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The PO defined a user story, roughly saying: "As an employee want to use functionality X in our web interface". The functionality is well defined and for internal use in a large company, but during planning the dev-team asks: what is our minimum browser, because this influences estimations. Neither the dev-team nor the PO know what the pre-installed browser in the target company is and declare that an impediment.

Is it now the SM's task to figure this out by contacting the target company the feature is built for, because for the PO this is "a technical detail I don't care about", or is it the SM's task to let the PO know that his user story is not precise enough and ask the PO to contact the target company?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

This a requirement, and therefore the Product Owner shall figure it out by contacting the target company. While waiting for the answer, the team can start thinking about a solution which is kind of browser independent, or can get some data about the most popular browser in the domain and start working on it. These last two ideas are not approved by the Scrum framework, because according to it, the team shouldn't do anything which hasn't been approved by the Product Owner or the customer, in order to avoid waste creation.

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This requirement is pretty common though, so the research part wouldn't make sense since everyone knows the pros and cons. It might be a better idea to just start on a browser independent user story. (Mostly, only the front end is browser dependent.) –  Florian Margaine Oct 25 '12 at 6:24
    
I think the research is still important. At my company the default browser is IE. Of course, one can install firefox and chrome, but the officially supported browser is still IE. Let's say you develop a web application for us, this information really narrows down which browser you should use for design, development and testing. If you plan 4 days for a cross browser testing then it is a waste in this context. There is one browser on which the app should work perfectly, that's it, and that's what I'm going to pay for nothing more. (PS: I'm not an IE fan at all, but it is the context) –  Zsolt Oct 25 '12 at 7:30
    
Well, this is the kind of research that cannot be done without the client's feedback then :-) –  Florian Margaine Oct 25 '12 at 8:00
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I think it is a good practice to define browsers you are developing for as part of the teams definition of done at both the story and release level. E.g. All acceptance tests are passing in IE 8,9 and Chrome (story level); All features and functionality are working in browsers X, Y, Z (release).

Here is a link to a good simple list for creating your DoD.

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