The closer an item is to being completed, the more detail it should have. Most certainly, you would need to re-prioritize the backlog in light of new insights and changing needs. Priorities should be shifted before the backlog grooming session rather than during it. Some teams, however, like to re-prioritize user stories in the backlog collectively so that everyone can understand why items are changing. Although backlog grooming mainly focuses on making sprints more effective, grooming meetings are also an excellent opportunity to check that all team members are on the same track.

deep backlog

The scrum master, who guides the process, is there to listen to feedback and offer guidance during the backlog refinement session. While you want to foster cross-functional interaction, you must be careful not to introduce too many ideas and viewpoints. As a result, just invite those who are essential for the task at hand. Discussions with stakeholders, such as the product owner or product manager, should take place before backlog refinement meetings, not during them. A healthy backlog is a prerequisite for efficient, stress-free, and incremental software product development.

Backlog Grooming – Best Practices

A product owner must keep this in mind and be professional towards all. Let everyone be heard and respected, but keep the team focused. It keeps moving from idea to completed work and adapts to changing customer needs.

  • Prioritized – The product backlog should be arranged in increasing order, with the most valuable things at the top and the least valuable ones at the bottom.
  • Our Agile Estimating and Planning course andCertified Scrum Product Owner training deal with these concepts in depth.
  • There should be an open environment where everybody should be given a fair chance to discuss and share.
  • Although product backlog management is the responsibility of the Product Owner, the whole team can participate in refinement.
  • Most teams decide that a project manager, Scrum master, or facilitator helps keep people on track during meetings.
  • A product backlog represents all of the goals and desired outcomes within the development of a product.
  • Figure out what risks or obstacles are inherent in the user stories you’re close to implementing and plan how to avoid those issues.

While team members may have differing opinions, nobody can argue with numbers. The product owner should explain the metrics that have occurred since the last meeting and then use them to update the backlog. The product manager should reach out to the company’s executives (who don’t need to attend these sessions) for feedback — which they should then incorporate.

What is backlog grooming?

Here are some handy tips or best practices required to maintain a healthy backlog. The product owner prioritizes the items scheduled for the near-term at the top of the backlog. The items on top tend to be described more comprehensively, while the level of detail decreases with priority as you go down the backlog list.

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How does the feature line up with the priorities of stakeholders? Ensure to consult with the stakeholders regularly and keep their interests in mind. Ensure upcoming stories are adequately defined by adding additional information and acceptance criteria. Easily keep everyone aligned on priorities, centralize all your customer feedback, and always know what to build with confidence.

Four Reasons Agile Teams Estimate Product Backlog Items

You’ll also want to look at the key metrics up to this point and be ready to talk about any changes or discrepancies that have occurred recently. How to use Range A quick start guide for taking your team productiv… Check out the excellent video called “Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell” by Henrik Kniberg.

deep backlog

The items in the backlog need to be defined in painstaking detail, then groomed — i.e., discussed with the team to ensure everyone understands what needs to be done. The backlog grooming session also affords the team an opportunity to consult with the product managers and product owners. The product owner reprioritizes user stories based on changes to the product roadmap. During a backlog grooming session, the team may discover steps or tasks that need to be done prior to starting work on a user story. This timing for backlog grooming guarantees that the backlog items are prioritized, discussed, estimated, and ready to be discussed during sprint planning.

LogRocket generates product insights that lead to meaningful action

Requirements of a project is never stop changing, so a Product Backlog serves as a living Scrum artifact. Review the product back and make sure no work items have sat there longer than necessary so every item is of value. Value – the item’s commercial value, as evaluated by the person in charge of the backlog refining process. Prioritized- the entire process of Product Backlog Refinement depends on prioritization. The ideas and User Stories that have the highest priority need to be delivered at the earliest.

We understand that.This is precisely why we made a podcast on the topic. Mitul Makadia, CEO & Founder of Maruti Techlabs, talks to Bikshita Bhattacharyya about his Agile implementation, strategy, and process during the nascent stages of the company. This blog is almost about 3000+words long & not everyone likes to read that much. A clear roadmap will help you build a concise backlog that is easy to update and change. Not everything can be a top priority when building a product. Is Microsoft Excel the product or is instead one component of the larger product called Microsoft Office?

The sprint backlog provides a place to track any changes when deadlines or KPIs change, new initiatives emerge or clients’ demands change. When executed rightly, it will help your team maximize their efficiency but also smoothens the product development process. Busywork has to be controlled and reduced, otherwise, it can easily take up most of the working day. It is especially important in Agile projects where the teams are not fully immersed in Agile principles yet and can deviate from working on the main tasks. When there’s a clear guideline of what needs to be completed and when the deadlines are, there’s less room for procrastination.

With the tips and best practices discussed in this guide, you should have all the tools you need to run effective backlog grooming sessions that lead to successful products . For example, let’s say you have a set of features from the roadmap and you receive a requirement from the stakeholders to include another feature. Based on this change, the product owner needs to place additional stories in the backlog. At the same time, there might be another feature that previously appeared earlier in the prioritized list but now takes a back seat as per the updated product roadmap. The DEEP framework stipulates that higher-priority items should be described in more granular detail than lower-priority ones. This helps keep the backlog concise and ensures that features that are most likely to be implemented in the next sprint are ready in time.

DEEP in Product Backlog Management

Attendance at a backlog refinement event is ideally the entire Scrum Team, including the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and Development Team. There may also potentially be one or two stakeholders, if subject matter expertise is needed. The effectiveness of the Product Backlog Refinement in the Software Development process is undisputed. The Software Development process is dynamic- it goes on, it continues- it is not a one-time effort. Therefore, it is so very vital to go back and work on earlier ideas, time, and again. It is also important to keep amending and adjusting the ideas to suit the current requirements.

deep backlog

Description — what’s the primary purpose of the product backlog item. Backlog grooming must have a founding principle, and the foundation of all principles is the customer. When considering which stories to choose from your backlog, always remember that you’re eventually aiming to satisfy customers.

Product backlog example

As more items are added to task lists, they tend to grow out of control. When the backlog receives input from a large number of individuals or teams inside the company, it might be chaotic. The feature is a product function that brings value to the end-user. They can be something major like new platform support, or minor like adding color marking in reports.

Sometimes, product managers or owners may be handed a pre-prepared product backlog that is probably supposed to make their work easier. The lists are typically too long and excessively or needlessly detailed. DEEP identifies four key attributes of a high-functioning product backlog. It’s a simple tool that product owners or product managers can use to manage the product backlog and user stories effectively. One of the biggest reasons for having product backlog refinement is that it keeps your backlog clean.

I am a Certified Scrum Master and I also write my thoughts about product management at Teams should make an effort to make sure the priority items remain the most important. Make a note of which ones are high or low priority and which bugs need fixing.

Achieving a DEEP Product Backlog

Everyone is aligned and united by a single tool – the product backlog. It is used as a reference point and becomes central in the project execution that keeps everyone in sync. If you want to learn more about the process of prioritizing tasks, make sure you check our guide with practical tips.

That is the question that all teams will need to determine for themselves based on their situation. There are so many perspectives on the depth of an Agile Scrum backlog, I thought I would jump in to share what has worked for me as an experienced Agile-Lean pragmatist. In his book Agile Product Management with Scrum, Roman Pichler points out that the Product Backlog needs regular attention.

Product backlog vs. sprint backlog

We strive to even out the performance of modules containing large tasks and resources and shorten their loading time. Consider comparing space missions deep backlog with backlog refinement. And unless you have a polished backlog, your mission guide will get you no further than the first page of your backlog.

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