The Scrum methodology of agile software development marks a dramatic departure from waterfall management. In fact, Scrum and other agile processes were inspired by its shortcomings. The Scrum methodology emphasizes communication and collaboration, functioning software, and the flexibility to adapt to emerging business realities — all attributes that suffer in the rigidly ordered waterfall paradigm.


Scrum Backlog Grooming

Posted by admin under Scrum Basics

Backlog grooming (also called maintenance) is not a formal component of the Scrum process, Ken Schwaber, who founded Scrum, advises teams to dedicate five percent of every sprint to this activity. (As with Scrum’s other meetings, the grooming should take place at the same time and place and for the same duration each sprint.)

Everyone attends the backlog grooming meeting: the team, the Product Owner, and the ScrumMaster. During the maintenance meeting, everyone helps prepare the scrum backlog for the sprint planning meeting. This usually includes adding new stories and epics, extracting stories from existing epics, and estimating effort for existing stories. Why is this helpful? Because a groomed backlog will help streamline sprint planning meetings; otherwise, they can stretch on for hours. When product backlog items contain clearly defined acceptance criteria and are estimated by the appropriate team members, the planning process does not have to be tense or overly long. By dedicating a time to backlog maintenance, the team ensures that this preliminary planning always occurs prior to the sprint planning meeting.

Watch an example backlog grooming meeting.

posted by: scrum methodology

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Reader's Comments

  1. About the Munich Scrum Gathering - pt. 1 at Ricardo Mestre’s Blog |

    [...] “Ready” state. I really like this idea – this needs to be done as an integral part of the “backlog grooming”. – A team of average developers performs better than one with Prima Donna developers (or a [...]

  2. Las reuniones en Scrum | |

    [...] una corriente de opinión Scrum  que cree necesaria la introducción de una reunión llamada Backlog Grooming. Existe una corriente general que apuesta por este tipo de reuniones. En resumen podemos decir que [...]

  3. What is Backlog Grooming and How Much Time Should I Invest? | Agile Doctor |

    [...] (backlog grooming) is the best thing since sliced bread, but how much time should this take. Ken Schwaber, who founded Scrum, advises teams to dedicate five percent of every sprint to this acti…. Michael Cohn has recommended roughly 10% of current sprint time to be dedicated to future sprint [...]

  4. Mike |

    Dudes, please, couldn’t you choose a better word than grooming?

  5. ewok_bbq |

    Thanks Mike for the comment. The other optional name is backlog refinement meeting. Cheers

  6. Céline Dedaj |

    Since July 2013, the Backlog Grooming is called “Backlog Refinement”. (cf. new Scrum Guide)

  7. Ma présence à l’Agile Tour Montréal 2013 samedi prochain | French Coding |

    [...] mots Scrum, Sprint Planning ou même Grooming sont maintenant des mots faisant partie de mon vocabulaire de tous les jours au travail. Au cours [...]

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