Product Backlog refinement (PBR) meetings are some of the most unproductive and painful interactions ever visited upon a Scrum Team.  If your PBR meetings are great, then skip this tune-up.  It’s not for you.  If they need some improvement, then read on!

Scrum works best when high priority Product Backlog items are small, relatively well-understood and achievable in a single Sprint.  PBR ensures Product Backlog items at the top of the Product Backlog are ready to be brought into the next Sprint.  Without PBR, Sprint Planning is a terrible, awful, no-good experience for everyone involved.

Are your Product Backlog refinement meetings Scrum Team torture?

To avoid wasting people’s time in unproductive Sprint Planning meetings, the Product Backlog must be well-maintained. Our Product Backlog refinement tune-up will show you how to do this in a way that is collaborative, respectful of people’s time and focused on results.

How We Transform Your Product Backlog Refinement in Three Steps

  1. Carlton schedules a Zoom call with key members of your Scrum Team to learn what they like about PBR, what your team wants to see changed and what could be added to your PBR meetings to make them better. In addition, Carlton will review your Definition of Done.
  2. Carlton will then design a tailored PBR meeting for you and your Scrum Team based on feedback you provided him during your call.
  3. Next, he will facilitate a PBR meeting for your Scrum Team.
    • In the first part of the meeting, Carlton will review the fundamentals of PBR and answer any questions about PBR.
    • In the second part, Carlton will facilitate the PBR meeting to demonstrate how to create a positive experience that will allow the Scrum Team to identify the appropriate amount of detail that supports Sprint Planning.
    • At the conclusion of the meeting, Carlton will conduct a short retro, offer recommendations on how to improve future PBR meetings and schedule any follow-up, if needed.

This tune-up is perfect for:

  • Scrum Teams that spend way too much time in PBR meetings.
  • Developers, Product Owners and ScrumMasters who disagree on how much detail should be included in a Product Backlog item, or user story, before a Sprint begins.
  • Developers who are frustrated by lengthy meetings that have no point, unproductive discussions and pressure to commit to up-front estimates when requirements are vague.
  • Product Owners who are dissatisfied with the dynamic of their PBR meetings, but don’t know how to improve the situation.
  • Scrum Teams whose Product Backlogs are a complete disaster and need help improving them.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Practice refining Product Backlog items and user stories so that they are small, relatively well-understood and achievable within a single Sprint.
  • Demonstrate how to make high-level estimates based on a Definition of Done.
  • Describe how much preparation is needed to have an effective and efficient PBR meeting.

At the conclusion of this tune-up, your Scrum Team will be able to refine Product Backlog items much more quickly with much less disagreement. That sounds like a win to me!

Note: If you need help with your Sprint Planning, we have a Sprint Planning tune-up that can help! If you don’t have a Definition of Done, or your Definition of Done is really old, we also have a Definition of Done tune-up for you and your Scrum Team.