• Delivering Value Using Layer Cake User Stories

    Value is delivered when you enjoy all the layers of a cake, or user storyHere at Dominion, we are currently building an internal application that will allow us to better track new business opportunities. Simultaneously, we are exposing more of our staff to agile and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) principles. Among the many concepts we are trying to inculcate in our team is the “layer cake” user story.

    The layer cake idea has been around for over a decade. However, I’ve found on nearly all agile engagements that I’ve been on, teams either discard this idea early in the project or completely ignore it from the outset. It is up to the triumvirate of the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Business Analyst to ensure that the scrum team writes user stories in such a manner that the outcome of each story is working software that delivers tangible value to the end user. (more…)

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  • Working With An Inexperienced Product Owner

    Collaborating can make every team member more effectiveYou’re an experienced Scrum Master beginning a new project.  You meet with your Product Owner (PO) for the first time and hear him or her say any or all of the following:

    • “I’ve never worked in this role before.”
    • “I’ll do my best to be on-site as much as possible.”
    • “I’ve completed Certified Scrum Master training, but I’ve never applied it in practice.”
    • “I’m the Product Owner for your team, and nine others.”

    Your spidey sense is now tingling.  You are going to be working with an inexperienced and/or overextended PO.  Fear not, however.  Here are some methods and remedies you can apply to get your PO up to speed.

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