Getting to Ready: Unhiding Work with a Backlog Refinement Board

Is your team losing its way during backlog refinement? Does refinement contain “hidden” work difficult to account for? Is a Definition of Ready weakly applied? Do you even have one?

Borrowing lessons from the Kanban method, we look how to visualize a team’s backlog refinement process using a backlog refinement board. Benefits include improved understanding of work items, an “unhiding” of work, and an appreciation for “where” refinement work resides. We’ll examine how to identify the team’s refinement steps, how to turn those steps into a visual board, discuss whether a refinement board should follow the same cadence as the sprint board, and explore team interactions with the board. We’ll conclude with some real-world examples.

This session is for anyone searching for a better way to consistently meet its Definition of Ready. Product Owners, business analysts, team members, and leaders will benefit from the ideas and perspectives from this session resulting in concrete practices that can be taken back to the office the very next day!

About Our Speaker:

Mark Grove is an Agile Coach and Managing Consultant with Excella in Arlington, VA. He has over 24 years in the IT profession with the last ten years focusing on coaching individuals and teams while leveraging practices from both the Kanban method and Scrum framework.

His coaching and mentoring focus on understanding the flow of work, system optimization, value delivery, and team dynamics. He has developed and delivered numerous interactive training sessions and has spoken at several agile conferences and meetups. Mark is a Kanban University Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) and Kanban Coach, and a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP-SM, CSP-PO).

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