Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts


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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

What is a Scrum of Scrums and what are its benefits?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 81 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Agile Methods, Leadership & Management, Project Management

ANSWER

A hiring manager lays out the following scenario in an interview:

You manage a team of Project Managers and Business Analysts.They are all assigned different projects, but you come to realize they all intersect at one business application.  

All teams conduct their meetings throughout the project to ensure it's going according to the project charter or their sprint goals. Some are using status meetings, and others are running daily scrums.  

How do you ensure synchronization among the teams and that an accidental change does not compromise the business application? That there are no impacts or impediments to a smooth delivery? What is your approach?

This question is looking for the applicant to understand key terms. It is also looking to ensure they recognize projects do not work in vacuums and that the work one team completes could impact another team.

As companies move to a lean, more agile approach to projects, there has to be a way to manage everything now that there are many small self-organizing teams. Especially teams that are working on the same business application.

You begin by mentioning although this is not a fully agile environment, using a Scrum of Scrums can be a great approach. This technique allows the teams to scale up Agile. It's a way for a specified point person of each project team, typically a Systems Developer or Analyst, to gather regularly. It's an opportunity to discuss the parts each of them are working on (or soon will be) and to hear from others if there will be any impacts that could hinder the successful Sprint release (a product increment).

A team using a waterfall approach will have a project plan and all the requirements gathering and analysis upfront. But with Agile, the teams get to work quickly and add to the project as they go. Team members expect change. It would be a disaster if you didn't have regular status/update meetings during the project's lifecycle. If the Scrum of Scrums didn't happen, teams might not have a way to discuss what's going on, identify cross-project impacts, or discuss a solution should one be needed. (Scrum of Scrums allows for additional time to work out a suitable solution if one is required -- a difference from Scrums).

This type of meeting is different from the typical Scrum. The representatives from each team begin by answering questions based on the team (not an individual). Some proponents of the Scrum of Scrum even suggest an additional question:

Is the team aware of any work that may impact the functionality created by other teams?

While it may not always be possible to identify an impact that may occur ahead of time, that is the beauty of the Scrum of Scrums. It's a way for project teams, who typically work in their bubble, to go outside of their silo and ensure that the application is still a cohesive unit.

 

--
Angela Spring
Business Systems Analyst
LinkedIn Profile

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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.

 



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