Why is Product Grooming Critical in Product Management?
A backlog of product tasks is one of the main and mandatory artifacts in Agile. Actually, it’s a set of requirements received from the business and formulated in the form of development tasks. What should be done to ensure that these tasks are always in order and how is grooming concept related to this?
This set of tasks have no value if it does not bring any system or structure optimization. It’s rather important to work with the product backlog properly to get relevant tasks. Product backlog grooming is right for this goal. In this article, we figure out how to organize and conduct it.
You probably have a clear idea of what the product backlog means. Perhaps our article about how to maintain product backlog has already helped you and brought some use. Now it’s time to define all the details about product backlog grooming.
And yes, it can really be compared with caring about one’s appearance because the product also requires attention to be high-demanded.
What is product backlog grooming in product management?
A product backlog is the list of user stories not in the current sprint that defines the remainder of the project’s scope. This list of separate items on a product backlog can quickly become overwhelmed. Someone may have a panic attack concerning what should be done when the product backlog rapidly grows.
When it happens, team members can lose focus on important tasks and user stories’ status may become unclear. Troubles with estimating the time and resources may appear.
Product backlog grooming is a process or a meeting between the project manager or a product manager and a customer’s representative aimed to break the backlog down into user stories and reprioritize them.
Grooming should be a regular event, based on a deep analysis and clear acts
Product backlog grooming is required to make sure that the tasks presented in the backlog are relevant and those that are presented at the top of the list are ready for planning in sprint, implementation, and release.
What are the goals of product backlog grooming?
Sometimes product backlog grooming meeting is also named as backlog refinement meeting or story time session. Anyway, the global purpose of this event is to discuss the current backlog list, define and propose suggestions for its improvement.
The improvement may look like:
- Writing new user stories
- Removing no more relevant user stories
- Re-assessing the relative priorities
- Adding new features, prioritizing and estimating them
- Refining and reprioritizing previously written user stories
- Breaking some user stories down into smaller ones
- Redefining testing criteria
- Reviewing time and personnel estimates for individual backlog issues
- Correcting estimates in light of newly defined data, etc.
Generally, backlog grooming helps ensure that the requirements will be clarified and user stories will be prepared for work in advance prior to planning in the sprint.
While planning the future interactions, the team has a well-defined set of stories that are split into independent components, evaluated, and prioritized. And that’s the result.
You can easily prioritize your tasks with the help of Hygger.io – remove not relevant user stories, increase or decrease the priority of separate tasks, add and revise new features, and much more. All this is very convenient to do with the Value and Effort parameters and a friendly Backlog Priority Chart.
As a conclusion
Remember, that product backlog grooming should be your permanent event, which you do not need to forget about every time. This is the norm for the qualitative development of the product. The most important thing is to optimize tasks in the backlog for subsequent work with them.
Product backlog grooming helps to clarify the relevance of the tasks presented in the backlog, review existing issues and obtain additional necessary information on tasks that are still unclear.
Find out more about maintaining product backlog in Hygger University tutorial.