At some point or another during the transformation of an organization to Agile Development, I hear a sentence that always lets me know that the organization is making important progress in their transformation.
"Wow," they say, "I didn't know it would touch so much of the company!"
I've heard this phrase uttered at some point by almost every customer I've worked with so far, even when I go out of my way to warn them in advance. But what do they mean and what causes them to say this?
Backlog Grooming includes the team responsibility for ensuring that the ENTIRE Product Backlog is estimated at all times. This means that, while we will spend 70% of our time discussing, slicing, and estimating the highest priority items, we must still do “deep dives” in the backlog, ensuring that all items have an estimate on them.
A major goal of backlog grooming is to provide effort estimations for backlog items that are either not estimated (usually because they are new) or improperly estimated (usually because they were previously estimated and the team feels that the estimate is wrong). It is extremely important to keep the Product Backlog properly estimated at all times, as this helps the Product Owners and Project Leads keep the project on track and accomplishing the project’s stated goals.