Which Scrum Team member should set PBI and Bug work item states?

This is a fairly common question, usually by teams new to Scrum. The Scrum Guide clearly identifies the roles and their responsibilities. Team Foundation Server does not. It only identifies security groups and permissions.

Teams that have been using Scrum for a while should answer: “Let the team decide”. I’m good with that answer.

For team members that don’t yet know where the rules of Scrum stop and self-organization begins, I provide the following guidance on who should “flip the switch” at each state transition of a PBI or Bug work item type:

  • Anybody on the Scrum Team (or perhaps beyond) should be able to create a PBI or Bug work item (state: New)
  • The Product Owner should be the one to accept a PBI or Bug (state: Accepted)
  • The Product Owner should be the one to remove a PBI or Bug (state: Removed)
  • Anyone on the Scrum Team can set the state to Committed (so long as the Development Team forecasts that work for the Sprint)
  • Anyone on the Scrum Team can set the state to Done (so long as the Product Owner accepts it)

Try this for a while. Get good at Scrum, TFS, and how they work together. As you retrospect and improve, your team will come up with a better approach.

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