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Basic questions regarding Scrum.

Last post 10:10 pm July 26, 2018 by Chris Belknap
10 replies
06:47 pm July 4, 2018

Hi, I'm a student at a coding school and I'm just learning about Scrum and had a few basic questions :


1.what is sprint grooming and at what stage does it take place?

I'm more interested in finding out at what stage it takes place. I'm confused on that. Does it take place before the creation of the product backlog or after?

From my understanding, the sprint process goes like this :

1. user story

2. product backlog

3. spring backlog

4. sprint

5. a potential shippable product

So how does Sprint Grooming fit in that sequence?

2. Why does the Product Owner have to be a single person? Can a set of partners who own the same product be a Product Owner, or does it always have to be a single individual? ex. Bill Gates and Paul Allen - both are co-founders of the same company/product.


09:03 am July 5, 2018

Hi Semhar,

I would strongly encourage you to read the Scrum Guide in the first place. It will surely clarify all the questions you raised. Good luck in your learning journey. (PS: it's called Refinement, not Grooming ;-) )

10:58 am July 5, 2018


Ditto what Nicholas said.

If it helps though, where I work, the product owner spends 'time' throughout the sprint refining the stories until they are happy.  Then we hold a 1 hour session for each week of the sprint, where we gather the whole scrum team together (and any relevant stakeholders) to understand and estimate items of the product backlog before we go into the next sprint planning session.



10:56 pm July 5, 2018

If it helps though, where I work, the product owner spends 'time' throughout the sprint refining the stories until they are happy


Would this be the stories in the product backlog, or the stories that have been chosen for the sprint already?

10:56 pm July 5, 2018

Yes everybody, feel free to keep posting comments.

I'd like to hear more people's perspective.

11:08 pm July 5, 2018

I just looked through the scrum guide and it said the following :


"Product 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 Product Backlog refinement, items are reviewed and revised. The Scrum Team decides how and when refinement is done. 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."


So if I understand it correctly, the refinement process is a ongoing process throughout Scrum.

and it happens AFTER the Sprint has started, because at that point, the team will have a greater understanding

of their capacities, and would be able to do a much better refinement based on their increased understanding

of their capacity?

11:14 pm July 5, 2018

As far as the question I had regarding Product Ownership, I dont believe the Scrum guide answered my question.

The closest thing I found that related to my question was this :

"The Product Owner is one person, not a committee. The Product Owner may represent the desires of a committee in the Product Backlog, but those wanting to change a Product Backlog item’s priority must address the Product Owner."

But this doesn't answer my question as to why there has to be a single product owner.

The only thing that I can think of is because that would create a more streamlined process, 

as opposed to dealing with multiple product owners.

06:19 am July 6, 2018

As to your second point: What would happen if the two Product Owners disagree on prioritization? The Scrum Guide will tell you that a PO may represent the will of a committee but that there has to be one single person responsible - the Product Owner.

As to the first point: Look up the term "Backlog Refinement" in the Scrum Guide, hopefully that will clear things up. The term "grooming", while still in use in a lot of companies has dropped out of "official" terminology. Backlog Refinement is the activity that's partly done in the meeting that's known as "grooming".

For your convenience, here's a link to the Scrum Guide:

12:24 pm July 26, 2018

Is the PO influenced by the commitee? ..."he reprents the will of a commitee..." does this could mean that he is inluenced?

06:01 pm July 26, 2018

Backlog refinement may happen anytime during a sprint. The product owner with the help of the dev team just has to make sure that the product backlog is groomed enough before the next sprint planning event so that they can have enough “ready” PBIs to do on the next sprint(s).

10:10 pm July 26, 2018

Semhar - Another point to think about.  Backlog Refinement is not one of the 5 Scrum events.  Hence it isn't time-boxed, isn't prescribed, and may be ongoing throughout the Sprint.  And, it is also done for a future Sprint, at the last responsible moment.


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