Backlog Refinement

Backlog refinement is the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the product backlog. This is an ongoing process in which the product owner and the development team collaborate on the details of product backlog items. During backlog refinement, items are reviewed and revised. The scrum team decides how and when refinement is done. Backlog refinement usually consumes no more than 10% of the capacity of the development team. However, product backlog items can be updated at any time by the product owner or at the product owner’s discretion.

Higher priority product backlog items are usually clearer and more detailed than lower priority ones. More precise estimates are made based on the greater clarity and increased detail; the lower the priority, the less detail. Product backlog items that will occupy the development team for the upcoming sprint are refined so that any one item can reasonably be “done” within the sprint time-box. Product backlog items that can be “done” by the development team within one sprint are deemed “ready” for selection in a sprint planning. Product backlog items usually acquire this degree of transparency through the above described refining activities.