Product Backlog Refinement

product backlog refinement - grooming
product backlog refinement - grooming

The Product Backlog Refinement also called Grooming is a ceremony almost become indispensable for the agilists. It has the role as its name suggests to refine the content of the Product Backlog.

Refinement Product Backlog Process

This Product Backlog Refinement ceremony, very popular in the new generation of Scrum, is usually done each week at a specific time.

It is often recommended that the duration of each session of this ceremony isn’t longer than one hour; it can also last only ten minutes if the Product Owner doesn’t need more time.

Indeed, this meeting is very useful to the Product Owner because it will allow him to refine the content of his Product Backlog to allow him to organize the sprints.

During the Product Backlog Refinement, the Product Owner will offer user-stories to developers that respect the definition of “Ready” previously defined by the entire team.

1/ Understanding the user-story

The developers will then try to understand the user-story and talk about it together. They will be able to take advantage of this moment to request further information to the Product Owner if they are some doubts about the user story. In general, the Product Owner slightly modify the content of the user story with the remarks of the developers.

There are then two issues to this discussion sometimes very fast when the ticket is understood from the beginning:

  • The developers validate the ticket which can then be estimated
  • The developers do not understand the ticket; the Product Owner will have to review his copy until the next session.

2/ Estimate the user story

The developers will estimate the user story together in time or story point. The agilists often advise to privilege the estimate in story point.

There are very famous methods like Poker Planning to estimate the user stories.

When the ticket is estimated, the Product Owner offers the following ticket.

Product Backlog Refinement gains?

This ceremony offers many benefits for Scrum teams.

It allows the Product Owner to arrive in Sprint Planning Meeting with a Sprint Backlog already prepared according to the number of story point allowed for the next sprint.

So all this upstream work considerably reduces the time of the Sprint Planning Meeting which imposes without this meeting to do this estimation work and prepare the Sprint Backlog in live.


Conclusion Product Backlog Refinement

It is strongly advised to make the Product Backlog Refinement in your Scrum processes; this ceremony has been included in the scrum guide to make it 100% official. For those who are in #NoEstimate, the estimation part will no longer be necessary but it will be advisable to continue to do the refinement part. This ceremony brings many significant gains for the smooth running of your Sprint.



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About Judicaël Paquet 235 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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