15 votes

Managing scope creep in Agile

TL;DR Scope creep is a project risk, and must be controlled. However, in agile frameworks, scope is a variable constraint rather than a fixed one. To be an effective agilist, one needs to understand ...
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  • 47.4k
14 votes
Accepted

Interview question on "convince your programmers to work that hard"

I'll answer as if I was a project manager actually in that situation. I'm also going to assume you're looking at a normal sized project team (4-8 people) rather than a programme of work spanning ...
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  • 3,414
10 votes
Accepted

Why do companies claim they're using Scrum, when they aren't?

For most teams it's because they don't know any better. Many Scrum implementations start with someone reading the Scrum Guide and begin to follow what's written in there. Mechanistically. It's a ...
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  • 13.6k
6 votes

Interview question on "convince your programmers to work that hard"

My answer would be that, if I had to come up with a speech and find ways to motivate them with only two weeks remaining to recover from this type of an issue, I am already too late and have already ...
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  • 36.6k
6 votes

What indicates a good Project Manager?

Other answers have provided good detail on the 'hard' skills (budget management etc) that good PMs should be able to demonstrate but I'd be most interested in the soft skills - negotiation, persuasion,...
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  • 2,061
5 votes

Managing scope creep in Agile

I usually answer by telling that the requirements need to be clearly defined before the project starts, and if there is any change during the project then it has to go through a change control process ...
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5 votes

Interview question on "convince your programmers to work that hard"

This is a great interview question, because it tells you a lot about the company asking it. In particular, it tells you you don't want to work there, which means you can answer, "Thanks, but no ...
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  • 316
5 votes

Where does Product Management stop and UX start?

Product Management Sets the Vision Product management, and specifically the Product Owner role in frameworks like Scrum, are primarily about managing the vision for a product. The day-to-day work of ...
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  • 47.4k
4 votes

What indicates a good Project Manager?

What constitutes a good PM is highly subjective but I'm going to take a stab at this based upon what I would look for in a good project manager to see if that helps you. Overall: Leadership skills / ...
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4 votes

Managing scope creep in Agile

tldr; Agile shifts the focus to the discovering and creating a solution for the customer's needs. Agile values "Responding to change over following a plan" because one must "Welcome changing ...
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  • 1,614
4 votes
Accepted

How to assess "We do scrum" on a job interview?

The first team I was in that practiced Scrum did almost every practice wrong. It was also the most enjoyable team I've ever worked on and one of the most agile. I'd be far less worried about if they ...
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  • 16.7k
4 votes

Why do companies claim they're using Scrum, when they aren't?

There could be several reasons, but I'd posit the most likely would be: It's a trap. Scrum is attractive to job-seekers, so they claim they're doing it to get more/better applications. The right ...
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  • 14.7k
3 votes

What is the most technically challenging project you have worked on as a non-technical project manager?

My answer would be: I facilitate technical answers. I trust the team to provide technical answers; I make sure that there is nothing that stands in the way of their understanding the problem and ...
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  • 8,689
3 votes

How to handle a large and ambiguous requirement with a fixed timeline/deadline (9 months to deliver)

With a fixed deadline you have two elements of the development iron triangle left to play with: scope and resources. A typical agile approach would be to (at least initially) fix the resources and ...
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3 votes

How should I approach a Product Owner interview test?

If CodeGnome's comment were a post I'd +1. Focus on how you are going to understand the customer needs, not the technical solution. Three point/suggestions: Watch Simon Sinek's "Start with Why" TED ...
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3 votes

Interviewing for MS Project skills

Q - How do you make MS Project information available and understandable for non PM team members? A - Typically this will involve views printed to PDF, exports to Excel, sometimes people have ...
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  • 161
3 votes

What indicates a good Project Manager?

Hunter & Hunter 1984 and others have described consistently how incredibly weak our employee selection tools and processes are. Conducting an interview is one of the weakest selection tools in ...
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  • 36.6k
3 votes

How to discover potential customer needs without prior market assumption

TL;DR You can look at data and use inductive reasoning to formulate a hypothesis, or use deductive reasoning to define your product goals. Note that you must have a hypothesis or goal to test and ...
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  • 47.4k
2 votes

Interview question on "convince your programmers to work that hard"

First and foremost thing is to prioritize the task, set the time frame for every task, distribute the tasks among the team members. And last but not the least, motivate team members to work hard.
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2 votes

How to determine the skills of a software developer in a job interview?

Coding Exercises: You'll hear 'coding exercises' a lot as the answer to this question. And while these exercises certainly have some value (they certainly test a person's desire for the position as ...
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2 votes

Scrum Master Interview Questions

Morning Joel, Having a standard list of questions can be beneficial in some cases. For instance, when I am interviewing potential new team members I have a list of 3 questions that I always ask to ...
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2 votes

How should I approach a Product Owner interview test?

TL;DR In general, a Product Owner should focus on process, not on technical solutions. Your role on a Scrum Team is to represent the stakeholders or users, and to drive the development of the product,...
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  • 47.4k
2 votes

How to assess "We do scrum" on a job interview?

Assuming you're currently not working with Scrum (or other agile frameworks) at the moment, why would you care about ScrumButs? I mean, different companies will have different "maturity levels" on ...
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  • 8,341
2 votes

Is it common to conduct technical test for project manager (IT projects) interview?

I know companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple who do this assessments. Other companies I've worked for also do it. Don't think of it as "I'm going to be coding" but rather... "I'll be managing ...
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2 votes

When faced with a back of the envelope type question in a PM interview, is there a standard of accuracy that is expected?

The PMBOK-Guide knows five types of estimates. One of them is the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM). It has a range of -50% to +50%. As it is literally the roughest estimate, I guess your colleagues are ...
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2 votes

How to handle a large and ambiguous requirement with a fixed timeline/deadline (9 months to deliver)

TL;DR The question itself is unanswerable from a Q&A perspective because there's no canonical answer. We don't know what the interviewer wants to hear, and we can't guess at "correct" business ...
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  • 47.4k
2 votes

How to manage a team that uses a software language you don't know?

Without seeing a job description I'll just have to make the assumptions that: as a technical manager your job will actually be about managing, and not writing code in that particular language. if you ...
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  • 13.6k
2 votes

Why do companies claim they're using Scrum, when they aren't?

Scrum has been very well marketed over the years, and many folks believe that Agile IS Scrum. But, there is another reason: When adopting Agile, most companies and the management tasked with the ...
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2 votes

Project managment case on interview: Contingency resolution

David's Answer is pretty good; I just wanted to offer another perspective, especially focusing on your comment: But I have no idea why we are given information about the 3rd employee being on leave. ...
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  • 14.7k
1 vote

What is the most technically challenging project you have worked on as a non-technical project manager?

I would answer that as PjM/PdM I am not expected to contribute to the project; I am expected to create a comprehensive spec and schedule and then to track it to timely completion.(*) To do so I need ...
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