Product managers and product owners know exactly that a backlog should be permanently reviewed and updated. Backlog grooming helps to make it timely.
How to manage backlog correctly? And what should we know about the grooming process?
The article posted on Hygger.io blog states that the product backlog is a set of requirements received from the business and formulated in the form of development tasks. This set of tasks have no value if it does not bring any system or structure optimization. Product backlog grooming helps to work with the backlog properly to get relevant tasks.
Any product backlog consists of the list of user stories. This list of separate items on a product backlog can quickly become overwhelmed. It’s definitely not the reason to panic, it’s time to groom it.
When the backlog rapidly grows, the team can lose focus on important tasks and user stories’ status may become unclear. The grooming process (or product refinement) is a meeting of the project manager or a product manager and a customer’s representative aimed to break the backlog down into user stories and reprioritize them. They should care to make the grooming a regular event, based on a deep analysis and clear acts.
It is required to make sure that all the tasks presented in the backlog are relevant and those that are presented at the top of the list are ready for planning in sprint, implementation, and release.
Key goals of product backlog refinement
The main goal of this meeting is to discuss the current backlog list, define and propose suggestions for its optimization. The backlog improvements may include:
- New user stories
- Removing not relevant user stories
- Reprioritizing the priorities
- Redefining testing criteria
- Adding new features and estimating them
- Refining the previously written user stories
- Breaking some user stories down into smaller ones
- Reviewing time and personnel estimates for individual backlog issues
- Correcting estimates in light of newly defined data, etc.
Backlog grooming helps ensure that the requirements will be clarified and user stories will be prepared for work in advance prior to planning in the sprint.
All we need to remember from this article is that product backlog grooming should be the permanent event. The most important thing is to optimize tasks in the backlog for subsequent work with them.