The Product Backlog is owned by the Product Owner.

Grooming is done by:

  • adding
  • removing
  • (re-)prioritizing
  • decomposing
  • enriching / detailing

requirements, which can be bugs, technical dept, features or stories.

Normally an Issue Tracking System is used, e.g. Jira. So it’s easy to trace this.

Usually the Product Owner does this in close cooperation with the Stakeholders and the Development Team.

Prioritization can be made by considering the following 3 aspects:

  • Business Impact
  • Risk*
  • Necessity/Urgency

* = The risk of a requirement can be determined by analyzing the dependencies to other issues.

A Product Backlog should have at least the top 2 stories “ready-to-implement” stories, normally as much stories that are sufficient for the next Sprint, but never more ready stories than the Development Team is able to implement in 3 Sprints. Further stories, with a lower priority should be only kept vague, so that the knowledge base on which the detailing is made is always as current as possible.


Grooming Workshops

The Product Owner can additionally invite the whole Development Team (and may be also some stakeholders) to a weekly or bi-weekly “Grooming Workshop” or “Grooming Meeting” or “Refinement Meeting”. It can be very useful to choose one big theme / topic. So don’t talk about 20 stories, but some related stories. Optionally the Product Owner can have a 1 hour Pre-Grooming Meeting with one Lead Developer to get at least 1 team member on board upfront and to identify what needs more preperation.


Every 1-2 weeks

A good duration is 1-1.5 hours

During the Grooming Workshop the Product Owner will find out, if the stories are too big, too small, too detailed, too unclear by using some techniques e.g. Planning Poker. There will be much knowledge transfer within this meeting. Also Acceptance Criteria for stories can be collected together.