Product Backlog Refinement Query

Last post 09:43 am June 22, 2015
by Ian Mitchell
6 replies
09:17 pm June 15, 2015


Is the product backlog refinement a formal event in scrum (I understand that it should not take more than 10% of development team's capacity in refining the product backlog)? Or does it happen as part of the defined events in scrum ie in sprint planning or review meeting?

Also, can you let me know who calls for the sprint planning, review and retrospective meeting? Per the guide scrum master ensures that these meetings take place and are time boxed but doesn't tell who calls for these meetings.


04:57 pm June 16, 2015

Allow me to share some of my thoughts...

Refinement is not a formal event. It can happen in a meeting, or as we go along during the Sprint, informally.

Who "calls" the meetings in question? -- Scrum is silent on this.

Scrum does specify who these are for -- i.e. Dev Tea or Scrum Team, or anyone.

01:39 am June 17, 2015

Thanks Nitin. Will wait to hear more perspectives from the practitioners.

07:45 am June 18, 2015

10% of the development teams time for refinement. Product backlog management is the responsibility of the Product Owner. The backlog items need to be refined before the development team can commit. Thus I would expect the Product Owner, in conjunction with the SCRUM Master to ensure that refinement is effective.
The SCRUM Master will ensure that the development team refine the backlog items. How this is done is down to the SCRUM team self-organising to get things done!

08:15 am June 18, 2015

Suppose that events and refinement sessions only happened if a specific person "called" for them. What problems might result from that, and what effect might it have on agile teamwork? Consider for example:
- delay or missed opportunity
- bottlenecks
- passing the buck
- apathy

05:50 am June 22, 2015

Ok. so what i am reading is - there is a reason why the owner of the scrum events aren't mentioned in the guide ( due to the reasons listed above in Ian Mitchell's response)

09:43 am June 22, 2015

Scrum events are owned by the Scrum Team. They are not owned by any other party.

Scrum team members will collaborate to ensure that these events, plus other activities including Product Backlog refinement, are held and are productive. Individual team members should always be prepared to take the initiative in this regard.