I never knew the reason why this Scrum activity seemed to have two names. Recently, I came across a claim that “grooming” is a trigger word. Perplexed, I decided to do more research, and the article below details my findings. You can only claim to have a refined backlog when you answer “No” to all the above questions.

product backlog refinement is the act of

If the Product Owner or Scrum Master are actively working on items in the Sprint Backlog, they participate as Developers. For each selected Product Backlog item, the Developers plan the work necessary to create an Increment that meets the Definition of Done. This is often done by decomposing Product Backlog items into smaller work items of one day or less. No one else tells them how to turn Product Backlog items into Increments of value. Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox. They are structured and empowered by the organization to manage their own work.

Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people, and are respected as such by the people with whom they work. The Scrum Team members have the courage to do the right thing, to work on tough problems. The Scrum artifacts and the progress toward agreed goals must be inspected frequently and diligently to detect potentially undesirable variances or problems. To help with inspection, Scrum provides cadence in the form of its five events.

What Is Adapted During Product Backlog Refinement

As a rule, your product backlog should be closely aligned to your product roadmap. To help you out, we’re going to cover almost everything you need to know about backlog refinement. So whether you’re a seasoned refiner or a rookie, there’s something here for you.

Artifacts that have low transparency can lead to decisions that diminish value and increase risk. Scrum combines four formal events for inspection and adaptation within a containing event, the Sprint. These events work because they implement the empirical Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

  • You’re a high-performance machine with a high sprint velocity.
  • They represent the business goals to be achieved by the system, namely use cases or user features.
  • This helps Product Managers to understand the strategy explained behind prioritising each item in the backlog.
  • As with all things in agile, reviewing the backlog daily isn’t a strict rule, but a guide.
  • No one enjoys dealing with participants who are focused elsewhere and tuned out or ask you to repeat the question or conversation.
  • They usually acquire this degree of transparency after refining activities.
  • The decisions that are made, the steps taken, and the way Scrum is used should reinforce these values, not diminish or undermine them.

It’s natural to want to schedule backlog refinement at the end of the Sprint just like the other rituals. All of this helps teams arrive at clearly defined and prioritised blocks of work that can be taken forward into the next sprint. Save meeting prep time, get everyone talking and evolve as a team – all in one tool. 👑 The Product Owner is responsible for the backlog, but the development team should work together on refinement. During Sprint Planning, the team will take the items at the top of the Product Backlog and move them into the Sprint Backlog to be worked on during the upcoming Sprint.

Schedule A Regular Refinement Meeting

The prepared backlog list is discussed and estimated for the demo purpose in the Sprint Planning meeting. The input to this meeting is the Product Backlog, the latest product Increment, projected capacity of the Development Team during the Sprint, and past performance of the Development Team. The number of items selected from the Product Backlog for the Sprint is solely up to the Development Team. Only the Development Team can assess what it can accomplish over the upcoming Sprint.

If a Product Backlog item does not meet the Definition of Done, it cannot be released or even presented at the Sprint Review. Instead, it returns to the Product Backlog for future consideration. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.

product backlog refinement is the act of

Estimation is important because it helps teams make sure they are taking a reasonable amount of work on in each Sprint. Every backlog item has a user story that explains why it exists. User stories are essentially backlog items creatively expressed in customer-focused language.

Moreover, we are preparing a multi-language app interface containing a set of available translations and more. Users will customize the language used in the app or even create new translations, depending on their internal operational needs. Burndown Chart; it’s a tool that lets the development team monitor the progress of the Sprint and it gives them time to make appropriate changes in case of any issues or delays. And that the development team has enough information to complete the tasks at hand and measure progress. The Backlog goes through the update process as the Sprint progresses.

How To Work With The Product Backlog

At the top of this Figure above are the orange, largest bricks. They represent the business goals to be achieved by the system, namely use cases or user features. Stefan—based in Berlin, Germany—has been working for 16-plus years as an agile coach, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. He has developed B2C as well as B2B software, for startups as well as corporations, including a former Google subsidiary. Stefan curates the ‘Food for Agile Thought’ newsletter and organizes the Agile Camp Berlin, a Barcamp for coaches and other agile practitioners. This competence of the Scrum team is critical to creating trust with the management and stakeholders by regularly delivering valuable Increments.

product backlog refinement is the act of

The whole Scrum Team then collaborates to define a Sprint Goal that communicates why the Sprint is valuable to stakeholders. The Sprint Goal must be finalized prior to the end of Sprint Planning. Sprint Planning initiates the Sprint by laying out the work to be performed for the Sprint. This resulting plan is created by the collaborative work of the entire Scrum Team. If any aspects of a process deviate outside acceptable limits or if the resulting product is unacceptable, the process being applied or the materials being produced must be adjusted.

Scrum Forum

For the delivery of products in the demo sessions, the products are reviewed in the meeting. Backlog refinement in that sense is really a checkpoint rather than an effort to fully resolve issues. Almost every discussion on Scrum revolves around the Scrum Master with a passing nod to the Product Owner. In addition to all the work listed above, they protect the Development Team from distractions by external elements, enabling the team to concentrate on getting the work done. The Increment is the sum of all the Product Backlog items completed during a Sprint and all previous Sprints.

The Product Owner is, well, the owner of the product, but they can’t really build the product by themselves without the team. E – Elaborate—The Product Owner walks the Team through each item to ensure accuracy and detail and resolve any concerns. The Team may identify a need for additional research to complete the refinement in the next session. Users will be able to automatically color tasks – based on predefined business rules and preferences.

Product Backlog items usually acquire this degree of transparency through the above described refining activities. However, Product Backlog items can be updated at any time by the Product Owner or at the Product Owner’s discretion. You can only claim to have a refined backlog when you answer “no” to all the above questions. Also, remember to document your decisions, as this is extremely important. The Overview module will also be adapted for greater flexibility.

product backlog refinement is the act of

For people that are new to Agile or the Scrum framework, backlog refinement can pose a few problems. Refinement helps teams shape-up well-sized, detailed and discrete pieces of work that can be tackled in future Sprints. The idea of decomposing the work into smaller and more precise items with additional details remains, the exact details that are added are now left as something to be determined by the Scrum Team.

Other Scrum Matters Of Interest To The Product Owner

§ The Product Owner and the Developers collaborate in the refinement process as an ongoing activity. § The Developers may create and add new Product Backlog items to assist the Product Owner. The Product Owner, however, remains accountable and should always be the gatekeeper to the Product Backlog.

The Product Backlog may also be adjusted overall to meet new opportunities. The Product Owner may be present during the second part of the Sprint Planning Meeting to clarify the selected Product Backlog items and to help make trade-offs but attendance is not mandatory. Product Backlog Refinement If the Development Team determines it has too much or too little work, it may renegotiate the Sprint Backlog items with the Product Owner. After the Development Team forecasts the Product Backlog items it will deliver in the Sprint, the Scrum Team crafts a Sprint Goal.

Estimating the effort of backlog items should always be done during your group discussions, since arriving at an estimate is a negotiation. Usually there will be a time during the backlog refinement meeting to discuss the prioritization of the backlog and whether anything needs to be moved. By the same token, t-shirt sizing helps identify backlog items that are actually Epics and should be broken down https://globalcloudteam.com/ into multiple backlog items. If your backlog items are in good enough shape, you might try out t-shirt sizing with your team. Let’s go through a few of the most common refinement activities so you can boost your arsenal of tactics and refine backlog items even better. The backlog refinement funnel shows the tasks involved in refining items until they are ready to be taken into a future sprint.

Agile Is Better With Parabol

Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. However, the primary actors in refinement are the Product Owner and the Developers, and these people have the most interest in making sure that refinement happens and happens well. Stack Exchange network consists of 182 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. N – Negotiate—The Product Owner and Developers work together to clarify and adjust acceptance criteria.

Add Backlog Items So Everything Is Recorded

T-shirt sizing gives teams the opportunity to break L or XL projects down into smaller and more manageable parts that are good candidates for the Sprint. This rough estimation method is particularly useful for making sure that items are the right size to enter the Sprint Backlog in the future. It usually takes place when there is a good amount of detail in a backlog item, but there are still a few unknowns.