Scrum Master certification requires prior preparation for a certification exam. Free training today is now available to everyone. We share a collection of many cases for professionals who want to successfully take their Certified Scrum Master exam.
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Please note that all information in the report is shared by volunteers. Some are professional active Scrum Master while others are authors in online publications and do not claim 100% correct answers. We will be happy to share your experience in the comment form below. If you find any errors please write to us.
Exam preparation training for Scrum Sprint Planning
Case Study: At the end of the Sprint Planning meeting, your Product Owner states: Colleagues, please all of you now to assume the success of the sprint by giving a score from 1 to 4 as one will mean that we will fail to achieve our goal, and 4 means that you expect high success for the sprint.
Answer: I will remind you of the rules of Scrum and that the scoring system is from 1 to 3. Observes compliance with all Scrum practices and rules.
Case study: At the end of the Sprint Planning meeting, your Product Owner states: Colleagues, it was exhausting sprint planning and we all worked hard all day. Would you be so kind as tomorrow morning to send me and our Scrum Master your presentation on how you would complete your sprint tasks and what your self-organization plan is? Thanks in advance.
Answer: I will remind the colleague that we can take a few more minutes and in a very tight way the colleagues can return feedback. Although already tired, we must follow the rules of Scrum.
Case study: A sprint of three weeks awaits you, the team and the product owner have discussed the necessary details on unclear User Stories. It’s been an hour and a half.
Answer: Because of the remaining tasks, topics, voting, and clearing of all details, we will allocate the remaining 4.30 hours.
Case study: At the sprint planning meeting you have 6 members of the Development team. Everyone guesses with a number about the success of your sprint. You count the result and the total number is 15
Answer: Arithmetically, we can assume that everyone believes in our success.
Case study: During your Planning meeting, you notice that a novice member of the Development team systematically throws cards that have numbers 1 or 3 and always puts his card last. Other members choose much larger cards. This provokes a discussion every time that ends quickly. Then this colleague of yours plays card 13 every time. Why do you think he does it? What exactly would you do?
Answer: Like any new team member, he wants to be accepted by everyone so that he is not in opposition. If the colleague is also a beginner, his opinion will be influenced by each senior in the team. The large range of 1-13 for one answer gives a clear indication that the colleague is not sure of his knowledge/judgment. The influence of experience and authoritative personality prevail. If I notice such behavior, I will stop and ask the colleagues with the most experience or the highest number to argue why. I will explain with the new colleague all the rules of Scrum and how decisions are made transparently based on personal judgment and not refracted through the prism of others.
Case study: During your Planning meeting, you notice that a senior member of the Development team systematically throws cards that have the numbers 3 or 5 and always puts his card first. Other members choose much larger cards. Explain the possible cause and actions.
Answer: I will ask the colleague why he considers these figures to be real, what worries him. We will address the issue in the presence of all colleagues and hear their views. Together we will find a solution and value that is adequate to achieve our goals.
Just before your Planning meeting, your Product Owner informs the others that the beginners will not throw cards because there is a lot of work to be done, and in his opinion, the time will not be enough.
I will ask my colleague to rethink the time and that it will have to reach us.
Scrum’s goal is for us all to make a decision and make it transparent.
Excluding the opinion of even a new colleague would be detrimental to the general trust, development, and sober judgment.
Senior members of the Development team suggest that the Planning meeting be held with open cards and that their numbers be visible so that novice participants can more easily choose their choice of cards.
The idea is good and promises “honesty and speed” but this goes against the idea of not having an impact on everyone’s assessment.
I would take it if a little more time is needed for a colleague who has no experience in this but I would not allow us to change the rules for the sake of someone.
Everyone makes decisions together and expresses their opinion.
After each “play” to select Story Points on each User Story, the team discusses the differences in card numbers. After the discussion, they take the assumption of the participant with the highest value on the card.
I will ask the team to argue
It is prevention not to fail in the Sprint, but the “stock” of time is not a solution.
I will make sure that I understand all their concerns and what this decision dictates.
During the planning meeting, the team throws cards 3, 5, 5, 13, 21, 8. They average the points and score Story Points for that User Story from 13-time points.
The wide range of their decisions is a clear indication that there is no real coherence and that someone has major concerns.
I will ask everyone to express their opinion when voting for the points and together to find a solution and whether the points cannot be changed.
User Stories section
During your Sprint Planning, a senior member of the Development team complained about the User Story, prioritized it at the top of the backlog, and carefully prepared it for the Development team. All information is available and well described. A senior member of the Development team states that if they develop this in this sprint, they are likely to damage important architectural decisions. Your Product Owner emphasizes that it is his responsibility to take care of the backlog, and the development team to develop the product.
We will all talk together about the exact concerns of the colleague from the Development Team
Can’t we break this down into convenient and practical tasks?
We will agree on the priority of this according to the Product Owner and Development Team
We will try to split if necessary in 2 sprints if it does not interfere with the increments.
The development team has a Velocity of 103 points. For Sprint Backlog they choose User Stories with Story Points from 3, 5, 1, 8, 21, 13, 1, 21, 8, 8, 13, 5
I will remind the team that the difference between the 4 points is not small and if they can reconsider any of the services whether it can not be replaced or re-prioritized.
How many of the events are extremely important and can any of them drop out of this sprint and do it in the next one?
At the Planning meeting, the team rolls cards 8, 8, 13, 5, 5, 8. They average the points and score Story Points for that User Story from 8 points time.
Purely arithmetically the calculation is correct. I would ask the colleagues with the lowest points to share why they voted in this way and to discuss their decision together.
Your director is calling you. He wants to hear as a guide on how many User Stories and who specifically your team can do in the next sprint.
Here it would be most correct for the PO to answer.
I can give approximate numbers via Dev’s Velocity
But the number of Stories accepted for a sprint can only tell the Dev Team
Team decisions section
In the middle of a Sprint planning meeting, you are on your 5th sprint. The development team takes their seats and you hear them talking that they are considering changing some of the technology they use for the product.
I will ask that we all come together and discuss it
The Dev Team is the one who can judge whether a new technology would bring the final increment and why they are considering it now.
What are the reasons for this
What a benefit it will bring to the project and the final increment.
We will also hear the opinion of the PO for a possible change.
We will want an analysis of the time it will take and whether this will change the length of the Sprint
The development team is discussing the idea of discontinuing work on the preliminary graphic design of project elements because they already have a known collection of developed components. Senior team members suggest to the new designer in the team to stop the design work and start checking the usability of the product.
I would like to justify why they are considering it and whether it guarantees compliance with the deadlines. We will discuss it with the whole Scrum Team.
There are a huge number of variables that need to be well considered before such a measure can be taken.
Product Owner section
Your Product Owner goes on a business trip again. He will not attend the Sprint Planning meeting. He tells the team to calmly choose a job for their Sprint Backlog list and set their Story Points. According to him, there is no interesting information that can provide them and his departure will not negatively affect anyone.
I will make sure that User Story Items is prepared and I will observe the selection by colleagues
I will make sure that even if it is written, they will choose for themselves whether we will not be able to do it before he leaves.
Clearly defined Items will give security and easy judgment to dev Team colleagues on how to approach them.
After 5 minutes, your Sprint Planning meeting begins. Your Product Owner tells you at the last minute that your client’s project manager will be present at the sprint planning meeting because he expects some information from him.
This will not be a problem, but how will it be included in the meeting on time.
Is it said what this information belongs to and why we have to understand it at the last moment?
If the new information requires additional work from the ninth team, I will be as much as possible against it and I will keep the established order of work and rules of Scrum.
You have a sprint of 1 week. You settle in comfortably for your sprint planning and the product owner presents the product backlog items he has chosen for the Development team to develop during the sprint. All items look clear and understandable. The team has no questions about them and offers to start a quick prediction of the time of the items for the next sprint.
I will make sure that they have no questions and have a clear purpose.
Regarding the discussion, we can do it, but only if it does not take time and everyone is aware that with longer planning we take more risk.
Exam preparation for the Daily Scrum event
The meeting starts and a member of the Development team starts asking questions to the other participants.
I would ask my colleague if the conversation is not related to daily Scrum to wait a bit because our time is short and within 15 minutes we have to hear a lot.
If it is about the work and in particular about the current one, I will ask the colleague to speak openly in front of all of us and to share what worries him. From our side, we will find a solution (under our we mean Dev Team and Scrum master).
You receive an email from the marketing department upstairs. As they do not know where the place where you hold your Daily Scrum meeting is, they ask you to show it to them in advance so that they are not late.
I politely explain that these meetings of ours are closed. I can answer all their questions and I would help if they need information or advice.
External Stakeholders Section
A representative of your client is on a business trip to your office, but only for a very short time. He will leave early in the morning tomorrow. 15 minutes before your meeting, a team member asks you to call him so that he can provide as much important information as possible while he is here.
In any case, I will find how to present to the client the work done and if we have any questions to them.
We make the product for them and a face-to-face meeting is practical.
Scrum clearly defines the duties of the Scrum Master and how to deal with outsiders, but here the case is different and we can be flexible. We need the information and it can concern our current development or the whole Sprint and this can negatively affect the increment. A discrepancy in the client’s views and our development would cost us money, time, people, and loss of business. We are flexible and for me, in this situation, I would compromise.
Just before your Daily Scrum meeting, your director sent you the following email:
Can 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.
I will invite all colleagues to present Scrum to them and our roles, but at another time. Daily Scrum is a very short time window in which we can be effective and all external influences would be degrading.
I am ready to show, tell, and train any colleague who is interested in Scrum as a frame. For such an event you do not need a demonstration team but a good mentor.
A member of the Development team says that he tried all day yesterday to speed up the responses of your client’s marketing department. They take too long to answer and do not send him the information he needs to complete his work.
I immediately start talking to my marketing colleagues and ask for help.
If necessary, I escalate.
I will talk to my colleague and the whole team that when they have difficulties of any kind, I need to know. If it is a connection with another department and as is the case, I am the person to turn to and make sure that this does not happen again. They do not need to waste valuable time in negotiations or prayers.
This is my task.
The internal team communication section
Your colleague is late for your Daily Scrum meeting and has sent the following email with answers to the usual team questions:
“Hello! Yesterday I was working on recovering the user password. It is not ready yet and I am continuing today. I think I will succeed by the end of the day. I encountered several problems, but I bypassed them quite flexibly.”
We will read together with the colleagues from the Developer Team the e-mail of the colleague.
As a Dev Team, they know what he worked for and how far his colleague is.
For me, the big minus will be if important changes or a new strategy for tomorrow he can not take part or present this “flexible” way around.
The lack of detailed information as to why he failed to do his job is also in the negative column.
During your Daily Scrum meeting, a colleague tells the others:
“Yesterday I was working on uploading a profile picture for users. Today I will create several automated tests with different common situations to make sure there are no shoots. It turned out that the test server does not have libraries installed for all supported photo file formats. I will go down to the Development Operation colleagues today and ask them to put them on, and then I will tell you. In the meantime, know that you may encounter this problem as well. ”
I will listen to the end and praise my colleague for what he has discovered and for warning others.
If it is not obvious, I would ask the whole team when these libraries should have been installed and why they were not.
During your Daily Scrum meeting, a colleague tells the others:
“Yesterday I was in the designers’ room to discuss the graphics 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.”
I will ask my colleague to tell me in detail about his doubts
I will ask his colleagues, if they have such experience, to share how they have implemented this functionality and how they have avoided the problems.
I will talk to the Product Owner about this task if he has commented on it and if it is still on the list for the next Sprint.
Product Owner and Daily Scrum section
Your Product Owner comes to your Daily Scrum meeting just before it ends and politely asks everyone to repeat what they have shared because after a while he will meet with a client representative who has asked him for an up-to-date development situation.
I will talk to my colleague, explaining all the details and where we are.
The fixed time is over and we will delay colleagues to follow the work plan.
As a Scrum Master, I am familiar with the details of the work and after the daily meeting, I am ready with the data at this time. There is no need for colleagues to report.
Everything will be short, clear, and easy to understand to report to the client and see progress.
One of the members of the Development team asked your product owner to attend the meeting to share important information, but the others are strongly against it, as they believe that your Product Owner will understand important details about how they are implemented and this will disrupt Development harmony.
In the general opinion of the Dev Team, I will not allow this to happen.
I will ask my colleague to tell me and I will consider how to present it and whether there is a need for the intervention of the Product Owner.
Daily Scrum your meeting is running. Tomorrow is the last day of the sprint. Several User Stories remain unfinished, which are certain that they cannot be completed by tomorrow.
I talk to the whole team about what can be broken down into tasks
If there are any, please take a Product Owner attitude and together assess which is more valuable to the increment.
Product Owner and Dev Team make the decision.
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“How to become a Scrum Master?”, 2020, https://brightonbot.com/how-to-become-a-scrum-master/
“Professional Scrum Master vs Professional Scrum Developer”, 2019, https://stc-montreal.org/professional-scrum-master-vs-professional-scrum-developer/
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“A certified Scrum Master shares the Daily Scrum event”, https://projectmanagement.freesite.host/a-certified-scrum-master-shares-the-daily-scrum-event/