Scrum Backlog Refinement — or Backlog Grooming — is the process of keeping the product backlog fresh and up to date. These meetings can happen on-demand or scheduled on a recurring basis.
Since the world is ever changing and new information is surfacing constantly, it is easy for backlogs to get outdated: full of obsolete tasks, half thought through tasks, or tasks with outdated information attached to them.
Regularly reviewing and refining the backlog, means the team have a reliable source of truth to turn to when figuring out what to do next.
1. Strategy review ( 2 mins )
Re-align on the north star. What are the objectives and goals for this team?
2. What wasn't completed? ( 5 mins )
What tasks were started, but remain unfinished and high priority?
3. What came up? ( 5 mins )
What new things came up that need to be fixed? Bugs, new features, new user needs?
4. What needs to get done? ( 10 mins )
Reprioritize items to ensure that the most important things needed to move the product forward will be tackled next.
5. What should we cut or split? ( 5 mins )
Remove tasks that are no longer required and split tasks into smaller chunks that can be more easily prioritized.
6. What risks might we face this sprint? ( 3 mins )
Go round the "room" and express—judgement free—any risks or concerns you have that make things go off the rails.