DEEP-DIVE into Product Backlog INVEST in Stories Create SMART Tasks
Some tasks cannot begin until another dependent task is completed. These dependencies can halt team members and delay progress if not identified or managed. Make sure to identify any dependencies when backlog grooming. Estimated- Backlog items should be “estimated” to understand the work, time, and cost required to implement.
Sprint backlogs are quite similar to product backlogs, but they serve a different, more specific purpose. At the beginning of a Scrum, the product owner arranges the product backlog items that are to be completed by the Scrum team in that sprint. After completing a backlog grooming session, the team should have enough user stories for two sprints. In this manner, they will have enough work to keep them busy until the next backlog grooming, as well as tasks to accomplish if priorities fluctuate. When it comes to grooming sessions, efficiency is everything.
Come prepared to backlog grooming sessions
The backlog might consist of product bugs, new features, technical debt, UI changes, etc. The product owner is in charge of ordering and prioritizing backlog items, placing high-priority items at the top. They are also responsible for backlog refinement, which ensures all backlog items are organized, have appropriate details, and are ready for any upcoming sprint planning. A simple but powerful timeline is the best way to visualize the overall strategy for your product.
It would have been a waste if I’d risked my progress to create a work that the professor would never review. Items on the backlog are ranked based on their value and the strategic purpose they serve, with higher-value items placed at the top. Break down the Epics at the top of the Backlog into smaller items, which must fit in a Sprint or Development Cycle. While meetings tend to be lengthy, it is better to keep them brief. Determine what has to be done and only meet for an hour or two every two weeks.
Turn every software project into a successful one.
Below, we dig deep into the strategy’s benefits and best practices, including how to execute successful backlog refinement meetings to guarantee a strong product team. Continue reading to improve team structure and meeting activities. Healthy and successful backlog management means consistent and frequent collaboration between product owners and the dev team. Encourage the team to brainstorm ideas and initiatives, be active, ask questions, and collect feedback from them.
There will constantly be a backlog, but not all items on that backlog are equivalent. Backlog grooming allows the manager to ensure appropriate items on their backlog list and listed in order of priority. Here are some handy tips or best practices required to maintain a healthy backlog. The most important thing about identifying a Product Backlog Grooming facilitator is ensuring they have the right skills and experience to perform the role at hand. Sometimes, however, our teams are not interchangeable—they have more specialized skills and knowledge. In these cases, we need team-specific views into the backlog, so that teams see and choose from only the features that are relevant to their skillsets.
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 . The product owner will define user stories to the best of their ability, but occasionally developers still require https://globalcloudteam.com/ further explanation. The backlog grooming session gives the team an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification about user stories to avoid any confusion. The objective of a backlog grooming session is to position the team to deliver a better product more efficiently.
The backlog is constantly updated by the product manager, QA tester, developers, or other team members. This can cause a messy and chaotic backlog with many outdated items. Nothing gets done unless it’s on the backlog, but simply listing an item doesn’t guarantee that it will be accomplished.
What is done in a backlog grooming session?
In essence, it helps to keep your product backlog healthy. Even if the person responsible for the product backlog is the product owner, all team members must have access to it and be able to add ideas. Scrum team members should keep technical debt in mind and offer suggestions on how to pay it back. When all team members can contribute, the application can benefit from everyone’s areas of expertise.
- And unless you have a polished backlog, your mission guide will get you no further than the first page of your backlog.
- Before you can fully understand backlog grooming, we need to explain what a backlog is.
- These reviews are called “backlog grooming” or “backlog refinement” in agile circles.
- The product owner should explain the metrics that have occurred since the last meeting and then use them to update the backlog.
Larger user stories are broken down into smaller parts because it goes against agile principles to spend too much time working on a single, long user story. User stories that are divided into multiple smaller, independent stories are more testable than longer user stories. Not being on the same page about the description or acceptance criteria of user stories can lead developers to implement half-baked stories or stories that lead to unexpected results.
Optimize Your Meetings
Identifying roadblocks and minimizing risks related to backlog items. Adding new user stories that reflect newly discovered user insights. With LogRocket, you can understand the scope of the issues affecting your product and prioritize the changes that need to be made.
A groomed backlog helps your product team deliver features more rapidly and keeps the organization moving forward. It reduces the time product managers and product owners spend planning sprints and increases the productivity of everyone involved in building the product. Backlog grooming is an ongoing activity undertaken by the product owner in collaboration with other key stakeholders. As such, the product manager, product owner, scrum master, developers, designers, QAs, and all other stakeholders are required to attend the grooming session. A backlog grooming session is generally led by the product owner.
Common Product Owner Myths
Then, using this vertical slice as a reference, determine rough estimates for other vertical slices that have not been estimated. Finer grain estimates can be created with additional refinement – and this may be justified when approaching key milestones when peoples need for certainty increases. Ordering backlog items to deliver the most impact over the next sprint.
Essentially, the backlog is a single source of truth for everything the product team needs to work on. Estimated — Backlog items at the top should include an accurate estimation of the work needed to deliver them. Conversely, items down the backlog should only be roughly estimated as they are not that well understood yet. LogRocket identifies friction points in the user experience so you can make informed decisions about product and design changes that must happen to hit your goals. For example, a feature that needs API integration with another platform might need to be completed before the UI can be developed on the application.
The information may have been a high priority and pivotal to the outcome once but may hold little significance now. Otherwise, it’s cluttering up the backlog and hiding the true priorities. Backlog sessions are a great way to remove the “fluff” so stakeholders can focus on the priorities that drive the main initiatives.
LogRocket simplifies workflows by allowing Engineering and Design teams to work from the same data as you, eliminating any confusion about what needs to be done. It may evolve based on a wide range of parameters, such as a change in organization’s strategy, a shift in the market or user behavior, or the arrival of a new competitor. I am passionate about solving business problems by bringing the team together and removing impediments. I started my career as a business analyst before moving into product management.
Remove outdated user stories and tasks
With the backlog, you want to capture the details — medium and small features, bugs, user requests, and so on. The product backlog contains the task-level details required to develop the product as outlined in the roadmap. On the other hand, listing an item on the backlog doesn’t guarantee that it will be delivered.
Advantages of User Stories over Requirements and Use Cases
There’s no hard-and-fast rule for who needs to attend a backlog grooming session. However, it is ideal that the entire cross-functional team is represented to have the most effective session. The combined expertise of the various individuals on your team is what you need to flesh out your user stories effectively. The product backlog plays a crucial role in achieving a fast, flexible flow of value delivery in the presence of uncertainty.
What’s backlog grooming?
We’ll cover all of these attributes in detail, including how you can ensure your product backlog is in good health. But first, let’s get on the same page about product backlogs and the refinement process. What makes a product backlog so effective deep backlog is its agile nature. Backlogs are in constant evolution, changing and adapting based on the current needs of stakeholders and customers. To keep a backlog up-to-date and in its most effective form, it needs to be continuously refined and adapted.
The best way to be efficient about grooming agile sessions is to keep things moving and ensure conversations don’t become sidetracked. Most teams decide that a project manager, Scrum master, or facilitator helps keep people on track during meetings. Some teams even decide to assign time limits to each user story to keep things moving. Picture the product backlog as a pipeline through which the product features flow into sprints, where they are designed, built, and tested by the team. Notice that as a proposed feature nears the end of the pipeline, it becomes progressively smaller and more refined.