As Parker Thompson (former Pivotal Labs Director of Business Development) said, there’s sometimes a caveat around having value to users. Sometimes you have a story that requires so much backend work to complete, that you want to make a sort of artificial story to prevent from dividing functionality into front-end and backend.
For instance, here at Periscope Data, we’re currently working on a large file downloads feature that has some rather complex backend service functionality, combined with a frontend “file download tray” that polls and lets the user know when the download is ready. My proposal was to create an incremental story (behind a feature flag) that kicks off the background task and immediately adds a link to the S3 download URL, which the PM can use to download the prepared file a few minutes later. It’ll ultimately go away, but that wasted work is probably worth the reduced “work in progress”, to invoke lean/kanban.