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Multi-Team Backlog Refinement by Cesario Ramos

· scrum

What is Product Backlog Refinement?

👉activity that Scrum Teams regularly do to clarify potential upcoming Product Backlog Items (PBI)


* Understanding what is the right problem to solve

* Splitting big items for discussion and learning

* Estimating items for learning and alignment

* Understanding Customer needs

* Clarify Items

* Define Exploratory Test Charters

* Create initial designs

Why multi-team refinement?

Benefits that multi-team refinement can give you:

* Adaptability at the product level ( because all teams understand all PBIs)

* Improved self-coordination (the teams know of "dependencies" between PBIs)

* Transparant measure of progress at the product level (one common velocity at the product level)


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How to do multi-team refinement?

So, let's say that there are four teams A, B, C and D.

Then at refinement, I ask the teams to form four new groups, each group consisting of a person from team A, B, C and D.

Why? With groups consisting of members from each team, all PBIs are refined by at least one person of every team.

This creates a shared ownership and broad understanding about the PBIs.

Multi-team refinement formats

🎡 0. Full Roulette

Each group picks a PBI for refinement and start refining at their station.

After a timebox -I like 15 min timeboxes- all groups move to the next station and continue refining where the other group left off;

this is continued until the PBIs are refined or the workshop timebox expires

1. Partial Roulette

Just like Full Roulette, but instead of the whole group moving to another stations, 1 person stays at the station.

This person then teaches the new group what was discussed before they continue with refinement.

🔀 2. Diverge and merge

One person stays at each station and becomes the teacher.

Then all groups send a person to each of the other stations. So, let's say you gave groups A, B, C and D.

Then 1 person from group A stays at the station to teach back and 1 other person visits group B, another group C and another group D.

After the teach back, the persons return to their original group and share their learnings.

👩‍🏫 3. Teach Back

Each group picks a PBI and refines it.

After the timebox is over, each group teaches their work so far back to the other teams and have a Q&A discussion.

👩‍💼 Role of the Product Owner and Customers

The Product Owner has to be prepared and understand what is needed from the business perspective.

The PO will discuss overall topics at for example a Storymap and also participate in each group when requested.

#scrum #multiTeam #refinement

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