Blog updates

Latest news & updates
Software development

9 Tips For Effective Backlog Grooming Sessions

February 19, 2021

If we make that person attend another meeting, we could risk the delivery of whatever product backlog item the person is working on. A good rule of thumb is that about 5 to 10 percent of the effort in each sprint should be spent on backlog grooming. Consider adding a Scrum board to your meetings as well, as they make it easier for you and the rest of the Scrum team to visualize the work that’s been completed.

Sprint planning aimed to find out the essential details about the team’s planned work for the next sprint. With this in mind, the sprint squad should aim to cover at least the following topics during this meeting. Sprint Planning sets off the Sprint by laying out the tasks that will be completed throughout the sprint. This master plan is the result of the Scrum Team’s collaborative efforts.

backlog refinement agenda

This gives the team enough time to cover all the work completed during their last feedback loop. The meeting is conducted by the product owner at the start of every sprint, after the Sprint review and the Sprint retrospective for the prior sprint. 1.Agile’s highest priority is to satisfy the customer through the early and continuous delivery of crucial products and services.

What Is Backlog Management?

The Product Owner shares what Product Backlog items need to be refined and the whole team discusses them. Discuss issues that have been identified as having the potential to impede or slow the development on the project. The Product Owner makes sure that everyone is ready to talk about the essential Product Backlog items and how they connect to the Product Goal. Additional people may be invited to Sprint Planning by the Scrum Team to provide advice. If the team gets stuck, I’ll play timekeeper and move the discussion along.

backlog refinement agenda

The sprint backlog consists of product backlog items that the team agreed with their product owner to include during sprint planning. The team owns the sprint backlog and can determine whether new items are added or existing items are removed. This allows the team to focus on a clear scope for the length of the sprint. As you consider the above tips, don’t forget the agile principle to ‘keep things simple .’ These tips aim to provide guidance and are not prescriptions. Every product development effort is unique and has its own set of nuances, which will help you determine the most effective methods to conduct effective backlog grooming sessions. The primary goal of backlog grooming is to keep the backlog up-to-date and ensure that backlog items are prepared for upcoming sprints.

What Is Purpose Of Backlog Refinement?

Shorter user stories make your backlog more manageable and easier for developers to implement the required features. When identifying the main workflow or happy path, separate the alternate flows into different user stories. Examine the product backlog and decide which items should be added to the next sprint backlog and why. All team members understand the requirements and the implementation just well enough to provide a reasonable story point estimate for enough small stories to fill up two sprints with work.

I’d prefer to conduct the meeting without such team members. As long as the same team members don’t miss the meeting each sprint, I think it’s fine to conduct backlog refinement meetings with about half the team plus the product owner and ScrumMaster. If a user story is re-prioritized and becomes a low priority, there is no point in discussing it.

Additionally, the process helps product managers explain and align the organization behind the strategy that informs the backlog items. Backlog refinement is to keep the backlog stocked with relevant, detailed, and projected items to a degree appropriate for their priority and in line with current information on the product and its aims. Unlike a more formal “requirements document,” the backlog is a basis for preparing. An Agile project, like any other, is prone to “scope creep” in the form of user requests. The product owner or product manager often leads backlog refinement sessions.

As such, it’s important for the work presented during this ceremony to be fully demonstrable, as an additional goal is to get feedback from stakeholders on the user stories done in the sprint. The development team looks at the tasks covered in the product backlog and predicts how much work they can complete within a sprint. Time boxing, or assigning a fixed and maximum amount of time for an activity, is a part of this process.

Use the time wisely and move to the next story on the agenda. The primary goal of backlog grooming, also known as backlog refinement, is to maintain an updated backlog and ensure all items are ready for the upcoming sprints. In Scrum, the sprint planning meeting is attended by the product owner, ScrumMaster and the entire Scrum team. Outside stakeholders may attend by invitation of the team, although this is rare in most companies.

Top 9 What Is One Key Benefit Of A Backlog Refinement Session In 2022

Remember that nobody expects your first estimate to be 100% accurate. Review and update your estimates when new requirements show up or when you gain a better understanding of expectations. Everyone who joins a backlog grooming session must plan and prepare in some way. This is especially true for product owners and managers, whose lack of preparedness can lead to annoyingly inefficient meetings. A product backlog is a prioritized list of work for the development team that is derived from the roadmap and its requirements.

backlog refinement agenda

Big architectural and/or UI/UX decisions should be made at the feature level well in advance of a Refinement session. A good target is to craft features that represent 1 – 3 months of work for a scrum team, and make sure a feature is “ready” – meaning there is very little discovery left to do – about a month ahead of time. This allows a couple of sprints to write stores with clear requirements, and present them to the scrum team at least one sprint ahead of when the work will be started.

Scrum Events

The work that the development team commits to is known as the sprint goal, and the collection of tasks that make up that goal is known as the sprint backlog. TheScrum masterand product owner and development team coordinate to ensure both teams agree on the work chosen for the sprint. A list of requirements that must be satisfied for all user stories.

  • It’s the total opposite of a massive collection of intertwined components needed.
  • A sequence or rhythm of events or tasks in a project and creates a pattern for the team to follow to understand what they are doing and when they will be done with it.
  • Consider adding a Scrum board to your meetings as well, as they make it easier for you and the rest of the Scrum team to visualize the work that’s been completed.
  • Based on this information, attendees collaborate on what to do next.
  • If your sprint runs for an entire month, the meeting should be three hours long.

A team’sroadmapandrequirementsprovide the foundation for the product backlog. Roadmap initiatives break down into several epics, and each epic will have several requirements and user stories. Let’s take a look at the roadmap for a ficticious product called Teams in Space.

Eliminate user stories that add little or no value to the product. Also, work with the product owner to identify which stories are a must-have vs. nice-to-have. You may be surprised by the number of user stories that don’t survive this simple check. This process ensures important requirements are more visible and appropriately prioritized so that the team can focus on the right stories during sprint planning.

What Is The Difference Between Sprint Planning And Backlog Refinement?

Use some time in your Retro to evaluate how you can improve your Refinement sessions so that the team can get to have two sprints’ worth of estimated stories in their backlog. Unlike other Scrum meetings, I do not think the product backlog refinement meeting requires the participation of the whole team. The aim of the Sprint review isn’t to provide a status update, but rather to showcase the value the project brings to the company.

Twelve stories per hour – 12 sph – is your target refinement velocity. If the team can’t get to a comfortable estimate in less than five minutes, the story isn’t ready to be refined. Send it back to the PO and move on to the next story in line. Savvy product owners rigorously groom their program’s product backlog, making it a reliable and sharable outline of the work items for a project.

Agile Caravanserai Diana Larsen

Juan enjoys solving complex problems and optimizing workflows following Lean principles. He was born and raised in Costa Rica, where he lives with his wife and daughter. The team is primarily responsible for development (who will commit to the work, estimate deadlines, and explain any capacity or skill-set issues that could prevent a job from getting done). Assign tasks to the new sprint backlog based on skill capabilities, capacity, and other contributing factors.

A sequence or rhythm of events or tasks in a project and creates a pattern for the team to follow to understand what they are doing and when they will be done with it. Principle and drive the conversation towards the missing elements. Needs to review the security of your connection before proceeding. Not everything The concept of Product Backlog Refinement fits within the User Story format, and the Product Backlog should have all the items related to the Product. The Product Backlog is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product. Often, Scrum Teams come together once per Sprint, or once per week to have their “Refinement Meeting”.

Team assess progress, create a plan for 24 hours, synch activities, define impediments, and set actions. Is to ensure the goals of the team and the product owner stay aligned, and there isn’t anything hindering the team from reaching their goals. Also known as the daily scrum meeting, the daily standup meeting gives the team a chance to review goals and address any potential bottlenecks. They usually last about two hours for every week the sprint lasts. So, a two-week sprint would involve a four-hour planning session before work commences. The purpose of the Sprint planning meeting is to ensure that everyone is on the same page before work begins.

These questions do not need to be fully resolved in a backlog refinement meeting. Rather, the product owner needs only to address them just enough so that the team feels confident that the story can be adequately discussed during the coming planning meeting. As the team progresses through the backlog refinement session, it is important to review the estimates and check if they require an update.

Write a Comment