Backlog Refinement

Determine addition information and prioritization for existing backlog items

options loop position

No. People

2+

Time

30 minutes

Difficulty

moderate

Participants

Product Owner, Team Members, Subject Matter Expert, Architect

This practice is part of: Product Ownership.

What is It?

  • Having a conversation to provide clarity surrounding the detail or conditions of satisfaction for work items in the backlog
  • Identifying priority for work items in the backlog
  • Sometimes called “Backlog Grooming”

Why use it?

  • Drive team shared understanding of work items in regards to:
    • Scope of work in the backlog
    • Conditions of satisfaction
    • Prioritization of what to do first

How often should it occur and for how long?

  • The simple answer is as often as is necessary
  • Typically its advised that 1 hour of refinement should suffice for each week of the sprint

Advice

  • Although typically occurring as a team meeting, backlog refinement can occur throughout the sprint with the required parties. However information gained in this meeting must be adequately radiated to those who need it.
  • Product owners are also not necessarily required for a backlog refinement. The key is to have those who have sufficient knowledge to talk through a backlog item and answer questions. This may come in the form of a Product owner, Stakeholder, Developer etc
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