How to groom a Backlog

Oscar de la Hera Gomez
<p>A flower that represents Project Management with the text “Backlog” beneath it.</p>

A scrum and agile guide to grooming a backlog.

Teams that use Agile Methodologies or Scrum should continuously be updating and re-prioritizing the backlog (i.e. grooming the Backlog) to make sure that it is up to date and it demonstrates the priority of business objectives.

To do this we recommend the following:

Whenever a bug comes up

As part of the quality assurance process, teams may find that user stories (tasks) or agile user stories (subtasks) do not meet the acceptance criteria.

In some occasions, it may be that a new development has broken something that worked before; in others, that the new development is unacceptable.

Add this bug as a ticket to the backlog and link it to the task or subtask.

If there's time, add it to the existing Sprint. If not, make it the highest priority for the next Sprint.

Whenever there's a design or technical change

Projects that use Agile Methodologies or Scrum are fluid and change constantly. Sometimes the changes come from engineering or design.

In any event, whenever there is a change to the design or technical execution of the product, service or experience, add it to the backlog and prioritize it.

Whenever leadership or the client asks for something

Projects that use Agile Methodologies or Scrum have a key ceremony known as a Sprint Review where teams demonstrate progress.

In these meetings clients or leadership may request changes, updates or new features.

Document these in the backlog and prioritize them.

Whenever a customer reports feedback

Whether its through an email or during an In-Depth Interviews (IDI), Focus Group, A/B test, Usability Test or Functional Test, whenever a customer or user reports feedback add it to the backlog and prioritize it.

Whenever something is mentioned at Stand-Up

Stand-ups are a great way to enhance communication, productivity and efficiency.

They allow teams to voice progress and blocks.

Whenever items that are not reflected in the backlog appear, document them and prioritize them.

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