It was time to start developing version 2 of Initech's flagship software product. This meant planning meetings. So many planning meetings.

The most important one, for the actual development team, was the user story meeting. The core of these meetings was a few folks from the programming team, including Steve, the director of architecture, Brian, and a variety of product owners, responsible for different segments of the overall product.

As a group, they'd review the user stories, and approve them. Once they were approved for development, work would begin.

The meetings were difficult to schedule, because of the number of stakeholders, and they were viewed as a checkpoint- you can't start implementing features until the product owner has walked through the user story with the team, but they were also a priority.

At the meeting, product owner Renee started walking the team through some of the features she owned. "So, here's my user, Fred Flinstone." Her slide popped up an image of the animated character next to a set of bullet points describing the feature. "He needs to add an item into inventory, so that it can actually be sold. To do that…"

Renee walked them through the details of the feature. Heads nodded around the table- it was a pretty straightforward CRUD application. It was good that the product owner walked them through a few workflow things unique to Initech's product, but there wasn't anything particularly shocking.

Renee advanced to the next slide. "And now, Fred needs to run a report. This report needs to…"

Again, Renee walked them through the key fields that needed to be on the report, how the report was triggered, what the reasonable filtering options would be.

"Any questions?"

Brian, the director, looked thoughtful for a moment, and then said, "I think I do. I can't really see a reason why one person would want to both add items to inventory- a receiving job- and run reports on inventory consumption. There's no reason someone doing the task would also need to run the report. I can't accept your user stories until you change one of the users to be a different person."

"What? The name doesn't matter," Renee protested.

"We should probably just stick a pin in this and pick up when we can reschedule another meeting. Thank you everyone," Brian said. He grabbed his laptop, stood, and left the meeting. Everyone sat there for a moment, realized the meeting was actually over, and followed him out a few minutes later.

That afternoon, Steve finally managed to find Brian. "What the heck was that?"

Brian sighed. "Look, the entire development team is swamped, you know it. We don't have bandwidth to take on new work. Tracey should have that priority-one bug done in a few days, and maybe once that's done we can start putting resources on the the version 2 project. For now, we need to stall, and that was the only thing I could think of."

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