will not delay us, because the sprint is not the time to learn completely new technologies without supervision and to put at risk the planned results just for that. If colleagues have risked progress on this particular sprint, we will note it as a positive idea for this initiative, but we will ask them when such changes potentially threaten deadlines or change the already agreed way of working, just raise them as issues for me and Product Owner.
We are there to facilitate, guide, and assist them, not to create problems or limitations. So they can give ideas and we will apply them immediately.
QA experts want Scrum Master to assign them testing tools for the next sprints, as you will already be developing new components that require a different type of test.
Everyone gives opinions and guidelines on the topic on which they are competent. As a Scrum Master, I am certainly not competent in this direction. This does not prevent me from referring the matter to the Product Owner, as this initiative is likely to have an impact on the project budget.
Ultimately, technicians decide what they need to do their job well. It seems to me that in this situation I am not the person who will be able to make a decision. At most, discuss this with the Product Owner if he considers it, and with the top management, if necessary, given the potential costs.
The development team wants to replace the main software part of your product. We currently use the paid Enterprise popular environment. The license is paid by your customer, who does not think that the cost is a problem.
In the beginning, the Development team is the one that determines its way of working and no one can interfere by giving technical guidelines for the actual work process. The only important thing is that the final result (the requested product) meets the customer’s requirements.
A potential change in the “core program” would be a problem only if it would prolong the time / undesirably increase costs (without being agreed with the customer) or change the desired appearance of the product. These are the three conditions that a Product Owner should monitor and that should be referred to customers for comment (for example, if they involve an increase in costs, as expected in this case).
Otherwise, when it comes to purely technical parameters (in what language to program, for example), I do not imagine that this will excite the client so much if his desire is pure and simple at the end of the project to have a “smart” washing machine, for example.
The Product Owner role wants the designer to increase communication with the product testing team.
The request for active communication between team members does not seem to me to be a problem. If the Product Owner requires it, it would mean that he has probably noticed the lack of an effective one. As a Scrum Master, I will deal with this problem immediately. I will find out why the Product Owner insists on this and then what the mood of colleagues is. If there is a conflict or discrepancy, we will address it immediately.
Your client is not happy with the tests and wants to urgently increase the number of QA specialists in your team, with an additional 6 people as soon as possible. He wants three more senior programmers to join the team by the end of the week. The project budget has been increased accordingly.
Communication with customers is a delicate job, and here it is extremely delicate, as far as they seem dissatisfied. The fact that they are trying to take matters into their own hands does not speak well at all. This speaks of extreme distrust – unfortunately, it may be justified.
The first step here is to investigate the problem. I would immediately talk to the Product Owner to contact the customer and find out exactly what the problem with the tests was (if the Product Owner is no longer aware). Then let’s look for where the pass came from. If by chance the mistake is in the client, with diplomacy and tact we will explain the cause of the problem and it is possible to avoid completely or at least somehow more adequately adopt his proposal. Although it increases the budget, the measure itself sounds somewhat of a sanction.
On the other hand, if our QA specialists have slapped us, then we will think together about how to get out of the situation. If there is another solution, we will address it (for example, a change in the way we work and eliminate any obstacle that has created the problem). Then the long and probably painful negotiations with the client will begin, in which we will admit where the mistake is and convince him that the new measures are not necessary.
In general, this situation seems very unpleasant to me, and quite risky. New members of the team have yet to match the current ones, and looking at the number, we are totally out of the minimum number of 9 people. The client is just forming a new team… I have several options:
It sounds reasonable to me to make changes in the team, if necessary, but not to exceed 9 people. Especially if we have found out where the problem is – human or procedural error, it would be enough to replace a member of the team for the specific project or just to ensure that measures are taken not to repeat. We will explain that the future increase of the team in no way improves anything. On the contrary, it will bring more chaos, disagreements, and difficult communication.
Another option, if the client does not give up, is to apply some form of Scaled Scrum from the current and new team, if the project is more complex and we have underestimated it. This seems to hide too many pitfalls if the two teams can’t coordinate or work well (very likely).
A third option is to do what the client wants. Thus, we violate the terms of the framework, but the budget has been increased and the work of each member has decreased (distributed among more people).
I am very interested in how Scrum Master and Product Owner would approach in a real situation – they zealously defend Scrum or take advantage of the advantages of the situation. The first sounds idealistic, the second mercantile-pragmatic.
Your director wants you to move temporarily, for about a month, to another team. He has discussed moving your role with the Product Owner, who will take over the Scrum Master function in a month, as he said he has time for that.
Here I will ask what the motive is. As the “teacher” in Scrum, I will advocate the understanding that none of the roles in Scrum (neither Scrum Master nor Product Owner) can be replaced because of its special nature. It does not only perform technical functions that anyone can replace. On the contrary, it is a function of intuitu personae (“given the personality”), i.e. it is largely related to the specific skills, qualities of the person, and in this case to the personal and professional relations of this person with the team.
In the current case, if my replacement is going to be a Product Owner, the problem doesn’t seem that big. However, it is assumed that he must have the necessary knowledge and experience. If he says he has time, probably nothing will happen in a month.
If some companies combine this role permanently, it would be tolerable for us in a month. In any case, I will make it clear that as a “teacher”, as an inspirer in Scrum and responsible for its proper implementation, I do not approve much of my transfer as a pawn from one team to another and any possible future of my position, at the discretion of others and before a fait accompli – after it has already been discussed in advance without my participation. At least that’s what it looks like in this case. If I have committed alone and in advance for several teams, it is a completely different case.
The Product Owner has the floor for strategic and priority planning for the product, but the key role in implementing the framework is mine. Any such decisions must be made with my active participation, otherwise what good is Scrum Master on foot.
In short – I will understand the reasons, I will offer an alternative, in the extreme case I will accept with the proviso that it is a one-time and bad trend (if they have convinced me that there is some logical reason).
1 thought on “Preparation for the Certified Scrum Master exam (PSM, CSM, BVOSM)”
I will soon start working as a project manager. My future employer requires me to have a PM certificate. Today I passed the BVOP mock exam for SM. Do you think I will pass the PM exam as well? I don’t want to waste my attempt.