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Conducting A Backlog Refinement Grooming

How do you prepare for this event and which techniques can facilitate effective discussions within the team? The Team Backlog contains user and enabler Stories that originate from the Program Backlog, as well as stories that arise locally from the team’s local context. It may include other work items as well, representing all the things a team needs to do to advance their portion of the system.The Product Owner is responsible for the team backlog. Since it includes both user Stories andenablers, it’s essential to allocate capacity in a way that balances investments across conflicting needs. This capacity allocation takes into account both the needs of the team and the Agile Release Train . Reserve a few minutes at the end of your grooming scrum to ask your team if there’s anything that will inhibit tackling high-priority projects and tasks off your backlog.

Backlog refinement is about creating shared understanding on what the Product will, and won’t, do and on what it will take to create it. Kanban boards are the preferred tool when managing a backlog, but that can be done on a task list, too. People work differently and our tool is designed to accommodate various work styles with multiple project views. Other departments might use the Gantt chart, sheet or calendar to track the project. No matter which view they’re using, the data they’re seeing is current and in real time to keep everyone on the same page. Determine the order in which your backlog items should be executed and revisit their priority as you gain further details and insights.

Objectives Stay on top of your team’s goals by clearly recording, defining, and tracking the progress of your OKRs in Fellow’s Objectives tool. AnalyticsGain insight about your company’s meeting frequency, productivity, and feedback culture. Guest UsersKeep meeting notes in one place by bringing everyone you work with – vendors, clients, agencies – into Fellow. StreamsStreams are digital notepads to help you organize projects, share OKRs, and whatever else you dream up. Developers can be stressed out if they believe these estimations to be their last call.

It creates a shared understanding within the Scrum Team and the stakeholders around it. Email notifications are automatically triggered whenever team members make a comment or an item on the backlog is updated. But you also have in-app alerts so you don’t have to leave your tool to stay updated. This keeps you working on your sprint and adjusting it according to the most current data, which boosts productivity. Booster communication by adding detail to the preparation and implementation of the items still on your product backlogs, such as constraints, edge cases and acceptance criteria.

What Needs To Get Done To Move Our Product Forward? Whats The Highest Priority? 10 Minutes

For instance, with a tool like Airgram, you can create meeting agendas and record, transcribe, and document your refinement meeting. The purpose of backlog refinement is to clean up the backlog and ensure that it only contains relevant and detailed items and their estimations and priority levels. It also ensures that all members have the same understanding of the items in the backlog and that everyone knows what they’ll be doing in the next sprint. Representatives from the Agile Delivery Team – define the work and effort necessary to fulfill the completion of agreed upon product backlog items.

We’ll look at what it is, its importance, the details of how to do it, and some key tips. Sometimes, the power lies in the details, and with backlog management, that couldn’t be truer. Review the tasks to be tackled in the upcoming sprint and determine any risks or concerns that could affect the completion of these tasks. Once the meeting is done, follow up with all the attendees and share the minutes of the meeting with them. This helps keep everyone on the same page and ensures that they are aware of the next steps. To ensure that it contains updated, appropriate items and that the items are properly prioritized.

  • It increases the effectiveness and communication of the entire Scrum Team and, as a result, builds a better product for your client.
  • It has a single owner—the Product Owner—who protects the team from the problem of multiple stakeholders, each with potentially divergent views of what’s important.
  • Then they can be saved as a PDF or printed out and shared with stakeholders to keep them updated on progress.
  • Items with a lower priority, the ones further down, can and should have less effort invested in them and have fewer details.

It encourages collective ownership, and leverages the creativity of the entire team. It reduces the work load of the product owner, and helps ensure that the high-prirority items are ready . We know by now that it is about shared understanding of the value and intent of the items on the Product Backlog. If the PO puts something on the Product Backlog, he or she will likely be needed to elaborate on that item. For the Dev Team to understand, they may need to clarify with the PO and stakeholders.

Identify Items To Remove

Your Product Owner has a big idea for the product that she placed on the Product Backlog. In order to turn this into a feature, to start developing it, this idea needs sharpening. The team needs to understand it, so they collaborate and talk about it. They talk about it just enough to understand the value, the effort and how to validate it. One of the concepts that, when you hear it for the first time, needs some explanation is Product Backlog Refinement. Understandable when you worked in a plan-driven approach for a long time, where you first analyze, then design, build, test and finally run a product.

They then decide which user stories are in need of product grooming. Unlike a more formal “requirements document” the backlog is understood as a dynamic body of information. In the absence of explicit efforts aimed at managing this inflation, this inflation would result in the too well known pathologies of schedule and budget overruns. A product backlog example might be a particular feature that team members agree is nice to have, but the schedule dictates that the product be released by a certain date. Adding that feature would delay the product’s release, which the team and the customer don’t want.

The planning poker card process is a cyclical process to determine the value of each task in the backlog. The process of placing value on each task repeats until there is an agreed value for that task. The way planning poker works is that the user story is explained to the group. Then, each estimator is provided with a deck of “poker cards” which have various values . Each backlog task is discussed and all questions about the task are asked and answered.

backlog refinement agenda

Your Scrum certification examination comprises multiple-choice test questions. Reading The Scrum Framework will help Scrum professionals like you to acquire the know-how to pass your Scrum certification examination and get your Scrum certification. In 2-week Sprints, a big block in the second week as a more collaborative workshop. Teams often use the day that they would do Review, Retrospective and Planning in the first week. In this way there is time for deeper clarification, discussing with multiple stakeholders and looking at the system in action. Cross-Functional MeetingsStay aligned on projects, drive progress and accountability, and improve collaboration.

Rewrite Written Stories

When the backlog is significantly long, it can be more difficult to prioritize team efforts, which may impact the productivity or success of objectives and key results . You want your product backlog stacked with relevant user stories that are well-documented and prioritized correctly so that they’re of value to your customer and company. Remember, only those items in the backlog will be built but just because it’s on the backlog doesn’t mean it should be executed. One of the biggest reasons for having product backlog refinement is that it keeps your backlog clean. The larger your organization, the more input it might receive.

When they attempt to select PBIs they bog down because they’ve not had enough time to understand. Product Backlog Refinement is normally a meeting where the Product Owner and the Development Team discuss the items at the top of the Product Backlog. This used to be known as Product Backlog Grooming, but the use of the term ‘grooming’ is no longer recommended. The goal is to ensure that the Product Backlog is clear and understood by everyone before the Sprint, not just make it look good. Product requirements and objectives will often change throughout the product development life cycle.

backlog refinement agenda

It’s an intrinsic aspect of dealing with the fuzzy uncertainty of defining a new software system. Emoji_events 360+ Goal & OKR Examples Access our library of 360+ role-specific and personal development goal examples to inspire your team. Suggested questions Access hundreds of conversation starters to spark better meetings. AMAs Run simple Ask Me Anything sessions across your team or organization. Meeting agendas Collaboratively add items, document decisions, assign next steps, and more.

It is recommended to have at least one developer and one tester when refining the backlog, to ensure alternate viewpoints of the system are present. Teams may decide to review their backlog activities at any point during the sprint. For some teams, it may make sense to do this at the start of each sprint to help with direction and goals for the project. For other teams, it may be more useful to refine the backlog mid-sprint when there is a lot of activity ongoing and developers want to ensure they are prioritizing the most important work. Or, finally, teams may prefer doing the refinement at the end of the sprint when they have knowledge from the full sprint process or to prepare for future sprints. The backlog refinement meeting takes place before the Sprint planning.

Run Delightful Meetings With Fellow

Listen to those people who suggest the highest or the lowest estimates. They’re usually the ones who didn’t understand the items because of either missing or too much information. In the course of refinement, those involved might need to revive the product vision and the product roadmap.

backlog refinement agenda

So, here’s a checklist that you must regularly go through. You can use it to either evaluate if the backlog needs refinement or confirm that refinement is done for the moment. Ensure the delivery of the most important items, which should be on top of the backlog. That means that you already have items in your backlog, but they might need some information or an update before they’re implemented. Also, some items might even need to be cut off from the backlog.

Backlog Refinement Template

A backlog contributes massively to the success of an agile project. It’s a living document, which means it changes over time. And there are no strict rules when it The concept of Product Backlog Refinement comes to refining a backlog. That means, for instance, that not every item requires detail. 🥊 That’s usually a sign that refinement is lacking for that item.

The final stage before an item is considered to be ready by a Development Team is to do planning poker. This is a frequently used technique for estimating items. Real-time data helps you make more insightful decisions when in a backlog refinement meeting, which leads to more successful sprints. Most meetings have a standard set of meeting roles, such as the meeting host, time keeper, note takers, the voice of the customer, key decision makers, and optional attendees. In backlog refinement meetings, it might not be necessary to have optional attendees as you’ll want to focus on keeping the attendee list small.

Thus further ensuring the Product Backlog is prepped with the highest priority user stories for Backlog Refinement . One-click reporting goes deeper into the data and helps the product owner make insightful decisions. Reports on time, tasks and more can all be filtered to show only what you want to see.

What Is Backlog Refinement?

All the necessary people are present, so after they are done reviewing the increment, a Product Owner can gather feedback to update the backlog. This way the sprint backlog is ready even before the Sprint starts. The PO in collaboration with the team select the highest-priority backlog items for each ‘slice’ of the capacity allocation to implement in an iteration.

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