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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Mar 24, 2020

In this episode of the Trainer Talk supplemental series to the Agile Coaches' Corner Podcast, Professional Scrum Trainer Sam Falco answers the questions: How do you that in the first Sprint? Don’t you have to build out all your infrastructure first?”

Prove Your Infrastructure Works

One common question I hear from students in my Professional Scrum Master classes is, “How do you deliver business functionality every Sprint, including the first one? Don’t you have to build out all your infrastructure first?”

It’s true that on a new software development initiative, there’s a lot of architectural and infrastructure work to be done at the beginning. But infrastructure alone doesn’t give stakeholders the information they need to decide whether to continue funding the project. You need to deliver some kind of business functionality to prove that the infrastructure you’ve built actually works. Stakeholders need to know that work they care about is happening.

Deliver Business Functionality

What might that look like? There’s a great example in Ken Schwaber’s book Software in 30 Days. He describes a project to build a mobile banking app. In the first sprint, the development team did a lot of work on architecture and infrastructure, but they also provided a way to connect to a web portal, designed a basic front end, and created a landing page where customers would ultimately be able to log in. They didn’t even build the capability to log in—all you could do was hit the front page.

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to release that as a product, but it still provides some small slice of business value. It provides something for stakeholders to evaluate and collaborate on with the Scrum Team. What’s the response time? Does the design look good? What might customers want to see once they log in? Was it worth continuing this project? They decided that it was. And if they hadn’t, the team wouldn’t have wasted time building out a platform that was never going to be used.

Let us know what you thought about this supplemental episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner. If you’re interested in training, visit or call us at 877.514.9180 to learn more. And if you have a question you want us to answer on the next Trainer Talk episode, email us at

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