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Cross-Team Refinement in Nexus


This paper was written by Professional Scrum Trainer Rob Maher and Product Owner for Enterprise Solutions, Patricia Kong.

In Scrum, Product Backlog refinement is an ongoing activity for a single team; however, it is not a mandatory event. As explained in the Nexus Guide, due to the added complexity of many teams working together on a single product, Refinement is an official and required event in the Nexus Framework. Teams in a Nexus need to be involved in a shared Refinement event, because Refinement is focused on decomposing Product Backlog Items (PBIs) enough so that the teams can understand which work they could deliver and in what sequence over upcoming Sprints. The event also allows the teams to focus on minimizing and removing dependencies between teams. 

In a Nexus, there are many Scrum Teams pulling work from a single Product Backlog; therefore, new Refinement questions need to be answered.

  • Which teams pull what work?
  • How can we best sequence the work, across Sprints and teams to balance early delivery of value against risk and complexity?

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