Everything You Need to Know About Backlog Grooming

The concepts of project management and product management are different – the first is tactical while the second is strategic.

However, it is common for both of them to get confused with each other.

Project management and product management face challenges unique to the scope of their role. Not to mention the responsibilities of project managers and completely different product managers.

But one thing is for sure, they both complement each other and are equally important to business functions.

In fact, both are connected by a central practice in agile development called backlog grooming cultivation!

Before we move on, let’s take a closer look at the functions in project management and product management.

Distinguishing between project management and product management

Here is a simple way to distinguish between the two:

Product management answers the questions “What needs to be developed for the product?” And “Why does the product need it?”

On the other hand, project management answers the questions “How do you develop it?” “Who will open it?” And “When do we develop it?”

This is why it is said that product management is strategic while project management is tactical.

While product management involves product vision, gathering and prioritizing requirements and maximizing value delivery, project management focuses on realizing the vision and implementing it using the available resources.

So how do we make sure we can both complement each other successfully and efficiently? This is where load cultivation comes into play.

Understanding retardation

Let’s start with the load definition.

Accumulated is basically a list of items with priority that the product / project team needs to work on in iteration or sprint.

You might think, “Oh, like a to-do list?” No, far from it.

The Sabra captures development plans, initiatives, requirements and work units that teams need to provide in order to meet sprint goals.

These items are mainly derived from the roadmap of the product / project and may also be added according to the needs of the customer or stakeholders.

Types of retardation

There are several types of backlogs depending on the nature of the business. However, for agile teams, the most prominent of which are the product or project aggregator, and the sprint aggregator.

So if you are in product management, you will have a product backlog, but if you are in project management then you will have a backlog of projects.

Both serve the same purpose and are managed in the same way, but the types of items in the cluster were different.

First, the product aggregate will contain items that cover the product scope, i.e., functional features, requirements and initiatives.

The project aggregate will then contain action items that will provide the said functional features, requirements and initiatives.

While the product / project aggregate contains items that are critical to the development and life cycle of a product / project, the sprint aggregator contains only action items that are critical to meeting sprint goals.

There are no items to be included in the sprint cluster unless they have been registered in the product / project cluster and treated accordingly.

In other words, the product / project aggregate is linked to the sprint aggregator through aggregate cultivation.

But what is the meaning of cultivating retardation?

Cultivation of arrears

Cultivating retardation or scrum sharpening are key practices in agile development – but surprisingly, often neglected.

What happens during cultivation?

  1. The product owner and project managers will check the backlog items and arrange them according to priority levels.
  2. Items with the highest priority will be matched with the details needed to let the contact team know what will be developed.
  3. Items that have been nurtured and thorough prioritization will be transferred to the sprint cluster.

It is a cumulative process that helps product owners align product priorities with project managers so that their two teams can deliver the highest production values.

During the Scrum refinement, it is actually the key that support items will be supported with all the information so that the work can be done efficiently.

Critical information includes estimates, deadlines, description or instructions of the item, recipient, and relevant attachments if applicable.

Agility also depends on how efficiently you cultivate your load. Proper and consistent delay treatment allows you to manage new requirements and address sudden blockers.

The load cultivation should be arranged and it is best to do it once in the sprint, ¾ out of the way in the sprint to make sure it can support the upcoming sprint goals.

So how does backlog cultivation become the starting point of product and project management?

Blogging: Connecting a product to project management

In product management, the product owner is responsible for managing the product cluster – adding initiatives and additional items to the cluster, prioritizing the items and ensuring that the cluster is transparent to everyone.

Meanwhile, in project management, the project manager is responsible for dismantling preferred initiatives in the aggregate into smaller work units, adding estimates to each item and managing the resources needed to deliver these items in the upcoming iterations.

Through Sabra Cultivation, product owners and project managers work together to achieve the following:

  • Accurate prioritization of accumulated items
  • Collect requirements for favorite items
  • Decide on items that will provide the highest value for the product
  • Establish realistic expectations regarding the supply of products
  • Risk assessment involved in product development
  • Avoid crawling perimeter

Once this is done, you can streamline your sprint design while focusing on providing value.

More importantly, nurturing helps the two key functions to respond appropriately to stakeholder needs, manage priorities effectively and achieve business goals consistently.

Now let’s master the recommended methods for cultivating sabra for managing products and projects.

Accumulation cultivation: best practices for product and project management

The list below details the steps for cultivating sabra and best practices.

  • Set up your ‘Ready’ setting to help everyone on both sides of the team know if an item has been thoroughly groomed and refined.
  • Incorporate the right people into your backlog grooming session (i.e., product owner, project manager, Scrum Master, development team, and so on) so you don’t miss any input.
  • Sort the items based on the planned roadmap as well as how ready they are, how much value they provide and their priority values.
  • Be sure to break down a large task into smaller work units so that the products can be listed accurately.
  • Define the dependency between items to improve priorities and collaboration. This is also to ensure that there will be no blockers as soon as the new sprint begins.
  • Collect the requirements and acceptance criteria for priority items so that an accurate value can be provided.
  • Reduce priority items with appropriate information to provide context and clarity.
  • Work with the rest of the team to evaluate each item. Assessments help team members deal with the weight of each item and the effort required.
  • Add items for upcoming work (i.e., new feature requests) to the aggregator after the previous items have been escalated to the sprint aggregator.
  • Prioritize new items accordingly – this may change during the next grooming session.
  • Remove items that are no longer relevant to the development so that the sabra is not treated as a landfill for ideas.
  • Assess your need for grooming tools to improve the grooming process and speed up refinement sessions.

Sabra grooming tools

Here are some prominent tools for cultivating the load you can consider leveraging.

Excellent Excel sheets for product owners and project managers working in medium-sized organizations. If your company has not yet reached the commendable level of digital maturity, then Excel is a good start. However, you need to build your backlog from scratch, which can take time. Admittedly, there are many Free templates Available online that you can easily customize.

  • Topics and projects tracking tools

Modern product and project management tend to rely on problem-tracking tools and projects to help them work faster and more efficiently. Tools like Jira are highly preferred by agile teams because the product and project management environment is set up for them automatically. This allows for automatic workflows and the best thing is that the accumulator is easily built for you.

  • Third-party aggregation grooming app

If you use Jira, and you are a large-scale project manager and need efficient capabilities, then a Wait for a grooming delay An app like Excel Themes Editor for Jira is the solution for you. It offers an easy-to-use Excel-like interface and allows you to nurture up to 10,000 items at once

We are moving towards excellence in product management and projects

A lot of factors come into play if we want to talk about excellence in product and project management.

But by pursuing only effective accumulation, you can already be sure that you are ten steps ahead of others in achieving excellence.

Meet your staff and start taking care of your backlog today!




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