Blog Post: Why Collaboration Is Key For Your Backlog

Even though my kids and co-workers must think otherwise, I am not a giant fan of meetings. Rather, I’m not a fan of needless meetings.

Lately, the meeting I have been trying to focus on is backlog grooming.

When we begin a new project for a customer, everyone loves coming to the meetings involving creative direction. Those are the fun sessions. Once those turn into requirements of a development sprint, though, it’s work. That’s when people find all kinds of reasons to skip the grooming of that workload.

Many in the Agile community believe the product owner is responsible for keeping that backlog up to date. When I first started in this role, I gladly took that on. Unfortunately, I always get too close to my work and sometimes miss the obvious because of a slanted perspective.

Enter a product ownership group.

Imagine getting together with your peers to review each other’s backlog. Could they see something you are missing? Would they be able to catch valuable pieces of acceptance criteria accidentally left off?

Most likely, yes to both.

Not only with the mechanics of requirement writing, but prior or related experience would be of value in all our backlogs. The group could start by inviting another team’s PO, scrum master, or dev leads to a grooming session and invite their feedback. From there, widen the circle as the situation allows.

In the end, a team of independent auditors is identified to help make better software. Think of how valuable this resource will be to your team. A “code review” of your requirements, if you will.

Have you tried this with your company before? Curious of the results if so.

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