Hello again from Cake and our Project Management Team. This week in the Agile world sees the twenty-ninth edition of “This Week in #Agile”, with this week’s findings looking at Backlog Refinement.
Backlog Refinement is a key meeting and plays an important part within Scrum. The ceremony looks at ‘grooming’ the current Product Backlog so that items are defined and prioritised, ready for the next Sprint Planning.
A properly groomed Backlog will improve the efficiency of Sprint Planning sessions as the stage will already be set. A well looked after Backlog also prevents the team from getting blocked due to impediments, thus preventing interruptions to velocity during the Sprint.
In this article, Angela reminds us about a common complaint regarding Sprint Planning sessions, this being that they consume so much time. She provides a bullet-pointed list of areas to focus on during Backlog Refinement, with guidelines on how to make these meetings more effective.
“Improved Sprint Planning” created by Laura Brandenburg
Laura, a Business Analysis, explains how staying one step ahead of the team helps improve productivity. During Backlog Refinement, decisions can be made on what is an Epic, feature or task, leading to the highest-priority items containing the most detail.
“Product Backlog Refinement Grooming” created by Mike Cohn
Mike refers to these sessions as checkpoints, where both the Internal team and Stakeholders can check where they are with regards to Milestones for the project. Questions posed by the Development team that can’t be answered straight away can be noted down for the Product Owner to prepare answers, in readiness for Sprint Planning.
“Backlog Item Dependencies" created by The Agile Times
The Product Backlog must be managed throughout the duration of the project or issues may arise. This article explains the benefits of identifying Backlog item dependencies and why linking items to their co-dependant tasks or stories will help prevent a confusing mess throughout the project lifecycle.
This article outlines four different options regarding when to work on the Product Backlog. Each option shows a diagram highlighting where the Backlog Grooming session can take place during Sprints, and how using each option can facilitate progress.
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A shout out to agile-scrum.be for this weeks image!