Backlog grooming items planning



  • In a Scrum project if the team is from 4 developers, the sprint is two weeks long, Team Velocity is 40 SP/Sprint and the Focus Factor is 0.6. During the Backlog Grooming meeting, user stories with how many story points should be split into technical tasks?



  • Some of this information is extraneous. When figuring out how much of the backlog to have refined, I've never really considered the team size, Sprint length, or "focus factor" (I'm not even sure what that means in your context). The only thing that I look at is how much of the Product Backlog has been refined.

    Personally, I favor having the top of the Product Backlog refined to the point where the work is likely to fit into about 3 Sprints.

    Unless something new is added, this is the most likely work to come up. Ideally, the Product Owner is making sure that the order is reflecting factors such as value, priority, and dependencies on a continuous or near-continuous basis. A big surprise at a Sprint Review, for example, should be rare to uncommon for most teams. Even if things shuffle around, the team should be able to take a lot of refined work into a Sprint and do a little bit of refinement after the Sprint Review on any feedback that comes out of that event.

    This approach also strikes a balance between having enough work refined to make most Sprint Planning events very straightforward while also not planning too far into the future and wasting time thinking about work that may change before you get there.

    In the specific example in the question, I'd want the first 100-150 story points worth of work to be refined and ready for the next Sprint.

    I will add, though, that different environments may have different good ranges. If your environment is highly stable and more well-understood, you may be able to get away with refining a little more of your Product Backlog. I wouldn't want to plan more than 6 Sprints of work ahead, though, even in these more stable environments. Other environments may be much more unstable and ambiguous. Refining 1 or 2 Sprints may be more realistic to make sure you aren't wasting time refining the wrong stuff. You may have to take on work with more ambiguities in it at Sprint Planning in these environments.



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