Grooming your Product Backlog


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  • On screen while people are coming inWelcome people to the sessionIf you have a big, gnarly and messing looking backlog it’s going to be hard to get work done.
  • Do you argue about un-finished work at the end of the sprint? (show of hands)How many people enjoy that conversation? (show of hands)
  • Audience participation:Break into groups of X depending on class size. Take 3-5 minutes and brainstorm possible reasons why you’re having these conversationsHave each group put their sticky notes on the wall, clump togetherThroughout session, cross off issues that grooming can solve or help with
  • - Tell a story about a sprint schedule from previous gig that worked well for that team
  • When you don’t do backlog grooming there are consequencesStories aren’t well defined -> leads to inefficient and frustrating planning -> leads to inefficient standups - > leads to work not getting done - > leads to building the wrong thing -> leads to skipping retrospective or extending the sprint to get the work done - > leads to bad quality and missed releases - > leads to pissed off customers -> leads to more management imposed process that aren’t going to help solve the problemWhen you DO backlog grooming you gain a shared understanding which leads to faster feedback which leads to realistic sprint commitments which leads to better quality and happier customers.Important to note that NO TIME isn’t an acceptable reason to not do backlog grooming. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll keep getting what we’re getting so we can either do something different or stop bitching about our current reality.
  • Have team(s) agree on where and whenHave them sign a grooming agreementDo 5 – 10 min retrospective after grooming
  • we’re talking about quadrant 3, but ‘grooming’ can happen on multiple levelsRefer to ‘grooming’ to keep it simple, expand on visioning and prioritization later
  • Grooming your Product Backlog

    1. 1. Grooming Your Product Backlog<br />
    2. 2. Are You Done Yet?<br />You said you’d be done by now…<br />WTF?!?!?!?!<br />*image courtesy of<br />
    3. 3. Sprint work isn’t done<br />Why Are We Having These “Done” Conversations?<br />What’s contributing to the problem?<br />
    4. 4. This Works<br />Monday<br />Tuesday<br />Wednesday<br />Thursday<br />Friday<br />Sprint Planning (4 HRS) 5%<br />workday<br />workday<br />Backlog Grooming<br />(1 HR)<br />workday<br />Team Estimation<br />(1 HR)<br />workday<br />½ workday<br />Artifact Review<br />Sprint 2 Planning (4 HRS) 5%<br />Sprint Demo/<br />Retrospective<br />Backlog Grooming<br />(1 HR)<br /><ul><li>GOAL: prepare stories for upcoming sprints
    5. 5. Low-fi UI prototyping
    6. 6. story mapping
    7. 7. Release planning
    8. 8. T-shirt sizing
    9. 9. Scenarios/acceptance criteria</li></ul>Whole Team!<br />
    10. 10. It’s Not Extra Work...It’s THE Work<br />Backlog Grooming<br />Outcome when you DO<br />Groom the backlog<br />Impact of NOT Grooming<br />The backlog<br />Looong and inefficient sprint planning<br />Shared understanding<br />Loooong and inefficient standups<br />Earlier feedback<br />PANIC!<br />Missing sprint commitments<br />Realistic sprint commitments<br />You build the wrong thing<br />You build the right thing<br />
    11. 11. How To Get Started<br />Agree right now on where and when your team will do it<br />START DOING IT<br />BUT HOW??!?<br />Try it for a couple of weeks<br />Tune your process through retrospectives<br />Set a Goal for the first Session<br />Involve the whole team<br />
    12. 12. Techniques for Grooming the Backlog<br />2) Prioritization (WHEN)<br /><ul><li>Buy a feature
    13. 13. Sliding scale
    14. 14. Kano model
    15. 15. Theme screening/scoring</li></ul>1) Product Visioning (WHAT)<br /><ul><li>Prune the product tree
    16. 16. Ideation
    17. 17. Story mapping</li></ul>Backlog Grooming<br />3) Sprint Preparation (HOW)<br /><ul><li>Story mapping (features)
    18. 18. Low-fi prototyping
    19. 19. Design shop
    20. 20. Paper prototypes
    21. 21. Scenarios, BDD, ATDD
    22. 22. Walk the dog</li></ul>Use 5% of your sprint capacity to get ready for the next sprint<br />
    23. 23. Keep Your Tree Pruned!<br />