Preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam PSM, CSM, and BVOP

Preparing for the Scrum Master certification exam for PSM, CSM, and BVOP certification can be time-consuming.

That’s why we bring you this Q&A article on Scrum Master certification exam preparation for PSM, CSM, and BVOP documents. If you learn everything in this text, it will be much easier for you to pass your certification exam. Reference: “The Best Scrum Master Certification for Agile Professional Development“,

Preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam for the PSM, CSM, and BVOP programs

The Daily Scrum starts and a member of the Development team starts asking questions to the other participants.

Exactly. As a clarification – by other participants, we mean the other members of the development team. In addition, it is good to have a different DT member ask the questions each day. Sometimes the Scrum Master himself may perform this activity. Reference: “Sample questions for Certified Scrum Master Preparation“,

You get an email from the marketing department upstairs. Since they don’t know where you’re holding your Daily Scrum meeting, they ask you to tell them in advance so they won’t be late.
There is no such practice. Neither the marketing team nor other teams other than the DT, Scrum Master, and in very, very rare cases (at the DT’s discretion) the Product Owner has any reason to be in this meeting.

A representative from your client is on a business trip to your office, but only for a very short time. He will leave early tomorrow morning. 15 minutes before your meeting, a member of the team asks that you call him so that he can provide as much important information as possible while he is here. Reference: “Scrum Master certification exam preparation with sample questions“,

There is no such practice. Outsiders do not attend Daily Scrum meetings. What we can do is – the Product Owner and the customer representative discuss the issues that the DT needs. After receiving this information, at an agreed time and given the amount of information, the Product Owner can present the information to the DT at the Daily Scrum meeting or preferably at a different meeting, in another format.

Your colleague is late for your Daily Scrum meeting and has sent the following email with answers to common team questions

“Hello! I was working on a user password reset yesterday. It’s not ready yet and I’m continuing today. I think I’ll be successful by the end of the day. I ran into a few problems, but I got around them quite flexibly”

Such a delay is a prerequisite for an incomplete composition of the team during the Daily Scrum meeting. At the Daily Scrum meeting, all members of the Development Team are present to present exactly what they have done, what they will do for the day, and what the exact problems are. This e-mail should not be of benefit to other members who may have questions, suggestions, and recommendations to adaptively solve the problem and quickly complete the tasks with high work efficiency. In addition, if this delay is accidental, an exception can be made and the meeting postponed by a specified interval. But in principle and view of the Scrum rules – the schedule for conducting the Daily Scrum every day, with a fixed time, at the same time and place must be respected. Reference: “Preparation for the Certified Scrum Master certification exam for PSM, CSM or BVOSM“,

During your Daily Scrum meeting, a colleague tells the others

“Yesterday I was working on uploading the profile picture for the users. Today I will create some automated tests with different common situations to make sure there are no offshoots. It turns out that the test server does not have libraries installed for all supported photo file formats. I’m going to go down to the Development Operation guys today and ask them to put them on and then I’ll let you know. In the meantime, know that you can run into this problem too.” Reference: “Preparation for PSM, CSM, and BVOSM Scrum Master certification exam with sample questions“,

The presentation of the work is set out systematically, the main principles of the meeting are fulfilled – what was done yesterday, what is pending today, what problems will be overcome, emphasis is placed on the awareness of the team, transparency, and everything that will lead to the realization of the goal on the sprint.

During your Daily Scrum meeting, a colleague tells the others

“Yesterday I was in the design room to discuss the graphic elements for the next sprint. Today I will integrate all the icons in the registration form. I think there will be a small problem, but I will manage”

It would not follow that the interaction between the designers and a member of the Development Team is concentrated on the next sprint. The focus should be on the current sprint as well as the current tasks and issues. If the current sprint is completed earlier and the remaining time is spent preparing for the next sprint, we can assume that this will bring high efficiency to the execution of the next sprint. The problem is not named, if the team decides, it can get detailed information outside of the Daily Scrum meeting. Read more: “Preparation for Certified Scrum Master certification exam with sample questions”,

Your Product Owner comes to your Daily Scrum meeting right before it ends and politely asks everyone to repeat what they’ve shared because he’s about to meet with a customer representative who has asked him for a development update.

There is no such option. The Product Owner may not interrupt the meeting or join it without the prior consent of the Development Team. The Daily Scrum meeting is held in a fast format. The Development Team does not report to the Product Owner on the work done. This information should not be disclosed to outsiders.

Right before your Daily Scrum meeting, your director sent you the following email:
“Hi! Can you have colleagues from another department come to your daily team meeting to observe how your Scrum events are going. I promise they won’t interfere in any way”.

There is no such practice. No outsiders are present during daily team meetings, regardless of good intentions. The Scrum Master role can introduce other departments to the various meetings that are organized and the principles behind these meetings, to understand the core values ​​and rules that the organization follows to create high business value when using Scrum. Source: Preparation for Certified Scrum Master certification exam with sample questions“,

One of the members of the Development team has asked the Product Owner to attend the meeting to share important information, but the others are strongly against it, as they feel that your Product Owner will know important details about their implementation method and this will disrupt Development their harmony.

Firstly, it would be good for the Development Team to come to a consensus on this matter and all express one position regarding the presence of the Product Owner for a certain meeting, because in this case the harmony is already broken. Second, if the information in question is important for increasing work efficiency and overcoming a problem, it would be good for the Product Owner to be present, and the latter does not follow and should not exert pressure, influence, or follow-up actions on the Development Team and its work in the process of task/product development. More on the topic: “Example questions for the Scrum Master certification exam“,

Your Daily Scrum meeting is underway. Tomorrow is the last day of the sprint. There are several User Stories left unfinished that it is certain cannot be completed until tomorrow.

The Scrum Master role should know what the problem is for unfinished user stories, and what factors led to this delay – is it the focus of the team as a whole, the lack of technological support for the implementation of certain tasks, respectively user stories? Is there a problem with communication and behavior in the development team itself, or is there a lack of information, detailed / not understood, about user stories already at Sprint Planning? The team itself may not have been able to properly plan its sprint execution time. Factors answer how we need to overcome problems and challenges to be effective in each subsequent sprint, achieve the sprint goal, be adaptable in any situation, improve execution speed, etc. Reference: “Preparation for the certification exam for CSM and PSM I (BVOSM) Scrum Master“,

A member of the Development team shares that he spent all day yesterday trying to speed up responses from your client’s marketing department. They take too long with their responses and don’t send him the information he needs to complete his work.

This communication is not conducted by a member of the development team. The Product Owner role must communicate, present, and present in a detailed, comprehensible way the client’s interests to the Development Team, to pass back basic information on product development. The Development Team cannot be distracted by extraneous activities – such as communicating directly with stakeholders in such a format. Reference: “Certified Scrum Master exam preparation with sample questions“,

Scrum Master Certification Exam Preparation with Sprint Planning Questions

At the end of the Sprint Planning meeting, your Product Owner states: Colleagues, I ask all of you now to predict the success of the sprint by giving a score of 1 to 4, where one will mean that we will fail to achieve our goal, and 4 will mean that you assume high success for the sprint.

In Scrum, there is no value from 1 to 4 for sprint ‘success’. Sprint ‘success’ values ​​range from 0 to 3. Additionally, this proposal should be initiated by the Scrum Master role, not the Product Owner role. And one more thing – the whole team should give an assumption about the “success” of the project, incl. Product Owner and Scrum Master. Read more: “Preparation for the Certified Scrum Master exam (PSM, CSM, BVOSM)“,

At the end of the Sprint Planning meeting, your Product Owner stated Colleagues, it was an exhausting sprint planning and we all worked hard all day.

Would you be so kind as to send me and our Scrum Master tomorrow morning your presentation of how you would accomplish your tasks for the sprint and what your self-organization plan is? Thanks in advance.

First, when conducting Sprint Planning, it is proper for the meeting to have a beginning and an end and in this time interval everything should be completed: the Development team should present what will be delivered at the end of the sprint and how, incl. to have productive discussions and clarifications with the Product Owner role. It may happen, incidentally, that sometimes a Sprint Planning runs longer than necessary, although we should not follow such a work discipline that would disrupt the time/schedule for the actual work on the tasks. In addition, the Product Owner role should not usurp the Scrum Master’s functions by closing the meeting himself or telling the development team what to do for the next day. Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification exam on Sprint event“,

A three-week sprint awaits you, the team and the product owner have discussed the necessary details on vague User Stories. An hour and a half have already passed.

Given the time for the upcoming sprint of 3 weeks, as well as the discussed details, the remaining 4 and a half hours can cover estimating the time to complete the tasks, and assessing the ‘success’ of the tasks. Focus on some new User Stories, in case the team is fast on the planned sprint and has time and opportunity to take on some of the next Sprint Backlog.

There are 6 members of the Development team at your sprint planning meeting. Everyone is guessing with a number about the success of your sprint. You count the score and the total is 15.
The total cost of the project is high. The Sprint Planning meeting can be closed. Read more: “Professional Scrum Master Certification Online“,

During your Planning, you notice that a more novice member of the Development team systematically discards cards that have the numbers 1 or 3 and always places his card last.

Other members choose much larger cards. This sparks a discussion every time, which ends quickly. Then that colleague of yours plays card 13 each time. Why do you think he does it? What exactly would you do?

May as a ‘newbie’ wish to engage in constant discussion with other members to understand more details on development approaches on the fly. The use of card 13, on the other hand, maybe with the aim of not offending a member towards another in various discussions. In general, this behavior does not lead to transparency and honesty, which would lead to a breach of trust in the team, and Scrum professes this value, because of the goal it pursues. It would be good for the “beginner” to share the “superstition” in question, and what it is due to, and we can pay attention to his accumulation of experience, regarding time planning. Reference: “Preparation for Scrum Master certification and tips for Scrum professionals”,

During your Planning, you notice that a senior member of the Development team systematically throws cards that have the numbers 3 or 5 and always places his card first.

Other members choose much larger cards. Explain the possible cause and your actions.

Given the experience that the senior member of the Development Team has, he may have created a routine in the development tasks that are averaged in his time planning. On the other hand, as a senior employee, his actions can be overconfident and not consider the opinion of other members of the development team. The necessary discussion after the numbers diverge should lead to additional information, and transparency of the choices each team member makes when planning time. The Scrum Master role is good to take an attitude about basic principles in the team: respect, unity, teamwork, and honesty, and at the same time to direct team members in a direction that increases the effectiveness of the team’s work, and creates increased value. Reference: “Preparation with sample questions for Scrum Master certification exam CSM & PSMI”,

Just before your Planning, your Product Owner informs the others that the beginners will not throw cards because there is a lot of work to evaluate, and in his judgment, there will not be enough time.

All members of the development team participate in the Planning meeting. In addition, the Product Owner should not allocate and manage the rhythm of self-organization in the team, it is the team that determines its time. If the ‘newbies’ really have a lot of testing work, they can work together with the seniors to overcome the execution time and then all move to Planning together. After all, the team is for this – to help each other in such situations. But it is proper that such situations be kept to a minimum and that the team does not waste its time on activities unrelated to its duties, leading to incomplete work. The Scrum Master role should organize and motivate the team, and train them in belonging, discipline, etc. Reference: “Free preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam (CSM, PSMI, PSMII, BVOP)”,

Senior members of the Development team suggest that the Planning game be conducted with the cards face up and their numbers visible so that novice players can more easily select their card selections.

This proposal does not correspond to the rules of the Planning game, nor the purpose of this game. This proposal completely nullifies actions aimed at conducting additional, useful, productive discussions, as well as gaining experience in planning, forecasting, and teamwork.

After each “play” to select the Story Points of each User Story, the team discusses the differences in the numbers on the cards. After the discussion, they take the guess the participant with the highest card value. Reference: “Free training to prepare for the Scrum Master Certification exam”,

Not always the highest value is correct or vice versa – the lowest value is applicable. A very important point is how the discussion will solve the problem. Will the development team members be able to find consensus, after a subsequent play-through, for example, or will an even more detailed analysis of the situation be required, the problem?

During your Sprint Planning, a senior member of the Development team openly resents the User Story.

The development team has the right to assist and improve the product creation process, namely by intervening in the exclusion of any User Story(es) when it would hinder the overall work process, create a defect/problem and reduce the value of the product. Regardless of the Product Owner’s prioritization of the Product Backlog, the development team has the necessary skills and qualifications to influence the updating of the Product Backlog. Reference: “Best Scrum Master Certifications for 2022 and 2023“,

The Development team has a Velocity of 103 points. For the Sprint Backlog choose User Stories with Story Points of 3, 5, 1, 8, 21, 13, 1, 21, 8, 8, 13, 5

There are some additional factors to consider here besides team speed and total Story Points. First, what kind of members does the team consist of (beginners, experienced), is this one of the early sprints, or is the team in the middle of development, where it should be more precise in planning the time for the sprint and its capabilities? Second, since these Story Points are still relative values ​​and their sum is 107, there may be an acceptable option for good planning. In addition, if the team estimates its time around or slightly below its velocity value, it does not risk losing focus in the Sprint Backlog, completing tasks on time, on schedule (including their testing and acceptance), and possibly having time in which he can also complete upcoming tasks from the product backlog. Read more: “Best Scrum Master certification online”,

At the Planning meeting, the team rolls cards 3, 5, 5, 13, 21, and 8. They average the scores and score Story Points for this User Story of 13 points of time.

The discarded cards show a significant difference. They vary from low to medium to high values. A follow-up discussion would align the planned time for completion of the particular User Story, as well as clarify the vision of how this will happen.

This forecast can only be made by the development team, with planning taking place during the Sprint Planning meeting, discussed and debated together with the Product Owner, responsible for prioritizing the Product Backlog, and likely certain, prioritize User Stories not to be accepted by the development team. Reference: Preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam (BVOSM, CSM, PSM)“,

The responsibility for product development rests with the Development team. If the specific development to be discontinued satisfies the specific requirement of the interested parties, and their needs, then self-organization of the necessary testing and acceptance work should not be a problem. The distribution of responsibilities in the team should happen with reciprocity, the ability to cope, and unanimity.

Your Product Owner is away on a business trip again. Will not attend the Sprint Planning meeting

It is not acceptable for the Product Owner to be absent. The Development Team can select the specific tasks for the Sprint Backlog, but it is not certain whether they will be in the priority order provided by the Product Owner. The development team may need additional information not foreseen by the Product Owner. In addition, stakeholder involvement may be required. Reference: “Quick and easy preparation for the Scrum Master certification exam“,

In 5 minutes, your Sprint Planning meeting starts. Your Product Owner tells you at the last minute that your client’s project manager will be present at your Sprint planning meeting because he expects some information from him.

It would be good for the presence of the interested parties if the team was warned to make an objective assessment of how necessary the information that the interested parties will provide, as well as why the Product Owner did not fulfill his obligations, namely selection, selection, presenting the necessary information in a way understandable to the development team. Such presence should be kept to a minimum. Reference: “Lessons for Scrum Master certification and practicing professionals“,

You have a 1-week sprint. You get comfortable with your Sprint Planning and the Product Owner presents the Product Backlog items he has selected for the Development team to develop during the Sprint. All items seem clear and understandable. The team has no questions about them and suggests that they start quickly forecasting item times for the next sprint.
If the team has no questions on the questions proposed by the Product Owner, it should move to forecast the time of the items of the upcoming sprint, not the next one (after the upcoming one).

Preparation for the CSM and PSM Certified Scrum Master exam with questions about the Development team

The director of your organization wants to start the development of three new products and tells you that for the largest volume product, he wants a team of 10 people. The available specialists for all new products are a total of 15 people.

The minimum number for the development team is 3 developers if we assume that none of them combine another role. This means that if we assume the minimum team for the largest project for the other two developments, there can be a maximum of 9. Reference
A lot depends on the products and the analysis and how big the other two are compared to the biggest one. If the other two products are also quite big and difficult, the minimum number of developers can be a problem. If the other two products don’t require complex development they can be taken over by teams of 3 developers and 9 to be the most voluminous.
My suggestion is for optimal teams: 4 people each in the two smaller projects and 7 for the most voluminous development, since it is good to have a minimum of the developer, designer, QA, and DevOps in one team to be able to cover the basic requirements for the development.

The director thinks that lower-priority products do not need to have a Product Owner role.

The role is very important for all developments, as it is assumed that he knows the product and its features well, can collect and synthesize requests, communicate them to developers, prioritize and communicate with stakeholders. If the development is small, with a smaller team, the product owner can be executed simultaneously by the Scrum Master or one of the developers.

The director insists that because he has many years of experience in managing people, he wants to be the chief operating manager of the largest team, setting daily tasks and demanding reports from each team member.

I will explain that the Agile and Scrum frameworks are slightly different from the standard people management style, they are more flexible, they do not rely on the continuous assignment of tasks, but rather on the shared responsibility of everyone in the team, and they are not works with daily reports, at least in their classic meaning, as this slows down and complicates development processes where things happen quickly and communicate promptly.
Also, in the roles of the Scrum framework, there is no manager in the sense of one person who gives instructions and asks for feedback, but everyone has a function on the team and fulfills the responsibilities of that function concerning the project and daily tasks.

The director tells you that for each product, on the client’s side, a project manager has been assigned, who, in case of urgent requests, will assign each team member a priority task for the day.

The tasks in the Scrum team are prioritized by the Product Owner and the Scrum Master, eventually. So these tasks will go through them first until they get to be implemented by the development team. That is. In this case, these project managers from the client side will first communicate with the Product Owner and Scrum Master of the team, and after assessment, the request will be prioritized and a deadline will be set.

One of the teams’ senior programmers tells everyone that since the team is big and he has a lot of experience, he will officially accept the role of Team Lead

It is almost mandatory that the team lead has technical knowledge of the work and specific skills that allow him to be adequately involved in the development. But there is also a risk that such a team member interferes excessively in the way of work of the others, which creates confusion and tension and also neglects any of the duties of the team lead, vis-à-vis the technical tasks. It is possible to focus too much on the detail of the technical part and fail to see what is the priority of the business. Of course, it is very relative and it depends on the particular person and situation.

A new employee in your organization prefers not to interfere in team decisions and does not want to take responsibility for product work.

I would tell him that, even though he is new, the team values ​​his opinion, vision, and ideas and he must ask many questions to his colleagues. I will also explain to him that we will initially involve him in pair programming with one of the senior developers if he is a developer or with one of the other roles so that he feels more secure and gets initial skills and orientation to the position and the organization It is important to realize that responsibility must be taken at the very beginning, as it subsequently makes the employee more confident and adequate in his actions.
Of course, he can’t take responsibility for something he hasn’t done or doesn’t know yet, but he needs to understand that the moment he starts working on the product or in the team, the others will turn to him as a responsible person, even though he is on probation.

You understand that the majority of your team members have already spoken with your HR manager and received permission to work outside the office.

In my opinion, it’s not a problem. Although the Scrum framework recommends and requires teams to be in one place and quickly exchange information, I think that even if some of the participants work from home, good communication can be achieved. Remote work helps the employee to stay focused, because more or less in the workplace more factors distract and interfere with the work process, especially for programmers. In case the employee is responsible, adheres to a schedule, works hours, available when needed, I don’t think it’s a problem to work remotely. The modern way of working offers different communication channels besides phone and email.

A member of the Development team is excited to present to you that in his spare time, he has written a large collection of code that he can easily add to the product, speeding up a lot of his tasks and some of the other people on the team.

I can only be happy and praise him. The fact that he wrote the code in his off-hours means that then he had an idea, time, and desire and was interested in what he was doing. Of course, the code should be presented and explained to others, to analyze and check whether it is suitable to be added to the product, etc.

Development teams offer you the idea, that you set an estimated time to complete the tasks, and they focus on their work and devote their time to the tasks. They shared this with the Product Owner role, and he was quite happy.

Setting an estimated time by the Scrum Master can have positive and negative sides, but of course, it depends on the Scrum Master’s knowledge of the work and the project and the experience he has gained so far with developments and deadlines. The Scrum Master can set an estimated time based on similar developments, fixes, version uploads, new products, considering the remaining tasks in the backlog, etc., which will facilitate the development team in giving an assessment, will speed up the determination of deadlines and feedback to the interested parties. But in my opinion, the Scrum Master should always discuss it with the development team, at least tentatively. The Development team should still confirm the time set, signal if something will take longer or there is a risk of some difficulty occurring that will delay the development, and give feedback if there is currently anything that would delay the current Sprint so that it does not turn out that the estimated time provided is not valid.

The teams of the three parallel products being developed by your organization have decided to reorganize.

They desire to divide into teams according to their profession and qualifications. One team will be programmers, the second will be designers, and the third will be quality control. You have been nominated as the activities coordinator.

Such a transformation will not be effective because realistically each product will require a minimum of programmer, designer, and QA and it is best for each one to focus on one product that they know well and can work on the detail. If they reorganize and each of the teams starts working on each of the products cross-wise, there will be confusion, there may be duplication of implementation, lack of organization, gaps, contradictions in the way of work, etc. Separately, each of the participants needs continuous communication with the other type of specialist to be able to work on the product, which cannot be realized if there are other specialists with the same qualification in the team, who have similar knowledge and work on the same functionalities (of course, we are not talking about the standard support and discussion and solving technical cases or assistance from the senior specialist). I don’t see a good reason to change the teams by qualification, anyway the qualification and position have not changed for the respective employee. A Scrum Master of three teams separately is not advisable and he may not even have the physical capacity to track all three teams at the same time. I will explain to them my considerations and ask them to discuss the desired reorganization.

The Development team shares their opinion that the User Story contains too little information and wants more details.

The Development team needs to have information and details, the functionalities clearly described, so that they can be developed. I’ll tell them that the User Story contains basic information about the stakeholder’s request and the outcomes they’re interested in, but that they’re not that well versed in the technical details of how that might happen, and it’s somewhat up to the team to figure out how to make it happen. according to the characteristics of the product and the tools that are used. The task of the Product Owner is to acquire the necessary information and clarifications, in addition, so that they can be transmitted more clearly to the development team, as well as to discuss possible action plans.

The Product Owner has asked a team member not to temporarily report product issues and defects publicly to your defect logging system, but to fix them himself.

If it is an order of the management, it cannot be done, but if it is only a decision of the Product Owner, it is not acceptable and his wish and what it can lead to must be discussed.

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George Brown

George Brown is a lecturer in project management and Agile practices and is the author of the articles on this educational website.

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