When to know that a feature needs to be broken down
What are some indicators, during feature refinement, that a specific feature needa to be broken down into multiple other features? What are some activites I can do with the PO to help identify that?
A Product Backlog item has a description, order, value, and estimate. Shouldn’t the Development Team’s estimates provide the indication you are looking for?
I have been in situations where the Development Team had a difficult time coming to agreement on how large a feature or story is. One would estimate 2 points, while another would estimate 5 points.
This is where I and the Scrum Master would help by asking if the feature was too big to estimate. If the Scrum Team felt it was, I and the Development Team would break it down into smaller stories. Often, I won't ask for points or t-shirt sizes and will simply ask the Development Team if what they're selecting out of the Product Backlog can result in a "'Done', useable, and potentially releasable product Increment" (Scrum Guide).
"Work may be of varying size, or estimated effort. However, enough work is planned during Sprint Planning for the Development Team to forecast what it believes it can do in the upcoming Sprint" (Scrum Guide).
The Development Team is forecasting and Product Backlog refinement is an ongoing process. Use empiricism to inspect and adapt as you move forward.
Take a look at the Elephant Carpaccio exercise, a great way to practice & learn how to break stories into really thin vertical slices.
More information in this article: https://blog.crisp.se/2013/07/25/henrikkniberg/elephant-carpaccio-facil…