Should I start thinking about switching from Scrum to Kanban?

I want to release anytime, I don’t want iterations, I want to skip estimation, I have challenges with self-organizing teams, I want to change my priorities,

I need better visualization, I want to process that is more adaptable, Scope creep is my major concern, I am want to handle support tickets,  I am afraid of sprint failure and end of picking less work, I can’t break down stories enough to complete within the sprint.

Before I get into details, review below carefully, this would suffice the need for moving to Kanban over Scrum or XP.

  1. There are teams that have a more responsive nature of work like maintenance, fixing customer bugs, run time day to day requests, etc.
  2. It may not be a good idea for these teams to plan the sprint or iteration since a lot of activities will become overhead. In addition to that, we need to break the Agile principles for instance constantly adding items to sprint during execution, not doing refinement in advance, accepting back-to-back sprint failure, and more.
  3. Not doing Scrum does not mean they would not publish the work. They are still expected to commit approx work (Preferably in terms of story points) in a given time period.
  4. They commit to goals and SLA based on the past data

Scrum is great while the world is not a perfect place. You can always overcome challenges associated with it but if you have another Agile method is even more flexible there is no harm in leveraging that. I see many organizations are switching to Kanban and getting wonderful results. I don’t have the intention to move you from what you have been doing while I am just trying to initiate a thought process and philosophy around Kanban.

Let’s understand the above in more detail with real-time scenarios. A group of project managers gathered to discuss the challenges they have with the existing process with senior management.  Let’s look at some of the interesting areas what they have put forward on the table (I am sure you can relate one or more areas if you have managed agile teams)


Project Manager 1: (Team is afraid of Sprint failure) My team has very fewer items in sprint compare to what they can accomplish as they are scared of sprint failure.  Despite that, I don’t have successful sprints as one or items roll most times as we get blocked. I can’t allow my team to pick more middle of a sprint

Project Manager 2: (Prod issues; Lot of support to other teams) My team builds new features while I am expected to support some of the other teams for whom we provide back-end services. The requests coming from them is our top priority whenever it’s related to prod for them.  The amount of work that comes from different teams vary and we cannot assign fixed bandwidth to deal with those issues. Most of our Sprint we have one of these two situations

  • The sprint fails because we need to focus on supporting other teams.
  • We are done much before the sprint ends.  Pulling new work is not allowed mid-sprint hence we use that time for learning while this is not a great idea all the time.

Project Manager 3: (Support work; Tickets) I have all the support work. The estimation has been a challenge most times. A bug takes a day or a week, it all depends on the product I work for is huge and we have most of the newer members.  How can I make sure my sprints are successful and at the same time, we as a team don’t under commit?

Project Manager 4:  (Adaptive to more adaptive) My team hates too many ceremonies and processes. They think of having a lightweight process which is more adaptive over-prescriptive,  is much better. All of them are experienced/committed and understand their roles and responsibilities.

Project Manager 5: (Time and material; Longer stories; Unpredictable work) We built adapters and I don’t see the benefit of breaking down and doing that in parts. We have a deadline for every adapter and we kept getting blocked. We are fine to wait as we are on the “time and material” contract. Getting blocked from the customer end doesn’t harm as billing doesn’t stop.  How do I fit in a work which takes a few weeks to a couple of months?

Project Manager 6: (Frequent priority shiftOur priorities changes very frequently.  Many times we literally have to stop what we are working on and start something else. Getting new work done in the next sprint doesn’t help as the work we are doing becomes useless even if that’s completed due to change in priority.

Project Manager 7:  (Customer or Sprint successOur company’s top priority is to manage customers and their expectations while we always focus on velocity and sprint success. This becomes challenging as in order to manage customer priorities, we compromise Scrum priorities or vice versa. Both are not good ideas. In the first option, you are disregarding a process resulting in low team morale and an unpredictable outcome.  The later is not acceptable anyway 🙂

Project Manager 8: (The product owner struggles) The PO struggles to lock down the requirements for a week. He keeps adding work to sprint throughout the week, changing existing requirements, and even providing/updating acceptance criteria during the sprint.

Projects Manager 9: (Team experience or complex work) My team has challenges with breaking the requirements or estimating the work.  The sprint success matters most to me (Why-Sprint-Success-is-Important). I end up being unhappy most times.

Kanban could be one of the solutions for most of the problems listed above. The comparison of Kanban with Scrum/XP and some of the core frameworks is available here

Sprint success is really important when you talk about Scrum. The Sprint fails due to a variety of reasons like team experience, The challenges with breaking down stories, unpredictable work, Customer focus precedes team priorities, support work, and many other challenges as listed above. Many times either we run too much to having a successful sprint (By means of slogging or patch up work) or do not think of a successful sprint at all. Both are not good options.

In my upcoming blogs, I would be talking in detail about how to use Kanban, best practices, myths, and an easy shift from the existing process to Kanban. Please provide your comments below. This would help me to cover all aspects of my next set of blogs on Kanban.




Why do people say SAFe is a top-down command and control approach


SAFe Agile is extremely prescriptive, works only with command and control from the top management – Is this a Myth?  – Let’s explore to know the answer

is SAfe safe

Before I share my thoughts, let me add a disclaimer

  • I have a strong faith in SAFe
  • I am very much inclined to SAFe values, principles, and practices

“If you are on agile, scaling agile becomes relatively easy”

Let’s say your company is running on broken agile processes or is on a waterfall methodology, you can still be successful with SAFe but the chances are reduced significantly.   The SAFe suggests significant benefits in 3-5 years while you will hear from people that the magical outcome in productivity, quality, employee morale, etc would come in 3-6 months.  Let’s explore slightly deeper:-

I think you would agree that most of the transformations begin with top-down command and control for the simple reason that change is not easy and it needs a real push if it’s not small.  This would shift unorganized functions to be more organized, pushes people hard for delivery, teams start running on cadence and synchronization if it’s SAFe resulting in higher productivity, quality and so is the outcome.  The KPIs, Metrics, and rigid processes make people do more. There is a forced innovation in the beginning as well. But remember that this would not go long run. The management started believing that we have showcased better outcomes hence let’s not stop. They go with 100 percent utilization which is a disaster (SAFe says so, and I completely agree).  The fall begins within 1 or 2 years and it becomes very tough to manage it.  The command and control is fine at the start but it should be strictly looked into in six months to a year. The management needs to focus on generative culture, autonomy, and decentralized decision making.

We need to have a relentless improvement in not just the outcome but employee well-being, morale, and learning. We should ensure that we stick to SAFe values and principles.  One of the main reasons I have seen for SAFe failure is organizations do not invest much after little success or Org is not ready to move to SAFe but they want to be part of the rat race.

People talk about only success stories while there is a good number of failure stories as well which probably is not taught anywhere. I met many people who ask the interviewer whether the company they are giving an interview is on SAFe or planning to adopt in near future. If the answer is yes to any of these two questions, they don’t want to join the company. There is a myth and perception created while that doesn’t seem to be true. The management truly has to involved at ground level in order to break the myth and move their towards the real benefits of SAFe.

We should all remember that identification of value streams and ARTs, Identification of EPICs are core challenges while implementing SAFe while organization alignment still remains the priority.

Scrum vs Extreme Programming (XP)

Scrum vs XP

Both are very similar that are aligned with each other and complement each other.  If you walked to a team then it very is very hard to recognize which practice team is using if they are using one of the above practices.  XP is Scrum with technical practices. It’s mindset/behavior and a more prescriptive approach with a strong feedback loop.

The iteration is between 2 to 4 weeks. The iterations are 1-2 weeks or less. For very aggressive teams, it can go up to a day.
In Scrum product owner prioritizes the product backlog but the Scrum team has a privilege to chose a lower priority item in a sprint to work on before the high priority XP teams must always work in priority order as features to be developed are prioritized by the customer.
Changes in the sprint are not allowed XP Teams are much more amenable to change within their iterations, but change can only be made if the team hasn’t started working on a feature and at the same time the change is of the equivalent of the swapped item.
The validation of the software is completed almost at the end of each sprint, (i.e. Sprint Review) The software needs to be validated at all times, to the extent that the tests are written prior to the actual software.
Scrum doesn’t prescribe any engineering practices The XP does.
The Scrum Master is responsible for what is done in the Sprint, including the code that is written A developer can modify or refactor the parts of the code as and when the need arises.


The teams start with Scrum and move towards XP. There is lots of focus on Self Organizing teams and XP encourages that to a great extent. The Maturity model that we have prepared for CDK has more focus on Scrum up to level 3 and further, the direction is to adopt XP in order to get on to level 4 and 5.

The original XP is based on four simple values – simplicity, communication, feedback, and courage – and twelve supporting practices as listed below

The Planning Process

The desired features of the software, which are communicated by the customer, are combined with cost estimates provided by the programmers to determine what the most important factors of the software are. This stage is sometimes called the Planning Game.

Small Releases

The software is developed in small stages that are updated frequently, typically every two weeks.


All members on an XP team use common names and descriptions to guide development and communicate on common terms.

Simple Design

The software should include only the code that is necessary to achieve the desired results communicated by the customer at each stage in the process. The emphasis is not on building for future versions of the product.

Test-Driven Development

Testing is done consistently throughout the process. Programmers design the tests first and then write the software to fulfill the requirements of the test. The customer also provides acceptance tests at each stage to ensure the desired results are achieved.


XP programmers improve the design of the software through every stage of development instead of waiting until the end of the development and going back to correct flaws.

Pair Programming

All code is written by a pair of programmers working at the same machine.

Collective Ownership

Every line of code belongs to every programmer working on the project, so there are no issues of proprietary authorship to slow the project down. The code is changed when it needs to be changed without delay.

Continuous Integration

The XP team integrates and builds the software system multiple times per day to keep all the programmers at the same stage of the development process at once.

40-Hour Week

The XP team does not work excessive overtime to ensure that the team remains well-rested, alert, and effective.

On-Site Customer

The XP project is directed by the customer who is available all the time to answer questions, set priorities, and determine the requirements of the project.

Coding Standard

The programmers all write code in the same way. This allows them to work in pairs and to share ownership of the code.

SAFe SPC question bank 3

31. What is the foundation of the house of lean?
• Leadership

32. What is the roof of the house of lean?
• Value

33. People do all the work. Your Customer is whoever consumes your work
• -Don’t Overload them
• -Don’t make them wait
• -Don’t force them to do wasteful work
• -Don’t impose wishful thinking
• build long-term partnerships based on trust
• Culture change comes last, not first
• To change culture change the organization – Respect for people and culture

34. Flow
• Optimize continuous and sustainable throughput for value
• build in quality; flow depends on it
• Understand, exploit, and mange variability
• Avoid start-stop-start project delays
• Use informed-decision making via fast feedback

35. Innovation
• Producers innovate; customers validate
• Get out of the office
• Provide time and space for creativity
• Apply innovation accounting
• Pivot without mercy or guilt

36. Relentless Improvement
• A constant sense of danger
• Optimize the whole
• Consider facts carefully, then act quickly
• Apply lean tools to identify and address root causes
• Reflect at key milestones; identify and address shortcomings –

37. Value
• Shortest sustainable lead time.
• Best quality and value to people and society.
• High morale, safety, customer delight – Value

38. Leadership
• Management applies and teaches Lean-Agile thinking, based decisions on this long-term philosophy.

39. Principles of lean-Agile Thinking – Agile Manifesto
• Individual and interactions – over processes and tools
• Working software – over comprehensive documentation
• Customer collaboration – over contract negotiation
• Responding to change – over following a plan

40. What is the first SAFe Lean-Agile Principle? –
• Take an economic view

41. What is the second SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Apply Systems thinking

42. What is the third SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Assume Variability, preserve options

43. What is the fourth SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles

44. What is the fifth SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Based milestones on objective evaluation of working systems

45. What is the sixth SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Visualize and limit WIP, reduce batch sizes, and manage queue length

46. What is the seventh SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning

47. What is the eight SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers

48. What is the ninth SAFe Lean-Agile Principle?
• – Decentralize decision-making

49. Why the focus on principles?
• A lean-Agile transformation will deliver substantial benefits
• However, it is a significant change and every implementation is different
• Leaders should understand why the practices work; its part of knowing what it is they do
• If a practice need to change, understanding the principles will assure the change moves the moves the enterprise in the right direction

50. What are the Five primary dimensions of Built-In Quality?
• Flow
• Architecture & Design Quality
• Code Quality
• System Quality
• Release Quality


SPC SAFe question bank 3

SAFe SPC exam cheat sheet

SAFe – Scaled Agile Question Bank 6

51. Which statement is true about fast feedback?
It accelerates planning and delivery
Smaller batch sizes enable faster feedback loops
It supports SAFe Lean-Agile Principle #3 – Assume variability; preserve options
The shorter the feedback cycle, the higher the utilization

52. The goal is a fast delivery process, ideally requiring little manual effort. What is one capability used to achieve this?
Soft launches
Non-functional requirements
Feature toggles
Quiet releases
What should a team do if they cannot meet their commitments?
Deliver what the team can complete with open issues
Escalate immediately to Product Manager through the Product Owner
Move what cannot be accomplished into stretch objectives
Review the objectives and reset them to fit what can be done
53. What should a team do if they cannot meet their commitments?
Deliver what the team can complete with open issues
Escalate immediately to Product Manager through the Product Owner
Move what cannot be accomplished into stretch objectives
Review the objectives and reset them to fit what can be done

54. What is the purpose of an Epic Hypothesis Statement?
It provides enough detail to run the business and keep long-term commitments from interfering with changing business priorities
It defines an idea that can be validated using the plan, do, check, and adjust cycle
It is the artifact Epics use to get approval to go on the Portfolio Backlog from the Lean Portfolio Management
It helps define the pipeline with the assets and technologies needed to deliver solution value

55. Product Management is involved in the assessment of metrics including the evaluation of business value achieved versus plan. They are also active participants in what else?
Daily Stand-ups
Lean budget establishment
Team Retrospectives
The Inspect and Adapt event

56. What is one benefit of constant customer feedback?
It reduces the amount of changes to the Features
Fast learning cycles
It reduces the need for face-to-face collaboration
Teams can better align working days with a customer’s schedule

57. The Lean Governance collaboration include the Enterprise Architect, Agile PMO, and which other function?
Solution Management
Business Owners
Product Managers
Epic Owners

58. What is the importance of the Definition of Done?
It prioritizes the work of testers on the team
It creates standardized work between all Agile teams
It provides a way for Scrum Masters to enforce quality
It creates a clear understanding of when items are complete
59. SAFe recommends separating deployment from release. What can help with this practice?
Deploying to staging every 4 to 8 weeks
Manually test Features and non-functional requirements
Hide all new functionality under feature toggles
A staging environment that emulates testing

60. What are two examples of team level events? (Choose two.)
System Demo
Backlog Refinement
PI Planning
Daily Stand-up
Scrum of Scrums

61. Which attribute describes the Product Manager role in the SAFe enterprise?
Provide governance and spending practices for value streams
Plans the activities for the Inspect and Adapt event
Collaborates and sets expectations with Product Owners, stakeholders, customers, architects
Uses Iteration Goals to communicate with management

62. What is the goal of Lean thinking?
Best quality and value for people and society
Leadership support
Relentless improvement
Respect for people and culture
63. Which two concepts drive the mindset for SAFe implementation? (Choose two.)
Enterprise Agility
Scrum Manifesto
Agile Manifesto
House of Lean
Lean Enterprise Systems
64. Which cycle is embraced by the Lean startup movement?

65. What is the relationship between a Product Owner (PO) and a Product Manager (PM)?
The PO contributes to the Program Backlog; the PM establishes Story acceptance criteria
The PO drives PI Objectives; the PM drives Iteration Goals
The PO identifies market needs; the PM is solution, technology, and team facing
The PO is team-oriented; the PM is market-orie nted

How do you pass SAFe SPC Certification with high score (Implementing SAFE) – Download questions for free
SPC 5.0

SPC 5.0

The SPC is a SAFe program consultant (Also called as Implementing SAFe). This is probably the highest level of certification SAFe has and undoubtedly highly valued in the software industry.  I am fortunate to have it cracked within 3 days of effort plus 4 days of a class. I definitely would like to write this down so that it would become easy and you don’t need to wonder how would I go about not just passing but scoring high marks.

I feel you should first decide whether you truly want to do it. If you just want to add another certification to your profile, probably I would say you don’t need to go for it.  If you aspire to be an Agile coach and/or know that you would be implementing/supporting SAFe then it’s the perfect thing to go for.

I have cleared a SAFe Program Consultant a couple of weeks ago.  I am going to share tips that would focus more on learning but at the same time, you will clear the exam with an excellent score.

  1. Read the material given by SAFe at least two times. If any concept is not clear then refer to The explanation there is far better than any other place.
  2. Click on the big picture and understand every item. The better way to do is to click on the item and read about it.
  3. The specific links are given in exam preparation material, read them all at least twice. Create notes only for high-level titles that would help you to connect with questions.
  4. The practice test must be done and if you score less than 80% then you need more preparation.
  5. The exam guide clearly states the most important chapters. The way you determine is based on the number of questions that appear from the respective chapter. Anything above 10% is very imp and every concept should be understood well.
  6. I got some good material that would almost be guaranteed that you would clear the exam if done properly. If you really need that you can send an email to me at with your phone number. I will provide you the details.
  7. Avoid searching answers for questions on the internet during the exam.  You may find the question while the answer available on the internet may be wrong.  Study well and go by what you think is right. The questions are prepared with very well thought processes and I am sure you should be able to answer. If you want to score try trust your judgment. Remember certification doesn’t have lots of value while the knowledge does. 
  8. The questions what I found on net useful are

9. I would recommend reading Get SAFe Now book before even you go for training or start reading materials from SAFe.   The book is for beginners and explains the concepts in layman language. The questions after every topic make you think a little deeper.  It helped me a lot to hit high scores in a bunch of certifications I did.

I will be adding more blogs with cheat sheets and more informative ideas and content soon

The sample questions available on the internet may help you to prepare further


You can click here for POPM Practices questions

You can click here for SPC Cheat Sheet

You can click here for SPC sample question bank

SAFe certification cheat sheet

Which statement is true about Work-In-Process (WIP) limits?
– Lower limits improve flow [4-5]

What replaces detailed requirements documents? – User Stories

Which two statements describe the responsibilities of the Product Owner? (Choose two.) – Single voice for customer and stakeholders, and to own and manage team backlog [2-15, 2-17]

implementing quality in Lean-Agile environment – Culture

What is an example of a Program event? – Scrum of Scrums

What is the goal of the SAFe House of Lean model? – Value [1-28]

Which responsibility belongs to the Product Owner in the team?
To sequence backlog items to program priorities, events, and dependencies

Which two views does the Iteration Review provide into the Program? (Choose two.) – How the team is doing in the Program Increment, and how the team did on the iteration (sprint) [4-38]

What is an example of a modified Fibonacci sequence? – …5, 8, 13, 20, 40…

What is the benefit of separating release elements from the Solution? – It allows the release of different Solution elements at different times

The Agile Release Train aligns teams to a common mission using a single Vision and what else? – The Program Backlog [2-21]

The “3 Cs” is a popular guideline for writing user stories. What does each of the three C’s represent? (Choose three.) – Card (WIT, Feature, User Story), Conversation (Acceptance Criteria), and Confirmation (Acceptance) [3-10]

What is the role of the System Architect/Engineer? – To guide the teams and support the Architectural Runway [2-21]

What is typically included in the Definition of Done for the team increment? – Stories are accepted by the Product Owner [4-37]

The Inspect and Adapt event always starts with which activity? – The PI System Demo [5-38]

When should a component team be used – To obtain high reuse and technical specialization with a focus on Non-functional Requirements.

Iteration Planning, Iteration Review, and Backlog Refinement are examples of which type of event? – Team events [5-31]

Which factor helps unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers? – Autonomy [2-4]

Which practices are demonstrated during the Inspect and Adapt event? – Reflect, problem solve, and identify improvement actions

Which statement describes a cadence-based PI Planning event? – It is an all-hands, two day event with the goal to identify impediments that could happen [5-4]

Which statement is true about Iteration planning for Kanban teams? – Kanban teams publish Iteration Goals [3-33]

Which concepts are part of Kanban for teams? – Visualize work flow, limit WIP, improve flow [1-52]

What is one of the typical Kanban class of service for Agile Teams? – Funnel

Why is the modified Fibonacci sequence used when estimating? – It reflects the uncertainty in estimating larger items

A Cumulative Flow Diagram focuses on which curves? – Arrival curve (“to-do”) and Departure curve (“done”)

What is the recommended size of an Agile Team? – 5-9 people (7 +/- 2) but 5-11 on test

SAFe Core Values – Built-in Quality, Alignment, Program Execution, and Transparency

What is the role of the Scrum Master? – To act as a servant leader who helps teams self-organize, self-manage, and deliver using effective Agile practices

What are two reasons Agile development is more beneficial than waterfall development? (Choose two.) – It allows businesses to deliver value to the market more quickly
It increases productivity and employee engagement

If the PI System Demo shows the current state of the Solution, then who is this demo intended for? – The Business Owners

Which statement is true about the PI Planning event? – Everyone in the program over two day period

Goal of SAFe House of Lean model – Value

How does relentless improvement support value in the SAFe House of Lean? – It optimizes the whole

What is the purpose of the Iteration Review? – To measure the team’s progress by showing working Stories to the stakeholders and getting feedback from them

An Agile Team collects the Iteration metrics they have agreed upon during which part of the team retrospective? – During the quantitative part of the team retrospective [4-40]

What is the role of the Release Train Engineer? – 1. To coach teams to improve their results
2. To serve as the Scrum Master for the Agile Release Train

How can a technical exploration enabler be demonstrated? – Show the knowledge gained by the exploration [3-11]

Which three questions should each team member answer during the Daily Stand-up? (Choose three.) – What did I do yesterday to advance the Iteration goals?
What will I do today to advance the Iteration goals?
Are there any impediments that will prevent the team from meeting the Iteration goals? [4-30]

Which practice promotes built-in quality? – TDD

What are the four levels of the Scaled Agile Framework? – Team, Program, Large Solution, Portfolio [1-15]

What visibility should Scrum Masters provide during the Agile Release Train Sync? – Visibility into progress and impediments

Which statement reflects one of the steps for setting initial velocity? – The team members assess their availability, acknowledging time off and other potential duties [3-23]

Which activity is key to successfully implementing the Scaled Agile Framework? – Use a cadence-based PI Planning process

Jane is a Product Owner. It is day seven of the Iteration and her team tells her that they may miss their Iteration commitment. What should Jane do? – Support pulling a story that has not been started.

Quality is first and foremost a function of what in a Lean-Agile environment? – Culture of shared responsibility [4-22]

What are the Five Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise introduced by SAFe 4.6? –
1. Lean-Agile Leadership
2. Team and Technical Agility
3. DevOps and Release on Demand
4. Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering
5. Lean Portfolio Management

On the seventh day of the iteration, the team realizes that they will not complete 5 of 13 Stories. The Product Owner (PO) says she cannot negotiate the scope of the remaining Stories any further. What is the PO’s best course of action? – Stop the current iteration and plan new iteration with new knowledge

What is the major benefit of reducing batch size? – Increases throughput

What is one responsibility of the Scrum Master? – To remove impediments in order to help protect the team

Which statement is true about Features and Stories? – Features can be larger than an Iteration, but Stories should be small enough to fit into an iteration. Each Feature should have at least five stories.

What best supports Innovation in the SAFe House of Lean? – Fast learning cycles

What information does Cumulative Flow Diagram provide? – The data for the team to identify current bottlenecks

Which two statements describe Agile Release Train – 1. It is the primary value delivery construct in the Scaled Agile Framework
2. It is long lived, self-organizing, virtual organization of 5-12 Agile Teams that plan, commit and execute

Which statement defines the purpose of Iteration Planning? – It is to organize the work and define a realistic scope for the Iteration

A decrease in variability leads to an increase in what? – Predictability

What are two behaviors of an effective Scrum Master? – 1. To facilitate the team’s progress towards the Iteration goals
2. To act as a servant leader and exhibit Lean-Agile leadership

Which statement describes the balance between emergent design and intentional architecture when talking about building quality? – It is required for speed of value and solution intent

What is one recommended way of splitting Features into Stories during a PI Planning event? – Implement the simplest variant of the functionality first them implement the rest as an enhancement

Which statement describes the event that occurs at the end of each Iteration to identify the team’s opportunities for continuous improvement? – The Iteration Retrospective

What should be taken into account when estimating Story point size? – Complexity

Product Management is responsible for “what gets built” as defined by the Vision, Roadmap, and what else? – Program backlog

Which statement is true about Iteration Planning? – It is required for every Iteration to enable fast learning cycles

What are three practices of Extreme Programming (P)? – 1. Pair Programming
2. Continuous Integration
3. Test-driven Development

The Scrum Master wants to establish a team’s initial velocity. A team has two testers, three developers, one full-time Scrum Master, and a Product Owner split between two teams. What is their normalized velocity before calculating time off? – 40

What is one key benefit of a Backlog Refinement session? – It provides time to identify dependencies and issues that could impact the net iteration

The Release Train Engineer is a servant leader who displays which two actions or behaviors? – 1. Creates an environment of mutual influence
2. Listens and supports teams in problem identification and decision-making

The Daily Stand-up time-box should not exceed how many minutes? – 15 minutes

A user story includes which three things? – 1. What
2. Why
3. Who

Continuous Deployment (CD) has is elements that, when followed, keep each team member, team, and the Agile Release Train on track. Which two statements best describe elements of CD? – 1. Maintain a staging environment that emulates production
2. Automate testing features and Non-functional Requirements

Which statement describes a cross-functional team? – Each team can define, build and test a component or feature

How does a Team Demonstrate Progress? – With an Iteration Review

When is the System Demo conducted during Program Execution? – At the end of every iteration

What is the recommended length of an iteration? – 2 weeks

What is the goal of the PI Planning event? – To create a plan for the upcoming PI showing how stories map to the iteration

Which statement is true of the Iteration Goals? – They align a team to a common vision of work in the iteration

Which statement is true about pair work in the Scaled Agile Framework? – It comes from pair programming in Extreme Programming (P)

Which statement describes the information within a Story? – A story provides just enough information for the intent to be understood by both business and technical people

What is Scrum? – A lightweight process for cross-functional, self-organized teams

During the Inspect and Adapt event, how are reflection, data collection, problem solving, and identification of improvement actions used? – To increase the quality and reliability of the net PI

A team finishes developing all of their Stories in the first si days of the Iteration, test them in the following two days, and files bugs in the days remaining. How is the team behaving? – They are water falling the Iteration

Which statement is true about the purpose of a Work-In-Process constraint? – It encourages collaboration and enables flow

What does a Program Board help Teams identify? – Dependencies between teams

Which practice promotes built-in-quality? – Iteration Planning

The CALMR approach to DevOps includes Automation, Lean Flow, Measurement, and Recovery. What does the “C” represent? – Culture

What is the role of the Product Owner? – To represent the customer to the Agile Team. To write the stories that make up the team backlog.

What type of visibility should Product Owners provide during the Agile Release Train Sync? – Visibility into Scope and Priority backlog

What type of information can be easily seen in Cumulative Flow Diagram? – Work in Progress across the team. The data for the team to identify current bottlenecks.

According to definition of “Done”, who must provide final approval? – The Release Management

What is one of the is step in problem solving workshop? – Identify the biggest root cause using Pareto analysis

During iteration execution, a team’s velocity tends to be most affected by what? – Changing team size, team makeup, and technical contest

What are the SAFe core values? –
1. Built-in Quality
2. Program Execution
3. Alignment
4. Transparency

Modified Fibonacci Sequence – 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 80, 100….

Which is a sample of a part of an Iteration Retrospective? – Team discussion around opportunities for continuous improvement

How does a team demonstrate progress? – Agile Team measures and then demonstrates its progress by showing working stories to the Product Owner (PO) and other stakeholders to get their feedback.

Which activity happens in the Inspect and Adapt workshop? – Refining the Program Backlog

An Agile team has two characteristics? – 1. Agile Team is a cross-functional group of 5-11 people who have the responsibility to define, build, test, and where applicable deploy, some element of Solution value
2. A group of dedicated individuals who are empowered, self-organizing, self-managing, and deliver value

SAFe SPC question bank 8

51. How does SAFe extend the Agile Manifesto foundation to the level of team of teams?
a. By allowing the team to reflect on how to become more effective
b. By uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping other do it
c. By promoting face to face conversation across teams as the most efficient way to convey information
d. By applying lean thinking to understand and improve the systems that support the teams

52. How can an organization gain trust between the business and development?
a. Pair up IT with Epics Owners for all IT meetings
b. Deliver predictability
c. Give teams access to the program Kanban
d. Reduce the amount of features

53. When is the ROAM technique used to categorize program risks?
a. At the product owner sync
b. At scrum of scrums
c. At the agile release train sync
d. At PI Planning

54. What is the call to action when promoting SAFe during a meeting with company executives?
a. Train leaders and managers and then decide on the net steps
b. Launch one pilot agile release train and then learn and adapt
c. Propose a large preparation (teams, HR, organization) and then select a date to start the transformation
d. Organize a value stream identification workshop to determine the dependencies and to synchronize the agile release train launch

55. Ann is invited to help an agile release train that has struggled through multiple innovation and planning (IP) iterations. They just finished the second iteration in the current PI and have nothing to demonstrate at the system demo.
a. Program stakeholders are really concerned. What should Ann do?
b. RE-architect the system so that there are no dependencies between the teams and integration is not needed
c. Have every team demonstrate their team increment to the stakeholder separately on the team branch
d. Re-plan the current PI: De-scope to leave enough time to integrate what has been build during the IP iteration
e. Stop working on any new functionality and fully integrate and test the system, adjust scope based on learnings.

56. What is one key message about Little’s Law?
a. The easiest way to achieve flow is to reduce queue lengths
b. The average wait time is dependent on the varying arrival rate items coming into the queue
c. The easiest way to reduce wait is to increase the processing rate
d. A single piece flow should always be the goal

57. Based on the work of Don, the Scaled Agile Framework denotes five primary economic factors that can be used to consider the economics perspective of a particular investment. What are three of those primary economic factors?
a. Lead time
b. Development expense
c. Value stream budget
d. Return on investment
e. Risk
f. Transaction cost

58. What are three examples of lean agile leadership?
a. Developing skills and career paths for team members
b. Limiting process improvements to control scope
c. Communicating the solution vision with the teams
d. Creating an environment of mutual influence
e. Create work breakdown structures
f. Prioritizing team backlogs

59. Nick is invited to help a program where, even though not mandated by the eternal environment, management required teams to make big upfront and detailed scope commitments for every release.
What are the things Nick can do to best coach the decision makers?
a. Illustrate the power of feedback in content decision making
b. Explain the “understand and exploit variability” principle of product development flow.
c. Satisfy the immediate need and improve later
d. Explain the benefits of releasing at the end of the program increment
e. Emphasize the value of “responding to change” from the agile manifesto
f. Explain that too much up front detail demotivates product owners as they have almost nothing to do afterwards

60. An inspect and adapt event is occurring and a program is trying to address a ling existing problem – unreliable PI commitments. One of the participants suggests that they are working on too many things at one time.
a. What aspect of the program causes uncontrollable amounts of work in process?
b. All program teams are cross functional, so every team creates work in multiple areas at the same time
c. Stories are too small
d. Items in the program backlog are large chunks of work at different layers of the system instead of true features
e. Teams do not do a good job at task switching

61. What is this statement defining “A series of activities that have proven to be effective in successfully implementing SAFe”?
a. The SAFe Lean Agile principles
b. The scaled agile framework
c. The SAFe Implementation Roadmap
d. An agile Release Train

62. What does Dunbar’s number provide guidance for in the scaled agile framework?
a. The percent utilization that enables a sustainable pace
b. The number of people on a lean portfolio team
c. The number of members on a self-managing self-organizing agile release team
d. The number of people on a solution train

63. Relentless improvement as defined in the scaled agile framework includes which two activities?
a. Apply lean problem-solving tools and techniques
b. Hold employee reviews to provide fast feedback
c. Build long term relationship based on trust
d. Reflect at key milestones
e. Hold people accountable

SAFe SPC exam question bank 1

SAFe SPC exam cheat sheet