Product backlog - estimated ot not

Last post 06:23 pm April 8, 2021
by Daniel Wilhite
2 replies
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09:52 am April 8, 2021

Hi all,

just started at the new company and I am really confused with information I am receiving. My current level is low medior and I have colleagues who are seniors but can not aling to simple things.

Main question is should be have new and not refined and estimated items in Product backlog or not? One of them is saying yes and another say no. Both have their own arguments. They agree that the prioritized items should have been estimated and I DOR state but for other items, they are arguing. 
Is there a right answer or no?

05:58 pm April 8, 2021

Does the Scrum Guide say that all of the work on a Product Backlog must be "ready", or does it suggest that refinement is an ongoing activity? Bear in mind that refinement is more than just estimation, and that large items may be estimated while not yet being ready.

06:23 pm April 8, 2021

Estimates are guesses made based upon what you know.  I am sure that if you asked anyone on the Scrum Team to give an estimate on anything in the backlog they would do so.  Even if that estimate is "I don't know".  The point of refinement activities is to discover enough information to form a reasonable guess of the effort needed.  The more you know the better the estimate.  

Estimates are not commitments.  They are guesses.  When you start working you will uncover new information that can influence the estimates negatively or positively.  So I often recommend to people that they keep that in mind and decide based on each item how refined of an estimate is needed to start working.