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Re: Why backlog grooming?

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  • Steve
    Hi all I have never done this pre-planning grooming and do struggle with the concept. Thanks to those who have explained their experience. However, one of
    Message 1 of 60 , May 3, 2011
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      Hi all

      I have never done this pre-planning grooming and do 'struggle' with the concept. Thanks to those who have explained their experience.

      However, one of the tenents is 'Focus'. If the team are called to help with grooming towards the end of a Sprint, are they not losing focus on the current Sprint at what could be a reasonably tense time?

      Also the point about the PO thinking the wrong estimates - the PO should not be overly concerned with these sort of estimates at this stage, should he/she? All the stories in the PB have been estimated at the begining of the project and it is the PO's grooming task to ensure that the large ones near the top are broken down to probably more manageable ones.

      Coming back to focus, the Team do reestimating in the Srint Planning meeting and the PO reprioritises so that the Team 'hit the ground running' and do not have to 'waste time' familiarising themselves with the result of the work they did maybe a week ago.

      Works for me - comments?
    • Seyit Caglar Abbasoglu
      ... I m not expecting every member of team to be homogenous but why do you think having enough expertise in the fields you describe is unrealistic? I ve met
      Message 60 of 60 , May 11, 2011
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        On the other hand, to be somewhat controversial, I completely disagree that every team-member in a team should be capable of doing all the different pieces of work required to deliver a user story/feature/backlog item. This is not cross-functional, this is homogenous. Expecting a single developer to have expertise in Javascript frameworks, deep knowledge of the relevant business domain algorithms and data structures, expertise in persisting data in data stores, and expertise in messaging and web service technologies needed to interface with external systems, and so on, is simply not realistic. In practise, people will have different strengths and in Scrum it is up to the team to organise its work to make the most effective use of those strengths.


        I'm not expecting every member of team to be homogenous but why do you think having "enough" expertise in the fields you describe is unrealistic? I've met more than a couple of guys who can start and finish any story within given expertise areas in reasonable time and quality. Consider those guys working in pairs with others inside a project and in no time that expertise will spread around.

        IMO neither Javascript Frameworks nor Persisting Data is rocket science (perhaps it was years ago). I've seen a lot more niche knowledge (for example AI programming) could be spread pretty easily as long as team has required specialist at the start and continue to generalize the knowledge.

        Also we need to consider risks of "not sharing knowledge" besides productivity. Just think about one of our specialists leaving the team, without sharing the knowledge and experience to other team members. How many projects have the luxury to take such a risk?
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