One of the first thing they tell us about stories, is that they should be valuable.  That’s what  the ‘V’ in INVEST stands for:

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INVEST_(mnemonic):

V – Valuable - A user story must deliver value to the end user.

That suggestion usually sits quite well with business side people, which nods in agreement when they hear this, but generally raises a few skeptical eyebrows over at the technical side of the room. Which soon turn it into the following question:

So how should we deal with all the technical things that we need to do and have no direct value to the end user? Things like replacing our DB technology, working on infrastructure, or building some inner development tools?

A very good question indeed.

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Taken from the Scrum guide:

The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters
Do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules.
The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those
Outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful
And which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the
The value created by the Scrum Team. 

So Here's a question: Is the Scrum Master (SM) a leader?

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Dear Director / VP / CEO,Everything counts

This is an open letter to you, especially if you are involved in Program Management, R&D, Product Management or otherwise delivering products.

In this blogpost I want to share with you what it feels like to be working on a large, intensive, feature-rich program. Of course, most of you reading this blog-post, like myself, have been there before. Just that we tend to forget what it is like being a programmer or a tester or a teammate in general (much like that as parent we sometimes forget what it is like being a child).

I am doing this by referring to a popular song that describes similar feelings very vividly.

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It seems that these days everyone is talking (and writing) about scaling agile.

I guess what happened is that most companies now realize that agility is not a passing trend or just a set of values and principles, agility is a skill that most organization need to develop in order to survive in the stormy waters of today's market.

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Consider the following situation. What has just happened there? What would you advise Jeff to do? What tools can you use to turn such a situation around?

The team, all members of it,are attending the planning session of the last iteration of the release. It has been a rather stressful release, and Jeff, the Scrum Master, is trying to reflect to the team that your average velocity is 7 stories per sprint, and that committing to 12 stories will put the team in more stress and increased risk of getting enough scope done.
It is a painful experience for Jeff. On one hand he cannot tell the team what to do. He is expected to manage without authority. And it doesn't work. He feels frustrated.

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