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Backlog Grooming

Backlog grooming is a very important part of the product development process.

It is an activity directed to remove unknowns and reduce risk for delivery of the solution.

Before the Backlog Grooming meeting

  1. The product Manager shares a list of tickets to be groomed a day or two before the actual Backlog grooming meeting. This allows the dev team to research tickets and think about a problem and potential solutions before the Backlog grooming call.
  2. Capture all of the relevant technical details of the proposed solution in a ticket itself, under the “Tech Notes” section.

On the Backlog Grooming meeting

During the Backlog grooming call where you as a team go over a list of tickets where each engineer that was researching their specific ticket, presents a proposed solution to the whole team.

Next up, the team estimates the ticket and marks it ready for dev.

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Make sure to keep the pace, keeping in mind that you need to go thru the entire list of planned tickets to be groomed. If you see one specific ticket as a point of contention within the team, do not spend more time than necessary discussing it on a call, take it for additional research offline.

When starting with a new team or project, have as many Backlog groomings per sprint as necessary in order to create groomed and prioritized product backlog.

Over time you are likely to converge to 1 or 2 groomings per sprint.