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We have a number of tasks (which perhaps could be defined as user stories) that re-occur through our project, once every sprint. They are IT/ops related tasks that the rest of the developers depend upon for their coding/testing to work effectively.

We have our IT/Ops guy as part of the agile team and is involved in the same way as the devs in the team.

My question: Should I create a task for this each sprint which then is completed each sprint, or should I create one task that stays open and moves from sprint to sprint?

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Ask yourself a question, why are you creating tasks and user stories?

I can think of several possible reasons:

  • You want to know the capacity of the team for future sprints
  • You want to track who is working on what
  • You want to track progress by seeing when tasks/stories are completed

If the IT/ops related tasks take up the same amount of time each sprint then they can be treated as an overhead when calculating capacity. Just do the work as required and expect your velocity to reflect this by being lower. There is no need to track the tasks.

If, however, you wish to track progress in the sprint then it would be worth having a new task each sprint that allows you to see when the IT/ops related work is done and by whom.

Be careful though, as I have found a lot of IT/ops tasks are related to user stories and could be wrapped in to those stories. For example, say the team rebuilds their test database when starting on a new functional area of their product. The task for this should be wrapped in to the estimate for a user story in that new functional area. That way the stories correctly reflect the work done to complete them.

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    Some great thoughts and options there, thanks! Appreciate not a black/white answer. – Marcus D Jun 6 '16 at 10:48
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Adding a bit of straight forward answer here.

Judging from your condition, that is: "They are IT/ops related tasks that the rest of the developers depend upon for their coding/testing to work effectively," I personally will go with "create a task for each sprint which then is completed each sprint". Another option that I will consider is wrapping those task inside relevant user stories (just like what Barnaby suggested) so that I can see which user stories actually depends on that IT/ops tasks.

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