The Scrum Guide is a great, simple instruction book that reminds people how to get the best out of Scrum. Remember, the Official Scrum Guide (Sutherland and Schwaber, 2017) is only 13 pages long, so don’t over complicate things. As a framework, it is purposefully incomplete. You need to add to it in order to contextualise it to your own environment.
While it reads very black and white, knowing how to accomplish things like Backlog Refinement still remain a mystery to many.
As an agile coach, I like to keep things simple for new Scrum Teams. This includes Backlog Refinement sessions. Yin and Yang is one of my favourite patterns to teach new Scrum Teams how to collaborate on refining the Product Backlog together in a few short sessions.
While Backlog Refinement isn’t a compulsory event in Scrum, like Daily Scrum or Sprint Review, it supports empiricism by helping to make the work in the Product Backlog transparent.
The Yin and Yang pattern for Backlog Refinement creates a number of formal sessions for refining the Product Backlog.
During this session, the Team:
Ultimately, the Yang session should assess the results of experiments, research and draft design activities and their improvement of the confidence of solutions just-in-time for the next Sprint.
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Facilitators can use many techniques, but this does guarantee that the outcome will be reached. Ultimately linking the facilitation pattern to the objective of the interaction, makes the event more effective and helps contribute to team success in achieving their goals.
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Backlog Refinement is a critical part of good practice in Scrum. Refining the Product Backlog ensures that the Team and Product Owner have sufficientl
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