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What is Product Backlog Refinement?Product Backlog Refinement (PBR), also called Product Backlog Grooming, is a method for keeping the backlog orderly, clean, and updated. Product Backlog Refinement meeting includes a collaborative discussion at the end of each Sprint.Why is Product Backlog Refinement required?A lot of time is saved at Sprint Planning meetings, if the backlogs are well maintained. If the backlog item is clearly specified in the acceptance criteria and cross-checked properly by the team members, the planning process can be accomplished prior to the meeting. PBR offers the team members the opportunity to interact with each other regarding stories.When do we do a Product Backlog Refinement in a Sprint?Product backlog refinement should be a continual process. However, some teams find it useful to have a planned mid-sprint session that allows for product backlog items that are candidates for the next sprint to be discussed. This session helps to head-start the product backlog refinement activities, with revisions being finalized during the sprint planning session.Who all attends the PBR sessionThe backlog grooming meeting is attended by the Scrum Master. The SM facilitates everything for the team members and also the Product Owner. They decide among the top items from the product backlog. The team can raise queries during the sprint planning session if they find any unresolved issue.    An important tip to remember:Try not to schedule Product Backlog Refinement meeting during the first or last 20% of the Sprint!What is the process of Product Backlog Refinement (PBR)?The goal behind the Product Backlog Refinement (PBR) meeting is to obtain product backlog items in a ‘Ready State’. The development team considers a ‘Ready State’ for product backlog items if the items are:Clear enough: The development team must understand the need of the Stakeholders deeply and why they need it.Small enough: Product backlog items should be small enough to accomplish within a Sprint to follow the ‘definition of done’.The Product Backlog Refinement process can be well understood from the process flowchart mentioned here. The stakeholders have an idea about their needs. The Product Owner and development team can discuss with the Stakeholders to find out what they want and why they want.Once the ‘why’ and ‘what’ is clear, the requirements are cross-checked with the team members to discuss its priority and whether it adds value or not. If it has a value, it can be added to a Product Backlog or else it is removed to avoid wastage of time. Here starts the Product Backlog Refinement meeting.An important tip to remember:Don’t discuss everything during the meeting in order to carry out a ‘good’ Product Backlog Refinement meeting!If the Product Backlog is well retained, then a ton of time can be saved during Product Backlog Refinement meeting. The planning process can be accomplished before the meeting if-The Backlog items are clearly mentioned in the acceptance criteriaCross-checked with the team membersOutput of the Product Backlog Refinement sessionAfter the product backlog refinement meeting, the team can update the Product Backlog items in line. Finally, you will get a potentially shippable product, which is ready to be deployed in the market.Product Backlog Refinement (PBR) allows team members to discuss stories with each other during work. For an effective Backlog grooming-Be sure to Retrospect, Inspect and Adapt!
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Scrum Tutorial

Product Backlog Refinement

What is Product Backlog Refinement?

Product Backlog Refinement (PBR), also called Product Backlog Grooming, is a method for keeping the backlog orderly, clean, and updated. Product Backlog Refinement meeting includes a collaborative discussion at the end of each Sprint.

Why is Product Backlog Refinement required?

A lot of time is saved at Sprint Planning meetings, if the backlogs are well maintained. If the backlog item is clearly specified in the acceptance criteria and cross-checked properly by the team members, the planning process can be accomplished prior to the meeting. PBR offers the team members the opportunity to interact with each other regarding stories.

When do we do a Product Backlog Refinement in a Sprint?

Product backlog refinement should be a continual process. However, some teams find it useful to have a planned mid-sprint session that allows for product backlog items that are candidates for the next sprint to be discussed. This session helps to head-start the product backlog refinement activities, with revisions being finalized during the sprint planning session.
 Product Backlog Refinement

Who all attends the PBR session

The backlog grooming meeting is attended by the Scrum Master. The SM facilitates everything for the team members and also the Product Owner. They decide among the top items from the product backlog. The team can raise queries during the sprint planning session if they find any unresolved issue.

    An important tip to remember:
Try not to schedule Product Backlog Refinement meeting during the first or last 20% of the Sprint!

What is the process of Product Backlog Refinement (PBR)?

Product Backlog Refinement Flowchart

The goal behind the Product Backlog Refinement (PBR) meeting is to obtain product backlog items in a ‘Ready State’. The development team considers a ‘Ready State’ for product backlog items if the items are:

  • Clear enough: The development team must understand the need of the Stakeholders deeply and why they need it.
  • Small enough: Product backlog items should be small enough to accomplish within a Sprint to follow the ‘definition of done’.

The Product Backlog Refinement process can be well understood from the process flowchart mentioned here. The stakeholders have an idea about their needs. The Product Owner and development team can discuss with the Stakeholders to find out what they want and why they want.

Once the ‘why’ and ‘what’ is clear, the requirements are cross-checked with the team members to discuss its priority and whether it adds value or not. If it has a value, it can be added to a Product Backlog or else it is removed to avoid wastage of time. Here starts the Product Backlog Refinement meeting.

An important tip to remember:
Don’t discuss everything during the meeting in order to carry out a ‘good’ Product Backlog Refinement meeting!

If the Product Backlog is well retained, then a ton of time can be saved during Product Backlog Refinement meeting. The planning process can be accomplished before the meeting if-

  • The Backlog items are clearly mentioned in the acceptance criteria
  • Cross-checked with the team members

Output of the Product Backlog Refinement session

After the product backlog refinement meeting, the team can update the Product Backlog items in line. Finally, you will get a potentially shippable product, which is ready to be deployed in the market.

Product Backlog Refinement (PBR) allows team members to discuss stories with each other during work. For an effective Backlog grooming-Be sure to Retrospect, Inspect and Adapt!

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