Are your Sprint planning meetings taking longer and longer each Sprint. Do you find yourself discussing new stories that the team is seeing for the very first time? Are some of the stories vague, complex, or very large? Is the priority unclear? These are all symptoms of ineffective Product Backlog Refinement which results in painful Sprint planning meetings. Team Product Backlog Refinement is an important activity that is frequently overlooked. The team is usually focused on delivering features for the current Sprint and devotes little time to work with the Product owner to prepare for the upcoming Sprints. Come to this session to understand the importance of Product Backlog Refinement, the different types of activities that are needed, when to perform each type, who should attend and how to make the most of everyone's time. Understand the importance of having a Definition of Ready, learn how to do progressive elaboration on user stories and how to expand on your acceptance criteria. Leave with tips and technique for conducting effective Product Backlog Refinement before your very next Sprint planning meeting.

 
3 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

This will be a new 45 minute talk using my preferred presentation style of using a slide deck of mostly pictures and examples that cover the topic at hand. Below is an outline of the presentation:

  • Introduction
  • Product Backlog Refinement
  • Why/Who/What/When/How
  • Timebox and schedule
  • Different types
  • Prioritization
  • Evaluating new discovery
  • Story decomposition
  • Required attendees
  • 80/20 rule
  • User Story life cycle and progressive elaboration
  • Working towards the Definition of Ready
  • Summary

Learning Outcome

  • Signs of poor Product Backlog Refinement
  • Life cycle of a user story and progressive elaboration
  • What to do during Product Backlog Refinement, when to perform each type of activity, who should attend
  • Working towards a Definition of Ready

Target Audience

Product Owners, Business Analysts, ScrumMasters, and team members in general

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked David W Kane
    keyboard_arrow_down

    David W Kane - FeatureBan - A simulation to introduce Kanban basics

    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    FeatureBan is a simple and quick simulation that introduces several of the key concepts of Kanban, including visualization, feedback loops and limiting work in process and that lets participants learn by doing.  The simulation is also useful because it lets organizations who are curious about Kanban quickly learn about it before investing further.  Mike Burrows invented the simulation, but in this session we will present a modified version that we have used with both technical and non-technical audiences.

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Richard Cheng - Situational Retrospectives – One size does not fit all

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    Principal
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

     

    Situation A: Your team is great. You’ve met all your sprint goals and your Product Owner is pleased with the results to date. Yeah!

     

    Situation B: Your team sucked. Zero story points completed last sprint. Team members are complaining and blaming each other for the failures.

     

    These two situations demand two very different retrospectives. The right retrospective can make a good team great and turn a bad situation into a learning opportunity. A bad retrospective can set a team back and create a non-safe working environment.

     

    In this session, attendees will explorer retrospectives techniques and examine the pros and cons of the techniques. The workshop will then explore scenarios and examine how to effectively run retrospectives across a variety of scenarios.

     

    Coming out of this sessions, attendees will have an understanding of applying the right retrospectives based on the state and needs of the team and projects.

     

  • Liked Simon Storm
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Simon Storm - Don't just do Agile. Do Agile right.

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Are you struggling to implement Agile at your company?  What could be better than to learn from someone who has done it wrong over and over! We want to share our experiences pioneering Agile at a FinTech company.  After multiple attempts and through sheer stubbornness, we were we able to get it right and improve our release pace by 650% annually.  We will walk through where we went wrong, what we did right, and why we now understand that Agile cannot be successful without profound collaboration, Continuous Delivery, a DevOps culture and a desire to continuously improve.

  • Liked Steve Ropa
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Steve Ropa - DevOps is a Technical Problem AND a People Problem

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Gerry Weinberg once said of consulting “There is always a problem, and it’s always a people problem.” The world of DevOps is emerging rapidly, and just like the early days of Agile, is still working on refining exactly what DevOps means.  So often, the focus is either on the technical aspects of the various tool, or on the people problem of “bringing Ops into the room”.  But what is the problem that DevOps addresses, and is that problem more of a technical problem, or a people problem?  We will explore this, and look at the possible intersection between the two “problems” and how a DevOps approach can help overcome them.

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Fadi Stephan - Lean Discovery, Agile Delivery & the DevOps Mindset

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    More and more organizations and teams are adopting Agile, however most stay focused on just the development part. They maintain a Big Upfront Requirements/Design (BRUF) phase and still have a long test and deployment phase. This approach results in more of a mini-waterfall approach rather than an Agile approach where we actually place valuable products in our customers’ hands. The old risks and pain points are still there: are we building the right thing? Is it valuable and usable? Does it work? So the true benefits of an Agile approach in terms of quality valuable products and higher ROI is never achieved due to our long cycles and slow feedback loops. Come to this session to see how Lean Discovery and Agile Delivery combined with a DevOps mindset, can make actual delivery of customer value sustainable. We will look at how Lean Discovery replaces BRUF and ensures the team is constantly building the right thing. We will also see how applying Agile Engineering practices ensure that the team is building the thing right and how a DevOps mindset ensures that the product the team builds actually gets delivered to the customer early and often.

  • Liked Theresa Smith
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Theresa Smith - Product Design with Intent: How to Drive Product Design in an Agile Project

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    When design is based on random choices, the end product is an assembly of random elements that have little or nothing in common. But when design forces all elements to work together then it makes a single, powerful, and meaningful impression to the user. While agile can get the job done faster, it doesn’t help guide design choices for a software product.    

    This session presents a design driven approach called Strong Center Design that incorporates design into an agile workflow.

    If you have an interest in improving design of your software products, then this is the session for you.

  • Liked Ken Furlong
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ken Furlong - How to Organize Multi-Team Programs

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Why does the Agile community encourage cross-functional teams?  So many large organizations have naturally organized into system-specific teams.  This is a very common and logical approach.  At scale, though, it creates serious impediments to organizational agility and getting things done.  We'll discuss the roots of that phenomenon, one of our key interests in cross-functional teams, patterns for enabling such a team structure, some failure modes, and how to prevent them.  Please join us!

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Richard Cheng - Let's all agree to agree - The importance of a Team Charter

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    Principal
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    We've all see Project Charters.  Project Charters usually state the vision, mission, roadmaps, and is hand top down to the teams.  However, how many of us have Team Charters in place.  Team Charters are one of the most powerful tools a team has when it comes to being able to work effectively together.

    This workshop explores the dynamics of creating a team charter, the definition of ready, and the definition of done and how all this works together to create software that is ready for review, to potentially shippable, to released into production.

     

  • Liked Wyn Van Devanter
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Wyn Van Devanter - Going Green: Getting and keeping your build pipeline green

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    A build pipeline is such an important aspect of a software project.  It saves a ton of manual, error-prone depoyment work, as well as results in higher quality software that can be released more frequently.    

    However, I have been on multiple projects where one of the steps in the continuous integration process was failing (red), often for multiple days or even perpetually.  So much of the benefit a build pipeline provides is lost when this is allowed to happen.  Bugs are not caught by automated tests; additional tests break without being fixed because no one notices; the culture of keeping a green pipeline diminishes and faith in everything from the pipeline itself to automated tests reduces.  Developers learn bad habits.   

    Building the pipeline and getting all steps working (keeping it green!) is no small feat in the first place, and keeping it that way can also be a large undertaking. One way I have tried to combat this is to institute some specific process for the Scrum team, pertaining to monitoring and maintaining the build pipeline.  There is also an aspect of convincing the team and management that it is worth spending the time, and dropping everything to maintain a fully functional pipeline.  

    Join me for a common sense, tactile approach to keep a build pipeline green that has worked on small and larger projects with multiple teams.  

  • 45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate
    Your team can be ten times better.
     
    What does that mean? That means your professional team can accomplish 10x more work, do it with 10x more quality, 10x faster, or with 10x less resources. Your family can be 10x happier. Your school can be 10x more effective at helping people learn. Your community group can be 10x better at making life better for the people it serves. Even you yourself can be 10x more effective at getting what you want.
     
    In other words, you can be great. Your team can be great.
     
    Greatness
    Can you say these things about your teams?
    1. My projects are completed effortlessly on schedule and in budget every time.
    2. Every team I’ve ever been on has shared a vision.
    3. In meetings, we only ever do what will get results.
    4. No one blames “management," or anyone else, if they don’t get what they want.
    5. Everybody shares their best ideas right away.
    6. Ideas are immediately unanimously approved, improved, or rejected by the team.
    7. Action on approved ideas begins immediately.
    8. Conflict is always resolved swiftly and productively.
    The Core Protocols are one way to make teams that have these characteristics.
     
    Some of the things you’ll learn:
    • Results-oriented behaviors,
    • How to enter a state of shared vision with a team and stay there,
    • How to create trust on a team
    • How to stay rational and healthy
    • How to make team decisions effectively, and
    • How to move quickly and with high quality towards the team’s goals
  • Liked Brian Sjoberg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Brian Sjoberg - Moving at the Speed of Molasses ... This Might Have Something to do with It!

    Brian Sjoberg
    Brian Sjoberg
    Agile Coach
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Demonstration
    Beginner

    Are you struggling with delivering a potentially releasable working product every iteration? Ever wonder what one of biggest reasons we have difficulty getting things done at the individual, team and organizational level are? Do you keep doing something even though you know it reduces your productivity and lowers quality? We are going to run an exercise that highlights one of the major culprits that you have all experienced and continue to experience. The exercise will likely ignite a fire that will help you, your team and your organization to become more productive and improve product quality. We will discuss ways to improve this at the individual, team and organization levels.

    Knowing this will help anyone to understand the consequences of not prioritizing and increase their desire to. This will lead to producing faster, higher quality products that should lead to delighted customers.

  • Liked Mathias Eifert
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mathias Eifert - Using Lean Thinking to Increase the Value of Agile

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    “Agile doesn’t have a brain.” This quote from Bill Scott, ‎VP, Business Engineering and Product Development at PayPal, is provocative for sure, but it highlights the perception that in most organizations Agile is primarily applied as a downstream engineering approach. As such, it isn’t inherently concerned with optimizing product design and user experience, the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction. The feedback cycles that form the basis of Scrum provide verification and validation of stakeholder needs only as they are expressed in the backlog’s user stories. Even if a sufficiently empowered and accessible Product Owner is available, agile methods offer little guidance on how to translate organizational goals and customer needs into the backlog’s content and relative priorities in the first place. As a result, the danger persists that agile teams end up very efficiently building products that implement an incomplete and subjective perception of the wants and needs of both the organization and its customers.

    In this session, we will explore how Lean thinking expands the “inspect and adapt” loops of agile development and helps systematically determine which features and design choices really provide the greatest organizational value. After a brief introduction to Lean concepts, we will discuss how Lean approaches product development as a series of hypotheses about customers’ behavior and value perception and builds on Agile’s rapid iterative delivery of working software to test these assumptions. Finally, we will examine ways to derive testable assumptions from organizational goals, such as the Lean UX Hypothesis Statement template and Gojko Adzic’s Impact Mapping.

  • Liked Paul Boos
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Paul Boos - Understanding How Collaboration Improves Productivity

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    We've all heard how we need to collaborate better, but what does this really mean?  What results can I expect to see with better collaboration?  

    This workshop will demonstrate how productivity increases with greater collaboration and how to create better a more collaborative environment.  In the session you will not only have an opportunity to experience this relationship with a relatively simple learning game, but we'll look behind the curtain at the science and how some various behavioral models explain why this relationship exists.  We'll then explore some tactics you can use to help teams collaborate better and close with an exploration of what either helps or hinders collaboration and how you can use this information as well as the game with your teams.

    If you have an interest in improving productivity of your team or the teams you serve, then this is the session for you.

  • Liked toddcharron
    keyboard_arrow_down

    toddcharron - Following Your Fear: How to do the things you've always wanted to do

    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    What stops you from doing the things you’ve always wanted to do? What stops teams from being truly great? What hinders most Agile transformations?

     

    Fear.

     

    That feeling in your gut when deep down you know what you need to do, but you're not sure if you can do it.

     

    Check out any of the “x things most successful people do” posts online. Every single one of them will mention fear. Why? Because fear can either energize you to success or paralyze you into inaction.

     

    I’ll show you how to move from paralysis to action and how you can apply these techniques to yourself and to your Agile teams. How you, as a coach, can create safe environments so that your teams can be fearless.

     

    In addition, we'll work hands on with the Fear Follower Canvas to help you move those things you want to do from the someday pile to done!

  • Liked Andy Bacon
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Andy Bacon - A Leaner PMO in The Federal Government

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Can a federal agency’s PMO support Agile teams that are focused on delivering working software frequently? What about all the needed documentation, reviews, and sign-offs from a myriad of groups including systems engineering, privacy, PRA and cyber security? In this session we’ll look at a federal agency’s PMO processes and the concept of minimum viable bureaucracy. We’ll explore the roles and relationship between the PMO, PM, Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and team. We’ll see how projects get initiated and the decision criteria needed to start or defer a project. We’ll walk through a lightweight gate review process and the activities and deliverables of each phase. We’ll also see how gate reviews can co-exists with a continuous delivery pipeline. We’ll share lessons learned and take a look at the challenges ahead. Come to this session to see how a lean PMO is operating in a Federal Agency.

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Fadi Stephan - User Story Smells and Anti-patterns

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Agilists employ user stories as a way to capture user requirements and drive the planning process for iterative and incremental delivery of software. Traditionalists with experience in “big requirements up front” often struggle with the brevity of user stories and how to best communicate requirements. In this presentation, we will look at common anti-patterns and mistakes that teams unknowingly employ when writing user stories. Come learn how to identify and avoid these mistakes. Understand what size is the right size for a user story and how to properly split a user story. Discover different boundaries for prioritizing stories. Learn how to decompose a story until it is ready for development. Leave with new insights on how to write effective user stories.

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    IT Executive Coach
    Excella
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Many Agile adoptions stall because they fail to align with what the business needs. It's not about just delivering work more quickly, but also ensuring that it is what the business needs; for the Government, this is mission needs alignment. Getting a fully automated DevOps pipeline does nothing if you don't have any idea what type of impact you plan to make on the business.  

    However, once you have that delivery aligned with your business or mission, you can begin to perform experiments safely and more importantly measure the impact they make.  This session will discuss the types of measurements one can make and explore a few techniques you can use at both the macro and micro level to understand impact. We'll cite real-world examples set to help you understand how to apply each of the following techniques:

    • Business Canvas
    • Value Streams
    • Personas and Customer Experience Journeys
    • Impact Maps
    • Experiments & Hypotheses via Validation Boards

    This tour of techniques will give you ways to better craft your agility to your business needs.

  • Liked Paul Boos
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Paul Boos - Agile Transformation: Using the Krismap and Appreciative Inquiry

    Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    IT Executive Coach
    Excella
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    So you want to transform your organization? How should you get started? Am I throwing everything away?

    Understanding how to co-create your organization's aspirational characteristics creates a great start to your Agile journey.  This allows the people to internalize what agile means to them in their context; doing this will allow greater alignment and commitment during the transformation. We'll explore a technique that allows you to do this invented by some coaching colleagues (Michael Sahota and Olaf Lewitz) and that I've utilized in Federal and commercial clients.  

    After performing this short exercise, we'll discuss next steps of selecting strategies using Appreciative Inquiry to help find and build upon your organization's strengths. Along the way, we'll learn a bit about what Appreciative Inquiry is and how it complements other change management approaches one can take. Don't throw out everything, build on your strengths!

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    IT Executive Coach
    Excella
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In the Agile community, we often talk of Servant Leadership, but this notion often doesn't resonate with leaders that have a history for more command and control based approaches. While Servant Leaders exhibit behaviors preferred for leading and supporting teams, the transition can be difficult to grasp. In order to help leaders understand and take action, I have merged the concepts of Servant Leader with a participatory style to become Facilitative Leadership.  This provides a means for better helping people understand more of what they can take action on.

    This talk will help people understand how anyone can become a facilitative leader with a specific focus on people who need help in transitioning their thinking from typical command and control approaches to those that are more facilitative. So if you have been struggling how to serve your teams better, let's reframe how we think of approaching the actions we can take.

  • Liked Dave Rooney
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Dave Rooney - Emergent Design with Test-Driven Development

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    This workshop shows how Test-Driven Development (TDD) is used to enable emergent design. Using a simple but representative example in Java, the presenter will demonstrate how a low-level design naturally emerges when using the TDD cycle of test/code/refactor. The audience will be involved by suggesting the next steps and also by pairing with the presenter.

    Note that the goal of the session isn't necessarily to have a complete working example at the end, but to illustrate the process of low-level design through TDD.