What’s In a Name? That which we call a developer…

I just saw some comments in a discussion thread about who should be contributing to story sizing when using Planning Poker. The question was about whether or not the Scrum Master should give a size estimate or should just the ‘core’ members give their estimates.

Surprisingly, several people responded and said only people who touch the code should be estimating. Those people are wrong.



Anybody who will do work in order to complete the story should be involved in estimating, whether you’re using Planning Poker, or any other method. Remember, when you’re sizing stories you’re trying to gauge the effort that will be required. Therefore, everybody’s effort should be taken into account.

I think the confusion comes from the fact that so many of us are used to thinking of a developer only as someone who writes code. But Scrum calls anybody who isn’t the Scrum Master or the Product Owner a ‘Developer’. That means testers, BSAs, and anybody else that will contribute to the story getting done is a Developer. But what we call them isn’t the important part. What matters is that the right people are in the room and they arrive at a size that is informed by all perspectives that matter.


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