Backlog grooming or refinement. Discuss and prepare backlog items.
What is backlog grooming or refinement? What advantages does it offer and how is it done?
What is backlog grooming or refinement?
Like a garden, the product backlog of your Scrum project also has to be trimmed and maintained. Which product items (user stories, bugs, technical stories, etc) will you implement in your next sprint? Are they formulated clearly enough and does you scope allow them to be implemented in one sprint? To clarify these questions, the development team and the product owner meet for some backlog grooming (or backlog refinement, backlog estimation or story time). Here, you take the items more precisely under the magnifying glass, add details, clear up unclearness, estimate workloads, change priorities, add new items, or remove entire items. Backlog grooming is not an officially defined Scrum meeting, like, for example, the daily Scrum or sprint planning. However the Scrum guide advises carrying out backlog grooming or refinement regularly.
What does the Scrum guide say about this?
“Product Backlog refinement is the act of breaking down and further defining Product Backlog items into smaller more precise items. This is an ongoing activity to add details, such as a description, order, and size. Attributes often vary with the domain of work. The Developers who will be doing the work are responsible for the sizing. The Product Owner may influence the Developers by helping them understand and select trade-offs.” (Scrum Guide 2020)