May 14 2021 |
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This is the EXIN Agile Business Professional (ABP.EN) sample exam. The Rules and Regulations for EXIN’s examinations apply to this exam.
This exam consists of 30 multiple-choice questions. Each multiple-choice question has a number of possible answers, of which only one is correct.
The maximum number of points that can be obtained for this exam is 30. Each correct answer is worth 1 point. You need 20 points or more to pass the exam.
The time allowed for this exam is 90 minutes.
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1 of 30
a desired behavior for Agile teams?
Favoring progress over perfection
Obsessing over finishing what they start
Planning frequently in small bursts
Preferring complete products over speed
2 of 30
Eleni is a manager. She is very interested in Agile because the world of business moves fast these days and is asking herself what should change from the current way of working to become Agile.
She comes across a question that should help change part of the business’ mindset:
What should we constantly aspire to as we do the work?
Which element of the Agile mindset does this question address?
3 of 30
A team is frustrated about not being able to get the work done they have planned. After some investigation and data collection during a few iterations, they find the following:
- Around 40% of the team’s actual work is unplanned
- All unplanned and short-notice requests come from upper management
- Upper management also expects planned work to get done within original time frames
In this scenario, how can the team use continuous improvement to move forward?
Both the product or service and the way of working can be improved with continuous improvement. Here, the team has found processes that can be optimized. They can now review the processes and optimize them to fit their organization.
Only the product or service the team creates can be improved with continuous improvement. Thus, the team must work on the product they have created. This reduces the time they spend on planned work in favor of unplanned work.
Only the way of working of the team can be improved with continuous improvement. Therefore, they should start ignoring the requests for unplanned work and set boundaries. This frees up time to focus on the planned work, as required.
In this scenario, the team cannot use continuous improvement. Instead, they should split the team up and have half the team members focus on the unplanned work. This would free up time for the rest of the team to focus on planned work.
4 of 30
During three successive daily meetings the same impediment has been identified. There is a dependency on a third party that hinders the progress of various tasks of the team. No one has addressed the issue, because no one is responsible for the task ‘removing impediments.’
The team can continue their work for now, but input from the third party will be needed shortly. Therefore, the work may not progress as fast as planned and the goals for this iteration may not be achieved.
The team wants to make sure that the current iteration is still finished successfully. They also feel that they must make sure this scenario does not repeat in the future.
What is the
course of action for this team?
Change the scope of this iteration and remove the work item that causes the impediment. They should refuse new work items with dependencies.
Hold the team member of the work item with dependencies accountable. In the future, they should be stricter in this type of situations.
Make someone responsible for removing impediments. New dependencies must be identified with new work items and third parties must commit to the work.
5 of 30
Lara and Eric are discussing introducing Agile in the context of their organization. They have a disagreement on how to determine the new processes and other tactics.
Eric states that the new processes and tactics should be copied from another organization, a direct competitor, that has already undergone a successful Agile transformation.
Lara suggests that the organization should first establish their own new values and incorporate the Agile principles, and then base processes and tactics on that work.
Who is right and for which reason?
Eric, because copying a competitor ensures that the competitor no longer has a big advantage.
Eric, because copying a successful organization creates the largest opportunity for success.
Lara, because creating a set of values first allows the team to interact informally and socially.
Lara, because creating a set of values first ensures that the most business value is added.
6 of 30
A large doctors’ practice wants to establish medical support teams. The teams will be cross-functional: they will have a receptionist, a physical therapist, a general practitioner, and a psychologist working together.
Management has re-grouped their human resources to fit the new medical support teams. They have created a team space for each team to sit together in the same area of the building, introduced a Kanban board, and decided the team must meet every morning to discuss progress on the tasks.
Although the team feels overwhelmed and lost by this sudden change, they keep providing excellent care to their patients.
Is this organization demonstrating a good Agile mindset with its implementation?
No, because no input from patients is asked, so not all stakeholders are represented in the teams.
No, because the team has no way to connect the values of the practice to the implemented tactics.
Yes, because there are Agile elements present and the team provides excellent care to the patients.
Yes, because this team is in control of choosing their own tasks, self-organizing and multi-disciplinary.
7 of 30
Company XYZ is a large car parts manufacturer and supplier and wants to become Agile. The CEO feels that Agile will be beneficial for the company, as it provides a way of getting things done faster. At the same time, he argues, Agile can reduce costs by applying the same processes and practices across all areas of the company.
Is XYZ ready to start an Agile transition now?
Yes. Applying the same processes and practices across areas is what XYZ should aim for.
Yes. The CEO is onboard and that is all XYZ needs to be ready for its transition to Agile.
No. The Agile way is not suited for all areas of XYZ, only for those areas working on a product.
No. The CEO’s expectations of Agile are not correct, which makes it a wrong starting point.
8 of 30
The IT team of Company ABC has made a successful transition to the Agile way of working. One of the team members is trying to convince the marketing team to make the transition to Agile as well.
Some marketeers are very enthusiastic, while others are hesitant, because they associate Agile with the IT domain and they do not believe an Agile way of working will fit their team.
Why could Agile be useful for this marketing team as well?
Because Agile has developed special ceremonies and artifacts for marketing activities
Because Agile is most suitable for repetitive and technical work that can be optimized
Because Agile is a market standard specially designed for an area such as marketing
Because Agile provides value to any area that wants to generate rapid and frequent value
9 of 30
A company has chosen to do a small, but ambitious Agile experiment. The experiment will not cover all the team’s work. The team members will be regularly switching between the Agile experiment and the current way of working. They will maintain a highly visible plan board for the experiment.
Of which risk to the Agile experiment should the team be warned?
Misalignment. The mindset is incongruent with the tactics.
Out of sight, out of mind. This often happens to a plan board.
Starving. The team members may run out of work too soon.
Suffocation. The other work could overwhelm the experiment.
10 of 30
A team works on many items at the same time but sets a limit on the number of items that an individual team member can work on at a time.
How does this practice reduce time to market and enhance quality?
By allowing the team to focus on the most important work, so that finished items do not get delayed and business or customer value is delivered swiftly
By ensuring that when a team member gets stuck, they can abandon an item and choose another, which ensures the team members are always busy
By making sure the team has the time to perfect each item beyond the expected value or definition of done, so that the customer is always delighted
By spacing out the work items over an iteration, so that the team does not get overworked and has time to think about new product improvements
11 of 30
What are the essential parts of an Agile mindset in an organization?
A complete set of an Agile methodology, Agile processes, and a set of Agile practices to adopt
A culture of customer and outcome orientation, cross-team collaboration, value delivery, and adaptation
A friendly command and control culture, where everyone is respectful to each other, collegial and helpful
12 of 30
A team is experimenting with Agile. They have decided to use a simple plan board with three columns.
What is the purpose of visualizing the work?
It gives insight in the flow of the work and helps identify problems to solve.
It helps keep the team members committed to the work items they have chosen.
It shows the team which team members cause problems and which do not.
13 of 30
An organization forms teams based on them having the same specialty.
Is this a good idea?
Yes, because teams process work items from multiple sources, so the teams should be stable.
Yes, because teams should cooperate and still be in a healthy competition to deliver the most value.
No, because specialists have a tendency to focus on completing their part instead of creating value.
No, because specialists will only focus on what impacts how they are measured and rewarded.
14 of 30
A legal team is feeling overwhelmed by requests from different parts of the organization. They continuously have to reprioritize work, because deadlines keep shifting. They want to improve their way of working, but also need to keep their sense of precision in their work.
Could this team benefit from Agile ways of working?
Yes, because Agile is only a mindset, which easily translates to any team or work.
Yes, because visualizing the work and streamlining the value chain will benefit them.
No, because legal work requires too much perfectionism to use Agile practices.
No, because there are no developers, deliverables, or products in legal practices.
15 of 30
A cat food factory has done a successful experiment with Agile. They have let the marketing team create blogs for the website that tie in with recent events. They now wish the marketing team to expand the Agile experiment to managing daily social media tasks as well. This means that the Agile experiment will be expanded by asking the team to take on a different type of work.
What is a challenge in this scenario?
Having people pitch in in more areas
Keeping overview over the work
Losing the connection to other teams
Setting up a new team for the work
16 of 30
The company Bricks & Mortar decided to give Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) a go. Like many other organizations they often fail to achieve set objectives. They have realized that one of the main reasons is that there is no objective way to measure outcomes associated to the objectives set.
Bricks & Mortar found it fairly easy to translate their strategic intent and overall goals to a set of objectives, but they are finding it extremely hard to agree on what Key Results (KRs) should be used as a metric for each of the set objectives.
What should they do to reach an agreement quickly?
- Ask input for KRs from both executive team members and other employees
- Merge all suggestions to create a comprehensive list of KRs
- Reach consensus between the executive team members on three KRs per Objective
- Create a task force with members from throughout the organization
- Ask a single executive team member to lead the task force
- Let the task force discuss until they have three or more KRs per Objective
- Match existing key performance indicators (KPIs) to the different Objectives and define new KRs
- Rewrite the KPIs into the format and language of KRs
- Present the KRs to the executive team members for approval or ratification
- Let a cross-functional team brainstorm for KRs for each Objective
- Ask the teams to review each other's suggestions and select five to ten KRs per Objective
- Let executive team members do a final selection of two to four KRs per Objective
17 of 30
Organizations use Agile because it enables them to be responsive to changing needs. New requirements are often identified while developing part of the solution. This means that sometimes changes must be made to work that is already done.
When new requirements emerge, what is the
way to handle changes to work that has already been done?
Create new tasks in the iteration backlog immediately after a requirement is identified to prevent creating technical debt, even if there are no consequences of waiting until the next iteration
Document new requirements adequately but deal with them after the current iteration is complete unless there is a significant dependency between the new requirements and the current tasks
Record new requirements in the standardized way and make them part of the backlog so they can be prioritized appropriately, even if there are dependencies with current tasks
18 of 30
Emilia is the manager at a data analysis software company. She has successfully introduced Agile into her organization.
Bill is the manager of a construction company and would also like to adopt Agile. He is trying to introduce the Agile way of working to his team. Bill wants to his team to learn from Emilia’s experiences and asks her to lead introductory workshops with his team.
Bill tells the team to copy the practices from Emilia’s team as closely as possible. The team is left to experiment with Agile after the workshop. A few weeks later, Bill’s team expresses doubts about adopting the Agile practices. The new way of working is not giving the results the team expected.
What should Bill have done differently?
Bill should have created a clear definition of Done and a new set of acceptance criteria before leaving the team to the experiment.
Bill should have decomposed large deliverables into smaller work items, whose size and nature allow frequent value delivery.
Bill should have worked with the team to find the Agile practices that work for his company, instead of copying Emilia’s practices.
19 of 30
Company ABC has recently started initiatives with Agile ways of working. In Company ABC, different teams often share the same resources, and they have tried to manage projects visually using Kanban boards. The teams are not very good at keeping the current project management software up to date.
It also proves to be challenging to find a way to provide individual teams with visual information on their work-in-progress (WiP), while also showing the overall progress of all teams in higher-level projects and their key dependencies.
What is the
solution to solve this problem?
An overview of overall progress should be the priority. The best solution is to have an overall Kanban board with a single swimlane for the entire organization, visible to anybody.
Customization of views should be the priority. The best solution is to have an electronic project management tool for each team to manage their own Kanban board and compare different iterations.
Managing team performance should be the priority. The best solution is to have a Kanban board for each team. For shared resources, the resource owner is responsible for managing dependencies.
Proper use of shared resources should be the priority. The best solution is to have a Kanban board with swimlanes for each iteration and team to help identify and manage resource dependencies.
20 of 30
After a short experiment, a team expresses some doubts about adopting Agile. The team successfully followed their old processes, but now struggles in unfamiliar territory. Their natural reaction is to reject the change as a failure or a bad idea.
The team views Agile as a set of prescriptive processes. They do not feel the freedom to do the work the way they used to, and the new way does not feel productive.
What should a next team meeting pay attention to?
Creating a customized Waterfall-Agile approach for the team
Making the team understand Agile as a cultural practice and a mindset
Restarting the Agile experiment with a different Agile framework
21 of 30
In any Agile adoption, there are many things that can go wrong. An example is cultural drift after some time of working Agile.
Which is the
approach to avoid pitfalls like cultural drift?
Establish a coherent culture around values, principles, behaviors, and self-organized teams
Follow the current best practices and standards that are available in the market by the book
Take the practices that are working for a similar company and implement them the same way
Train key people from each of the teams to implement Agile exactly as they have learnt
22 of 30
A small company specialized in customized surfing gear is developing a set of operating principles to start an Agile experiment.
The company cares most about customer satisfaction and realizes customers may change their mind after seeing part of the work. They want to receive customer feedback often to keep the cost of change low. The company strongly believes that trained professionals should have the freedom to determine what to do first and how to do it.
Since the company is small, resources are limited and there are only a few managers. Each of them manages multiple teams.
Which set of operating principles fits this company
The team frequently and diligently checks their work with the customer, even if that leads to delays and higher costs. They work in long iterations to maintain focus.
The team must be able to make all decisions themselves but will invite feedback from the customer. The team works in small increments, to allow for this feedback.
The team will only deliver work after extensive approval by the managers. The team works in long iterations that allow for much work to be done inside a single iteration.
The team works based on a set list of requirements by the customer to keep costs low. The results are only presented to the customer at the end of each iteration.
23 of 30
Why is collaboration important for an Agile team?
Because an Agile team consists of social people who will easily collaborate with their coworkers
Because collaboration creates joint ownership over the results and better working agreements
Because collaboration ensures that the team objectives take priority over individual objectives
Because several people collaborating on a single work item leads to results faster
24 of 30
Company ZEBRA has effectively formed several Agile teams that have been working as a team for quite some time now. The management team wants to measure how the teams are doing, so they can give extra support to the teams that are struggling the most.
Which is the
approach to measuring the teams’ performance?
Ask the manager to assess how they are doing on metrics such as teamwork, support, and fun, then ask the team for an improvement plan
Create a healthy competition between teams, rewarding the best teams on metrics such as velocity, delivered value or customer satisfaction
Ignore metrics, because they are not recommended within an Agile approach and instead influence the teams’ behavior through interaction
Organize a team health-check session where each team self-assesses how they are doing on metrics such as speed, learning or mission
25 of 30
How should Agile teams focus on a single outcome of value?
By always working on what is most important
By choosing the single outcome that can be achieved fastest
By first working on what is next on the backlog
By following the task sequence that has worked so far
26 of 30
Only few organizations can initially afford to permanently assign resources with different skills to an Agile initiative or even an iteration. In smaller companies, it may never be possible to get resources to concentrate on single-piece-flow work. This is often cited as a reason why Agile cannot work in a certain organization.
Is there a feasible manner to launch a pilot project, even without dedicated resources?
Yes. Create a team and an iteration to work on. Allow the team to work on their tasks independently when they have time but ensure that the team meets every week to do a stand-up meeting.
Yes. Schedule blocks of time every week in which cross-functional teams can work on an iteration while continuing their regular work. These blocks of time must be protected from other demands.
Yes. Select part-time members of the team and expand the size of the team to ensure enough output. All iterations must deliver a similar level of value to create predictable value delivery.
No. Resources should be dedicated to at least an iteration, so work-in-progress (WiP) can be limited and flow can be optimized. If an organization cannot do this, it is best not to use Agile methods.
27 of 30
A servant leader must keep growing and continuously improve their behavior to stay effective. Their words and actions will affect the culture of the organization they work in, whether intended or not.
Which characteristic facilitates a servant leader’s growth
Patience, because a good Agile transformation is a long process
Respect, because the servant leader should follow Agile values
Self-awareness, because introspection helps changing behavior
Transparency, because a servant leader should show their progress
28 of 30
A team struggles with emergency requests that take priority over planned work.
What is the
way to deal with emergency requests?
Define a list of criteria and accept only those emergency requests that fit the criteria. Allow the team to economize on planned work to make capacity. This ensures the team does not need to work overtime.
Have a senior team member or manager check the urgency of the request and only deal with truly high priority jobs, the rest go into the queue as normal. This ensures a speedy time to market.
Set aside some capacity on the team that can be used for emergency work. This ensures that the project keeps moving forward at the agreed pace, while also fulfilling the needs of the business.
Spend a limited amount of overtime on emergency requests, to fulfill the needs of the organization. This ensures time for the team to spend on both emergency requests and planned work, without losing quality.
29 of 30
CBA Company is working on their first Agile experiment. The designated team has determined CBA Company's values, beliefs, and constraints, together with the board.
The team has set up a plan board and feels that it is working well. They have also broken down the first few tasks into small deliverables.
They have compiled a list of outcomes and have started to work on their first tasks very enthusiastically. As they start working on the first tasks, the team starts to feel a bit out of control. They cannot agree on which tasks are most important and should happen first.
In setting up their first workflow, which question should the team ask itself to regain control?
How small can the work items be made?
How will the work be visualized?
Which feedback loops should there be for work content?
Who will manage the list of outcomes, and how?
30 of 30
In the first few months after a transition to Agile, visualization is a key element in helping new teams understand the new workflows.
Why is that?
Visualization is intended to show the new processes in pictograms, which helps to follow the steps.
Visualization lifts spirits and helps people to remember mantras used to meditate on when doing work.
Visualization makes it easier to see if the work flows the way the new processes intend it to.
Visualization shows which team members are behind on their targets and helps correcting their work ethics.
Visualization using pictures and posters helps remind people of how they should interact as a team.
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