It is the responsibility of the product team to keep the list of waiting projects up-to-date. Use this free backlog refinement template to make your meeting more productive. Designed for colocated teams, the backlog refinement meeting can also work for distributed teams using tools like Planning Poker for JIRA and Hatjitsu. For example, some teams hold the refinement meeting during the Sprint Review.
- If you think you shouldn’t do it near the end of a Sprint, you’re probably cutting refinement too close.
- All the necessary people are present, so after they are done reviewing the increment, a Product Owner can gather feedback to update the backlog.
- All the other questions that would have arisen during sprint planning will already have been answered in the backlog refinement meeting.
- It even differs per item when a Development Team considers it to be ready.
- For the purpose of sprint planning, when you use Scrum as the delivery framework, product backlog items must be small enough for the team to complete and accept during the sprint.
- Another major difference is that sprint planning takes place right before a sprint, while backlog refinement can happen at any time.
- While it’s VERY easy to forget about the importance of backlog refinement, don’t.
However, if during Backlog Refinement additional questions or risks arise, the Scrum Team should assign action items to the Product Owner to clarify. Additionally, the Scrum Team and Product Owner may negotiate the creation of “spikes” (a time-boxed investigation) to resolve unknowns that hamper user story estimation. – what’s the difference between sprint planning and product backlog refinement, since sprint planning is there to discuss the product backlog, estimate them, and split the stories. The backlog refinement process is continuous and should not be limited to a single event timebox.
Product Backlog Refinement Is All About Discussion And Asking Questions
They follow this with a discussion about how to best deliver that value. This solves the previous problem they had with the User Stories lacking a clearly defined ‘Why’ statement. It also gives the Development Team the needed context and clarity to provide accurate and useful estimates, since they have now been part of the discussion. ScrumMaster Steve’s guidance toward having this backlog refinement session, instead of blindly launching into Sprint Planning, has been a huge help. Every decision made during the backlog refinement meeting should be based on customer needs. After all, if the product doesn’t work for your customers, nothing else matters.
The PO should explain to them that their allocations still can be modified after the meeting before adding them to the Sprint Backlog. Features that are better to be avoided as they can have a negative impact on the customer. Make sure that those with the highest priority contain all necessary details. The team backlog conveniently hides some of the complexity of Agile at scale. Figure 1 illustrates a view of the team backlog with its three primary input sources. 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.
To mitigate this, teams continuously invest in evolving the Solution’s architecture as well as keeping existing customers happy with bug fixes and enhancements. This avoids the need for wholesale replacement of the system due to technological obsolescence. It contains user and enabler stories, and improvement stories, which are those stories that capture the results of the team’s Iteration Retrospective. Keep your project management tool open while you’re running this meeting.
In other words, you might struggle to think of the planning focus that agile methodologies bring. ResourcesBlogLeadership, productivity, and meeting insights to fast-track your way to being a great leader. Desktop & Mobile AppsPlan and run productive meetings… wherever you work best. Jira IntegrationTurn action items generated in Fellow into Jira issues so their completion status stays in sync between both tools. Fellow for EnterpriseSupport company leaders with Fellow’s uniform meeting templates, collaborative one-on-one meetings, and feedback tools. Grooming your backlog at planned intervals, you keep the backlog aligned with the changing stakeholder priorities.
Backlog Refinement Is An Essential Process
Items with a lower priority, the ones further down, can and should have less effort invested in them and have fewer details. Prioritizing items, and re-prioritizing them when you add more details or gain new insights. Not just for the Product Manager, but for the entire team. Review the product back and make sure no work items have sat there longer than necessary so every item is of value.
For example adding examples, constraints, edge cases, and acceptance criteria. It leverages the benefits of collaboration in detailing user stories and defects. It improves the The concept of Product Backlog Refinement efficiency of the Sprint Planning meeting because most questions are already answered. While goals are nice to have, you need to carry out specific actions to achieve them.
She asks the Team if it would be cheaper to do gift cards with any amount. They come back with an estimate of 8, pointing out that it’s still more complex than the basic Story. Remove user stories which are no longer required for the product.
That’s a strong indication that backlog refinement failed epically. 🧮 Although only asking one person may speed up the estimation, that doesn’t demonstrate a shared understanding. And that’s something you should be keen about in backlog refinement. The purpose of backlog refinement is to make improvements to the product backlog. Though there is no official ceremony detailed in the Scrum Guide, the activity of refining the Backlog is.
Another major difference is that sprint planning takes place right before a sprint, while backlog refinement can happen at any time. Sometimes, some backlog items cannot be implemented until another item has been started or completed. Failure to identify these dependencies can lead to delayed progress down the line. Therefore, it’s good to identify these dependencies early and plan for them. Before the meeting, the product owner should create an agenda and share it with the attendees in advance. This allows the attendees to prepare their questions, comments, and suggestions before the meeting.
Breakdown Large Items
The outcome of the backlog refinement is the Sprint Backlog or a list of items that are due by the end of the Sprint. User stories involved should be clear to all team members and be ready to be implemented in the upcoming Sprint. Later, at the Sprint planning event, the Scrum Team finalizes a set of user stories for the Sprint and plans the tasks it will take to complete them. The product owner is responsible for building the right product. Development team members are responsible for executing the item correctly.
Attendees will each place a value card down and all cards are revealed at the same time. If everyone has different values, more questioning and discussions take place and the card placing process repeats. This cycle https://globalcloudteam.com/ continues until all attendees place the same values on the task and this becomes the designated value for that specific task. With limited resources, your product and feature ideas can stack up in your backlog.
In this case, it’s better to have a separate meeting for that. If a project doesn’t have story points attached to it but is in the backlog, then it shouldn’t be at the top of the list. The idea here is that if something takes high priority, it should have story points attached to it in order to move forward.
Don’t refine the backlog of the current sprint until it ends. You might feel tempted to only refine backlog items until the very last minute. 🚫 Unexpected things happen, such as busy agendas, discussions that take longer than anticipated…as a result, you might not deliver what’s expected. You shouldn’t refine backlog items currently under development. You should refine the backlog for the next sprint or subsequent sprints.
The Value Of Refining Your Backlog
Find a free backlog refinement template here that will help your project teams make better decisions. In addition to the stories needed to fulfill features, the team typically has a backlog of local stories representing new functionality, refactors, defects, research, and technical debt. These are written as enabler stories, which are estimated, and prioritized in the same manner as user stories. Input sources for a team backlogThe Program Backlog consists of upcoming features that are planned to be delivered by an ART. During Program Increment Planning, the candidate features for the PI are split into stories by the teams and tentatively scheduled into upcoming Iterations in the team backlog. Keeping your backlog up-to-date is important for any product and development team.
Before heading into a backlog refinement meeting, it’s wise to prepare an agenda to guide what will happen during the meeting. Having an agenda helps keep the backlog refinement meeting on track and helps team members prepare for the meeting ahead of time. Backlog refinement meetings help define what will be implemented during the next sprint. This makes sprint planning meetings shorter and more efficient because they only need to focus on how the implantation will be done.
When you have a smaller list of things to work through, it’s easier to define what needs to be done first. Consider marking each activity on the backlog with any dependencies (for example, task #34 cannot be done until tasks #12 and #35 are done). As well, you’ll want to know the approximate time to complete each activity, which is most often measured by the number of working days required. This is helpful for setting project schedules and estimating due dates. When prioritizing activities, you might base the prioritization on urgency , complexity , or another measure relevant to your department’s OKRs.
Having an agenda also helps ensure that nothing gets forgotten during the meeting. In the end team refinement should be a structured session where you collaborate to clarify and sharpen the Product Backlog. Proper facilitation helps to make these sessions engaging and outcome oriented. That way, the PO can inform them of tasks to expect in future Sprints and set for discussion stories you’re planning to include within two to three Sprints in the future.
Goodbye to stories that are no more than titles in user story template format. Figure out what risks or obstacles are inherent in the user stories you’re close to implementing and plan how to avoid those issues. These questions are vital to ask before the next sprint, because it gives the product owner an opportunity to answer them. This is especially helpful for questions that require some research and that the product owner will return to answer later. We’re sure you’ll love it, and if you need a hand, we’re here and happy to help. The Product Owner most likely schedules work sessions to refine the backlog.
Identify Items To Remove
The product owner team may include architects, among other roles, who may not be part of the individual development teams. This helps ensure items are broken down to the appropriate level for the appropriate team, while still aligning with longer term organizational and design strategies. Backlog refinement, also known as backlog grooming, is the process of reviewing and narrowing down the list of tasks that your team has left to do.