Agile meetings

Backlog refinement meeting template

A backlog refinement template to help you focus on tasks that matter.

Template author

Altexsoft [Source]

About this template

The consulting firm Altexsoft created this template to help scrum teams conduct a productive and focused backlog refinement meeting. By creating an easy-to-follow process to decide what items make it to the next sprint planning session, team members are clearer on the future of the product and what’s expected of them.

Backlog Refinement Meeting Agenda

  • Discuss each item’s user story

    • What needs to be done to satisfy the acceptance criteria?

  • Decompose each project item appropriately Your sprint time-box should be enough time to realistically complete your items. If your user story is complex, break it down into smaller, precise parts for easy estimation. 

    • How can we break these down into smaller tasks?

    • Will the acceptance criteria be satisfied upon execution of each task?

    • Will the user story be satisfied upon execution of each task?

  • Prioritize what needs to be done  Discuss an item from the backlog and have the team mentally assign story points to the item. Everyone shows their cards, revealing their estimation. Discuss concerns and repeat this process until a consensus is reached.

  • Influence estimation with trade-offs Discuss concerns and repeat this process until a consensus is reached. If an agreement can’t be reached, consider removing the backlog item from the current agenda.

  • Follow up with additional questions Ask stakeholders open questions to get necessary details in preparation for the next backlog grooming meeting.

Source: Adapted from Altexsoft

When to use this template

This template brings clarity and structure to what needs to be discussed in a backlog refinement meeting. Use it if your backlog has a lot of uncertainties that require a separate meeting for decision-making (and can't be easily covered in a sprint planning meeting).

Before the meeting, prioritize items based on your project needs. Provide all the necessary details on high-priority items to make estimation easier for your team.

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Related agendas

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Sprint planning meeting agenda

Introduction and purpose (~5 mins)
  • Introduce team members

  • State the meeting’s purpose

Goal setting (~5 mins)
  • Define goals and objectives

Team capacity and velocity (~10 mins)
  • Determine team capacity

  • Determine team velocity

Sprint backlog (~30 mins)
  • Examine the current backlog of user stories

  • Decide the sprint’s priorities

  • Make sure each team member understands what each user story entails

Wrap-up and action items (~10 mins)
  • Do a brief wrap-up of what the key goals are and what the action plan is.

  • Set clear action items and ensure everyone understands what has to be done

For [name] [role]
  • [ ] Action Item 1

  • [ ] Action Item 2

For [name] [role]
  • [ ] Action item 1

  • [ ] Action item 2

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Sprint Demo Meeting Agenda

1. Present the sprint goal

  • What is the goal of the sprint? How do you emphasize during your presentation?

2. Review of what’s done and what hasn’t been done Give a high-level overview of what has been achieved and how it ties into the Sprint planning or previous demos (did you achieve what you said you would last time?)

  • What was done in the sprint?

  • What hasn’t been completed yet?

3. Demo the work Tell a story from the particular persona or user role. Stakeholders want to see the value of your product. Try to structure the demo into a series of scenarios or scripts that minimize context switching. 

  • What are the general themes in the work you completed?

  • How does your work tie into the broader sprint goals?

4. Ask questions and share observations

  • What can be seen in the demo?

  • Any feedback?

5. Review key metrics

  • Key Metric 1

  • Key Metric 2

6. Review the timeline and priorities At the end of each scenario (as well as the demo as a whole), point to the future directions for the work so that the stakeholders know what to expect next time.

Source: Paweł Łubiarz

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