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The agile project manager can help small businesses and start-ups complete projects in the required time and much more efficiently. The responsibility of an agile project manager is planning and guiding projects with an iterative approach. In the agile management methodology, a project is run in small segments, hence making it easy to respond to any issues that come up during the course of the project.
With today’s technology and the rise in automation projects need to be more and more precise and accurate. Dealing with such tasks all at once is not feasible, hence it should be categorized and organized into smaller segments and be done according to a plan. This is where Agile project management techniques and methodologies come into the scenario.
The role of every employee in an organization is vital for this methodology to work, therefore the employers make sure they hire someone with sound knowledge and experience. This piece of writing will help the readers prepare for any agile project manager interview.
The Following Questions have been Handpicked to Make Sure the Readers are Prepared for an Interview for the Post of Agile Project Manager.
1. How do you Handle a Project?
When asked this question in an interview, the interviewer wants to know what mindset you have in reference to project management. This is a chance to display your agile management style and leadership quality.
The first thing to talk about when asked this question is the last successful project you managed and highlight how you used agile management methodology.
Next, you should present yourself as a team player. Most organizations look for an inspiring, interactive project manager who can work with a team rather than a one-man army.
Last but not the least you should show that you are flexible and that every project is different and you use different approaches for different projects.
2. How can a Project Manager be Proactive?
To be a proactive manager, you should be able to assess the eminent risks and take action or implement solutions to minimize the threat. A proactive manager can better keep track of all the issues and make small several improvements that result in higher efficiency and productivity. They frequently organize meetings with their team and their professional associates to discuss their problems and be on top of the issue.
3. What are the Advantages of Agile Metrics?
Agile metrics are standards that help evaluate a team’s productivity across various phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Some common agile matrices are:
Work Category Allocation: this gives important information about which task should be prioritized and how much time should be invested in a task.
Cumulative flow graph: A graph is plotted by inspecting the specific workflow.
Delivering business value: This gives the efficiency of a team. Numerical values are assigned to various objectives of the business.
Sprint burndown: This graph is used to show implemented or non-implemented Sprints on a Scrum scale. You can use Sprint to keep an eye on the work finished.
4. How Would you Rate Your Last Project?
Discussing your previous appointments and work history is very common in an interview and give a little more insight to the interviewer by your response. Choosing the right example is very important. You should choose a project that you have experience with and are comfortable with going into its details. The interviewer is more interested in how you got the job done not just the fact that you did it.
5. Did you have any Challenging Projects and How did you manage them?
Having experience with successful projects makes a good impression on the interviewer but it is not solely essential to have a successful interview. They lay emphasis on your character as much as your track record so being honest and confident in your answers is essential.
You should take a positive approach towards this and explain the challenges you faced and how you tackled them. You should also express the lessons you learnt from those challenges and how you’ve taken steps to avoid such issues in the future.
6. What do you Know About Kanban?
The Kanban method is a set of principles and methodologies for managing and improvising a project. This method uses several minor and gradual improvements to a project and yields improvements at a larger scale.
It helps to write the whole scenario all at once and have an overview of the workflow, development, shortcomings, and the overall functioning of the project.
7. What is the Definition of a Scrum Cycle?
Here you must explain that teams work in three to four-week time periods or cycles called sprints. Through each sprint the teams are required to complete micro objectives as well as adapt and inspect their compatibility as a team.
8. How do you Provide Status Updates?
In this question the interviewer wants to know how accountable you are. Regular status reports mean you will stick to your timetable and deliver results on time. Explain your process of reporting and how frequently you do so. Specifically say that you provide reports whether asked or not. You need to convince the interviewer that you are dependable and can take responsibility.
9. What risks According to you are Faced by a Manager While Working on a Project?
While managing a project here are some of the common risks:
- Market risks
- Strategic risks
- Legal risk
- Operational risk
- External risk
10. What Mediums of Communication do you use in a Project?
Agile management also requires good and effective communication within the team. Different teams and different projects ask for different channels of communication. Personal interaction (team meetings), dependable electronics (mobile phones, radio) and written (email, letter) are some effective ways to communicate within the team.
11. How Will you Deal with a Team Member who’s Not Doing Well While Working on a Project?
The interviewers want a manager who is capable of helping someone in improvising but stern enough to allow them to leave if there is no scope of improvement.
You need to make the interviewers believe that you can help such an employee act and think in their personal way. Tell them your strategies like surrounding the weak employees with stronger ones for them to improve their potential. You should arrange proper follow ups and encourage them by rewarding and appreciating their success.
12. How Will you Manage a Project that has Gone off Track?
There are a few pointers that indicate that a project has gone off track, they are as follows:
- The budget exceeds the set limit.
- The project takes more than a given time period.
- No original goals have been achieved or defined.
- The scope of the project is constantly changing.
If you relate to any one of these situations, the project has surely gone off track. In this situation, you must take immediate action to steer it back on track. Here are a few steps that help do the same.
- Find out the root of the problem
- Work more efficiently and for longer hours to cover up for the lost time
- Try to stick to the original vision or objective
- Reassess the management of various resources and manpower
13. How Will you Deal with a Stakeholder or a Client Who is Acting Difficult?
Clients and stakeholders have an important role in a project and their consent matters a lot. As they have great authority, they can be difficult to deal with sometimes.in such cases here are some pointers to help smoothen your interaction with them:
- Understand their concern
- Keep your ego aside and accept their authority
- Attend them and ask for their suggestions
- Speak good of them and create a connection
- Suppress all negative emotions towards them
- Always be honest and truthful about your decisions
14. How do you Keep Track of the Project?
As an agile project manager being organised is essential. Have various contingencies in place and different techniques working throughout the project so you are able to check if the project is off track and be ready with a plan to steer it back. Many project managers keep a check on the micro objectives and milestones which refer to specific dates. Using project status tracking applications such as Kanban is very useful to keep an eye on the direction of the project as it gives individual progress reports for every employee or team member.
15. How do you Prioritize your Objectives?
Prioritizing your tasks is a very extensive process and is extremely essential. Here are a few pointers to help you set your priorities:
- Make a list of team members and keep track of their tasks
- Know the deadlines and be clear on what’s urgent
- Calculate the value of every objective
- Be flexible and ready to improvise and adapt
- Make an estimate of the efforts required in each task and distribute the responsibility in your team
16. What is your Communication Style with Your Team?
This way an interviewer assesses your personality as a team leader and whether you would be able to build the kind of team they’re looking for. Here it is essential that the interviewer knows that you understand how important communication is.
Good communication skills mean you are more approachable for team members. Instead of passing orders, discuss with your team and ask for their suggestions so they feel that they are a part of the process. Plus, they might even have some good ideas. Show that you can swiftly communicate with your team so that problems and setbacks are dealt with easily and fast.
17. How Can you Ensure That you and the Team Match the Client Expectations?
One of the more important responsibilities of a project manager is to ensure that the client’s expectations are met if not exceeded. Have a record of the past successful projects you managed and the process and action in the project so if this question comes up you are ready with examples of what processes you’ve followed to meet client expectations. There is a procedure to be followed in project management that involves various steps that if followed with flexibility can lead to the project being called a success. You can also mention any tools or resources that you have been using in the past or plan to use in the future.
18. How can you Develop Good Working Repo with your Team?
For a project to run on track and end successfully the relationship and proper coordination is a necessity. Even if a project is unsuccessful as a project manager you should focus on sharpening your skills by looking to learn from failure. Once completed a project manager makes a report of the project, highlighting the process, outlining what went wrong, and make improvisations to the plan for the future.
It is the responsibility of a project manager to ensure the professional knowledge and growth of his team members only then can the team results improve. Having one on one meetings with the team members where you give them targets objectives and take feedbacks is a Good Idea to ensure overall progress.
19. How Would you Monitor and Review the Delegated Objectives?
One of the main responsibilities of an agile project manager is to break the project into smaller tasks and distribute them among the team members according to their skill. Without all this, the project cannot run on track so it is essential to show the interviewer that you are capable of delegating responsibilities.
To determine which member of the team is best suited for a responsibility you need to have an understanding of the team members and their strengths and weaknesses.
One of the best ways to lead is by example. Make sure that if a member doesn’t work properly, he knows about it and correct the problem. This will let other members of the team know that there can be consequences for not being proactive towards their tasks.
20. What are your Project Plans and Career Goals for the next 1 Year?
It is very important to have goals for both personal and professional growth. There are short term and long-term goals so make sure what sort of a time frame the interviewer is referring to. Career and personal goals are varying from person to person so there is no generic answer for this question but try focussing on the professional aspect more than the personal one.
It’s also better to avoid common answers that other candidates may have given, make it something they will remember. Also add how you plan to achieve these goals. By explaining your plan to achieve these goals you show how perceptive you are and how organised your life is.
21. What are the Shortcomings of the Agile Methodologies?
- The interviewer will not always ask you about the advantages and characteristics of the agile model. You should be prepared by knowing its shortcomings and loopholes.
- The amount of effort needed to complete a task cannot be forecasted. It can get very complexed in case of large projects.
- If the client’s requirements are misinterpreted, customer needs cannot be met and this causes conflict.
- The leader of a team has maximum power and is the only one who can take big decisions. The rest of the team members have little or no part in the decision making. This leads to very low or even no scope of professional growth of the employee.
22. What do you Mean by ‘Scrum of Scrums’?
This question is one of the most common questions asked in agile project manager interviews.
Let’s assume there is a project running and 6 teams of 6 members each are working on different objectives within the project. Each team has a meeting within themselves called a scrum meeting. This is done to keep a check on the progress of the task. On the other hand, a separate meeting is held to coordinate the effort of all the teams. these sorts of meetings to keep proper coordination among the teams are known as a scrum of scrums. A team leader from every team attends this meeting and they are known as an ambassador.
23. Can Agile Techniques be Applied to Software Testing?
Agile methodology is a flexible process, as flexible as the person implementing it, so it can be applied to various professional areas. Where ever there is a lack of coordination, lack of proper information, and lack of proper flow of work, it is a suitable place to apply agile project management methodologies. Biophysics, biochemistry, bio-medical, etc are some fields where this method is useful.
24. Explain with the Help of an Example of the Impediments in the Scrum.
Any hurdles or obstacles that a scrum team encounters in their work process are impediments. Some forms of impediments are as follows:
- Shortage of team members or resources
- Insufficient support, external or internal
- Unpolished skills and lack of knowledge
- Natural factors like weather and terrain
It is important to explain to the interviewer how you plan to deal with all these factors.
25. Explain the Terms Agile and Scrum.
The agile approach is a vast method of project management and scrum is just a way to carry out the agile methodologies.
Agile is an incremental process, it finishes the project by segmenting it. Scrum is a well-defined plan to carry out the agile process efficiently.
26. What do you Know About the Agile Manifesto and its Principles?
This is a very useful theory for the application of agile management methodology. There are 12 principles and 4 manifestos. You need to explain them as accurately and clearly as possible. Focus on the following pointers to best explain the values of the principles.
- Being flexible and welcoming change instead of dreading it
- Smooth ways of customer collaboration
- Regularly showcase the working project
- Positive, organized, and self-motivating interaction should be made.
27. What is Increment According to you?
This is one of the regularly asked agile manager interview questions. When a product is finished in a sprint, the sum total of all the backlog items of that productize called an increment. All the past values are included in an increment as it is cumulative in nature. An increment should be regularly released as it is a way to successfully finish a project.
28. How Does your Regular Working day as an Agile Project Manager Look?
There is no common set routine for an agile manager as it solely depends on the nature of the person and specifications of the project. But there are some key pointers an agile manager should include in his daily routine.
- An agile manager has to plan the activities of the day as he has to give out tasks to his team members.
- It’s important to have a session with all the team members to discuss the tasks of the previous day.
- It’s is the manager’s responsibility to set up a technical discussion to tackle any technical issues that arise during the stand-up meeting.
- The manager should update project status using agile managementtools like Kaban board or other agile process management tools.
- The manager is supposed to set up meetings with clients on a regular basis to keep the client updated.
29. What are the Key Roles in an Agile Project Management Team?
There are 4 major key roles in an agile project management team namely team leader or project manager, project owner, the product owner and the team members. The responsibility of a project manager is to coordinate and govern all the operations that need to be performed in order to finish a project successfully. He requires support from the team members and the project and product owner to do his job properly.
Team members are the whole project team including the manager project owner and the product owner. Their job is to carry out the tasks given by the project manager and successfully complete it within the given timeline. The project owner is the client to whom the project will belong after successfully finishing it. His responsibility is to effectively communicate his vision for the project to the project manager so that it can be put into action.
30. What are the Latest Advancements in the Agile Project Management Tool?
It is essential for an agile manager to stay updated about the advancements and market trends with respect to the project management tool. This is important as the agile management tool keeps on being updated with advancements in technology. Some of these market trends are: –
- Artificial intelligence and data processing have impacted the management tool hugely.
- Agile project managers all over the world are expanding their knowledge about the use of artificial intelligence in agile project management to better implement it on the process.
- Different methods have been coming up to carry out agile project management like the hybrid project management technique.
31. How Can you Make Your Project Management Team Diverse as an Agile Project Manager?
With the rapidly growing technology, there has been a need for diversification in the project management market today. Some ways to diversify your team are as follows: –
- Don’t let any team members feel left out by including every one of them in your strategy.
- Make good communication with your team members and understand them on a personal level.
- Praise and reward your team members for their accomplishments and provide positive feedback
- Never be biased towards anyone in your team.
32. Being an Agile Project Manager how Will you Sort out Noneffective Project Ideas?
When you work in a team there are different opinions you have to acknowledge before you make a decision. All the decisions cannot be unanimous and there will be a majority opinion that will be opted for. There will be team members who do not have the same opinion and their ideas are not of any use to the project. This situation should be handled with caution so that some members don’t feel left out.
33. What is Your Approach to Risk Analysis as an Agile Project Manager?
Every project has its share of risks and it’s up to the project manager to assess them and decide the plan of action. A risk burndown chart is created to identify all the risks and the probability that they actually happening, the level of danger the risk possesses, and put into play a precaution strategy.
Make sure you talk to each member of your team about the particular risks in their respective fields as they better understand it. areas of budget, productivity, personnel, knowledge, and safety should be taken into account while analyzing risks in a project.
34. How do you Debrief Your Team as an agile Project Manager?
Debriefing is one of the most important post-project processes because the team discusses the work done, mistakes made and pointers to further better and smoothen their operations.
A very important point for a good debrief is to make sure everyone understand that it is an open ground for anyone’s opinions and suggestions.
The team should go over all the successful and unsuccessful tasks of the previous project and come up with ideas to prevent it in the future. This should be done before the team leader makes the project report so that it reflects in the report.
35. How will you keep a calm and Anxiety-Free Environment for your Team as an Agile Project Manager?
As an agile project manage one of your responsibilities is to keep the morale of the team up and ensure they have a comfortable environment to work. You can do this by holding a stand up meeting every morning and boost the morale of your team with a motivating speech about the plan of action of the day.
Making your professional image as friendly and approachable can help with this. Your team members will be more susceptible to come out with their concerns and ideas.
36. How do you Tackle and Take Control of an Unforeseen Situation During a Project?
Every project is closely inspected for risks and all the recognized risks are analyzed thoroughly but it is impossible to take into account every possible situation that could come up during the project. This means there are chances that an unforeseen risk or situation might come up with the project or team. Practicing agile project management means adapting and take action on an unaccounted risk or situation.
Here online agile management tools come in use as you can monitor the progress and operation of a project in real time which helps address any anomalies in the project.
37. Cover the Management Process of a Project From the Start to end Using the agile Manager Method.
Agile projects can seem very complex and overwhelming but if applied with precision these steps can smoothen the process:
- It is good to start by segmenting and dividing the project into various tasks that will later be completed by each team member of the sprint.
- Then comes sprint planning which is basically acknowledging the tasks and decide which task is to be done in which stage of the project. Then the team starts planning the completion of each task.
- A good way of remaining on top of an underway project is to hold stand up meetings every morning and take a report from every employee about the previous day and give out tasks.
- Then, when the project is close to completion something called a sprint review, is held. Here all the involved parties working the project come together to assess the work done up till now.
- After successfully delivering the project it is the responsibility of the sprint leader or project manager to write up a project report stating all the effort gone into it and errors and corrections that took place.
38. What is your Planning Process for a Sprint?
Sprint planning is a very important part of agile management. It should be an elaborate and thorough process involving all roles related to the project.
Once the team is ready it is essential to remind them of the direction you have for the project as the project manager and what the sprint is leading to.
Then come the process of risk assessment. Each task is analysed with each team member so that they understand their responsibility and the risks it holds.
Once all the risks are accounted for and the plan is set for motion all this information should be uploaded on an online database to follow the progress of the project with live updated.
39. How does your Daily stand-up Meeting Unfold?
It is a good habit to hold daily follow-up meetings preferably in the mornings. Through these meetings the entire team effort can remain coordinated and you can monitor
the tasks distributed among the team. This is also a way for any team member to express a concern or error.
In a stand-up meeting each team member gives an update about the task assigned to them discuss his effort and stick ups if any. This meeting also covers the distribution of tasks for the following day.
These meetings should be kept brief and to the point.
40. How do you Conduct a Sprint Retrospective?
A sprint retrospective is a meeting held by the sprint master to review the last sprint. By analyzing the previous sprint and accounting for the errors, the upcoming sprints can be improved and better planned. In such a meeting team members can discuss the positive and negative aspects of the previous sprint, internal affairs, and improvisational ideas.
Opting for an Agile Project Management Course would certainly train and help you to complete projects in the required time with much more efficiency.
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