How to use GitScrum for Product Backlog Grooming in Agile

Backlog grooming in agile is also known as backlog refinement, and by having it, agile teams add details, estimates and organization to the product backlog items.

When the backlog grooming happens all items involved in the project are revised, and the items update can be done at any time needed.

The main reason to do backlog grooming in agile is to make sure that the next stages of the project have all product backlog ready to be used.

In this context, you will understand how GitScrum can be used as a tool for product backlog grooming in agile, its benefits and all tools available to make agile products more effective.

Agile Backlog Grooming Meeting

A backlog grooming meeting is when the Scrum team discuss all project backlog items and prepare for the next sprint or stage of the project.

And because it is really important to keep the project running, the backlog grooming meetings are essential.

In order to organize everything prior, during and after this event, your team can count on a Scrum project management tool such as GitScrum. It has all features needed to keep the whole team updated and ready for the next tasks.

Sometimes it can involve the whole team, but it can also be a smaller-version meeting where the product owner discusses with other members about the product backlog items.

During the backlog grooming meeting, it is important that the participants keep focused and that useless discussions are not part of the event.

Because of that, a few questions must be answered while planning and executing a backlog grooming meeting.

  1. Who should attend the meeting?

    Although it’s interesting to share and discuss issues with the whole team, the backlog grooming meeting should be carefully organized.

    This is important because this meeting usually happens 2 or 3 days before the end of a sprint, meaning that some of the members may still be working hard to finish an important task for the completion of that stage of the product.

    Therefore, backlog grooming meetings are an opportunity for product owners and product managers to discuss more strategic aspects of the items in the backlog.

  2. What is the expected outcome of a backlog grooming meeting?

    The main objective of having a backlog grooming meeting is to have a list of priorities, high level of details and make big tasks to be broken into smaller ones.

    In order to have the best management of these tasks, GitScrum is the perfect platform for agile project management and can be pretty useful in this process.

    By the end of the backlog grooming meeting, the whole team has clear tasks, organized next steps, which are being managed by a system to help achieve the best possible results.

  3. How long does a backlog grooming meeting take?

    There is no fixed duration time for a backlog grooming meeting. However, as we are talking about an agile project, it’s not interesting to have an excessive long meeting.

    Usually, backlog grooming discussions last from 45 minutes to 1 hour. It must not overcome this duration, because efficiency must be one of the main priorities of an agile team.

    To facilitate the process of organizing these meetings, using a project management platform such as GitScrum is great. By doing this, the team remains focused while having relevant discussions and clear outcomes.

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How GitScrum helps you in Backlog refinement

As already mentioned, to use a management software for agile projects such as GitScrum is a real advantage when having backlog grooming meetings.

There are many other cases where GitScrum can be helpful in project management, but especially talking about the backlog grooming meetings is possible to highlight some features:

  • Task Checklists

    As the main objective of a backlog grooming meeting is to review and discuss all backlog items involved in the current stage of the project, to use checklists is a great idea.

    By doing so, it’s easier to guarantee that all topics are covered, and also to be direct and effective during the meeting.

  • Templates for Workflow and others

    One of the most important outcomes of a backlog grooming meeting is to guarantee the organization and backlog for the next tasks to be successfully completed.

    And to have it clear for the whole team, creating workflows is very good and GitScrum is the best platform for it.


Expected Benefits by Backlog refinement with GitScrum

When a team has a backlog grooming process as part of the routine, some benefits can be seen and must be always a goal. GitScrum is the best platform to help your team achieve these advantages:

  1. To increase product efficiency and remove uncertainty of uncompleted tasks or low quality ones.

  2. Because it guarantees better efficiency, GitScrum also helps to avoid rework during the development of the product.

  3. By doing backlog grooming, the team is able to understand and foresee risks on the upcoming tasks.

  4. When backlog grooming meetings are done regularly, the whole team organizes to participate and bring any discussions to this moment. This way, parallel discussion and talking more than one time to different people about the same issue doesn’t happen anymore.

  5. Information can be transformed into knowledge. And with the use of a tool such as GitScrum, product owners and managers are able to add this knowledge to reports and strategic presentations after the backlog grooming is completed and a new stage of the project is started.


Agile background grooming and sprint planning

The backlog grooming is the input for the sprint planning. The backlog grooming meeting is about more specific tasks and organizing workflows, while the sprint planning is actually the moment to stop and think about what are the next steps for the following sprint as a whole.

It is possible to differentiate it while using GitScrum, because it is a tool to have visualization and sharing of all important aspects of a project with the whole team.

The sprint planning is a meeting that should be attended by the whole team, differently from the backlog grooming that may have less people participating.

Also, if extra experience on a specific backlog item is necessary, external stakeholders may be invited to join the sprint planning.


Final considerations on GitScrum for Product Backlog Grooming in Agile

As Agile is a methodology that demands efficiency and high standard processes and final projects, when executing a product backlog grooming meeting, it is essential to keep these characteristics.

In order to have these results, GitScrum is the perfect tool to manage all aspects of a project, as well as to keep plans and goals updated.

GitScrum has several features that can be used for these purposes. Give it a try for free and understand how it can help you and your team to execute better agile projects.