20 Agile Interview Questions (With Answers)
Need to prep for some Agile interview questions?
Used by many companies to churn out great products, the Agile methodology is probably the most widely used project management approach in the world.
So whether you’re planning to become a Scrum master or an Agile tester in a company, you need to know everything about Agile and Scrum.
But if you’re nervous about your upcoming Agile interview, don’t be!
This article will help you out with those questions and even use some examples from the life of head writer, Liz Lemon, in the show 30 Rock.
To make things fun, Liz and her boss Jack (who manage a team of writers in a broadcasting network), will coach you to answer all the tricky Agile interview questions.
Ready to get coached?
- Interview Questions About Agile
- 1. What is Agile?
- 2. What is the Agile manifesto?
- 3. What values and principles guide the Agile method?
- 4. What is an Agile workflow?
- 5. How is Agile different from traditional project management?
- 6. What are the challenges in scaling an Agile framework and how to overcome them?
- 7. Who is an Agile coach, and how do they guide a project?
- 8. What is Agile testing?
- 9. Who is an Agile tester, and what are their responsibilities?
- 10. What is pair programming?
- 11. What are the various popular Agile frameworks?
- Interview Questions About Scrum
- 12. What is the Scrum methodology?
- 13. Is Scrum different from Agile? How?
- 14. Describe the process in the Agile Scrum methodology
- 15. Who are the different people involved in a Scrum process?
- 16. What are the key Scrum ceremonies?
- 17. What are the Scrum artifacts?
- 18. How do you measure progress in a Scrum project?
- 19. How to best manage a Scrum team?
- 20. What kind of Agile management software can help you manage a Scrum project?
Interview Questions About Agile
Just getting started with understanding Agile? The answers to these questions will take you from an Agile beginner all the way to expert status!
1. What is Agile?
Each sprint lasts for about two to four weeks, during which teams develop a working version of the product. After the sprint, a version is submitted to the stakeholders for their feedback, and changes are made accordingly in the next sprint.
It’s like being Jack’s mentee… You receive a lot of feedback.
But let’s hope that the feedback you receive is better than this:
2. What is the Agile manifesto?
The Agile manifesto is a brief document that outlines the 4 values and 12 principles of the Agile method. These values and principles help us understand how the Agile methodology is different from traditional project management frameworks, like Waterfall.
As such, the Agile manifesto outlines the code of conduct for Agile teams.
Pretty much like Liz Lemon’s life advice book, Dealbreaker.
3. What values and principles guide the Agile method?
The 4 Agile values are as follows:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Embracing change over following a plan
The 12 Agile principles can be clubbed under the following 4 categories:
- Principles of customer satisfaction
- Principles of quality
- Principles of teamwork
- Principles of project management
Note: To learn more about each Agile principle in detail, read this article.
However, none of these values or principles are especially rigid, no matter how much Liz tries to convince you otherwise!
They are simply meant to hone an Agile mindset that helps team members deliver products that customers truly love.
4. What is an Agile workflow?
An Agile workflow is the typical process of any Agile project, and it includes the following 5 steps:
Step 1: Conception
You develop a project vision, create your product backlog, and start planning your sprint.
Step 2: Inception
Here, you assign sprints to various teams, give them the resources to work with, and clarify the project timeframe.
Step 3: Iteration
The Agile software development team starts working on the sprint backlog items in this stage. While the objective is to release working software at the end of each sprint, the first few versions usually include very limited features.
Step 4. Release
At the end of a sprint, the developers release the product to customers for their feedback.
Step 5: Retirement
Here, the current product version is retired and replaced with the sprint for a new release.
These 5 steps are repeated for each sprint until the final product is fully developed.
And while the Agile method encourages teams to experiment and tweak their own Agile workflow, they must understand the significance of each step.
Especially if your team members are in a habit of going from 0 to 100 like TV star Jenna Maroney!
5. How is Agile different from traditional project management?
Agile is a modern methodology that is intended to meet the dynamic needs of new-age software development.
The biggest difference between Agile and traditional project management methodologies like Waterfall is in the process.
Traditional project management methods have a long, linear production cycle that goes up to six months or more at a time.
Imagine making Liz waiting that long for anything!
On the other hand, an Agile team delivers working versions of the product in shorter sprints.
This ensures that they receive customer feedback along the process and not just at the end, which helps develop customer-centric products.
This difference reflects in all the aspects of how an Agile team functions:
- They are more flexible, adaptable, and open to change in plans
- They have better scope for experimentation
- They are self-organized and cross-functional
- They collaborate with the customer every step of the way
And we’re sure that Jack Donaghy’s management genius will recommend Agile.
6. What are the challenges in scaling an Agile framework and how to overcome them?
Agile is perfectly suited for small, hands-on teams who want to deliver results fast.
But it’s slightly more challenging for a large company that needs to adopt it across several verticals, functions, and projects.
Think of the challenges Jack Donaghy had to face when he took over as the network head.
When scaling the Agile framework, companies need to be prepared to face challenges like:
- Shifting from traditional, slow-moving project management practices to the Agile framework
- Helping the management team follow the Agile Manifesto just like the development team
- Syncing between several large teams working on the same product
While a thorough understanding of the Agile method will help them out, they also need the additional support of a scaling framework.
An example of this is the Scaled Agile Framework: a set of principles and workflow patterns that help large organizations become Agile.
The Agile model described in the Scaled Agile Framework addresses problems such as strategy, investment, and coordination between multi-level teams.
One of the key benefits of a model like the Scaled Agile Framework is that it increases transparency and adaptability of large team setups.
7. Who is an Agile coach, and how do they guide a project?
An Agile coach is like what Jack Donaghy is to Liz Lemon.
A friendly, helpful, and supportive mentor.
And just like him, an Agile coach helps:
- Improve existing processes to make the team more efficient
- Train team members on all thing Agile
- Bridge communication gaps between various teams like development and marketing
Agile coach interviews specifically test you for skills such as communication, leadership, and mentoring abilities.
If you’ve experienced working in an Agile team, you can join an Agile training institute or take certified online courses to become an Agile coach.
8. What is Agile testing?
Agile testing is the testing process present in Agile project management.
Testing is absolutely crucial to any Agile project. Unlike traditional project management methodologies, an Agile project continuously tests its products using various test cases.
Much like how ‘The Girlie Show’ star, Tracy Jordan, keeps testing Liz’s patience.
But while Tracy’s shenanigans have no rhyme or rhythm, the Agile testing methodology is very much codified.
You can answer an Agile testing interview question by talking about the 4 types of Agile testing methods:
- Behavior-driven development: team members observe the product’s behavior in various test cases or artificial scenarios
- Acceptance test-driven development: collaborative testing by the tester, developer, and customer
- Exploratory testing: immersive testing in which testers play with the product rather than follow a set testing methodology
- Session-based testing: like exploratory testing, but with a ‘test charter’ that sets the agenda for each session
And each of these tests can be conducted using any of the following Agile testing quadrants:
- Automated testing
- Automated and manual testing
- Manual testing
- Special tools
Basically, the Agile testing methodology is detailed enough to help Liz crack the code for managing Tracy!
9. Who is an Agile tester, and what are their responsibilities?
An Agile tester is the primary director of any Agile test in a team.
They’re responsible for conducting holistic, in-depth tests on the product, and providing the developers with specific metrics to measure progress.
An Agile tester should:
- Define the scope and estimate of each test, including which part of the product will be tested and which won’t
- Design a variety of test cases
- Automate as many parts of the test as possible
- Document results and communicate them to the developers
- Collaborate with developers and customers to fix issues
To do all of this, an Agile tester should have a thorough understanding of the Agile methodology, programming know-how, and elite communication skills.
10. What is pair programming?
Pair programming is an Agile technique in which two programmers team up to solve a problem.
Sorta like The Problem Solvers here:
However, pair programmers coordinate better than Tracy and Jenna.
They even share a computer, keyboard, and mouse.
The one with the keyboard is known as the ‘director’ or ‘driver’ and leads the learning for the other programmer, who is known as the ‘observer’ or ‘navigator’. They also switch roles to maximize learning and engagement.
However, just like the Tracy-Jenna combo, pair programming is not without its pitfalls.
Pair programming is known to slow down learning rather than speed it up. It also dials up the cost of operating as it increases the number of man-hours taken per task.
11. What are the various popular Agile frameworks?
The Agile methodology has inspired a set of project management models that share its basic principles but differ in implementation.
The most widely used Agile development frameworks are:
- Scrum: an iterative, incremental Agile model to build a product quickly; best suited for small intimate teams
- Kanban: a visual method of Agile management in which the team uses a ‘Kanban’ board to display their workflow
- Scrum ban: an Agile model that combines of Scrum and Kanban methodologies
- Lean: a clutter-free project management style that’s intent on reducing all wastage
- XP (Extreme Programming): a project management process with an added emphasis on engineering practices that enhance the quality of software products
Interview Questions About Scrum
Is your interview focusing on Scrum? Let’s shift our focus to take a closer look at Scrum and everything you need to know to be a true Scrum master!
12. What is the Scrum methodology?
While it has its roots in the tech world, the Scrum framework has also proven to be effective in teams like marketing and sales.
In fact, we think that even Jack could use the Agile Scrum methodology to get the best results out of Liz’s writing team!
The Scrum methodology is made up of 3 important elements:
- Scrum artifacts: help keep the Scrum team as well as the stakeholders on the same page about the development process. These artifacts include the product backlog, sprint backlog, and product increment.
- Scrum roles: include the product or project owner, Scrum master, and the development team
- Scrum events: frequent events that tie the whole project together. Also known as Scrum ceremonies, it includes the sprint planning meeting, daily Scrum, product backlog refinement, sprint review, and the sprint retrospective.
With all these various elements, the Agile Scrum methodology can foster better collaboration among the team and adapt to any challenge in its way.
Even a Jenna tantrum!
13. Is Scrum different from Agile? How?
Scrum derives a lot of its working principles from the Agile methodology.
Here are the key differences between the two:
- The Scrum framework is only applicable to Scrum teams, whereas any small team can become an Agile development team
- An Agile team has a more centralized leadership structure, with a major share of the responsibilities resting on the shoulders of the product or project owner
- The Scrum framework takes Agile’s bias for speed and experimentation a few steps further and makes space for independent, self-sufficient teams. Teams make several decisions by themselves — the Scrum master role is only to guide them on the Scrum principles.
14. Describe the process in the Agile Scrum methodology
Scum is a cyclical process.
Each Scrum sprint is repeated until the product is refined and released in its final form to the customer.
For example, let’s say that Liz asks you to build an app to help her manage the team better.
Your Scrum cycle will start by first understanding and documenting her requirements thoroughly.
Considering her long list of issues, it might take quite some time.
In the production stage, you’ll start developing the product in short sprints of two to four weeks each.
After each Scrum sprint, the current version of the software will be tested with its target audience. In this case, it’s Liz and her writers.
Using the team’s feedback, you’ll start the next Scrum sprint. And just like that, you’ll be closer to a more focused, feedback-driven product with each Scrum cycle!
15. Who are the different people involved in a Scrum process?
A Scrum project is like a live sketch comedy show: you need everyone to make it happen!
The three key Scrum roles are:
The product owner is responsible for understanding customers’ needs and communicating them to the team. They lead the whole Agile development process and lay the groundwork in the form of ‘user stories’.
The Scrum master guides the team about the nuances of the Scrum process. The Scrum master role also supports the project owner and facilitates Scrum meetings if needed.
Includes multi-skilled, self-organizing developers who build the product from scratch. Typically, they’re software developers. But the development team can also include researchers, analysts, designers, or anyone who’s directly contributing to the product.
And together, they run the show!
16. What are the key Scrum ceremonies?
Every team needs occasions to come together: to communicate, plan ahead, and reflect.
And there’s a Scrum ceremony for each of these purposes.
The five key Scrum ceremonies are:
Sprint planning meeting
These meetings kickstart the sprints and are usually spearheaded by the product owner. The sprint planning meeting gives the team the sprint backlog and a clearly defined sprint goal to work towards.
Daily standup or daily Scrum
A standup or a daily Scrum meeting is how each day begins for a Scrum team. The team stands together for up to 20 mins around the Scrum board to discuss the day’s agenda and any roadblocks they might be experiencing.
Product backlog refinement
Here, the team comes together to discuss if they’re dealing with each product backlog item in the right order. Led by the product owner, any changes to the product backlog are made in these meetings.
Once the sprint is over, the team meets with the key stakeholders to present a working version of the software and receive their feedback.
In a sprint retrospective, the team does an internal review of their processes and performance during the sprint.
While the Scrum Guide doesn’t mention parties, there’s no reason you can’t have one after a successful sprint!
17. What are the Scrum artifacts?
Artifacts are tools that give you crucial information about the project’s progress.
In Liz’s case, the script to her show (and Jack’s reaction to it) are artifacts.
Because it gives her an accurate understanding of where her show is heading!
Scrum defines 3 key artifacts:
The product owner translates the customer’s needs into tangible product features. Each feature is known as a product backlog item, and it’s tackled by the team according to the customer’s priority.
When each product backlog item is broken down into doable tasks for each Scrum cycle, the list is known as a sprint backlog. It also contains a release plan to develop the product features in the right order of priority within each sprint.
This is the working version of the software delivered by the team to the customer at the end of the sprint.
A regular look at the Scrum artifacts helps the team stay in touch with their sprint goal.
18. How do you measure progress in a Scrum project?
Liz has to deal with Jack’s ace negotiation skills every day.
She must constantly prove her worth and her team’s value to the company.
Usually, her celebrated wit and creativity does the job!
But if she was running a Scrum project, she would need more.
Here’s what she’d be using to measure her project’s progress:
Since each sprint is a carefully curated, ordered list of tasks, one way of measuring progress is to calculate your team’s rate of completion using velocity charts.
A burndown chart shows you the amount of work left to be completed in the project.
This chart lets you compare your current progress against the total scope of work in your project.
A cumulative flow chart helps you track task progress and identify bottlenecks in its way.
19. How to best manage a Scrum team?
A Scrum team is unique.
It’s based on a recently developed methodology and does not conform to age-old workplace norms about structures, processes, and hierarchy.
And that’s why managing them requires different skills.
Just like how Liz needs to keep reinventing her management style to work with Tracy and Jenna.
To manage your Scrum team, you need to:
- Break down large chunks of work into small, tangible, doable tasks
- Set clear cut priorities for these tasks with the larger project goal in mind
- Encourage collaboration on all levels and help the team move beyond strict hierarchy
- Give a voice to the individuals in your team
- Create conditions for the members to self organize
- Leverage the power of Agile or Scrum project management tools to bridge gaps
20. What kind of Agile management software can help you manage a Scrum project?
Your usual Agile Scrum interview not only tests your theoretical understanding of the methodologies but also how you can implement it realistically.
And part of that is knowing what kinds of software can support an Agile project manager.
While you have many options available in the market, you deserve nothing but the best.
That’s why you need ClickUp.
But what’s ClickUp?
With a wide variety of Agile software development and collaboration features, it’s got everything to support Jack Donaghy’s cut-throat efficiency!
Here are some of the many amazing Agile features ClickUp offers your team:
- Goals: convert your sprint goal into smaller Targets and track them
- Multiple Views: choose from List view, Board view, Box view, Calendar view, and Me Mode to adapt to your team’s needs
- Agile Dashboards: create a customized mission control center with various widgets like Burnup Charts, Burndown Charts, and more to monitor your Agile projects
- Sprint Lists: keep track of your sprint progress with simple checklists
- Pulse: view your team’s activity levels across a given day
- Custom Statuses: create project-specific statuses for your tasks
- Comments: have task-specific discussions with your Agile teammates
- Priorities: tackle the most urgent and important tasks first
- Team Reporting: monitor your Agile or Scrum team’s performance
- Automations: automate over 50+ project tasks
- Gantt Charts: get a bird’s eye view of your project’s timeline
- Docs: create a strong database of documents about your project
- Powerful iOS and Android Mobile Apps: collaborate with your team on the go
But that’s not all!
If you’re planning to build a career in project management or software development, in-depth knowledge of Agile and Scrum is vital to your growth.
It’ll help you apply your skills across teams and become an indispensable team member!
Use this list of Agile interview questions to start preparing for your Agile Scrum interview.
So good luck with your Agile Scrum interview, and we hope you have a chance to celebrate your success soon, just like Liz and Jack!
And while you’re at it, why not sign up for ClickUp and be perfectly equipped for that new Agile or Scrum project you’re going to tackle in the future?