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Reward and Punishment in Scrum

Last post 04:14 pm January 24, 2023 by Chuck Suscheck
2 replies
04:12 pm January 22, 2023


I am new to scrum.

I am a developer and our technical manager treats developers based on their low or high story points, which makes teamwork meaningless. Is the purpose of points to verify the developer?

We have a planning meeting before the start of the week and we all determine the story points. Everyone gives story points according to their own experience, and the points are in favor of experienced developers, because they give little story points to tasks, but the majority of the team gives more story points to tasks. and therefore the task is determined with a higher point. So the technical manager comes to the conclusion that whoever has more story point has a higher level in the team and should get more salary.

I am confused...

11:44 pm January 23, 2023

Is the purpose of points to verify the developer?

I'd suggest that their purpose is to help the Developers get their arms around how much work they can collectively take on in a Sprint. Everything else reduces to value delivery and empirical process control.

Does that "manager" have a different view? Why do they care about estimates at all? What kind of behaviours are they trying to incentivise, and why?

04:14 pm January 24, 2023

I just wrote a blog that addresses some of these questions:


If you really want to reward (or punish) developers, you may need some way to see if an individual developer is fostering teamwork, growing those around them, delivering value as a team (not individual), and participating in self-organization.  There's probably a few more but if a developer is making team dynamics and effectiveness poor, that developer needs to be coached (not punished).  If a developer is shortcutting quality and value in favor of speed and individualism, the developer needs some coaching. Coaching can be something the developers do, which would foster better self organization. 

The effectiveness measures I just listed are hard to come up with.  Using story points to measure individuals is a very poor metric but it doesn't require much thought - just a lazy surface glance.  

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