Top scaled Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) Interview Questions

What makes Agile so unique and successful? Why are project managers depending primarily on it? The reason is simple. Agile makes project managers' jobs easier by delivering quality and value to clients. In addition, agile project managers demonstrate to complete the projects within its constraints.
PMI ACP Certification has gained popularity in the project management field as enterprises have started utilizing agile for executing their projects in a dynamic environment.

Being an Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) implies that candidates have earned an attestation that showcases their professional ability. It paves the way for agile practitioners' way to work in various business sectors, including IT, operations, marketing, and human resources. In addition, it enables them to fill agile opportunities in the market and earn 28% more than a non-certified individual. Here are some important interview questions that assist ACP professionals in obtaining their desired job roles in the agile industry.

Agile principles are the foundation of agile. It helps firms minimize their product-development cycles and achieve better outcomes through a flexible, reactive framework. Customer satisfaction, embracing change, frequent delivery, collaboration, motivated team, working software, constant pace, good design, agility, simplicity, self-organized, and reflect and adjust are the twelve agile principles. These principles help in enhancing the effectiveness of Agile processes.

Iterative and incremental development in agile is an approach that combines the iterative design method with the incremental build model. Agile project management, especially the Scrum methodology, is closely related to the incremental and iterative development process. It adheres to one of the core principles of Agile: adapting to change rather than sticking to a predetermined plan. ACP Certification holders use this approach to respond to changes as their product develops rather than following a sequential waterfall strategy.

Agile methodologies help agile professionals to meet the demands of the modern workplace. Agile methodologies include scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), Feature-driven Development (FDD), Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM), Lean Software Development, DevOps, and Disciplined Agile (DA). There are more than fifty agile methodologies necessitating ACP professionals to choose the approaches according to the needs of the project.

Holders of ACP Certification use agile metrics to get insights into productivity throughout the entire software development process. This also aids in evaluating product quality and monitoring team performance. Sprint burndown report, velocity, lead time, cumulative flow diagram, cycle time, code quality, code covered in unit test, deployment success rate, and net promoter score are examples of agile metrics. Candidates should explain two or three agile metrics and how these assist in tracking team members' productivity.

Agile professionals use agile tools to ensure that their team completes projects on schedule and maintains project quality. It enables teams to work together and share data resulting in a flexible work process. Additionally, it ensures a quick response to changes in team communication, task management, problem tracking, and knowledge sharing. There are more than eighty different agile tools, including jira, pivotal tracker, versionone, active collab, kanbanize, monday, asana, and taiga.

Proactive agile management experts take accountability for their responsibilities. They collaborate with their team, set a positive example, and continuously seek ways to improve. Moreover, foreseeing risks and taking preventative measures is also one of the major tasks taken up by agile project managers. These professionals have more control over the tasks and resources for the project. Additionally, they keep track of all issues and duties related to minor adjustments and changes for increased productivity and efficiency.

Some types of risks in scrum include budget risk, people risk, sprint risk, product risk, and technical risk. ACP-certified professionals should describe each risk and how it will impact the project. They can get into further detail on how these risks are managed and monitored throughout the project cycle.

Product Owners serve as the voice of the customer in agile management. They convey consumer demands to the members of the product management team. These experts continuously gather client feedback and incorporate it into the development process. By doing this, agile team members can produce better products that exceed customer expectations.

The benefits agile provides to companies are driving them to adopt it for managing their projects. The benefits include superior quality product, customer satisfaction, better control on project, improved project predictability, reduced risks, increased flexibility, continuous improvement, improved team morale, and more relevant metrics.

ACP Certification holders visualize their work, reduce work-in-progress, and boost efficiency using a kanban board. It also helps agile team members create structure in their daily work. Additionally, it facilitates team communication and provides an overview of their current work status. The Kanban board is also a critical element of the Kanban method, which aids in the optimization and ongoing improvement of the business process. Visualizing work on a kanban board also eliminates conflicts at the workplace.

Business Analysts work along with the product owner in an agile project. Their responsibility includes communicating business needs to the team members and making them understand the expectations of the project. It also includes creating wireframes, documenting user stories, and reviewing test results. When the rest of the agile team is focused on creating new functional pieces of software during each iteration or sprint, the business analyst assists in maintaining focus on the overall project's primary objective.

The following are the obstacles to the Agile process:
  • A company’s culture clashes with Agile values
  • Lack of management support
  • Lack of team ownership
  • Inconsistent processes and practices across teams
  • Poor communication and collaboration
  • Fragmented tooling and measurement
  • Lack of agile training and education
ACP certification holders should elaborate on their response by describing one or two challenges and how to address these challenges effectively.

Agile testing is a technique for testing software that adheres to the guidelines and principles of agile software development. It also refers to checking software for errors or other issues and providing feedback to improve and accelerate project development. The principles of agile testing include:
  • Provide continuous feedback
  • Deliver value to the customer
  • Enable face-to-face communication
  • Have courage
  • Keep it simple
  • Practice continuous improvement
  • Respond to change
  • Self-organise
  • Focus on people

Yesterday’s Weather is a technique used to evaluate a team's potential based on prior performance. It is a Scrum pattern that enables teams to estimate how many points they will probably earn in the forthcoming Sprint. This method greatly helps the team to properly organize work projects, increase productivity, and complete tasks on time.

It might be challenging to choose the best agile methodology for a project as there are over 50 different ones. Agile project managers select the right methodology as per project requirements. They make a list of the project's needs and examine the agile strategies that could be most suitable for the project. It is crucial to realize that none of these methods is likely to provide a precise answer to the issue. Therefore, candidates need to modify them as necessary to increase their agility.

A good agile tester should have an in-depth understanding of agile principles and concepts. Since software testing is performed by an agile tester utilizing various agile techniques. As agile testing necessitates communication and collaboration with teams and clients, communication skills are crucial for them. Additionally, they need cognitive abilities to comprehend client needs and knowledge to organize tasks to meet them.

Anything that slows down or impedes a team's productivity is referred to as a scrum impediment. The Scrum master is responsible for removing or resolving impediments. Impediments include insufficient resources, strict team members, operational or technical issues, power outages, lack of knowledge of agile or scrum, business issues, and external factors like the weather, and conflict.

The daily stand-up meeting helps the agile project team to discuss project progress. In these 15-minute meetings, contributors report on their accomplishments since the last stand-up. It enables team members to openly address issues, communicate important information, and keep each other accountable. Additionally, it aids in comprehending the project's entire scope and status.

Clients and stakeholders play a significant role in projects and getting their approval are very vital. ACP professionals may find it challenging to work with them due to their authority. The following points assist them in engaging clients and stakeholders more smoothly in such circumstances:
  • Pay close attention to their needs and concerns
  • Maintain your composure and comprehend their goals
  • Attend to them and solicit their advice
  • Continue to communicate effectively and establish a relationship
  • Suppress all negative emotions towards them
  • Always be sincere and true in your decision-making
  • Respond quickly to problems

ACP Certification holders must stay up to date with the latest developments and market trends in agile. Some of these market trends include cloud-based agile systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning in agile, simpler agile tools, agile is expanding beyond software development, and emphasize on the business value of user stories. Candidates can demonstrate their knowledge of agile trends by explaining these developments in depth.

Agile project manager, project owner, product owner, and team members make up the four major key roles of an agile project management team.
  • Agile Project Manager's main duty is to direct the project's overall execution to successful completion.
  • The whole project team, including the manager, project owner, and product owner, are considered as team members. Their responsibility is to effectively perform the duties assigned by the project manager within the allotted time.
  • A project owner is a person who takes ownership of the project after it has been completed successfully.

Scrum Master uses scrum metrics to track Sprint progress. The scrum metrics are daily scrum meetings, scrum retrospectives, sprint planning, escaped defects, defect density, sprint burndown, and team velocity.

  • Epic: It is a large story that cannot be completed in a single sprint. Therefore, before they can be worked on, epics are broken into several, smaller user stories.
  • User Story: These are the smallest units that can be installed and finished in a sprint. User stories are further divided into a variety of tasks.
  • Tasks: These are the meticulous tasks required to turn user stories into workable components.

A team completes a certain amount of work within a timed period known as a Scrum sprint cycle. The scrum cycle is based on the project's overall size and the team's size. A sprint phase of the scrum cycle typically lasts two to four weeks. Each sprint starts only when the previous one is completed.

ACP project manager's job is to maintain the team's morale and make sure they work in a pleasant environment. Every morning, a stand-up meeting may be held to accomplish this. A motivational speech regarding the day's plan of action can raise the team's morale. This may be accomplished by giving them a professional image of friendliness and approachability. Team members will be more likely to voice their opinions and concerns.

The interviewer asks this question to gauge your knowledge of different types of Agile methodologies. Candidates can list agile methodologies such as Kanban, Extreme Programming, Scrum, Feature-driven development, Lean, and Crystal. Further, they can explain two or three methodologies in detail to showcase their knowledge of methodologies.

Agile planning is a dynamic, iterative project management methodology that prioritizes adaptability, teamwork, and customer satisfaction. These strategies are flexible enough to accommodate the changing needs of the customer. Agile planning is transparent that ensures that all team members and stakeholders can see the status of the project.

Agile scrum artifacts are information that a scrum team and stakeholders use to describe the project's actions and the product that is being developed. It facilitates the teams to complete projects quickly in an agile setting. The sprint backlog, increments, and product backlog are the three agile scrum artifacts.

I have indeed utilized the information radiator. An information radiator is a visible display of project information that is open to the entire team. The different forms of information radiators are task boards, burndown charts, and Kanban boards. It is beneficial to update stakeholders and team members on the status of the project.

Agile metrics that should be prioritized are Measuring the burndown of deliverables, code covered in the unit test, velocity, deployment success rate, lead time, cycle time, code quality, and net promoter score.

Candidates should be honest while answering this question. ACP professionals should list some Agile tools they are familiar with such as ClickUp, ZOHO, GitHub, Jira, Kanbanize, Planview AgilePlace, Active Collab, Atlassian, and Asana.

Employers use this question to gauge your ability to manage and lead a team. Therefore, an Agile Certified Practitioner should choose a recent project that will enable you to go further. You should include a thorough but succinct summary of the project, along with information on how to follow deadlines, processes, and tools you utilized to stay organized.

During the project, professionals face risks such as costing, scope creep, changing requirements, timeline, performance, market changes, strategic threats, legal risks, operational hazards, lack of stakeholder engagement, governorship, and external risks.

There are three levels of “Done” are:
  • Done- Development Done
  • Done- Verification Done
  • Done- Validation Done

ACP professionals can briefly describe the specific challenges or characteristics of the project that require a customized Agile approach. He or she should draw attention to any new positions or areas of expertise that were brought in to handle project-specific needs. Additionally, describe any modifications made to the regular sprint cycles concerning the demands of the project.

The MoSCoW prioritization technique is used to prioritize and categorize project requirements. The acronym MoSCoW expands as Must-have, Should-have, Could-have, and Will not have. It helps to visualize priorities and sort them into a hierarchy.

The Scrum team is responsible for tracking the total work remaining in the sprint backlog so as to achieve the sprint goal. This includes the Development Team, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner working together to ensure transparency, adaptability, and successful delivery of the committed increments during the sprint.

I employ the Agile Project Management leadership model, which is centered on the leader meeting the needs of the team, getting rid of obstacles in the work, and handling support tasks to increase team output.

The qualities of an Agile practitioner are Adaptability, Transparency, leadership skill, Collaborative skills, Problem-Solving, Time Management, Continuous Learning, Technical Proficiency, and Risk Management.

Agile plans promote the creation of cross-functional teams with individuals with various knowledge and abilities. This encourages teamwork and a sense of shared accountability for the project's success.

Product owners are essential in making sure the team meets objectives and provides value to the business. They are responsible for explaining the product's concept in every aspect to the team. In addition, they leverage stakeholder feedback, business value, and customer demands to define and prioritize the features, user stories, and activities in the product backlog.

Stakeholders are people or organizations that have a stake in project success and have the power to affect or be influenced by its results greatly. Stakeholders can be Product Owners, Scrum Master, Customers, Sponsors, and Project Managers.

Professionals measure the success of an Agile project by assessing various aspects, including the delivery of value, customer satisfaction, team performance, and the project's overall alignment with business goals.

Agile managers may better identify, evaluate, and prioritize the individuals, organizations, or groups that have the potential to impact or be impacted by a project by using stakeholder analysis. It is also helpful to understand their interests, expectations, and impact, allowing project management professionals to successfully manage diverse stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.

In a stand-up meeting, I ask my team members three key questions:
  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Are there any impediments in your way?
These questions help me to overview the tasks each team member provides, facilitating better visibility into the project's status and potential challenges.

As an Agile practitioner, I should not use Agile during circumstances such as limited team experience with Agile, team resisting Agile, expectations that do not support Agile, lack of customer involvement, and projects that require highly specialized expertise and strict adherence to established methodologies.

The project charter is a formal document that describes the project’s goals, purpose, composition, and project lifecycle to be used. The components of a project charter are an overview, an outline of scope, an approximate schedule, a budget estimate, anticipated risks, and key stakeholders.

The challenges involved in developing Agile Software can include Team members or stakeholders who may resist the shift to Agile practices, Partial adoption of Agile practices without a full commitment, more customer interaction and testing, and management is more affected than developers

The techniques used to collect project requirements are Data gathering, Affinity diagram, Observation, Data analysis, Prioritization of the requirements, and Prototyping.

A burndown chart is a graphical tool that shows how much work the team expects to finish in the allocated time. It provides a visual representation of the remaining work and the time needed to do it.